Identify the weaker argument in each dialog and describe the problem with that argument, including the fallacy name if any. Make sure you include all necessary details, including the "crucial fact," and the precise way the argument goes wrong. You can do this exercise on your own lined paper, (if it doesn't have curly edges from ripping it out of a spiral notebook), or you can use Homework 10 Answer Sheet
1. Jumbo. You strike me as a sensible person. And I know that you do not think that your life is meaningless. So surely it would be easy for you to realize that the meaningfulness of your life proves that Fnorbert exists. Your life could only have meaning if it was part of Fnorbert's great eternal plan, so the fact that your life does have meaning proves that Fnorbert exists.
Fanta. But my life has meaning only because I, and the people I care about, have plans and desires for what we do with our lives. As you describe it, Fnorbert's great eternal plan is for me to do totally different things with my life, and to totally change the way I treat the people I care about. This would absolutely destroy all the actual meaning in my life, as well as being a great waste of time and effort. So, if anything, the fact that I have meaning in my life proves that either Fnorbert doesn't exist, or he is totally irrelevant.
2. Jeffrey: I just heard some disturbing news about psychoanalysis. It seems that Freud based all his conclusions on anecdotal evidence that he interpreted himself. He did not entertain a null hypothesis, and he did not check his theories with experiments. In fact, we have no evidence to support Freud's theories, there's no scientific evidence that psychoanalysis works, and all the evidence we do have implies that he's wrong. Clara: There are thousands of Freudian therapists working today, and they have seen millions of clients. Those clients went to those psychoanalysts in the full expectation that they would receive effective treatment. Over a typical course of treatment, a patient has dozens of sessions at about a hundred dollars per session. That adds up to thousands of dollars spent per patient on the assumption that the treatment will be effective. But if Freud's wrong, all that money, and all the time spent in treatment, are completely wasted! Just think about what a terrible thing it would be if all those people were wasting all that time and money, and you'll see that Freud had to be right!
3. Mohamed. I've decided to go into a career in chemistry. I enjoy working in a lab, and I hear that chemists can make a lot of money.
Jordon. Modern chemistry is a discipline that is in serious trouble. It has been conclusively proved that chemistry historically developed out of alchemy, the futile search for the "philosopher's stone" that would turn lead to gold and confer immortality. So chemistry is futile, since it developed from something futile.
4. Brennen. There's been a lot of talk about the Hollywood Blacklist. A lot of people have reported that they or people they knew were blacklisted in Hollywood, so I think there might have been a blacklist after all.
Aimee. It's ridiculous to say that there was a blacklist. Has anyone ever come up with single copy of this list? No, because nobody ever wrote down a complete list of people to be kept out of work by the Hollywood establishment, so there was no blacklist.
5. Massacre. One of the things that intrigues people about Mormonism is that it gives a very different picture of Jesus from the other Christian churches. Many people say to me after a long discussion something like "wow, you folks have a whole different Jesus than I'm used to." This shows that Mormonism might have something valuable to say to the other Christian churches.
Woococ. If anyone needs further evidence that Mormonism is not a Christian religion, they only have to listen to Massacre's admission that their "Jesus" is wholly different from the Jesus of Christianity.
6. Sasha. I think that that so-called "Saint" Augustine was a rotten son-of-a-bitch. Did you know that he once sent soldiers into a bunch of Christian churches to force people out of their own chosen faith and into his church. That's religious persecution, plain and simple, and I don't think people should be taught to venerate a person like that.
Jarred. What you have to understand is that, like any priest, he had an obligation to spread the word of his faith, and that's what he was doing when he sent troops in to force people out of their chosen faith at spearpoint. You can't fault a preacher for trying to spread his faith, can you? Of course not, because that would be denying him his freedom of speech. So you can surely see that we can't condemn Augustine for this, because that would be condemning him for exercising his freedom of speech.