Poisoning the Well Examples

Poisoning the Well

Fallacy occurs when an argument is made using illogical reasoning. Poisoning the well is a common fallacy. Poisoning the well occurs when negative information that is irrelevant is presented ahead of time to discredit the argument. For example, in a political campaign, candidate 2 presents negative information about candidate 1 (true or false) so that anything that candidate says will be discounted.

Examples of Poisoning the Well:

1. Principal Marks, I have told you my side of the story. Now, I am sure that Mr. Jones is going to come and tell you some lie about how I was disrespectful, when really he was the one who was rude to me.

2. My opponent has donated millions to oil companies. He has supported drilling for oil in protected locations. Now, he is going to come and present his energy plan, but let me remind you, he comes as a wolf in sheep's clothing.

3. Your friend tells you that her brother wants to date you, but she says that he is a player and never keeps a girlfriend for very long. Now, when you meet him, your opinion will be tainted.

4. You might like this professor, but he obviously doesn't like girls because he never talks about the contributions of women in history. Now, when you enter the class, your opinion of the professor and the lectures will be tainted by your friend's words.

5. Oh, you are seeing Dr. Thomas? He really gives me the creeps, so just watch out.

6. At the beginning of a debate, one political candidate says of the other: My opponent has a record of lying and trying to cover her dishonest dealings with a pleasant smile. Don't let her convince you to believe her words.

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