Monday, April 23, 2012

Logical Fallacy of the Week, Week 30: Fallacy of composition

De Omnibus Dubitandum!

Fallacy of composition – assuming that something true of part of a whole must also be true of the whole - The fallacy of composition arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole (or even of every proper part). For example: "This fragment of metal cannot be broken with a hammer, therefore the machine of which it is a part cannot be broken with a hammer." This is clearly fallacious, because many machines can be broken into their constituent parts without any of those parts being breakable.

Examples
1. Human cells are invisible to the naked eye.
2. Humans are made up of human cells.
3. Therefore, humans are invisible to the naked eye
The example I use is the DDT example.
1. There were dead birds.
2. DDT was found in the birds.
3. DDT killed the birds
4. Ban DDT
To expand this line of fallacious thinking;
1. DDT is a pesticide
2. Pesticides must kill birds
3. Ban pesticides
Let’s take one more step in this ‘logic’.
1. Pesticides are synthetic chemicals
2. Synthetic chemicals must kill birds
3. Ban synthetic chemicals
Now let’s take the final step.
1. Modern living requires synthetic chemicals
2. Ban modern living

Sound familiar? Did you ever wonder how we got to where we are today with these irrational and misanthropic greenies? As you can tell, I have been waiting for this one because it is one of the logical fallacies used against us all the time. We need to recognize it and challenge it immediately. You will find that overcoming them isn't the problem. Recognizing them for what they are is! Once recognized they are easy to overcome. Once you have challenged their fallacy they are lost because they don't have anything else...except more fallacies and the one thing that is hard to overcome..... lies. Greenies lie. That means we also have to know the subject and debunk the lies. They then resort to opinion, i.e., "well you have your opinion and I have mine", logic. Once they jump on that wagon you might as well move on because they will not accept that their opinions aren't facts and your facts aren't opinions. A classic example of 'throwing your pearls before swine'.

However, we must be able to define things properly. Dennis Prager is right. Clarity is more important than agreement.

There is a lot more to this one so please follow the link.


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