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Critical Thinking - Spot the Argument Flaw

OHHHSHAAANE
Posts: 1
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7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---

My intuition tells me that the 2% of people may have had underlying conditions such as heart defect, and the author does says nothing to assume I'm in good health. As such would that constitute an "incomplete comparison" in terms of using the appropriate terminology?

I also feel it may have something to do with the "base rate fallacy" where sample sizes may not be strong enough but given that the author seems to suggest that its accounting for lightning strikes I'm not sure if that fits appropriately for deconstruction.

Or possibly the gambler's fallacy assuming that in future the strikes won't be as deadly? or that it simply has to do with the US

What do you folks think?

Would love to chat and learn
SJM
Posts: 140
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7/20/2016 2:49:04 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM, OHHHSHAAANE wrote:
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---

My intuition tells me that the 2% of people may have had underlying conditions such as heart defect, and the author does says nothing to assume I'm in good health. As such would that constitute an "incomplete comparison" in terms of using the appropriate terminology?

I also feel it may have something to do with the "base rate fallacy" where sample sizes may not be strong enough but given that the author seems to suggest that its accounting for lightning strikes I'm not sure if that fits appropriately for deconstruction.

Or possibly the gambler's fallacy assuming that in future the strikes won't be as deadly? or that it simply has to do with the US

What do you folks think?

Would love to chat and learn

I'm bad, but I assume it's that the degree of the lightning varies, therefore it's not constant as if it were many subjects getting hit with the same degree of pain. Maybe it has something to do with the word subsequently, as in how much time is subsequently because the deaths may have nothing to do with the lightning.
Hitler- If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.

Stalin- Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.

Machiavelli- It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.

Ivan the Terrible- "I will not see the destruction of the Christian converts who are loyal to me, and to my last breath I will fight for the Orthodox faith
SJM
Posts: 140
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7/20/2016 2:50:46 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM, OHHHSHAAANE wrote:
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---

My intuition tells me that the 2% of people may have had underlying conditions such as heart defect, and the author does says nothing to assume I'm in good health. As such would that constitute an "incomplete comparison" in terms of using the appropriate terminology?

I also feel it may have something to do with the "base rate fallacy" where sample sizes may not be strong enough but given that the author seems to suggest that its accounting for lightning strikes I'm not sure if that fits appropriately for deconstruction.

Or possibly the gambler's fallacy assuming that in future the strikes won't be as deadly? or that it simply has to do with the US

What do you folks think?

Would love to chat and learn

Actually nvm what I said, I haven't slept.
Hitler- If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.

Stalin- Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.

Machiavelli- It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.

Ivan the Terrible- "I will not see the destruction of the Christian converts who are loyal to me, and to my last breath I will fight for the Orthodox faith
Chaosism
Posts: 2,674
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7/20/2016 3:04:36 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM, OHHHSHAAANE wrote:
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---

My intuition tells me that the 2% of people may have had underlying conditions such as heart defect, and the author does says nothing to assume I'm in good health. As such would that constitute an "incomplete comparison" in terms of using the appropriate terminology?

I also feel it may have something to do with the "base rate fallacy" where sample sizes may not be strong enough but given that the author seems to suggest that its accounting for lightning strikes I'm not sure if that fits appropriately for deconstruction.

Or possibly the gambler's fallacy assuming that in future the strikes won't be as deadly? or that it simply has to do with the US

What do you folks think?

Would love to chat and learn

The proposed conclusion ("if you're hit by lightning in the US, you'll almost certainly survive") doesn't follow from the premise regarding the success of hospital treatment success because it doesn't consider all the victims who didn't survive to be treated in the first place nor those who just didn't or couldn't make it to the hospital, while the conclusion does. So, the a more proper conclusion would be, "if you're hit by lightning in the US, survive the initial incident, and make it to a hospital for treatment, you'll almost certainly survive".
n7
Posts: 1,360
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7/20/2016 8:29:44 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM, OHHHSHAAANE wrote:
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---

My intuition tells me that the 2% of people may have had underlying conditions such as heart defect, and the author does says nothing to assume I'm in good health. As such would that constitute an "incomplete comparison" in terms of using the appropriate terminology?

I also feel it may have something to do with the "base rate fallacy" where sample sizes may not be strong enough but given that the author seems to suggest that its accounting for lightning strikes I'm not sure if that fits appropriately for deconstruction.

Or possibly the gambler's fallacy assuming that in future the strikes won't be as deadly? or that it simply has to do with the US

What do you folks think?

