The estimated amount of people within the United States who regularly visit pornography sites stands at 40 million. The significance of that number and its implications can be debated, but the focus here resides in the statements made by an individual in regards to the feminist argument of pornography being harmful. More specifically, how the individual goes about making their points in opposition to the feminist standpoint. Whether the claim of pornography being harmful is true or not does not matter, because the following is an analysis of statements made by the individual that are flawed due to a host of fallacies present in the reasoning.
The first fallacy that emerges is the ...view middle of the document...
Arguments have to be judge not by the actions of the individuals making those arguments but by their validity and soundness.
The next fallacy is the appeal to popularity. When the speaker states, “[m]any important people, including the Presidents, writers, and entertainers who have been interviewed by the magazine and the women who pose in it, apparently agree”, they are using the belief shared by those in society as a basis for support for their own personal belief. By stating that other people, beside themselves, share the same view, the individual uses this possible commonality as a reason to support the claim that is being offered. The problem here falls in the possibility that as whole this group of people may be wrong in their belief or course of action. In every situation critical thinking must be used, even if the correct conclusion goes in opposition to the majority.
The next fallacy is a proof surrogate. When the speaker states, “[s]cientific studies so far have not proved that pornography is harmful, so it must not be harmful”, they provide no other evidence for supporting the claim other than that it has not been proven to harm. To state that the reader must conclude pornography as not having any harm just because evidence for it has not found it to cause harm, but for where exactly these conclusions come from is not stated. To make such a claim specific information needs to be present in order to validate the sources upon which the speaker is pulling their evidence from. The manner in which the statement is in at the present remains to vague for any opposing argument to be presented due to the illusive nature of “scientific studies”. Having room for discourse allows for better conclusions to emerge.
The next fallacy is the false dilemma. When the speaker states, “to be harmful, pornography would either have to harm the men who read it or the women who pose in it”, they limit to the consequences of harm to only the individual engaging and the actors. However, this fails to include possible consequences to the immediate society that the person inhabits, such as their family, neighborhood, or work space. These would fall under valid effects of harm due to the use of pornography, but the speaker fails to present this or any other such claims. Rather, the limiting of just two possible outcomes exaggerates the claim but does not provided any evidence to support it.
The next fallacy is a rhetorical analogy. When the speaker states, “take a lesson from my parents—they don’t like loud music and won’t have it in their house, but they don’t go around saying it’s harmful to everyone”, they are making an unfair comparison between pornography and loud music. The reason for it being an unfair analogy would be in the immediate consequences, where loud music can bother neighbors or the surroundings, engaging in pornography does not cause direct annoyance to the neighbors or surroundings. As a result of this unfair relationship, the reader is...