An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
An entertaining look at some typical logical fallacies and mistakes in reasoning:

https://bookofbadarguments.com/?view=flipbook



Example:
 
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Josh Heuer

Active Member
"Moreover, and as several others have put it, one must ask what is more likely and what is less likely based on evidence from past observations. Is it more likely that an object flying through space is a man-made artifact or a natural phenomenon, or is it more likely that it is aliens visiting from another planet? Since we have frequently observed the former and never the latter, it is therefore more reasonable to conclude that UFOs are unlikely to be aliens visiting from outer space."

The problem I have with the logic of what's more likely is that what's more likely isn't always what actually happens or is true. We can easily see this when we imagine things that have happened that were against the odds or considered incredibly unlikely. The fact is, if you're in a position where you're examining evidence, and you have to ask 'what is more likely' then you're judging the situation without the proper facts to come to the actual conclusion. You're just guessing. This is something that comes up a lot in conspiracy related debates, since facts aren't always there. someone who believes the official story will just say 'which is more likely' and use that as some sort of argument against someone. Problem is, neither side of the coin clearly has enough facts to come to the actual conclusion.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
It is not the wondering whether it is so that is "the problem" - it is the firm unassailable conclusions that you see every day that it is aliens, chemtrails, illuminati, NWO, reptiles, whatever....
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
It is not the wondering whether it is so that is "the problem" - it is the firm unassailable conclusions that you see every day that it is aliens, chemtrails, illuminati, NWO, reptiles, whatever....
You're saying that logic only applies when it's Ct related?
What about conclusions that are presented in official stories?

The point I'm making is,if you are using the logic 'what seems more reasonable' then you obviously can't come to a conclusion that isn't just speculation.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
I'm not limiting using logic to anything - however "official stories" do tend to have a great deal more in the way of supporting evidence than CT's, therefore it is far more common for CT's to base a
solid proven" conclusion on nothing at all.

And no, you are not making that point.

the point you are making is that you do not want CT's to be evaluated against any sort of sane logic, because when they are they invariably fail - what you are arguing for is special pleading on the part of CT's - that they should not be held to the same standard as everything else. It is a common complaint by believers.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
You're saying that logic only applies when it's Ct related?
What about conclusions that are presented in official stories?

The point I'm making is,if you are using the logic 'what seems more reasonable' then you obviously can't come to a conclusion that isn't just speculation.

All science is probabilistic. We can only give degrees of certainty to things.

So you have to weigh the evidence. What is the evidence for the theory, and what is the evidence against it. What are the other theories, and what is the evidence for and against those theories.

Take the WTC7 controlled demolition theory. You can't prove it was not a controlled demolition. But you can demonstrate that controlled demolition does not have very strong evidence to support it, whereas fire induced progressive collapse has stronger evidence.

Then you stop.

You don't say "so it must have been fire induces progressive collapse". You just say what the evidence is, and what seems most likely based on the evidence.

That's science. Not absolute certainty, but degrees of certainty.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
You're saying that logic only applies when it's Ct related?
What about conclusions that are presented in official stories?

The point I'm making is,if you are using the logic 'what seems more reasonable' then you obviously can't come to a conclusion that isn't just speculation.

I didn't come to debunking through conspiracy theories. I came to through because of inaccuracies I saw in the reporting of the Macondo well blow out in the Gulf. I was concerned about it's impact, because I remember the damage done by the Ixtoc blow out of '79 and this one was closer and larger. There was a piece done on it by Earth and Sky on NPR. They asked a marine biologist why the relief wells were being dug and she guessed at an answer, I knew was wrong. I went looking for more science and less hype. That was when I first encountered the concept of chem trails and massive conspiracies. I backed out in debunking by debunking a lot of lies about the Gulf.
 

JeffreyNotGeoffrey

Active Member
Further there is the high probability that regular men made the pyramids through some ingenious use of science and technology versus the very remote chance distant aliens flew here (presumably traveling at or near FTL speeds). From there that these visitors built the pyramids with lasers and anti grav tech and then left erasing or taking all evidence with them. One theory has logic and proof while the other is just supposition layered onto bunk.
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
I'm not limiting using logic to anything - however "official stories" do tend to have a great deal more in the way of supporting evidence than CT's, therefore it is far more common for CT's to base a
solid proven" conclusion on nothing at all.

