Critical Thinking: Notions Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

saw two houses: one in the suburbs and one in the center of town. The suburban house was less expensive than the one in town so there must be something wrong with it.

The fallacy present in this remark revolves around the notion that when something costs less, it's as a result of some sort of flaw. While there is an expression "you get what you pay for" this expression is not always absolute. Many times there is a host of reasons why something might cost less than something else, and many of these reasons will have nothing to do with flaws or something being "wrong" with the house. For instance, the house might be priced less because it is further a way from the center of town, or might have an undesirable view or might be on a street where some tragic act of violence occurred. Regardless, none of these issues have to do with the fact that there's something "wrong" with the house.

I've been putting in a lot of overtime and life has been really difficult lately. I want a promotion and I deserve it; you should give me one.

The fallacy of this statement revolves around the criteria involved in receiving a promotion: overtime, difficult life and wanting a promotion by no means do not warrant that it is just to receive one. Wanting does not equal deserving something. And the justness or rightness of receiving a promotion also depends on things like time, seniority, responsibilities, quality of work and other issues.

3. You are only attacking my politics because you are a racist.

Racism refers to a marked prejudice based on race: the inferiority or superiority of particular people based on race alone. Attacking one's politics does not mean that race is even an issue: furthermore, just because one disagrees with someone else does not mean that has an inherent bias like racism.

4. People take more seriously what they have to pay for. Therefore, people paying their way are more serious students than those who are not.

People often take things more seriously if they have to pay for things -- though not always. Sometimes when people have to pay for things they view them as a burden. Students who pay their way through school might be more serious, or they might be more resentful students. Paying one's way through school might make one value one's education more, or it might make one more resistant and resentful.

5. Children are imaginative; they are different from adults. Therefore, they should have a good education.

This statement implies that children are imaginative, but that adults are not. Children are different from adults in a variety of ways, though imagination is not always the case. Adults can be just as imaginative as children. Children need a good education for reasons other than their imagination.

6. Cogito ergo sum -- I think therefore I am. (Rene Descartes:1637)

The ability to think does not offer proof of one's existence. In fact, some might argue that the ability to think separates human beings from their existence because thinking is something which can separate the individual from the challenge and rawness of human life, leading only to analysis.

7. If you vote for a Democrat, you vote against the war on terror.

If one votes for a democrat it by no means indicates that one is voting against the war on terror: it simply means one is giving support to a particular candidate and the party they represent.

8. Sex education in schools encourages experimentation. (Browne & Keeley 2007:100)

Sex education in schools merely gives children and teenagers the information about their bodies and how to stay safe. Young people are going to experiment with or without such information.

9. All Muslims are terrorists and should…

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The fallacy of this statement is that it seeks to separate human actions from religion. The reality is that man human actions are motivated by their spiritual beliefs and it might be sound in theory to attempt to separate them, but that is not realistic.

20. Socrates is a man. All men are mortal. Therefore, all men are Socrates. (Woody Allen Love and Death 1975)

The fallacies of this statement cannot even be stated. It is illogical and absurdist.

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