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Recognising Faulty Logic in an Argument

May 22, 2012
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Have you ever been in an argument, or an argumentative discussion would be a nicer way to discuss it, with a person who refuses to see sense and continues to hurl ideas at you that don’t really support their point, but at the same time don’t really help you as you have to explain your way around their madness again and again. A lot of the time when this happens, the person is probably using what we call faulty logic or fallacy. Using faulty logic is a well tested way of confusing and distracting your opponent from the main focus of your argument. As writers and readers it is key that we can recognise these situations, and know how to respond to them.

…right? (image via flickr.com)

Let me give you a few examples:

This first one is taken from criticalthinking.org.uk

A nice illustration of a fallacy from The Simpsons:

After a single bear wandering into town has drawn an over-reaction from the residents of Springfield, Homer stands outside his house and muses, “Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is working like a charm!”

Lisa sees through his reasoning: “That’s specious reasoning, dad.” Homer, misunderstanding the word “specious”, thanks her for the compliment.

Optimistically, she tries to explain the error in his argument: “By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.” Homer is confused: “Hmm; how does it work?” Lisa: “It doesn’t work; it’s just a stupid rock!” Homer: “Uh-huh.” Lisa: “… but I don’t see any tigers around, do you?”

Homer, after a moment’s thought: “Lisa, I want to buy your rock…”

Correlation does not imply causation. Just because two things occur together, does not mean that one caused the other. Homer argues that as the Bear Patrol vans are correlated with an absence of bears, the former must have caused the latter. Lisa, tongue in cheek, argues that as the presence of her rock is correlated with an absence of tigers, the former must have caused the latter.

Here’s more:

People died on a Tuesday in May after eating tomatoes on the Monday before, therefore don’t eat tomatoes on a Monday (or possibly at all).
Explanation: While the tomatoes may have been eaten, there is no evidence that it was the tomatoes’s fault, and only a proper investigation into the cause of death will show why the people died.

Johnny has been studying Korean for three years so he must be a good user of the language.
Explanation: While three years of study should be sufficient to acquire an ability to communicate in a language, the are more significant factors that must be taken into account, such as the quality of the teacher and teaching methods, the teaching materials, the frequency of Johnny’s studying, and also Johnny’s attitude.

English is a language used all over the world to communicate in international business and travel. Business is important so that the economy can prosper, and travel is a good way of broadening our opinions and relaxing. So that means everyone should learn English. Right?
Explanation: While English is important for the global economy, language acquisition should be determined by the learners own demands and aspirations.

And you’ll have to excuse this last one – I’m a hater when it comes to K-pop: Girls Generation are popular in the US now because they were on David Letterman’s The Late Show:

Explanation: I’ll let you think about the fallacy of this one yourself….

Todd used this one in a previous post on fallacy:

This logical mistake occurs when someone attacks the speaker personally and not the speaker’s argument.

Fat guy: “The burgers I make at home are very healthy.”

Fit guy: “What? How can you say that your burgers are healthy? You’re so fat.”

Explanation: The fit guy attacks the fat guy personally by negatively commenting on the fat guy’s weight, not on his opinion that he (the fat guy) makes healthy hamburgers at home. BTW, burgers can be healthy depending on the definition of ‘healthy’, ingredients, cooking methods, etc. Also, we do not know why the fat guy is fat. He may be fat for reasons other than food choices.

Students!
We are going to put together a collection of situations and examples of fallacy or faulty logic. Describe a situation where faulty logic has been used and then offer an explanation on the reasons why the reasoning is off. Remember to give a clear example. If you want to include photographs, videos, or any other media to assist you in your choice. If you need help take a look at these two websites for details and links to further descriptions on faulty logic and fallacy.

Logical Fallacies

eHow – How to Avoid Logical Fallacies

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68 Comments leave one →
  1. Sujin(C1) permalink
    May 23, 2012 3:17 pm

    Gambler’s fallacy

    1. If people buy a lottery which did not win, they will buy another one next week with certain expectation that they may win next time.

    Due to this fallacy someone are addicted to buy lottery even if they do not have enough money.

    2. Couples who want to have son but only bear daughterson and on think that they will get son next time.

    Many Korean older people think like this way so they press their daughter who do not bear son with this faulty logic.

    3. In situation that doctor who have to do dangerous surgery of which survive percentage is only 10% think he can do in this time becuase he failed to save 9 people before.

    The doctor tell to patience to make relieve before surgery with this logic but nobody knows that surgery is going to be successful or fail again.

    • mintlover(c1) permalink
      May 25, 2012 8:05 pm

      And also, people usually expect they will have a son or daughter by dictingushing the shape of abdomen.

  2. Nathan (C1) permalink
    May 24, 2012 12:28 am

    I’m not sure whether I understood this subject exactly or not.

    1. The nurse always say when they give an injection: It is not pricking at all!!

    How could it is not pricking?? A sharp neddle pierce in my skin. Even though her intend makes me feel comportable, it is a fallacy.But it maybe a positive usage of fallacy.

    2. Many sales people say : We are selling this clothes at a loss!! You can’t buy it as this price nowhere except here.

    If they really sell the clothes as a loss, they might be bankrupted a long time age. But, the people believe their words are real.

