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Thread: Thread on Logical Argument and Common Fallacies

  1. #51
    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    Jun 2001
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    Originally posted by Sledgehammer
    like manipulation.......
    When you think impulsively and emotionally then you are very subjective to manipulation. This is why critical thinking is key in avoiding manipulation. If you actually, stop and think about what you read or hear, and then look for the tidbits of actual useful or valid information, instead of just reading someone else's conclusions, you are much more defended against manipulation.

    Like many Iraq articles that have been posted, where there is one fact, such as, "there's a ship at sea that hasn't replied to calls to identify itself." Then you are manipulated by the author, and in the end, you think it is some chemical weapons holding facility, just waiting for Saddam to push a button and end the world. Quite a leap if you don't stop and apply some of your own thought to the matter.
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  2. #52
    HomeYield WillKuenzel's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
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    LOL, hmmmm, take out the "a".

    I'm nobody. There for I'm perfect.

    I had a logical class back in college. We took paragraphs, dissected them down to arguments and basically started doing some kind of binary addition and subtraction to find the most logical statements and exclude the stray statements. LOL, ask me to do it now and I couldn't. It was interesting to see just how many people were failing a logic class. Out of a class of 25 I think, about half failed and there were only 2 A's given out. Kind of sad for a bunch of college students.
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  3. #53
    3 Time World Champion
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    Of course we can not bind ourselves to only using logic and what we preceive as truths at all times, or we may underestimate any giving situation and restrain ourselves from growing and exploring the unknown......

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Originally posted by orbital


    I have never heard of the "Whole Learning" theory. Perhaps this is because I was never an Education major. From what I understand, you explain it as something of a movement. Something of a rejection of one type of criteria for proof. Thus you consider arguments from the "emotive, logical, psychological" and other perspectives. I assume that you have made a mistake when you say proponents of this approach believe that there is "NO SUCH THING AS SUBJECTIVITY" because emotive and psychological arguments are inherently subjective arguments. Perhaps you could make this a little bit more clear for us.

    Anyways, while I think such an approach is interesting and deserves inquiry, I see nothing new in it. If we just look at recent history, the "Irrationalists" at the end of the 18th C. and early 19th C., several of the "Romantic" and "Enlightenment" thinkers all adhered to this approach in differing ways. The difference is, most weren't philosophers or epistemologists and if they were they had no significant impact on either of these fields. Within the field of philosophy itself such an approach has never gained much approval. The premier position of Logic has never been seriously challenged and for good reason I believe. For all we know, a deductive argument, is still a better argument than any emotive argument of the type "Well this is what I believe" or "I think this is the truth."

    You asked JC why this is the case. It is the case because it is a logical contradiction that an argument could have all true premises and the conclusion not be true, assuming that the premises provide support for the conclusion. It is NOT a logical contradiction for someone to say "This is what I believe," and the conclusion not be true.

    Again, I am not saying that there isn't any merit in your approach. What I am saying is that Western, Aristotelian logic has maintained a position of paramount importance within science and philosophy for well over 2000 years for good reason. Conversely, arguments based on emotion have never been granted such approval for the reasons discussed above. If you can show us that an "I believe" argument should be put on par with a deductively sound, valid, or even inductive argument then not only will you defy history but your argument for the "Whole Learning" theory will be much more forceful. Until then, I think that learning how to construct a proper logical argument should be of absolute importance in anyone's education, formal or not.


    Sorry to confuse you, I made a big typo.

    What I meant was that there is no such thing as complete objectivity. The idea is that our thoughts are influenced by the society we live in to such an extent that it is almost impossible to have an objective opinnion.

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  5. #55
    Super Mastah Mod rookiebldr's Avatar
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    We're intelligent meatheads.

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  6. #56
    Wannabebig Member medevac's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    I appreciate the general flavor of what you are saying in your original post, and I'd like to add a few things.

    Logic depends on premises, and a totally logical argument can end up wrong if based on a wrong premise. Logic is a tool of the rational mind- but it is only a tool.

    What I think you mean to debate is epistemology, or- where does one gain his knowledge. An example would be realism versus idealism (Aristotle vs. Plato). I believe that there is an independent reality seperate from us that we try to figure out as best we can using our cognition. Logic would then be a tool that the rational mind can use to interpret the reality around him. Or, as you know, since man can choose to use or not use his rational mind- he can just turn it off and float through life.

    Like you, I feel that an argument or discussion is best debated when it is rational. That being said, one can be rational and emotional at the same time. Emotions are only reflections of ones ethics manifested, rather than actual tools of cognition.

    So, if we are in a rational debate about something that I feel strongly about, then of course I am emotionally tied to that discussion. The problem is not emotions themselves.

    The problem is when people try to make emotions as tools in an of themselves- rather than reflections. Some people who are not well defined will get angry, sad, or happy about some topic due to thier lack of philosophy (or, more likely, their adoption of some improper one), and for them that is justification enough for their position. They do not understand why their opinion is not good enough for me.

    My response to them is that if you cannot find a realistic, rational explanation for why you hold that position then you cannot expect me to validate it. You can feel free to bounce around life using tea leaves, gut feelings, and psychic networks to guide you but you are not free to escape the reality that binds you.

    Try this trick...walk out into traffic blindfolded and "feel" that you will be safe because you "just know it". Then watch as the collective I.Q. of society magically goes up a few points.

  7. #57
    Trying to figure this out JohnCollins's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
    My dad had trouble with his epistomology. Since he had his prostate removed, he's been just fine. I get a PSA test every year.
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