Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

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Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby bboyer » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:59 am

Logic:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic

Argument:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_argument

Fallacy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_fallacies

List of common fallacies:
http://www.nobeliefs.com/fallacies.htm

List of common fallacies wrote:
Compiled by Jim Walker
originated: 27 July 1997
additions made: 26 March 2004

You don't need to take drugs to hallucinate; improper language can fill your world with phantoms and spooks of many kinds.

-Robert A. Wilson


ad hominem: Latin for "to the man." An arguer who uses ad hominems attacks the person instead of the argument. Whenever an arguer cannot defend his position with evidence, facts or reason, he or she may resort to attacking an opponent either through: labeling, straw man arguments, name calling, offensive remarks and anger.

appeal to ignorance (argumentum ex silentio): appealing to ignorance as evidence for something. (e.g., We have no evidence that God doesn't exist, therefore, he must exist. Or: Because we have no knowledge of alien visitors, that means they do not exist). Ignorance about something says nothing about its existence or non-existence.

argument from omniscience: (e.g., All people believe in something. Everyone knows that.) An arguer would need omniscience to know about everyone's beliefs or disbeliefs or about their knowledge. Beware of words like "all," "everyone," "everything," "absolute."

appeal to faith: (e.g., if you have no faith, you cannot learn) if the arguer relies on faith as the bases of his argument, then you can gain little from further discussion. Faith, by definition, relies on a belief that does not rest on logic or evidence. Faith depends on irrational thought and produces intransigence.

appeal to tradition (similar to the bandwagon fallacy): (e.g., astrology, religion, slavery) just because people practice a tradition, says nothing about its viability.

argument from authority (argumentum ad verecundiam): using the words of an "expert" or authority as the bases of the argument instead of using the logic or evidence that supports an argument. (e.g., Professor so-and-so believes in creation-science.) Simply because an authority makes a claim does not necessarily mean he got it right. If an arguer presents the testimony from an expert, look to see if it accompanies reason and sources of evidence behind it.

argument from adverse consequences: (e.g., We should judge the accused as guilty, otherwise others will commit similar crimes) Just because a repugnant crime or act occurred, does not necessarily mean that a defendant committed the crime or that we should judge him guilty. (Or: disasters occur because God punishes non-believers; therefore, we should all believe in God) Just because calamities or tragedies occur, says nothing about the existence of gods or that we should believe in a certain way.

argumentum ad baculum: An argument based on an appeal to fear or a threat. (e.g., If you don't believe in God, you'll burn in hell)

argumentum ad ignorantiam: A misleading argument used in reliance on people's ignorance.

argumentum ad populum: An argument aimed to sway popular support by appealing to sentimental weakness rather than facts and reasons.

bandwagon fallacy: concluding that an idea has merit simply because many people believe it or practice it. (e.g., Most people believe in a god; therefore, it must prove true.) Simply because many people may believe something says nothing about the fact of that something. For example many people during the Black plague believed that demons caused disease. The number of believers say nothing at all about the cause of disease.

begging the question (or assuming the answer): (e.g., We must encourage our youth to worship God to instill moral behavior.) But does religion and worship actually produce moral behavior?

circular reasoning: stating in one's proposition that which one aims to prove. (e.g. God exists because the Bible says so; the Bible exists because God influenced it.)

composition fallacy: when the conclusion of an argument depends on an erroneous characteristic from parts of something to the whole or vice versa. (e.g., Humans have consciousness and human bodies and brains consist of atoms; therefore, atoms have consciousness. Or: a word processor program consists of many bytes; therefore a byte forms a fraction of a word processor.)

confirmation bias (similar to observational selection): This refers to a form of selective thinking that focuses on evidence that supports what believers already believe while ignoring evidence that refutes their beliefs. Confirmation bias plays a stronger role when people base their beliefs upon faith, tradition and prejudice. For example, if someone believes in the power of prayer, the believer will notice the few "answered" prayers while ignoring the majority of unanswered prayers (which would indicate that prayer has no more value than random chance at worst or a placebo effect, when applied to health effects, at best).