    3. Usually, the middle and high school students use their smartphone behind the front man in class.

    They thought if they can’t see the teacher, the teacher also can’t see them.
    However, if they stand in front of the class, they perhaps feel ashamed because they can any spot of class clearly. It is similar to the picture which is the cat hide in a bag on this blog.

    • May 24, 2012 5:14 pm

      You know, many university students do the same thing!

    • Dalin(T) permalink
      May 25, 2012 10:44 am

      I totally agree with all of your comments. It was really interesting to me!

    • mintlover permalink
      May 25, 2012 7:52 pm

      hahahahahahaha 🙂

  3. Ferrari(T) permalink
    May 24, 2012 11:34 pm

    1. It is a fallacy to say that the camera never lies.

    People believe every pictures of camera just as showed. However, there are too many fabricate pictures of them. Camera pictures just show one framed in a square. For example, picture of politicians’ volunteer work.

    2. This fallacy generally applies to men.

    Whether they say it aloud or not, most men argue that beautiful women are kind-hearted. They never believe that pretty women speak ill of someone and do something bad. Men may not judge correctly in front of fascinating ladies.

    • Dalin(T) permalink
      May 25, 2012 10:50 am

      Boys..

    • May 25, 2012 1:00 pm

      Hmmm this is another thing you need to be wary of, and I don’t mean pretty girls or naive men, but generalisations.

    • Celine(T) permalink
      May 25, 2012 9:20 pm

      I totally agree with your second fallacy..lol

  4. May 25, 2012 12:43 am

    1. This is a letter of self-introduction of someone who I know and got into a major company. So, if you can write a letter like this, you’ll have a chance for it.

    These days, some student copy someone’s letter only because he or she got a chance to enter a major company with it. You don’t know, however, how he or she could have an opportunity to get into the company. It could be because of his or her well-written letter but it also could be because of his or her university brand, english certificate with good grades, or outstanding awards records in a certain field. Those simply seems to be a cause(self-introduction letter) and a effect(entering a major company) but the effect can have a different cause. You should not misunderstand causation even though those happened in a certain time line.

  5. Laura(c1) permalink
    May 25, 2012 1:00 am

    1. When we see the fat person who are eating some foods during walking in the street, we think that’s the reason for getting fat.

    However, if she is skinny, nobody care about it. We are not sure if she is really hungry because she skipped her meals or not but we are sure she are eating foods again and again.

    2. When I go to shopping, all staffs of shop said me, ‘look so beautiful with that clothes!’. Then I believe it at that moment.

    The staffs want to sell their goods and told me white lie. They always told me I really looking good with their products if it were not. Even though I knew that situation and real appearance of me, I thought ‘Am I looking good with this one?’ Then bought it. After I got home, I always regret about my behaviors.

    3. Korean believes effect of cold medicine too much.

    Cold medicine actually not effective as much as we believes. It has provided in many science research. It could make worse our body rather than better. However, whenever we get cold, we went to pharmacy to buy medicine.

  6. savanna (c1) permalink
    May 25, 2012 11:15 am

    I would like to point out fallacy in overall free school lunch program in Korea. In 2010 the regional election, the hottest issue was overall free school lunch program. I hadn’t been interested in politics, so I researched why this was so important then. However, I could not agree on the pledge.

    First, the free lunch program is not free at all. The cost of free school lunch is to be covered by taxes. In that sense, even if the free lunch seems to be provided for free, people will be paying one way or another.

    Second, some politicians claim that free school lunch is a continuation of compulsory education. Here I doubt if offering free meals to students is more important than teaching them in education. This is because I think Korea education has other priorities to handle such as expanding compulsory education into preschool ages. With the limited education budget, we need to make sure if we can afford the plan and what to deal with first.

    Third, the most absurd argument is that free school lunch should be offered to all students indiscriminately so that conventional beneficiaries would not feel abashed. However I think overall free school lunch is indeed a costly and dull solution to this matter. Why not just revise the system by which the beneficiaries are selected?

    For these reasons, I was so confused in my first vote on national affairs. Some politicians said as if they could afford the money out of their pockets. However, I think we should be reminded that the money would eventually come from our pockets. I realized through the election that politicians can be sweet talkers to earn more votes. I think they are very likely to stick out the unpaid bills to us and evade their responsibility in the end.

    • May 25, 2012 12:53 pm

      This is a perfect example! Well done 🙂

      In many countries in Europe university education and health are ‘free’ like this, but taxes are very high!

      But you’re right, politicians are adept are waxing words to curry votes! And people wonder why voter turnouts are low, the electorate is so cynical about politics. This is a problem all over the world!

  7. Jess(C2) permalink
    May 25, 2012 12:12 pm

    An example of fallacy that we often see in Korea:
    1)The person from English speaking background is good at English
    2)The English teacher must be good at English
    Therefore:
    The person who is from English background must be a good English teacher.

    I personally think this does not make sense at all because speaking a certain language
    does not mean that person can teach that language well.

    Another example might be a bit similar to the fallacy shown above.
    1)You can improve your English skills if you study abroad in an English background countries
    2)Students should study abroad if they want to master a language
    Therefore:
    She studied in America for a year would be proficient in English.

    This can not always be true since, it depends on how she studied in America. If she spent most of the time with the people who spoke the same language her rather than people who spoke English only, then, she would have barely improved in English.

