My favorite toothpaste is sold out at the grocery store and I need to decide my best course of action. After weighing my options I decide to buy another brand in travel size and come back next week, my regular brand will probably be back in stock.
 Barack Obama was our first half-black president, but has been such a failure we can never have another half-black president again.
 George Bush is from Texas. Because I hate George Bush I therefore hate all Texans.
Example #1 illustrates Deductive Reasoning. The other two are examples of Inductive Reasoning. Sherlock Holmes was famous for his deductive reasoning and was a popular fictional detective because people could follow his logic right along with each story. And the same is true with popular detective stories on TV today. Yet with big picture ideas such as healthcare or the economy logic seems to go right out the window with much of our population.
Not that long ago the public would never have bought into ideas that have no reasonable basis in logic.
- We're going to eliminate our market based healthcare system and replace it with a government run system to make it more efficient.
- All cops are racist because some cops are racist therefore it's no big deal to gun them down in cold blood.
- Don't worry that Obama took the trillion dollars Congress gave him for shovel ready jobs and made it rain for his buddies that helped get him elected. Keynesian economics tell us it's the same difference.
These examples of inductive reasoning at its worst would have never even been possible a few short years ago. But today the public buys right it. They buy right in because the public does not demand a logical, reasonable explanation. Instead, they are simply told what to think.
Our politicians and our media have taken a few specific examples of a problem and generalized them in order to draw a larger global conclusion and then declare it as accepted truth. Previously our society would have demanded these heretics and their radical ideas be run out of town on a rail and possibly even prosecuted for the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater.
Up until our very recent point in history Americans received a classic education, one that clearly distinguished a Western way of thinking versus that of Eastern cultures. Our views of society including love, war, government and religion was not a choice between utopian nirvana and absolute misery, but one of graduated steps of acceptability. Life is not an all or none proposition but one of humility that reflects the many limitations of human beings.
As such the underlying themes of a classical education were that we know very little, are frail human beings susceptible to our vices and live in an unforgiving natural world. The Greeks called this the Tragic View and the writings of Homer and Sophocles reflected this holistic way of thinking. It also separated them from Eastern writers that focused instead on superstitions, fads, and exaggerations.
Keep this in mind the next time you turn on your TV and see the chattering class stage a so-called debate. What are they really telling us? Do their words piece together a reasoned argument in a step by step fashion or are they merely telling us what to think?
When I walk outside to my car and discover I'm getting wet I can reasonably deduce it is raining. I can deduce this all by myself without any outside help. Yet if I turn on my TV the chattering class tells me another story altogether. They insist the reason I am getting wet is because I'm a victim of global warming and I can only be saved by the heavy hand of the United Nations. Uh sorry, it doesn't pass the smell test of simple logic. There is a padded cell somewhere for these types of people and their radical views.
You have hit on a critical aspect of the difference between how thinking-centered and feeling-centered people look at the world, perceive reality and form strong opinions.
Leftists consistently confuse things like deductive/inductive/abductive reasoning, cause/effect, reality/fantasy, emotion/rationality, rational dialectic/sophistic dialectic/Hegelian dialectic/Marxist dialectic.
How we perceive the world shapes our formation of conscious attitudes and opinions. If our perceptions do not match reality, then our attitudes/opinions will be inferior because they are based on illusion, not reality.
For example, a person who wants to build a suspension bridge from one side of a chasm to another may be of the opinion that it can be done, based on a personal perception that there are sufficient materials on hand to build a strong, stabile structure from one side to the other. However, if the reality is that the distance across is greater than the perception, the opinion is inferior and if people who depend on the bridge being built for their survival act on that opinion, even lethal.
One cannot really be serious-minded without applying mostly deductive observation, analysis and reasoning to the real world, because rational information (the product of application of deductive reasoning) is the only sort which lends itself to making accurate, precise, detailed descriptions of anything. Once subjective opinions and emotions enter an analysis or observation, the opinion will by its fundamental nature tend to be less accurate and precise than one that is exclusively rational in it's foundation.
Since deduction is concerned with precision and induction with approximation, the latter is inferior to the former in establishing an accurate, detailed description of reality.
Good examples of deductive reasoning may be found in the scientific method and in the sort of analysis which law enforcement detectives, judges engage (or are supposed to)!
People who are not serious-minded frequently exchange emotional impressions for thinking in discussions/analysis. They also exchange inductive/abductive reasoning for deductive reasoning. They apply subjective appraisal where only objective appraisal is appropriate.
When every perception is forced through the subjective filter of the cerebral cortex (the function of which is to attach symbols to reality in order for them to be conceptually manipulated) there is always a tendency to modify what is perceived by adding or subtracting something to or from it.
People who are not trained to consciously detach their subjective appraisals from their objective ones are poor witnesses and unreliable consultants. Testing of subjects who are untrained in observation/reporting techniques have been demonstrated to be unable to accurately describe even relatively simple things. People who are not conscious of the human proclivity to alter their descriptions of reality through inadvertent subjective modification are often shocked when they have this demonstrated to them.
There are famous cases where a circle of people sit around and one is given a phrase to remember and pass along to the person sitting next to them, and so on. In virtually 100% of the cases where this experiment is run, the phrase spoken by the last person in the circle is NEVER identical to the phrase that started the circle. In most cases, the accuracy of the phrase is destroyed by the fifth transfer. That is how prone to subjective alteration the human perception normally is in untrained subjects.
The bottom line is that we ultimately do not perceive reality with our senses, so much as with our minds. A mind that is not trained to consciously recognized and concentrate effort on maintaining objective focus on perception in order to preserve integrity will universally degrade the validity of any datum which enters their awareness and is either rescripted to another or integrated into a personal analysis.
One of Dr. Michael Crichton's biggest concerns was how supposedly objective science had been and continued to be adulterated, altered, contaminated and distorted either willfully or inadvertently by the application of political considerations or other forms of subjectifying. He lamented the horribly destructive effect of violating rules of deductive, scientific method in the interests of political advocacy, as demonstrated most egregiously by the AGW fanatic movement.