Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought.

Moderator: Only_Humean

Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby browser32 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:08 pm

Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the name of the fallacy committed?

(1) A hypocritical agent is one that says one thing, but does another.
(2) The government kills people. (Through wars, the death penalty, etc.)
(3) The government tells us not to kill. (By making it a law to not murder. Murder is a form of killing, thus making it a law to not murder is a form of making it a law to not kill.)
________________________________________________________
Therefore, (4) The government is hypocritical.
Last edited by browser32 on Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
browser32
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:25 am

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby fuse » Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:38 pm

There's no fallacy as far as I can tell. But I would question the truth of premises 2 and 3.

Where I live, the government has never taken the stand that all killing is wrong. Some killing has always been argued as justified.

So it seems to be a valid deductive argument. But it's not sound.
I would like more people to embrace their religion; not the religion they belong to. The religion of life, instead, that comes from being them. ~Jayson

    I am a man; nothing human is foreign to me. ~
User avatar
fuse
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3776
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:13 pm

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby browser32 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:00 pm

fuse wrote:I would question the truth of premises 2 and 3.

Where I live, the government has never taken the stand that all killing is wrong. Some killing has always been argued as justified.


The content in parenthesesis supposed to justify the truth of premises 2 and 3. That's why I put it there. My question is: Since these premises are true, does the conclusion logically follow? You say it does. It's just seems like an odd conclusion to come to. It's hard for me to believe. I believe the premises are true, but find the conclusion hard to believe. That's why I'm questioning it's validity.

What's wrong with the justification in parentheses that proves premises 2 and 3, then?
browser32
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:25 am

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby Faust » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:20 pm

browser, buddy - you have some ill-defined ideas, here. Firstly, if the government states that private citizens should not kill, except under certain circumstances, but that the government itself may do so, there is no hypocrisy in that. Or if there is, you'd have to argue for it, because that isn't obvious. Hypocrisy is pretense, and not merely utilizing different kinds of agency for different classes.
User avatar
Faust
Unrequited Lover of Wisdom
 
Posts: 16270
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 6:47 pm

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby fuse » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:21 pm

You said it yourself. Murder is a form of killing, but not the only one. If the government enforces capital punishment and war then it does not "say" no one should ever kill. Also...I've never heard of any government that prohibits people from defending themselves if necessary.
Last edited by fuse on Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I would like more people to embrace their religion; not the religion they belong to. The religion of life, instead, that comes from being them. ~Jayson

    I am a man; nothing human is foreign to me. ~
User avatar
fuse
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3776
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:13 pm

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby browser32 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:25 pm

Faust wrote:if the government states that private citizens should not kill, except under certain circumstances, but that the government itself may do so, there is no hypocrisy in that.


So if my mother states I should not smoke, but that she may do so herself, there is no hypocrisy in that? Something seems wrong here.
browser32
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:25 am

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby fuse » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:26 pm

browser32 wrote:
Faust wrote:if the government states that private citizens should not kill, except under certain circumstances, but that the government itself may do so, there is no hypocrisy in that.


So if my mother states I should not smoke, but that she may do so herself, there is no hypocrisy in that? Something seems wrong here.

Not necessarily. If she had said "No one should ever smoke." then that would be pretty clear hypocrisy. If she has a reason why she can smoke and you shouldn't then it's not hypocrisy.
I would like more people to embrace their religion; not the religion they belong to. The religion of life, instead, that comes from being them. ~Jayson

    I am a man; nothing human is foreign to me. ~
User avatar
fuse
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3776
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:13 pm

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby Faust » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:58 pm

So if my mother states I should not smoke, but that she may do so herself, there is no hypocrisy in that? Something seems wrong here.


I agree with fuse, but parents are a special case. Parents outright lie to their kids all the time. And just being a parent seems to me to require hypocrisy, at least by your definition. I think you want to reserve the term "hypocrisy" for another usage. Think of the gangbanger who knows that some day, he is likely to meet a violent end, or to be incarcerated for a very long time. Don't we hope that he tells his son not to follow in his footsteps?

