Some Examples

A Variety of Arguments and Non-arguments

Including Deductive and Inductive arguments

As well as Good and Bad arguments

Directions: To determine how well you understand what logic is, and how to approach claims logically, consider the following examples.  Describe each of the following sentence-clusters in terms of their structure (if there is one).  Which are arguments and which non-arguments?  Which of them are deductive, which inductive?  Which employ fallacies to reach their conclusions? Which are valid?  Which are sound?  Which are strong, which are weak?  Name the structure of the deductive arguments, and the structure of the inductive arguments.

Arguments 1: Metaphysics

A. My friend Jane has told me that she has seen many ghosts.  She loves to be scared.  One night we went into an old house that was supposedly haunted.  I think I saw a ghost that night.  I screamed when I did, and we all ran out of there.  So now I believe in ghosts.

B. Ghosts exist.  According to a show called “Ghost Hunters,” there are machines that can detect the presence of ghosts.  They detect things like cold spots and hot spots, and use infrared signals.  The people who do this stuff go all over the world and find ghosts.  Why would there be a show about finding ghosts if there were no ghosts?

C. Either something caused the universe to exist or the universe has always existed.  The claim that the universe has always existed is unintelligible.  Thus, something caused the universe to exist.

Arguments 2: Art & Art History

D. Matthew Collings regards the Oath of the Horatii, painted in 1787 by Jacques-Louis David, to represent a new way of looking at the ancient world, something that inspired the heroic revolutionary ideas of the late eighteen century.  However, Collings discusses the muscular male bodies in that painting, and only a gay man would do that.  His discussion thus makes it clear that he is gay, and so we should ignore his claims about history.

E. According to Matthew Collings, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) presents us with the dark and foreboding side of human emotion, and so is, as he terms it, an artist of despair.  He contrasts this with artists that depict tragedy and those that depict the comic or humorous.  Interestingly, Collings argues that the sort of comedy that represents human beings as hopelessly stupid, living meaningless lives in a world of random events is just the sort of comedy that is dependent on the sense of despair Goya portrayed.  As most people that feel their lives are meaningless have never heard of Goya, this view is clearly wrong.

F. Art museums are not just places where people have put a lot of old paintings.  They provide us with different ways of looking at ourselves, at what it is to be part of humanity.  Works of art are representations of civilization that we can reflect upon and learn from.  Everyone should go to art museums often, so that they can discover who they are.  At the very least, every work of art is a piece of who you are.

G. The only people who say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” are people who have never really cared much about what beauty is.  I hear people say this all the time, but I have never heard any of these beholders even try to explain what beauty is.

H. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and everyone is different, then beauty would be different for everyone.  Since people fairly often agree about beauty it follows that beauty is not in the eye of the beholder.

Arguments 3: Religion and Theology

I. If any time in history could be considered the Day of Judgment, it would be fourteenth century Europe.  Since then nothing has been as bad.

J. Christianity was a sect of Judaism until the fourth century C.E., but by the second century C.E. the Letter of Barnabas indicates a growing hostility between the Jews who accepted Jesus as the messiah and those who did not.  Centuries after Jesus’ crucifixion the number of gentiles converted began to outnumber Jewish followers.  Beginning in the fifth century C.E. and on through the Renaissance, Christians were becoming increasingly hostile toward those of the Jewish faith.  The Jews were even sometimes referred to as “Jesus killers.”  This attitude toward Judaism still survives in some Christian churches. Thus, the current view that those following Jesus actually rejected Judaism is a falsehood, and evidently arises from ignorance about the history of both Christianity and Judaism.

K. If religion and science were opposed, they would have always been opposed and every religion would disown its connections to science.  Until the seventeenth century Christianity and science were not opposed, and even today the Pope explicitly accepts evolution. In fact, it is only a few small but very vocal sects of Christianity in the United States that reject science.  Moreover, there are in fact fewer than five contemporary religions that disown science.  Hence, religion and science are not really opposed.  They only appear to be to those caught up in a parochial and backward worldview.

