Reading between the Lines: In Search for Fallacies Essay

One of the most topical issues in the sphere of literature, the problem of fallacies will always remain on the agenda. Sometimes it seems that conveying the idea of the story without distorting it or suggesting a slightest deviation from the topic is completely impossible.

Analyzing the text “Help Those Who Help, Not Hurt, Themselves”, one can notice a number of fallacies to mark. Although the idea of the text is quite clear, certain issues might cause quite an example of a common misunderstanding.

A good example of a typical fallacy in the text is the metaphor that links the homeless people to the homeless animals, in the given case, the squirrels in the park. Calling both of them homeless, the author thus allows the following suggestions: the people are homeless; the squirrels are as well.

Saying that the government gives the homeless financial support, the author of the text thus allows the supposition that the government provides financial support for squirrels as well, which is obviously not true. The example of the fallacy driven above can be classified as a typical formal fallacy that presupposes a conclusion based on false logical considerations. An obviously erroneous train of thoughts, this leads to a conflict within the text, making it somewhat ridiculous and thus hindering the understanding of its purport.

Another example of fallacy in the given text is the typical verbal fallacy; to be more precise, it is what must be called a straw man – the peculiar means of distorting the truth. A verbal fallacy, it can possibly lead to certain confusions as well.

Assuming that all homeless people are poor, the government considers that they must be assisted in the same way as the poor – namely, by providing them with the financial help that is sufficient to sustain their life and keep them away from leading a vagrant lifestyle. However, it is obvious that such assumption is not a single inch closer to the truth.

The last, but not the least, is the so-called ad populum. As the author of the text emphasizes, the society is completely guilt-ridden, which results in the fact that the society starts feeding beggars. Logically, this can be positioned rather as a false attempt to call for the people’s feeling of compassion instead of really helping people cope with the problem.

It is obvious that, trying to solve the issue concerning the beggars in the country, the government is applying to the publics mercy, asking them to help those in need. However, regarding the state of the beggars, one can see clearly that these are the alms given to them only make the situation worse.

Getting used to the charity, these people forget how to earn for a living, which means that they will never be able to return to the society. Thus, it must be admitted that in the given case, there is a misconception commonly known as ad populum taking place.

it must be mentioned that fallacies are of considerable impact on the result of the argument. Once using inconsistent arguments, one inevitably loses the argument. Unless the ideas driven for the discussion are well developed and thought-out, the result of the debates will be a failure. Therefore, considering the facts and the circumstances, one has to take special care of the basic facts and evidence available.