confusion of correlation and causation: (e.g., More men play chess than women, therefore, men make better chess players than women. Or: Children who watch violence on TV tend to act violently when they grow up.) But does television programming cause violence or do violence oriented children prefer to watch violent programs? Perhaps an entirely different reason creates violence not related to television at all. Stephen Jay Gould called the invalid assumption that correlation implies cause as "probably among the two or three most serious and common errors of human reasoning" (The Mismeasure of Man).

excluded middle (or false dichotomy): considering only the extremes. Many people use Aristotelian either/or logic tending to describe in terms of up/down, black/white, true/false, love/hate, etc. (e.g., You either like it or you don't. He either stands guilty or not guilty.) Many times, a continuum occurs between the extremes that people fail to see. The universe also contains many "maybes."

half truths (suppressed evidence): An statement usually intended to deceive that omits some of the facts necessary for an accurate description.

loaded questions: embodies an assumption that, if answered, indicates an implied agreement. (e.g., Have you stopped beating your wife yet?)

meaningless question: (e.g., "How high is up?" "Is everything possible?") "Up" describes a direction, not a measurable entity. If everything proved possible, then the possibility exists for the impossible, a contradiction. Although everything may not prove possible, there may occur an infinite number of possibilities as well as an infinite number of impossibilities. Many meaningless questions include empty words such as "is," "are," "were," "was," "am," "be," or "been."

misunderstanding the nature of statistics: (e.g., the majority of people in the United States die in hospitals, therefore, stay out of them.) "Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive." -- Wallace Irwin

non sequitur: Latin for "It does not follow." An inference or conclusion that does not follow from established premises or evidence. (e.g., there occured an increase of births during the full moon. Conclusion: full moons cause birth rates to rise.) But does a full moon actually cause more births, or did it occur for other reasons, perhaps from expected statistical variations?

observational selection (similar to confirmation bias): pointing out favorable circumstances while ignoring the unfavorable. Anyone who goes to Las Vegas gambling casinos will see people winning at the tables and slots. The casino managers make sure to install bells and whistles to announce the victors, while the losers never get mentioned. This may lead one to conclude that the chances of winning appear good while in actually just the reverse holds true.

post hoc, ergo propter hoc: Latin for "It happened after, so it was caused by." Similar to a non sequitur, but time dependent. (e.g. She got sick after she visited China, so something in China caused her sickness.) Perhaps her sickness derived from something entirely independent from China.

proving non-existence: when an arguer cannot provide the evidence for his claims, he may challenge his opponent to prove it doesn't exist (e.g., prove God doesn't exist; prove UFO's haven't visited earth, etc.). Although one may prove non-existence in special limitations, such as showing that a box does not contain certain items, one cannot prove universal or absolute non-existence, or non-existence out of ignorance. One cannot prove something that does not exist. The proof of existence must come from those who make the claims.

red herring: when the arguer diverts the attention by changing the subject.

reification fallacy: when people treat an abstract belief or hypothetical construct as if it represented a concrete event or physical entity. Examples: IQ tests as an actual measure of intelligence; the concept of race (even though genetic attributes exist), from the chosen combination of attributes or the labeling of a group of people, come from abstract social constructs; Astrology; god(s); Jesus; Santa Claus, etc.

slippery slope: a change in procedure, law, or action, will result in adverse consequences. (e.g., If we allow doctor assisted suicide, then eventually the government will control how we die.) It does not necessarily follow that just because we make changes that a slippery slope will occur.

special pleading: the assertion of new or special matter to offset the opposing party's allegations. A presentation of an argument that emphasizes only a favorable or single aspect of the question at issue. (e.g. How can God create so much suffering in the world? Answer: You have to understand that God moves in mysterious ways and we have no privilege to this knowledge. Or: Horoscopes work, but you have to understand the theory behind it.)

statistics of small numbers: similar to observational selection (e.g., My parents smoked all their lives and they never got cancer. Or: I don't care what others say about Yugos, my Yugo has never had a problem.) Simply because someone can point to a few favorable numbers says nothing about the overall chances.

straw man: creating a false scenario and then attacking it. (e.g., Evolutionists think that everything came about by random chance.) Most evolutionists think in terms of natural selection which may involve incidental elements, but does not depend entirely on random chance. Painting your opponent with false colors only deflects the purpose of the argument.

