Logical Fallacies

July 19, 2016 - Logic & Explanations

Logical Fallacies

The point here is to identify the common mistakes that are spread through the internet.

Most of them come from an equivocation between different cases.

Most of the time the logical fallacies comes under the form:

P1: “Telepaths uses psionic power.”
P2: “Character A uses psionic power.”
P3: “Character A is a telepath.”

This is wrong because a power source doesn’t imply a particular power.

So the most common mistake is like:

P1: “Character A has super-speed”
P2: “Character A showed super-speed in the task T”
P3: “Character A showed to be slow in the task C”
P1: “Character A has super-speed”
P4: “Character A has super-speed in the task C”

There is Contradictory Premises, it’s a “Logical Paradox”, as the point 3 (P3) already proved that this point can’t be speculated.

That’s a category mistake too…
It contains the fallacy of composition as assuming that the word “super-speed” applies to everything the character can do, which is untrue as being fast at one task like “running” doesn’t make the character fast in another domain like “fighting”.

And finally it’s a confirmation bias, as the readers only select want interest them, as feat out-of-combat and out-of-context and literally ignore the feats in combat that proves that the character is slow.
In short they only interpret the information they get through their beliefs and ignore proofs flat-out stated on-panel.

Of course, the cognitive dissonance prevents the people using that “argument” to understand that the way the character is created doesn’t match their expectations.
“The character doesn’t use his speed for the needs of the story” which is wrong as the P3 is literally hand waved.
The character just doesn’t possess any degree of super-speed in the task C.

For example, the “Superman fallacy”:

A) Superman can fly, run & read at super-speed.
B) Superman fights at normal combat speeds (as fast as any humans because he can’t fight at super-speed.)
C) Because of A, Superman as super-speed therefore Superman can fight at super-speed and therefore B is false.

There is a Faulty Analogy because the term of speed isn’t transferable to the other domains, after all Usain Bolt don’t hit as fast as Mike Tyson just because he runs fast, there is no correlation.

Contradictory Premises as B) already proves that the conclusion C) is false.

It always ends in some Circular Reasoning with C) because of A).

It is simply bad reasoning, or a non-sequitur, for the reasons I stated. If there were a premise that stated “super speed transfers to all domains,” then C would be correct, but that statement is missing and cannot be assumed.

Superman’s super-speed is only about flying, running and brain processing. Superman fights at human speeds.

Or the “Iron Fist fallacy”:

A) Iron Fist is very fast and can catch bullets.
B) Iron Fist fights at normal speeds for a very well trained man.
C) People use A) as an argument to show Iron Fist’s combat speed in hand to hand instead of his feats in hand to hand.

That’s definitely another case of bad reasoning or a non-sequitur as the ability to catch or stop projectiles has literally nothing to do with the skills and speeds involved in a hand to hand fight.
It’s like saying that Sam Groth is faster than Mike Tyson in a hand to hand fight because he is able to intercepts served tennis balls moving between 161 and 217 km/h on a tennis court.
That makes literally no sense at all.

Iron Fist is a peak human when he is summoning his Chi.

1) False Analogy – Catching projectiles & Combat speed:

“If a character X can think, move, and react at the speeds needed to catch a bullet while out of combat, then he can think, move, and react at the speeds needed to catch a bullet while in combat. “

One of the main problems here is the weak correlation between both events.

What is needed to catch a projectile?

*Perceiving the projectile.
*Identifying his trajectory.
*Put your palm in the trajectory of the projectile as he crashes in it.

Projectiles have a parabolic trajectory that looks linear to us.
In all cases, this doesn’t reflect a close-combat situation at all therefore, as both aren’t capable in any way, it’s impossible to consider this point of view as a valuable argument.

2) False Analogy – Movement (travel speed) & Combat speed:

“If a character X can move at a top speed of S and has the ability to perceive an opponent moving at that speed and react to it, then he can fight at those speeds.”

The main problem with that definition of the movement and the way a character can use his speed in a fight are utterly different…

In order to use your full movement speed to position yourself in combat you must have following abilities:

*Complete maneuverability: It’s the ability to maneuver at will without the drawback of the acceleration.
*Instantaneous acceleration: it’s the ability to reach the top speed instantaneously.
*Retained speed: it’s the ability to use the enhanced move with any combat maneuver, it means that you can all-out attack or all-out defend using your top speed.

It’s totally impossible to use the top speed in combat without having negated those three drawbacks inherent to the speed.

By the way, having the ability to make all-out attacks or all-out defenses at your top speed doesn’t increase their amount.

For example, a character moving at top speeds thanks to three abilities cumulated above will not get extra attacks & defenses.

3) False Analogy – Movement (travel speed) & Attack / defense rate:

“If a character X can move at a speed of S, then he can attack at the speed of S.”

The premise is incorrect.

The correct form is:

“If a character X can move at a speed of S, the he can rush his opponent or hit & run his opponent at a speed of S.”

If the character X raises his punch in the process, he is just making the equivalent of a cavalry charge.

The attack beneficiate of the general increased speed but the attack in itself isn’t faster than usual.

4) False Analogy – Brain processing / reflexes & Attack / defense rate:

“If a character X can react at the time T after perceiving a stimulus, then he can act (attack, etc…) at the frequency of T.”

It’s a common fallacy…

The correct conclusion should be:

“If a character X can perceive an event every time T then he can have a though every time T.”

The character X doesn’t act more than anybody but he has more time to think.

By the way the ability to act accordingly in a combat situation needs a proper training and even then it doesn’t mean that the body can act more than usual.

5) False Analogy – Travel speed + catching projectiles + high reflexes compared with Combat speed:

It’s just the use of the enhanced movement by the travel speed to intercept projectiles.

Nothing applicable on close-quarter combat.

6) False Analogy – Out-of-combat feats used out-of-context compared with Combat feats :

That’s just a question of common sense.

You can’t argue that a character is fast in combat when he get hit all the time and can’t avoid or block a single punch in combat, nor when he is unable to attack several times on panel.

7) False Analogy – Catching projectiles compared to Defense / Attack Rate :

“If a character A can catch X projectiles, then he can punch X times in the same time span.”

Same as said in 1). There is literally no correlation between catching something and punching. Not only the two tasks are completely different but both have different requirements.

The biomechanics of both movements are totally different. One can’t relate to the other. It’s like arguing that a tennis man can punch at 150 km/h because he intercepts balls moving at 150 km/h. That’s nonsensical at best.

A bullet or a ball travels in a parabolic line that looks like straight to us.

Requirements for catching:
*Perceiving the projectile.
*Putting the hand in the trajectory.
*Closing the hand once the projectile land into it.

Requirements for punching:
*Grounding the body mass (grounded body mass)
*Rotating the hips (hip rotation)
*Throwing the hand so it accelerates according to the core rotation (hand speed)
*Hardening the punch on the impact (impact tension)

On top of that the equation of a linear force isn’t accurate for punching. I invite you to read the link that I posted above.


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