Asking the Right Questions, pp.33-38

Read pages 33-38 of the textbook, Asking the Right Questions (EMCC edition).

  1. Review: List the four questions that are important for critical reading/thinking?
  2. What do the authors state is the objective of critical reading and listening?
  3. The authors state that others will attempt to “trick” you into believing their arguments by using fallacies. What are three common tricks that speakers, politicians, advertisers, etc. use? Give one example from your personal experience when you have heard one of these “tricks” in a person’s argument.
  4. What is the ad hominin fallacy? Why do you think everyone from kindergarteners on the playground to presidential candidates use this “trick” in their conversations?
  5. Imagine that a character in Luna states, “If we let transgendered boys use the girls’ restroom, pretty soon we will be letting registered sex offenders use the restroom too.” Explain why this is an example of the slippery slope fallacy.
  6. A very common fallacy used especially by the media is the appeal to popularity fallacy. Why do you think this “trick” is especially effective with children and teenagers (and unfortunately, some adults)?
  7. Politicians are very successful in using the appeal to emotions fallacy in their speeches. Why do you think this “trick” is often effective in getting the politicians elected and supported once in office? Do you think that most voters are capable of seeing through the rhetoric or do most fall into the trap of weak reasoning?
  8. Explain how each of the four fallacies discussed above have been used to persuade public opinion in at least one of the following historical situations: The Holocaust in Nazi Germany, Immigration from Mexico across the Arizona border, Relocation of Native Americans by the American government, Increased student testing in American public schools.

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