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The Fallacy Game (Name the logical fallacy)

Discussion in 'Spirituality & Sexuality & Philosophy' started by Heisenberg, Oct 27, 2015.

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    reddan1981

    reddan1981 Well-Known Member

  2.  
    New Age United

    New Age United Well-Known Member

    The argument from Ignorance is one of the most popular fallacies made in argument I find; whenever someone makes a generalization and deems it to mean something specific the argument from Ignorance has been made, for instance if someone sees a ufo they may immediately come to the conclusion that it is an alien spacecraft when in fact many other possibilities exist. Basically whenever there are other possibilities or like Heisenberg said when someone tries to shift the burden of proof it is an argument from Ignorance.

    Edit: also remember to be skeptical about everything you hear or read because it may be false, I'm just learning myself so I may be wrong lol!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
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    New Age United

    New Age United Well-Known Member

    Name this fallacy

    The DNA code absolutely had to be designed by a higher or universal intelligence because there is no way that the double helix would have formed on its own.
     
  4.  
    reddan1981

    reddan1981 Well-Known Member

    Argument of incredulity or argument from design?
     
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    New Age United

    New Age United Well-Known Member

    Yes I was aiming for incredulity reddan but it also an argument from design thanks for bringing it to my attention.
     
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    GreenLogician

    GreenLogician Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't argument from design be what it's going for and what it is, but not a fallacy therein?
    If it had no fallacies and worked to prove a universal intelligence, it would still be an argument from design. That's about the content, not the form of the logic or the logical error committed.
     
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  7.  
    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    Name this fallacy:

    Skeptics fail to realize that ghosts only show themselves to those who believe. A skeptical outlook automatically closes the mind to the truth. That's why skeptical investigators never find evidence of ghosts.
     
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    New Age United

    New Age United Well-Known Member

    Special pleading, people will resort to this when they can no longer defend there conclusion they will then try to propose an argument that can not possibly be proven false however it can be shown as fallacious, this is called ad hoc whereas they are employed as needed after a previous argument has been shown as being unsound.
     
  9.  
    New Age United

    New Age United Well-Known Member

    Can you explain a little bit about Occum's Razor @Heisenberg?
    It basically means the simplest data in a set of data must be the truth right???? But isn't it our primal brain that tries to oversimplify the data? When should I employ Occum's Razor and how can I recognize the difference between Occum's Razor and oversimplification?
     
  10.  
    GreenLogician

    GreenLogician Well-Known Member

    Definitely not 'must be the truth', no - it's a general rule of thumb for choosing the more likely explanation.
    The simplest explanation for data, of two competing explanations is usually going to be right, and so invoking unnecessarily complex explanations will often lead your predictions astray.
     
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    GreenLogician

    GreenLogician Well-Known Member

    Was it a straw man?
     
  12.  
    ttystikk

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

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    reddan1981

    reddan1981 Well-Known Member

    Conservatism bias?
     
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    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    Very good! Special pleading is what people use to get out of being proved wrong, or to explain away inconvenient evidence (or the lack of). The classic example is when a psychic agrees to controlled scientific testing and then, upon failing the test, they find a reason why the test didn't count.

    Moving the goalposts is the most common form. It's also sometimes called supernatural creep. That's because we can start with a testable claim and, after moving the goalposts enough times, we end up crossing the line of falsifiability.

    So, if we start with the claim that a race of Bigfoot are living undetected in the forest, that is at least something we can investigate. But when we fail to find Bigfoot using traps, dogs and trail cameras, we redefine Bigfoot as someone who can somehow sense and avoid traps, dogs and trail cameras. When we don't find any bones, habitat or droppings, we say Bigfoot must be a nomadic race, always on the move, and they somehow destroy their dead and pick up their droppings. Eventually we get to a place where Bigfoot is a psychic interdenominational alien capable of popping in and out of existence at will (yes, people really do make this claim). This, of course, is a claim we could never test. We've moved the goalposts so far no one could ever reach them.

    Special pleading is never about the evidence and always about the person's desperation to hold on to their beliefs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
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    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member


    Philosophical razors are tools meant to help us "shave off" unlikely explanations for a phenomenon. That doesn't mean we decide those explanations are wrong, but that other explanations are more worthy of our attention. If we investigate the most likely explanations and they do not pan out, we may return to some of the ones we discarded earlier. So razors can help guide our investigations, but they are not tests allowing us to draw conclusions.

    Occam's razor is meant to help us when we have to choose between two or more explanations which equally explain the data. It reminds us to apply the scientific principle of parsimony. The word "simplest" gets us into trouble. Many people interpret this to be about complexity. But in many cases, Occam's razor will actually favor an explanation which is more complex.

    So lets consider these two explanations for ghost sightings.

    1) Ghost sightings can be explained by a combination of psychology, misperceptions, mistakes, hallucinations, fever dreams, drug use, cultural expectations, and hoaxes combined with malleable memory and confabulation.

    2) Ghosts are real.

    On the surface, the second explanation seems the simplest. However, proper application of Occam's razor tells us the first is most likely. That's because parsimony is not about complexity, it's about assumptions. It's about the number of times we go beyond the evidence and how far we leap when we do. The first explanation cites things that are all well researched, well documented and well understood. It is not introducing any new knowledge about the world. The second explanation asks us to make a number of giant leaps beyond our knowledge. We must assume there is an afterlife, that people can cross over from that afterlife into our reality, and that we are able to notice when they do. We do not have evidence for any of these things.

    The proper expression of Occam's razor is: the explanation which introduces the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct. Each assumption presents a possible point of error, so obviously the fewer the better.

    But, of course, Occam's razor sometimes fails. When trying to make a medical diagnosis doctors usually favor the explanation where one disease accounts for all the symptoms. But a patient can have two or more rare diseases that just happen to show themselves at the same time. That's why razors are guidelines, not tests.

    Razors are really just heuristics allowing us to quickly apply scientific principles during investigation. Just like mental heuristics, they create a bias. Hitchens's razor is a bias towards evidence. Alder's razor is a bias towards falsifiability. Occam's razor is a bias towards parsimony. These are good biases to have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
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    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    That line could be considered a strawman if in a slightly different context. In my example it's being used to explain a lack of evidence. But people say something very similar when they accuse skeptics of being closed-minded cynics. They say skeptics don't want to get to the truth, that they are comfortable with the world the way it is and want it to stay that way. But, of course, that is a complete mischaracterization. Skepticism is a method of learning about the world, not looking away from it.
     
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    reddan1981

    reddan1981 Well-Known Member

    Is there an argument from narcissism?

    There should be.
     
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    New Age United

    New Age United Well-Known Member

    I hope you're not implying that heisenberg is being narcissistic reddan, quite the opposite he is taking time to explain logic in a completely respectful manner. Or are you being serious? If there were such a fallacy I think it should be argument from ego whereas that would have a much broader spectrum.
     
  19.  
    ttystikk

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    You'd be the authority. You tell us?
     
  20.  
    reddan1981

    reddan1981 Well-Known Member

    Lol no not heis. He is the model of a gentleman. And 2 people i love are named after him (or the other way around).plus he also demonstrates his names sake theory of uncertainty quite often.
    Ttystikk i dont take myself that serious, i can barely tie my own shoes..
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
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