Trash Talk Tuesday: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Time once again for us martial arts bloggers to learn:
1) How NOT to make a case for or against someone or something
2) Why certain comments set our teeth on edge
3) How to stay focused when discussing our arts

It’s Trash Talk Tuesday!


Disciple of Master Trik-Ki Woo:  Ha!  I made your instructor wince when I attacked him with my Finger of Death from across the room!  That proves my art is better than what you do, prancing around in your pretty white pajamas.

White Belt Wanda:  I happen to know Sensei Stewart had two bean burritos for lunch.   We all went out for Mexican after the morning session.

Disciple:  Look, he’s bowing out of your training area now because I’m controlling him with the mind powers my Master taught me!

Wanda: Nonsense.  He’s heading for the restroom.  Now either shut up and train with us, sit quietly and watch us, or get out of our dojo.

Disciple:  You’re next, pretty girl!  Prepare yourself for the Finger of Death!

Wanda:  Ooo, I’m scared…  Hey, what happens if I pull your Finger of Death?

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc – “After this, therefore because of this.”  It’s quite possible both Disciple and Wanda are committing this fallacy.   Disciple is assuming Sensei Stewart’s behavior is the direct result of the Finger of Death.  Wanda’s idea of the effects of bean burritos on her Sensei’s digestive system is more plausible because many people do suffer ill effects from eating beans.  However, it could be that Sensei Stewart has an iron g.i. tract and was wincing at the sight of an outlandishly dressed cultist waving his pinky finger.  Sensei Stewart might have bowed out of the dojo in order to call a cab to take the Disciple back to Master Trik-Ki Woo’s headquarters.
If you’d like to learn more, you can follow along in the book _The Fallacy Detective_ by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn

Author: Joelle White

I began training in Karate in June of 2014 after a 27 year hiatus.

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