L. In the winter of 1349 Christians in France, Germany, and Switzerland seek out any Jews in or around their towns and burn them at the stake.  Around two thousand Jews were burned in Strasbourg, Germany. Christians burned the Jews in order to appease God, since, it was popularly believed, both that the Jews were intentionally spreading the plague by poisoning local wells, and that God had sent the plague to punish Christians for tolerating Jews.  Though the Pope publically pointed out that the conspiracy theory was misguided since Jews and Christians were dying of the plague in equal numbers, this did not change the popular belief that Jews were at fault.  Since the belief in a Jewish conspiracy was so widely held across numerous countries, it must have some truth in it.  So, the Jews were at least partially responsible for the Black Death.

M. The Virgin Mary has appeared to many people in many forms since 1917 when her apparition appeared in the town of Fatima, Portugal. Now, when she appears she is often called “our lady of Fatima.”  The appearance of the Blessed Virgin shows that Christianity is the one true religion and that the end of the world is near.

N. There have been many people who have been proclaimed to be, or have themselves claimed to be, the reincarnation of Christ.  None of them have been the reincarnation of Christ.  Thus, the second coming of Christ is a fantasy that will never happen.

O. Since Christianity is true because it is newer than Judaism.  Islam is true because it is newer than Christianity.

P. It seems that calling someone the Antichrist has been a popular idea since the late middle ages.  Whenever there is a person who gains some power, and is disliked by some Christian sect does not like, they call that person the antichrist. Thousands of people have been called the antichrist, and none of them have been the antichrist.  This seems to show that there is no antichrist and never will be.  Thus, “antichrist” is just a label that is often used, and will continue to be used to scare people and turn them against others.

Arguments 4: Popular Culture

Q. Nick and Nora Charles have a dog named Asta.  Nick drinks a lot, and solves crimes.  He and his wife have a rapid comic patter.  His wife is rich.

R. Neo is taller than the Little Prince.  This is true because Neo is taller than Christopher Robin, and Christopher Robin is taller than the Little Prince.

S. Simon Templar is a better spy than James Bond.  This is because James Bond depended on technology to complete his missions, whereas Simon Templar relied solely on his wits.

T. Nick Charles is a fine sleuth, provided Nora lends a hand.  Sherlock Holmes is better because he does not need Dr. Watson’s help.  As lone detectives go, Miss Marple is a subtle observer of human behavior, though Auguste C. Dupin has more powerful inductive skills.  Of course, Dupin is the acknowledged prototype for Holmes.

U. Everybody doesn’t like something, but nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee.

V. Ellen Ripley is tougher than Richard B. Riddick.  After all, the Xenomorphs (i.e., the endoparasitoid extraterrestrial species from Alien) are clearly tougher than Riddick, and Alexa Woods is tougher than the Xenomorphs.  Since Ellen Ripley is tougher than Alexa Woods, Ripley is tougher than Riddick.

W. Believe me if all those endearing young charms which I gaze on so fondly today, were to change by tomorrow and fleet in my arms, like fairy gifts fading away, thou would’st still be adored as this moment thou art let thy loveliness fade as it will, and around the dear ruin each wish of my heart would entwine itself verdantly still.  It is not while beauty and youth are thine own and thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear, that the fervor and faith of a soul can be known to which time will but make thee more dear; no, the heart that has truly loved never forgets, but as truly loves on to the close, as the sunflower turns on her god when he sets the same look which she turned when he rose.

X. Since Jeremy Brett, no one has played as convincing a Sherlock Holmes.  Brett also plays the part extremely close to the character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, unlike many previous actors.  Since Brett is so convincing, and more so than any previous actor, I concluded that Brett is the best Holmes yet.

Y. Constantine is more cunning than Dr. Elizabeth Masterson, though Masterson is not as cute as Kathleen Kelly, she is more intelligent than Kelly.  Masterson is also more intelligent than Sam Wheat, though Molly Jensen is not as innocent as Kathleen Kelly.  Since cunning takes intelligence and innocence detracts from cunning, Constantine is more cunning than Sam Wheat.

Arguments 5: Meteorology

Z. Thunder causes lightning.  This may sound odd, but the light from a lightning bolt reaches us before the sound because light travels faster than sound.  However the sound is due to an electrical imbalance in the clouds.  This imbalance results in an electric discharge from clouds to the surface of the earth, and this discharge is the bright light known as lightning.  Thus, thunder causes lightning.

