Monday, February 29, 2016

Slothful Induction

The Slothful Induction Fallacy is described as when a significant amount of evidence has been provided to the point where the validity of an argument is obvious. However, the opposing side refuses to recognize the argument’s validity and argues the opposite despite the evidence. Often, the opposition internally recognizes the obvious truth or falsehood but refuses to admit it. The opposition usually claims that the evidence is merely coincidence and has no relation to the argument. Unfortunately, nothing much can be done to prove the opposition’s stance is wrong other than to draw attention to the strength of the assumption. ( (
The Slothful Induction Fallacy is the quintessential antithesis of the Hasty Generalization Fallacy. In short, this is when not enough evidence is given to make an inference but the inference is still made. This fallacy is used considerably more often. For more information of the Hasty Generalization Fallacy, check out this video: .
            The most common example associated with this fallacy is the situation with the accident prone man. There is a man who has had more than two vehicular accidents per month in the last six months. The man uses the slothful induction fallacy by arguing that these accidents were just coincidences and he is not to blame for them. Obviously with accident numbers that high, the man clearly has some poor driving skills but he refuses to recognize this.
            In recent events, Donald Trump used the Slothful Induction Fallacy when he refused to condemn the endorsement he received from David Duke, a former grand wizard of the KKK, despite overwhelming evidence of his involvement with the KKK. He claimed he did not know enough about David Duke to condemn the endorsement even though the interviewer informed him of this evidence of his involvement with the KKK.
            Another example of the Slothful Induction Fallacy is the following. There is a child that wanted a cookie from the fresh plate of cookies on the counter. However, there was a note on the counter next to the cookies that said “do not take” as well as a second plate upside down covering the cookies. When the child was caught taking the cookie, he argued that he thought the note was referring to the silverware in the silverware drawer below the note and the plate was to keep the cookies fresh. The evidence was clear that the child was not supposed to take a cookie but he claimed the evidence was referring to something else.

Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy, Confirmation Bias and the search for the meaning of life

The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy I believe, is the most fascinating out of the number of fallacies posted on the discussion suggestions. Mainly because of the story that came about it and why people might be committing the fallacy unknowingly. The fallacy is apparently named after a Texan used his gun to shoot the side of a barn and painted over where his bullet holes were; making him seem like he was a accurate shooter. I think this fallacy is interesting for the way it's using for reasoning. How people might use it to come up with reasons by accidentally using the fallacy.

The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy is used when someone is attempting to find patterns within various data sets to set up their own argument or belief. For example, in a class I had last year someone let the teacher know it was going to be her golden birthday tomorrow and asked if she could bring in cupcakes for everyone. While having someone in a class of 15 have a golden birthday is highly unlikely in itself, there were two other people who had consecutive birthdays after her and were also golden birthdays. I know, right? Pretty crazy. Consecutive birthdays, golden birthdays, one on the 21st, one on the 22nd and one on the 23rd.

When our teacher learned about this, she freaked out and thought it was fate that we would be in the same class. She decided to go along with the girl who was brining in muffins and decided to bring in a cake for the next lecture. Surely, this must be some work of fate, that all these people were destined to be in the same class during the semester their birthdays would fall under. What's great about this fallacy is how people try to find patterns in things that have no connection. Like they are looking for the meaning of life, where everything happens for a reason. But, what ends up happening is that people who are using this fallacy it's because they are ignoring the rest of the data.

For example, each student could be taking the class because it's the last class they need for their major, minor or concentration. How many students have birthdays in that same month in the first place? Is it a popular month? I looked at an article on that talked about the theory. The writer wrote author David Ramsey and his book You Are Not So Smart where the author using the Lincoln-Kennedy conspiracy as an example of the fallacy.

Let's look at the facts. Both presidents were killed by firearms, the killers had 15 letters in their entire name, of which contained three. Neither would make it to trail. Both of their vice-presidents had the same last name. Then there's other small coincidences like Lincoln was killed in Ford Theater and Kennedy was killed in a Lincoln car that was made by Ford. It goes on and on. Surely there must be an answer as to why there are so many similarities. There must be a reason for everything. Sure, sometimes they can be but sometimes it's just a coincidence.

