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The Media and Fallacies, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 358

Essay

Whether the United States should engage in torture

Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has argued that the United States should never engage in torture. It’s clear that Powell thinks we shouldn’t even be allowed to ask dangerous terrorists simple questions. Such a “hand off” attitude will be a disastrous foreign policy, and it will lead to more brazen attacks against the United States. I think Powell is really wrong on this one.

Once the issue is identified – the one from Colin Powell’s argument – the Formal Analysis of the argument reveals the distortion of his conclusion. The distortion of the main argument commits the Strawman fallacy. The arguer provides reasons to support the claim that “The United States should be able to ask dangerous terrorist simple questions”. However, this claim is not the rejection of the opposing views; instead, it distorts Powell’s conclusion. The arguer, thus, does not address what’s at issue, yet acts as if he or she has done so when claiming that “Powell is really wrong on this one”.

Wish the climate would change

Last Thursday, April 12, at around 4 p.m., with the temperature hovering around one degree, the snow was coming down quite nicely. Would some be as [sic] so kind as to tell David Suzuki and Al Gore that I would like to have a word with them about climate changes in Montreal? And they are welcome to clear the white stuff from my backyard (Letter to the editor, The Gazette, 15 April 2007).

This argument is illogical and a deceptive one. This argument is common these days, as people try to determine whether there is a general trend toward global warming or not. Even some scientists must be in error, because there is no unanimity in the scientific community about this potential problem. Presumably, however, scientists are looking at a far larger body of data than this one writer. A specific Montreal day – or even Canadian year – is not large enough, spread enough, or random enough to base a conclusion about global warming.

Works Cited

Meskimen, Connie. Global Warming and Those Wicked Liberals. The Gazette, 2007. Web.

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