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AllanfromWales1 t1_jd7k4wn wrote

Surely the key point is that just because an argument contains a fallacy, it doesn't follow that the conclusion reached is wrong. Once that is acknowledged, all the rest falls pretty easily into place.


Prof_ThrowAway_69 t1_jd7t06g wrote

The entire idea that false or bad logic means the conclusion reached is inaccurate is in and of itself a logical fallacy. People need to understand that. However, to say that “logical fallacies” (or pointing them out) is bad for society is also flawed. It’s an outright attack on rationality and logic.

Logic is the set of rules by which the universe operates. Discarding those rules turns the world on its head and allows for humans (or at least those with high power) to define reality. Humans by there very nature are evil (or at minimum highly self centered). Building a system that provides the potential for others to take advantage of their power by defining reality is dangerous and should be considered carefully.

A better solution to logical fallacies and the fallacies that fall into place when using them would be to better educate the people on formal logic and rationality. Just because people can’t be responsible with something doesn’t mean it should be forever removed. Education rather than revocation should be the mantra. If you teach people self control and self sufficiency it follows that you will need less centralized control and aid towards sufficiency. Society is better off when people can be independent rather than dependent. The more you increase dependency the more you increase a tyrannical persons ability to gather power.


AllanfromWales1 t1_jd83gj9 wrote

For what it's worth, my mother gave me a copy of Thouless' "Straight and Crooked Thinking" when I was around 10 to 12 years old (my memory fades on the precise date), and it has guided me these past 55 years. My position is that you can't prove a point by using fallacious arguments, but that without arguments you can't prove anything.


Prof_ThrowAway_69 t1_jd8l195 wrote

Proving something isn’t the same as something being true. I agree you can’t prove something with flawed logic. That doesn’t make the statement true or false though. That exists independently of a persons ability to prove it. The laws of nature are going to govern the world whether or not anyone can prove that they exist.

We need to be careful not to confuse proving something with whether or not something is true. I agree with the article’s point that someone can make a statement that is truthful whether or not they used proper logic to come to that conclusion. Where I differ from the article is that I don’t believe that the person is guaranteed to be right about anything else, nor would I believe that their logic is valid.


AllanfromWales1 t1_jd8lrws wrote

Quite. A flawed argument will not convince me that some proposition is true, but it also won't convince me that it is false. It just remains unproven (in this context).


gimboarretino t1_jd9bexb wrote

This is true only for empirical conclusions. "The grass is green" might be a correct statement even if I reach it with illogical argumenets.

But if don't have empirical counter-factual elements (and you don't have them in many fields) a sound logic is all you have.


AllanfromWales1 t1_jd9he9t wrote



gimboarretino t1_jd9r0yx wrote

"Slavery is ethically acceptable" or "The only true meaning of life is chasing pleasure" "The Godfather is the best movie ever"

Demonstrate that I'm wrong/right with a illogical and fallacious arguments.


AllanfromWales1 t1_jd9tqnh wrote

If you accept that starting from a false premise counts as a fallacious argument that's easy. Example:

  • The bible is the source of all valid ethics
  • The bible approves of slavery [demonstrably true]
  • Therefore slavery is ethically acceptable


  • The quality of a movie can be assessed by its reviews in the media
  • Media reviews of the Godfather were more positive than for all other films in history [almost certainly not true]
  • Therefore the Godfather is the best movie ever.

gimboarretino t1_jd9z8qx wrote

yeah, and starting from different false premises you can easily get to the opposite outcome (slavery non acceptable / Godfather not the Greatest).

How do you establish which is the best conclusion (truth or merely acceptable) if not on the basis of a rigorous check on logical reasoning?


AllanfromWales1 t1_jda59b4 wrote

Did I ever suggest to the contrary? A combination of checking the validity of the premises and the logic of the argument is the only tool we have.


EatThisShoe t1_jdavpje wrote

Those are just subjective statements. you don't even need logic or facts, at the end of the day you can feel one way and other people can feel differently, and neither will be right or wrong.


gimboarretino t1_jdbvwqy wrote

Well, those are the kind of thems around which our entire existence revolves and around which a good deal of discussion takes place.

ethics, politics, laws... and a logical evaluation is the only one you can make if you want to determine which are correct/acceptable and which are not