Mon 9 Jun, 2003 07:48 pm
A loaded question or complex question is one of the more easily recognizable fallacies in a debate. Its most famous example is the "have you stopped beating your wife?" example.
It is a fallacious ploy that most learn about in school playgrounds. Most of us have heard this one:
"Does your mom know you're gay?"
It is a famous immature question.
Loaded questions are worded in a way that seeks to state something as truthful while phrasing it as a question or asking an unrelated question. It's important to note that loaded questions are not fallacious if the "truth" it seeks to state is indeed true and has been demonstrated.
Complex questions and such are common and have great rhetorical value of the type that can be measured in the oooohs and ahhhhs of a playground spat.
Unfortunately in serious debate they are too obvious to be taken seriously, so they should be avoided in order to spare yourself an embarassment due to your use of one of the most common and simple logical fallacies that exists.
Use it carefully in a fast oral debate but do not use it in written form as it is more easily caught when the opponent has time to realize that your question is loaded and possibly fallacious.
Examples of loaded questions:
"Since racial hatred is caused by diversity isn't it a good idea to curb immigration?"
"Since Bush is the stupidest president in US history is not his policy retarded?"
"Since men are smarter than women shouldn't they dominate the business world?"
Part one in a series on logical fallacy.
why are all conservatives fascists?
why can't liberals understand christian values?
"Why are all Americans fat?"
Hey, i'm just a little overweight . . .
"Why does Craven suffer from impotency?"
"If you knew that Setanta fakes being Irish would you like him less?"
Edit: a better setanta one.
Geeze-Louise, Boss, yer blowin' my cover right and left . . .
Is your logic question based on logic?
Craven did you suddenly decide to have that tongue pierced with a paperclip? (about time we got a proper "virtual" assistant!)
Was that logical?
with that pointy end, cdk won't have to worry about being impotent anymore
And with a little alteration, he should be good for cleaning out our ears as well.
Craven! Line two is for you, somebody who says he is a trademark attorney for Microsoft, shall I take a message?
I guess Max; you are going to take the paperclip out of Craven's tongue before sticking it in your ear?
Rest assured, BoGoWo, nothing that comes out of Craven's mouth is welcome near my ear.
Not that there is anything WRONG with that...........
Ah, standard questions that any attorney should object to, and strenuously. The classic one is
When did you stop beating your wife?
My answer? When you killed her.