Reverse Analysis Can Debunk Cable News!

Analysis does not only work by going from “premise” or “hypothesis” to a conclusion; reverse analysis can also undercover faulty reasoning and enable you to debunk cable news!

  • Analysis is a logical process represented by “P” implies “Q.”
  • The statement “p implies q” means that if p is true, then q must also be true.
  • The statement “p implies q ” is also written “if p then q” or sometimes “q if p.”
  • Statement p is called the “premise of the implication” (or hypothesis) and q is called the “conclusion.”
  • If “P” is true, then “Q” is likely to be true; if “P” is not true, the “Q” can either true OR not true. Another alternative in plain English is: “P implies Q” means “If P holds then Q must hold, too. If not, Q can be whatever.”
  • So, in plain English, we want our “P’s” to be TRUE so that our “Q’s” will be true.

We all watch cable news from time to time, and perhaps more often than not, such news is highly biased.

This bias is clearly evident when the speaker begins by stating a conclusion (Q) and then the discussion turns to what information, sources, premises or hypotheses support that conclusion (the “P’s).

These ‘sources’ are often ‘cherry picked’ and, more often than we would like, just made up for convenience . . . i.e., the “P’s” are suspect.

BEWARE of the supporting ‘premise’ when a speaker says, “Some say that . . . blah blah blah.”

The ”Some” in “Some Say” is oftentimes the speaker him/herself. So the speaker is inserting a bit of ‘truth’ in that “some” “DO” say . . . but it really isn’t a fact or a finding that represents reality.  (“Some say” is a convenient but not necessarily true “P”)

That sort of logic is flawed – but the speakers are able to make it sound highly convincing.

So don’t always believe what a speaker says unless he/she backs it up with facts or premises that are convincing and, to the best of your ability to discern, true!

“P implies Q” is your friend, and can help you tell the difference between real ‘news’ and ‘propaganda.’


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