Mistakes in reasoning, as I’ve mentioned before, are crucial to identify because people like politicians can distort reason and logic to their gain. But when making decisions, we need to rely on our rationality, not our emotions.
What are some more examples of mistakes in reasoning?
One example is wishful thinking. The idea is that something is true because you want it to be true. But obviously this is false. I can believe that I have unlimited money because I can’t imagine life otherwise, but that doesn’t mean I actually have an unlimited amount of money. Reality is independent of what I want. I can want God to exist because I think without God life is meaningless, but that’s not a good reason for believing in God. There could very well be no God and thus no meaning to life. But the fact that there is no meaning isn’t warrens to believe something is true or false.
Another example is called argument from tradition. This is kind of what it sounds like. People will say things like, “This is the way we’ve always done it, so it’s right” or “This ‘truth’ has been accepted for 2,000 years; therefore, it must be true because it’s so old and carried down by tradition.” Obviously tradition doesn’t necessarily equal truth. It was a tradition at one point to believe the earth is flat, but it wasn’t. The earth was spherical regardless of what tradition held.
In addition, a lot of King James only Bible thumpers will appeal tradition to justify the King James being the only Bible we should use. They will say, “It’s 400 years old; therefore it’s true.” Now this is just silly and a terribly bad argument. Why should I care that it’s old? That does nothing for the truth value. In fact, theres much older versions than the King James.