Half of all policemen are thieves and half of all policemen are murderers. Does it follow logically that all policemen are criminals?

Vote

pseupseudio

Feb 15, 2013 5:37am

i think at best you've muddied the waters sufficiently that i can't strictly say they're clean.

your interpretation from AHD i think strains the bounds of logic. the question doesn't posit such a jurisdiction, nor does one exist - the world over, theft is either a crime or a nonexistent concept (non-criminal theft not being theft, but simple taking).

as for MWCD, i'd be inclined to apply the "limited" effect of specifically to "felonious," but in a different way than you do. while i hold that theft is inherently criminal, it is not inherently felonious - most thefts are midemeanors.

and in any event, we've both soared far beyond the question's intent. perhaps it would have been better phrased as "can you think well enough to entertain the concept of separate iterated halves?"

ExtremeDating

Feb 15, 2013 6:04am

i think at best you've muddied the waters sufficiently that i can't strictly say they're clean.

Good enough for me. I admit the AHD case was a reach, but this whole business is mostly tongue-in-cheek anyway.

vector010

Feb 15, 2013 6:24pm

 

M_ss_ng-L_nk

February 4

^ Congratulations; you just flunked Logic 101, despite definitively answering the question:

That means that logically we can make no assumption of the distribution of criminals in the data set based on the information given.

 

 

Meh, actually I fail at reading comprehension.  Read it as "Are all policemen are criminals?" instead of the way it is written.

peterng

Apr 26, 2013 3:29pm

Consider an extreme case where there are only two policemen.  Policeman A is both a thief and a murderer while Policeman B is not a criminal.  In this situation, half of all the policemen are thieves and half of all the policemen are murderers, but it is not the case that all the policemen are criminals.

Shinzenbi

Jun 18, 2013 4:56pm

Fundamental theorem of logic: true conclusions can follow from false premises. 

IOnlyDateDorks

Jun 19, 2013 10:25am

Someone close this thread... I think 5 years of replies and votes has answered the no longer a user OP's question by now.

Invisible_Hand

Jun 19, 2013 4:06pm

This isn't up for discussion. The answer is straightforwardly no. 

Mask_and_Mirror

Jul 14, 2013 7:21pm

It's a logic question and a very easy one.

abovemadseason

Sep 17, 2014 2:07am

The answer is no. The way the question was phrased is a bit tricky.

The question here states that Half of all policemen are thieves and half of all policemen are murderers. Does it follow logically that all policemen are criminals?

Now this question can also be phrased like so:

Half of all policemen are either thieves or Murderers. Does it follow logically that all policemen are criminals?

Of course not since the question doesn't apply to all policemen but only half of them.

BiggestCockEver

Sep 17, 2014 6:25am

The question should rather have been "Half of all C are A, and half of all C are B, does it follow that all C are either A or B?". Even then, it doesn't specify whether it means "exactly half", or "at least half", or "approximately half". Which makes a big difference, what is meant by "half".

I say it should be worded as A, B. and C, because mentioning policemen brings in the much more important social issues implied by the question, which is that if even 1% of policemen are murderers, it is a horrendous intolerable situation. And the fact is, there are way too many policeman who in fact have killed human beings, and are proud of it, and are cruising the streets we live on with loaded weapons and a sense that they have the right to do anything they feel like to anyone they choose, and get away with it.

The recent, much publicized case in a place called Ferguson is merely one example of this, and many more take place all the time without getting any media attention or public scrutiny. So, if you want to discuss Venn logic questions, use impartial symbols like A, B, and C.

If you want to discuss the mentality and behaviors of people who are paid (by your taxes) to wear badges and carry guns and cruise the streets looking for people to harass, then write a question concerning that, leaving out the "logic" element. Because frankly, I would find such a question to be much more useful in rating compatibility than an "A is part of B, is it therefore part of C" question. And anyhow, we already have the some doctors are tall question to do that.

There's no need for 50,000 repetitive questions, in any case. 100 well sorted, well chosen questions would be sufficient and more efficient than this huge random assortment, for the purpose of rating personal compatibility between individuals on this site.

allie-the-cat

Sep 17, 2014 8:28am

It doesn't follow from the information given, but that doesn't make it untrue

MetroTonPanton

Sep 17, 2014 3:01pm

@biggestCockEver

you're reading way too much into that question. It's a simple logic question and it can be answered context free, basically.

No need to drag ferguson or whatever into this.

MsOtis

Sep 17, 2014 3:41pm

Since most all murderers start out by stealing, the answer would probably just be half. The have to have been a stealer to escalate to murder.

of course, one may steal without becoming a murderer. 

 

TryUsingBees

Sep 17, 2014 4:30pm

How do we know the question doesn't take place in a hypothetical future with drastically different laws, where neither theft nor murder are criminal acts?

It doesn't matter because the answer is no anyway, but what if it's an even weirder future where being a policeman is a crime in itself?

BiggestCockEver

Sep 17, 2014 6:10pm

what if it's an even weirder future where being a policeman is a crime in itself?

Actually, that would be a less weird future. In fact, I think you've just come up with one of the best ideas ever to be suggested on this forum.

 

It's a simple logic question and it can be answered context free, basically. No need to drag ferguson or whatever into this. 

That's exactly the point I was making in my first two paragraphs. If they wanted a simple logic question, they should have done so using impartial symbols, like A, B, and C, without dragging the concepts of police being criminals into it.

But whoever wrote this question, deliberately wrote it in such a way that brought up the question of criminal behavior among police. They didn't have to do that, but they intentionally chose to do that, and in doing so planted in the minds of the readers the questions relating to criminal police behavior.

Having written the question in that way is designed to divert our thoughts to these questions, and saying at that point "don't drag Ferguson into it" is like explicitly telling people not to think about elephants. You've already set up the situation where they cannot help thinking about elephants.

I did not "drag Ferguson into this", Ferguson was dragged into it by the wording of the question which stated "half of all policemen are murderers". By wording the question in this manner, Ferguson, and every other inexcusable example of murderous actions by police, is automatically implied, and saying "don't drag Ferguson into it" is like trying to shut the barn door after the horses have gotten out.

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