Logical Fallacy: Argument from final consequences

This logical fallacy has the problem of reversing cause and effect: The ultimate effect or result of something must have been its cause. For example, if somebody benefited from a result, they must have caused that result.

Now, it could be the case that if we see an effect we can infer the cause if we find evidence to back up our suspicions, but the fallacy is that those suspicions themselves are proof. An old man died shortly after marrying a younger woman who now inherits his fortune, therefore she must have caused his death. No, while there might be precedent for such a thing occurring, the effect does not invariably lead to the cause. This argument amounts to letting yourself get carried away with suspicions. The Universe if fine-tuned for chemistry and life to arise, therefore it must have been created that way. No, the Universe could have had other parameters, but we can only live in and appreciate a universe with life-friendly parameters. It is illogical to make the jump to a creator.

The key to look out for is when a claim about causation is made without substantive proof, only supposition. We cannot make a truth statement based on suspicions, although they might guide further investigation that reveal real evidence.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Rationality. Bookmark the permalink.