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    Identify Fallacy in Arguments

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    The following passages contain fallacies. Identify them where they occur, explain why it is fallacious.

    1) "People in Hegins, Pennsylvania, hold an annual pigeon shoot in order to control the pigeon population and to raise money for the town. This year, the pigeon shoot was disrupted by animal rights activists who tried to release the pigeons from their cages. I can't help but think these animal rights activists are the same people who believe in controlling the human population through the use of abortion. Yet, they recoil at a similar means of controlling pigeons. What rank hypocrisy."

    2) TERRY: I failed my test, but I gave my prof this nifty argument. I said, "Look, suppose somebody did 0.0001 percent better than I, would that be a big enough difference to give him a higher grade?" And he had to say "no". So then I said, "And if someone did 0.0001 percent better than that second person, would that be a big enough difference?" And he had to say "no" to that, too, so I just kept it up, and he never could point to the place where the difference was big enough to give the other person a higher grade. He finally saw he couldn't justify giving anyone a better grade. HARRY: Well? What happened? TERRY: He had to fail the whole class.

    3) "I can safely say that no law, no matter how stiff the consequence is, will completely stop illegal drug use. Outlawing drugs is a waste of time."

    4) Medical research that involves animals is completely unnecessary and a waste of money. Just think of the poor creatures! We burn and blind and torture them, and then we kill them. They don't know what is going to happen to them, but they know something is going to happen. They are scared to death. It's really an outrage.

    5) "Louis Harris, one of the nation's most influential pollsters, readily admits he is in the polling business to 'have some impact with the movers and shakers of the world.' So poll questions are often worded to obtain answers that help legitimize the liberal Establishment's viewpoints."

    6)Two favourite scientists of the Council for Tobacco Research were Carl Seltzer and Theodore Sterling. Seltzer, a biological anthropologist, believes smoking has no role in heart disease and has alleged in print that data in the huge 45-year, 10,000-person Framingham Heart Study—which found otherwise—have been distorted by anti-tobacco researchers. Framingham Director William Castelli scoffs at Seltzer's critique but says it "has had some impact in keeping the debate alive." Sterling, a statistician, disputes the validity of population studies linking smoking to illness, arguing that their narrow focus on smoking obscures the more likely cause—occupational exposure to toxic fumes. For both men, defying conventional wisdom has been rewarding. Seltzer says he has received "well over $1 million" from the Council for research. Sterling got $1.1 million for his Special Projects work in 1977-82, court records show.

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    Solution Preview

    Good Day!

    The solution is below, and if you have any questions over the next 24 hours, I'll look out for your message. Otherwise, the info provided is informative, and you should do very well. Also, be sure to review the UNC link for greater comprehension of the subject matter.

    Good Luck! :-)

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    S O L U T I O N

    For this assignment, think of fallacies as information that FAILS; in other words, the info is a failure; it's a false assumption, idea, or opinion; a FAILacy.  So, it's relatively easy to identify fake presumptions in arguments when you can recognize the signs.

    The Writing Center at UNC discusses a number of ways to identify fallacies in arguments, see:
    http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/fallacies/

    For these, arrows ---> will point to the falsehood.

    1) "People in Hegins, Pennsylvania, hold an annual pigeon shoot in order to control the pigeon population and to raise money for the town. This year, the pigeon shoot was disrupted by animal rights activists who tried to release the pigeons from their cages.
    ---> So far, this first part states the facts only. The next sentence, however, uses this word, 'think' to begin it's fallacy with the viewer's opinion.

    ...I can't help but think these animal rights activists are the same people who believe in controlling the human population through the use of abortion.
    Yet, they ...

    Solution Summary

    Solution identifies and discusses fallacies in six arguments. Also, a reference source is provided for further research on the subject matter.

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