AA. Tornados and Twisters are very different phenomena.  A twister is a narrow funnel cloud that when it reaches the ground moves from east to west, and lasts at least thirty minutes.  A tornado, on the other hand, travels from north to south and has a much shorter duration.  Since they have different characteristics, they are different phenomena.

BB. Most storms in North America arise in the east and most westward with the sun.  Though there is often heavy cloud cover the storms move with the sun unless they occur at night, in which case they follow the path of the moon which can be either south to north or west to east.

CC. Lightning causes thunder.  Though people are sometimes confused about the relationship between thunder and lightning, it is the lightning that causes thunder.  Lightning is about 54,000οF (30,000 οC), which is hotter than the surface of the sun.  The lightning heats the air so rapidly that the air molecules expand violently creating the noise called thunder.  Thus, lightning causes thunder.

DD. The typical pattern of North American storms is south-west to north-east.  Thought this can be reversed when there is a large rotating storm system, it is still true that all storms originate in the south-west and move north-easterly.  This is caused by the jet stream and the rotation of the earth.

Arguments 6: Cosmology and Astrophysics

EE. The phrase “big bang” was coined by Dr. Fred Hoyle in 1949 during a radio broadcast.   Hoyle was referring to the theory that the universe was created by an explosion of an exceedingly small, unbelievably dense object.   Therefore, Hoyle accepted the theory.

FF. Since something can not come from nothing, the universe must have come from something.  However, if the universe came from God, then God must have come from something too.  Thus, the universe did not come from God.

Arguments 7: Dinosaurs and K-T boundary

GG. What killed the dinosaurs?  In 1979 Luis Alvarez, Walter Alvarez, Frank Asaro, and Helen Michael presented a testable hypothesis that a meteor impact with catastrophic effects had wiped out the dinosaurs.  The hypothesis was confirmed in 1986 by Bohor and Izett, who found an abundance of shocked quartz at a site they were studying, and which was duplicated at many Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary sites.  Many scientists concluded that the only reasonable explanation of the global boundary layer was a meteor impact.  In 1981, and unknown to those studying the dinosaur extinction, petroleum geologists Glen Penfield and Antonio Camargo, published their discovery of a giant impact crater on the north shore of Yucatan in Mexico.  They dated the crater to the K-T boundary.  The relevance of their work to the extinction question went unnoticed until 1990 when it was rediscovered by Alan Hildebrand and William Boynton.  This further supported the impact theory, and since then the impact theory has been the accepted explanation of the extinction of the dinosaurs.

HH. According to the accepted scientific explanation, there was a single event that killed the dinosaurs.  The event was a meteor collision. This is called the “impact theory.”  However, recent evidence may suggest that the impact theory is too simple.  According to Dr. Gerta Keller there were two events, at least three hundred thousand years apart, which lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs.  Alternatively, according to Dr. Jan Smit there were two events, less than a week apart, which lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs.  According to others, there were multiple impacts which gradually lead to the demise of the dinosaurs.  The disagreement between these more recent views is based on the interpretation of the iridium and soot at the K-T boundary.  As interpretations are always subjective, there will never be a resolution of this debate, and we can never know what killed the dinosaurs.

II. According to the accepted scientific explanation, there was a single event that killed the dinosaurs.  The event was a meteor collision. This is called the “impact theory.”  However, recent evidence may suggest that the impact theory is too simple.  According to Dr. Gerta Keller there were two events, at least three hundred thousand years apart, which lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs.  Alternatively, according to Dr. Jan Smit there were two events, less than a week apart, which lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs.  According to others, such as Dr. Norman Maccleod, there have been multiple impacts and many environmental changes which gradually lead to the demise of the dinosaurs.  The determination of which of these theories is best will require finding what we can call “crucial evidence.”  The crucial evidence we would need would refute two of the competing theories and confirm the remaining one.  The disagreement between these more recent views is based on the interpretation of the iridium and soot at the K-T boundary.  Thus, further research into the K-T boundary is needed to determine what killed the dinosaurs.