Just some advice - before you get to the point of being a master logician, you might want to make sure that your premises are clearly formed, and that you are fully aware of the assumptions they are based on. Most of all, you want to be a master of language before you can be a master of logic.

That's really just friendly advice. Valid arguments are a dime a dozen. Good philosophical arguments are exceedingly rare. Philosophy is firstly about assumptions, secondly about very precise statements of ideas, and only lastly about arguments.
User avatar
Faust
Unrequited Lover of Wisdom
 
Posts: 16270
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 6:47 pm

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby browser32 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:08 am

I know how to philosophize, thank you very much. :) Raise the bar, guys. :) My argument is presented very formally. It's one of the best ways it can be presented. Or at the very least, it should be.

Premise 2 is true: The government kills people. It killed Nazis and Japanese in WWII. End of story.

Premise 3 is true: The government tells us not to kill. There are laws against murder, and murder is a form of killing. End of story.

So, the government is hypocritical. It kills, but tells us not to. That is hypocrisy.

I don't know how much clearer I can make this. Really, guys.

If there's a problem, it's not the truth of the premises. They are true. It's the validity of the argument.
browser32
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:25 am

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby fuse » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:13 am

No, you just didn't understand our points. Feel free to respond directly to something I said instead of just telling me I'm wrong...


:) (mocking smiley)
I would like more people to embrace their religion; not the religion they belong to. The religion of life, instead, that comes from being them. ~Jayson

    I am a man; nothing human is foreign to me. ~
User avatar
fuse
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3776
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:13 pm

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby Flannel Jesus » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:14 am

browser32 wrote:Premise 3 is true: The government tells us not to kill. There are laws against murder, and murder is a form of killing. End of story.

You're inflating what they're actually telling us illogically. They tell us not to murder, yes, but that's not the same as "don't kill in general at all." Murder fits in the larger category of killing, and killing fits in the larger category of (choosing one at random right now hrmmm...) interacting with other humans. So if I followed your logic, and whatever they apply to one category of action they must apply to all categories that that category fits in, the government must also be telling us not to interact with other humans if they tell us not to kill...

hopefully that was a brief lesson on the irrationality of inflating things about one category into things about their containing categories.
User avatar
Flannel Jesus
For Your Health
 
Posts: 5018
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:32 pm

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby xzc » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:26 am

This argument is simpleminded. Putting numbers in front of your sentences doesn't make it a formal proof. That said, construed in it's simplest disambiguated form it can be said to be valid, though ultimately dumb.
Carcasse, tu trembles?
Tu tremblerais bien davantage, si
tu savais, ou je te mene.
User avatar
xzc
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3911
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:52 am
Location: Pale Blue Dot

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby browser32 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:17 am

fuse wrote:No, you just didn't understand our points. Feel free to respond directly to something I said instead of just telling me I'm wrong...


:) (mocking smiley)


OK. I will. :)

fuse wrote: I would question the truth of premises 2 and 3.
...
it's not sound.


Once again, as I just showed in my last post, Premises 2 and 3 are true. You're saying there's something wrong, either with one of them or with both of them. That's precisely where you are wrong.

Flannel Jesus wrote:They tell us not to murder, yes, but that's not the same as "don't kill in general at all."


So what? Specifically how does that undermine my argument? I outlined my argument very clearly, espically in my last post. Feel free to look back. Now how does this quote of yours undermine my specific argument? What is wrong with my specific argument?

Flannel Jesus wrote:So if I followed your logic, and whatever they apply to one category of action they must apply to all categories that that category fits in


I don't quite understand your syntax here, but I think I know what you're trying to say. You're saying that according to my logic, telling us not to murder is a form of telling us not to "kill in general at all." That's NOT my logic. My logic is: telling us not to murder is a form of telling us not to kill - period. That much is true, and that's as far as I go in my argument.

Flannel Jesus wrote:the government must also be telling us not to interact with other humans if they tell us not to kill...


True. Killing is a form of interacting with other humans. So, telling us not to kill is a form of telling us not to interact with other humans. The government tells us not to kill, thus it tells us not to interact with other humans. It's true. The latter is a form of the former.