Let's look at the other facts: Lincoln was shot in Washington D.C. while Kennedy was shot in Texas. One was shot in a theatre while the other in a car. Lincoln was 6'4 and Kennedy was 6'0. Two of three people with birthdays was a girl and one was a guy. But looking for patterns in a data set isn't always bad. Let's look at examples of how this could or couldn't work. First, You go outside and see leaves that have fallen out of the tree and they've sort of formed a pattern that looks to be a Z. Second, you notice that 18th and O has had 4 car accidents in the last two weeks.

Which data set would be used to support a theory or argument? Obviously, the leaves, while interesting holds no value. It could be the wind, it could be the size of the leaves. There are a lot of variables. But 4 car accidents on one street? In the city of Lincoln where nothing ever really happens? This could be used in an argument as long as the facts back it up. Maybe there is a giant pothole where each car drove into. Maybe there's something else wrong with the street or street light. So all in all while it's easy to look at the similar patterns but it's also as easy to look at the dissimilar patterns.

The Fallacy of Rugged Individualism

Rugged individualism is the belief that the government should not interfere with its citizens lives, and not provide any help because the individuals will figure things out on their own. It is an idea and a term that president Herbert Hoover and his administration used very often. 
This belief is very flawed and not healthy for our societies, communities, and even us individually. Rugged by definition means rough, harsh, full of hardship and trouble etc. Individualism by definition means the pursuit of the individual rather then common or collective interest. Humans are meant to live in groups because we not only survive but we also build a happy life when we work in groups. We are co-dependent to one another. By our selves we would only be surviving and not only living. 
Another reason why I think Hoover's logic is flawed is the fact that the U.S government gets it's power by the people as well as it's money from our taxes and other finds. We give consent to chosen and trusted individuals to work with other trusted and chosen individuals to make decisions for us and to make sure that we are protected and moving forward in a positive direction. We also have agreed to pay income taxes, buying taxes, property taxes, and other taxes in order for the government to build, maintain, and better our lifestyles. So every four years we are voting to be represented, and everyday we are paying to be taken cared of in a way.
Hoovers campaign slogan were "We are turning the corner" and "A chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage" both of those slogans speak of helping each other and the situation of the country as a whole, but once he was elected he used the rugged individuality idea which has nothing to do with the country as a whole or people working together.

Three Politicians Make a Tiger

Since Donald Trump began his candidacy for the Republican nomination, rumors have flown about his history as a Republican. One image in particular (shown below) gained extreme popularity on the internet - popularity which did not decrease even a little when the information was shown to be false. 
This image spread like wildfire across social media. It would seem that no matter how many times it was proven to be untrue, the more times it was reposted more people evidently believed that it was true. A similar phenomenon can be seen with another candidate.
Bizarre as it may seem, there are some people who genuinely believe that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer. Politics have shown time and time again that if you can get enough people to loudly repeat a lie, the general public tends to believe that lie. More examples include the weapons of mass destruction George W. Bush was determined to find, the "Lady Gaga is a hermaphrodite" scandal, and Obama's Muslim Kenyan origins. These are incidents that showcase the "Three Men Make a Tiger" fallacy. The idea comes from an ancient Chinese proverb in which the King says he would not believe there was a tiger in the city if one or two people said there was, but if three people claimed to have seen it, then he would believe them. At first, it seems reasonable. The more people claim to have seen a tiger, the more likely it is that there was in fact a tiger. The larger the number of people who are telling the same story, the less likely that the story is false. However, this is not a safe rule to use. This is not always valid. In fact, especially when the stakes are higher, the likelihood that a vast lie or conspiracy could be constructed is much higher. This is one of the most prevalent fallacies in politics.   It is closely related to the "Argentum Ad Populum" fallacy, which means that if many believe it, it must be true, and it is very useful in politics. As the number of people who repeat a lie increases, so does the number of people who believe the lie. This was useful for Ronald Reagan during the Iran-Contra Deal, for Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, and for Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare. While at times, it can result in hilarity such as in the photos above, it can also be very dangerous. For example, it is advantageous for politicians today to spread the idea that all Muslims are evil and violent. More and more people are repeating this lie every day, and it is leading to very dire consequences. People are being attacked and sometimes killed simply for looking like Muslims due to the fear mongering that is going on today. It is important to note that rhetoric is responsible for this. I've heard too many times during this political race that what the candidates say doesn't really matter because they're only trying to get votes. But when rhetoric turns to demagoguery and incites violence, it has become a serious problem.