And no, you are not making that point.

the point you are making is that you do not want CT's to be evaluated against any sort of sane logic, because when they are they invariably fail - what you are arguing for is special pleading on the part of CT's - that they should not be held to the same standard as everything else. It is a common complaint by believers.

No,no,no. The point I am making is that if there isn't evidence that's 100% conclusive, then what's the point? It's speculation. Not necessarily on the story as a hole, but on minor details that help paint the bigger picture. Granted, most conspiracy theories subscribe to stories that lack any credible evidence whatsoever, and i personally don't buy them, but what I'm trying to say is if you're going for FACT, you can't speculate in any way.

What's more reasonable isn't always what actually happened. If you think that's true, you're kidding yourself. That means you will NEVER get a royal flush, because it just is not likely to happen.

I understand that you're simply using that thought process to eliminate things that have no supporting evidence, but again I say think about it. If you don't have the supporting evidence on either side, then it doesn't matter which is more likely, the answer is speculation.
You can't prove something without proof.


Also...
"I'm not limiting using logic to anything - however "official stories" do tend to have a great deal more in the way of supporting evidence than CT's, therefore it is far more common for CT's to base a
solid proven" conclusion on nothing at all."

Think about what you're saying. You're basically telling me that your opinion is biased towards the official story because more times than not it has supporting evidence.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
No,no,no. The point I am making is that if there isn't evidence that's 100% conclusive, then what's the point? It's speculation. Not necessarily on the story as a hole, but on minor details that help paint the bigger picture. Granted, most conspiracy theories subscribe to stories that lack any credible evidence whatsoever, and i personally don't buy them, but what I'm trying to say is if you're going for FACT, you can't speculate in any way.

What's more reasonable isn't always what actually happened. If you think that's true, you're kidding yourself. That means you will NEVER get a royal flush, because it just is not likely to happen.

I understand that you're simply using that thought process to eliminate things that have no supporting evidence, but again I say think about it. If you don't have the supporting evidence on either side, then it doesn't matter which is more likely, the answer is speculation.
You can't prove something without proof.

I think maybe you missed reading my post above, so I'll quote it again here, and bold a bit.

All science is probabilistic. We can only give degrees of certainty to things.

So you have to weigh the evidence. What is the evidence for the theory, and what is the evidence against it. What are the other theories, and what is the evidence for and against those theories.

Take the WTC7 controlled demolition theory. You can't prove it was not a controlled demolition. But you can demonstrate that controlled demolition does not have very strong evidence to support it, whereas fire induced progressive collapse has stronger evidence.

Then you stop.

You don't say "so it must have been fire induces progressive collapse". You just say what the evidence is, and what seems most likely based on the evidence.

That's science. Not absolute certainty, but degrees of certainty.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
No,no,no. The point I am making is that if there isn't evidence that's 100% conclusive, then what's the point? It's speculation.

OK - taking this just for a moment - no it is not speculation.

Speculation is to make a conclusion without firm evidence - eg:

"Firm" requires a preponderance of evidence - not absolute proof.


Also...
"I'm not limiting using logic to anything - however "official stories" do tend to have a great deal more in the way of supporting evidence than CT's, therefore it is far more common for CT's to base a
solid proven" conclusion on nothing at all."

Think about what you're saying. You're basically telling me that your opinion is biased towards the official story because more times than not it has supporting evidence.

Yes indeed I am biased in favour of good supporting evidence.

Perhaps you should ask yourself why you think that is a bad thing.
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
OK - taking this just for a moment - no it is not speculation.

Speculation is to make a conclusion without firm evidence - eg:

"Firm" requires a preponderance of evidence - not absolute proof.




Yes indeed I am biased in favour of good supporting evidence.

Perhaps you should ask yourself why you think that is a bad thing.

