Lack of Deductive or Inductive Reasoning a brain disorder ?
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24-08-2013, 09:35 PM
Lack of Deductive or Inductive Reasoning a brain disorder ?
Today I spent an hour on the phone arguing with my brother over some of the details of the Trayvon Martin case and time and time again he kept saying "We don't know exactly what happened that caused the situation which lead to the gun being fired and Trayvon dead"

I must have agreed with him at least 5 times over this point, but he kept repeating it because I think he thinks this means we have NO way of figuring out exactly what happened and therefore, Zimmerman can't be found guilty if we don't KNOW exactly, in every detail, what happened.

I tried to explain to him that we can use deductive reasoning to narrow down and create a chain of events that are logical and reasonable to the situation, given the things we do KNOW.

I didn't make this thread for a discussion of the case. I really want to focus on deductive reasoning and if it's possible that some people don't have it.

I gave my brother an example in which you can use deductive reasoning to figure out the order in which events probably happened.

Example: There is a highway in front of you. In the tread pattern on the left of the north bound traffic is a nearly fresh cow pattie (crap) about as wide as a basketball. There is a large tire track driven through the cow pattie and then skid marks on the road consistent with a truck slamming on it's breaks. On the side of the road is a dead cow and some pieces of a headlight.

I ask him, given this example, can we use some deductive reasoning to figure out what happened here.

He was adamant that we still had no idea what happened with the cow because we weren't there and there was no way you can say with 100% accuracy what truly took place.

I was dumb founded at this point.
"Ok what happened first ? Could the tire tread on the cow pattie have happened BEFORE the cow pattie hit the ground or did the cow pattie land on the ground and THEN the tire ran over it ?" This is as basic as it gets. Establishing an order of events.

He couldn't even agree to that. All of the clues of this accident seemed random to him as if they all could have taken place at different times and had no relationship to one another.

It was at this point I had to wonder if he had the mental ability of deductive or inductive reasoning.

I was trying to get him to follow a chain of events and show that each step of the way, we have SOME known information and from that we can deduce what might have happened next or given something we know, we can deduce what might have happened before that moment.

I concede that we can't know 100% but we can make highly probably assumptions based on the things we do know. We can arrive with a high degree of certainty about what happened to the cow (beyond a reasonable doubt)

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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24-08-2013, 10:24 PM
RE: Lack of Deductive or Inductive Reasoning a brain disorder ?
Stop picking on your 5 year old brother!

Sad

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24-08-2013, 11:02 PM
RE: Lack of Deductive or Inductive Reasoning a brain disorder ?
Your brothers right.

We can assume with a reasonable chance of being correct what happened in that case.
We cannot assume beyond reasonable doubt however that it wasn't self defense.
They did get in a fight yes and Trayvon got shot and died yes. But we do not know who started the fight.
There is no evidence that the Hispanic dude started the fight. There is evidence however that Trayvon started the fight, the Hispanic dudes eye witness report. Sure, you can conclude that the Hispanic dude is lying to save his own ass BUT because their is zero evidence to the contrary you cannot rule it out. It's reasonable doubt and the outcome of the case was the right outcome.

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25-08-2013, 01:10 PM
RE: Lack of Deductive or Inductive Reasoning a brain disorder ?
It's an interesting idea. But I think people who display this kind of attitude aren't really that stupid, they can see the flaws in their logic but stubbornly hold on to it, either because of pride or because it's what they want to believe.

I think we're all guilty of it now and again. Being a skeptic takes practice, you have to learn to ignore emotions when it comes to scrutiny. Sometimes the facts are not what you want to hear, which is when your own confirmation bias steps in to muddy the waters.

Then there's the "Devil's Advocate" bunch... who basically always align themselves directly opposite a figure of authority. People who might have voted Liberal, but become overnight Conservative's when the Liberal party wins... if the Conservatives win the next election, they become overnight Liberals again."The Man" is always the bad guy, even if you voted for him.

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25-08-2013, 01:32 PM
RE: Lack of Deductive or Inductive Reasoning a brain disorder ?
(24-08-2013 09:35 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Today I spent an hour on the phone arguing with my brother over some of the details of the Trayvon Martin case and time and time again he kept saying "We don't know exactly what happened that caused the situation which lead to the gun being fired and Trayvon dead"

I must have agreed with him at least 5 times over this point, but he kept repeating it because I think he thinks this means we have NO way of figuring out exactly what happened and therefore, Zimmerman can't be found guilty if we don't KNOW exactly, in every detail, what happened.

I tried to explain to him that we can use deductive reasoning to narrow down and create a chain of events that are logical and reasonable to the situation, given the things we do KNOW.

I didn't make this thread for a discussion of the case. I really want to focus on deductive reasoning and if it's possible that some people don't have it.

I gave my brother an example in which you can use deductive reasoning to figure out the order in which events probably happened.

Example: There is a highway in front of you. In the tread pattern on the left of the north bound traffic is a nearly fresh cow pattie (crap) about as wide as a basketball. There is a large tire track driven through the cow pattie and then skid marks on the road consistent with a truck slamming on it's breaks. On the side of the road is a dead cow and some pieces of a headlight.

