Critical Thinking Shortcomings Analysis

547 Words3 Pages
Victor Davis Hanson displays mostly opinion along with two significant thinking shortcomings in his article regarding cuts to defense spending. The two shortcomings, point of view and assumptions are analyzed by using A Critical Thinking Model in Dr. Gerras critical thinking paper as a guide. For example, Mr. Hanson does not represent or consider the opposing point of view in this article. The reader can recognize Hanson’s own point of view being against cuts to the defense budget. Hanson does not empathize with others by pointing out that unfunded entitlements like social security, Medicare and food stamps are creating the budget and spending crisis. He also makes an assumption that tax payers would rather have more soldiers and equipment…show more content…
Gerras model, with focus on clarifying the concern will help identify and analyze how point of view and assumptions place a gap in Hanson’s argument. Dr. Gerras points out that a critical thinker evaluating information should ask a series of questions. “Are the premises acceptable? Are they relevant? Are they sufficient?” Dr. Gerras states that if any of these questions are answered no, “then the argument is not logically compelling,” he goes on to explain the most common logical fallacies. These fallacies will illustrate how Hanson made his two thinking shortcomings. Using the arguments against the person fallacy, Hanson attacks and criticizes President Obama’s character and foreign policy as opposed to the actual argument of defense cuts. Is this argument sufficient? No, President Obama is not the first and will not be the last to have defense cuts as part of the Presidential budget. Using the appeal to fear fallacy, Hanson attempts to scare the readers into not supporting the defense cuts by implying that a larger military can keep the peace through the perception of being an overwhelming foe. Is this acceptable? No, the point that should be made here is will the defense spending produce quality over quantity in regards to soldiers and equipment then the same outcome should apply. Using the weak analogy fallacy, Hanson compares current U.S. defense spending cuts with increased spending on social welfare to past civilizations. Is this relevant? No, by making an assumption that the U.S. will ultimately follow the path of past civilizations who fell into decline. The argument of comparing the past to the current situation is weak because the similarities involved have too many variables that do not compare and contrast in different eras of time. Using the red herring fallacy, Hanson uses budget cuts and spending data to distract the reader by not fully explaining how the cuts and/or spending directly affect defense readiness or the lack of

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