two wrongs make a right: trying to justify what we did by accusing someone else of doing the same. (e.g. how can you judge my actions when you do exactly the same thing?) The guilt of the accuser has no relevance to the discussion.



mgmirkin wrote:Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 1:48 am Post subject: Common logical fallacies & poor agumentation techniques.
OP "mgmirkin"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It seems that a lot of specious arguments get thrown around using poor logic. Let's have a look at a few of the worst offenders, so we can try our best to avoid them, and expose them when used by the "other side." IE, these SHOULDN'T be used by ANYONE. Unfortunately, they get used all too often by everyone. =o\

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem (He's flawed. So his argument must be flawed too!)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulverism (He's incorrect. Now that you know that, I'll tell you some other stuff that may or not be relevant about him, his argument, his mother, a unicorn...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man (I found a typo, so his entire argument must be flawed...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum (Most people believe it. So should you!)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority (So-and-so says it's true. So, it must be!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_assertion (I'm just going to keep saying it until you get tired of disproving it and go away! Then there's nobody left to challenge the theory, so it must be right!)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance (Well, you haven't proven it's NOT true, so it must be! -or- Well, you haven't proved it *IS* true, so it can't be!)

If you've got any other no-no's, feel free to post them.

~Michael



arc-us wrote:Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 12:19 pm Post subject:
OP "arc-us"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From http://www.kilty.com/reason.htm Reasoning and Fallacies

Contents

Affirming the consequent
Post hoc ergo propter hoc
Ad hoc ergo propter hoc
Biased samples and experiments
Not carrying arguments to a conclusion
Analyzing small effects
Circular reasoning
Lack of internal consistency
Wrong models
Interpolation and extrapolation
Hidden complexity
Definitions
Irrelevances
Confirmation
Knowledge and belief


mgmirkin wrote:Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:27 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OP "mgmirkin"

Actually, here's a great link on some logical fallacies & how to identify or defend against them:

http://www.mnforsustain.org/student_log ... rences.htm

Cheers,
~Michael Gmirkin
There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and one's subtle body rest upon that and not rest on anything else. — Maitri Upanishad
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Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby Plasmatic » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:12 am

"Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification"......" I am therefore Ill think"
Ayn Rand
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
Aristotle
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Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby Tina » Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:05 pm

Here's three logical fallacies I have made up:

Argumentum ad Stupido (Your Stupid :roll:) If you're not an expert in this field you don't know anything.

Argumentum ad Arroganto (I'm superior :twisted: ) I'm an expert so I'm right.

Argumentum ad Incredulo (Unbelievable :o ) I can't believe this so it must be false.
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Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby Folatt » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:56 am

Looking at http://www.nobeliefs.com/fallacies.htm I would like to add Argument from fallacy:

Just because you can list one or more arguments are fallacious doesn't mean the conclusion is wrong,
as I can reverse their appeal to ignorance and therefor conclude that both are unsure, not false and true as nobeliefs.com wants to believe (oh, the irony).

Apparently, to them one unseen supernatural entity is way out of the line, but a quadrillion unseen natural extraterrestial species, possibly capable of anything BUT creating our universe are perfectly okay to them, unless one of them looks like a unicorn, a gnome, or the flying spaghetti monster.
It seems like they have completely forgotten that when there is an one intelligent extraterrestial in just our galaxy alone, chances are quite large that intelligent flying spagetthi monsters do as well.
I will put a wager on it that due to a slippery slope of overreacting against beliefs in a supernatural omniscient omnipotent being, these alien flying spagetthi monsters will quickly be worshipped like Dogar and Kazon.

I also fail to how see the slippery slope fallacy is a fallacy.
The problem I see with the slippery slope fallacy is when the slippery slope really is a slippery slope.
When a government really wants control how we die, they will not introduce this law immediately but slippery slopes towards their goal. So I would rather see the slippery slope argument as a weak argument if you only have one example, but not as a fallacy.

