QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: You’ll be healthier if you avoid dairy.
REASONING: You’ll get fewer heart attacks if you avoid fat. You’re likely to eat less fat if you avoid dairy.
ANALYSIS: This is a bad argument. We only know that avoiding dairy can lead to some reduction in heart disease risk. But the professor did not prove that dairy products have no benefits for health. Health includes a lot of important things besides lack of heart attacks.
So even if we protect ourselves from heart attacks we might risk other problems by avoiding dairy.
- CORRECT. Dairy might protect your health in other ways (calcium?) even if it slightly raises the risk of heart attack.
- The argument didn’t claim that avoiding dairy is the only way to avoid heart attacks.
- The argument did not say that we should avoid dairy. It was just attempting to make a factual statement about what would happen if we chose to eliminate dairy. Maybe dairy’s milky goodness is worth the risk of a heart attack.
- The evidence is definitely relevant. Dairy has fat, and fat can lead to heart disease (which is part of health.)
- The professor did not claim that we could avoid heart disease with any certainty. Avoiding dairy merely lets us reduce our risk.
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