Actg Ethics- Chapter 2
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What is "critical thinking"?
The examination and test of propositions of any kind which are offered for acceptance, in order to find out whether they correspond to reality or not.
Why is critical thinking important?
It is our only guarantee against delusion, deception, superstition, and misapprehension of ourselves and our earthly circumstances
How is it that we know that something is true, or at least believe it to be true?
- 1. Through observation of empirical evidence
- 2. Because it is logical to do so
Thinking Logically (believing something because it is logical to do so) example
- 1. All dogs have four legs
- 2. Flash is a dog
- 3 Flash has four legs
Two basic forms of logical fallacies
- 1. A logical fallacy occurs when one or all of the premises of an argument are either wrong or at least questionable
- 2. The second kind of logical fallacy occurs when he conclusion does not follow from the premises
Appeal to false authority (common logical fallacy)
example: using celebrities to endorse products
Red Herring- Evading the issue (common logical fallacy)
When someone tries to divert an argument or a question to an arguably related or even totally unrelated issue. (changing the subject)
Attacking the Person (common logical fallacy: a type of red herring)
when someone evades the issue at hand by attacking an opponent personally rather than his or her contentions
False Dichotomies (common logical fallacy: Fallacy of False Choice)
False dichotomies presents only two absolute choices as the only two viable options in a given situation (ex. you're either for me or against me)
Fallacy of Complex Questions (common logical fallacy: a type of false dichotomies)
ex. Have you stopped beating your dog?
The question implies that you began beating your dog at some point so whether you answer yes or no, you will seem to have at some point beaten your dog.
The Gambler's Fallacy (common logical fallacy)
- Occurs when a person allows a separate and distinct event to influence his beliefs regarding the outcome of a separate and distinct future event.
- ex. believing a flipped coin has a higher chance of landing on tails after it has been flipped and landed on heads twice
Argument by threat (common logical fallacy: variation of "attacking the person")
threatening people with violence in order to persuade them to your point of view
Circular Arguments (common logical fallacy)
- The Bible says that God exists
- God wrote the Bible
- Therefore, God exists
Reasoning form the Relative to the Absolute (common logical fallacy)
When we observe something that is sometimes true and then claim that it is always true.
Perception is reality (common logical fallacy)
Believe what you observe (see) to be true
Fallacy of free choice (common logical fallacy)
- Employees of a sweatshop having the "free choice" to quit anytime they want.
- Is the choice between a dangerous job with extremely low wages and the possibility of starving to death without that job really a "voluntary" choice?
Confusing Legality with Morality (common logical fallacy)
The fact that something is legal does not make it moral and the fact that something is illegal does not make it immoral
Confusing Causation with Correlation (common logical fallacy)
ex. most alcoholics first drink was a beer, therefore, beer causes alcoholism
Fallacy of Small Numbers (common logical fallacy)
Statistical samples may be far too small to provide any meaningful conclusions
Confusing Explanation with justification (common logical fallacy)
Ex. Murderers explaining their terrible childhood and drug addiction as justification of a murder
Emotional Appeal (common logical fallacy)
Attempts to arouse the emotions of its audience in order to gain acceptance of its conclusion
False Analogy (common logical fallacy)
- The problem comes in when two things we are comparing are really not the same
- ex. If we can land a man on the moon we should be able to cure cancer
Confusing freedom of speech/religion with truth (common logical fallacy)
Just because a person has the right to say he/she believes 1+1=3 does not mean it's true
Call it by a different name (rationalization of unethical behavior)
"Smooth over the numbers" rather than "cook the books"
If i dont do it, somebody else will (rationalization of unethical behavior)
Selling a 16 year old with a fake ID liquor because "if i don't sell it to him, someone else will"
Everybody does it (rationalization of unethical behavior)
I am just following orders (rationalization of unethical behavior)
Attempting to absolve oneself by shifting blame to another
Shifting Agency- It's someone else's fault (rationalization of unethical behavior)
Saying a company is to blame for a person's theft because of poor internal controls
I'm only human (rationalization of unethical behavior)
"yes i know this is wrong, but hey, i'm not perfect"
There is too much at stake (rationalization of unethical behavior)
Stealing a million dollars without the chance of being caught when you wouldn't steal ten dollars without the chance of being caught.
Nobody is really hurt (rationalization of unethical behavior)
There is no such thing as a victimless crime
Who am I to judge (rationalization of unethical behavior)
"There are no bad people, just bad actions"
I could be worse (rationalization of unethical behavior)
"Compared to a lot of other people, I could be doing a lot worse"
Just this one time (rationalization of unethical behavior)
When we shouldn't do something we're thinking of doing we conclude that we haven't done anything like it before, and will never do it again
But this is business (rationalization of unethical behavior)
Used as justification for actions that most ethical people would never engage in if they were dealing with their own personal affairs.
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