I ask him, given this example, can we use some deductive reasoning to figure out what happened here.

He was adamant that we still had no idea what happened with the cow because we weren't there and there was no way you can say with 100% accuracy what truly took place.

I was dumb founded at this point.
"Ok what happened first ? Could the tire tread on the cow pattie have happened BEFORE the cow pattie hit the ground or did the cow pattie land on the ground and THEN the tire ran over it ?" This is as basic as it gets. Establishing an order of events.

He couldn't even agree to that. All of the clues of this accident seemed random to him as if they all could have taken place at different times and had no relationship to one another.

It was at this point I had to wonder if he had the mental ability of deductive or inductive reasoning.

I was trying to get him to follow a chain of events and show that each step of the way, we have SOME known information and from that we can deduce what might have happened next or given something we know, we can deduce what might have happened before that moment.

I concede that we can't know 100% but we can make highly probably assumptions based on the things we do know. We can arrive with a high degree of certainty about what happened to the cow (beyond a reasonable doubt)

Your brother is simply making a conscious choice to be argumentative by merely refusing to employ deductive or inductive reasoning.

You see- with people who are like him- it doesn't matter who was guilty or not, for all that matters to your brother is that unless something is 100% conclusive, then nothing can be certain.

He fails to understand that it is impossible for anyone or anything to be proven to be 100% factual, since there is nothing we can say about anything that is 100% a fact. Because of his lack of understanding, he refuses to accept the process we employ to determine the closest approximation of the truth of a matter, and then draw that up to a conclusion based upon all available evidence.

If society were to employ your brother's method of reasoning- or lack thereof- we could never convict anyone of anything, nor draw a conclusion on anything based upon all available evidence.

Mankind's best method of drawing a conclusion is to reason, and using reason in combination with all available evidence is how we arrive at the best approximation of the truth.

I dare say your brother's mind needs an adjustment.

No offense intended.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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25-08-2013, 03:37 PM
RE: Lack of Deductive or Inductive Reasoning a brain disorder ?
He got married more than a few years back and joined a church with his wife, so ya he tends to make bad choices Smile - jk
I do have to wonder if the things he hears in his church are reflecting this "We can't know anything 100%" kind of mentality.

He gave me an example of a man walking down the street at night and another man, a stranger, is walking toward him.
He says that instantly, your guard should go up because you have no idea what this stranger might do.
He thinks his first reaction should be to move to the other side of the street to avoid contact with this stranger.
If the stranger then moves to the other side of the street to follow you then you know that something is about to go down.

He followed up by saying that if he didn't initially cross the street (meaning himself) then as he approached this stranger, he was putting himself in harms way and he, himself would be the cause of any danger that might arise because he could have avoided it, but instead made the choice to move toward danger.

This kind of thinking has it's parallels in christian thought.
The christian believes that hell lies in front of him, therefore he must take a path to move away from hell and if he doesn't then by his own actions, he is causing himself to move toward hell and only he is to blame.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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25-08-2013, 05:56 PM
RE: Lack of Deductive or Inductive Reasoning a brain disorder ?
Not thinking deductively is just basic to human irrationality. I tend to see integrity and enlightenment, as being at the point where one holds liberty and morality as more important than even their own lives, but most people put their lives over all logic, all reason and all principle. Most would own slaves if the alternative had the possibility of them having to build for themselves, most would be slaves if the alternative had the possibility of insecurity or death, and most would take a life if the alternative was the possibility that their lives could be taken; all sometimes even without regard to the reasonableness of their assumptions.

Quote:"We don't know exactly what happened that caused the situation which lead to the gun being fired and Trayvon dead"

That could play into him not using a logical way of thinking. It would all be around accepting the conclusion and arguing the truth of the conclusion based on itself.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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26-08-2013, 10:36 AM
RE: Lack of Deductive or Inductive Reasoning a brain disorder ?
I would like to just point out, your opinion on what happened means absolutely nothing in a court of law...
It's about what is and what isn't provable.

He's not being stubborn or trying to justify a stupid verdict (stupid in your opinions)...

You'll are the ones being stubborn and ignorant. Ignorant on how the law operates.
The verdict was the right one given the situation.

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26-08-2013, 11:24 AM
RE: Lack of Deductive or Inductive Reasoning a brain disorder ?
I think everyone has deductive reasoning capabilities at birth, but a lot of people get it beaten out of them. Or indoctrinated not to use it. Or they decide life is just easier without it.

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26-08-2013, 12:46 PM
RE: Lack of Deductive or Inductive Reasoning a brain disorder ?
It would seem reasonable that all humans should have the ability to reason and use rational thought, but wherein lies gullibility ?

Our brains are not logical thinking machines. How we think and the way our brains operate in order to discern if something is true or not seems to vary and that's why I question the idea that we all have the innate ability to reason.

If that human being over there is a genius and won a noble prize in science, why can't I ?
I would say that's because our brains work slightly differently. He might be able to understand the material at a more in depth level than I can.
Perhaps he puts more time into that understanding through studying and hard work, whereas I am sitting here on a computer typing on an atheist forum instead of studying.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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