Informal Fallacies Worksheet

Begging the question appeal to false authority 24 a

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Begging the question, appeal to false authority 24. A Senate committee hearing was held recently to determine, if we can, when life actually begins. And there was exhaustive testimony of experts presenting both views. And, finally, the result was declared inconclusive. They could not arrive at an answer that justifies the proposed legislation. If it is true we do not know when the unborn becomes a human life, then we have to opt in favor that it is a human life until someone proves it isn’t. (President Ronald Reagan) Appeal to ignorance 25. Of course there’s a God that rules over us and all of nature! Look, whoever obeys laws, submits to a governing will. And since nature obeys laws, she too must submit to a governing will. We are but a part of nature, so we too are governed by God’s laws. We only have to choose to accept God’s Word as the Law. That choice is ours to make. Won’t you make the choice today to live under God’s loving laws? Equivocation 26. Loud, dirty, and dangerous cars and trucks are invading our freeways! Thousands of people are being killed and maimed yearly. Wouldn’t our freeways and streets be cleaner, safer, and more enjoyable if they were used by walkers and bicyclists only? Now the above is almost as absurd as the many paragraphs in “Making Waves” [July/August]. Yes, some PWC [personal watercraft] owners are irresponsible. We should all act responsibly, especially when our actions affect others. We should never take the rights away from everyone just because of a few. Banning all PWC’s from parks is the easy way out. It is the same as punishing the whole class because one student made a lewd comment. Understand that I am older than 60 and do not own a PWC. I do not want to own one. I do not even care if I ever ride on one. But that is not the point. My likes and dislikes should not affect those around me. (Maureen Macdonald, Letter to the Editor, National Parks and Conservation Association magazine, Nov./Dec. 1997) False analogy, straw man, 27. I read with interest the article on Fire Island National Seashore and personal watercraft [Regional Report, November/December 2000]. It seems to me that most activities require specific locations. You can’t go hunting anyplace; you have to seek out locations that are not posted or restricted. Downhill skiing requires a formal ski area. Most outdoor activities are done at clubs set up for their specific purpose. Therefore, in my opinion, just because you can afford a motorized water vehicle, or even a snowmobile, does not mean you should be able to go anyplace and do whatever you choose. National parks were established so that people could enjoy the sites as they are. (Chester P. Soling, Letter to the Editor, National Parks and Conservation Association magazine, Mar./Apr. 2001) 5
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Begging the question appeal to false authority 24 A Senate...

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