Group Three: Sample Fallacies And Booby Traps

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| By Shawanba
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Shawanba
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Quizzes Created: 5 | Total Attempts: 1,061
Questions: 10 | Attempts: 132

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Writing Quizzes & Trivia

Understanding Fallacies and Booby Traps in Argument and Perusasive Writing


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    You’re a vegetarian? You do realize that Hitler was a vegetarian, too?

    • A.

      Equivocation

    • B.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • C.

      Genetic Fallacy

    • D.

      Straw Man

    • E.

      Appeal to Authority

    Correct Answer
    C. Genetic Fallacy
    Explanation
    The given answer, Genetic Fallacy, is the most appropriate explanation for the statement. The statement suggests that being a vegetarian is somehow wrong or questionable because Hitler was also a vegetarian. This is a fallacy because it attempts to discredit the idea of vegetarianism based on the actions or beliefs of one individual. The beliefs or actions of Hitler do not determine the validity or morality of being a vegetarian.

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  • 2. 

    Most heroin users started out smoking pot. If you start smoking pot, you’ll end up a heroin user, too.

    • A.

      Appeal to Authority

    • B.

      False Cause

    • C.

      Genetic Fallacy

    • D.

      Undistributed Middle

    • E.

      Vagueness

    Correct Answer
    D. Undistributed Middle
    Explanation
    The given statement suggests that starting to smoke pot will inevitably lead to becoming a heroin user. This is an example of the fallacy known as "undistributed middle." The argument assumes that because most heroin users started out smoking pot, anyone who starts smoking pot will also become a heroin user. However, this conclusion does not logically follow from the premise. There could be many other factors involved in the progression from smoking pot to using heroin, and it is not accurate to assume a direct causal relationship between the two.

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  • 3. 

    Really exciting novels are very rare. And since rare books are expensive, I can’t afford to buy any really exciting novels.

    • A.

      Vagueness

    • B.

      Genetic Fallacy

    • C.

      Undistributed Middle

    • D.

      Suppressed Evidence

    • E.

      Equivocation

    Correct Answer
    E. Equivocation
    Explanation
    The given statement is an example of equivocation. Equivocation occurs when a word or phrase is used in multiple senses, leading to a misleading or ambiguous conclusion. In this case, the word "really exciting novels" is used first to describe novels that are rare, and then to describe novels that are expensive. By using the same term in different senses, the argument creates a false connection between rarity and expense, suggesting that all rare books must also be expensive. However, this is a fallacious reasoning as rarity does not necessarily imply high cost.

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  • 4. 

    Middle-class families are paying more taxes than ever.

    • A.

      Vagueness

    • B.

      Red Herring

    • C.

      Equivocation

    • D.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • E.

      Straw Man

    Correct Answer
    A. Vagueness
    Explanation
    The given statement suggests that middle-class families are paying more taxes than ever. However, it does not provide any specific details or clear definition of what is meant by "more taxes" or "than ever." This lack of clarity makes the statement vague, as it is not possible to determine the accuracy or validity of the claim without more specific information. Therefore, the correct answer is vagueness.

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  • 5. 

    The war in Iraq has been a complete success. After all, Saddam Hussein is dead, and the Iraqis had their first free election in years.

    • A.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • B.

      Appeal to Authority

    • C.

      Suppressed Evidence

    • D.

      Vagueness

    • E.

      Straw Man

    Correct Answer
    C. Suppressed Evidence
    Explanation
    The given statement suggests that the war in Iraq was a success based on two pieces of evidence: the death of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqis having their first free election in years. However, this explanation is flawed because it suppresses other important evidence that may contradict the claim of success. It fails to consider the overall impact of the war, such as the loss of lives, destruction of infrastructure, and ongoing instability in the region. By ignoring these factors, the statement presents a biased and incomplete view of the situation, hence indicating suppressed evidence.

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  • 6. 

    Jake, Kyle and Rolf are all members of the UNCP Young Republicans, and they are all planning to be Roman Catholic priests. Emma is also a member of the UNCP Young Republicans, so she is probably planning to be a Roman Catholic priest, too.

