Fallacy Summary And Application Essay

1186 words - 5 pages

Fallacies are statements of argument either for or against an issue, a belief which is either true or false, or an error in reasoning either true or false. Fallacies are typically used in the media in an effort to persuade the listener, readers, or viewers of the medium of media into believing the argument being presented. The argument, for example, might be to vote for a certain political candidate, buy a particular brand of sweater versus another one, or appeals to our emotional intelligence when dealing with social issues such as violent crimes. To introduce my paper I will focus on the fallacy arguments of adverse consequences, appeal to emotion and straw man.The first fallacy argument is adverse consequences. Adverse consequence argument statements involve the argument in which X implies Y, Y is a true statement, and therefore X is a true statement. Such a fallacy argument from adverse consequences recently was in the news. The Associated Press reported last week a man from Fort Wayne, Indiana went on a killing rampage against his wife and three children. His wife was nagging him because he was not helping with the household chores. The fallacy argument would be he should be found guilty of murder since murder is illegal. Otherwise, other husbands will view the ruling as encouragement to murder their wives for nagging them about helping around the house.The second fallacy argument is appeal to emotion. Appeal to emotion argument statements involve the argument in which favorable or unfavorable emotions are associated with Position A therefore position A is true. The murderous story told above also falls in the lines of the fallacy argument for appeal to emotion. Those individuals interviewed in the article use emotional appeal rather than logical reasoning to persuade the reader. "Michael Guzman, who described Rios as a friend, said he had never heard Rios raise his voice to his children or speak ill of his wife. Everybody who knows him loves the guy," he said (The Associated Press [AP], 2005, Paragraph 10). This use of emotion in the article is attempting to persuade the reader to feel as if the guy was a nice guy, not hateful, or harsh towards his family, and thus implies the accused would not be capable of such a violent crime.The third fallacy argument is straw man. Straw man argument statements involve the argument in which person A presents position X, while person B presents position Y, which is merely a distorted view of position X, person A attacks position Y, and because of the argument position X is a flawed, incorrect, or flat out false. Research shows this fallacy argument to be common in the average workplace environment. An example of the straw man argument statement would be person A, who is a director of the meetings department of the organization announcing during budget cycle upper management cut the department budget by 5% for the next year. Person B, who is the program manager handling the logistics of the meetings...

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