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Encyclopedia > Appeal to probability

The appeal to probability is a logical fallacy, often used in conjunction with other fallacies. It assumes that because something could happen, it is inevitable that it will happen. This is flawed logic, regardless of the likelihood of the event in question. The fallacy is often used to exploit paranoia. A logical fallacy may mean nothing more than a fallacy or it may mean an error in deductive reasoning, i. ...


This has the argument form: In logic, the argument form or test form of an argument results from replacing the different words, or sentences, that make up the argument with letters, along the lines of algebra; the letters represent logical variables. ...

Possibly P.
Therefore, P is true.

Equivalently, using modal logic and logical connective notation: A modal logic, or (less commonly) intensional logic, is a logic that deals with sentences that are qualified by modalities such as can, could, might, may, must, possibly, necessarily, eventually, etc. ... In formal logic, logical connectives, also known as logical connectors and sometimes logical constants, serve to connect statements into more complicated compound statements. ...

Diamond PBox P

Some examples are:

  • "There are many hackers that use the internet. Therefore, if you use the internet without a firewall, it is inevitable that you will be hacked sooner or later."
  • "AMD has been catching up to Intel in recent years. In a few years they will definitely take over Intel's position, and eventually put them out of business altogether."
  • "When soccer becomes popular in a town, hooliganism will become a major problem. Thus, if we allow a soccer team in our town, we will be overrun by hooligans." (also a False cause fallacy)

While not considered a "true" fallacy by some (because it is rarely used by itself), the appeal to probability is a common trend in many arguments, enough for many to consider it a fallacy of itself. Fallacies of questionable cause, also known as causal fallacies, non causa pro causa (non-cause for cause in Latin) or false cause, are informal fallacies where a cause is incorrectly identified. ...


The logical idea behind this fallacy is that, since the probability is very high, it is best to ACT as if it is true. Especially in the case of Example #1. This fallacy is also related to the 'umbrella joke'. If you ever forget your umbrella, that will be the one day that it actually rains.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Appeal to probability - definition of Appeal to probability in Encyclopedia (213 words)
Appeal to probability - definition of Appeal to probability in Encyclopedia
The appeal to probability is a logical fallacy, often used in conjunction with other fallacies.
While not considered a "true" fallacy by some (owing to the fact that it is rarely used by itself), the appeal to probability is a common trend in many arguments, enough for many to consider it a fallacy of itself.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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