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Transcript of Fallacies 1
Fallacies 1Homework 2AssignmentFind one thing that is said, shown, or presented in Ancient Aliens that is misleading. I want you to describe it to me, then to explain why it is misleading. AssignmentWhat you describe to me can be misleading for any reason, not just a reason weve talked about in class. Just describe it, and tell me the reason why it is misleading. argumentsOne of our main critical thinking questions was:
Does the evidence support the conclusion?
How do we evaluate whether specific evidence supports a specific conclusion? How do we answer this question?ArgumentsThe word argument as it is used normally in English, means something like this:
An exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one: I've had an argument with my father.ArgumentsIn philosophy, we use the word argument differently. A philosophical argument:
Is not an exchange of views Doesnt need to present opposing or contrary viewsIs not typically heated or angry.ArgumentsInstead, a philosophical argument consists of two parts: the premises and the conclusion.
The premises are statements of the evidence that are given in support of the conclusion.
The conclusion is the claim that the premises are supposed to support.ExamplePremise 1: Either the butler is the murderer, or the gardener is the murderer.Premise 2: The butler is not the murderer.Therefore,Conclusion: The gardener is the murderer.RelevanceThere is no requirement that the premises of an argument have anything to do with the consequent. For example, this is an argument:
Premise: There are exactly 117 hairs on my hand.Conclusion: Its half past three oclock. fallaciesMisleading ArgumentsAn argument is misleading when the person making it:
Knowingly presents unreliable evidence; orKnowingly presents irrelevant evidence designed to trick you; orKnowingly hides relevant evidence that goes against their claim.Misleading Arguments(The person making a misleading argument doesnt always have to do bad things knowingly. Sometimes it is enough that they should have known not to do those things.)Critical ThinkingIs there any evidence to support the claim?
Is the evidence reliable and trustworthy? How reliable is it? Should you accept it?
Does the evidence actually support the claim?
Is there other evidence you should consider?
Critical ThinkingCritical thinking involves asking these questions at the right times, knowing how to answer them, and knowing how to use those answers to accept or reject a claim.
Determining If Something Is MisleadingIs there any evidence to support the claim?
No The claim is unsupported, but not misleading.
Yes Go investigate the evidence!No (Unsupported)Many of our beliefs are opinions that are not supported by any evidence.
These beliefs might be wrong and we might disagree. But as long as the person presenting them is clear that they have no evidence and are simply stating an opinion, this is not misleading anyone.No (Unsupported)Be careful! Sometimes peoples opinions are stated in a way that suggests there is evidence when there really is not.
Dr. suggests the opinion of an expert.
Author of [book on the subject] suggests the opinion of an expert.Yes, There Is Evidence PresentedIs the evidence reliable and trustworthy?
No Unreliable and untrustworthy evidence can be misleading.
Yes Keep critically thinking!No, The Evidence Is Not ReliableReasons evidence might not be reliable:
Its made up (lies).Its just an opinion.Its based on false authority.Its misinterpreted.LiesFrom Ancient Aliens:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIkbvNcl58U Lying for What You Think Is GoodWhat harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church ... a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.
Lying for ProfitIn 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield published a paper linking vaccines to a new bowel disease which caused autism.Later it was discovered that Wakefield faked the results of his experiments.He thought that if he could show a connection, he could get $43 million USD ($333 million HKD) from selling tests for the made-up disease.
Mere OpinionsAppeal to AuthorityIts OK to find out what to believe from experts in many cases. However, this is not true when:The expert is not an expert about what you want to know.Experts in general disagree about the question.The expert has a history of lying or misleading about the question.Expert #1: Dr. Algund EenboomDr. Algund Eenboom is a doctor. A doctor of dentistry. He is not a scientist or a historian.
Google Searchhttp://www-user.rhrk.uni-kl.de/~aws/seta/Eenboom.htmDr. Algund Eeenboom (Leer, Deutschland) geb. 1946 in Leer (Deutschland) studierte Zahnmedizin an der Universitat Munster und promovierte in diesem Fach an der Universitat Tubingen. Als Zahnarzt ist er seit 1979 in eigner Praxis tatig.
