12 Angry Men by Talita E. Sigillo
Based on the movie «12 angry men» In the movie «12 angry men», one can explore a variety of fallacies and generalizations. Each juror except for one comes in with a verdict of «Guilty», but by using critical thinking the reasons to support their claim are dismissed one by one. Except for Juror number three who is the last one to change his verdict. He disregards all critical reasoning and sticks to his initial claim using multiple fallacies to support it.
He is clearly prejudiced towards the defendant no mater the evidence brought forward to him. Only at the end does he realize that all this time he was seeing his own son in the eyes of this boy, a son that had «disrespected» the father. Him.
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Following are only some of the multiple fallacies juror number three used to support his claim. One of the very first fallacies juror number three uses is «begging the question. » This is when one states an opinion as though it is a well known fact. When he first enters the room he claims «everyone knows he is guilty!! and when asked by the critical thinker to explain the reasons for his claim the juror answers: «everything Says he is guilty» by using this reason he again is «begging the question» and simultaneously uses «Circular reasoning» since he restates his claim as though it is reason.
Moreover when analyzing the two testimonies, the critical thinker finds ways to prove that there is a reasonable doubt in the two witnesses testimonies. Again juror number three uses more than one fallacy to claim that he has no reasonable doubt.It was brought to their attention that the woman who testified that she had seen the boy kill the father couldn’t actually see someone clearly. This claim was supported with the following reason and train of thought: The glimpse of the murder was seen through her bedroom window, the window of the moving train, across the street and through the victim’s apartment window. «Could, who the woman saw commit the murder, be someone else»? Juror number three claimed that the «woman testified in court» and also said «The woman said she saw him» and finally ended with «the woman saw it! After reasonable doubt to the testimony is applied, juror number three used the above quotes as his reasons to support his claim that it was the boy that the woman saw, concluding with evidence that do not follow through with his claim and thus being «non sequitor». Juror number three still had a valid reason to believe the boy had committed the murder since the man’s testimony was that he heard the boy shout out the phrase «I’m going to kill you! » to his father and that the old man who testified in court, saw the boy running down the stairs and that he heard the body fall.Through critical thought and analysing the evidence piece by piece, it was pointed out that, since the murder took place during the passing of a train, the old man could not have possibly heard the body fall and that it took him too long to cross his room and open the door for him to have seen the boy after committing the murder.
Still juror number three voted guilty saying he had no reasonable doubt that «the boy said ‘I’m going to kill you’ and he killed him» at this point he was using circular reasoning, restating his claim as a reason.It was at this point that the critical thinker decided to prove his point to juror number three, he provoked him so much to the point that he said «I’m going to kill you!! » to the other juror who provoked him, it was brought to his attention that a lot of them could have «criminal tendencies» like the boy, but having them did not mean acting upon them. It was then that juror number three started loosing control. All the reasons he was using to mask the truth about why he was convicting the boy had been questioned leaving him with no logical warrants to support his claim of guilty.When questioned again «what proof do you have that the boy is guilty? » he answers with a «Red Herring» that he is «entitled to his opinion» By the end of the movie his true premise behind the verdict of guilty was came to the surface. Juror number three had a son that had gotten in an argument with him and had stopped talking to him. This, according to the values in which the juror was raised, was disrespect and disrespect was inexcusable towards the father.
It was obvious, that he prioritized respect to the father above everything else, when he said «It doesn’t matter what his father did it’s his father and you can’t say ‘I’ll kill you’ to you father! » This value that he prioritized along with the incident with his son was what had clouded his judgement and affected his point of view. Juror number three was therefore unable to critically look at the evidence presented since he was prejudiced towards the boy. For Juror number three the boy was guilty to begin with for disrespecting his father witch is this Jurors highest value.