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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Orwell Essay - 1076 words
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Throughout the years, the public has become dependent on the media to keep them up to date with current events worldwide and in their local communities. In fact, many people rely completely on the media, believing that the information that is provided is factual. However, the media has gradually slipped into a trap. The trap is the overuse and abuse of language and reasoning fallacies. Reasoning fallacies are exceedingly common in daily newspapers, television reports, presidential speeches and over the radio.
Day after day, the public is subjected to reasoning fallacies and if these fallacies persist, the public will have a hard time deciphering what is true and what is false and what is fact and what is opinion. Three main fallacies, which are most common today, are generalizations, red herrings and appeals to popular passions. These fallacies are harmful to the public, because they obscure the truth and present them with inaccurate material.If influential figures in society and the media continue to provide their audiences with information that is not completely accurate and information that hides the truth, it will be hard to differentiate between reality and someone's personal view. An example of a particular fallacy that conceals the truth are generalizations. These fallacies assume what is true for the whole, is true for the part
In an article entitled "It's all about revenge, not equality" by Lydia Lovric (Appendix 1), she generalizes feminists, saying that they are not interested in equality. She expresses that, "All they want is revenge." However, this is not always true. Often feminists do indeed want equality for themselves, but just because they want equality does not mean any one else cannot have that same equality. In the article, Lydia changes a popular clich'e to prove her point, "What's good for the goose is not so good for the gander." She believes that equal treatment only applies when it benefits women. In addition, Bill O'Reily's article entitled "How did Buster get mixed up in this mess?" (Appendix 2) O'Reily hides the truth by utilizing generalizations.
The article explains that children should not be subjected to watch a familiar cartoon character interact with the gay community. Buster is shown in the episode visiting Vermont and looking quite pleased when he is in a picture with a group of lesbians. O'Reily generalizes the children of today's society declaring that, "Kids today are blasted out a G-rated life far too early". Basically, Bill O'Reily says children should not have to learn about gays and lesbians at a young age and they should not learn about it from loveable cartoon characters. In essence, generalizations hide the truth from the public, because they provide them with imprecise information.Reasoning fallacies that hide the truth are common in society today and another example of a fallacy is a red herring. The writer uses them in an attempt to evade the real issue by drawing attention to an irrelevant one.
Ann Coulter wrote an article entitled "Republicans, Bloggers and Gays, Oh My?" (Appendix 3) This article deals with a reporter who is constantly badgered by the Liberals, primarily because he is gay. A red herring is used in this article, when Ann Coulter inserts in a statement beginning with "by the way." She says, "If writing for a news organization with no viewers is grounds for being denied a press pass why do MSNBC reporters have them?" This is entirely irrelevant, because the article is not tackling that subject. Later on in the article, the writer says, "How about sharing you name, Randi? We promise not to laugh." This is merely talking about how radio hosts assume a hidden identity and name. It has nothing to with the gay reporter that they were talking about in the article. Referring to the previous "Buster Bunny" article by Bill O'Reily, (Appendix 2) the producer of the PBS show announced that she was quitting and she said it did not having anything to do with the "Buster in Vermont" episode. Her quitting had nothing to do with the episode so the information was irrelevant.
Fundamentally, red herrings help obscure the truth from readers and do not allow them to create their own opinions. Similarly, appealing to popular passion also hides the truth, rather then clarifying it. When a writer tries to appeal to popular passion, he/she tries to evoke an emotion in the reader to somewhat persuade the reader to have the same views as themselves. In Prime Minister Paul Martin's speech on same-sex marriages (Appendix 4) , Mr. Martin tries to appeal to the readers' pride and patriotism.
He continually refers to the Charter of Rights. He declares, "The Charter of Rights should be preserved to ensure that the rights of the minorities are not subjected to the will of the majority." He also says, "For generations men and women have come to Canada for freedom of thought, religion and belief." He adds, "The people of Canada have worked hard to build a community that opens its doors to all." The Prime Minister implies that if Canada does not protect the rights of the minority by allowing gays to be married, then they are not showing their patriotism and pride. Moreover, there was an article from the Toronto Sun entitled "Canada is failing needy children" (Appendix 5) about poverty. The article describes how well other countries have worked to eliminate child poverty and yet Canada's poverty rate has barely budged. The author tries to appeal to popular passions by starting off the article with two bold words "Poverty hurts".
The author proceeds to say, "Poverty is hard on children and that there is no reason for it in a wealthy country such as Canada." This evokes guilt, because the reader is persuaded to try and help eliminate child poverty. They may begin to compare what they have done to help eradicate it with what other countries have done. In short, appeals to popular passions are reasoning fallacies and they often veil the facts with one's views or opinions.In conclusion, the fallacies and abuses, which can be found in everyday language and reasoning in the media are presently causing and will also create future problems, because they obscure the truth. Generalizations, red herrings and appeals to popular passions aid the media in concealing the truth, thus creating a problem for the public. The public is not able to decipher what is fact and opinion and they are not able to create the own opinions.
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