Thursday, December 8, 2016

LOGIC. IT'S NOT JUST FOR VULCANS, AND VIEWERS OF "THE BIG BANG THEORY." #5 PT 2.



Horoscope, Astrology, Zodiac, Twin

The basic definition of the Logical Fallacy TRUTH BY ASSOCIATION IS:  IF ONE PART OF A GIVEN SET OR GROUP CONTAINS, OR EXHIBITS, A SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTIC, THAN ALL OTHER PARTS MUST SHARE THE SAME CHARACTERISTIC. ( This is my definition.)

It can be used in different ways, and all of them are equally fallacious.  In fact, it's practically the motto for every form of prejudice that we encounter in daily life.

Consider the following statements;

-  "You should be careful, everyone knows how dangerous (Insert group here) are."

-   "Don't listen to him, he's a (Insert group here), and their all a bunch of crooks."

-   "A (Insert group here) Doctor?  Can't be very good, everyone knows how dumb they are."

Let's turn it around.


-  "She should marry him, everyone knows that (Insert group here) are hard workers"

-  "What did you say the name was?  Oh, that's ok then.  (Insert group here) know
all about computers."

-  "Cheated?  No way, everyone knows (Insert group here) are faithful, and would never do something like that."

Yes, the above examples seem relatively simple.  However, such judgments are usually hidden inside every day conversation, and are not always easy to spot.   

So, be careful and listen more closely when another gives an opinion that labels an entire group as having certain universal characteristics.

Because, one day, you may be in that group.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE? #3.

Solar System, Emergence

For the Truly Open- Minded Individual, when you are Reading and Considering the Evidence Presented by an Author Making Claims to Support a Specific Conclusion, ask yourself the Following Questions:

"IN ORDER FOR ME TO PROMOTE THE CONCLUSION AS FACTUAL, WHAT EVIDENCE AND ARGUMENTS MUST I ACCEPT AS TRUE?  FURTHER, AM I ACCEPTING THEM BECAUSE I BELIEVE THEY CAN BE PROPERLY DEFENDED AGAINST ANY OPPOSITION, OR IS PERSONAL ACCEPTANCE JUST A SYMPTOM OF MY DESIRE THAT THE CONCLUSION BE ACKNOWLEDGED AS TRUE, WHETHER OR NOT CRITICAL ANALYSIS BACKS UP SUCH A DECISION?"

Remember, Logic and the Scientific Method are Tools for Deriving the Reality of the Subject Matter, and not a set of Opinions that Automatically Accepts Certain Claims or Assertions as True, While others are cast aside as False. To Often Believers and Promoters of the Paranormal Criticize Science for being Dogmatic, and not Open to knew Ideas. Nothing could be further from the Truth.

Think of all the Scientific Theories that we take for granted as True Today, that were Opposed and Scoffed at because LOGIC AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD HAD NOT BEEN PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD OR UTILIZED AT DIFFERENT PERIODS IN HUMAN HISTORY.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

-  THE LAWS OF MOTION.

-  THE BEGINNING AND  FORMATION OF THE UNIVERSE.

-  THE CAUSES AND CURES FOR DISEASE.

-  HOW LIGHT AND SOUND BEHAVE UNDER DIFFERENT 
   CONDITIONS.

-  HUMAN EVOLUTION.

ETC...

In the Above List, you have areas of Science that, until relatively
recently in HUMAN HISTORY,  VERY LITTLE WAS KNOWN ABOUT
THE MECHANISMS AND PROCESSES THAT DRIVE EACH. This didn't
change because someone stood up and declared THAT SCIENCE SUPPORTS
THESE CONCLUSIONS, AND WOULDN'T CONSIDER OTHER POSSIBILITIES.

LOGIC AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD DON'T WORK THIS WAY, AND IN THE 
NEXT POST ON THIS TOPIC, WE WILL LOOK MORE CLOSELY AT THESE 
DISCIPLINES, AND HOW THEIR USE HAS CHAMPIONED MANS ABILITY TO 
UNDERSTAND THE NATURAL WORLD.