JJ. If there was a single impact that killed the dinosaurs, then it would have left evidence, such as a crater.  Clay spherules would be left by such a powerful impact, and the layer of spherules would be thicker closer to the point of impact.  Dr. Alan Hildebrand discovered that the clay spherules at the K-T boundary are thickest around the Yucatan, and that there is also a crater there.  The crater in the Yucatan is proof that the dinosaurs were killed by a single meteor impact.

KK. If a Tsunami killed the dinosaurs, evidence from rock-core samples would show that there was very little time between the layer containing clay spherules and the layer containing iridium, a few days at most.  As the mineral glauconite takes many thousands of years to form, if it is present between them, then it would show that a tsunami did not kill the dinosaurs.  As the mineral smectite takes only a short time to form, perhaps only hours, if it is present in the gap, then it would show that a tsunami did kill the dinosaurs.  Yet, since not everyone can tell the difference between glauconite and smectite, it will be impossible to ever know anything about past.  Thus, we should stop trying to understand what killed the dinosaurs.

LL. Assuming the dinosaurs were killed by a single meteor impact, we would expect to find charcoal at the K-T boundary since organic material would have been burned by the heat of the impact.  However, graduate student Claire Belcher took samples from eight K-T boundary sites, ranging Mexico to Canada.  After analysis she discovered that there was only a tiny amount of charcoal, but a significant amount of non-charred plant material.  Belcher has thus provided significant evidence that the impact theory is false.

MM. Assuming that the impact theory is true, there would have been battery-acid strength acid rain covering most of the earth.  However, Dr. David Archibald has shown that many species that should have died out under the conditions predicted by the impact theory did not, in fact, die out.  Tree frogs, which are especially sensitive to environmental changes, show no signs of having decreased significantly at the K-T boundary.  Thus, Archibald has provided significant evidence that the impact theory is false.

NN. The impact theory maintains that after the meteor hit the earth the dust would have blocked the sun for months, or even years, creating a long period of global winter.  However, Dr. David Archibald’s tree frogs, once again show that this could not have happened, and that the impact theory is either false, or in serious need of revision.  This is because such a long period of cold would have killed most amphibians, since they are cold-blooded creatures.  Yet, amphibians are one class of animals that experienced only low levels of extinction around the K-T boundary.

OO. After closer inspection of the fossil record it appears that three million years before the K-T boundary, the global environment was becoming more arid, and that many species of dinosaur were having trouble adapting.  Thus, though it is certainly true that a meteor did hit the earth at the K-T boundary, this event did not bring about the extinction of the dinosaurs.  Rather, the dinosaurs were headed for extinction for evolutionary reasons; that is, due to an inability to adapt to environmental changes.  As a result, we should reject the impact theory as an explanation of the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Arguments 8: Geology & History

PP. There was a tremendous amount of volcanic activity between 1812 and 1817.  There was so much, in fact, that the dust blocked enough sunlight to cool the earth the year.  This was especially true in 1816, which is still called “the year without a summer,” and which New Englanders called “eighteen hundred and freeze to death.”  The most likely cause of the cold weather was either the eruption of Krakatoa or the eruption of Tamboro.  Since Krakatoa erupted back in the day, it was the eruption of Krakatoa that cause the year without a summer.

QQ. The more silica there is in magma, the stickier is the magma.  This results in a greater chance that the magma will block the vent of a volcano.  When that happens there is a greater chance of a volcanic eruption. Thus, there is greater chance of violent eruptions in areas where there are volcanoes and there is a high percentage of silica in the surrounding rock.

RR. Asteroids have been hitting the earth since the beginning of time, and people have always worried about them. When people used to think about them they used to be a bigger problem.  You can’t fix everything.  Sometimes it’s good to just accept things.

SS. There is no scientific proof that six million Jews were murdered in Nazi concentration camps.  Thus, the so-called holocaust never happened.

TT. Cro-Magnon hunting was less dangerous than Neanderthal hunting.  We know this because the fossil record shows that Neanderthal bones sustained many fractures over years of hunting, while Cro-Magnon bones in the fossil record show far fewer fractures over years of hunting.

Arguments 9: Ancient World

UU. No one in the ancient world was happy.  If everyone was happy, then nothing would have changed.  Since we no longer live in the ancient world, no one was happy back then.

