The Monkey argument: Valid? not valid?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Speakpigeon, Aug 1, 2019.


Do you accept the Monkey argument as valid?

Poll closed Aug 29, 2019.
  1. Yes, I accept it is valid.

  2. No, I think it is not valid.

  3. I don't know.

    0 vote(s)
  4. The argument doesn't make sense.

    0 vote(s)
  1. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    This thread is pretty absurd. What's it really about?
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  3. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

    There are better ways to exercise the mind. Here's a valid choice - I'm outta here.
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  5. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    It would seem that it is really about to end, either by being Locked or sent to the Cesspool!
    DaveC426913 likes this.
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  7. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

    What is seriously absurd is to keep posting in a thread even though you have absolutely no relevant comment to make because you don't even understand the question.
    And the best way to be "outta here" is not to post you're outta here, and indeed not even to comment on my posts if you're not prepared to actually address what they say.
    But the children all sure do as they please.
  8. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

    Please keep away from my threads. You're what I call a "temperamental" poster. You can't think much at all. All you can do is just react. I replied to your comments and you prefer make temperamental comments or simply just ignore my replies and clarifications, and then some idiots will come along and charge me with ignoring posters or failing to respond. Ah, the irony!
  9. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

    More than a touch of irony there. Go back and check who you actually engaged with, and 'agreed with' here and there. Your examples I asked for were accompanied with no explanation. Well maybe you think such logical absurdities are 'self-evidently self-explanatory'. Just out of passing interest, can you point to any genuinely useful practical applications of that kind of mind game crap? I can't.
  10. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

    Not yet "outta here"? Just go away.
    I didn't claim any practical application. You're making all sorts of crap assumptions about me and my posts and you think I'm responsible for that?! You're just seriously temperamental.
    You think the epitome of not being temperamental is to agree with people? This is plain idiotic. I'm will agree with whatever they say whenever they have a rational argument to put forward and most of the time they don't.
    Your attitude is typical. You've started to suggest I was a crackpot even before we could have any serious exchange. You didn't even understand what I was saying and yet decided I was a crackpot or some devious customer. You're just temperamental.
    And who care what you can't do? I asked a simple question and that's because I'm interested in your answers.
    The question of whether it may have practical application is a derail.
    And if you can't bring yourself to address my points without making injurious and gratuitous assumptions, just please ignore me.
    Please ignore me.
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    A way for Speakpigeon to talk about how he is intellectually superior to everyone else. As is usual.
  12. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

    OK, thanks to those who cast a vote.
    Six voted "not valid", only one voted "valid".
    The argument is of course usually regarded as not valid and exactly for the reason some posters have given, broadly, that the conclusion doesn't follow from the premises.
    This result, although not surprising, is nonetheless important. It falsifies a claim often made by mathematicians that most people who are not trained at mathematical logic are essentially incompetent and confused about logical validity. Here, people gave the correct answer and for the right reason.
    I must add that I willingly made the argument somewhat more confusing than necessary, just to make sure.
    Overall, here and elsewhere, and for at least arguments that are not overly complicated, people consistently show they are competent in deciding that they are logical valid, irrespective of whether they had a training in mathematical logic.
  13. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    I don't think, so, I must post some stupid youtube video about robotchicken!

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Hey guys! We passed!
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member


    However, the example is so simple that it’s like refuting the claim that most people get confused by mathematics by asking them what 1+1 is.

    His previous polls that looked at the issue of deductive explosion, for example, would be far more relevant in an attempt to refute the claim he is trying to. But since only those he thinks are “trained in mathematical logic” (whatever that is) seem to understand it, I guess his findings in those cases don’t help him refute the claim.

    To wit, due to the simplicity of the argument, the understanding of validity shown in this thread can’t be distinguished from between those who understand validity to be a matter of truth preservation (and all that follows that understanding) and those who simply understand it to mean “does it make sense that...” In simplistic scenarios the two understandings result in the same conclusion. Does that really mean that one group is not confused about logical validity? Take your examples above the bottom rung and then start to see whether confusion arises.

    I’m also curious as to what it means to be “trained at mathematical logic”? Care to offer any requirements? Do you mean having taken a single (40-minute) lesson sometime in the past? A qualification in the subject? Something else?
  16. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

    Please, don't be so ridiculous.

    No. Arguments with contradictory premises are pathological and never actually used by people, so they can't be used as reference point. That is why I did the Monkey argument. The argument is pretty standard for most people. It's not trivial at all, contrary to what you suggest, since the point is that it does require a deductive capability. And again, I made things a bit more difficult just to make sure. And the result is clear. Six people out of seven gave to correct answer (and I got a similar result on different forums).
    The Monkey argument provides a reference point. It shows that most people without training in mathematical logic are competent to assess the validity of ordinary deductive arguments.
    This falsifies the claim mathematicians often make that people not trained in mathematical logic are incompetent in assessing validity.
    This therefore validates the result of the previous poll showing that, outside people with some training in mathematical logic, most people find arguments with contradictory premises to be either not valid or nonsensical, and nonsensical of course implies not valid.

