Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Logic & The State of the Union

Mister President: To win the war on terror, we must take the fight to the enemy. Because we have thwarted terror plots within the U.S. and have broken up a cell in Southeast Asia, we should continue supporting our brave troops who are fighting in Iraq.

Which of the following arguments contains an error of reasoning that is also contained in the argument above?

a) To win the war on drugs, we took the fight to the streets. Because we have convicted thousands of small-time dealers in urban areas, and we continue to ignore arguments made by those who think marijuana ought to be legalized, we have effectively stopped drug use on American soil. Drugs are no longer a threat to American democracy.

b) Small terror cells that carry out huge, horrific plots pose the same kind of threat to America as totalitarian regimes in the Middle East and all such threats can only be confronted by militaristic policy. Diplomacy and intelligence have no effect, so we need more troops. More troops! More troops! C’mon. You didn’t vote for failure.

c) Living without health insurance is a sure way to avoid getting ill.

d) To secure the border, we’re doubling the Border Patrol. We should establish a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis. Consequently, migrants will stop sneaking across the border, and Border Patrol will be able to focus on catching terrorists, smugglers, and criminals.

e) To win the war on pollution, we must take the fight to our dependence on foreign oil. Because we will reform fuel economy through new technology that will assure the nation’s energy independence, we will be able to curtail global climate change.

(If you supply the correct answer in the comments, you will be invited to help form an Ideas Club called the Flash Fiction Think Tank.)

1 comment:

Albert said...

Great question. Tough answers.