VV. In 113 BCE the Cimbri barbarian horde marched toward Rome.  The Cimbri were one of many northern Celtic tribes.  Their aim it seems, under the leadership of the warlord Boiorix, was to settle near Rome, and share in Roman wealth.  Along their route toward Rome the Cimbri attacked villages and towns under Roman protection.  The Roman Republic sent the inexperienced consul Gnaeus Papiriu Carbo to either defeat or turn back the Cimbrian army.  When the Cimbri ambassadors, with their small army, met the Romans, they were shocked by the well-equipped and disciplined Roman army.  The ambassadors then requested that the Cimbri be allowed to return to their native country.  Carbo agreed, but then decided to send his troops to kill Cimbri ambassadors, which they did.  The Cimbri who escaped returned to camp with the tale of Roman treachery.  This dishonorable act inspired the rest of the Cimbri, and those who had joined them, to wage war against the Romans.  The Romans were almost defeated as a result.

WW. In his consul­ship the Cimbrians advanced from Gaul into Italy and Illyricum, and Carbo, who was sent against them, was put to flight with his whole army. He was afterwards accused by Marcus Antonius, we know not for what reason, and put an end to his own life by taking a solution of vitriol.

XX. If Octavian routed Mark Antony at the battle of Actium on 2 September 31 BCE, then Octavian became Augustus Caesar and sole ruler of Rome.  If Augustus was sole ruler of Rome, then Rome was no longer a republic.  If Rome was no longer a republic, then Augustus died at Nola.  If Augustus Caesar died at Nola, then he did not die in Rome.  If he did not die in Rome, then his wife Livia poisoned him at Nola.  If Livia poisoned Augustus at Nola, then his stepson Tiberius succeeded him in 14 C. E.  Thus, if Octavian routed Mark Antony at the battle of Actium on 2 September 31 BCE, then his stepson Tiberius succeeded him.

YY. Roman emperors varied in their abilities, popularity, and their depravity. Some popular ones were also depraved.  None of the most able were depraved.  Therefore, none of the popular emperors were most able.

ZZ. Astrologers divided the sky into different regions, and used their understanding of the movement of the stars and planets to predict the fate of individuals, countries, and battles.  The ancients knew a great deal about the movement of the stars and planets.  The study of the movement of starts and planets is called astronomy.  Thus, there is no difference between astrology and astronomy.

AAA. The Knights Templar, those who supposedly once possessed the Holy Grail, were twelfth century crusaders. We know from archeological research that the crusaders were commonly buried with their thighs crossed.  Under the streets of Dublin, in old crypts not open to the public, bodies from around the twelfth century have been discovered. Some of these bodies have their thighs crossed.  Thus, we have evidence that the Knights Templar brought the Holy Grail to Dublin.

Arguments 10: History

BBB. During the plague of the fourteenth century from one third to one half of the population of Europe died.  The resulting shortage of labor resulted in the need to find technological replacements for human labor.  The printing press was an invention that took the place of medieval scribes.  Hence, the plague is ultimately responsible for the printing press.

CCC. According to an often repeated legend, the Mongols were the first to use germ warfare – though, of course, they did not know it.  When they attacked Caffa, on the Black Sea in 1347, the Mongols had to retreat because their soldiers were dying from illness.  Before they retreated, however, they catapulted their dead over the walls of Caffa.  The disease they transmitted to Caffa is now known as the Black Plague.  From Caffa the plague travels to Europe along trade routes.  Still, this is just a legend.

Arguments 11: Paranormal

DDD.  My friend Jane has told me that she has seen many ghosts.  She loves to be scared.  One night we went into an old house that was supposedly haunted.  I think I saw a ghost that night.  I screamed when I did, and we all ran out of there.  So now I believe in ghosts.

EEE. Ghosts exist.  According to a show called “Ghost Hunters,” there are machines that can detect the presence of ghosts.  They detect things like cold spots and hot spots, and infrared signals.  The people who do this stuff go all over the world and find ghosts.  Why would there be a show about finding ghosts if there were no ghosts?