Appeal to Rugged Individualism

The appeal to rugged individualism is simply taking the position of the unpopular. Where as the appeal to popularity, aka, bandwagon is siding with the majority's say in one argument, rugged individualism is the siding with the unpopular majority. The people who are most susceptible to this fallacy are those who are typically prideful in what thy do and how they do it. An example of this fallacy is: "be original, drink Dr. Pepper." This is the official slogan of Dr. Pepper in the 1950's. This appeals to the audience by attempting to create a sense of ingenious way of thinking, almost trailblazing in a way. The slogan hopes to invoke the audience's sense of originality and willingness to try new things, just by drinking a new brand of soda. According to this source, the fallacy plays upon the psychological aspect of rhetoric. It uses the "desire to be above the crowd, better than others, a leader rather than a follower." It is also argued that since using the appeal makes it seem that one has thought about the subject so much that they have made a well, thought-out decision. This is because the decision can be so obscure from the mainstream idea. This makes the author seem as though they have thought it through so much, even if they have not.

Probably the most memorable example of the appeal to rugged individualism is in John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech in 1961. "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." This is the epitome of using the appeal to change the reader's opinion on a subject and have them go against the mainstream. By asking the nation to change their outlook on their country, the newly inaugurated JFK causes the audience to rethink their existing viewpoint. This fallacy is a great example of a "call to action" as well. This fallacy is asking the reader to stand alone, but opinionated.

Sanders' Five Canons

Bernie Sanders, a people's man they say. He has single handedly taken the political field by storm with his over whelming support from the working class. Bernie has used the five rhetoric canons to help make him rise to success. I will use this blog to show just how effective the five rhetoric canons can be through the example of Bernie's political run so far.

            Invention: Bernie Sanders noticed the many issues that our government has with the future of our generation. One of the main issues is in regard to the cost of college education in America. Bernie has spent much of his time focused on this issue, because several people in America are severely in debt due to student loans. I believe this was a good tactic for Bernie to have, because many people disagree with how much students pay for their education. Another issue that Bernie has focused on, is increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. I agree with Bernie on this issue, because of the fact that no one working 40 hours a week should ever be in poverty. These are just two examples of what Bernie has decided he wants to focus his campaign on. So simply put, Bernie has seen the issues with Americas future for their youth and has given a plan to fix them. Now it's time for him to arrange his campaign.

Arrangement: As a political candidate, Bernie needs the support of the American people. The most efficient way to gain this support is to arrange an emotional campaign. What speaks to the American public is showing examples of what is going on. So in turn, Bernie will have college students standing around him while giving a speech with the total of their debt written on a piece of paper on their chest. This simple arrangement shows what college students feel like. We feel like a number. Every single day the constant looming college debt is hanging over us. To us we feel like a failure, because we weren't fortunate enough to afford college. Bernie's arrangement of how he will deliver to the American people has a great impact to the people who follow him and believe in what he says.

            Style: This part of the five cannons is simple. Much like what I stated previously, Bernie is riding on the emotional impact he is leaving on American citizens. His style is so perfect it quickly explains why his rise of popularity among the people has been so quick recently. Bernie has been able to establish an emotional connection with American people, and they are respecting him because of it. Since arrangement and style complement each other so well, I will just move on to the memory part of the five canons.

            Memory: Bernie's campaign, regardless of results, will leave a huge impact on the history of our government. Bernie is the person who is completely different to the political figures that we have had recently. Bernie has shown he is for the people and no other candidate in this race for election has proven themselves to do so. Many people would agree that Bernie is the first candidate since Roosevelt that has cared for what is best for the people. Bernie is creating a political run that will outlast his time, because of the movement it is making. Today's youth will stand tall and proud in years to come knowing that there is at least one political figure who cares about them.