    This fallacy can be applied to many other situations like:
    1) He learnt how to play violin for four years so he must be good at it!
    – No, because he might have not done enough practice to play well.

  8. Nasri(C1) permalink
    May 25, 2012 12:28 pm

    1.I usually do this when provoke someone. When agruing, I usually pretend that I can’t understand and said ‘I don’t know what you are saying.’ or ‘I can’t hear you.’ repeating again and again, anctually I understood and heard totally.

    2. One celebrity, was caught during alcohol test on the road, his alcohol rate was high enough to arrest ,however he told the officer, “I drink alcohol but I didn’t drive with alcohol” In fact, he was is his car and sitting on driver’s seat.

    • May 25, 2012 12:45 pm

      Ha! The second one is more an example of being totally illogical! Also, I’m not sure that pretending not to hear someone is an example of faulty logic. Got another one?

  9. Dalin(T) permalink
    May 25, 2012 12:34 pm

    1. “Don`t you know ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ written by Sigmound Freud? You are really stupid.”
    Explanation : A friend of mine who major in chemical engineering heard this statement last month. Although she don`t know anything about Sigmound Freud, she have a high intellectual level at science, especially in chemical area. She don`t know about Freud because she don`t have any interest to him, not because she is stupid.

    2. Blonde is stupid.
    Explanation : There is a prejudice that blone is stupid in America. Until today, lost of TV programs such as comedy show, and sitcom make a caricature about blonde. However, hair color have no influence on human`s abilities. Nobody has published the valid results of research works which can prove ignorance of blonde. Nevertheless, a number of people believe that blonde is really stupid. A movie ‘Legally Blonde’ was even made from this prejudice.

    3. After a murder case of Suwon, several Koreans claim that all Joseon ethnic should be expeled because they are tentative offenders.
    Explanation : A murder case committed by Owonchun, Joseon ethnic, happened last month. As a result, all Joseon ethnic groups are held in contempt by Koreans. Some Koreans even insist that all Joseon ethnic groups should be banished. However, it is irrational to expel all Joseon ethnic groups from Korea. A person who committed a crime is wrong, not the race.

    • May 25, 2012 12:43 pm

      Not so sure the second one is such a good example. It’s just explaining prejudice, without actually giving a reason why.

  10. ellygirlyjl permalink
    May 25, 2012 12:46 pm

    1. If you get a low score on the exam, you blame another thing like professor’s mistake or strange question of exam. You never say it’s because of you. If you study hard, then you blame, it’s okay. However, most of you didn’t do for that perfectly, but blame for another thing. That’s a fallacy.

    2. If you didn’t do what you have to do, you say ‘I have no time to do that’ It’s a big fallacy. If you really want to do that, and hope to do that, you can do. You say you have no time, but if you reduce your time for watching TV, just leaning back on the bad, you can do all. It’s a fallacy.

  11. Chrono(C1) permalink
    May 25, 2012 2:09 pm

    1. I know a guy who said like ‘I don’t believe the superstition. If I belive that, It feels that the happniness would gone forever from me”. He said he doesn’t belive superstition by explaining superstitional way not the rational way.

    2. Let’s assume that there is a guy who commits a serious crime and he is Chinese. We often blame that guy and whole chinese like ‘The guy who commits the serious crime is chinese! Chinese must have been cruel all!’ It’s ‘the mistake of hasty generalization’. This is the most error-prone example of our routine life. It’s not make sense that all chinese are cruel because a man did a cruel act.

  12. Ohmygoodness (c2) permalink
    May 25, 2012 4:19 pm

    Korean people think a person who is good at English is getting a good job or going to be succeeded his life. They even consider English is necessary on every fields. This thought is pervasive in Korea. Although the worldwide is becoming more and more globalized and we need to know about English for communicating, in some areas, it’s not necessary to know English. Does a cook really have to learn English? One of my friend is majoring Hotel Cooking, but she is studying English , minoring English because almost every food companies or Hotels require employees English skill or grade. She wants to work in Korea and to make Korean food. She has to study English more than how to cook because the English grade that companies require is too difficult to get. Of course, I’m not saying that we don’t need to learn English. Learning English will be good for us to live and get a job. I’m saying which one is priority, English? or skills that have to be trained for the job? Korean people tend to believe in English blind, I think this is a kind of faulty logical.

    p.s. im not sure that im right lol

  13. Ray(C2) permalink
    May 25, 2012 5:48 pm

    With an immense effort of will, I modulated my voice. “All right,” I said. “You’re a logician. Let’s look at this thing logically. How could you choose Petey Bellows over me? Look at me—a brilliant student, a tremendous intellectual, a man with an assured future. Look at Petey—a knothead, a jitterbug, a guy who’ll never know where his next meal is coming from. Can you give me one logical reason why you should go steady with Petey Bellows?”
    “I certainly can,” declared Polly. “He’s got a raccoon coat.”

    This sentences are part of novel that love is fallacy. It’s a story tell us pretending smart guy failed hooking up woman. At the first time, he teach her philosophy. Although learned it, she reject him’s proposal. Because of raccoon coat which lead the fashion, she date with somebody else. This episode express love is not logic but fallacy.

  14. Stella(C1) permalink
    May 25, 2012 6:23 pm

    1. A fat guy decided to lose weight, so he goes to the gym everyday. However, he have a big dinner because he feels so hungry after exercising.
    Even though he exercised so hard and felt so hungry, he should eat appropriate size of meal because he’s on a diet.

