I need three examples of fallacies in the media.
One rich source of fallacies is the media: television, radio, magazines, and the Internet (including, of course, commercials.) Identify two distinct fallacies you see committed in the media. Do you think it is more likely that you will not be fooled by these fallacies having studied logic? What do you think those presenting these arguments assume about the logical skills of their viewers? Is this a good or bad assumption for them to make?
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Today on television there are so many fallacious arguments that the viewing public should take a course in argument before voting or buying anything. Let’s start with “post hoc ergo propter hoc” (after this therefore because of this). “My girlfriend left me and it started to rain.” Or, “When X took office, the national debt was …..trillion dollars; now it is …….trillion more.” Or “I used to weigh …, then I joined…, and now I weigh…” Oversimplification: “There will be no tax increases if I’m elected.” Hyperbole: “This is the greatest …in the world!” Hidden qualifier: “It gets the best gas mileage in its class!” False award fallacy: “This dealership has won the Brand Name award three time in a row!” Non-representative statistic: “Nine out of ten people asked said they did not disagree with this statement.” Ad hominem: “Would you want a…to be president, someone who…?” Linguistic connotation: “Millionaires on their yachts with their offshore accounts” vs. “The folks who hire workers.” Slippery slope: “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” “If you start giving welfare to the unemployed, pretty soon no-one will be looking for a job.”
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