            Deliver: The campaign of Bernie Sanders has been highly effective so far. The inclusion of the working class into his campaign was the best thing he could have done. Like I said, regardless of outcome, Bernie has created a social movement to make our government be for us not against us. Another reason to why Bernie's campaign has had so much of a success is because of who he is running against. Hilary Clinton has gotten the reputation of being the paid off candidate. She is funded by big banks and huge insurance companies. Which helps makes Bernies appearance seem wholesome compared to Hilarys track record. So even if Bernie does not make it to the White House, at least this political season will be full of excitement and wonder as to who will be the next President.

Three Men Make A Tiger Fallacy

The three men make a tiger fallacy derived a long time ago in China. China used to be split up into territories and the territories had separate Kings that would often war with each other to gain more power or resources. The only trustworthy ally was if the Kings made a treaty and then sent their son (a prince) to the other King for leverage. This way, if one King crossed the other, the other would have the opportunity to kill the sin, therefore, no King would want to break the treaty. 
One day a trusted official of King Wei, Pang Cong, was sent to another territory in China. Pang Cong was very hesitant to leave his own territory because he was afraid many people would slander behind his back when he was away. At this time, China was very bad about gossip. To try and prevent this from happening, Pang Cong spoke to the King before he left. 
"Your majesty, if one man were to come to you and tell you there was a tiger in the market, would you believe him?" The King scoffed and assured him he would not believe such nonsense. So Pang Cong spoke again, "If a second man were to come to you and tell you there was a tiger in the market, would you believe him?" The King took a second longer to think about this, but he still offered his answer as no, he would not believe him. So Pang Cong took it a little bit further, he asked, "But your majesty, if three people were to come to you and tell you there was a tiger in the market, would you believe them now?" Here, the King finally changed his mind and agreed, yes he would believe them. 
After sharing this story to the King, he elaborated how it came into play within their own relationship. He told him how people would slander behind his back, but just because there may be a lot of them, does not mean it is actually true. The King agreed with him and so Pang Cong left. Unfortunately, Pang Cong was right and when he came back, enough people had gossiped about him to sway the King's mind. The King would no longer see or talk to Pang Cong, even though he had warned him that this was going to happen.
The moral of the story is that when enough people come together and share one rumor, the others eventually adopt this rumor and take it in as the truth

Resources for an explanation for this article can be found at both of these URLs:

I believe the main flaw in this reasoning is conformity. Pang Cong was correct that if enough people spread the same rumor, others begin to follow in pursuit. Today's world is very self-centered and it is a type of dog-eat-dog world. I have met too many people to this day that are willing to throw anyone else under the bus to make themselves look better or to succeed in any other way. Gossip is a dangerous game that reels in not just teenagers, but college students and adults as well. Humans feel the need to be accepted and wanted, when they catch someone's attention, they bask in the adornment. Therefore, if they notice that what they are saying sparks someone's interest, they will continue to say it to keep their attention. Gossip does this to people and so it is easily spread. Since people like being part of a group, they conform to social norms and generally do not disagree to the norm, in fear of being shunned to the outside. This is a gossip culture that, unfortunately, sheds some truth to the Three Men Make a Tiger Fallacy
A prevalent flaw in this reasoning is the flaw of being unskilled and unaware. Those who choose to accept rumors and continue to spread them, are obviously unaware of the actual truth. Most people are too lazy to research and find out the actual truth, but some enjoy the more thrilling story over the truth anyway. Being unknowledgeable  in what your speaking about is one of the biggest mistakes a communicator can make because it can make them unreputable and unethical. Another flaw would be subjective validation. The gossiper could very well only be going off of their perspective, which may be bias and may not have the entire truth. This causes the actual truth to become distorted and interpreted in ways that does not portray an entire truth. Along with this, it could be a flaw in the use of language and misusing meaning. Again, the interpretation may be used differently, or if the terms are framed in a different light, they may be negative when they were originally positive. 

There are many different types of logical flaws in reasonings and here is a URL that covers these flaws more in depth:

A more Comm 250 related flaw in argument can be found at This pdf has many different flaws in argument and the one that compares most to this fallacy would be the Bandwagon. It states, "Appealing to popularity or the fact that many people do something as an attempted form of validation." It uses an excellent example along with it as well about the Earth. If conforming to rumors and popular belief made the story true, the Earth would have made itself flat for the many centuries that popular belief said that it was flat.

