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My Dog is a Cat

My teacher once asked the class: A goldfish is swimming in a bowl of water on the weighing scales. The weight is 300 grams. When the goldfish dies and floats on the surface, the weight is 300.02 grams. Why is there a gain in weight?

My classmates thought about the question and gave very good answers, but we were all wrong. I will tell you why later but first, think about this. Is this way of thinking correct?

“All cats have 4 legs. This is a cat. Therefore, it has 4 legs.”

This is called logic or reasoning. The first sentence is true, the second sentence is true. Therefore the third sentence is true. Is it always like this? Let’s put the sentences in another way.

“All cats have 4 legs. My dog has 4 legs. So, my dog is a cat.”

Here, sentence 1 is true and sentence 2 is true but sentence 3 is not true because we have looked at the wrong things. Here the conclusion is wrong. We have wrongly linked sentence 2 to sentence 1. We cannot assume that every animal with 4 legs are cats. Let us look at another type of wrong logic:

“All football players are rude. Sam is a football player. So, Sam is a rude person.”

Here, is sentence 1 true? If sentence 1 is true, then the rest is also true. However, sentence 1 is not true. Then the conclusion “Sam is a rude person” cannot be true.

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logic (n) – reason; common sense.
conclusion (n) – ending; the summing up of an argument.

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