    2. A student want to develop her English listening and speaking abilities, so she decide to watch English drama everyday. However, she watch English drama with Korean subtitles which don’t help develop her English abilities. She should watch drama with English subtitles or no subtitles.

    • May 25, 2012 8:02 pm

      This sounds a little like advice. While the logic behind the original actions were a little skewed you need to stronger examples.

  15. Miss Kyung Hee (C) permalink
    May 25, 2012 7:55 pm

    Most womeb are interested in the latest fashion, so many women rely on magazines for current trends. Colorful clothes and fancy jewelry is displayed on shiny sheets of paper and makes the illusion of actually one owning the items. Skinny models and beautiful celebrites wear expensive clothes and pose in a way for them to look just perfect. People look at the clothes and accessories thinking that they look like that too. While clothes and other items do help a person to look different, it does not change ones bone stucture or alter ones face in a way that it entirely turns ine into Scarlet Johansen. Yet, sadly, we women can not get over the fact that owning an item will magically change us.

    • Miss Kyung Hee (C) permalink
      May 25, 2012 7:57 pm

      Oooooh so many spelling and grammar mistakes. Sorry for that. My phone is too small for my gigantic fingers :-/

      • mintlover permalink
        May 25, 2012 8:01 pm

        right, it is difficult to write a comment using smart phone 😦

      • May 25, 2012 8:54 pm

        It’s OK! Its the message that matters!

  16. mintlover permalink
    May 25, 2012 7:59 pm

    As a student of English language and culture department, I have gotten a question a lot of time continuously which is “Wow, you must be good at english, aren’t you?” …………..
    This is a kind of fallacy, I think…….actually we are not native, so we cannot speak english like native, but many people expect that our english skills are better than others who are not major in english related department. I am so irritated whenever I get that question.

    • mintlover(c1) permalink
      May 25, 2012 8:03 pm

      hmm I forgot to write ‘c1’ next to my nickname ^^; I am in the class C1

      • mintlover(c1) permalink
        May 25, 2012 8:40 pm

        ah…someone already mentioned this…..I need to find other one….ㅜㅜ

      • May 25, 2012 8:56 pm

        It’s ok but you should read through the comments beforehand in future.

        It’s also a bit too similar to my example, but you’re not the only one to do that.

  17. kimmorning(c2) permalink
    May 25, 2012 8:33 pm

    Is this right about wrong perception?
    I didn’t get it.
    but I will write what I believe I’m right.

    I think the most stupid thing that some people do is prejuicing. for example if I were French, people would ask that “oh then you would have seen Eiffel tower. but usually people who living in French, they don’t see Eiffel tower during their life. only people of Paris near by Eiffle tower can see. it is similiar that someone who lives in 전주 or 부산 never had seen 남산 Tower

  18. Jasmine(C1) permalink
    May 25, 2012 8:57 pm

    “Mommy, this milk has passed the expiration date. I’ll throw this out~”
    “No! It’s OK to eat food in the refrigerator even 2~3 days later from the expiration date. Don’t throw the milk away”

    Generally, most Korean mothers say like that. However, all the food that has passed the expiration date, even not long, has the serious risk of causing food poisoning. There are some people who are OK though eating food that has passed the expiration date, but nobody knows what may happen next to them. If the expiration date is not important for people, why would the expiration date of food be marked?!!

    • May 25, 2012 9:26 pm

      I’m inclined to disagree.

      With regards dairy, when it’s bad it’s bad and you can’t avoid it. With regard fresh meat and vegetables, the biggest cause of food born diseases, including food poisoning, is actually from improper cooking and preparation, not because it’s old. You can tell when the food has gone bad by the look and smell of it.

      Also, with regards processed food, many products simply state ‘best before’ or ‘sell by’, which doesn’t mean anything about whether or not it’s good or bad. In several countries there is even no actual legal requirement to not sell food past the expiry date. The dates are merely there as guidelines for the consumer. In fact, processed foods use so many preservatives and salt it can be hard for the food to actually go bad before that date printed on the label, but the company uses the date to protect itself from libel, and it helps to encourage customers to buy new products.

  19. wipa(c2) permalink
    May 25, 2012 8:58 pm

    1. Whenever I go to stores to buy clothes and choose the clothes, I tell clerks to give me the clothes for new one. However, the clerks usually say that there is no extra one except for this one. And they often say that this is the last one!! (But I know that they are just tired to take the new one to go to the storage.)

    2. Another example is that, when students especially in middle or high school can not get a good grade, they often think this is because the institution or personal tutor they went is not good enough. So many students just change their institution to new one. However, the main reason is owing to students themselves, because they did not study hard enough.
    As I also teach students in personal tutor, recent students tend to only rely on teachers’ ability, not to study hard themselves. Of course, as a teacher, I should prepare and teach them hard, but students do not take an active part in studying.

  20. Cold(C1) permalink
    May 25, 2012 9:21 pm

    I think we sometimes have fallacy that we ignore overall aspect of something rather concentrate on small thing and things that you can see imediately. In the morning, I am often running out of time to meet the class. There are two buses that go to school one is slow but come often and the other is fast but rarely come. I usually take the slow one because it relieves me that I am on the bus whether this is slow or not. I am satisfied that I am moving but sometimes this slow one arrives late than the fast one even the former left first. So I think this is one of common fallacies.

