Susie16 wrote:Im really needing help any advice would be so grateful.
Please present two statements about moral issues that reference two different logical fallacies. Make sure that the statement is a clear example of a logical fallacy, and that you have clearly identified which logical fallacy the statement is making. In doing so, you should explain what a logical fallacy is and why they should be avoided in making an argument.
I think you are right to be confused.
Try Googling 'List of fallacies'. (This site will not let me link to the page, but it is in a well known online encyclopedia)
You will see there are two types. The formal ones are mistakes in logic itself; to understand these it would help if you had done some formal logic. The easiest ones concern If...then
type statements: if we assume P is true, and also assume 'If P then Q' is true, then we can conclude Q is true. But it doesn't go backwards. If Q is true, we cannot conclude P is true.
But the difficulty here, not possibly appreciated by whoever set the task, is that 'true' in this sense does not mean 'a fact' or 'good' or anything else. It is more like a '+' sign in maths. Nor do the P and Q stand for anything; the logic is equally valid (or invalid) whatever they stand for. So if you try to turn a bit of logic into ordinary language it is no longer logic. Logic is like maths; 2 + 2 = 4 is not about
anything. It cannot tell us 'there are four apples' or 'four dragons' or anything else. We do not check whether we have got a sum right be looking for objects to count.
So, being asked for logical fallacies about moral issues is rather like being asked to provide examples of incorrect 'moral arithmetic'.
So I'd say the closest would be something as silly as: (x is good) and also (x is not good)
, which is false because it breaks the law of non-contradiction.
The other stuff, the 'informal fallacies' are easier, but they are not strictly speaking logical.
They may superficially resemble a reasonable
argument, but they are not.
I'd think the most obvious regarding morals would be the 'appeal to authority': X is wrong because it says so in the Bible.
(Or there is a sort of negative version, the 'ad hominem', where you attack the character of your opponent; 'the people who argue eating meat is wrong are all communists, so it must be OK to eat meat'.
A lot of the others in the list in the link are also variations of each other.) But we could imagine a Christian saying that there is nothing wrong with their argument from authority; that all moral systems are based on some sort of claim to authority.
I think the most used one regarding morals is what the list describes as the Nirvana fallacy. That would be the notion that you cannot make any moral claim unless it has no possible downside. This comes out when somebody says 'it is wrong to lie'
and others counter with examples where not telling a lie might allow other bad things to happen ('But what if the Nazis asked you if any Jews were hiding in your house?
') But then there is no moral claim where we couldn't imagine such a 'what if...
The most interesting is the Moralistic/Naturalistic fallacy, about deriving an 'is' from an 'ought', or vice versa. That what is 'natural' is the same as what is moral. In the natural world the sick die, therefore it is immoral to try to help the sick.
But it is interesting because it is by no means certain it is a fallacy, because if we rule out that sort of argument it is hard to come up with a coherent alternative.
Anyway, I suspect these 'informal fallacies' would do if you just want to complete the assignment. But, if you are interested in philosophy, which you may be on the evidence that you find the question difficult, you must question the question. In this case, I'd say that where we can
'explain what a logical fallacy is', this would be limited to a fallacy in the formal sense, and thus exclude
And all the examples of informal fallacies about moral arguments are only fallacies if we could contrast them with a non-fallacy about morality. But we cannot determine the truth about morality logically! So what is the correct way of determining the truth about morality, such that we can declare all the others to be a fallacy, but that wouldn't be a fallacy itself?
(Now, what you have to decide is whether a sophisticated philosophical answer will get you top marks - or zero marks. That is something you need to judge, based on the intelligence and character of your teacher.)