Imagine I have 3 cups turned over, and ask you to guess which one of these cups has a coin under it. You say that the coin is under a cup, and point to one. I show you that there is no coin under the cup, and then reveal which cup has the coin under it.You can certainly tell that you picked the wrong cup, you were mistaken. You missed the mark.
Ok. Now imagine that there are thousands upon thousands of cups and only one coin. Also imagine that you can only pick one. Naturally you will only win as prize if you choose the cup with the coin under it but the carnival barker also informs you that if you do not find the coin you will be punished, worse if you don't play you can't find the coin so you will certainly be punished.
Still with me? Ok here comes the real meat.
You pick the wrong cup (because of course you do there's thousands of friggin cups) and you will be punished. As they come to administer the punishment the following conversation takes place. (If you refuse to play the game this conversation may still be assumed to have happened).
You: That's not fair! It's nearly impossible to choose the right one at random!
Carnival barker: sorry but you chose this for yourself. I explained the rules and you did not choose the cup with the coin therefore you have chosen punishment.
You: Well can you at least show me the coin?
Carnival barker: oh it's down there. I saw a guy win just last week and guys used to win all the time before I started.
You: Well I don't even think you have a coin!
Carnival barker: well your getting punished anyway and it's your own fault.
Ok that's the whole conversation what do you think? Was the contest fair? Would it be more or less fair if your family and nearly everyone you know is expecting you to choose the same cup? What if the cups are under the table where you cant see them and you just point and as an added wrinkle if the spot you point to doesn't contain a cup it counts as a loss. Now in addition to refusing to show you the coin the barker also refuses to show you the cups. Is it fair now?
Perhaps you think I'm referencing you. If so ask yourself do I make any arguments like the ones in this hypothetical example. If not then this post likely is not aimed at you.
If on the other hand you have ever had a conversation like the one above (from either perspective) then please feel free to share.