Google Translate: German to EnglishDr. Lagundo Eeenboom (Leer, Germany) born 1946 in Leer (Germany) studied dentistry at the University Munster and a PhD in the subject at the University Tubingen. As a dentist he is TTIG since 1979 in his own practice.
Yes, Lets Keep Thinking CriticallyDoes the evidence (supposing that its true) actually support the claim?
No Irrelevant evidence usually is misleading.
Yes Keep critically thinking! Irrelevant EvidenceThere are many ways that evidence can seem to support a conclusion, without actually doing so:
No connection with the claim.Circular reasoning.Better alternative explanations.Special circumstances.No Connection with the ClaimClustering illusion: it looked like there was a pattern there, but there wasnt.Regression fallacy: going back to normal seemed to be for a reason, when it wasnt.Base rate neglect fallacy: a reliable test said the claim was true, but since the base rate of the condition is very low, it is still unlikely that the claim is true.Circular ReasoningCircular reasoning involves trying to show that a claim is true by assuming that it is true in the premises. It has the form:
X is true. Why? Because X.
Example:It says in the Bible that God exists. Since the Bible is God's word, and God never speaks falsely, then everything in the Bible must be true. So, God must exist.ExamplePremise 1: The bible is Gods word.Premise 2: God never speaks falsely.Conclusion: Everything in the bible is true.
Premise 1: Everything in the bible is true.Premise 2: The bible says that it is Gods word.Conclusion: The bible is Gods word.ExperimentResearchers created a list of facts that about 50% of people knew. Subjects in this experiment read the list of facts and had to say which ones they knew. They then had to judge what percentage of other people would know those facts. ExampleHong Kong has twice as many skyscrapers (> 14 stories) as New York.More tourists from China come to Hong Kong than tourists from all other countries combined.Hong Kong has the highest average IQ, 107.Sarah Lee Wai Sze won a bronze medal at the London summer olympics.The Curse of KnowledgeResearchers found that the subjects responded differently about other peoples knowledge of a fact when the subjects themselves knew that fact. If the subjects did know a fact, they said that an inaccurately large percentage of others would know it, too. The researchers call this finding the curse of knowledge.Circular ReasoningThe researchers claim that this curse happensbecause subjects make more mistakes whenthey have to judge the knowledge of others.People are much better at judging what theythemselves know.Good ReasoningThe researchers claim that this curse happensbecause subjects have trouble switching theirpoint of view to consider what someone elsemight know, mistakenly projecting their ownknowledge onto others.Circular Reasoning + BrainsBrain scans indicate that this curse happensbecause of the frontal lobe brain circuitryknown to be involved in self-knowledge.Subjects make more mistakes when they haveto judge the knowledge of others. People aremuch better at judging what they themselvesknow.
Straw Man Fallacy
Straw Man FallacyThe Straw Man Fallacy (sometimes in the UK called Aunt Sally Fallacy) is when you misrepresent your opponent, and argue against the misrepresentation, rather than against your opponents claim.Example: EvolutionAccording to the theory of evolution, any two living things have a common ancestor.
You and I are related. We are family.
We are also related to monkeys, and rats, and pandas.
We are also related to bugs, and bananas, and bacteria.Example: Evolution
Our Common Ancestor
Straw Man in Ancient AliensIn the Book of Ezekiel, the prophet describes a flying chariot containing wheels within wheels and powered by angels. Although Bible historians suggest Ezekiel was speaking symbolically about the terrifying enemies facing Israel, could this be another example of an alien visitation and proof that pre-historic aircraft existed?
Ezekiels Visionit expressly says in the book that the vision is of the glory of God on his throne. I have read dozens of commentaries by bible scholars on Ezekiel and have never found one that said this was referring to the enemies of Israel. Chris White, Ancient Aliens Debunked
False DilemmaAn argument commits the false dilemma fallacy when it presents two options as the only options, even though there are actually more options.False DilemmaPremise 1: We can either raise taxes on everyone, or cut social programs.Premise 2: Raising taxes on the poor would be terrible, they cant afford it.Concl