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Critical Reasoning: Argument Flaw Questions

A censorship organization that focuses on the protection of children from explicit content is appealing to ban comic books that contain the portrayal of extreme violence. However, comics represent a legitimate channel of communication, used by thousands of illustrators and authors as a platform for their talent and expression. Therefore, banning certain comic books will just lead to the banning of other forms of literature until books become unlawful altogether. 

A major flaw in the argument above is that



This answer choice presents quite a logical thing to do. If John predicts that the cat will run away when the dog begins to chase it, we cannot say that his prediction is flawed. Therefore, predicting something based on a cause-and-effect relationship is not a mistake in any argument so long as it is well-founded.



By presenting information that strengthens one side of the argument, the author automatically weakens the other side. This is perfectly acceptable behavior for an author who wishes to support a certain viewpoint on a topic. Therefore, doing so cannot be considered a major flaw.



Making a prediction, as described in this answer choice, cannot be considered a logical flaw. For example, we cannot attack John's argument if he predicts that ripples will appear on the lake's surface when he throws a stone into it, even if this prediction is made before he threw the stone.



Because the author is presenting an objection to banning comic books, it is not required that the argument addresses the reasons behind the ban. The author may present other reasons, for which the ban should be canceled, such as the results of the ban, without attacking the reasons behind the ban specifically.

Way to go!


For an argument to contain a prediction or to present a cause-and-effect relationship is perfectly acceptable. However, stating that one thing will lead to another is not enough. The author must provide a decent amount of evidence to support any predictions made. In this case, there is nothing to support the claim that a comic book ban will expand to a total book ban.

it forms a prediction based upon a suggested cause-and-effect relationship
it diminishes the significance of the viewpoint that it opposes
it determines the outcome of a certain action that has yet to be performed
it completely ignores the reasons lying behind the appeal that it is objecting
it claims the inevitability of one event to follow another without sufficient evidence to do so