Fun Logic Quiz:
Recognizing Logical Fallacies Used by Liberals and Others
Logical fallacies are used by people at times in place of legitimate arguments whenever they choose to promote a point of view that may not be supported by meritorious arguments. 10 such fallacies are briefly described below, followed by 10 statements that illustrate the fallacies in action.
See if you can match the fallacy (or fallacies) to the statement. Some of the statements may illustrate more than one fallacy from the list, and there may be other applicable fallacies not set forth in the list, but stick to the list for the purpose of the quiz. Have fun and good luck, and keep your eyes open for fallacies that exist in all forms of communication. 🙂 Answers will be provided in a follow-up post soon.
- Appeal to Force: Using threats and warnings in place of evidence for a claim.
- Appeal to Pity: Using sympathy to persuade instead of logical argument.
- Straw Man: Creating and attacking a caricature of an argument instead of confronting the real or better argument.
- Red Herring: Pretending to refute an argument by changing the subject to something related but not directly on point.
- Reductio ad Hitlerum: Comparing a person’s position on a topic to one shared by Hitler or Nazis instead of arguing the merits of the position.
- Lowering the Bar: After being presented with evidence that shows a position to be problematic, the position is still defended by claiming that things would have been even more problematic without the position.
- Appeal to Unqualified Authority: Claiming that an authority in one field is qualified to “speak” as an authority in another field so that pronunciations made by the unqualified authority should be accepted as if they are legitimately authoritative.
- Credentialism: Claiming that a person’s position should be accepted simply based on the credentials the person has rather than the force of his or her arguments.
- Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: Falsely declaring something to be the cause of something else from a hodgepodge of data that has no necessary correlation.
- Appeal to Popularity: Claiming something to be true or good simply because many people believe it to be so.
1. “Your claim about life beginning at conception is interesting, but the science of the fetus is not settled. Besides, we must give women the right to abortion because it’s their bodies, and a woman has the right to control her own body. Women’s rights must be respected at all times.”
2. “If he doesn’t get arrested and convicted of murder, then more people will be encouraged to shoot minorities and claim self-defense. Also, without the conviction, there will be riots everywhere.”
3. “I can’t believe that Gingrich opposes abortion. Nazis also opposed abortion, and look at the monsters they were.”
4. “The polar bear community in that region is down 2%. The water levels over there are down .005%. Hurricanes are down 20% this year, but they were up 10% last year. The average temperature in the United States was actually warmest during the decade of the 1930s, but models show that the temperature could be higher in future decades. The cause is clear: Man-made global warming.”
5. “Notwithstanding what the Church teaches on homosexuality, that gay fellow is quite impressive, and so, too is his gay companion. Besides, he enjoys an overwhelming majority of support from his fellow parishioners so he should be allowed to serve on the committee.”
6. “Mr. Romney has called for a reduction in federal spending on welfare programs. It’s obvious that he hates poor people because they are the ones who benefit from such spending.”
7. “American people believe in feeding the hungry, and I won’t let people starve on my watch. Consider your hungry neighbors when you enter the voting booth. A vote for me is a vote that will help the hungry. Yes, we can.”
8. “Of course, Father G. was wrong to withhold Communion. I’m the ultimate canon lawyer, so it doesn’t matter what others may believe or what facts they provide. They don’t have my skills, education, and background.”
9. “If God exists, science will be able to prove it.”
10. “Despite the fact that our policies added three times as much debt as our predecessor and also increased unemployment, the recession would have been much worse without our policies in place.”