Fallacies, Biases, And Rhetoric

Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read Chapters 7 and 8 in your textbook, and read the instructor In addition, to help you better to know the fallacies, watch the following videos:


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Fallacies Chris Foster (Links to an external site.)

Cognitive Biases: What They Are, Why They’re Important (Links to an external site.)

Fallacies: Appeal to Authority (Links to an external site.)

Fallacies: Appeal to Popular Belief (Links to an external site.)

Fallacies: Begging the Question (Broad Sense) (Links to an external site.)

Fallacies: Begging the Question (Narrow Sense) (Links to an external site.)

Fallacies: False Dilemma (Links to an external site.)

Fallacies: Slippery Slope (Links to an external site.)

The Ad Hominem Fallacy (Links to an external site.)

The “Red Herring” Fallacy (Links to an external site.)

The “Straw Man” Fallacy (Links to an external site.)

What Is a Fallacy? (Links to an external site.)

Your instructor will choose the discussion question and post it as the first post in the discussion forum. In your initial post, address all the elements in the prompt


Logic and critical thinking are highly relevant to the events we see in the world around us. This discussion gives you a chance to share an example. Start by selecting an event that is going on in the world right now. It could be something in the news, something you have learned about from science, technology, an academic field, or even something important and relevant that is going on in your life. It should be an issue that allows for different perspectives (there are many ways to define “perspectives” … they could be about whether the thing is true, good, real, important, being done in the right way, etc.).


In your post,


Share a source (or sources) that addresses or explains the issue/topic/event (you do not have to use scholarly sources here).


Share an argument on each side of the issue or explain the two different perspectives.


Evaluate the reasoning surrounding this topic. Address questions such as the following:


Are the competing positions clear?


Do the two positions/perspectives actually contradict each other?


Are the premises of the arguments strongly supported by evidence?


Do the arguments use good reasoning?


Are any fallacies or biases committed by either side?


Why do people hold the different positions/perspectives?


How might either (or both) sides express their perspectives more effectively?


Evaluate the rhetoric that surrounds this topic: Address questions such as the following: Are people being civil and fair minded in how they address the issue? How might one strive for greater fairness, objectivity, and civility in how we address this kind of topic? If we did so, would society be more likely to make progress on issues such as this?


A note about controversy and civility: Many of the topics that may come up in this forum will be controversial in nature. Understandably, students will have very different perspectives on them. In order to learn from each other, to avoid creating contention, keep in mind the following: It is not necessary to represent your own views here. You are welcome to present the arguments on both sides of the issue without taking sides yourself. This will allow students to talk about the arguments (rather than trying to prove each other wrong). If you do present your own views, make sure to be highly respectful of the feelings and perspectives of those with different views as you do so. Civility is an essential part of how we learn from each other.

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