False Analogy is Everywhere, Analogical Reasoning is Scarce
This must be true because I have seen such thing before, If that is true, so is this (our Common Clarification).
Methods of Argumentation
Whenever we argument with anyone we try to prove our point with several methods so that we may defeat our opponent or to increase the knowledge of others. These methods of argumentation can be authentic example from past, present or from any discipline, cause and effect relationship or some analogical reasoning.
Every method of argumentation needs to be elaborated in a sense as how and why these methods are used during conversations or writing. I would love to write on each method, but firstly I want to elaborate analogy first and then by going deep into the area of false analogy.
Definition and Explanation of the Term
First of all there is a need to explain what analogy is. Oxford Learner’s dictionaries explain it as:
“It is a comparison of one thing with another thing that has similar features; a feature that is similar. i.e. Analogy between A and B (The teacher drew an analogy between the human heart and a pump).”
This definition and example elaborate that when we have similar elements between two things we kind of make analogy between the two to prove our point such as human heart and pump have many similar features that is why teachers make analogical reasoning between the two so that students may understand well.
What is False Analogy?
According to a dictionary “A false analogy is a type of informal fallacy. It states that since Item A and Item B both have Quality X in common, they must also have Quality Y in common…This is flawed reasoning!”.
Example is given here as, “If America can be the first country to put a man on the moon, it can also be the first country to put a man on Mars.”
Does it sound logical to you? Of course you would say a big fat “NO”, but we do such type of analogical reasoning”. Everywhere you see people are proving their points by giving analogical reasoning. Little do they know is that they are giving false analogy. Sometimes we compare two things where there are only a few similarities. Somehow we do it just to make our point authentic, seemingly. Most of the times, we keep saying to others if I can do it why cannot you? Don’t you see everyone is different?
My Personal Clarification
I would like to give you an example from my culture. We provide false analogy just to try to keep things down or so that people may not raise questions on certain things. I have heard so many times that Muslim girls should be covered in hijab and burka every time go out. It is in religion, I accept it but why to prove it with some illogical reasoning or should I say false analogy? They always prove it by saying that as Quran e Pak is wrapped with cloth because it is so sacred. I get it. Is it logical to compare women with this Holy book? If Holy book isn’t covered, wouldn’t it be still holy? Of course it would still be a Holy book. Moreover, what about men? Aren’t they sacred enough to be covered? My main point is that I know Islam says about hijab and other stuff. It is in Islam, simple story, but the analogy is not logical. As we know hijab is compulsory, but to wrap the Quran is not compulsory, my dear.
You know, all the things that seem similar don’t mean they come into the arena of analogical reasoning. For the purpose of analogical reasoning you need to come up with enough similarities between X and Y. But who have time for this; we would just keep doing false analogy in order to prove our point.