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Logical Fallacies In Today’s Politics Essay

919 words - 4 pages

A logical fallacy is an argument that contains a mistake in reasoning (Bassham, Wallace, Wallace, Irwin, & Nardone, 2002, p. 140). In the world of politics, logical fallacies are in abundance. While politicians say they are truthful and honest, many times they tend to get caught up in fallacies to either cover their misspoken statements or twist the truth to their favor. Also, people and groups that oppose certain politicians also tend to get caught up in fallacies. In most recent news, the opposition to Colorado Senatorial candidate Pete Coors is guilty of the fallacy attacking the motive, opposition to Presidential Candidate John Kerry is guilty of slippery slope, and President Bush is guilty of hasty generalization. Attacking the motive is the logical fallacy that is committed when arguments criticize a person's motivation for offering a particular argument or claim, rather than examining the worth of the argument or claim itself (Bassham et al., 2002, p. 144). In critical thinking and decision making, people often let their emotions get involved in their thinking process. Attacking a person's motive rather than the argument itself, is typically a byproduct of emotions. Specifically in the decision making process, attacking the motive can severely affect the final outcome of a decision if it is used in any step of the process. In Colorado, Pete Coors, owner of Coors Brewing Company, is running for United States Senate. One of his political arguments is that he would like to change the legal drinking age from twenty one to eighteen. Opponents to Coors say that he only wants to lower the age so his company can sell more alcohol. They are attacking his motive rather than his argument. Coors argues that by lowering the drinking age, young people will learn responsible drinking at an earlier age and therefore decrease the number of deaths and accidents due from underage drinking (Yahoo, 2004). The slippery slope or the black and white fallacy claims that without sufficient evidence, a seemingly harmless action, if taken, will lead to a disastrous outcome (Bassham et al., 2002, p. 173). It argues that there is no middle ground or grey area in an argument and does not distinguish between degrees of difference. The slippery slope fallacy is complete opposite to critical thinking. Critical thinking is analyzing information to reach a conclusion while slippery slope reduces everything to a black and white issue. If the slippery slope fallacy is used in the decision making process, then all of the critical information will not be analyzed and a bad decision will be made. The political opposition to Presidential candidate John Kerry argues that because John Kerry opposed the Vietnam War after returning from the war, he is not...

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