    • May 25, 2012 9:43 pm

      I do the same thing myself. But I’m not sure you can classify it under faulty logic.

  21. YSY(T) permalink
    May 25, 2012 9:33 pm

    1.There are lots of medicines for the people who want to lose their weight. The companies always advertise medicines as if people can lose weight only with this medicine. Sometimes they show the case of some people who succeeded in diet. However no one knows the reason of the person’s way of losing weight. She could exercise really hard or not ate anything for the skinny body. This looks ridiculous, but lots of people actually are deceived by this method.
    2.We can see lots of faulty logic and fallacy in politicians. Actually last year, a politician who didn’t obey his appointment and evaded a huge amount of taxes. During the official announcement, he said that “***(someone in the other party) also did evade a huge amount of taxes! More than me!!”
    What????? Then, the politician can regally evade them only because the other person did it?? Like this example, many politicians sometimes fail to deceive and confess himself involuntarily.

  22. Heather(T) permalink
    May 25, 2012 10:45 pm

    Hello 🙂 This topic is somewhat difficult but very interesting at the same time.

    (Case 1) Sam was 42 and single. He had been working so hard as a president of a small electronics company. One day, he was having dinner with his Tony, one of his close friends at a restaurant nearby his house.
    “Tony. I have a big announcement. You know what? I’m finally getting married with an extremely beautiful lady.” said Sam in a excited voice.
    “What? You are getting married with a beautiful lady? Who is supposed to be your lady? You don’t even have a girl friend, buddy. In addition, how can you be so sure that your wife will be that beautiful?” sniffed Tony.
    “You know I’ve been saving money. It’s for my wedding. My plan is to fly to Uzbekistan to find a beautiful woman who will be my spouse. It’s piece of cake. All women in Uzbekistan are beautiful so If I marry one of them, my dream will come true.”
    “Who told you every woman in Uzbekistan is beautiful? It’s not true, I guess. You can’t be so sure about that.”
    “Ha. You are jealous. I’m sure I’m right. I have three friends who are from Uzbekistan and they are all beautiful. Frankly, Georgina is not my type but still she is pretty. Now what?”
    “………… You are kidding me, aren’t you.”

    Explanation : Sam’s argumentation is a fallacy because the evidence of it is not enough. There are hundreds and thousands of women in Uzbekistan and unfortunately not all of them are pretty. He distorted a fact by hastily conjecturing it based on the insufficient ground. Therefore, to say that every women in Uzbekistan are pretty because my three uzbek friends are so is not logical. It’s just a Hasty Generalization.

    (Case 2) One day, Jenny felt some sort of pain in her chest so she went to hospital to check if she had a disease. After the medical examination, the doctor told her that she had a heart disease. Frustrated, she came back home and deliberated what to do to regain her health. Few minutes later, she finally came up with an idea.
    ‘Aha. I know what to do. Exercise is really good. Actually, it’s good to everyone so it will help me, too. From now on, I will jog before breakfast every morning.’
    Nine days later, she died while she was jogging as usual. Unfortunately, her idea was proven to be wrong. Jogging aggravated her heart disease.

    Explanation : First of all, this is very unfortunate 😦 Of course, exercise is very good but not everyone get benefits from it. For example, people with heart disease shouldn’t do too much exercise to protect their heart. Therefore, to say that exercise is good for everyone is logically faulty and thus it’s unqualified generalization.

    • Heather(T) permalink
      May 25, 2012 10:48 pm

      Oops. A mistake 😦 ‘having dinner with should Tony’ should be replaced by with ‘having dinner with Tony’. Thank you ^.^

  23. gom0509(C1) permalink
    May 25, 2012 10:48 pm

    1) A girl who is all dressed up and says she is “pain” meaning didn’t really dressed properly.

    Most of Korean women say they are fat but actually they are very skinny.
    Most of Korean women say they didn’t put any makeup but isn’t eyeliner and mascara a part of a makeup?

    2) Mothers who are very flexible with her voice.

    For example, why my mom wakes me up in the morning she shouts like a lion. However, when she is answering a phone call or opening the door, she changes her voice like an angle. Do I have two faced mother?

  24. IDGOMIN(T) permalink
    May 25, 2012 10:49 pm

    “You will lose weight when you get into university.”

    I was a little bit fat during my third year of high school and my mother said that if I get accepted into a university, I’ll lose my weight naturally. You probably heard it from your mother too. However, these words are not true. You don’t naturally lose weight just because you got into a university; you have to actually exercise and eat healthier in order to lose weight.
    In fact, at a lot of times, people gain more weight when they get into a university because they tend to drink a lot of alcohol and eat unhealthy greasy food like chicken. A university is not a magical place that automatically gets you to lose weight. However, parents, usually mothers, tells their children that they will lose weight naturally in efforts to keep the children studying without getting distracted about looks.
    In my case, I had to exercise regularly and eat healthy food to lose my weight. I did jumping rope for a month while only having two meals a day to lose weight. I didn’t lose my weight naturally; I had to do my best to get in shape, and others who want to lose weight would have to too. It’s obvious that you are not going to be losing weight naturally just because you entered university.

