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25 Multiple choice questions

  1. Is this a formal or informal fallacy? Congresswoman Michele Bachmann argues in favor of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But consider this. Bachmann is a total moron, a complete idiot who wouldn't recognize an oil well if she bumped into one. Clearly her arguments are ridiculous.
  2. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || The school board argues that our schools are in desperate need of repair. But the real reason our students are falling behind is that they spend too much time with their computers. Becoming educated means a lot more than learning how to point and click. The school board should send a letter to the parents urging them to monitor their kids' computer time.
  3. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || Evans, who takes orders at the local Taco Bell, argues persuasively in favor of increasing the minimum wage. But this is exactly what you would expect. Erica is paid the minimum wage, and if the minimum wage is increased, then her own salary will go up. Obviously Erica's arguments are worthless.
  4. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || Something is seriously wrong with high school education these days. After ten years of decline, SAT scores are still extremely low, and high school graduates are practically incapable of reading and writing. The obvious conclusion is that we should close the schools.
  5. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || Nietzsche's philosophy is not worth the paper it's printed on. Nietzsche was an immoral reprobate who went completely insane from syphilis before he died.
  6. Give an example of a subtype of argumentum ad populum.
  7. Is this a formal or informal fallacy? Sarah Jessica Parker, Ben Affleck, and Julia Roberts are Democrats. Therefore, it must be the case that all Hollywood stars are Democrats.
  8. Is this a formal or informal fallacy? The ship of state is like a ship at sea. No sailor is ever allowed to protest orders from the captain. For the same reason, no citizen should ever be allowed to protest presidential policies.
  9. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || Surely you welcome the opportunity to join our protective organization. Think of all the money you will lose from broken windows, overturned trucks, and damaged merchandise in the event of your not joining.
  10. Name the type of argument and say whether it is deductive or inductive: If Fox News is a propaganda machine, then it misleads its viewers. Fox News is a propaganda machine. Therefore, Fox News misleads its viewers.
  11. Give an example of a subtype of argumentum ad hominem.
  12. Is this a formal or informal fallacy? If Rasputin was really mad, then he deceived Czar Nicholas II. Rasputin was not really mad. Therefore, he did not deceive Czar Nicholas II.
  13. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || Dr. Morrison has argued that smoking is responsible for the majority of health problems in this country and that every smoker who has even the slightest concern for his or her health should quit. Unfortunately, however, we must consign Dr. Morrison's argument to the trash bin. Only yesterday I saw none other than Dr. Morrison himself smoking a cigar.
  14. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || If 20 percent of adult Americans are functionally illiterate, then it's no wonder that morons get elected to public office. In fact, 20 percent of adult Americans are functionally illiterate. Therefore, it's no wonder that morons get elected to public office.
  15. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || Barrow advocates increased Social Security benefits for the poor. It is regrettable that the senator finds it necessary to advocate socialism. Socialism defeats initiative, takes away promised rewards, and leads directly to inefficiency and big government. It was tried for years in Eastern Europe, and it failed miserably. Clearly, socialism is no good.
  16. Argumentum ad baculum, argumentum ad misericordiam, argumentum ad populum, fallacy of accident, straw man, ignoratio elenchi, and red herring are all example of fallacies of _____.
  17. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || Whoever thrusts a knife into another person should be arrested. But surgeons do precisely this when operating. Therefore, surgeons should be arrested.
  18. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || The editors of the Daily Register have accused our company of being one of the city's worst water polluters. But the Daily Register is responsible for much more pollution than we are. After all, they own the Western Paper Company, and that company discharges tons of chemical residue into the city's river every day.
  19. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || The position open in the accounting department should be given to Frank Thompson. Frank has six hungry children to feed, and his wife desperately needs an operation to save her eyesight.
  20. Is this a formal or informal fallacy? If the Chinese government systematically kills its unwanted orphans, then the Chinese government is immoral. The Chinese government is indeed immoral. Therefore, the Chinese government systematically kills its unwanted orphans.
  21. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || Mr. Rhodes is suffering from amnesia and has no recollection whatever of the events of the past two weeks. We can only conclude that he did not commit the crime of murdering his wife a week ago, as he has been accused of doing.
  22. Is this a formal or informal fallacy? Everything that runs has feet. The Columbia River runs very swiftly. Therefore, the Columbia River has feet.
  23. Identify the fallacy of relevance committed by the following argument, giving a brief explanation for your answer. If no fallacy is committed, write "no fallacy." || You should read Irving Stone's latest novel right away. It's sold over a million copies, and practically everyone in the Manhattan cocktail circuit is talking about it.
  24. Is this a formal or informal fallacy? Renowned violinist Pinchas Zukerman has said, "When it comes to vodka, Smirnoff plays second fiddle to none." We must therefore conclude that Smirnoff is the best vodka available.
  25. Is this a formal or informal fallacy? All people who believe we create our own reality are people who lack social responsibility. All people governed by selfish motives are people who lack social responsibility. Therefore, all people who believe we create our own reality are people governed by selfish motives.