Grossmont College Informal Fa

Read the dialogue below. Then create your own one page dialogue with 4 fallacies and four explanations. Each fallacy must come from a different category. Stick to the format given below. Make sure to have each component shown in the prototype. Suggested topics. Pick only one:

TOPICS: Choose one of the topics below.

  • Liberals versus Conservatives
  • Euthanasia
  • Capital punishment
  • Vegetarians versus non-vegetarians
  • Pro-life vs. Pro-choice
  • Illegal aliens/immigration
  • Gun control and gun laws
  • Environment: Global warming; Climate Change
  • Artificial Intelligence, robots, transhumanism
  • Sexual harassment
  • Women’s rights
  • Rock music vs. classical music
  • Aliens; Extraterrestrials, UFOs
  • Genetic, and/or social engineering
  • Electric or Nuclear power vs. Fossil Fuel
  • Social Security; Welfare; Medicare
  • War; Terrorism
  • Homelessness
  • Drugs
  • Covid-19
  • Self-Driving Cars

Enrollment Issues and Discrimination: Example Dialogue.


Some students are talking in a cafeteria. They are discussing James’ difficulty making a decision on what classes to take the following semester.

Characters: Mary—thinks Mr. T. discriminates against women. Don—Doesn’t think Mr. T. discriminates against women. James—steers clear of the pro/con arguments but commits other fallacies. Kim—has taken Critical Thinking and corrects all the bad reasonings.

Mary: “I’m planning on taking Mr. Twinkle Myer’s English Lit class next semester, but last semester he gave me a ‘D’ on Composition, so, it is clear to me that Mr. Twinkle Myer hates women and regularly discriminates against us.”

Explanation: Kim

I’m a woman too, but Mary, you have committed the fallacy of Missing the Point because another conclusion could easily follow from your premises. Namely, you may not have studied hard enough to get a good grade.

Don: “I don’t think Mr. T. discriminates against women. I’ve heard that Mr. T. is near retirement age. Mary you’re paranoid! If his enrollment goes down I’m sure his retirement will be hastened. The poor old fellow! We don’t want him to retire from here thinking that the students don’t appreciate all of is efforts.”

Explanation: Kim

“Don you may be right but, you used an Ad Hominem Abusive to discredit Mary’s conclusions about Mr. T. Further, instead of giving good reasons for taking Mr. T.’s class, you commit the Appeal to Pity fallacy by saying that Mr. T. will feel unappreciated on his pending retirement. Not wanting Mr. T. to be sad is irrelevant to the premises for or against taking Mr. T.’s class.”

James: “Well, I’m having a hard time deciding whether to take or not to take Mr. T.’s children’s Lit class. My friend, Janice, told me that I should because it is the best course offered on this campus. Frankly, I’m afraid of getting a bad grade in it because he is such a hard teacher, and I don’t think discrimination plays any role in this thing. If I get a bad grade then my transcript will be all messed up and I won’t be able to get into the graduate school I want. This could mess up my career plans, then I could become depressed and not find any work, and end up pushing burgers for minimum wage for the rest on my life.”

Explanation: Kim

“James, instead of giving good reasons why you should not take Mr. T.’s children’s Lit class, you commit the Slippery Slope fallacy by arguing that taking it will lead to a long series of bad consequences, such as working in a low paying job. James gives no justification for this series of causal reactions.

Don: “Mary, do you really think fearing discrimination is a good reason to not take a class? I’m so sick and tired of all the enrollment hassle. The counselors keep encouraging us to pre-enroll, so we have a better chance of getting the classes we want. Financial aid keeps telling us there’s no guarantee we can get any classes until our moneys are here. I just can’t stand in those lines anymore.

Explanation: Kim

“Don, instead of addressing what would be a good reason to take Mr. T.’s class, you commit the fallacy of Red Herring by subtly changing the subject to a vaguely related issue. If Don reaches any conclusion it is merely that he voices his frustration. You guys need to take a class in critical thinking!

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