Would love to chat and learn

At first glance, it's only dealing with those victims who were treated. It says nothing about overall injuries/fatalities caused by lightning.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
mrsatan
Posts: 429
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7/20/2016 9:28:13 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM, OHHHSHAAANE wrote:
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---

My intuition tells me that the 2% of people may have had underlying conditions such as heart defect, and the author does says nothing to assume I'm in good health. As such would that constitute an "incomplete comparison" in terms of using the appropriate terminology?

I also feel it may have something to do with the "base rate fallacy" where sample sizes may not be strong enough but given that the author seems to suggest that its accounting for lightning strikes I'm not sure if that fits appropriately for deconstruction.

Or possibly the gambler's fallacy assuming that in future the strikes won't be as deadly? or that it simply has to do with the US

What do you folks think?

Would love to chat and learn

The number of people treated for lightning strikes at hospitals is a subset of the number of people struck by lightning. The conclusion seems to assume that everyone struck by lightning makes it to the hospital.
To say one has free will, to have chosen other than they did, is to say they have will over their will... Will over the will they have over their will... Will over the will they have over the will they have over their will, etc... It's utter nonsense.
mrsatan
Posts: 429
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7/20/2016 9:31:01 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Oops, it seems Chaosism had already pointed that out.
To say one has free will, to have chosen other than they did, is to say they have will over their will... Will over the will they have over their will... Will over the will they have over the will they have over their will, etc... It's utter nonsense.
sadolite
Posts: 8,842
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7/20/2016 9:52:04 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
With all seriousness aside concerning the OP Are you just looking to be entertained with responses.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
Emmarie
Posts: 1,907
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7/20/2016 10:35:25 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM, OHHHSHAAANE wrote:
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---

My intuition tells me that the 2% of people may have had underlying conditions such as heart defect, and the author does says nothing to assume I'm in good health. As such would that constitute an "incomplete comparison" in terms of using the appropriate terminology?

I also feel it may have something to do with the "base rate fallacy" where sample sizes may not be strong enough but given that the author seems to suggest that its accounting for lightning strikes I'm not sure if that fits appropriately for deconstruction.

Or possibly the gambler's fallacy assuming that in future the strikes won't be as deadly? or that it simply has to do with the US

What do you folks think?

Would love to chat and learn

I'd say the flaw in the argument is that the 2% that Hospitals treated who died, doesn't factor in the amount who were HIT by lightning and died. a Hospital wouldn't treat someone who was already dead, so this statistic is likely inaccurate if you take into account how many people are HIT by lightning and survive.
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,872
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7/25/2016 2:22:16 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM, OHHHSHAAANE wrote:
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---

My intuition tells me that the 2% of people may have had underlying conditions such as heart defect, and the author does says nothing to assume I'm in good health. As such would that constitute an "incomplete comparison" in terms of using the appropriate terminology?

I also feel it may have something to do with the "base rate fallacy" where sample sizes may not be strong enough but given that the author seems to suggest that its accounting for lightning strikes I'm not sure if that fits appropriately for deconstruction.

Or possibly the gambler's fallacy assuming that in future the strikes won't be as deadly? or that it simply has to do with the US

What do you folks think?

Would love to chat and learn
Definitely a biased sample fallcy because it only addresses those taken to the hospital not all lightening strike people.
Throwback
Posts: 421
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7/25/2016 5:43:03 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM, OHHHSHAAANE wrote:
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---

My intuition tells me that the 2% of people may have had underlying conditions such as heart defect, and the author does says nothing to assume I'm in good health. As such would that constitute an "incomplete comparison" in terms of using the appropriate terminology?

I also feel it may have something to do with the "base rate fallacy" where sample sizes may not be strong enough but given that the author seems to suggest that its accounting for lightning strikes I'm not sure if that fits appropriately for deconstruction.

Or possibly the gambler's fallacy assuming that in future the strikes won't be as deadly? or that it simply has to do with the US

What do you folks think?

Would love to chat and learn

As I see it, that argument presupposed accepting as fact a premise which has not been supported, i.e., the death rate was lower due to treatment at a US hospital, as opposed to either treatment at another hospital. I'm sure that's not the only problem, but it's the first I picked up.
When I respond with "OK" don't take it personally. I'm simply being appropriately dismissive.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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7/26/2016 12:37:06 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM, OHHHSHAAANE wrote:
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---

Lightning strike victims treated in a hospital is a subset of the total people hit by lightning, I was once struck by lightning and despite the pleas of those present, I refused to go to the hospital, I'm sure a significant number of surviving victims are not treated, and I'm positive that the majority of victims that die are not treated in a hospital..

My intuition tells me that the 2% of people may have had underlying conditions such as heart defect, and the author does says nothing to assume I'm in good health. As such would that constitute an "incomplete comparison" in terms of using the appropriate terminology?