WHAT A SHAME- A look at the low points in the modern media. PSEUDOSCIENCE ON TELEVISION- LOGIC AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD NEED NOT APPLY. PT 16.


So What Should You Look For, in Identifying PSEUDOSCIENCE PROGRAMMING?  What can Tip You Off that what follows on the TV Screen may not be Genuine Science, Real Research, or Lacks
any real Intellectual Depth?
Halloween, Cemetery, Weird, Creepy

Well, There are a Few Red Flags that may become apparent Quite 
quickly, and others that are more subtle.  

Lets Take a Look.

#1-  SHOW PROMOTES THE FOLLOWING:
"NEW INFORMATION THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING."

Sorry to Disappoint Those who sit on the Edge of Their Seat, waiting
for THE REAL TRUTH TO BE EXPOSED, BUT THIS IS JUST A 
SIMPLISITIC PLOY TO LURE IN VIEWERS.

Contrary to what your Told on the Screen, Genuine Discoveries 
are not made by individuals who are lucky enough to be holding a Camera 
at the Time.

UNIVERSITIES AND RESEARCH INSTITUTES EMPLOY BIOLOGISTS,
ANTHROPOLOGISTS, ARCHAEOLOGISTS ETC, WHO INVESTIGATE
POSSIBLE "CREDIBLE" EVIDENCE THAT IS STUDIED, ANALYZED,
AND SUBJECTED TO PEER REVIEW.  A TENTATIVE HYPOTHESIS 
IS OFFERED THAT BEST EXPLAINS THE AVAILABLE DATA.

Does this Mean that Someone Unaffiliated with Academia should be Ignored?
Of course not. Many People Enjoy the Intellectual Thrill and Challenge of 
Finding New Things That Will Increase Mankinds Knowledge and Understanding
of Science and History.  History is full of examples OF NON- PROFESSIONALS
WORKING OUTSIDE OF ACADEMIA MAKING VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS.

HOWEVER, ALL ARE SUBJECT TO THE SAME STANDARDS THAT ARE
EXPECTED OF ACADEMIA.  THIS INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING;

-  PROPER RESEARCH STANDARDS AND PROTOCOLS,
   THAT COULD PREVENT SKEWED AND UNRELIABLE DATA.
   
-  THE RULES OF LOGIC AND THE
   SCIENTIFIC METHOD.

-  PROPER HANDLING, ANALYSIS 
   AND AVAILABILITY OF EVIDENCE
   TO OTHERS FOR EVALUATION.

In other words, Non- Academics with a genuine Appreciation and Desire to seek answers that can stand up to proper scrutiny.
Television Appearances do not excuse SLOPPY METHODOLOGY, DECEPTIONS,
AND OUTRIGHT LIES.  FURTHER, TRYING TO EXPLAIN A CONCEPT OR SUBJECT THAT YOU CLEARLY DON'T UNDERSTAND JUST MAKES YOU LOOK FOOLISH.

IF YOU WANT TO ENTERTAIN YOUR AUDIENCE, AT THE PRICE
OF FINDING ACTUAL ANSWERS THAT STAND UP TO SCRUTINY,
GO FOR IT.  JUST DON'T CALL YOURSELF A RESEARCHER DOING
REAL SCIENCE, BECAUSE YOUR NOT FOOLING ANYONE.

Fiction-, Stories, Myths, and Legends. THE LESSON. PT 2.

"IT IS SAID THAT THE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OF ALL, IS TO STAND UPON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS, AND CONTINUE THEIR GOOD WORKS.  IS THIS SO?"

"NO, IT IS THAT IN THE FUTURE,  THERE ARE THOSE WHO SEEK TO STAND UPON YOUR SHOULDERS,  AND CONTINUE YOUR GOOD WORKS." 

Road, Dirt Road, Rural, Countryside

The Young Graduate, of course, knew the story.  Although he had only seen the "Wise One" once at a Distance, he felt that such an Intellect could Set the Course of his Life with Ease.  It was decided, he would Search for this Eminent Sage of Great Wisdom, and seek his Council.

