The Fallacy Game (Name the logical fallacy)

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

  1.  
    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    The first one is very easy to give an idea of how the game is played. The point of the fallacy game is to practice spotting fallacies and to spark discussion more so than to test knowledge. If you think my answers or explanations are off the mark, feel free to speak up.

    Remember that all fallacies are non-sequitur. Non-sequitur is a generic term that simply means "does not follow." I'm looking for the most specific term. Also keep in mind that cognitive biases are different from logical fallacies, so an answer like "confirmation bias" is never going to be what I am looking for.

    Name the logical fallacy all three arguments have in common.

    1) Psychics must be real because celebrities like Paris Hilton and Regis Philbin use them often.

    2) McDonald's fries are America's favorite, so they must be the best.

    3) It's silly not to believe in God because everybody knows he is real.

    All three arguments make the same mistake. What is it?
     
    GreenLogician likes this.
  2.  
    tyler.durden

    tyler.durden Well-Known Member

    Without peeking at the list, I'd say all of these are Arguments from Authority. Paris and Regis in the first example, America in the second, and Everybody in the third. There is nothing else to support these statements beside the weak (non-sequitur) attempt to somehow link the statements' validity to the fact that an authority supports them...
     
  3.  
    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    so_close.jpg

    Missed it by that much!

    Notice the first argues not that psychics are real because celebrities say they are (endorsement), but that psychics are real because celebrities use them. It's a subtle difference for sure, but combined with the other examples it should give you the answer.
     
  4.  
    New Age United

    New Age United Well-Known Member

    Like I said I'm not keen but I'll pay attention, I don't see how this could not educate me on the fallacies.
     
  5.  
    dashcues

    dashcues Well-Known Member

    Popular opinion
     
  6.  
    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    download.jpg

    Yes! This was argument from popularity. The popularity of a belief has no bearing on its truth value. No matter how many people believe Elvis is alive, he's still dead.

    http://www.fallacyfiles.org/bandwagn.html
     
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  7.  
    New Age United

    New Age United Well-Known Member

    You have time for another one heisenberg? I already know incredulity and begging the question down pat so those would be too easy; I find those are the two that come up the most in my own thinking.
     
  8.  
    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    1) Prehistoric creatures such as Megalodon exist in today's oceans because we have only explored a tiny fraction of what's down there.

    2) We do not have any evidence of alien visitors or spacecraft, therefore aliens do not exist.

    3) Chi and other healing energies are real because science has never found a way to disprove them.

    All three arguments make the same mistake. What is it?
     
    GreenLogician likes this.
  9.  
    BM9AGS

    BM9AGS Well-Known Member

    Assumptions?
     
  10.  
    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    Yes, but plenty of scientific theories make assumptions. When those assumptions operate on bad logic, they can be thrown out. So, what are the assumptions in the examples using for support?
     
  11.  
    BM9AGS

    BM9AGS Well-Known Member

    Guess I don't understand this.
    The lack of evidence is used as evidence.
     
  12.  
    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    winner-clip-art-784528.jpg

    Yes, that is exactly correct. Rather than point to evidence for support, these arguments point to ignorance. Anytime the burden of proof is shifted, an argument from ignorance has been made.

    Let's break them down:

    1) Prehistoric creatures such as Megalodon must exist in today's oceans because we have only explored a tiny fraction of what's down there.

    This points to the fact that we don't know something as a way to prove we do know something. It ignores the possibility that we could explore every bit of ocean and still not find Megalodon.

    2) We do not have any evidence of alien visitors or spacecraft, therefore aliens do not exist.

    Just as you can not use ignorance to conclude something does exist, you can not use it to conclude something doesn't. Absence of evidence is just that; it means nothing either way.

    3) Chi and other healing energies are real because science has never found a way to disprove them.

    If we lower our standards in this way to accept Chi, we now must also accept leprechauns, gremlins, the evil eye, and everything else science hasn't disproved, including Satan.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance
     
    morgwar and Venus55 like this.
  13.  
    BM9AGS

    BM9AGS Well-Known Member

    I simply thought there was an intelligent riddle to this. There's not. Was hoping for more here
     
  14.  
    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    It's an exercise in critical thinking. Simply knowing the names of fallacies is often not sufficient in helping us spot them in real-world arguments. This game is meant to encourage people to consider the structure and context of the logic.
     
  15.  
    BM9AGS

    BM9AGS Well-Known Member

    Ok. Give me a challenge
     
  16.  
    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    Okay, this one is a little harder.

    1) John was a marathon runner. After starting to drink wheat grass juice John had the best marathon time of his life by far. The next race was not as good, but still better than usual. Soon John was finishing at his normal time again despite continuing his juice drinks. John concludes the wheat grass had an effect on his performance until his body became used to it.

    2) John had back pain, but on most days it was bearable. One particularly bad day he could take no more and drank a homeopathic remedy his neighbor offered. His pain returned to normal levels the next day, proving the treatment worked.

    3) John was married to Jane, both were exceptionally tall. Their children, although taller than average, were not nearly as tall as either parent. Based on this, John concludes Jane cheated on him and he is not the father.

    All three examples make the same mistake. What is it? Remember, if it doesn't apply to all three, it's not what I am looking for.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
    GreenLogician likes this.
  17.  
    BM9AGS

    BM9AGS Well-Known Member

    Lol the cheating part threw me off track!
    Other than the last one everything could be subjective or placebo effect. Or that he wants to believe each outcome was for a reason.

    Is say the same mistake was subjectivity

    which is difficult to prove for the last except the clue in his pragmatic statement of him concluding he's not the father as no father would rightfully believe that unless he wanted to believe it on the height basis alone.
     
    Venus55 likes this.
  18.  
    The_Herban_Legend

    The_Herban_Legend Well-Known Member

    So, if what you say is true, that would make you agnostic?
     
    Venus55 likes this.
  19.  
    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    Well, you haven't pinned down the logical error, but you are very correct in that this error contributes greatly to the placebo effect. Many people do not understand that the placebo effect is largely a collection of mistakes and statistical phenomena we cannot control for. So while you haven't named the fallacy, you've seen its implications.
     
  20.  
    Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    Yes, and I think that is a pretty easy position to arrive at in existential matters, as knowledge is a subset of belief. We either have knowledge of something or we do not. If we do not, I remain agnostic. I may or may not also withhold belief as well.
     

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