Tuesday, August 26, 2008

9 Irrational arguments

The following is a list of arguments that are often expressed however each one can be very easily demolished.

1. We had a hot summer last year this proves that global warming has occur ed.
DEBUNKING: Evidence for Global Warming is based on long term models - one summer corresponding to one data point is meaningless.

2. The root cause of Anti-Western Islamist terrorism is poverty.

DEBUNKING: Many of the poorest countries in the world (particularly in Africa, South America and Asia) have no record of terrorism whatsoever. Also many Islamist terrorists and sympathizers are products of affluent societies: Saudi Arabia, UK, Gulf States etc. The terrorism is ideologically driven.

3. We should expect a different standard of behaviour from Islamists as there religion is over 600 years younger than Christianity.

DEBUNKING: The Islamist form of behaviour is a regression to a pre-enlightenment stage that is a characteristic of Wahhabihism and its ilk. Also other forms of Islam, such as the Ismaili version, have standards of behaviour that are in line with modern western thought. Supporting the regression notion is the observation that the predominant Islam of the Middle Age dynasties - the Umayyads and Abbasids - was substantially more progressive than the Islamist ideology of today.

4. Obama represents a force of change and therefore we should vote for him.

DEBUNKING: Perhaps he does but change in and of itself is meaningless. Remember deterioration is a change as well. This slogan carries no weight.

5. Leftists are progressives

DEBUNKING: Depends on what you define by progressive: Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot were all leftists. I doubt whether their victims would consider them progressive.

6. Western Civilization is a failure.

DEBUBKING: Western Civilization is successful. It has unsurpassed levels of scientific, cultural and artistic achievement. Also its populations enjoy the highest standards of living, the best healthcare, the greatest freedom of speech, the most individual rights in comparison to any other civilization on this planet.

7. Michael Moore reports what the Mainstream media fails to cover.

DEBUNKING: Well in that case he should do a documentary on the success of the Iraqi surge and the defeat of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Moore reports what fits his selective bias, makes commercial sense and advances his own political agenda. He is a propaganda machine not a documentary maker.

8. There is evidence of design in nature

DEBUNKING: There is evidence of organization in nature. Organization need not require a specific designer. Systems can gravitate to what appears to be an organized state as a result of various intrinsic factors - chaos mathematics has demonstrated this.

9. Intelligent Design is scientific

DEBUNKING: Since it cannot be falsified through any conceivable experiment Intelligent Design is not a valid scientific theory.

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