  25. Julie(C2) permalink
    May 25, 2012 11:19 pm

    There is a common fallacy that women are worse drivers than men. Advocators of the fallacy claim that differentiation of the brain’s structure makes women can’t drive well. However, this is just a groundless claim. Dr. Jo, one of great scholars of brain science, said that there is little difference between women and men’s brain structure. She also said that we should not establish a link between driving ability and the brain’s structure. Someone’s driving ability depends on their characteristic and social environment.

  26. ROTC(C1) permalink
    May 25, 2012 11:22 pm

    Well. I’m not sure it’s correct example . . .

    I often drunk alcohol .
    Many people think I am usually drunken person because of that reason.
    Of couse their opinion is mostly right. However I am not a alcoholic.
    I’m just like to drink with my friends.
    When I’m with them I feel joy and lively.
    As many people know, alcohol makes us more closely.
    One day morning, in my classroom, I sat at cornor of the room.
    Then , my friend asked me ” Did you drink all night ? ”
    I’m ambrassed.
    Because I studied all night for exam !
    They said that I looked pale. But I didn’t drink yesterday .
    I drink alcohol very often, so when I looked pale,
    they usually think I drunk yesterday.

    In my opinion it is one of the example of logical mistake.

    • May 26, 2012 1:15 am

      Not so sure that it’s faulty logic (there’s a big difference between that and a logical mistake).

  27. Celine(T) permalink
    May 25, 2012 11:36 pm

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018026331_apasnewzealandcocacoladeath.html

    This is an article which describes a New Zealand woman who died of an addiction to caffeine in February 2010. The experts said that excessive ingestion of Coke and poor nutrition have contributed to her death. In fact, she had a habit of drinking 2-gallon-a-day Coca-Cola so the first thing and the last thing she did every day was drinking Coke. Actually, I read another version of article which also tells about her death but it was written in Korean so I couldn’t post it. According to that, her parents decided to take a legal action against the Coca Cola company for the reason that it didn’t give any warning to the consumers. They added that the company is the main culprit who led their daughter to death and it should have mentioned the risk of taking excessive drink.

    But I found that their claim has a fallacy. I think the Coca Cola company doesn’t need to take any responsibility for her death. Because, for one thing, she is the one who chose to drink lethal amount of Coke. No one including the company forced her to take it. She ruined her health on her own by having a harmful habit of drinking and smoking as well. And for another, it is a common sense that excessive ingestion of any liquid even including water damages health. Thus, the Coca Cola company doesn’t have to answer for her death and her families are lack of local basis to support their ideas.

    • proftodd permalink*
      May 27, 2012 12:57 am

      Unfortunately, in many Western jurisdictions, a law suit doesn’t have to have merit to be successful. Coca Cola’s claims may be far more meritorious than the families, but should there be a jury trial, Coca Cola would probably opt for an out-of-court settlement to avoid an uncertain verdict, not to mention bad publicity. Their lawyers and accounting department would do a cost-benefit analysis and determine an appropriate amount for settlement, while not acknowledging any guilt, of course. Perhaps, the family realizes the nature of the legal system and is hoping for this outcome. If so, their logic might not be so bad after all, however immoral it seems.

  28. SUN(T) permalink
    May 25, 2012 11:36 pm

    On March 15, Korea and USA FTA was approved. Korea and USA government had started negotiation since 2006, the period of the president No muhyen having political power. When the former president, No muhyen regime was started, the democratic party agreed to propel Korea and USA FTA and actively participated in the talk. Even though the FTA was little unsuitable for its political basis (because the democratic party prefer to support protective trade), the party understood the wave of neo-liberalism.

    However, as the regime was changed to the president Lee, the democratic party intensely objected to making trade agreement. The most problematic article, ISD (Investor State Dispute Settlement,), was still included in the FTA, but the party recently raised question with it. There is not big difference in FTA articles between the president No and Lee, but the democratic party insisted to abolish FTA completely, and argue that the FTA would give serious negative effect on Korea economy.

    The attitude of democratic party has logical fallacy because they changed its claim depending on the regime where they take advantageous position.

  29. May 25, 2012 11:51 pm

    Many people in Korea want to get hot body so, they go to fitness center usually. I have many friends who exercise everyday in there. However they look as if they never work out themselves. It is not sensible therefore I observe them after fitness activity. Their fitness center is in main street in city. That is real problem that they can’t achieve their goal. They went to pub and enjoy beer and take whatever can make them overweight such like fried chicken and Sam Gyup Sal. How foolish they are! I asked them why act like that. They said that ”We know it is not proper way to lose weight ,but the most important thing is we are struggling ourselves.” I think that it is logical only to them.

  30. Energizer0105(C1) permalink
    May 25, 2012 11:56 pm

    I’m gonna talk about some fallacy.

    First, many Korean grand mothers said “Do not shake your legs”

    This is beacuse if we shake our legs, our good fortune or luck is getting .disappeared.

    Next, at night, we should not whistle because snakes can hear a whistling sound.

    And, many Korean drivers tend to change lane very often to go their destination quickly.

    However, actually, it doesn’t work.

    • May 26, 2012 1:17 am

      Fine examples, but you need to offer an explanation why they can be considered as examples of faulty logic.

  31. May 26, 2012 12:59 am

    1. People sometimes think if they take an expensive bag or some money, they will be happy.
    But People’s greed is limitless. As soon as people got things they hoped, they wanted to have another thing.