He Told Family and Friends nothing of this Decision.  "Just a Short Camping Trip, by Myself, to Clear My Head and plan out the future."  Although it was an Unusual and Odd Proclamation, his Parents and other Adults in his life did not seek to Dissuade him. "Ah, Youth", his Uncle had said, "it will do as it will, and live with the Consequences."

The Young Man planned his Trip as carefully as possible.  Although he wanted to keep the Real Reason behind the Trip a Secret, the seeming Impetuousness of this sudden change in Personality Puzzled those who knew him.  

"Where will you go," They asked, "how long will you be gone," They Continued, "What if you are Hurt or Injured, what will you do?" and so it went, question after question.

The Young Man Answered Their Concerns as Best he could.  In Fact, if he had not shown such Intelligence and Ability at a Young Age, it was almost certain that he would have been prevented, Physically, from pursuing a Solitary Trip into the Wilderness.

However, his Reputation for keeping a Level Head, and Thinking before Acting, separated him from other Men and Women his age.  While Immaturity and the Desire for a "GOOD TIME", had Derailed many future plans of other Classmates, he had Stayed the Course, and earned a Reputation for Sensibility at a Young Age.

It soon became Mid- Summer, and the Time for his Departure came near. The Young Man prepared his Supplies of Food, Water and Medicine carefully, just enough for him to carry comfortably. He knew that Foraging for Food at this time of Year would be easy, and the Numerous Streams that Dotted the Landscape would prevent any possibility of Him Suffering from the Debilitating Symptoms of Thirst.

The Morning of Departure Arrived, and with a Brief Good- Bye, Together with an Admonishment by his Family to be careful, he set off.

END PT 2.




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

LOGIC.

IT'S NOT JUST FOR VULCANS, AND VIEWERS
OF "THE BIG BANG THEORY."  #6.

SHELDON AND HIS MOTHER-  POST HOC, ERGO
PROCTOR HOC, AND THE FALLACY OF TRUTH BY 
ASSOCIATION.  PT 2.














This is an excellent example, to put the spotlight on a common misconception; Logic, Science, The Scientific Method etc., is ANTI- RELIGION.  Further, that it promotes ATHEISM, and denies existence of a SPIRIT WORLD, and the SUPERNATURAL.  

This ties into another example of FALLACY OF TRUTH BY ASSOCIATION.

In the scene, listen carefully to what Sheldon says.  He never asserts that praying for his safety was in any way ineffective or, that to do so could have no affect on the outcome of the trip.

He just pointed out, quite correctly, that his Mother reached a conclusion that was Logically Invalid.  However, many people of faith equate this criticism with 
ATHEISTIC IDEOLOGY.  Yet, just because an Atheist would agree with Sheldons 
assessment, it does not follow that ONLY ATHEISTS would reach the same conclusion.

This is an example of  Fallacy Of Truth By Association;  ANY CONCLUSION REACHED BY AN INDIVIDUAL, THAT IS ALSO SHARED BY MEMBERS OF A CERTAIN GROUP, INDICATES THAT THE INDIVIDUAL MUST BE PART OF THAT GROUP.

Consider the following scenarios;  In the first example we will imagine a conversation that includes Sheldon as an Atheist, in the second he will indicate no
specific religious beliefs.
Dialogue from the episode: "THE ELECTRIC CAN OPENER FLUCTUATION."                                               
"No mother, I could not feel your church group praying for my safety.  The fact that I'm home safe does not prove that it worked, that logic is Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc."


             #1                                                                        #2
                                                                                 
    SHELDON THE ATHEIST.                        SHELDON THE UNCOMMITTED.     






LOGIC.

THE FALLACY OF THE EXCLUDED MIDDLE, OR 
THE  "ALL OR NOTHING" MINDSET.  PT 1.

Perhaps the best way to Introduce this Common Logical Fallacy, is to take an example from everyday life. Why?  Because in one Form, it is an Insidious Example of Psychological Blackmail.

-  Person # 1-  "I know John Doe is your friend, but every Time I Talk to him, he puts me down and Insults my Career Choice."

-  Person # 2-  "You just don't get it.  Its his way of Socializing.  He doesn't mean it.  Just Ignore Him, and he'll stop."