If Johnny has bought bullets yesterday, it doesn't mean he's about to kill the president.
But when Johnny has bought bullets and we find a sniper rifle in his bedroom, has talked over the phone with friends about how he found of good place to take pictures of the clown, is associated with a rebel group whose hero is "Osama bin Laden", talks often about martyrdom and glorifies it, has pictures of Osama bin Laden on the wall and of Barack between crosshairs, has city maps with a drawn route of Obama's car when he's going to a conference in Phoenix next week, plans on how to penetrate the bulletproof windows etcetera etcetera, does that still mean Johnny does not want to kill the president?
Since 1 % 1, 1 * 1 and 1 - 1 do not add up, we must conclude that 1 + 1 is 3.
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Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby Tina » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:54 am

_sluimers_ wrote:Looking at http://www.nobeliefs.com/fallacies.htm I would like to add Argument from fallacy:

I also fail to how see the slippery slope fallacy is a fallacy.
The problem I see with the slippery slope fallacy is when the slippery slope really is a slippery slope.
When a government really wants control how we die, they will not introduce this law immediately but slippery slopes towards their goal. So I would rather see the slippery slope argument as a weak argument if you only have one example, but not as a fallacy.



The Slippery Slope argument says that If [A] then [B]then [C] - this is the fallacy. There is no way of showing that [A] will necessarily lead to [C] so I really think the fallacy status of this type of argument needs to be upheld. ...and the real cases of 'slippery slope' that you speak of would need to be expressed through valid arguments using actual emphirical evidence.
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Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby StevenO » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:43 pm

Logic fallacies should be avoided by keeping the archetypical knot (the Borromean rings) into mind:
Image
Two rings are just stacked but three rings tie a knot. Only at least three elements can create a stable structure.
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Re: 香港六和彩官方网站白小姐特码救世报曾道人图库

Unread postby StevenO » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:35 am

[quote="hjyk126"]

Maybe your font is not a standard one.....can't read anything from the message except the links.
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Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby neilwilkes » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:36 am

I'm not sure what the proper terminology is, but there's another one we use too.
The tendency of our species to make a story out of things as an explanation of them.
The real world does not work like this, with the "answer" to a lot of questions being "because" instead of "because x>y>z".
Logic fails us completely.
We can misuse logic (and cosmologists certainly do) by several different mechanisms.

The first one that leaps to mind here is the so-called "Unified Theory" we are hearing about from the consensus, and how so-called "Dark Matter" will help us here.
Here's the problem as I see it.
Even if we do know the complete set of "rules" for our universe (GUT), will this explain why things are & how others work? the answer is a categorical "NO".
Look at something as simple as Langton's Ant. The "GUT (Grand Unified Theory) of the ants world is well known to us, and it goes something like this:
The ant wanders around on an infinite grid.
Every time it comes to a square, the square changes colour from black to white or white to black.
If it lands on a white square, it turns right.
If it lands on a Black square, it turns left.
That is it - these are the ant's rules for it's universe, and describe everything that happens in it - or do they?
What happens in the real world is quite inexplicable - although we know the entire set of rules for the entire system,. things happen we cannot explain.
It seems to happen in 3 stages:
1 - Simplicity. During the first 2 or 3 hundred moves, starting on an entirely white grid, we see tiny patterns, often symmetrical ones.
2 - Chaos. The previous stage disappears, and you get random patches of black & white areas. No apparent structure, as in the previous stage is apparent.
3 - Emergent Order. The ant locks itself into a regular sequence, and repeats this infinitely (as far as we can tell, anyway).
It goes through a cycle of 104 steps, after which it has moved out 2 squares diagonally and the colours along the edge are the same as they were at the beginning of the cycle.
The cycle repeats forever, and the any builds a "highway" - forever (again, as far as we can tell).

The problem here is that there is nothing in the ant's universe rules that explains this behaviour. The only way mathematicians can "prove" the any does build a highway is to run it & see it happen. Okay - so what happens if we fiddle with the environment? Same emergent behaviour results every single time, as far as we can tell.
Go see for yourselves, and google a little toy called "Ants 95" - it is free, and fascinating.
It tells us that - and this is the point - even when we know the entire ruleset for an environment, it still doesn't tell us how it works.

