Arguing a specific idea might seem like a rather basic exercise in the ability to build a constructive statement, yet the presence of a biased experience may cause one to succumb to traditional logical fallacies. An article by Sam Levin showcases an example of a logical fallacy that enters a seemingly constructive dialogue most often. Since Tim Gurner, the millionaire whose advice is discussed in the article, relies mostly on his experience and dismisses other reasons that prevent young people from becoming wealthy, his argument contains the Post Hoc fallacy.
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The described fallacy implies that the connection between cause and effect is misrepresented and that the observed effects are not linked logically despite the claims made by the speaker (Levin par. 1-2). In Gurner’s case, him saying that specific eating choices define a student’s ability to purchase real estate is a post hoc fallacy.
Although the statement that Gurner makes is evidently flawed, there are certain aspects of it that are worth being considered. Specifically, by correcting the perspective from which the problem of a failure among young entrepreneurs is considered, one will receive a rather well put together statement regarding the basis for personal success. Specifically, one should generalize the recommendation concerning the avocado toast toward turning one’s diet healthy and less expensive, as well as replace the goal of becoming a millionaire with the concept of personal financial success. Thus, the Post Hoc fallacy will be removed, and the piece of advice provided by Gurner will become well-meaning and less biased.
It should be noted that, even after being corrected, the argument remains somewhat flawed. Specifically, it fails to take into consideration numerous factors that define one’s ability to gain wealth and purchase a house. For the argument to be coherent, Gurner should incorporate the factors such as the area in which a student lives since prices for real estate vary significantly depending on the neighborhood. Furthermore, the financial constraints associated with student loans need to be included in the analysis, thus reducing the probability of buying a house.
In addition, challenges that a student experiences in regard to the learning process will have to be analyzed since the difficulties in learning often define one’s dieting choices. Apart from the propensity toward unhealthy food, they may cause eating disorders, making a student eat more. Finally, the necessity to buy a house is quite debatable for a student who has not finished learning yet and does not know where they will be employed.
Because of the focus on personal judgments and assumptions, the argument made by Gurner falls apart on closer inspection even after the fallacy in his judgment is corrected. Although being admittedly well-meaning, the piece of advice that he gives to students is hardly applicable to most modern scenarios. Therefore, when exploring the chances for assisting students in managing their financial concerns, including student debts, mortgage issues, and the associated problems, one should apply a more realistic approach by considering their economic potential and basic needs.
Levin, Sam T. “Millionaire Tells Millennials: If You Want a House, Stop Buying Avocado Toast.” The Guardian, 2017. Web.
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