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Author Topic:   Numbers equal truth?
SuperNintendo Chalmers
Member (Idle past 3945 days)
Posts: 772
From: Bartlett, IL, USA
Joined: 12-27-2005


Message 16 of 23 (325946)
06-24-2006 11:58 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by crashfrog
03-27-2006 6:21 PM


good one
Needless to say, I concur with your assessment. As someone once told me "the masses are asses."

My buddy calls them the "sheeple"


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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 17 of 23 (326380)
06-26-2006 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Victor
03-10-2006 3:39 AM


I made the mistake of thinking your example was an appeal to the populas but then I read something else. It is infact, specifically, Argumentum ad numerum.

Do the number of people backing an idea make it more or less right?

It's a good question you pose. I think it doesn't make a positon more likely to be right, but it possibly could be so.

But it's the fact that the populas can be wrong, which makes the argument unsound.

The actual truth value of a specific situation isn't why the argument is fallacious. That's why I said it could "possibly be so". You see, you could argue that blacks deserve the same rights as whites, and millions would agree. In this case, you would be correct.

But it's not the numbers that allow us to deduce that it is correct.

That is, your conclusion is true but your argument is fallacious. People forget this a lot and end up commiting argumentum ad logicam.

So, the answer is that such an argument is fallacious always but that doesn't mean the argument doesn't have a true conclusion.

An example of an untrue and fallacious argument would this;

Let's say that everybody agreed with the nazi regime, would that then mean it was likely to be right because of those thousands of thousands who agreed with it?

What about racism? There might be hundreds of thousands of racists, but like the nazis, they are clearly wrong.

So that's why the argument is unacceptable/fallacious.

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.


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Phat
Member
Posts: 12254
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 18 of 23 (326385)
06-26-2006 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by SuperNintendo Chalmers
06-24-2006 11:58 PM


Re: good one
SNC writes:

My buddy calls them the "sheeple"

So the guy who marches to the beat of a different drummer can be right, if we can define what is and is not right, right? :)

truthn, pl truths \truthz, truths\ 1 : truthfulness, honesty 2 : the real state of things : fact 3 : the body of real events or facts : actuality 4 : a true or accepted statement or proposition 5 : agreement with fact or reality : correctness syn veracity, verity

Many of the sheeple merely follow each other.

Ultimately, the beat that we follow is our own decision.


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jaywill
Member (Idle past 52 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 19 of 23 (363016)
11-10-2006 1:42 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Heathen
03-27-2006 4:36 PM


Haven't you also noticed arguments to the effect that "But all the scientists believe in evolution. Therefore the numbers argue for its varacity."

I have seen plenty of appeals to the majority of scientists supporting Evolution arguing that the theory has no legitimate rivals.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19819
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 20 of 23 (363047)
11-10-2006 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by jaywill
11-10-2006 1:42 AM


Haven't you also noticed arguments to the effect that "But all the scientists believe in evolution. ...

Not from evolutionists, but I hear it all the time from creationists. It's not a matter of belief:

quote:
belief –noun
1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.
2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.
3. confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.
4. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.

Not a single reference to evidence, fact, observation or data.

The fact that {christian\religious\faithful} people tend to operate in more or less total belief mode does not mean that everyone does. This is probably hard for someone that does not rely on evidence for their {world view} to understand.

One of the tenets of reading science fiction is that during the story you engage in the suspension of disbelief: we may think the concept of light-sabers is preposterous, but we suspend that disbelief while we enjoy the story of Star Wars.

This is telling of the way the scientific approach is different from the religious: in the scientific approach there is no suspension of disbelief, the INTENT is to disprove, to take apart and inspect every facet for the evidence against it.

Belief clings to concepts accepted as truths without evidence, and often in spite of evidence to the contrary.

Science clings to the singular concept that it could be wrong and that we need to try to prove it wrong to avoid making mistakes.

No belief structure makes that kind of claim.

... Therefore the numbers argue for its varacity."

No, what argues for it's veracity is the evidence, the observations, the tests, the data, the facts.

What argues for it's veracity is that experiments can be repeated hundreds of times and get the same results.

What argues for it's veracity is that experiments can be done by Boris in Bulgaria, Chu in China, Louise in Louisiana, and Paravandi in Pakistan - each with different {world views} and beliefs - and they get the same results.

The facts and evidence can be independently reviewed from first principles, without reference to the theory of evolution, and what will rise from that review is the theory of evolution - as long as the review is NOT clouded by beliefs.

I have seen plenty of appeals to the majority of scientists supporting Evolution arguing that the theory has no legitimate rivals.

Even in your paraphrase of the argument you show that the telling element is not the number of scientists or their beliefs, but the lack of alternative theories.

It doesn't matter if we are talking 1 scientist or 3 billion: if there is no alternative theory that explains the evidence even half as well as the leading contender, then that theory is the one that is best supported by the evidence.

Enjoy.


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jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 21 of 23 (363064)
11-10-2006 12:36 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by jaywill
11-10-2006 1:42 AM


Haven't you also noticed arguments to the effect that "But all the scientists believe in evolution. Therefore the numbers argue for its varacity."

Not from anyone but Biblical Creationists trying to set up a strawman.

I have seen plenty of appeals to the majority of scientists supporting Evolution arguing that the theory has no legitimate rivals.

You know, I really doubt that. I would believe you had you said that "the majority and in fact nearly 100% of scientists agree that so far there is no legitimate rival theory."


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Greatest I am
Member (Idle past 491 days)
Posts: 1423
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 22 of 23 (381565)
01-31-2007 5:04 PM


Bell curve
If we make a bell curve of how many people can be fooled then i suspect that our curve would show that yes very many people can be fooled. I suspect a very short bell with a large flat bottom. Ugly indeed.

Regards
DL


    
joshua221 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 23 of 23 (381579)
01-31-2007 5:57 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by crashfrog
03-27-2006 6:21 PM


That is funny, I was thinking, wow he writes like Socrates, then I scrolled down and saw the 2nd post. Pretty cool.

(I know Socrates didn't write down anything.)

Edited by prophex, : No reason given.

Edited by prophex, : No reason given.


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