    No one voted the Monkey argument nonsensical (here and in other forums), so your claim of confusion is completely bogus.
    It is significant that some people will insist that arguments with contradictory premises are nonsensical. Some people have been able to articulate their feeling that the argument being nonsensical takes precedence over the idea of the argument being not valid.
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Nothing ridiculous about it. You are taking a simple argument and claiming that our ability to identify whether it is valid or not rebuts a claim about validity made by mathematicians. This really is like rebutting a claim that one doesn’t understand mathematics by showing you can answer 1+1=2, whether you think it a ridiculous comparison or not.
    So you admit you are going for the simplest example to try to rebut a claim about what is clearly more than the simplest examples. If you want to see if people get confused about mathematical validity you need to find something that has a chance of confusing them, if you don’t then you really are claiming to understand mathematics by showing you know that 1+1 is 2.
    Having a deductive capability doesn’t make it not simple. And given the overlap in such simple examples between mathematical validity and colloquial notions of validity, how do you know that these people are even answering in response to the same sense of validity that the claim is?
    Further, please provide the actual claim made by these mathematicians? Or have you just been addressing a straw man from the outset?
    If you think so.
    And this is the same notion of validity that the mathematicians are referring to?
    And agreeing that 1+1=2 proves that you are competent in mathematics, doesn’t it?
    Wheres the logic in this conclusion?
    How does it validate that result? Surely you would actually need to assess who of the respondents of the other poll has had some training in mathematical logic, which you haven’t done.
    And you’re going to need to be careful distinguishing in your language between those who actively find something invalid, and those who simply don’t understand something sufficiently to make a decision as to whether it is valid or invalid. If you classify all those who don’t understand the question as saying it is not valid then you will bias your results.
    Those who find something nonsensical are different than those who find something invalid, yet both will not find the thing to be valid. Or, put another way, not finding something valid is not the same as finding it invalid.
    Yes, and showing you understand 1+1=2 proves that maths doesn’t confuse you.
    I’m sure you think this is responding to my point. Care to explain how?
  18. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

    Don't be ridiculous. This is just fallacious.
    You are comparing the assessment of the validity of a logical argument with addition. There is just no basis for that. Comparison is not reason.
    In reality, 1 + 1 = 2 could be best compared to deciding for example the truth value of the conjunction True and False. That is trivial. The implication is something else altogether. Logicians have written on the notion of logical consequence for centuries without making much progress. I don't remember they spent any time on the question of the conjunction or that of the disjunction. You just don't know what you are talking about.
    You couldn't justify your suggestion that my Monkey argument is comparable in difficulty to 1 + 1 = 2. It is a gratuitous claim. Words are certainly very cheap.
    Don't be ridiculous.
    Where is it I admit that?
    You don't understand English.
    I proposed a moderately difficult argument to measure the capacity of most posters to assess validity. I only needed this one test to prove people's capability. Nearly all people passed the test without any difficult and most people are untrained in mathematical logic. They all explain their vote in terms which are typically not those used by people trained in mathematical logic.
    That they have this capability falsifies the unfounded and gratuitous claim by people trained in mathematical logic that people no trained in it are generally confused about validity.
    And this also validate most people 's assessment that the Squid argument is not valid, contrary to what mathematical logic says.
    Thus, people's logical capacity falsifies one of the fundamental principle of mathematical logic.
    LOL. You're taking people for complete idiots.
    There is a lot of lunatics posting here but I don't remember any one poster whose comments suggested he didn't "understand the question".
    You would need to substantiate your suggestion here. Find me how many posters who replied "nonsensical" to the Squid argument made comments showing they didn't understand the question.
    I think the one poster most apparently confused about logic (and everything) is probably arfa brane and he didn't vote. WriteU explained himself very clearly.
    You're visibly going out on a limb. You have absolutely zero evidence to support your claims. All you can do is make suggestions of possible flaws.
    The reality is that people reading my thread will be able to see for themselves whether my interpretation is reasonable all things considered, and then it's up to each of them to make up their mind about my thesis that one principle of mathematical logic is just false and falsified by their answers to my two polls.
    I tested these arguments on different forums, with indeed marked variations in the way people explained their votes. What comes out is that even the most confused people give the right answer and that they all, confused and not confused, vote the same in the case of the Monkey argument. I think this is a pretty good result.
    Your suggestion the argument is simple is simply stupid since you have zero evidence to support your claim.
    As for the Squid argument, the split between not valid and nonsensical (in other forums) is in fact very informative. Nonsensical obviously implies not valid so people who voted nonsensical could at the same time vote not valid and express their opinion that the suggestion that such an argument could be declared valid is completely barmy, even though this is exactly what mathematicians do and have done for 166 years now. Q-reeus thought it was indeed so barmy that he took my information on the position of mathematical logic to be a kind conspiracy theory peddled by a lunatic.
    Sure, many people are very confused about many things, but the polls show they are nearly all on the same page when it comes to the validity of both the Squid and the Monkey arguments and given most people are untrained, this is simply remarkable.
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I know, right? That's your role here, not his.
    Sarkus and DaveC426913 like this.
  20. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    No, it’s an adequate analogy: taking the answer of a question that you consider pretty standard for most people (I.e. one you already think in advance that they will respond correctly on, such as 1+1=2) and applying the result as if it applies to the wider scope of the issue.
    The rest of your complaint is simply waffle.
    Apologies, when you say that you are taking a question that most people will find pretty standard, I lump this in with it being among the simplest you can come up with on the matter. I.e. you are already lowering the standard to the lowest common denominator.
    Yet I still recognise drivel when others post it. Go figure.
    Somewhat contradicting your “argument is pretty standard for most people” claim then. And you think I don’t understand English. Oh, the irony.

