Flaw Questions are the most common single question type on the LSAT. They also happen to be my favorite question type. I love pointing out people’s flaws, but people don’t always appreciate it. Like this one time, a guy at my house was about to say “glad,” but then changed it to “nice,” and it came out “glice.” I tried to point out the error, but somehow I was the bad guy?
Everyone knows you should never take health instructions from an overweight doctor. Don’t go see the new Tom Cruise film — he’s a Scientologist. And never, but never, take lawn-upkeep advice from one of them Libertarians.
Each of these arguments rely on the same logical fallacy: Ad Hominem. They’re common, and if you’ve ever watched Glenn Beck you probably appreciate the need for their dismissal.
We have something of a tendency to allow these fallacies to corrupt our thinking in standard discourse — we may look less favorably on New York’s financial regulation after learning of Elliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal, for example. Ultimately, however, arguments on the LSAT should be judged on their merit, not on the alleged character of the arguer.