Entry 4: Argument Structures and Fallacies

Item 1.

Source: http://markii.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/creationist-cartoons/

Analysis:

Structural fallacy – Circular reasoning (A is B. Therefore A is B), the premise is the same as the conclusion.

The fossil is 3 billion years old because it was in the 3 billion year old rock strata.

The rock strata are 3 billion years old because in it there was the 3 billion year old fossil.


Item 2.

Source: http://www.unapologeticallyfemale.com/2009/08/vintage-ad-of-day_4848.html

Analysis:

Premise 1: There are women who are unforgettable, disarming and a not-so-quiet sensation that you can either read about or become one.

Premise 2: Wearing new MYSTRECE is the only way to become a woman who is unforgettable, disarming and a not-so-quiet sensation.

Conclusion: If you wear the new MYSTRECE, you will become a woman who is unforgettable, disarming and a not-so-quiet sensation.

–> This argument is inductively weak: There are many other ways for a woman to express such charms. Wearing the advertised stocking is apparently not the only way.

Item 3:

The Bulldogs are the first-place team, so either we beat them tonight and gain a little self-respect, or we lose like everyone expects us to, and hide our faces in shame!

Source: http://www.sjsu.edu/depts/itl/graphics/adhom/dilemma.html

Analysis: False dilemma

In fact, maybe they could play a great game and still lose, but come out of it feeling good about their performance. That’s only one option beyond the false dilemma offered here of “win self-respect” or “lose in shame.”

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