4-6 Disscussion questions PHI210 CRITICAL THINKING

4.”Fallacies and Errors in Sound Reasoning”  Please respond to the following:

Use the Internet to locate at least two (2) video advertisements that exhibit any of the following fallacies: equivocation, false authority, ad hominem, appeal to ignorance, or bandwagon. (Each example must exhibit one of these five fallacies.) Post the videos in the discussion. Next, identify the fallacy and how it is used in the selected advertisements. What do you think are the main reasons advertisers used the fallacy in question, is their use of this type of fallacy effective?   
Now, consider and explain alternative strategies the advertisers could have used in order to develop a more sound and persuasive argument. Why do you think consumers ignore these errors in reasoning? 

5.”Identifying Misleading Information in an Argument”

Consider the following argument:  

There are many arguments for the elimination or modification of current U. S. drug laws, but one of the most persuasive involves what negative effects drug laws are having on society in comparison with the effects of the drugs themselves. In the past ten years, most forms of drug use have dropped significantly, especially among teens. Despite this, non-violent drug offenders accounted for 21.1 percent of the federal prison population. First time drug offenders serve, on average, a sentence three months longer than kidnappers, nine months longer than burglars, and thirty-three months longer than sex abusers. In 1992, the average cost of keeping an inmate in either state or federal prison was about $20,000 per prisoner per year. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with 455 prisoners per 100,000 population. It is maintaining these prisoners at great expense in an environment where they are unlikely to develop a socially constructive attitude. Perhaps it is time that we reconsider our attitudes toward those who choose to use drugs; failure to do so may cost society even more than it already has.

Determine whether or not the argument uses any deceptive statistics, and explain your answer. Has the argument persuaded you? Why or why not? 
What are the primary ways in which you use statistics or authority in your current position to develop persuasive arguments? What are some examples? 

6.”Identifying Truth or Fiction”
Please respond to the following:

The video clip ‘The Baloney Detection Kit’ in the Webtext this week discusses the many ways in which an effective critical thinker assesses the claims made by others. Explain what you believe is the real difference between ‘science’ and ‘pseudoscience’.
Examine the key reasons why so many people might seem to be attracted to more pseudoscience-type claims. Describe at least two (2) such claims that you have heard people make, and analyze the main reasons why such claims do or do not meet rigorous scientific methodology standards. Determine at least two (2) ways in which the material discussed this week has changed your own thinking.

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