Red herrings are a favorite of politicians and peo ple who want to turn

Red herrings are a favorite of politicians and peo

This preview shows page 91 - 93 out of 165 pages.

out to all nationalities.Red herrings are a favorite of politicians and peo-ple who want to turn potential negative attention awayfrom them and onto others. Watch how it works:Senator Wolf:“Yes, I support Social Securityreform. I know that Senator Fox is against it,but he’s just trying to get the liberal vote.”Notice how Senator Wolf avoids having to explain ordefend his position by shifting the attention away fromhis claim and onto Senator Fox. Instead of supportinghis claim, he leaves the listener wondering if SenatorFox is just out to get more votes. Once again, the redherring tactic throws the argument off track.PracticeRead the following arguments carefully. Do you seeany red herrings? If so, underline them.5.Yes, I believe that it is time for rent laws tochange, and here’s why. It’s very hard to pay myrent since my income is so low. How would youfeel if you worked forty hours a week and couldbarely make ends meet? It’s time for a change!6.It is wrong to censor the press. Our governmenthas a law in the First Amendment that allows thepress to express itself without interference orconstraint by the government.7.Do you want to know why there are some peoplewithout healthcare? It’s because too many politi-cians don’t want to raise taxes because they areafraid they will lose votes.8.You should become a vegetarian. After all, do youknow how many animals are on the verge ofextinction?Answers5.Yes, I believe that it is time for rent laws to change,and here’s why. Its very hard to pay my rent sincemy income is so low.How would you feel ifyouworked forty hours a week and could barely makeends meet? Its time for a change!6.It is wrong to censor the press. Our governmenthas a law in the First Amendment that allows thepress to express itself without interference or con-straint by the government. (This argument pro-vides relevant evidence for the conclusion.)7.Do you want to know why there are some peoplewithout healthcare? Its because too many politi-cians dont want to raise taxes because they areafraid they will lose votes.8.You should become a vegetarian. After all,do youknow how many animals are on the verge ofextinction?(True, vegetarians don’t eat meat, butthe kind of meat carnivores eat are not the animalsthat are on the verge of extinction. Instead of thisred herring, this argument should give good rea-sons for giving up chicken, pork, beef, and theother types of meat common to the human diet.)LOGICAL FALLACIES: DISTRACTERS AND DISTORTERS90
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Straw ManHave you ever gotten in a fight with a scarecrow? It’spretty easy to win, isn’t it, when you’re fighting a manmade of straw. After all, he’s not a real man—he fallsapart easily and he can’t fight back. You’re safe andyour opponent is a goner. It probably doesn’t surpriseyou that there’s a logical fallacy that uses this principle:
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