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.

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