-  Person # 1-  "I've Tried that, but he won't stop. You and I have been friends for a long Time, but I don't want to Deal with him anymore.  If you are going to meet him, I can't come with you.  He doesn't Treat me Right, and I won't give him the chance to Ruin my Night."


Person # 2-  "So that's it Huh?  I have to give up John as a Friend, or you and I can't hang out anymore?  How  Immature."


Person # 1-  "I never said that.  All I said was that I don't want to be around John, because of the way he treats me. We can still do things Together.  We're still Friends."

Person # 2-  "No Way.  John is my Friend, and we get along just find.  I don't know what your problem is, but if you don't like John, than it means you don't really like me.  Either your Johns Friend Too, and we can all hang out together, or your not. 
If you don't like Him, it really means you Hate us both."



Does this sound Familiar?  How many of you have had such a conversation in the past?  Well, it may be Little Comfort, but at least the Irrationality of such Thinking can give a little Solace.  What do I Mean?

See Part 2.



LOGIC.

THE FALLACY OF THE EXCLUDED MIDDLE, OR 
THE  "ALL OR NOTHING" MINDSET.  PT 2.

From this example, we can see one way that this Fallacy is used by the Selfish and the Self- Centered.

Here is a Practical Definition, that we can use in other Situations;

The FALLACY OF THE EXCLUDED MIDDLE IS: A JUDGMENT THAT ONLY TWO OPINIONS ON ANY SUBJECT ARE POSSIBLE OR VALID, AND THEY BOTH LIE AT OPPOSITE EXTREMES.  THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND, AND NO ROOM FOR CORRECTION, COMPROMISE, OR ADAPTATION. (My Definition).


Here is an example that will further shed light on this Fallacy;


CONSPIRACY THEORIES-  Alien Visitations from other Planets.

Person #1-  "While the Laws of Probability may Indicate that INTELLIGENT LIFE EVOLVED on other Worlds, there is no Practical, Verifiable or Testable Evidence that such Life Forms have visited this Planet."

Person #2-  "Typical Response from someone who doesn't realize that Government
has covered up such Visitations, that is why there is no Evidence for us to Examine."

Person #1-  "What makes you Believe that ALL the Evidence has been Hidden or Destroyed by Government.  I Mean, why should we believe what you say is True, when all you really HAVE IS ACCUSATIONS AND STATEMENTS BACKED UP BY NOTHING ELSE."

Person #2-  "Everyone Knows the Government covers up things like this, to Prevent People from Panicking.  If you don't realize that, then your just another Lamb to be led to the Slaughter, Someone who believes everything our so called Elected Officials Tell Us."


Here is the FALLACY FROM THE ABOVE EXAMPLE. 
THERE ARE ONLY TWO POSSIBILITIES;  EITHER YOU BELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT COVERS UP ALL ALIEN VISITATIONS, OR YOU ARE DELUDED ENOUGH TO ACCEPT THE TRUTH ABOUT ANYTHING GOVERNMENT TELLS YOU.
Do you see the Problem? 

See PT 3.








WHAT A SHAME- A look at the low points in the modern media. PSEUDOSCIENCE ON TELEVISION- LOGIC AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD NEED NOT APPLY. PT 15.

Zombie Research Facility

What do They all seem to have in Common?

It seems that the One Common Trait Possessed by Fans of Pseudoscience T.V Shows is a Belief that all Opposition is some form of CONVOLUTED PLOT TO HIDE THE TRUTH FROM THE "PUBLIC."

This Makes Them, and CONSPIRACY THEORISTS, THE POSTER CHILDREN FOR IRRATIONAL AND ANTI- SCIENCE
BELIEFS THAT DO NOT NEED TO;

-  SUPPLY PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, THAT CAN BE EVALUATED PROPERLY THROUGH STUDY AND TESTING. 

-  OBEY THE RULES OF LOGIC                                                                            AND CRITICAL THINKING.

-  JUSTIFY ANY VIOLATION OF NATURAL OR PHYSICAL LAWS.

