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comment by Devac
Devac  ·  1891 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What is important to remember about in philosophical discussions?

To keep myself from adding more and more edits, I'll give some 'special mentions' in form of comments. As this is an extension of the post, the rules stated above apply here as well.

Proper use of logic

This is going to be extended upon below in various fallacies sections, but I feel that it should be stated separately regardless. When conducting a reasoning, it should be direct and without 'cheating'. For example, let's say that I'll set the following logical sentences:

  p - "I am the richest man in the universe"

q - true

can be easily made into a tautology (logical sentence/formula that is always true):

  p OR q <=> p OR true <=> true

does not mean that I'm actually the richest man in the universe. Sadly.

Redundancy

Once working within set paradigm, it is important to remember about your axioms and their purpose. For example, if I were to construct a following set of axioms:

1. "To draw a straight line from any point to any point."

2. "To produce [extend] a finite straight line continuously in a straight line."

3. "To describe a circle with any centre and distance [radius]."

4. "That all right angles are equal to one another."

5. The parallel postulate: "That, if a straight line falling on two straight lines make the interior angles on the same side less than two right angles, the two straight lines, if produced indefinitely, meet on that side on which are the angles less than the two right angles."

(these five were taken from Wikipedia article on Euclidean geometry, link in main post)

6. "God exists." (that's my straw-man addition to present a point)

and then conduct all possible operations and combinations using only first five, de facto doing what Euclid's Elements tried to show, and construct this perfect and applicable to our world geometry but don't use Euclid-Devac's 6th Axiom it does not mean that we have shown existence of God. It simply means that for our reasoning it is a redundant one, without saying actually anything either pro or against God's existence.

One of the examples of it is the Occams Razor.

Michał Heller (a Catholic priest, philosopher and a doctor of cosmology no less!) wrote quite a few books criticising such attempts and iirc his book Creative Tension perfectly shows his annoyance at presenting such proofs at one point. Seriously, if you will get an opportunity, give one of his books a try. Even if not for any other reason than to see a priest de facto bitch-slapping majority of low-effort attempts that come from religious people, similar to one I have presented here.

Logical fallacies for presenting arguments or refuting counterarguments

Maybe a lot of you didn't experience (or managed to forgot it, despite experience being an infuriating one. Although how you have managed that is beyond me) people dismissing your arguments with a counter like "What can you know, you are just a kid!" or "View like yours could result only from inexperience, so allow me to…". You see this? It was a logical fallacy that instead of refuting topic in question proceeded to attack the opponent but not his/her words. It's dirty, and you should be ashamed for deploying it in place of counterargument. "Because I'm older, therefore I'm right" is not an answer, it's a display of poor reasoning capabilities and personal culture.

Now to go down from my high horse for this one, however believe me that as someone who was always at least 2 years younger than his peers this made me detest quite a few 'older and therefore wiser' people with whom I had a displeasure to talk with.

Here are some most common examples (and here is a full list)

- Mentioned "attack the opponent not his words"

- Calling something an 'absurd' without explaining why

- Beginning from a thing we want to prove and use it to prove its correctness (also known as "circular reasoning" and shown by GB_Cobber in the discussion that I have linked above)



Bypel  ·  1889 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    - Beginning from a thing we want to prove and use it to prove its correctness (also known as "circular reasoning" and shown by GB_Cobber in the discussion that I have linked above)

Think about it. This is actually better than foundational reasoning ('->' = 'backs up'):

In foundational reasoning: A -> B -> C

In circular reasoning: A -> B -> C AND C -> A

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Devac  ·  1889 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Perhaps I wrote it in a manner that was less precise than I though it is. I'll use Wikipedia example:

  Wellington is in New Zealand.

Therefore, Wellington is in New Zealand.

since it's probably the easiest way of putting it into words.

In the examples you gave, and correct me if I'm wrong here, I'll use the following formal forms:

p => (q => r) - Here is a truth table

(p => q) => r - Truth table

(p => (q => r)) ^ (r => p) - Truth table

((p => q) => r) ^ (r => p) - Truth table

On the side note, excuse me to paraphrase Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation (at least I think that he said it) "Picking one fallacy over another as 'a better one' is like asking 'what type of brain cancer do you like the most'" ;D. Seriously though, if I got your post incorrectly please tell me. And, if in doubt, I'm not making fun of you.

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Bypel  ·  1886 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    In the examples you gave, and correct me if I'm wrong here, I'll use the following formal forms:

Sorry, I meant:

In foundational reasoning: (A -> B) AND (B -> C)

In circular reasoning: (A -> B) AND (B -> C) AND (C -> A)

(for example)

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Devac  ·  1885 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, that's indeed different. Thanks for correction.

I've spent some time thinking about it and I have to say that I would rather put circular reasoning as:

p -> p

as the simplest possible case. Yours also works, but permits whole case to actually be false. I'm trying to make some good example based on what you wrote to have it a bit clearer, just as an exercise. If you happen to have an example as some form of 'word problem' I would like to see it. Before you'll ask: yes, it pains me to admit it but I can be that shitty with English ;/. My recent preparatory IELTS exam made me realised how many moronic mistakes I can make, so that's partially a help request if you happen to have the will and time to do it.

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Bypel  ·  1886 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    [As] [a] side note, excuse me to paraphrase Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation (at least I think that he said it) "Picking one fallacy over another as 'a better one' is like asking 'what type of brain cancer do you like the most'" ;D. Seriously though, if I got your post incorrectly please tell me. And, if in doubt, I'm not making fun of you.

Thou and Yahtzee appear to be thinking too much in binary. Surely there are degrees to which brain cancer and fallacies can affect one badly?

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Devac  ·  1885 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks for corrections in quote! Much obliged :).

As of thinking in binary, maybe a bit but it rarely hurts me. In this case, perhaps it could seem like I'm trying to be unnecessarily thick but it is pretty close to my stance. I know that not everything is binary, however I don't really 'feel' one fallacy as better or worse than the other. Some are a bit harder or annoying to deal with, and if that's the case I would agree with you completely.

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