December 6, 2012
Capstone Assignment- Argumentative Essay on Global Climate Change
The argument presented by Wonderingmind42 or Greg Craven can be reconstructed into the following:
P1: If Global Climate Change is false and we did take action, then we spent unnecessary money and fall into a global depression.
P2: If Global Climate Change is false and we did not take action, it is a best case scenario.
P3: If Global Climate Change is true and we did take action, it will lead to a global depression but without major consequences.
P4: If Global Climate Change is true and we did not take action, it is a worst case scenario.
P6: we can eliminate the worst case scenario by choosing the first column “YES”/A
C: Choose column A
Some of the fallacies that were quite obvious to point out are Slippery Slope, Appeal to emotion, and Appeal to fear. Slippery slope can be detected when Greg Craven is describing the best and worst case scenarios. When describing what would happen if global climate change was false and we did take action (P2), he says “Increase taxation, burden and regulation, bulleted government... massive layoffs cause by draconian regulations, which sparks a recession, which spirals into a depression, which cascades worldwide and we end up in a global depression”. (Minute 2:42 in the video). This same line can be used to detect appeal to fear. The argument creates a fear people, but it shouldn’t be considered sufficient evidence to make the claim. Appeal to emotion can also be easily detected. This fallacy occurs when the person presenting the argument manipulates the people’s emotion so that the people can accept the claim as true. No one wants the world to end in such horrific manner, assuming such catastrophic outcome is an appeal to emotion. Another fallacy that I didn’t notice until the very end was appeal to authority. Greg Craven is only a high school science teacher, yet he is the one creating this huge argument about global climate change. It would be a more acceptable argument if it was coming from a meteorologist, or environmental scientist. Although he isn’t either, his argument is still a strong argument.
The argument is well formed, which is why it can’t automatically be rejected. As for its propositional content, there are instances where, when both premises that make choosing column A the better choose, turn out to be false. When the argument is broken down into a truth-table and the compound proposition are tested for a true of false conclusion, 4 out of 7 times the conclusion turns out to be false. This makes the argument invalid. The propositional content can’t be accepted because even though it’s a good argument, the evidence is invalid. The argument is a hybrid of inductive and deductive reasoning. Inductive because there are parts that are probabilistic like a global depression, and deductive because of exclusive disjunction. The reasoning behind the argument can be accepted before its validity is determined. This is due to the argument being well formed.