Guest post by David Preston
Meme o’ the Morn™ with David Preston (10/7/14)
Climate Change vs. Ferguson Killing (Straw-man argument)
Man-made climate change is real. And serious. No doubt in my mind on that score. But there’s still a logical problem with this meme, because the process of logically evaluating claims of fact in a criminal case is very different from evaluating a complex scientific theory on the merits.
Beyond that, this bit about a “teenager reached for a cop’s gun from 35 feet away” is a straw-man argument. I assume this refers to the case of last summer’s shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri cop Darren Wilson, who claimed that Mr. Brown was an imminent threat to him.
The claim that someone would reach for a gun from 35 feet away is surely not credible. But then, no one’s making that claim. The claim Mr. Wilson made is that Brown charged him at a distance in such a way as to cause Wilson to be in fear of his life. Now that is a credible claim. Whether it’s TRUE or not is another matter entirely, but at least it’s credible.
If you take out the straw man and plug the actual claim into Mr. Arria’s meme, the logical flaw becomes apparent, and the meme breaks down completely.
Dedicated to Ori Pomerantz, memebuster extraordinaire!
Note from Ori: Please don’t argue global warming, anthropogenic or not, here.