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Please Help! Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc!

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  • aelindemann
    I m having a hard time with this type of argument for the reason that there are times that it is very obvious that one thing occured after another in a causal
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 9, 2004
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      I'm having a hard time with this type of argument for the reason
      that there are times that it is very obvious that one thing occured
      after another in a causal relationship, and that you don't have to
      do a controlled scientific study to realize this.

      Here are two examples:

      1. I slipped on the ice and fell on my tail bone. Now my tail bone
      hurts.

      Do I have to do a scientific study to "prove" that slipping and
      falling lead to the pain? I have to rule out other reasons?

      2. I take a pill, I get sick. I allow some time in between. I take
      the pill again. I get sick again. I allow some time in between. I
      take the pill again. I get sick again.

      Do I have to do a scieintific study to "prove" that the pill is
      making me sick? And, if so, how abou this:

      2A. I eat a walnut, I go into respiratory arrest.

      Again - a scientific study? Or common sense? I'm allergic to
      walnuts?

      Of course, I realize there may be a slippery slope, where, then you
      can say any type of alternative therapy or quackery or superstition
      is true as well.

      But, isn't there something that allows you to differentiate the
      examples that I have used, where it's very obvious that one thing
      led to another and other things, which would require a controlled
      study to prove?

      I hope you know what I am saying.

      I'm saying that there are SOME cases in which one thing follows the
      other, and one thing also causes the other and you should not need
      to do a controlled study to realize the causality.

      How do you account for that?

      Ari
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