    • A.

      Appeal to Authority

    • B.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • C.

      Undistributed Middle

    • D.

      Straw Man

    • E.

      Genetic Fallacy

    Correct Answer
    B. Questionable Use of Statistics
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "Questionable Use of Statistics." The given statement assumes that because Jake, Kyle, and Rolf are members of the UNCP Young Republicans and planning to be Roman Catholic priests, Emma, who is also a member of the same group, is likely planning to be a Roman Catholic priest as well. However, this assumption is based on statistical data that may not accurately represent the entire group. The statement makes a questionable use of statistics by assuming that the characteristics of a few individuals can be applied to the entire group.

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  • 7. 

    Many people criticize Thomas Jefferson for being an owner of slaves. But Jefferson was one of our greatest presidents, and his Declaration of Independence is one of the most eloquent pleas for freedom and democracy ever written. Clearly these criticisms are unwarranted.

    • A.

      Straw Man

    • B.

      Vagueness

    • C.

      Red Herring

    • D.

      Suppressed Evidence

    • E.

      False Cause

    Correct Answer
    C. Red Herring
    Explanation
    The given answer, Red Herring, is the most appropriate explanation for the statement. A red herring is a fallacy that introduces irrelevant information to divert attention from the main issue. In this case, the statement diverts attention from the criticism of Thomas Jefferson's ownership of slaves by highlighting his achievements as a president and the eloquence of the Declaration of Independence. This is a tactic used to distract from the main criticism and make it seem unwarranted.

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  • 8. 

    There are more laws on the books than ever before, and more crimes are being committed than ever before. Therefore, to reduce crime, we must eliminate the laws.

    • A.

      Vagueness

    • B.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • C.

      Genetic Fallacy

    • D.

      False Cause

    • E.

      Red Herring

    Correct Answer
    D. False Cause
    Explanation
    The given answer, False Cause, is the correct explanation for the statement. The statement assumes that there is a causal relationship between the increase in laws and the increase in crimes. However, this is a false cause fallacy because it does not consider other factors that could contribute to the increase in crime rates, such as changes in societal conditions, economic factors, or enforcement of existing laws. Therefore, eliminating laws would not necessarily lead to a reduction in crime.

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  • 9. 

    We should pass a constitutional amendment making it illegal to burn the American flag. Anyone who thinks otherwise just hates America.

    • A.

      Appeal to Authority

    • B.

      Suppressed Evidence

    • C.

      Vagueness

    • D.

      Straw Man

    • E.

      Equivocation

    Correct Answer
    D. Straw Man
    Explanation
    The given statement presents a distorted version of the opposing argument by suggesting that anyone who disagrees with passing a constitutional amendment against flag burning "just hates America." This is a misrepresentation of the opposing viewpoint and creates a false dichotomy. The statement uses the Straw Man fallacy by attacking a weaker or distorted version of the opposing argument instead of addressing the actual argument itself.

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  • 10. 

    Lewis Carroll, in Through the Looking Glass: “ ‘You couldn’t have [jam] if you did want it,’ the Queen said. ‘The rule is jam tomorrow and jam yesterday — but never jam today.’ ‘It must sometimes come to jam today,’ Alice objected. ‘No it can’t,’ said the Queen. ‘It’s jam every other day: today isn’t any other day, you know.’ ”

    • A.

      Genetic Fallacy

    • B.

      Appeal to Authority

    • C.

      Straw Man

    • D.

      Undistributed Middle

    • E.

      Equivocation

    Correct Answer
    E. Equivocation
    Explanation
    The passage from Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass" demonstrates the fallacy of equivocation. The Queen's statement about jam is using the word "jam" in two different senses - one as a literal fruit spread and the other as a time frame. By using the same word with different meanings, the Queen is creating confusion and making a false argument. She is equivocating between the two meanings of "jam" to support her claim that it can never be had today. This fallacy occurs when a word or phrase is used ambiguously or with multiple meanings to deceive or confuse the audience.

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