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 Fallacy of
Complex Question,
Many Questions
Examples Exercise

Abstract: Complex Question, Many Questions, and related fallacy examples are provided and analyzed for credibility in a self-scoring quiz.

Fallacy Practice Directions:

(1) Study the features of the complex question from this web page: Complex Questions or Many Questions Fallacy.
(2) Read and analyze the following passages.
(3) Explain with a sentence or two as to whether or not you judge a complex question fallacy to be present.

  1. “One of the things we know about peak performers in life, people that are super-successful, is that they ask for what they want. Let me ask you this: how many of you got everything you wanted from your parents when you were a kid? Can I see a show of hands? No hands. How many asked for everything you wanted, clearly, consistently, over-and-over from your parents—anyone? How many of your parents were psychics? We've got no hands [up] here. See the reality is, if you don't ask, they don't know you want it, they don't give it to you, and you think well parents know everything and you decide, ‘There must be something wrong with me.’ Because if they loved you, they'd what? They'd know.”[1]

  2. “An unnamed senior State Department official said ‘The war on terror is over’ … Really? Well, if the war is complete, I must have missed the peace treaty signing ceremony. I also haven't noticed a decline in incendiary rhetoric, or the disarmament — or at least laying down of arms — that usually accompanies the end of war. Does this mean we can do away with full-body scanners and TSA pat-downs?”.[2]

  3. “When software programs are trying to outsmart other software programs and hack the world's trading platforms, that is a recipe for disaster. … How many times an hour are there failures across individual equities around the world because of software running algorithms battling each other for supremacy to make a profitable trade? We have no idea. It's not a question of if or when we have meltdowns, it's just a question of how big and where.”[3]

  4. “More than one-third of currently working college graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree, such as flight attendants, taxi drivers and salesmen. Was college attendance a wise use of these student's time and the resources of their parents and taxpayers?”[4]

  5. “Would Jesus campaign for anyone who would push and promote homosexuality and gay marriage? Would He support liberal politicians whose consciences aren't bothered by abortion? Would He vote to step deeper into socialism instead of preserving a responsible republic form of government? Wise Christians know the answers to these questions. … The confluence of apathetic Christian voters, liberal politicians and progressive judges have brought out country to the brink of total moral and fiscal bankruptcy.”[5]

  6. “In general, why am I so clever? I have never thought about questions that do not amount to anything, — I have not wasted my self on that.”[6]

  7. “Do President Trump's Cabinet members have to call him ‘Dear Leader’ when graced by his august presence? Must they enter the Oval Office on bended knee? Do they weep with joy when he reaches out a delicate hand and pats their bowed heads? One of the most appalling aspects of the Trump presidency is the sycophancy he requires of the officials who serve him.”[7]

  8. “Do you desire to strike out of our State Constitution that clause which keeps slaves and free negroes out of the State, and allow the free negroes to flow in, and cover your prairies with black settlements? Do you desire to turn this beautiful State into a free negro colony? … then support Mr. Lincoln and the Black Republican party, who are in favor of the citizenship of the negro.”[8]

  9. The following editorial comment is about a man who drove a car into a crowd killing a woman and injuring many other people who were protesting a white nationalist rally:

    “James Alex Fields stands accused of ramming his beloved muscle car into a crowded street during a showdown between the two sides hyped by the Stupid Media. Now was this a planned attack aimed at maximizing the elimination of as many Neanderthals [anti-fascists] as possible? or was it Brass Knuckle Dragger [white nationalist] road rage sparked by somebody kicking or throwing something at his muscle car? My experience with drivers of Dodge Chargers is that they are prone to road rage.”[9]

  10. “Why Republicans should want the Democratic party to escape political ruin is not quite clear … Is it because their pecuniary interests, their social connections, and their general environment make them as good plutocrats … ? Or is it because they would be easy to beat at the election?”[10]

  11. “Roads or housing? Which is your priority? According to the Institute of Public Policy Research we need to build 230,000 new homes a year.”[11]

  12. “Often, a recalcitrant prisoner must be extracted from his cell through brute force. I've never seen female guards remove a prisoner. If they are part of the process at all, it's to videotape the extraction for legal purposes. It's my bet female guards receive the same salaries as male guards while not having to risk injury. Along the same lines, women on aircraft carriers earn as much as their male counterparts, but I have yet to see women hefting a hernia bar to attach a 500- or 1000-pound bomb to a fighter jet wing. All of this suggests liberals are for equal pay for unequal work. Or could it be sex discrimination whereby equally qualified women are denied the opportunity to extract beastly inmates from their cells and load heavy bombs on fighter planes? ”[12]

  13. “I think you are kind, lovely, versed in learning; so why should such a wicked fate fall to your lot? Why does it always happen that a good person lives in desolation, while happiness comes to another unasked?”[13]

  14. “There is a promotion gap between white men and traditionally disadvantaged groups. This may be the result of flawed promotion procedures at some firms where committees spend time guessing a candidate's potential. These appraisals are fertile ground for biases, since people tend to predict the future by extrapolating from the past — and the past looks rather white and rather male. What are the ways in which we can combat these biases in performance appraisals and narrow the promotion gap? One study we have underway at Harvard looks at whether potential bias will go away when we use data analytics to offer more concrete and more objectively measurable criteria for such traits as analytical skills, emotional intelligence, people skills or client interaction.”[14]

  15. “But Mr. Trump demonstrated once again that he can’t abide his predecessor’s accomplishments, that he will not be persuaded by facts and that he places little or no value on the idea that honoring national commitments safeguards confidence in America’s word. Why would North Korea negotiate with the United States over its nuclear stockpile when it sees how little store the Trump administration sets by diplomatic accords?”[15]


1. Jack Canfield, How to Build High Self-Esteem (audio book, Nightingale Conant Corporation: 1987), part 07.

2. Cal Thomas, “The War Is Over?,” Index-Journal 94 No. 3 (May 3, 2012), 7A.

3. Scott Patterson, “Mark Cuban: High-Frequency Traders Are the Ultimate Hackers,” MarketBeat, Wall Street Journal

4. Walter Williams, “Too Much College,” Index-Journal 94 No. 60 (June 29, 2012), 8A.

5. Don Hiers, “Faith, Race and Voting,” Index-JournaLl 94 No. 67 (July 6, 2012), 10A.

6. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols and Other Writings eds. Aaron Ridley and Judith Norman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005),85.

7. Eugene Robinson, “In the White-House, Blind Respect Is Not a Two-Way Street,” Index-Journal 90 no. 206 (October10, 2017), 8A.

8. H. A. Douglas, “First Joint Debate, At Ottawa, August 21, 1858” in Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A Douglas (Columbus: Follett, Foster and Company, 1860), 71.

9. Charles Hurt, “Between Alt-right and ‘Antifa,’ Media Still Manages To Be Worse,” Washington Times, (August 13, 2017) (accessed October 5, 2017).

10. Louis F. Post, The Public 5 no. 217 (May 31, 1902), 114.

11. Robert Ashton, “Roads or Housing? Which Is Your Priority? (April 15, 2015) (accessed October 4, 2017).

12. Walter Williams, “Liberal Suffering and Confusion,” Index-Journal 94 no. 3 (May 4, 2013), 9A.

13. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Poor Folk and Other Stories (London: Penguin Classics, 1989), np.

14. Iris Bohnet, “Tackling ‘the Thin File’ That Can Prevent a Promotion, ” Business Day: Women Today The New York Times (October 3, 2017). ( accessed October 3, 2017).

15. Thomas Sowell, “ Random Thought On the Passing Scene,” Index-Journal (March 5, 2015) 97 No. 14, 6A.



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