|Logical Fallacy of Avoiding Specific Numbers|
Logical Fallacy of Avoiding Specific Numbers
Avoiding specific numbers is one of the many smokescreens that are used to cover the fact that the reasoning is based on one of the three fallacies of Agrippa's trilemma. Whenever a logical fallacy is committed, the fallacy has its roots in Agrippa's trilemma. All human thought (without Divine revelation) is based on one of three unhappy possibilities. These three possibilities are infinite regress, circular reasoning, or axiomatic thinking. This problem is known as Agrippa's trilemma. Some have claimed that only logic and math can be known without Divine revelation; however, that is not true. There is no reason to trust either logic or math without Divine revelation. Science is also limited to the pragmatic because of the weakness on human reasoning, which is known as Agrippa's trilemma.
The Logical Fallacy of Avoiding Specific Numbers occurs when statistics are given with either hedging words surrounding them or using general terms. This is generally a hedging tactic when claims are supported by questionable evidence.
Examples of Logical Fallacy of Avoiding Specific Numbers
Newspaper Comment: "[a candidate for office] is stressing job growth, but religiously avoiding specific numbers. Evidently, if she wins, she will take a look-back approach in four years, declaring her jobs policy a success, whether 5,000 or 500,000 jobs are created."
This is the use of the logical fallacy of avoiding specific numbers for the purpose of making it possible to later declare victory regardless of the outcome.
Team Member: "I have a lot of the work done."
Project Manager: "Specifically, what percentage of the work to you have completed?"
Team Member: "It's really getting close."
Project Manager: "I need to know when it will be finished so I can plan the next step. Can you give me a number?"
Often, specific numbers seem to be scary. Estimating time on tasks can be tricky, and, in some environments, missing the target date is dangerous to one's career. In these cases where management by fear reigns, the best course may be to never give a firm estimate. You can't miss a vague estimate.
Last updated: Sep, 2014
Toons & Vids
Logical Fallacy of Misused Statistics
Misunderstanding the Nature of Statistics / Innumeracy
Logical Fallacy of Bad Statistical Data
Logical Fallacy of Biased Statistical Method
Logical Fallacy of Biased Statistical Calculation
Logical Fallacy of Biased Conclusion from Statistics
Logical Fallacy of Biased Reporting of Statistics
Logical Fallacy of Biased Statistics / Biased Statistics / Loaded Sample / Prejudiced Statistics / Prejudiced sample / Loaded Statistics / Biased Induction / Biased Generalization / Unrepresentative Sample / Unrepresentative Generalization
Logical Fallacy of Generalizing from a Hypostatization
Logical Fallacy of Error in Sampling
Logical Fallacy of Avoiding Specific Numbers
Logical Fallacy of Fake Precision / Over Precision / False Precision / Misplaced Precision / Spurious Accuracy
Logical Fallacy of Self-Selected Biased Sample
Logical Fallacy of Comparing Two Things Statistically that are not Technically Comparable / Statistical Apples and Oranges
Logical Fallacy of Ludus / Ludic Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Fishing for Data / Data Dredging / Data Fishing / Data Snooping / Equation Fitting
Logical Fallacy of Base Rate Neglect / Base Rate Fallacy / Neglecting Base Rates / Base Rate Bias / Prosecutor's Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Isolated Examples
Logical Fallacy of Hasty Generalization / False Generalization / Glittering Generalities
Logical Fallacy of Argument from Small Numbers / Small Sample Size Bias
General Rule Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Specificity
Logical Fallacy of Overwhelming Exception
Logical Fallacy of Stereotyping
Logical Fallacy of Dicto Simpliciter / Sweeping Generalization
Gambler's Fallacy / The Monte Carlo Fallacy / The Doctrine The Maturity of Chances / Hot Hand Fallacy
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Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Infinite Possibilities
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
Misuse of Averages Fallacy
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