Author Topic: Logical Fallacy?  (Read 3284 times)

Offline Alec Furtado

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Logical Fallacy?
« on: July 08, 2011, 02:36:03 PM »
Sup guys!

I was wandering the internet and got to thinking about something I see a lot. Often times when there is a statement concerning multiple enumerated items or ideas, it seems common practice to make the assumption that the judgment being made is equal for each of the items. Let me give an example to be clear. If I say,

"In today's society, we all must make an effort to lower the rates of murder, rape, stealing, and sneezing into our hands,"

the conclusion often made is that I consider sneezing in your hands versus your sleeve to be equally as bad as murdering a person. This is a practice often done by political writers and journalists.

Is there a logical fallacy with a name for this? Should there be one? Even it it doesn't fit the bill of a logical fallacy, it is definitely faulty logic.
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Offline jaycee

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011, 03:19:26 PM »
TVTropes refers to it as "Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking."

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ArsonMurderAndJaywalking
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Offline John George 'JG'

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 07:48:20 PM »
I call it "fear-mongering". If there's not an official name for it, there definitely should be.
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 09:09:03 PM »
I call it "fear-mongering". If there's not an official name for it, there definitely should be.
??? has nothing to do with the question. My mention of the political arena was only for where I usually see it and is actually immaterial to what I asked... lol
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Offline Dan Elric

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2011, 07:28:57 AM »
A logical fallacy is a term used to describe an error in reasoning and logical processes dealing specifically with arguments.  An argument is not a sentence, but is composed of sentences.  To qualify as an argument, there must be at least one premise and one conclusion.  Without these, there is no argument.

Your quoted statement is not an argument, and thus not committing a logical fallacy.

Be careful to read what is written, and not what is indirectly implied.  Oftentimes people make assumptions in their arguments (i.e., premises that are not mentioned), which is a bad practice and often leads to confusion.

Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2011, 10:38:32 AM »
Lol whatever...

Premise: You said, "In today's society, we all must make an effort to lower the rates of murder, rape, stealing, and sneezing into our hands."
Conclusion: Because you listed sneezing into your hands along with murder, rape, and stealing, you feel that it is just as bad as these other things.


Regardless of whether you want to recognize it as a logical fallacy or not, it's completely invalid logic.
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Offline John George 'JG'

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2011, 04:21:16 PM »
Its like comparing apples to oranges.
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Offline Jacob Chess

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2011, 05:17:43 PM »
Conclusion: Because you listed sneezing into your hands along with murder, rape, and stealing, you feel that it is just as bad as these other things.


Perhaps the quote was referring to is that everyone in a society has an obligation to lower large unethical conduct (Stealing, raping, murdering) and even the little things such as not spreading colds and being hygienically sanitary.
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 06:55:10 PM »
Perhaps the quote was referring to is that everyone in a society has an obligation to lower large unethical conduct (Stealing, raping, murdering) and even the little things such as not spreading colds and being hygienically sanitary.
Lol dude... I made that quote up as a simple example. If everyone promises to keep cool, I can post an actual (more realistic?) example... but be warned, politics are involved lol.
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Offline John George 'JG'

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2011, 07:07:38 PM »
Yay, politics! DO IT!
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Offline Dan Elric

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2011, 08:41:37 PM »
Lol whatever...

Premise: You said, "In today's society, we all must make an effort to lower the rates of murder, rape, stealing, and sneezing into our hands."
Conclusion: Because you listed sneezing into your hands along with murder, rape, and stealing, you feel that it is just as bad as these other things.


Regardless of whether you want to recognize it as a logical fallacy or not, it's completely invalid logic.

Not whatever, that's how logic works.  You cannot call something a logical fallacy if it isn't using logic.  The quote is a statement, you're the one assuming it means more or it is suggesting a hidden meaning.  Either way, that's pure speculation.

It's not an argument.  There's no logic involved.

---

There is a logical fallacy called appeal to emotion, where emotions are invoked to prove a conclusion true.  Example:

Bill goes to hear a politician speak. The politician tells the crowd about the evils of the government and the need to throw out the peoople who are currently in office. After hearing the speach, Bill is full of hatred for the current politicians. Because of this, he feels good about getting rid of the old politicians and accepts that it is the right thing to do because of how he feels.

Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2011, 08:14:26 AM »
The Quote is not the alleged fallacy. It's the whole sequence of premise and conclusion.

It's not that I want to disagree with you, it's just that your response has not demonstrated to me that you understand what I'm trying to say, lol. I know that there IS an argument and there IS logic (bad logic), so clearly one or both of us don't understand what the other is trying to say.


