Jump to content
BigKetchup

Are these logical fallacies?

Recommended Posts

Recently started a debate with someone online about a scientific topic that seemingly has almost full support from the worldwide scientific community but, for some reason, is still debated heavily in politics.  The topic is, of course, climate change, but I don't want to give anyone a prejudice, since it's both hotly debated and rooted in politics.  Anyways, here's the gist of the replies, and I'm suspicious that they're fallacies in one way or another but wanted to get the opinions of others as well:

1. Politicians who support this field of science do things in their personal lives that contradict the legislation they'd like to pass.  In other words, one politician just bought an SUV.  Another politician just bought a home on an oceanfront which would be subject to rising tides.  Does that show any insincerity?

2. Academic bodies predicted that worldwide catastrophe would have occurred by now, but it hasn't, so "its never going to" (ie, in 10 years, on 3 different occasions, which were predicted in the 1970s).

3. I can't explain why numerous scientists disagree on the existence of climate change.

4. That medical practitioners have seen "miracles" but can't explain it; kind of off topic, but this coming from a religious person who argues that medical science has at least some prayer and belief.

 

Anyways, can you spot the fallacies at play here?  I spotted a few but I'm just getting into logical arguments and wanted to know what you think.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, BigKetchup said:

1. Politicians who support this field of science do things in their personal lives that contradict the legislation they'd like to pass.  In other words, one politician just bought an SUV.  Another politician just bought a home on an oceanfront which would be subject to rising tides.  Does that show any insincerity

Maybe, but that’s also an irrelevant red herring. We also know that hamburgers are bad for our heart and cholesterol and beer bad for our liver yet we still eat them. It doesn’t mean the facts are wrong or that we shouldn’t try to do better with our diets or exercise more. Same with climate change. 

12 minutes ago, BigKetchup said:

2. Academic bodies predicted that worldwide catastrophe would have occurred by now, but it hasn't, so "its never going to" (ie, in 10 years, on 3 different occasions, which were predicted in the 1970s).

No, they didn’t. There was like one magazine that said it might cool, but it wasn’t the consensus. It’s a false premise. Also, being wrong about one thing in the past doesn’t mean you’re wrong about a different thing in the present. 

https://skepticalscience.com/70s-cooling-myth-tricks-part-I.html

14 minutes ago, BigKetchup said:

3. I can't explain why numerous scientists disagree on the existence of climate change

Most of them are not climate scientists and don’t understand the issue. They’re humans first and are just wrong. This is basically a strawman given the overwhelming consensus across research domains. 

https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

17 minutes ago, BigKetchup said:

4. That medical practitioners have seen "miracles" but can't explain it; kind of off topic, but this coming from a religious person who argues that medical science has at least some prayer and belief.

And we don’t fully understand what happens inside a black hole, yet we do know they exist and understand many parts of them (even if not all). It also has nothing to do with climate change so is nonsequitur. There is a well established placebo effect in medicine that some people might give credit to prayer and miracles for, but again. It’s another irrelevant red herring. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BigKetchup said:

1. Politicians who support this field of science do things in their personal lives that contradict the legislation they'd like to pass.  In other words, one politician just bought an SUV.  Another politician just bought a home on an oceanfront which would be subject to rising tides.  Does that show any insincerity?

It's not a fallacy, and you can argue that as long as it's legal, it's not hypocrisy either. If the politician was specifically arguing against SUVs but bought one for themselves, I would call that hypocrisy.

OTOH, sometimes a person has family/work that demands a bigger vehicle, in which case it's actually less of a carbon footprint to have one big one instead of multiple smaller ones. You might not be getting the full story here.

2 hours ago, BigKetchup said:

2. Academic bodies predicted that worldwide catastrophe would have occurred by now, but it hasn't, so "its never going to" (ie, in 10 years, on 3 different occasions, which were predicted in the 1970s).

This IS fallacious. As iNow mentions, the premise is false, and the conclusion also doesn't take into account the remedies that were introduced to combat the predicted catastrophe. It's not like we did NOTHING, after all.

2 hours ago, BigKetchup said:

3. I can't explain why numerous scientists disagree on the existence of climate change.

This is also fallacious. It capitalizes on the Vagueness of "numerous", and also Begs the Question that their disagreement is valid and fully understood.

2 hours ago, BigKetchup said:

4. That medical practitioners have seen "miracles" but can't explain it

When someone assumes their prayers, uttered just before a sudden recovery, are the reason for the recovery, it's called a post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this) informal fallacy. Many folks believe supernatural assistance is at work, rather than the efforts of trained medical professionals, but you know who never does? Amputees. No supernatural being in modern history has regrown a limb for a human who lost one, and none of the literature reveals why. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...am I the only person to notice which subforum this is in?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
!

Moderator Note

Not sure where the thread should be moved to, Put it here for the time being. Considering the leading nature of the questions I am not even sure that the thread should be somewhere to begin with.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All good answers. An overwhelming over 90% of climate scientists believe we are experiencing changes in the global climate. There is no 'one size fits all' answer to any of your questions. Also, If someone made these dire predictions in the 70s they were wrong. After all the Chicago School of Economics has been so wrong about so many things they shouldn't be considered worthy of funding. Doctors have tools that are very limited in measuring conditions.

