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The word fallacy can be defined as deceptive appearance a false or mistaken idea or often plausible argument using false or invalid inference Fallacy definition 2004 Although all the definitions are apt it is the latter that applies to critical thinking Fallacies involved in critical thinking come in many forms Ad hominem slippery slope fallacy of division and equivocation are just some of the fallacies that can be found in critical thinking Bassham Irwin Nardone Wallace 2002 This paper will show a few examples of fallacious argument and their effects on decision-making One fallacy that can be easily found is the fallacy of appeal to emotion Most often used in political arenas the appeal to emotion calls upon the listener to believe claims by the speaker based upon their emotions toward him or her Often the appeal to emotion fallacy will be used to to move people to take an action such as buying a product or fighting in a war La Bossiere 2004 Many examples of the usage of this fallacy can be found right now in the speeches of the candidates running for office Most notably the candidates for higher office are guilty of this offense After a recent speech President Bush declared that John Kerry has taken so many different positions on Iraq that his statements are hardly credible at all Bush Kerry 2004 Obviously the President is trying to urge the listeners that his take on the issue is the correct one John Kerry is also using the same approach a recent quote from Kerry stated he Bush does not have the credibility to lead the world and Bush barely talked about the realities at all of Iraq Bush Kerry 2004 The usage of appeal to emotion can be a hindrance in the decision-making process if used for the wrong reasons If used to motivate people to action this can be a good tool however if used to argue a point
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