FFF. Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) could sleep on a book and when he woke up, he would know the book just as if he had read it.  He made great predictions that came true, though he never charged for them.  He cured all kinds of illnesses that “smart” doctors could not cure.  In some cases he prescribed homeopathic concoctions made from ordinary food products, and cured serious illnesses.  He did all this though he was an illiterate country bumpkin.  He was a great American prophet, and his views should be accepted by everyone.

GGG. The pyramids of ancient Egypt, Baalbek in Lebanon, the statues of Easter Island, Stonehenge on the Salisbury plain, the pyramids of Central America, the Inca architecture at Cuzco, Puma Punku in Bolivia, and the Nazca markings on the Pampas de Jumana in Peru, as well as many other megalithic sites, together prove beyond a doubt that the ancient world was visited by aliens.  People in the ancient world could not have accomplished any of these without technological help from a superior race from another planet.  Only a fool would deny that these structures are amazing.  Besides, all this is proved in Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods.

HHH. Many people have reported seeing strange lights in the sky.  Unless all of them are liars, many of them must have seen strange lights in the sky.  These lights were from no known objects.  Therefore, the lights were from extraterrestrial spaceships visiting our planet.

III. Atlantis must be real.  If it wasn’t a real place somewhere on the earth then you wouldn’t have so many people looking for it and spending their money to locate it, and you wouldn’t have TV shows devoted to it.  People don’t waste their time looking for something that isn’t real.

JJJ. There are a large number of USO (unidentified submerged object) sightings off the coast of Catalina Island.  There is no way to explain this other than that there must be a submerged extraterrestrial base at the bottom of the Santa Catalina trench.  Thus, there is a submerged extraterrestrial base at the bottom of the Santa Catalina trench.  It must be the home base from which all the extraterrestrial ships take off.

KKK. Though unknown to science, and denied by skeptics, Chupacabra kills animals in the countryside in places like Puerto Rico, Miami, Chile, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico.  According to UFO Magazine (March/April 1996) there have been more than 2,000 reported cases of animal mutilations in Puerto Rico attributed to the Chupacabra.  In fact, the existence of the creature was first discovered in Puerto Rico back in the 1980’s when some dead goats were found with puncture wounds in their necks and all their blood [allegedly] drained out.  All the reports of similar attacks and sightings make is absolutely certain that El Chupacabra exists.

LLL. Big Foot, Chupacabra, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Australian Bunyip are all creatures that supposedly do not exist, according to science.  However, science has been wrong in the past.  At one time scientists held that the Coelacanth was an extinct species, yet a live one was discovered in 1938 by Marjorie Courtenay, and in 2000 a school of them was found off the coast of South Africa.  Thus, it is likely that these other creatures denied by science also exist.

Arguments 12: Biology

No grasshoppers are butterflies, but some moths are butterflies.  Thus, no moths are grasshoppers.

In 1969, when Apollo 12 landed on the moon, one of the tasks was to recover Surveyor 3, which had landed on the moon in 1967.   Astronaut Pete Conrad recovered the television camera on Surveyor 3.  When it was taken apart back on earth, a piece of Styrofoam inside was analyzed.  They discovered that, apparently, when the camera was first constructed a worker had sneezed onto the Styrofoam, and so the dried ejecta from that sneeze were placed in Petri dish.  Amazingly, the bacteria started to grow again.  Thus, it was proved that life can survive the harsh environment of space.  This goes to show that we do not need to be concerned about our environment, since life will go on no matter what we do.

If evolution is true, then my cat would become a dog if he lived with dogs long enough.  However, my cat would not become a dog no matter how long he lived with dogs.  Thus, evolution is not true.

Arguments 13: Medicine

In 1347 CE the alignment of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn directly preceded the onset of the sickness later called the Bubonic plague.  According to the reigning medical theories of the day this alignment created noxious vapors that spread across the world and disrupted the ordinary balance of humors in the human body.  This was the miasmatic theory of illness.  The imbalance of humors resulted in the plague.  Thus, the alignment of the planets caused the Bubonic plague.

A common explanation of sickness in the medieval world was that sickness is a punishment sent from God.  God sends this punishment when people sin.  Hence, sin causes sickness.

Arguments 14: Politics and Political Theory

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.





Arguments 15: Poems

The road not taken, by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.





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