Assignment 2: Discussion—Informal Fallacies In this assignment, you will compose three original examples of informal fallacy arguments. This assignment allows you to examine common fallacies in everyday reasoning. Using the types of arguments listed in this article or in the module readings, respond to the following: Next, using the Internet, respond to the following: Support your statements with examples and scholarly references. Write your initial response in 200–300 words.
Informal fallacies are common errors in reasoning that can occur in everyday arguments. They are called “informal” because they do not follow the structural rules of formal logic. Instead, they often rely on faulty reasoning, deceptive language, or irrelevant information to make their point. In this assignment, we will explore three original examples of informal fallacy arguments.
Example 1: Ad Hominem Fallacy
An ad hominem fallacy occurs when someone attacks the person making the argument rather than addressing the argument itself. For example, consider the following exchange:
Person A: “I think we should implement stricter gun control laws to reduce crime rates.”
Person B: “You’re just saying that because you have no experience with firearms. Your opinion doesn’t hold any weight.”
In this example, Person B is attacking Person A’s credibility rather than addressing the argument for stricter gun control laws. Even if Person A has no experience with firearms, it does not automatically invalidate their opinion on the matter.
Example 2: False Dichotomy Fallacy
A false dichotomy fallacy occurs when someone presents a situation as having only two possible options, when in reality, there are more alternatives. For example:
Political Candidate A: “You must either support our plan for higher taxes or be in favor of cutting public services. There is no middle ground.”
In this example, Political Candidate A is presenting a false dichotomy by suggesting that the only options are higher taxes or cutting public services. This ignores the possibility of finding alternative ways to increase revenue or reduce expenses.
Example 3: Strawman Fallacy
A strawman fallacy occurs when someone misrepresents an opponent’s argument in order to make it easier to attack. For example:
Person A: “I think it is important to prioritize funding for education.”
Person B: “So, you’re saying we should give unlimited resources to schools and ignore other important areas like healthcare?”
In this example, Person B is misrepresenting Person A’s argument by suggesting that they are advocating for unlimited resources for schools. Person A’s statement simply emphasizes the importance of funding education, but Person B distorts the argument to make it easier to attack.
In this discussion, we explored three original examples of informal fallacy arguments. The ad hominem fallacy occurs when someone attacks the person making the argument rather than addressing the argument itself. The false dichotomy fallacy presents a situation as having only two possible options when there are more alternatives. The strawman fallacy involves misrepresenting an opponent’s argument in order to make it easier to attack.
It is important to be aware of these fallacies in order to recognize and avoid them when engaging in debates or discussions. By understanding these types of errors in reasoning, we can strive for more rational and logical arguments.