Monday, February 29, 2016

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.

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