If the government tells us not to look at squares, it's implicitly telling us not to look at rectangles as well. It may not be telling us not to look at rectangles of any kind, but it's still telling us not to look at rectangles. It's telling us not to look at a specific type of rectangle. But I don't need to specify that. If I'm looking at a square, I'm looking at a rectangle. I don't need to say I'm looking at a specific type of rectangle.

So, as the argument form goes, you, Flannel Jesus, have found yet another way that the government is hypocritical.

My question remains: Is this a valid argument form? I have seemingly successfully argued in support of it, but remain somewhat skeptical and unconvinced. That's why I inquired the help of you all by making this thread.
browser32
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:25 am

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby Flannel Jesus » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:21 pm

browser32 wrote:True. Killing is a form of interacting with other humans. So, telling us not to kill is a form of telling us not to interact with other humans. The government tells us not to kill, thus it tells us not to interact with other humans. It's true. The latter is a form of the former.

If the government tells us not to look at squares, it's implicitly telling us not to look at rectangles as well. It may not be telling us not to look at rectangles of any kind, but it's still telling us not to look at rectangles. It's telling us not to look at a specific type of rectangle. But I don't need to specify that. If I'm looking at a square, I'm looking at a rectangle. I don't need to say I'm looking at a specific type of rectangle.

So, as the argument form goes, you, Flannel Jesus, have found yet another way that the government is hypocritical.

you can't apply things upwards categorically browser. it only works the other way. that's where you're going wrong here.

what applys to all rectangles applies to all squares, but what applies to squares may not apply to all rectangles. you seem to be aware of this in one sense, but when it comes to rules, you reverse categorical applications. it doesn't make sense. i don't know why you think that. can you explain why you're working backwards through categories like that?
User avatar
Flannel Jesus
For Your Health
 
Posts: 5018
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:32 pm

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby Sauwelios » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:15 pm

browser32 wrote:Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the name of the fallacy committed?

(1) A hypocritical agent is one that says one thing, but does another.
(2) The government kills people. (Through wars, the death penalty, etc.)
(3) The government tells us not to kill. (By making it a law to not murder. Murder is a form of killing, thus making it a law to not murder is a form of making it a law to not kill.)
________________________________________________________
Therefore, (4) The government is hypocritical.

The argument is invalid. The invalidity is in the difference between "the government" and "us". The following three arguments are all valid:

(1) A hypocritical agent is one that says one thing, but does another.
(2) The government kills.
(3) The government says that governments should not kill.
________________________________________________________
Therefore, (4) The government is hypocritical.

(1) A hypocritical agent is one that says one thing, but does another.
(2) Person X kills.
(3) Person X says that people should not kill.
________________________________________________________
Therefore, (4) Person X is hypocritical.

(1) A hypocritical agent is one that says one thing, but does another.
(2) Agent X kills.
(3) Agent X says that agents should not kill.
________________________________________________________
Therefore, (4) Agent X is hypocritical.

But the following argument is invalid:

(1) A hypocritical agent is one that says one thing, but does another.
(2) Agent X kills.
(3) Agent X tells other agents not to kill.
________________________________________________________
Therefore, (4) Agent X is hypocritical.
"In man, creature and creator are united: in man there is matter, fragment, excess, clay, mud, nonsense, chaos; but in man there is also creator, sculptor, hammer-hardness, spectator's-divinity and seventh day:—do you understand this antithesis? And that your compassion is for the 'creature in man', for that which must be formed, broken, forged, torn, burnt, made incandescent, purified,—that which must suffer and shall suffer? And our compassion—do you not grasp whom our reverse compassion is for when it defends itself against your compassion as against the worst of all pamperings and weaknesses?" (Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, aphorism 225. Compare The Will to Power, Kaufmann edition, section 367.)
User avatar
Sauwelios
Philosophical Supremacist
 
Posts: 6322
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:07 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby aletheia » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:34 pm

Hi browser. Its really this simple (are you paying attention? good):

The meaning of "kill" is different in premise 2 than in premise 3. The government kills people means: war, death penalty (your examples). The government tell us not to kill means: not to murder (legally determined to be an unlawful and intentional killing).

