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OfflineSpecialEd
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Registered: 01/30/03
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arguementum ad numerum
    #2217608 - 01/04/04 02:07 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

This fallacy is closely related to the argumentum ad populum. It consists of asserting that the more people who support or believe a proposition, the more likely it is that that proposition is correct. For example:
.
.
"The vast majority of people in this country believe that capital punishment has a noticeable deterrent effect. To suggest that it doesn't in the face of so much evidence is ridiculous."
.
.
"All I'm saying is that thousands of people believe in pyramid power, so there must be something to it."





To me, the ad numerum fallacy is apparent in context of the quoted examples. However, something that strikes me is that in the definition of the fallacy, the word believe is used (see bold text).

Is it a fallacy then, to use the number of people who follow and practice an idea or precept as an indication of the validity of such notions?

For example, people claim to be beneficiaries of "higher consciousness and awareness" on these boards, but does the fact that the average person seems to lack the capacity for such modes of thought say anything about higher awareness?"

Another example would be the hippy movement. Does the fact that the people involved in this movement gave it up to pursue a life that they demonstrated against say anthing about their ideals?

Or consider the Catholic Church sex scandals. Does the fact that volumes of priests infringed their celibacy by molesting alter boys say anything about the Church since it mandates that Priests take vows of celibacy, which arguable drove its adherents to sexual perversion?

Consider also the Monk lifestyle. Since it would be nearly impossible for the average person to live the life of a monk, does that speak negatively of the lifestyle?

Or does it all boil down to lack of discipline on humans?


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Edited by SpecialEd (01/04/04 02:12 AM)


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: arguementum ad numerum [Re: SpecialEd]
    #2218046 - 01/04/04 08:30 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

SpecialEd said:
For example, people claim to be beneficiaries of "higher consciousness and awareness" on these boards, but does the fact that the average person seems to lack the capacity for such modes of thought say anything about higher awareness?"




They don't seem to lack the capacity of it. They are either too buried within the programming to see that it doesn't have to be that way, or don't know how to pull themselves out...

As for your topic, I think it is a fallacy. It wasn't the ideas that failed, it was those who carried them.
Peace.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: arguementum ad numerum [Re: SpecialEd]
    #2218423 - 01/04/04 02:49 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

I don't know if the ad numerum fallacy is apparant in the examples you gave, or else you are trying to make a different point and I don't understand it.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineSpecialEd
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Re: arguementum ad numerum [Re: Frog]
    #2218676 - 01/04/04 05:14 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

I think the fallacy is apparent in the examples because the person making the claims has nothing to substantiate them and is making an appeal to the number of people who believe in them. At face value, the number of people who believe in something indicates nothing about an idea.

What I'm saying is, why are such lofty ideas often impossible to follow...

Quote:

They don't seem to lack the capacity of it. They are either too buried within the programming to see that it doesn't have to be that way, or don't know how to pull themselves out...

As for your topic, I think it is a fallacy. It wasn't the ideas that failed, it was those who carried them.
Peace.




Then the two conclusions are

1. Something is flawed with the ideas themselves (what I'm saying)
2. Something is inherently weak in humans (what your saying?)

I do not like the implications of 2, so I have to believe that if a precept proves difficult to follow, then something is wrong with it.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: arguementum ad numerum [Re: SpecialEd]
    #2218696 - 01/04/04 05:24 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

There's nothing inherently weak in humans.. just our own programming.
The way a child is raised is such that he will be able to survive until a point where he develops a true understanding of the way things are...

You could take a brand new computer and fill it to the brim of all those little programs that show up on pop ups, all sorts of bullshit software that eats away your resources... now, is it the computer itself that it can't run the state of the art war game or is it all the bullshit, unnecessary programs draining the life of the computer?
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflineFrog
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Re: arguementum ad numerum [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2219034 - 01/04/04 08:44 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

fireworks_god said:
There's nothing inherently weak in humans.. just our own programming.
The way a child is raised is such that he will be able to survive until a point where he develops a true understanding of the way things are...

You could take a brand new computer and fill it to the brim of all those little programs that show up on pop ups, all sorts of bullshit software that eats away your resources... now, is it the computer itself that it can't run the state of the art war game or is it all the bullshit, unnecessary programs draining the life of the computer?
Peace.




I was just talking about this with someone on that interminable drive. I said that I thought that children are born inherently bad because they lie, hit each other, try to get away with stuff, etc. They have to be taught to be "good", to have morals.

The person I was speaking with said that it's not that they are inherently "bad", but that people are inherently lazy or weak. Everyone is born with a clean slate, so to speak. They could grow up to be good or bad. They have to make the choice, though.

It's easier to make bad choices. If a kid has to tell the truth, they may be punished. If they can tell a lie and get away with something, and it works, they get out of trouble. It's easier to lie than to stand up for your actions and admit what you did.

So I think that there's something to that.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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