Posted: April 5th, 2022
Topic A: You try to live strictly by the moral rules contained in your religion’s moral code. The two most important rules are “Be merciful” (don’t give people what they deserve) and “Be just” (give people exactly what they deserve). Now suppose a man is arrested for stealing food from your house, and the police leave it up to you whether he should be prosecuted for his crime or set free. Should you be merciful and set him free, or be just and make sure he is appropriately punished? How do you resolve this conflict of rules? Can your moral code resolve it? To what moral principles or theories do you appeal?
Topic B: Why do you think people are tempted to use the straw man fallacy in disagreements on moral issues? How do you feel when someone uses this fallacy against you? To demonstrate your understanding and to teach the idea to the rest of the class, provide a relevant real-life example of the logical mistake. (You MAY use an outside source to help you present your example; be sure to summarize or paraphrase, cite, and use announcing verbs.) Choose carefully—consider whether your example does a good job of illustrating a Straw Man. Compare it to similar fallacies, and show why your example is a Straw Man rather than another fallacy like an Appeal to the Person. Your discussion of your example should be detailed so that readers can evaluate the fallacy. Argue the case for why your example is an example of Straw Man.
To answer these topics completely, it takes a minimum of 350 words. Use the topic questions and the scoring rubric to see if your draft responds fully to all parts of the question. A complete thoughtful answer is more important than word count.
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