That's precisely where you're biased...
You are making the claim that the official story on any case is considered 'good supporting evidence'.
Mostly when debunking these news reports, it's NOT about the physics or science in general. There are cases like wtc7 where you can look at the evidence and use physics and say, 'yes, this can happen therefore it's more likely to have happened' and dispel conspiracy theories about things like controlled demolitions (assuming they have no credible evidence, which in this case there appears none).
But mostly it's just stories,reports, eyewitness accounts. These things you can't really say 'what's more likely' because it's just speculation. I'm not saying that means lean toward conspiracy, I'm saying most issues cannot even be touched on without just being guesswork.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
You are making the claim that the official story on any case is considered 'good supporting evidence'.

Nobody claimed that. Mike said he was in favor of "good supporting evidence". It does not matter where it came from. He also said "however "official stories" do tend to have a great deal more in the way of supporting evidence than CT's" - that's just an observation. It is not saying the evidence was better because it was official.

My observation here is that people who believe in conspiracy theories tend to automatically believe the opposite of the official story, without really examining the evidence.

Just look at the evidence, not who is presenting it.
 

Joe Newman

Active Member
My observation here is that people who believe in conspiracy theories tend to automatically believe the opposite of the official story, without really examining the evidence.

Just look at the evidence, not who is presenting it.

It goes both ways. The official story, whatever the issue, always morphs along the way. Some folks see it as ironing out the details as they arise, others see it as obvious deception.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It goes both ways. The official story, whatever the issue, always morphs along the way. Some folks see it as ironing out the details as they arise, others see it as obvious deception.

Maybe you'd like to start a thread on that topic, like "why do official stories keep changing", or somesuch.
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
Nobody claimed that. Mike said he was in favor of "good supporting evidence". It does not matter where it came from. He also said "however "official stories" do tend to have a great deal more in the way of supporting evidence than CT's" - that's just an observation. It is not saying the evidence was better because it was official.

My observation here is that people who believe in conspiracy theories tend to automatically believe the opposite of the official story, without really examining the evidence.

Just look at the evidence, not who is presenting it.

We were talking about official stories. He went on to use his argument that, in his words,

""I'm not limiting using logic to anything - however "official stories" do tend to have a great deal more in the way of supporting evidence than CT's, therefore it is far more common for CT's to base a
solid proven" conclusion on nothing at all.


So he's arguing that official stories tend to have more supporting evidence. When I replied I said he was biased towards the official story to which he replied, again quoted in his own words,

"Yes indeed I am biased in favour of good supporting evidence.

Perhaps you should ask yourself why you think that is a bad thing."


So he basically took the term official story and declared it was that which has good supporting evidence, which again is just simply biased.

It's like the opposite of conspiracy theory; you just accept everything that's some sort of official story by a 'trusted source' I guess you would call it.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
We were talking about official stories. He went on to use his argument that, in his words,

""I'm not limiting using logic to anything - however "official stories" do tend to have a great deal more in the way of supporting evidence than CT's, therefore it is far more common for CT's to base a
solid proven" conclusion on nothing at all.


So he's arguing that official stories tend to have more supporting evidence. When I replied I said he was biased towards the official story to which he replied, again quoted in his own words,

"Yes indeed I am biased in favour of good supporting evidence.

Perhaps you should ask yourself why you think that is a bad thing."


So he basically took the term official story and declared it was that which has good supporting evidence, which again is just simply biased.

It's like the opposite of conspiracy theory; you just accept everything that's some sort of official story by a 'trusted source' I guess you would call it.

No, he was just observing that in his experience the official stories tended to have more supporting evidence than conspiracy theories.

If is not because they are official, nor does it define them as being official. It was just an observation.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
That's precisely where you're biased...
You are making the claim that the official story on any case is considered 'good supporting evidence'.

You've managed to completely change my meaning there.

I did not say that.

I said that "the official story" has good supporting evidence more often than the alternatives.

If you do not know the difference between that and what you just wrote then you have no place in polite society.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
That's precisely where you're biased...
You are making the claim that the official story on any case is considered 'good supporting evidence'.
...
He clearly said no such thing.
The 'official'* story, in *most* cases - not any - is *usually* formed with an understanding of what good supporting evidence means.

*by official you mean what? An official says it? Or the resultant conclusion of an actively investigated case?
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
It goes both ways. The official story, whatever the issue, always morphs along the way. Some folks see it as ironing out the details as they arise, others see it as obvious deception.
Doesn't everything, when looked at a second, third, fourth, a fifth time, reveal new intricacies and details? Would it be better if they didn't revise things?
 

