**Good vs. Bad Arguments**

myBB and indeed many fora on the internet are littered with examples of extremely poor reasoning.

I don't have a specific reference for this yet, as it comes out of my notes from University (1968 - 1972) 4 years Engineering plus 1 extra for a degree in Computer Science (some overlap in subjects at the time.

**Deductive Arguments**

This is the most powerful form of reasoning. It is the type of logic that results in logical proofs. It goes from general concepts and/or specific observations to a focused conclusion.

In science, deductive logic is typically what is used to arrive at facts. In other words, we use it to determine the results of specific experiments.

**Inductive logic**

Inductive logic always results in a general conclusion and can be used to construct theories. It should be noted, that it is impossible to use deductive logic to arrive at a theory. Theories only come from inductive logic.

Additionally, because of the law of large numbers, the strength of an inductive conclusion increases as the number of observations used to form the conclusion increases.

**Summary**

To summarize, scientists generally use deductive logic to determine the outcomes of specific experiments (sometimes inductive logic is also required depending on the nature of the experiment), and we use inductive logic to generalize from those experiments and form laws and theories. This is true for all laws/theories, whether we are talking about the laws of thermodynamics or the theory of gravity.

In a Good Argument, all the premises are true, there are no logical fallacies, and the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises.

**Reject a bad argument, **not its conclusion. The only times you reject a bad argument and its conclusion are when the argument is absolutely essential to your opponent’s position. Under that condition, demonstrating that the argument is bad also demonstrates that the conclusion is wrong.

**Law of Large Numbers**

This law states that as you increase the number of repetitions in an experiment, your calculated value will approach the true value. In other words, you need a large sample size to have confidence in your results.

Perhaps the greatest support of an inductive conclusion is, however, its ability to predict other events/make things work.