A prof Modi  at Columbia Eng school says if we installed heat pumps we could reduce our carbon emissions by 90%. I say if we install solar panels and zinc air batteries we could generate sufficient electrical power in Summer to use all Winter. Even crude zinc air batteries without the sophisticated catalysts etc could do it because so much solar energy is otherwise goes to waste in Summer.

The zinc air batteries would be  simple tubs containing zinc plates, felt soaked in an electrolyte, and some ss steel wool cathodes. They would be like a plating bath in Summer and then stored for Winter. In Winter they would be reassembled or reactivated for use. They would have only one cycle per year so dendrites should not be an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not arguing in good faith does not necessarily mean that fallacies are involved. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, this person turned out to be another religious, climate-denying, I-don't-need-a-doctor-because-I-have-God supporter of Donald Trump.  Thank you all for the input.  But you can't fix stupid.

Edited by Phi for All
Removed self quote box

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

You can’t fix stupid

I disagree. Nobody is unreachable... until, that is, we stop trying to reach them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/4/2019 at 1:40 AM, BigKetchup said:

1. Politicians who support this field of science do things in their personal lives that contradict the legislation they'd like to pass.  In other words, one politician just bought an SUV.  Another politician just bought a home on an oceanfront which would be subject to rising tides.  Does that show any insincerity?

The self appointed hypocrisy police are working overtime to criticise anyone unwilling to go all stone age to prove they take decades of consistent expert advice seriously, yet anyone who knows better but doesn't care is apparently fine. Morally superior even. Yet these are mostly people would still not take anyone who does go all stone age seriously. Hypocritical of them in my opinion.

Yet this kind of attack is surprisingly effective; I suspect the all too human urge to avoid responsibility (and any sense of guilt for it) makes this a popular and effective way for climate science deniers to attack the integrity of those who call for change whilst diverting attention from the profound and dangerous irresponsibility intrinsic to ignoring clear warnings of what may be the greatest threat to enduring prosperity ever - for convenience and profit. Those who seek to advance the very activities that make global warming worse - who also know better but do it all the same - are having their hypocrisy passed over without comment by those keyboard warriors.

I think it is like facing an invasion - but no-one will take your concerns seriously unless you are personally sacrificing life and fortunes on the front line - that the invasion is not even considered real unless they do and your calls for nationally coordinated response are ignored.

Whilst there are people who think going without stuff should be the principle response, I and many others do not; we know personal lifestyle choices exclusively by those willing to go without stuff is totally inadequate to the task. The intent is to prevent generations of people being forced to go without stuff from climate consequences, by taking economy wide actions to reduce emissions to reduce those consequences. I'm not those (mostly environmentalist voices) who make going without the preferred response are not doing us any favours. But there has also been an extraordinary abrogation of responsibility - unforgivable in those in positions of trust and responsibility - that abandoned the issue to "those who care" and, whilst being relentlessly critical of the policies that resulted, have failed to put forward anything better themselves.

On 9/4/2019 at 1:40 AM, BigKetchup said:

2. Academic bodies predicted that worldwide catastrophe would have occurred by now, but it hasn't, so "its never going to" (ie, in 10 years, on 3 different occasions, which were predicted in the 1970s).

I'm assuming this refers first of all to 1970's global cooling fears. Yet the 1975 US National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council report "Understanding Climatic Change: a Program for Action" made it very clear that mainstream science did not endorse any such predictions. From the preface -

Quote

Unfortunately, we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without this fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate, neither in its short-term variations nor in its larger long-term changes.

They proposed science programs to develop that good quantitative understanding sufficiently that it could be possible to predict climate change and by the 1980's they were bearing fruit. Unfortunately that good understanding of exactly why we need not worry about an imminent ice age were not nearly as reassuring as people hoped! A lot of other criticism seems to be less about what the top level science advice said than about the media's version of that advice - which often presented worst case but less likely scenarios as absolute predictions whilst failing to communicate the if's and but's. I'm not sure the actual science based advice ever made absolute predictions - more like likelihoods under a variety of circumstances, many of which were never considered highly likely.

 

Edited by Ken Fabian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, BigKetchup said:

Well, this person turned out to be another religious, climate-denying, I-don't-need-a-doctor-because-I-have-God supporter of Donald Trump.

The only parts that seem incompatible are the "religious" and "supporter of Donald Trump" parts. A religious person shouldn't approve of someone who lies so much. Even if you judge only by actions while in office, Trump is a really sad, serial liar. A person who lies continually about big and little issues isn't practicing any kind of spirituality. I don't know why anyone who claims to be religious would condone such behavior, unless they fear minorities more than they love truth.

Every time Trump claims he's a really smart, stable genius, he always misses a great opportunity to prove it with his next words. When a truly smart, well-educated person's intelligence or expertise is questioned, the last thing they do is simply tell you how smart and qualified they are. What they do is to show you how smart and qualified they are, usually by relaying some pertinent and applicable information that only a smart, well-educated person would have. Trump NEVER does that. He just doubles down on how much smarter he is than everybody else, how he's the greatest expert and nobody knows as much as he. No proof, no expert information, just hot air.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.