    2. Parents excessively trust just their children. If their child committed a crime with friends, parents thought their child did bad things because of friends.

    3. I like to watch baseball. My favorite baseball team is Hanwhaeagles. Before Korean baseball league opened this year, many people believed Hanwhaeagles will hold a high rank. Because many good players are scouted. However, now my Hanwha is currently ranked the lowest.

  32. Austin (C2) permalink
    May 26, 2012 2:56 am

    1. I’ve read an article on that half of Korean parents want to send
    their children abroad for a better education, and they truly believe
    that it is a best way what they can do for them. And to make it worse,
    when their children come back to Korea after the course of school,
    parents understand that their children became a native-speaker. It
    must put a lot of pressure on the children.

    2. There is an interesting experiment in America that if a man is
    trying to jaywalk across the road in formal clothes, people follow him
    immediately and try to jaywalk like him. In contrast, if a man is
    dressed in shabby clothes, people don’t follow him at all even people
    criticize him severely. We all acknowledge good appearance have a
    influence others opinion and tend to judge others by the way they
    look.

    3. We mostly think that if you have brand-name products, you must be
    affluent and gorgeous. Even though these products are almost quite
    expensive, some of them work part-time for getting it. Furthermore, if
    celebrity wears luxury bags on TV, there is no doubt at all this bag
    will become trendy.

  33. Gee (T) permalink
    May 26, 2012 1:10 pm

    1.There are lots of advertisements that inject use sort of fantasy.
    If you use shoes you can run like famous athletes. The very shoes itself can’t assure user’s improvement like Park Ji Sung but many people purchase products hoping to be celebrity and become look like them. It looks illogical.

    2.There is famous mention that One Greek said “Greeks are all liars”. Isn’t it funny? Considering the fact that the one Greek Who said that is now lying to us. It is error of circular reasoning. Finally we cannot know what it is truth. Sometimes we can watch this error from religious activity or religious mention but I don’t want to treat with that because it has possibility that leads to limitless dispute.

    3. When I teach some middle student, I usually persuade my students of not using smart phone.
    “I will not use my smartphone during class so I want.. you boys and girls also don’t use it for the better class”.But they said to me.

    “Then what are you going to give us? If we don’t use smartphone.”

    It is logical fallacy because they just only want to receive something. In this way they ignore the logic giving impression that they are on me.

    It means they couldn’t consider double-sidedness.

    • Gee (T) permalink
      May 26, 2012 1:23 pm

      There is some sentence error and unnatural sentece so I chage some sentence! Plz see htis article.

      1.

      There are lots of advertisments that inject faulty logic to us.
      Here is some cliché that we always meet in life. Let see following expression.
      If you use shoes you can run like famous athletes.
      Pondering the fact, The very shoes itself can’t assure user’s improvement like Park Ji Sung but many people purchase products hoping to be celebrity and become look like them and we accept this faulty logic and like it even though it can’t come into existence

      2.

      There is famous mention that One Greek said “Greeks are all liars”. Isn’t it funny?

      Considering the fact that the one Greek Who said that is now lying to us. It is error of circular reasoning.

      Finally we cannot know what it is truth. Sometimes we can watch this error from religious activity or religious mention but I don’t want to treat with that because it has possibility that leads to limitless dispute.

      3.
      When I teach some middle student, I usually persuade my students of not using smart phone.
      “I will not use my smartphone during class so I want.. you boys and girls also don’t use it for the better class”.

      But they said to me.

      “Then what are you going to give us? If we don’t use smartphone.”

      It is logical fallacy because they just only want to receive something. In this way they ignore the logic giving impression that they are on me. It means they couldn’t consider double-sidedness.

  34. Zakk (C1) permalink
    May 26, 2012 1:36 pm

    1. I saw an african-american person running the road. but his running form was not good so It looks little ridiculas. He seems that he is not used to doing exercise. I thought it’s strange. because I have thought every black people do exercise very well.

    explanation: If someone is belong to certain species, It doesn’t mean that he or she have the all ability of that species.

    2. I saw some funny fomulas on a website.

    1) study = no fail
    2)no study = fail

    then combine these two fomulas

    study + no study = no fail + fail

    (1+ no) study = ( no + 1) fail

    it can be simplified

    study = fail.

    explanation: This is not a serious fallacy but a kind of joke. Students tired of their study put these components to the fomula that can’t work together. Anyway it looks work well and so fun.

  35. HJE(T) permalink
    May 26, 2012 9:03 pm

    One of the most famous real variety show in Korea, Infinite Challenge, has been stopped its broadcasting 17 weeks due to a strike of labor union of MBC. People who love the show want to watch the program as soon as possible, but it seems to hard to see the show in the near future. In addition, they support the union’s idea to watch the show again without enough knowledge about why the union is striking. Actually, there is faulty logic in the union’s logic .They claim the resign of their president. They say because of their new boss’s conservative political tendency, the company’s coverage lost its fairness. They also lend weight to their argument by their president’s moral laxity that he used company funds personally. However, there is no connection between fairness and moral laxity.

  36. Amy(T) permalink
    May 26, 2012 10:05 pm

    Some university students sometimes think that their upper-classmates get a better score in the class than their owns because professors are only thinking of high-grade students for their graduation and getting a job.
    Explanation: some students think this way regardless of upper-classmates’ effort. When they got a lower score than their upper-classmates, those students only think about their age or grade, not their effrot and hard-working.