Joe Newman

Active Member
Doesn't everything, when looked at a second, third, fourth, a fifth time, reveal new intricacies and details? Would it be better if they didn't revise things?

It's always going to be revised. It's just a matter of by whom and how. Official stories are just that. They aren't meant to be the truth as that's not their role. They are place markers on the way to whatever truth eventually emerges. Deny until it dies is all it takes. After a while, it doesn't matter what happened even if the truth comes out. It's basic scandal fatigue. We just need to move forward and put the past behind us. Rinse, repeat.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
so Joe - I gather you are still waiting for the "truth" about the War of Independence??
 

Joe Newman

Active Member
No, not really. Should I be?

I'd like to know more about that PAN patch, though. Or why NASA chose the dark side of the moon as the place to honor Parsons by naming a crater after him. I thought that was a great touch, given his part in the play.
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
No, not really. Should I be?

I'd like to know more about that PAN patch, though. Or why NASA chose the dark side of the moon as the place to honor Parsons by naming a crater after him. I thought that was a great touch, given his part in the play.
"There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark."
 

MikeC

Closed Account
Well you know - the official story is that y'all fought a war for independence....but you consider that it is going to be revised sometime and is " [a] place marker(s) on the way to whatever truth eventually emerges".

So I figure you are still waiting for "whatever truth eventually emerges".
 

Joe Newman

Active Member
"There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark."

Heh. And to think that that album came out the very next year from when they named the crater after him. But that's just brain damage on my part, I'm sure. After all, the sun is eclipsed by the moon, right?
 

Joe Newman

Active Member
Well you know - the official story is that y'all fought a war for independence....but you consider that it is going to be revised sometime and is " [a] place marker(s) on the way to whatever truth eventually emerges".

So I figure you are still waiting for "whatever truth eventually emerges".

Plenty of truth has emerged and I'm not surprised by it in the way I used to be. Still wondering about that PAN patch, though.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
Plenty of truth has emerged and I'm not surprised by it in the way I used to be.

so now you are saying that "the official story" about he war of independence is actually true??

does this mean you were wrong in post #25 above when you said official stories are only place holders, or have you changed your mind in the last 50 or so minutes?? :confused:
 
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Joe Newman

Active Member
so now you are saying that "the official story" about he war of independence is actually true??

does this mean you were wrong in post #25 above when you said official stories are only place holders, or have you changed your mind in the last 50 or so minutes?? :confused:

There is no "official" official story that I am aware of. Or there are many. That's probably why they keep churning out all those books about it. Does your version have anything about New Atlantis in it?
 
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JeffreyNotGeoffrey

Active Member
Well you know - the official story is that y'all fought a war for independence....but you consider that it is going to be revised sometime and is " [a] place marker(s) on the way to whatever truth eventually emerges".

So I figure you are still waiting for "whatever truth eventually emerges".


Mike Mike Mike. Obviously you are not a fan of THE History Channel. Their cutting edge research has shown aliens and the Illuminati shrugged off the yoke of British dominion.

Seriously though "official" stories are damned if they do and damned if they don't. If they do not accomodate change, they are obstinate and obviously wrong. If they do revise, they are switching the story and do not know what they are doing. Meanwhile CTs change stories constantly. It is like a fucking game of whack-a-mole with them. CTs as a whole do not incorporate criticism nor do they often admit they are wrong in the face of overwhelming evidence.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
There is no "official" official story that I am aware of.

Really?? That makes me think that you don't see the declaration of independence as "official"?

If that is the case then I have to say that is definitely a new take for me to hear

Or there are many. That's probably why they keep churning out all those books about it.

Who is "they"? Are all authors writing about the AWI "official" by your definition?

Actually - just what is your definition of "official"???

Does your version have anything about New Atlantis in it?

I don't have a story about the AWI, and if I did I can't see how it could possibly be considered "official"!
 

mynym

Banned
Banned
Mike Mike Mike. Obviously you are not a fan of THE History Channel. Their cutting edge research has shown aliens and the Illuminati shrugged off the yoke of British dominion.



Seriously though "official" stories are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

I wouldn't feel too bad for them.
 
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