By T. Edward Damer
More and more university classes and courses require a serious pondering component--and comprise assignments intended to degree your severe considering abilities. ATTACKING defective REASONING: a pragmatic consultant TO FALLACY-FREE ARGUMENTS, 6th variation, might help brush up on those skills--and find out how to improve the logical, persuasive arguments you would like now and all through your occupation. this helpful instruction manual addresses greater than 60 universal fallacies of common sense with assistance from over 2 hundred memorable examples. It offers reasons and guidance for heading off flawed considering, and is a perfect source whilst writing papers, essays, or arguments.
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Extra info for Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments
After all, he created them. But homosexual behavior is a sin, and God punishes the sinner. The scientists can do all the research they want, but they are not going to ﬁnd the cure for AIDS by looking in the laboratory. what is an argument? 19 A reconstruction of this argument might look like this: Since God disapproves of homosexual behavior, (premise) which is a conclusion supported by passages in the Bible, (subpremise) and God punishes those who commit acts that he disapproves of, (premise) [which is also supported by passages in the Bible,] (implicit subpremise) [and AIDS is clearly associated with homosexual activity,] (implicit premise) and since science has not found any cure for the disease and will not ﬁnd it, (rebuttal premise) Therefore, AIDS is a form of divine punishment for homosexual activity.
For example, virtually every jury in a criminal trial is impressed by the quality of the prosecutor’s argument. If that were the only argument heard, nearly all juries would convict the accused. It is the defense attorney’s rebuttal and the prosecutor’s response to that rebuttal that give the jury the whole picture and the proper basis for decision. If you look at most controversial issues and the arguments in their behalf, you will often notice that both of the opposing arguments appear to meet the ﬁrst four criteria of a good argument.
It should be clear by now that good discussion in general and argumentation in particular impose an ethical requirement on their participants. But there is also a practical reason for being fair with one another’s arguments. If we deliberately create and then attack a weak version of the original argument, we will probably fail to achieve the very goals that discussion is designed to serve. If we are really interested in the truth or the best answer to a problem, then we will want to evaluate the best version of any argument set forth in support of one of the options.