You don't get to have your cake and eat it too. The premises are not talking about the same thing, therefore there is logical disconnect, lack of total overlap in premises, therefore the argument is not valid (or sound), UNLESS you rework it to mean "kill" in the EXACT same sense among all premises.
'The daemonic genius is the only thing capable of surviving the odds of existence versus no existence... because of what it empirically tolerates though fundamentally defying it, the deepest existence is satyrical. The grin on a primordial sailor, grim to all things human, his enjoyment in the uncertainty. He knows himself by this very factor. Valuing the uncertainty of the universe as an extension of oneself - this sailor is the primordial being.' [Source]


Before The Light philosophy forum
 
User avatar
aletheia
Thinker
 
Posts: 693
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:56 pm
Location: Ethos Anthropos Daimon.

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby Philosopher8659 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:17 pm

browser32 wrote:Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the name of the fallacy committed?

(1) A hypocritical agent is one that says one thing, but does another.
(2) The government kills people. (Through wars, the death penalty, etc.)
(3) The government tells us not to kill. (By making it a law to not murder. Murder is a form of killing, thus making it a law to not murder is a form of making it a law to not kill.)
________________________________________________________
Therefore, (4) The government is hypocritical.


Try this, and see if you can find an answer.

Is a person responsible for their actions?
Is the law of reciprocity valid?
Thus if someone does unto me, what I have done, who is responsible if my life is taken for what I have done, the taker of that life, or me?

Your argument is fallacious because you negated the whole idea of reciprocity.
Philosopher8659
 
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:49 pm

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby GM Master Carl » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:32 pm

browser32 wrote:Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the name of the fallacy committed?

(1) A hypocritical agent is one that says one thing, but does another.
(2) The government kills people. (Through wars, the death penalty, etc.)
(3) The government tells us not to kill. (By making it a law to not murder. Murder is a form of killing, thus making it a law to not murder is a form of making it a law to not kill.)
________________________________________________________
Therefore, (4) The government is hypocritical.



Well both of them have already basically been stated. But just to beat the dead horse.

Outside of sentence three having issues of the agent telling other agents, and not declaring all agents, you also have a problem of equivocation.

You utilize the word "kill" in sentence 2 - establishing the meaning by "justified killing"
You utilize the word "kill" in sentence 3 - establishing the meaning by "unjustified killing"

But according to the agent, justified killing =/= unjustified killing.
GM Master Carl
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:56 pm

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby incorrect » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:17 am

i didn't read the thread

i have trouble attributing agency to government

i'll attack the argument at #1 for another reason though

'says one thing, but does another'

right now i'm saying "my response is stupid", while scratching my ballsack

as an example of saying one thing and doing something else.. they're disjoint

not a fallacy

but i don't like your definition of a hypocritical agent
money is not a requirement for life
incorrect
 
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:27 am

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby Moreno » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:56 pm

browser32 wrote:Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the name of the fallacy committed?

(1) A hypocritical agent is one that says one thing, but does another.
(2) The government kills people. (Through wars, the death penalty, etc.)
(3) The government tells us not to kill. (By making it a law to not murder. Murder is a form of killing, thus making it a law to not murder is a form of making it a law to not kill.)
________________________________________________________
Therefore, (4) The government is hypocritical.


The government tells us not to murder. Generally governments allow for some types of killing: self-defense, and, of course, killing in war.

There may be ways the government justifies killing in war that end up being hypocritical, but it's much more complicated than this schema allows for.
User avatar
Moreno
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 8934
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: Is this a valid argument? If not, what is the fallacy?

Postby raddem-bicol » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:13 am

Ah, Weberian states again. :banana-dance:

"[S]omething is "a 'state' if and insofar as its administrative staff successfully upholds a claim on the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence (German: das Monopol legitimen physischen Zwanges) in the enforcement of its order."
(Source: Wikipedia) :evilfun:
"Philosophy is the battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language." —Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The poets are in the vanguard of a changed conception of Being.” —Martin Heidegger

"If we want peace, prepare for peace." —Bertha von Suttner
User avatar
raddem-bicol
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Naga, Bicol, Philippines, Southeast Asia


Return to The Sandbox



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users