Group Two: Sample Fallacies And Booby Traps

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Shawanba
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Group Two: Sample Fallacies And Booby Traps - Quiz

Understanding Fallacies and Booby Traps in Argument and Persuasive Writing


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

     U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn says that lesbianism is rampant in the Oklahoma schools. This must, indeed, be true, because surely the senator couldn't be mistaken about the schools in his own state.

    • A.

      Straw Man

    • B.

      Genetic Fallacy

    • C.

      Appeal to Authority

    • D.

      Vagueness

    • E.

      Suppressed Evidence

    Correct Answer
    C. Appeal to Authority
    Explanation
    The given answer is "Appeal to Authority." This is because the statement assumes that the senator's opinion on the schools in his own state is automatically correct, simply because he is a senator. However, being a senator does not make someone an expert on the prevalence of lesbianism in schools, so his opinion should not be automatically accepted as true.

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  • 2. 

    Do most Americans believe in God? To find out, we asked over 10,000 scientists at colleges and universities throughout America. Less than 40 percent said they believed in God. The conclusion is obvious: Most Americans no longer believe in God.

    • A.

      Red Herring

    • B.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • C.

      Undistributed Middle

    • D.

      Suppressed Evidence

    • E.

      Straw Man

    Correct Answer
    B. Questionable Use of Statistics
    Explanation
    The given argument uses a questionable use of statistics. The conclusion that "most Americans no longer believe in God" is based on the belief of scientists at colleges and universities throughout America. However, scientists only represent a small portion of the American population, and their beliefs may not be representative of the entire population. Therefore, it is not valid to generalize the beliefs of scientists to the beliefs of the entire American population.

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  • 3. 

    Before he died, poet Allen Ginsberg argued in favor of legalizing pornography. But Ginsberg's arguments are nothing but trash. Ginsberg was a pot-smoking homosexual and a thoroughgoing advocate of the drug culture.

    • A.

      Equivocation

    • B.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • C.

      Red Herring

    • D.

      False Cause

    • E.

      Genetic Fallacy

    Correct Answer
    E. Genetic Fallacy
    Explanation
    The given answer, Genetic Fallacy, is the correct choice because it involves making a judgment or argument based on someone's personal characteristics or beliefs rather than addressing the actual issue at hand. In this case, the argument dismisses Ginsberg's viewpoint on legalizing pornography by attacking his personal attributes such as being a pot-smoking homosexual and advocating drug culture. This is irrelevant to the topic and does not address the merits of his argument.

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  • 4. 

    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.

      False Cause

    • B.

      Red Herring

    • C.

      Appeal to Authority

    • D.

      Vagueness

    • E.

      Genetic Fallacy

    Correct Answer
    B. Red Herring
    Explanation
    The given answer, Red Herring, is correct because the statement diverts attention from the criticism of Thomas Jefferson being a slave owner by bringing up his accomplishments as a president and the eloquence of his Declaration of Independence. This is a distraction from the issue at hand and does not address or refute the criticism directly. It attempts to shift the focus to unrelated positive aspects to make the criticisms seem irrelevant or unwarranted.

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  • 5. 

    Miller Lite is cheap beer, so the Guinness will be cheap, too.

    • A.

      Vagueness

    • B.

      Undistributed Middle

    • C.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • D.

      Suppressed Evidence

    • E.

      Genetic Fallacy

    Correct Answer
    C. Questionable Use of Statistics
    Explanation
    The given explanation suggests that the correct answer is "Questionable Use of Statistics" because it states that since Miller Lite is cheap beer, the Guinness will also be cheap. This statement implies that the price of Guinness is determined solely based on the price of Miller Lite, which is a questionable use of statistics. The price of a product is influenced by various factors such as production costs, brand value, and market demand, and cannot be simply determined based on the price of another product.

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  • 6. 

    Wife: “I see Mr. Smith is cooking out on his new barbecue grill.” Husband: “So his wife finally got fed up with his unfaithfulness!”

    • A.

      Vagueness

    • B.

      Undistributed Middle

    • C.

      Appeal to Authority

    • D.

      Straw Man

    • E.

      False Cause

    Correct Answer
    A. Vagueness
    Explanation
    The husband's statement is an example of vagueness because it is unclear how the wife cooking on a new barbecue grill is related to Mr. Smith's supposed unfaithfulness. The husband's statement lacks clarity and precision, making it vague and open to interpretation.

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  • 7. 

    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.

      Equivocation

    • B.

      Undisputed Middle

    • C.

      Red Herring

    • D.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • E.

      Appeal to Authority

    Correct Answer
    D. Questionable Use of Statistics
    Explanation
    The given statement assumes that because Jake, Kyle, and Rolf are all members of the UNCP Young Republicans and planning to be Roman Catholic priests, Emma, who is also a member of the UNCP Young Republicans, is probably planning to be a Roman Catholic priest as well. This conclusion is based on the assumption that all members of the UNCP Young Republicans who are planning to be Roman Catholic priests are also members of the UNCP Young Republicans, which is a questionable use of statistics.

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  • 8. 

    I have a right to speak. What is right ought to be done. So I ought to speak.

    • A.

      Genetic Fallacy

    • B.

      Red Herring

    • C.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • D.

      Vagueness

    • E.

      Equivocation

    Correct Answer
    E. Equivocation
    Explanation
    The given statement uses equivocation, which is a logical fallacy that occurs when a word or phrase is used in multiple senses within an argument, leading to a misleading or false conclusion. In this case, the word "right" is used in two different senses - one as a moral entitlement and the other as a correct action. This creates ambiguity and allows the argument to falsely conclude that speaking is the right thing to do.

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  • 9. 

    Poetry is based on rhythm, and music is based on rhythm, so isn't poetry a kind of music?

    • A.

      Straw Man

    • B.

      Undistributed Middle

    • C.

      Equivocation

    • D.

      Appeal to Authority

    • E.

      False Cause

    Correct Answer
    B. Undistributed Middle
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Undistributed Middle. This fallacy occurs when a middle term in a categorical syllogism is not distributed (referenced to all members of a class) in either of the premises. In this case, the statement "Poetry is based on rhythm, and music is based on rhythm" does not imply that all poetry is music or vice versa. The middle term "based on rhythm" is not distributed, making the argument invalid.

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  • 10. 

    The Soviet Union collapsed after taking up atheism. Therefore, we must avoid atheism for the same reasons.

    • A.

      Questionable Use of Statistics

    • B.

      Equivocation

    • C.

      Straw Man

    • D.

      False Cause

    • E.

      Suppressed Evidence

    Correct Answer
    D. False Cause
    Explanation
    The given answer, False Cause, is correct because it suggests that the collapse of the Soviet Union was caused by atheism. However, this is a false cause fallacy as there is no direct causal relationship between the two. The collapse of the Soviet Union was a complex event influenced by various economic, political, and social factors, not solely by atheism. Therefore, it is incorrect to assume that avoiding atheism will prevent a similar collapse.

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  • Current Version
  • Mar 20, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Oct 30, 2009
    Quiz Created by
    Shawanba
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