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    So your intention was indeed to disprove the claim that most people are incompetent when it comes to logical validity (the same way most people are incompetent when it comes to maths) by showing that most people have a deductive capability (the same way most can add 1+1 to get 2)?
    You know this... how? I’m not saying it’s wrong but have you even asked people what training they have or haven’t had?
    Or maybe the example is so simple it really doesn’t need more technical terms to explain the reasoning, but can suffice with language that non-trained people would understand.
    Please post this claim you think such people make. One example of it would be okay, or is it really just a straw man you’ve erected for fun?
    Which squid argument? The one with contradictory premises? If so, it doesn’t validate anything at all with regard classical logic. If you start with two different notions of what validity means, applying the rules that determine one to the assessment of the other is a non-starter. Hence you get confusion, and you only get it when you bring the quality of the example off the basic rung that can be answered in the same way irrespective of the notion of validity one starts with.
    But please, show me an example of the claim you are trying to disprove, as that may well clear up much.
    Not at all. If you can’t distinguish between those who can’t say that it is valid and those who say it is invalid, then I am certainly taking you to be stupid. Can you distinguish between those things?
    That is what it means to find something “nonsensical”. If something doesn’t make sense then they don’t understand the question. Not the question of “is it valid?” but that question applied to the scenario you have constructed. I.e. if they don’t understand the scenario then the question as a whole is not understood, and hence deemed nonsensical.
    For someone who claims I don’t understand English, you’re making a bit of a fool of yourself. Try looking up the definition of nonsensical. How can one understand something that makes no sense? One can understand the words, sure, but presumably not the manner in which they have been put together.
    You have posted this in a science forum, have you not? You have tried to use this poll and your subsequent conclusion as rebuttal against a claim, have you not? Is it not within people’s remit on this forum to peer review your work, your tests, your conclusion?
    If you can’t follow the logic of why you haven’t shown that, why your conclusion is fallacious, then I find that also rather ironic, given the subject matter.
    Your beef seems to be with the notion of validity within classical logic. You are now claiming to have shown that notion to be false, because it doesn’t seem to tally with what you think most people would understand validity to mean. Well, here’s the thing, and you may want to get out your pen and paper and write this down: words have different meaning in different contexts.
    There! I’ve said it! Shoot me for it, but it had to be said!
    There are countless words that have different meanings between layman and technical. Validity is one. Classical logic has a specific definition. So does it disprove the claim you think it does when you apply the understanding laymen have? Show me the actual claim (or example thereof) you are trying to disprove, and let’s see.
    Sure, when different notions overlap at the most simple of examples, even the most confused about maths might get to answer correctly when asked what 1+1 is.
    The fact that most people get the answer right sort of speaks to how simple it is, does it not? Is that not how “simple” is judged?
    And again you confirm your mistake in assuming that nonsensical implies not valid. It doesn’t. Anymore than agnostic implies atheism. Or not thinking you wear a green hat implies they think you’re not wearing a hat.
    If they think the argument nonsensical (I.e. it doesn’t make sense to them) then how can you assert that they think it is not valid, any more than you can assert they think it is valid, unless they specifically tell you as much (just as an agnostic may inform you they are also atheist etc).
    This fallacious eagerness to lump them together (nonsensical with not valid) is agenda-driven and not logical. Ironic, no?
    Sure, he stated his position, but that is not enough to assert that nonsensical implies not valid.
    No, it’s actually pretty unremarkable, given the specific notion of validity within classical logic. Does it prove those who use classical logic wrong? Does it prove their notion false? No. It simply means that the notion that people use in common language is different than that used in classical logic, although at the simple end of things both give you the same answer. Is that pretty remarkable? No. Nothing here is rocket science, and you’re doing nothing here but confirming the rather obvious, albeit with fallacious elements to your analysis.

    Now, how many more of these polls are you going to litter this forum with? Or are you done?
  21. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

    So by the same argument some bright mathematicians will say people are confused about walking. I'll point out that people do walk. You'll say walking is simple, proves nothing.
    And I've made abundantly clear though you never pay much attention that I'm discussing validity as most people understand it, not as mathematicians understand it, so your whole point about that is just irrelevant.
    Sorry I'm kind of busy and can't spend my time replying to your longer and longer and mostly irrelevant explanations.
  22. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

    Sure, I just explained people have a capability to assess validity, against most mathematicians who would claim that they don't because they are confused. And yet you keep going.
    And perhaps more to the point, you never contribute anything of substance to my threads, sort of single-mindedly, I would say. What's your role, Sir? Mouche du coche? I hope you're well fed.
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Thank you for proving my point.
    More like le miroir.

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