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Fallacy Summary and Application Paper Question Everything Critical thinking has been defined as A process by which we use our knowledge and intelligence to effectively arrive at the most reasonable and justifiable positions on issues and which endeavors to identify and overcome the numerous hindrances to rational thinking Haskins nd To be a critical thinker it is not only essential to have a healthy skepticism of events and views but also in evaluating arguments it is necessary to determine if fallacious reasoning is being employed in the arguers premise According to wwwdictionarycom a fallacy is 1A false notion 2A statement or an argument based on a false or invalid reference 3Incorrectness of reasoning or belief erroneousness 4The quality of being deceptive It is worth examining three fallacies in particular which are often used in the area of politics the straw man fallacy the red herring fallacy and lastly the ad hominem fallacy The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores an arguers actual position and substitutes a distorted exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position Labossiere M 1995 The error in reasoning here comes from attacking the distorted version and not the actual position The fallacy is named straw man is analogous of dissembling a straw man versus that of a real man It is much easier to tear down ones distorted argument the straw man than attacking the original argument a real man One example of the straw man fallacy as quoted from Mesher 1999 follows Politician My opponent believes that higher taxes are the only way to pay for needed improvements She never met a tax she didnt like But I have a better idea lets cut waste in government first The original argument is to raise taxes to pay for some improvements The attacker oversimplifies the arguers position when in reality it is probably much more complex than that The attacker seems to be saying the choice is
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