Okay, let's look at another mathematical/logical error.
What evidence do scientists need to end up believing the things they do?
Let's look at a simple hypothesis - all X are Y.
Paradox arises here with surprising ease (or perhaps not so surprising to fellow EU board members) when you take the hypothesis and try to ascertain what makes it believable.
Let's take a look.....
Our hypothesis is "All Ravens are Black" (all X are Y)
We first take a look at a raven to see if it is black. If it is black, then this confirms the hypothesis to a limited extent. If we look at thousands of ravens, and they are all black, then these observations will further confirm the hypothesis.
Now, here's the problem. All X are Y is logically equivalent to "All non-Y are non-X". The 2 propositions, "all ravens are black" and "all non-black things are non-ravens" state the same fact. Therefore, the observation of thousands of non-black non-ravens will tend to confirm the proposition. This in turn leads to the counter-intuitive proposition that observations of things like brown bears, green parrots & white swans confirm the statement "all ravens are black" when it does no such thing.
Our mathematician-cosmologists seem to be using similar equations to arrive at their gravity-driven errors by assuming that all events in the universe are gravitational.
Hell - I am even reading that Quasars are now considered as "Black Holes" for crying out loud!!
See http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2009/06/09/we-knew-black-holes-were-massive-now-double-that/
and prepare to be stunned.

Sheesh.
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Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby StevenO » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:22 am

neilwilkes wrote:I'm not sure what the proper terminology is, but there's another one we use too.
The tendency of our species to make a story out of things as an explanation of them.
The real world does not work like this, with the "answer" to a lot of questions being "because" instead of "because x>y>z".
Logic fails us completely.
We can misuse logic (and cosmologists certainly do) by several different mechanisms.

The first one that leaps to mind here is the so-called "Unified Theory" we are hearing about from the consensus, and how so-called "Dark Matter" will help us here.
Here's the problem as I see it.
Even if we do know the complete set of "rules" for our universe (GUT), will this explain why things are & how others work? the answer is a categorical "NO".
Look at something as simple as Langton's Ant. The "GUT (Grand Unified Theory) of the ants world is well known to us, and it goes something like this:
The ant wanders around on an infinite grid.
Every time it comes to a square, the square changes colour from black to white or white to black.
If it lands on a white square, it turns right.
If it lands on a Black square, it turns left.
That is it - these are the ant's rules for it's universe, and describe everything that happens in it - or do they?
What happens in the real world is quite inexplicable - although we know the entire set of rules for the entire system,. things happen we cannot explain.
It seems to happen in 3 stages:
1 - Simplicity. During the first 2 or 3 hundred moves, starting on an entirely white grid, we see tiny patterns, often symmetrical ones.
2 - Chaos. The previous stage disappears, and you get random patches of black & white areas. No apparent structure, as in the previous stage is apparent.
3 - Emergent Order. The ant locks itself into a regular sequence, and repeats this infinitely (as far as we can tell, anyway).
It goes through a cycle of 104 steps, after which it has moved out 2 squares diagonally and the colours along the edge are the same as they were at the beginning of the cycle.
The cycle repeats forever, and the any builds a "highway" - forever (again, as far as we can tell).

The problem here is that there is nothing in the ant's universe rules that explains this behaviour. The only way mathematicians can "prove" the any does build a highway is to run it & see it happen. Okay - so what happens if we fiddle with the environment? Same emergent behaviour results every single time, as far as we can tell.
Go see for yourselves, and google a little toy called "Ants 95" - it is free, and fascinating.
It tells us that - and this is the point - even when we know the entire ruleset for an environment, it still doesn't tell us how it works.

Here is a link to an Applet running this CA: http://www.annanardella.it/ant.html.