Meh I'm gonna ignore this for a week or so and maybe come back to it... maybe I'm thinking too hard. It's kinda confused me too since I keep thinking it might just be a good example of taking something out of context, since you need the whole context around it to see why all of the items aren't necessarily being equated.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 08:40:53 AM by Alec Furtado »
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Offline Harry Smith

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 12:37:11 PM »
Ima just put my $.02 in for the naming of said fallacy if it is even is one( ill let you guys figure that out)
"Furtado's Fallacy" ?

Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2011, 01:40:58 PM »
lol I appreciate the alliteration ;)
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Offline Joe Brock

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2011, 01:49:33 PM »
I can hear it now...

DaveS: "You just have to let people train on their own to understand perfect form."
M2: "That's a 'Furtado's fallacy' there."

:)
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Offline redoctober

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2011, 03:43:24 PM »
I would say that, "In today's society, we all must make an effort to lower the rates of murder, rape, stealing, and sneezing into our hands," could be the conclusion to an argument if you assume two hidden premises: 1. Murder, rape, stealing, and sneezing into our hands are harmful to society. 2. Actions that are harmful to society should be prevented. This would make the argument a simple modus ponens.

 If A then B. A, so B.     or      If (A) Murder, rape, stealing, and sneezing into our hands are harmful to society, then (B) they should be prevented. (A) Murder, rape, stealing, and sneezing into our hands are harmful to society, (B) therefore they should be prevented.

Now, it's hard to say what logical fallacy that would fall under without some context. It could possibly be a fallacy of composition (assuming that something true of part of a whole must also be true of the whole). For example, 1. Murder and rape are capital offenses. 2. Murder and rape are actions that are harmful to society (along with stealing and sneezing into our hands). 3. Therefore, all actions that are harmful to society are capital offenses. This obviously isn't true. Are we going to give someone life imprisonment or the death penalty for stealing a video game or for sneezing into their hand? No.
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Offline Ryan Sannar

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2011, 03:57:40 PM »
Thank you Joe. That had me almost doubled over.

I vote that we start using it.
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2011, 10:50:54 PM »
[...]

[...] 3. Therefore, all actions that are harmful to society are capital offenses. This obviously isn't true. Are we going to give someone life imprisonment or the death penalty for stealing a video game or for sneezing into their hand? No.
Yea, this is almost the way I see it used. Glad someone seems to understand, haha.


[We can discuss the logic of this without actually having to talk about the actual items]
The sentence was that the term "marriage" should be kept separate from other things that are not man+woman, specifically listing "homosexuality, polygamy, polyandry, etc.". The conclusion of the criticizing article was that this person (because people think polygamy and polyandry are bad?) thought homosexuality was as bad or on the same level as polygamy (multiple wives) and polyandry (multiple husbands). My argument is that this logic is invalid since the items don't need to have any implied relationship. To make my point ridiculously clear, imagine you said "You cannot call a computer monitor a keyboard, a mouse, or a rapist." This is pretty obvious. Simply because you list a rapist along with a keyboard or mouse does not mean you think these objects might sexually violate other people. To say "a computer monitor" is not "a rapist," though ridiculous, is just as technically correct as saying "a computer monitor" is not "a keyboard."
[Again, it is possible to discuss the validity of the logic here without actually discussing the definition of marriage. Control yo'selves :P]

I'm just not sure whether it qualifies as a logical fallacy...
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Offline Dan Elric

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2011, 03:04:41 PM »
The author has much to prove still.  Even if structured as a modus ponens, there are premises to put forth to ensure that a proper conclusion is reached.  It seems as though the error is cleverly hid in all of the context.

Premise: polygamy is morally impermissible.

Argument: homosexual marriage is similar to polygamy, and therefore it is also morally impermissible.


The trouble lies in what's called a category error.  An example of this would be inspecting a baseball diamond and asking where the team spirit was.  See, homosexuality is in a different category from polygamy or monogamy, which describe the number of partners in a marriage, and homosexuality or heterosexuality describes the gender of the partners.  It turns out homosexuality isn't similar to polygamy at all, because they describe different things.

To illustrate, apply a similar argument.

Premise: triangles are morally impermissible.

Argument: orange is similar to triangles, and therefore it is also morally impermissible.

Offline Kyle Rudolph

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Re: Logical Fallacy?
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2011, 03:05:55 PM »
Dan.

Go outside.

Make friends.
Aren't we all running?

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