  37. Wicked(T) permalink
    May 27, 2012 1:23 am

    -Example: When I was young, I usually argued that I must buy this new product (such as i pod) because everyone in my class already has it.

    – Explanation: This is totally unlogical. It is so called bandwagon. People actually do not have to follow others if other people do something. They just want to belong or participate. However, some people justify their own assertion by using this logical fallacy.

    -Example: My father is very good at almost every sports. He’s like a sportsman. Whenever I go to the gym with my father, most people who know him says “You must be good at sports like your father.”

    -Explanation: In fact, That’s wrong. I am more like poor at sports. I just like to watch them. People assume that my father’s genetic feature must have been inherited.

  38. Elena(T) permalink
    May 27, 2012 3:29 pm

    I think the new law that regulate the big supermarkets like homeplus is the fallacy. Because of this regulation, the supermarkets in capital area can not sale anything at 2nd and 4th sunday. The government says this regulaton is for fair trade between small shopkeepers and big supermarkets. However, this regulation do not work well, because the reasons why people do not use small shop is not related with the supermarket. Typically, many people go supermarket rather than small shop, and the reason is the backwardness of small shop. There are not parking lot and we can not use our credit card at there. These are the reason why people do not go small shop, so if the government want to revival of small shop, they have to support them finacially rather than regulate the supermarket’s sale.

  39. watson (T) permalink
    May 27, 2012 6:11 pm

    Western people have criticized Koreans for eating dogs. They think Korean people who eat dog meat are brutal, inferior and cruel. However, I think it is not logical. They insist that eating dog meat is animal abuse because they view the dog as a pet. Then, they don’t eat any meat? Western people also eat animals we can’t accept such as mutton, venison, foie gras and so on whereas Korean people don’t eat them. I think it is just a cultural difference and eating dog meat is common practice and tradition in Korea. People all over the world shouldn’t condemn people in other country for their culture. There are cultural differences, not high culture or low culture.

  40. Ann(T) permalink
    May 27, 2012 6:55 pm

    – Example 1. Many students say they cannot study because there isn’t time enough to study.

    – Explain : Many students say that but they don’t study when they are relaxed. When there are homeworks, they don’t do it in advace of deadline and do it just before it. Also, I would do it as many students.

    – Exampe 2. Many lazy people say that they don’t clean their room becuase it become dirty shortly after they clean the room.

    – Explain: But It is jus an excuse for justifying them who don’t want to clean the room. If they don’t clean the room continuously, their room is beyond cure. Also, If they clean the room, the room keep clean with minimal effort.

    These examples are from my experiences or friends’ stories.

  41. May 28, 2012 12:37 pm

    Example. – Eating vegetables and fruits does not make you fat. It rather helps you to lose weight.

    It is true that many fruits and vegetables helps you to lose weight. There are large quantity of fibers inside. Nevertheless, It is not always true. Banana has higher calorie than a chocolate bar. Melon has a lot of natural sugar in it, and people on diet should try to avoid. A lot of women calculate their daily ingesting calories. However they tend to forget the calories of fruits they eat. Regular mandarine has 40-50 calories, and Banana has about 100-150 calories. In conclusion, fruits also have calories, It does not always make you slim.

  42. Chaily (T) permalink
    May 28, 2012 11:48 pm

    Sorry, Mr. McGowan, for tardiness.

    Here is one example of fallacy of a person trying to say in light of inductive argument.
    Sandra, who is very optimistic, has got a position in a major S corporation. Tracy who is also very positive-minded person got accepted by the big company L. Thus, whoever with positive characteristic is going to get a job in large firms.

    Kelsy who is often jealous of, the new girl at school, Picksy’s charming face and curves on her body tries to attack her presumed being promiscuous after she said she is from a very strict, modest family. Picksy defends, “I don’t sleep around just because I have many friends.” Kelsy argues, “No, you always have boys around you at school, at the mall, at the theater, and whatever. You always flirt with them! Hell with modesty!” In fact, Picksy is not only just beautiful but also has five brothers and two cousins live in a same community as well.

    The Japanese try to justify their colonization over Korea in the early 1900’s. “If Koreans were not primitive enough to govern themselves, they would have not agreed to be ruled by the Japanese in the first place, right?”

  43. yong(c2) permalink
    May 29, 2012 2:09 am

    When some people come a theater, especially girls say “I have to eat a diet coke because of weight loss” after then, she orders clerk “give me large caramel popcon and diet coke”

    I can’t understand her thinking. If she really want to weight loss, she should not order that. In fact, caramel popcon calories high than origianl popcon calories. Also, diet coke calories similar to orginal coke calories. If she really wanted to go on a diet, she had to order that : no popcon or original popcon. Her first order accord not her thinking.

  44. soojpoo(c2) permalink
    June 1, 2012 4:41 pm

    America is the land of freedom and liberty which guarantees human rights and equal opportunities for all human kinds. However, I saw many Americans assuming that a particular student must be one good athlete when they hear about black students got into good universities with full scholarship. Even before finding out whether the African-American student studied and tried very hard to get accepted into top university or they really received athletic scholarship, many people in American societies tend to largely be influenced by social and ethnical stereotypes on black students.

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