Critical Thinking – Evaluating Logic – Part 2 of 3



so here's an example of circular
reasoning Soda is bad for you because it isn't unhealthy beverage and this example someone is claiming
that soda is bad for you what is their logic or evidence to prove this it is an unhealthy beverage in this case unhealthy is really just a
synonym for bad so essentially they're claiming that soda
that is unhealthy because it is unhealthy when the claim is really no different
from the logic used to support it we see circular reasoning rather than restating the claim with
synonyms it is better to use solid evidence for support for example a stronger way to prove that soda is
bad for you or unhealthy would be to list the toxic ingredients to reference evidence from scientists or
doctors or to even demonstrated its potency by
pouring it on to the hood of a car and watching it kill the paint so here's an example of false use of authority oftentimes an effort to sell the product
and ideas people use the false use of authority if katy perry tells you that proactive
is the healthiest solution to use on your skin so you believe her he tried
right away katy perry may be in expert in vocals or
attracting audiences but is she an expert in dermatology although it is possible that proactive
may end up working miracles on your skin in this case before making a decision
perhaps a better person to consult with would be a dermatologist false use of authority occurs when
testimony from someone who is not an authority in the field is used as
evidence let's take a look at another example you were asked to use a scholarly
sources to provide information in a research assignment you are doing you could just Google it and and grab
something from wikipedia or the first blog site you land on the information may even be correct but
one critical question to ask is whether the author is a true authority on this
topic or scholar in this field a better way to assure that you were finding legitimate carefully vetted information written by
experts in the field would be to use a database and refine your search by
clicking on the scholarly articles checkbox for more information about how to be more information savvy why don't you take a look at the
information literacy module let's talk about ad hominem if you've ever found yourself in a
namecalling match it is likely that the ad hominem palacios being used ad hominem is latin for against the man and occurs when someone attacks the
opponent personally rather than attacking the actual argument at hand let's take a look at this example when someone doesn't have a adequate
defense for their argument or when they lose control of their temper they may
resort to using ad hominem where they are attacking the person
personally instead of focusing on the argument at hand let's talk about the false dilemma fallicy have you ever felt pinned into a corner
to make a decision or have you ever been made to feel that
there are probably two choices only two distinct possibilities if so someone may have been using the
false dilemma fallicy to convince you or this is also known as the either or fallacy politicians may resort to using this
fallacy to manipulate thinking for example if you don't vote for the following
female candidate in the next election you must be sexist wait a minute is it possible that you can oppose this
female candidates views without being sexist to really knock this logic on its side
perhaps you can even reference the female politicians that you support
within your own political party in this case someone's convincing you
that there are only two possible choices and the only one word choosing is of
course theirs let's take a look at another example Either you give me this candy or you must not love me oftentimes people use the either or a
fallacy as a guilt tactic isn't it possible your abstaining from
buying the candy for your child because you love her and care about her health or perhaps you love your boyfriend
dearly but simply cannot afford to be giving him sugar whenever demands it the false dilemma fallacy oversimplify
scenarios or decisions into black and white categories often ignoring the alternatives or the
shades of gray now let's see if you you can spot the
logical fallacies used in these examples

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