I found the opening argument presented in “Chapter 10: Informal Fallacies” to be particularly interesting as it portrayed the common nature of day-to-day arguments. The dialogue contained within this example is filled with fallacies, both formal and informal. Some are clear, while some are more implicit in nature.
The first party, Melissa, is surprised to find that the suicide bomber responsible for the death of many children was only fifteen years old. She argued,“…he was just a kid himself,” unable to get over the fact that such a young person could be responsible for such a violent act that resulted in the end of his own life as well as the lives of others. Andrea, the second party, didn’t see why the bomber’s youth was so interesting. “Religion has been inspiring hatred and violence ever since hatred and violence were invented,” was her claim. She believed that young people were more susceptible to “reject reason in in favor of blind authority.” Rene, the the argument’s third party, countered that not all “hatred and wars in the world” were religion’s fault. Melissa agreed with Renee saying that anybody who would commit such an act “had to be pure evil, whether or not they were religious.”
The spectrum of the argument quickly started to expand with each new claim. The logic behind the arguments that were countered against each other was at times hard to follow, as arguments don’t typically tend be straightforward. I had never previously thought about the possibility of breaking down an argument such as this one using categorical logic. Now, however, I feel inclined to handle the argument in this way after learning about how useful the examination of syllogisms can be when searching for fallacies in a claim, both formal and informal.