However, it's more than just that.  To Them, the Only "EXPERTS" IN ANY FIELD
OF SPECIFIC INTEREST, ARE THOSE WHO SUPPORT IDEAS THAT THE "TRUTH" IS BEING "SUPPRESSED."  In Fact, if you listen to the DIALOGUE ON ANY OF THESE SHOWS, you will often find a DISJOINTED AND MEANDERING SET OF "FACTS" TO SUPPORT A SET OF BELIEFS THAT FOLLOW NO RATIONAL PATTERN.  MANY TIMES THEIR OWN "THEORIES" OF FACTUAL DATA BEING WITHHELD BY "THE POWERS THAT BE" CONTRADICT ONE ANOTHER.

This Way of looking at the World goes Hand in Hand with One Other part of the Human Experience.  In Many Cases, it is EXACTLY THE SAME WAY PEOPLE CHOSE OR SELECT THEIR POLITICAL LEADERS.  Why is That?

Like PSEUDOSCIENCE, POLITICS IS OFTEN A CASE OF "STYLE" OVER "REALITY."  TO BE MORE PRECISE, IN BOTH CASES;

-  IT IS THE IDEA THAT TO BE POPULAR OR SUCCESSFUL IN EITHER FIELD, IS A PROCESS OF PROMOTING OR PRESENTING TO...

... THE CITIZEN OR VOTER IN THE CASE OF SELECTING OR SUPPORTING CERTAIN LEADERS.

... THE VIEWER, IN THE ATTEMPT TO BRING IN, AND ATTRACT A LARGER
AUDIENCE.

... AN "ILLUSION OF REALITY." THIS IS DONE BY CREATING A PERCEPTION THAT THE WORLD IS EXACTLY THE WAY THEY WANT IT TO BE;  REINFORCING PREJUDICES, PRECONCEIVED CONCLUSIONS, IRRATIONAL JUDGMENTS AND ANYTHING ELSE TO DISCOURAGE CRITICAL THINKING, AND INDEPENDENT THOUGHT.

ETHICS AND MORALITY. PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD. PT 6.

Sunrise, Heaven, Clouds, Sunlight, Sky


That is the Basic Problem, and the Inherent Weakness in the Plan to Force All Americans to Obey Their Set of Moral Values, Through Force or the Legal System;  

All of the Talk of Converting, and coming to "Know the Will of God," are just Words, That in the End Ring Hollow, Because of the Refusal to Allow others to Freely Choose the same path.

In Fact, it Reveals that all the Talk of "FINDING THE LORD, THROUGH SCRIPTURE, PRAYER, AND REPENTANCE", IS ONLY FOR THOSE WHO CONVERT FREELY.  When it comes to Interpreting the Constitution, or Defining "FREEDOM OF RELIGION," VOLUNTARY IS NOT AN OPTION IN THE END. 

In Other Words;

-  "IF YOU DON'T AGREE THAT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IS A SIN, AFTER WE HAVE EXPLAINED HOW IT VIOLATES THE WORD OF GOD, DON'T WORRY.
WE WILL CRIMINALIZE IT UNTIL YOU SEE THE LIGHT.''

-  "You Don't Think that Organized Prayer in Public Schools is a good thing? No Matter, we know what is BEST FOR EVERYONES CHILDREN, AND MAKE SURE ITS DONE EVERYDAY."

-  "SCIENCE SHOULD NOT BE CONTRADICTING SCRIPTURE, AND TEACHING EVOLUTION DOES THAT, SO WE'LL REMOVE IT FROM THE CLASSROOM. WHO NEEDS THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD, WHEN THE BIBLE GIVES US ALL THE ANSWERS."

Naturally, There are more examples, but the Point is Clear:  When one SEEKS TO INSTILL PRINCIPLES OF FAITH INTO A CODE OF LAW, FREEDOM OF RELIGION IS AN EMPTY PROMISE, SUBJECT TO THE WHIMS OF THOSE WHO CONTROL THE POWER BASE.

What is Really Amazing, is the Contention by Those who Promote Religious Belief as the Answer for Providing Society with the Proper Moral Compass, is that BY NOT ADOPTING THEIR BELIEF SYSTEM INTO A FORM OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LAW, THEY ARE BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST.

TO BE CONTINUED.