Unreasonable – Politics provides good examples of unreasonable slippery slope arguments. Here is a statement pulled from the blogs on Barack Obama’s campaign website: “”In order to bring change, you must vote,” Phillips said. ” This assumes that if people vote something will change. Say the issue is the 35% tax rate. By this argument if people vote, the tax rate will change from 35%. Suppose the ballot issue says vote yes to keep taxes at 35% or vote no to eliminate taxes altogether. If 65% of voters vote yes, then nothing has changed.
The tax rate is still 35% despite the fact that people voted. This example is an unreasonable argument because even if all of the people vote change may not happen, especially if one of the voting options is to keep things the same. Another example would be a vote to keep a certain elementary school open or to close it. The options make it such that voting may sustain instead of change. Reasonable – Science and medicine provide good examples of reasonable slippery slope arguments. Take the osteoporosis issue, if you don’t drink milk you might get osteoporosis.
Inadequate calcium is a factor in bone loss. Bone loss is a factor in osteoporosis. Milk is a good source of calcium. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that not drinking milk might put a person at risk for osteoporosis if they are not getting calcium through other sources. Milk also has Vitamin D which is needed for healthy bones. Other sources of calcium may not contain adequate amounts of Vitamin D. Calcium and Vitamin D together promote healthy bones. Milk is a good way to get calcium and Vitamin D together.
Examining the food pyramid and other dietary guidelines in print will state these conclusions with scientific citations which hold more weight than the personal opinions expressed in the political example. 3) When faced with an analogy, why would it be important to be certain about how similar the two things really are? Provide an example of a false analogy and explain what specifically makes them fallacious. False analogy – Here is an example from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: “The book Investing for Dummies really helped me understand my finances better.
The book Chess for Dummies was written by the same author, was published by the same press, and costs about the same amount. So, this chess book would probably help me understand my finances. ” The problem with this analogy is the subject matter, chess vs. investing. In this analogy the reader is led to believe that common characteristics of the two books (publisher, author, production cost) provide a common purpose. The purpose of the first is to learn how to invest. The purpose of the second is to learn how to play chess?
Unless chess and investing share common principles and characteristics, then reading a book about one does not give any insight into the other. By this logic, then if you shop at Walmart and find pair of shoes on sale for $14. 99 and a coffee maker on sale for $14. 99, then you might conclude that coffee makers are just like shoes. Another problem with this analogy, what if a person is looking for the definition of capital gains. Dummies books have glossaries, but the glossary of Chess for Dummies does not have the term capital gains, or any other investing related terminology.
If it did, it would no longer be a book about Chess. Investing and playing chess are similar in that they require knowledge of process, skill at choosing moves or stocks, and a certain amount of luck to win or make money. In that sense investing is like chess. But to say that the reason that investing is like chess is because a couple of books on the subject share similar titles and similar production costs fails the test of logic. References Hass, C. Morning News. www. BarackObama. com, Blogs.
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