Essay: Discussion Questions

Discussion Question 1:

Jack is a hero simply because he is a risk taking individual who chose to risk their only asset, a cow with hopes of obtaining some magical beans. He is a hero because he trusts people he hardly knows (magician) and places his lifesavings (cow) with that individual. He is a hero, since he takes the risks to go up the giant beanstalk to explore the new world. He is a hero because he took away from the evil guy something that he and his mother could certainly use (hen that lays golden eggs). He was a hero since he killed the bad guy and prevented him from entering the normal human world by cutting down the giant beanstalk.

I make the following assumptions: Jack traded his only asset not because he was naïve, but because he wanted to help his mother. We make an assumption that the giant was evil by nature since he decided to follow Jack to return the stolen hen that laid golden eggs. We also make an assumption that by killing the giant Jack made the world more secure and free.

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y assumptions originate from the fact that typically stories and tales have a happy end where the good wins and the evil loses. So we assume that Jack is good since he wins in the end. And since he is good we try to justify his theft, murder, and improper asset trade (fiduciary responsibility) as the necessary steps for the good to win. The assumptions as one can see can be justifiable only in the fairy tale. Still, most of us justify the acts of the USA in Iraq, when American Jack steals the hen that lays golden eggs (oil fields) from the giant (Arabs).

I cannot imaging other assumptions that would lead to different conclusion unless we assume that the good (Jack) does not always triumph over evil (giant). Or unless we assume that one should not take any means possible to win as it was in the case with Jack (who broke into the giant’s house, stole something and killed the giant as he wanted to catch Jack). Here is the assumption that the good can act unethically and do evil things to make the evil lose.

Discussion Question 2:

Induction is the complement of deductive reasoning and is a part of inductive logic. Induction is the process of reasoning that supports an argument and conclusion yet does not ensure it. It is typically used to describe properties and relations based on limited observations of some particular events of tokens necessary to formulate the laws based on recurring patterns. The conclusion is of greater generality than the premises.

Deduction, on the other hand is the inferences in which the conclusion is of not greater generality than the premises. Deduction typically makes us come up solutions based on the existing conclusions and theories.

Darwin predominantly used induction in formulating his theory since his theory is based on observations he made and since there existed no previous teaching of evolution from which he could deductively come up with other ideas. In other words, he observed several kinds of animals as evolved from each other and changed to meet the environmental challenges (as it was the case with Galapagos finches) he concluded that all finches or even all animals evolve from each other to meet the needs of changing environment which provides survival only for the fittest. With that conclusion in mind, he would deductively tie all behavior of all animals to their desire to fit into the environment and survive.

The intelligent design argument is certainly based predominantly on deduction from the biblical statements that God created everything. They inductively come up with that conclusion that god created everything in the following manner. 1.As we speak we did not observe any specie to evolve, so evolution does not work. 2. animals and humans are so complex and there is no explanation for such complexity that it must be something supernatural. 3. intelligent design (humans) requires intelligent designer (god).

To argue and prove our points effectively we need to use both induction and deduction as well as avoid logical fallacies that are still pertinent to both induction and deduction.

Discussion Question 3:

The “two wrongs make a right” logical fallacy is rather difficult and confusing to understand since it involves emotional coloring and goes beyond formal logic. This fallacy is about us acting wrongly as other people or nations do and thus considering ourselves as acting correctly. The logical fallacy here is the belief that others do more rightly than you do, so if you do as others do, you will certainly make it right. The best way to understand and overcome this fallacy is by adhering to some external ethical standard accepted universally. The difficulty in understanding appears in real examples. For instance, let’s imagine a situation in which we have a gun and we see a robber armed with a knife who just killed a woman is moving swiftly towards another pregnant woman pointing a knife at her. The “two wrongs make a right” assumption states that if we kill the robber we certainly make a wrong choice since we engage in a wrongful act too which according to this fallacy will not make any right. Until, the robber killed the woman, it would be an inductive fallacy to assume that by killing one person he will certainly kill another. This inductive fallacy is similar to seeing a driver hit a pedestrian (vehicle homicide) and assume that he will certainly hit another sooner or later. On the other hand we understand that if we make this wrong decision and shoot the robber in order to save the life of a woman we probably do a right decision. Still, regardless of whether we shoot or not, one life will be lost and one life will be saved. If we shoot we save a woman and kill the robber, if we do not shoot we kill the woman and save the robber. From the point of view of formal logic regardless of what we do (shoot or not) we will achieve the same overall outcome (1 live and 1 dead). This logical fallacy apparently cannot be effectively solved without applying some ethical standards of unalienable human rights and Kant’s categorical imperative. As the robber interferes with the human right to live (of a woman) than according to Kant’s categorical imperative he acts in a way to make his acts a universal law, i.e. assumes unmotivated murder. this is when we can pull the trigger and despite the logical outcome of 1 dead 1 alive, make 1 good thing. As we understand, in real life we need to constantly use not only formal logical but also some ethical standards and axioms to resolve the most complex ethical and logical dilemmas.
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