Theoretical of cognitive dissonance. Learning the art of critically

Theoretical perspective of logical
applications, including logical fallacies and behavioural biases. 

 

Logical
application serves as a tool for us to discern the truth from false. The
ability to identify the logical fallacies in arguments is beneficial and
increasingly rare. It equips us to focus on the premise of an argument and also
helps us in critical analysis. It serves as a medicine for our brains and keeps
us from falling into a state of cognitive dissonance. Learning the art of
critically analysing things and searching for logical fallacies provides us
with a vanguard against
those who use the art of rhetoric to achieve
their ulterior motives by manipulating us. 

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Out of
many methods the 2 methods to ascertain fallacies are the
simplest of them all. Deductive and Inductive.  

Deductive
Fallacies: 

A valid
deductive argument is the one which has a true premise as well as a true
conclusion. Any arguments which fail to fulfil these 2
stipulations are considered to have deductive fallacy. 

An example
of deductive argument: 

1) Usman
is a human being 

2) Human
beings are mortal 

3) Therefore, Usman will die. 

It’s impossible
to say that both (1) and (2) stands true but (3) is false. Hence this argument
is deductively valid. 

Any
deductive argument which fails to fulfil this requirement is fallacious. This
brings our attention
to the common day
practice, where we accept many arguments as valid even when the conclusion is
probable but not absolute. It is called Formal fallacy. 

Inductive
Fallacies: 

Inductive
arguments don’t need to be absolute. A valid Inductive argument provides
support to its conclusion, even if the premise is true and
doesn’t need to be absolutely true. In inductive argument a true premise might
have a false conclusion. An inductive
argument is the one which has a true premise but conclusion is probably true could
still be considered as valid. 

This shows
that all inductive arguments, even good ones are deductively not valid- as they
contain some kind of logical fallacy in the strict sense. 

Since all
inductive arguments are considered deductively
invalid. There is a different method to distinguish good inductive argument
from a bad one, then is used to
distinguish good deductive argument to a bad one, otherwise all inductive
arguments will automatically become invalid or bad ones. 

A better
way to describe an inductive argument is through the terms,
“weak” and “strong” 

An example
of strong inductive argument: 

1) Every
day to day the law of thermodynamics has proven to be true 

Therefore 

2) The Law
of Thermodynamics will prove to be true tomorrow
as well. 

Apart from
formal fallacies, if an argument contains
additional fallacies it would be considered as an invalid inductive argument. Its these Informal
fallacies- if distinguished properly- serves as
a guide to contemplate on right
track on various issues. 

Errors and Logic: – 

A basic
structure of an argument consists of premise, inference and conclusion.
Arguments which have weak inference, that is,
inference where premises fail to give
decent support to conclusion are called fallacious. If a
fallacy in an error in reasoning, then strictly speaking such arguments are not
considered fallacious. 

We will
look further into some examples of formal and informal
fallacies and both logical and factual errors. 

Fallacies
of relevance: 

Ad hominem
(personal attack) 

An ad
hominem argument is as argument which shows that
the position of the person presenting argument is incoherent. In other words, it’s an
argument in which the presenter of the argument himself doesn’t accept the
premise but knows that
the listener will accept the incoherence. 

The other
form of ad hominem argument
falls in genetic fallacy. Arguments of this sort doesn’t converge on the
evidence for an opinion but rather on the
character of the person presenting it. Its aim at disregarding the
position of the person holding the argument. This is where the argument commits
ad hominem fallacy. 

Example: – 

1) Richard
Dawkins argues that evolution supports the
idea that there is no intelligent designer
who created life. 

2) Richard
also claims he is an atheist 

Therefore 

3)
Evolution does support intelligent designer. 

This
argument rejects the idea of investigating evolution. It ignores the argument
and only focus on arguer. It
is therefore a fallacious ad hominem argument. 

Bandwagon
Fallacy: – 

Arguments
that try to get validation through appealing towards growing popularity commit
bandwagon fallacy. The reasoning of such arguments is by virtue of popularity
of an idea. It claims that if an idea is gaining popularity it means it is
true. They take the mere fact that if an idea is attracting its adherents, it
means it has some
reason to it. 

This falls
under the category of fallacy because an idea has many features other than
truth that could help it achieves popularity.
Other factors include peer pressure, affinity to existing culture of the
respective society, ulterior benefits or even lack of general knowledge.  

Moreover, a hike in
the graph of popularity of an idea is not a guarantee that it has to be true as
well. 

Example: – 

1)
Increasingly, people are coming in the fold of Sufism because
they believe it helps them to get in
touch with their true inner
beings. 

Therefore 

2) Sufism
helps us to get in touch with our inner being. 

Above
argument commits the bandwagon fallacy because it appeals to the mere fact that
an idea is trending upwards or gaining popularity as evidence. Hence, it’s true.  

Straw man Fallacy: – 

Straw man
fallacy falls under the category of Fallacies of ambiguity. Straw man argument
is basically misrepresentation of a position in order to
make it look weaker than it actually is, then it refutes the misrepresentation
of the position, and then it summarize that the actual position has been
refuted. This is explicitly a fallacy, because the position that has been
claimed to be refuted is different to that which has actually, been
refuted. In this case the real target of an argument is not even brought into
light. 

Example: – 

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