It's an incomplete comparison, but that isn't really why. It only says that less than 2% of lightning strike victims dies after hospital treatment, roughly 8% that die from lightning strikes are not treated, the majority of people who die from a lightning strike are found dead, and of course would not be treated at a hospital.

I also feel it may have something to do with the "base rate fallacy" where sample sizes may not be strong enough but given that the author seems to suggest that its accounting for lightning strikes I'm not sure if that fits appropriately for deconstruction.

It's not a base rate fallacy because the base rate wasn't presented, it's more a Hasty Generalization fallacy because a general conclusion was based on a subset sample.

Or possibly the gambler's fallacy assuming that in future the strikes won't be as deadly? or that it simply has to do with the US

No, it's not a gambler's fallacy either.

By the way, the argument doesn't actually support the conclusion but that doesn't mean the conclusion is necessarily wrong, it is true that you are likely to survive a lightning strike, just over 90% do, but the subset statistic presented made it look like it's over 98%, which is misleading. In general, I'd stay away from stating a conclusion in terms like "you'll almost certainly survive", there are a lot of ways to interpret what "almost certainly" means. Some might say over 98% isn't "almost certainly", other might say over 90% is "almost certainly". Especially around here, people on these boards will use a misspelled word to ignore logic and declare they are right and you are wrong. A lot of the arguments here descend into semantics without any substance at all, I'd recommend that you choose your words carefully and stay away from conclusions with judgment words like "almost".

What do you folks think?

Would love to chat and learn
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
someloser
Posts: 1,377
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7/28/2016 6:33:16 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
Haven't read the thread, but this seems fun

At 7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM, OHHHSHAAANE wrote:
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---
If you're being treated after being hit by lightning, you certainly weren't killed on the spot.
Ego sum qui sum. Deus lo vult.

"America is ungovernable; those who served the revolution have plowed the sea." - Simon Bolivar

"A healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones. But if you break a nation's nationality it will think of nothing else but getting it set again." - George Bernard Shaw
David_Debates
Posts: 258
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7/30/2016 6:42:28 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM, OHHHSHAAANE wrote:
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---

My intuition tells me that the 2% of people may have had underlying conditions such as heart defect, and the author does says nothing to assume I'm in good health. As such would that constitute an "incomplete comparison" in terms of using the appropriate terminology?

I also feel it may have something to do with the "base rate fallacy" where sample sizes may not be strong enough but given that the author seems to suggest that its accounting for lightning strikes I'm not sure if that fits appropriately for deconstruction.

Or possibly the gambler's fallacy assuming that in future the strikes won't be as deadly? or that it simply has to do with the US

What do you folks think?

Would love to chat and learn

The conclusion is:
"You will almost certainly survive being struck by lightning."
The premise is:
"2% of patients hospitalized for being struck by lightning survive."
The problem is that the premise does not include those that do not get hospital-level treatment for being struck by lightning, such as those that die on the spot or do not go to the emergency room. For this reason, the conclusion does not follow from the premises. The conclusion should be:
"Provided you are hospitalized and are not killed on the spot, you have a 49/50 chance of surviving being struck by lightning.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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8/1/2016 11:32:42 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/20/2016 2:43:39 PM, OHHHSHAAANE wrote:
Hi guys and gals,
I'm new to critical thinking and I'm stuck on a small problem trying to identify the flaw in a statement. I thought it might be fun to start a forum that people can try to deconstruct the arguments they post while also helping people learn.

Here's mine
---US hospitals treated hundreds of people hit by lightning last year, and less than
2% of these people subsequently died of their injuries. So if you"re hit by
lightning in the US, you"ll almost certainly survive.---

My intuition tells me that the 2% of people may have had underlying conditions such as heart defect, and the author does says nothing to assume I'm in good health. As such would that constitute an "incomplete comparison" in terms of using the appropriate terminology?

I also feel it may have something to do with the "base rate fallacy" where sample sizes may not be strong enough but given that the author seems to suggest that its accounting for lightning strikes I'm not sure if that fits appropriately for deconstruction.

Or possibly the gambler's fallacy assuming that in future the strikes won't be as deadly? or that it simply has to do with the US

What do you folks think?

Would love to chat and learn

I haven't read any other responses yet, but here's what I think.

The problem in the statement is that the people being treated for their injuries were hit by lightning in the year prior. This would only be measuring from the point at whch people had been struck by lightning, survived, and had some time pass (depending on when they were hit by lightning last year -- technically you could be struck by lightning on December 31st and come January 1st it would be "last year").

So the "2% of these people subsequently died from their injuries" only refers to lightning survivors from last year who go on to die from their injuries.

It doesn't take into account the proportion of people who die from the initial lightning strike itself. That's why the conclusion isn't supported.

That's just my take. I could be wrong.