I don't subscribe to the notion that the behaviour cannot be predicted. In fact the state of the universe this "ant" lives in is completely described from it's initial condition and the ruleset and it has a bounded number of states. It is really no different from a piece of computing logic. The trick is to predict when the logic would end up in a repetitive sequence (endless loop). Theoretically this is a problem for which no bounded solution exist, but in practice the inherent structures reduce the solution space. For instance for Linear Feedback Shift Registers, which look very much like this Langton's Ant CA, one can calculate an exact initial condition where the automaton will always cycle through every possible state in a maximum length sequence. The states itself will then look completely random, since there is no repetitive sequence within the maximum possible sequence. A departure from this maximum length sequence will lead to a fixed state or shorter repetitive sequence, like we often see in the "Game of Life" CA.
neilwilkes wrote:Okay, let's look at another mathematical/logical error.
What evidence do scientists need to end up believing the things they do?
Let's look at a simple hypothesis - all X are Y.
Paradox arises here with surprising ease (or perhaps not so surprising to fellow EU board members) when you take the hypothesis and try to ascertain what makes it believable.
Let's take a look.....
Our hypothesis is "All Ravens are Black" (all X are Y)
We first take a look at a raven to see if it is black. If it is black, then this confirms the hypothesis to a limited extent. If we look at thousands of ravens, and they are all black, then these observations will further confirm the hypothesis.
Now, here's the problem. All X are Y is logically equivalent to "All non-Y are non-X". The 2 propositions, "all ravens are black" and "all non-black things are non-ravens" state the same fact. Therefore, the observation of thousands of non-black non-ravens will tend to confirm the proposition. This in turn leads to the counter-intuitive proposition that observations of things like brown bears, green parrots & white swans confirm the statement "all ravens are black" when it does no such thing.

I think you are making a common language mistake here. "All ravens are black" logically means:

"NOT TRUE (ravens (proposition A) OR black (proposition B))"

which is equal to:

"TRUE(NOT ravens(A) AND NOT black(B)))"

"A implies B" is not equal to "not A implies not B" or "not B implies not A". These last two statements both logically say:

NOT A implies NOT B => NOT TRUE(NOT A OR NOT B)) => TRUE(A AND B)
NOT B implies NOT A => NOT TRUE(NOT B OR NOT A)) => TRUE(B AND A)

Which would mean "TRUE(Ravens) AND TRUE(Black)"), which in natural language only means "ravens exist and black exists". Please check: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Material_conditional for a more complete description.
neilwilkes wrote:Our mathematician-cosmologists seem to be using similar equations to arrive at their gravity-driven errors by assuming that all events in the universe are gravitational.
Hell - I am even reading that Quasars are now considered as "Black Holes" for crying out loud!!
See http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2009/06/09/we-knew-black-holes-were-massive-now-double-that/
and prepare to be stunned.

Sheesh.

Indeed, same mistake:
So if the extra mass isn’t tied up in stars, it must belong to the supermassive black hole, Gebhardt explained
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Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby Lloyd » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:59 am

The Top 5 Thinking Traps Exposed [from http://mercola.com ]

Your mind sets up many traps for you. Unless you’re aware of them, these traps can seriously hinder your ability to think rationally.

Here are five of the most harmful of these traps, and how to avoid each one of them:

1. The Anchoring Trap: Over-Relying on First Thoughts

Your starting point can heavily bias your thinking: initial impressions, ideas, estimates or data “anchor” subsequent thoughts.

This trap is particularly dangerous as it’s deliberately used in many occasions, such as by experienced salesmen, who will show you a higher-priced item first, “anchoring” that price in your mind.

Always view a problem from different perspectives. Think on your own before consulting others. Seek information from a wide variety of sources.

2. The Status Quo Trap: Keeping on Keeping On

People tend to repeat established behaviors, unless they are given the right incentives to change them. The status quo automatically has an advantage over every other alternative.

Consider the status quo as just another alternative. Know your objectives. Avoid exaggerating switching costs.

3. The Sunk Cost Trap: Protecting Earlier Choices

You pre-ordered a non-refundable ticket to a basketball game. On the night of the game, you’re tired and there’s a blizzard raging outside. It may be hard to admit, but staying at home is the best choice here. The money for the ticket is already gone regardless of the alternative you choose: it’s a sunk cost, and it shouldn’t influence your decision.

Be OK with making mistakes. Listen to people who were not involved in the earlier decisions. Focus on your goals.

4. The Confirmation Trap: Seeing What You Want to See

You feel the stock market will be going down and that now may be a good time to sell your stock. Just to be reassured of your hunch, you call a friend that has just sold all her stock to find out her reasons. You have just fallen into the Confirmation Trap: looking for information that will most likely support your initial point of view.

Expose yourself to conflicting information. Get a devil’s advocate. Don’t ask leading questions.

5. The Incomplete Information Trap: Review Your Assumptions

Overlooking a simple data element can make our intuitions go completely astray. Everyone keeps mental images that make them jump to conclusions before questioning assumptions or checking whether they have enough information.