The Broken Window Fallacy

In 1850, a French economist by the name of Frédéric Bastiat formally uncovered a fallacy in his paper, “That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen”. This essay uncovered how the process of recovering from destruction does not advance an economy by creating a greater opportunity to pour money into an economy.

The name, “Broken Window Fallacy” comes from a pure example of a person breaking a window. The window in question has to be repaired, and the cost is $200 dollars. But alas, the community believes that this cost of reconstruction is, overall, stimulates the economy. The money put forth for the glass to get repaired would be allocated to several other forms of service down the line. This in turn would kick start the local economy and allow for money to flow in and around businesses.

The essay uncovers how the possibility of this positive outcome in a destructive circumstance can only be met with a realistic perspective of how economics work, and how the fallacy is blatantly present.

In saying this, the fallacy is beneficial, just not as directly effective to economy. This example shows that one can feed currency to a local economy can stimulate it as well as quickly distribute money. However, there are flaws that include the fact that money has the sole purpose of being allocated through its current economy. The circulation of $200 dollars in the example would have entered the economy one way or another. Also, the startup of a local economy can only occur if it is at a standstill, which is virtually impossible.

technology can help people to close/away their groups

Jiaxia Deng 

Technology can help people to close/away their groups
There many things that we should care about in this developed society. People using their mobile phone every time, and they even keep away from their friends. Last time, I remember I watch a YouTube video, it presented about a man that he always using his phone when he takes subway, eats with friends or family, and he love chatting with people on the phone. He was keep away from the group people in reality. His girlfriend wanted to leave him. At the beginning, he did not realize what happened with his girlfriend and his friends. Until on day, he realized that he do not have one friend, and he was afraid of taking in front of people, it was too late to know about everything. In the part two of this video, it was talking about the man how to change his life. He planed his schedule. Joining some organizations is a good way to enrich his life. He became a volunteer to help children. He joined some sports team to keep healthy body. He found that there are many things interesting. The biggest problem is that he afraid of talking with people, he was lack of communication skills. He began to talk with people in public areas, for example, team party.
Communication is very important between people.
Mobile phone is a good technology, but we need to use it in right way. It can help people to close each other, but it also can help people becoming unfamiliar, and even people will stay away from their groups.
Media communication helps people to know more about technology to pass information between people’s life. For example, advertisements are everywhere that is a way to show information to people.
Thus, people need to use right ways to solve their communication problems, and they should use correct ways to use technologies.

Slothful Induction Fallacy

There are essentially three basic techniques to gather information: deductive, retrodutive, and inductive reasoning.  The slothful induction fallacy has everything to do with inductive reasoning and being bad at it.  Inductive reasoning is, in my mind, looking internally at what you have in front of you and making a decision.  It is taking the information and then trying to figure out the causes. Slothful induction is a  logical fallacy which is an error in the actual logic of the argument which can still win over the mind’s of people but is not actually valid.  In an argument, one individual demands a extremely high amount of evidence before they will come to a conclusion.  Often, this stubborn attitude can greatly influence the quality of the discussion because the conversation can not move smoothly towards a conclusion.
When I think of this fallacy, I think of Adrian Monk from the TV show Monk.  Adrian Monk is a detective with obsessive compulsive disorder who goes over and beyond to find the truth about the crime committed.  The reason I think of this is because of the term, “pseudoskepticism” which is a term often used in reference to this fallacy and is describing individuals who are skeptical of a subject but also cannot be convinced by any sort of evidence.  Likely, pseudoskeptics would fall into the trap of using the slothful induction fallacy.  Now, I’m on a Monk rabbit hole on Youtube.  Thanks Damian. 
The form is fairly straightforward: there is strong evidence that X results in Y but then someone thinks that Y was the result of something entirely different.  A great example I found of this fallacy is  that of anti-evolutionists because they often inquire about facts that prove evolution to be true, and then believe that they’ve succeeded when there is no proof.  But, scientists can prove a lot of evolution to be true and using inductive reasoning one can probably determine that evolution is real.

One of the main reasons this is flawed in reasoning is that if something is true it is going to be true.  When looking at a situation with overwhelming evidence towards on outcome, that outcome is likely going to be true no matter how much arguing takes place.  The key is to reference the strength of the evidence one has against the fallacy and hope that the truth wins out.