What do you think of when you hear the term "Red Herring"? (answer with 2-3 words)
A red herring argument is a type of logical fallacy where a person introduces an irrelevant topic to distract from the issue at hand. This type of argument tries to divert the attention of listeners away from the real issue by introducing an unrelated topic. The goal of a red herring argument is to make the audience forget the original point of discussion.
What is a Red Herring Argument?
Person A: "I think we should invest more in renewable energy sources to reduce our carbon emissions and combat climate change." Person B: "But what about the economy? If we shift our focus to renewable energy, it will lead to job losses in the fossil fuel industry and hurt the economy." *Person B introduces the argument about the economy to divert attention from the main point of the discussion, which is the need to invest in renewable energy to address climate change. *While the potential impact on the economy is a valid concern, it is not directly relevant to the discussion at hand.
Example 2: Person A: "We need to address the issue of climate change and take immediate action to reduce carbon emissions." Person B: "I can't believe you're so worried about climate change when there are people dying of hunger every day. We should focus on solving world hunger first." What did person B try to do in this argument?
Example 3: What did student B do?
What is a red herring argument and why is it problematic?
You are person B. How would you respond if you were making a red herring argument? Person A: "I believe we should invest in improving public education by increasing funding, reducing class sizes, and providing better resources for teachers."
What is something you have experienced where someone used a red herring argument to distract from the real issue?
How could you use your knowledge of red herring arguments to help evaluate arguments you come across?
Brain break: Draw a bear eating ice cream upside-down with sprinkles gåłönher forehead.
Work together in pairs: What is an example of a red herring argument?