name this fallacy

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CatHerder
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name this fallacy

Post by CatHerder » Tue May 28, 2013 10:37 pm

Lately I've been hearing people argue that because they've gotten away with having done so many stupid things in life, and they're still alive, that this means there must be a god looking out for them. It's a very popular form of reasoning in AA and the adherents feel it's a very powerful argument.
Bik
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Re: name this fallacy

Post by Bik » Wed May 29, 2013 12:03 pm

Retrospective determinism? – arguing that because some event has occurred (acting the maggot and surviving) , its occurrence must have been inevitable beforehand (i.e. a god was looking out for them).

I guess you could argue others too.
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funkyderek
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Re: name this fallacy

Post by funkyderek » Wed May 29, 2013 1:50 pm

I came up with Retrospective Determinism as well, but there's also Survivorship bias. They are discounting the experience of all the people who lived similar lives but are dead, because those people aren't there.
By its nature, an AA meeting is going to be largely a group of people who have two things in common: 1) they have had some severe negative experiences as a result of alcohol dependency and 2) they have survived this experience. Some of the members are using the very fact of them being in that group as proof of something supernatural.
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CatHerder
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Re: name this fallacy

Post by CatHerder » Thu May 30, 2013 10:56 pm

It can be entertaining at times. It seems that god let quite a few people drink-drive with impunity. And for this we should be thankful.
Bik
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Re: name this fallacy

Post by Bik » Fri May 31, 2013 7:45 am

CatHerder wrote:It can be entertaining at times. It seems that god let quite a few people drink-drive with impunity. And for this we should be thankful.
God and his 'mysterious ways' eh? :lol: .
"Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion." Superintendent Chalmers
Mary Monks
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Re: name this fallacy

Post by Mary Monks » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:46 am

CatHerder wrote:Lately I've been hearing people argue that because they've gotten away with having done so many stupid things in life, and they're still alive, that this means there must be a god looking out for them. It's a very popular form of reasoning in AA and the adherents feel it's a very powerful argument.
I think there's a huge misunderstanding of 'cause and effect' here, and a lack of joined-up thinking. I have dyed my hair for more than 50 years and have never been attacked by an elephant, and I have not put milk in my tea since Lent 1960, and have not seen a pet tortoise ever since.
Frank McGivney
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Re: name this fallacy

Post by Frank McGivney » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:27 pm

Hi I never posted before so I new to this so just trying to form answers in my mind

I always have thought that people believing that a god has minded them through all their mad adventures is the ultimate expression of been self centered, That is to believe that you (over some other poor devil) has been selected by a deity to survive while others have died or been seriously injured etc. Maybe this is also the nature of people in AA meetings as the nature of alcoholism in my opinion is very self centered in the sense of using alcohol as an escape from reality, to their own world, to the exclusions of their families and responsibilities. Not that I am judging anyone for been an alcoholic, who is anyone to judge someone. I just highlighting a feature of alcoholism as I see it
Therefore I just wonder is a lot of people's believe in a god protecting them over others correlated to how important people think they are as individuals. Or perhaps the delusion of been selected by the deity as special
Lol could be wrong , just came to mind when i read the posts
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