Make your assumptions explicit. Always favor hard data over mental simplifications.
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Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby Lloyd » Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:00 am

How to Make the Right Decision in Any Situation [from http://mercola.com ]

Which job should you take? What car should you buy? Are you ready for another baby?

Life is full of tough choices, and the bigger they are, the harder they get.

Research shows that most people will not choose at all when presented with several good options. But practice, experience, and rules of thumbs can help you to make those decisions. Here’s how:

Analyze Outcomes

When making a choice, then, it pays to take some time to consider the outcome you expect. Ask yourself the following questions:

* What is the probable outcome of this choice?
* What outcomes are highly unlikely?
* What are the likely outcomes of not choosing this one?
* What would be the outcome of doing the exact opposite?

Thinking in terms of long-term outcomes can help you find clarity and direction.

Ask Why Five Times

For instance:

1. Why should I take this job? It pays well and offers me a chance to grow.
2. Why is that important? Because I want to build a career and not just have a string of meaningless jobs.
3. Why? Because I want my life to have meaning.
4. Why? So I can be happy.
5. Why? Because that’s what’s important in life.

Follow Your Instincts

People who make decisions quickly, even when lacking information, tend to be more satisfied with their decisions than people who research and carefully weigh their options. Your unconscious is very good at working through complex problems. People who “go with their gut” are actually trusting the work their unconscious mind has already done.
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Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:17 am

Denialism
Denialism "is the refusal to accept an empirically verifiable reality. It is an essentially irrational action that withholds validation of a historical experience or event."[1]

Individuals, or groups who reject propositions on which a scientific or scholarly consensus exists are said to be engaging in denialism when they seek to influence policy processes and outcomes by using rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denialism


Weasel word
Weasel words is an informal term for words that are ambiguous and not supported by facts. They are typically used to create an illusion of clear, direct communication. Weasel words are usually expressed with deliberate imprecision with the intention to mislead the listeners or readers into believing statements for which sources are not readily available. Tactics that are used include:

vague generalizations
use of the passive voice
non sequitur statements
use of grammatical devices such as qualifiers and the subjunctive mood
use of euphemisms (e.g., replacing "firing staff" with "streamlining the workforce")
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word

Argumentum ad nauseam
Argumentum ad nauseam or argument from repetition or argumentum ad infinitum is a flawed argument, whereby some statement is made repeatedly (possibly by different people) until nobody cares to refute it anymore, at which point the statement is asserted to be true because it is no longer challenged. This is a form of proof by assertion. Proof by assertion is a fallacious argument technique. ...
http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Ad-nauseam
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby KickLaBuka » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:19 am

one correction. Circular logic is bad. Circular reasoning is good. CR is saying, if a then b is true and if b then c is true, And if c then a is true, therefore you have a solid logical argument.
KickLaBuka
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Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:37 pm

Noun: damage limitation
1.An effort to minimize or curtail damage or loss
- damage control
http://www.wordwebonline.com/en/DAMAGELIMITATION


Noun: control kun'trówl
1.Power to direct or determine
"under control"

2.A relation of constraint of one entity (thing or person or group) by another
"measures for the control of disease"; "they instituted controls over drinking on campus"

5.The activity of managing or exerting control over something
"the control of the mob by the police was admirable"

6.The state that exists when one person or group has power over another
"her apparent control of her husband was really her attempt to make him pay attention to her"


In his Rhetoric, Aristotle acknowledges that it would be better if we could make our case without either browbeating or flattering the audience; nothing should matter except "the bare facts." Yet he laments, "other things affect the result considerably, owing to the defects of our hearers."
— Stanley Fish, in his blog "Think Again" in the New York Times, 2008.11.09
http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/0 ... e/?apage=1

Propaganda
Propaganda is communication aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda


The Big Lie
The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf for a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
Grey Cloud
 
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Location: NW UK

Re: Logic, Argument, & Logical Fallacies

Unread postby jjohnson » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:32 pm

-and the undisputed experts in specious argument seem to be lawyers and spokespersons for the Standard Model in astronomy and astrophysics,
these days! And political parties, most of whose leaders fall into the former category. Let's not go there, though.
:?
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