Category Archives: Complex Question

Hope you like false on your dilemmas

David Catron’s piece at the American Spectator is titled: Is Obamacare Socialism or Fascism? How about liberal, progressive, or egalitarian for tertium quids? (N.B., check out Catron’s opening paragraph, where he insists that he won’t eat healthy food, and thinks … Continue reading

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Adventures in false dilemmas

Here's the title of Howard Rich's post at American Spectator. Barack Obama: Socialist or Nouveau Fascist? Rich argues that Socialism isn't quite right about Obama's policies, as he does let many who have done well keep their spoils.  So it's … Continue reading

Posted in Barack Obama, Complex Question, Equivocation, False Dichotomy | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

I admire those who are wrong

The other day the Washington Post published a piece by a professor of politics at the University of Virginia (Gerard Alexander) called "Why are liberals so condescending?" (we discussed it here).  It remains today a few days later one of … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Complex Question, General discussion, ignorance of basic matters of logic, Lack of Evidence, Narrativism | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Complex question triple play

Many are familiar with the fallacy of the complex question, perhaps in the form of its most well known example: when did you stop beating your wife?  The trick consists in cramming two questions into one such that a response … Continue reading

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Weighed, analyzed, confronted

On the theme of taking pride in being ignorant, here's Michael Gerson on Barack Obama: What took place instead under Warren's precise and revealing questioning was the most important event so far of the 2008 campaign — a performance every … Continue reading

Posted in Complex Question, False Dichotomy, Michael Gerson | Tagged , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Quintessentially irrational

Someone wonders what would have happened had Al Gore been selected President in 2000 (and thus President on 9/11).  Someone else responds, saying: So I will assume that you mean 9/11 wouldn't have happened if Gore were elected because a … Continue reading

Posted in Ad hominem circumstantial, Complex Question, Straw Man | Tagged | 3 Comments

When did you stop beating your wife?

Michael Gerson provides some examples of the elusive complex question fallacy.  After a column devoted to examining whether Obama is really a "centrist" (by looking at the exclusive evidence of whether he has voted against his party on any issue–not … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal to Ignorance, Complex Question, Michael Gerson | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Lower the bar

No surprise that Bill Kristol thinks the surge is working.  He cites the reduction in violence as well as the passing of a de-Baathification law as evidence.  First, the violence: The Democrats were wrong in their assessments of the surge. … Continue reading

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complexes about questions

Yesterday in Critical Thinking class we went over the list of fallacies generally described as fallacies of “ambiguity” (I know that that’s not an entirely accurate or useful designation). Among these is the fallacy of the complex question. Generally this … Continue reading

Posted in Complex Question, General discussion | 7 Comments

Question Complex

So blatant an attempt at sneakiness is the complex question that none but the cleverest by half use it. That didn’t stop a very smirky Chris Wallace from throwing one at Clinton. In his infamous interview he asked the former … Continue reading

Posted in Complex Question | 3 Comments