No more lockdown?

John: We should continue the lockdown until everything is under control. Life is more important than the economy.

Michael: If US economy goes down, millions of people will die. No more food, no fund to support the health system, the education system will collapse, the military can’t support itself anymore, small businesses will go down even big businesses like in aviation resulting to millions jobless or committing suicide. There will be a point of no return.
The trade-off is reasonable. Millions will get sick but they will recover. 95-98% survive with mild symptoms. Then we will call it a day. People get sick and die all the time from a contagious disease or not. But once the economy collapses, it’s over for everyone. 

asked on Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020 11:16:52 PM by Van

Top Categories Suggested by Community


Van writes:

any error in reasoning or fallacy?

posted on Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020 11:17:44 PM

Want to get notified of all questions as they are asked? Update your mail preferences and turn on "Instant Notification."

Listen to the Dr. Bo Show!

Hello! I am social psychologist and author, Bo Bennett. In this podcast, I take a critical thinking-, reason-, and science-based approach to issues that matter. As of January 2020, this podcast is a collection of topics related to all of my books. Subscribe today and enjoy!

Visit Podcast Page


Bo Bennett, PhD

Life is more important than the economy. 

Simplified rhetoric with deliberate ambiguity to sound powerful. This is also a False Equivalence . This isn't about life in general vs. the economy; it is about so much more. A powerful critical thinking technique is arguing from extremes. For example, is the life of one 98 man worth destroying the economy? Clearly, no. So "Life is more important than the economy" is clearly not always true. When it is true? This is a discussion worth having. Talking in sound bytes is great for television interviews, but horrible critical thinking.

Then Michael offers one serious Slippery Slope argument.

answered on Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 07:42:59 AM by Bo Bennett, PhD

Bo Bennett, PhD Suggested These Categories



These are opinion. It's a difficult decision which should be made under advisement ffom experts, not the whim that it will actually by decided on. 

answered on Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 07:42:48 AM by Bryan

Bryan Suggested These Categories



There's a hidden assumption in Michaels argument: if we continue to work, things will eventually get better. This is because if they didn't, clearly the lockdown would be preferable even if all those bad things that he mentioned would happen.

The real concern for not having the lockdown is that the curve will not be flatten and things can be even worse; this would include the economy. So, either Michael has to show how not flattening the curve won't cause that big economic collapse as oppose to doing so, or show that flattening the curve will cause all of the bad things that he said would happen and things would of gotten better anyways. If he can't show the latter, then he would be committing the Slippery Slope fallacy. 

Moreover, if Michael does not recognize that John's strongest argument is the flattening the curve argument, then he would be using the Strawman Fallacy

There's potentially another fallacy. Either we continue the lockdown and preserve life, or we don't and do not preserve such lives. I think that this is what Michael pretended to catch John with; a False Dilemma. What can be said for sure is that there's a misunderstanding on what's being argue. 


answered on Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 05:48:19 PM by jorge

jorge Suggested These Categories