Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Little Black Wagon (Logic vs the Media)

This is the third part in my series on vetting the media. The first part is here. Click here for the second part.

In any logical proof, you have a set of premises (the argument) and a conclusion. The validity of an argument is based upon its adherence to the laws of logic and their corollaries.  Any argument can be broken down into symbols and analyzed in a proof format utilizing these laws.

The truth and accuracy of these arguments go directly into the definitions of the terms and scrutiny of the premises to determine if the facts are indeed facts, and verifiable.


I have a horse.
Andalusian horses are pretty.
My horse is an Andalusian.
Therefore, my horse is pretty.

For validity:

A = P
H is a subset of A
Therefore H also = P

The argument is valid.

I do not own a horse (at this time).
"Pretty" is subjective, not an objective truth.

The rhetoric (reason) is flawed because of the lack of truth, despite the validity of the argument.

The rhetoric and validity of an argument (debate, etc) is also subject to relevance.

Metal Painted  Black absorbs more infrared radiation than white painted metal.
I own a wagon.
My wagon is made of metal.
The metal is painted black.
Sunlight contains infrared radiation.
Infrared radiation is heat.
Therefore, if I leave my wagon in the sun, it will get hotter than a similar, metal, white-painted wagon.

I won't bore you with the symbolic proof of the validity of the argument. I will trust that it is rather clear, linear thought. I'm sure a fair amount of research out there will prove the facts behind it, though I am no physicist or engineer. However, let us make the assumption that I have, on hand, a long list of research and study to verify the statements as facts (as well as a picture of an egg frying on my black wagon).

Now, here is the flawed rhetoric, reason, and logic I seem to hear too often these days:

Metal Painted  Black absorbs more infrared radiation than white painted metal.
You own a wagon.
Your wagon is made of metal.
I don't like wagons.
I own a sled.
My sled is red.
The red dye in M&Ms causes cancer.
I don't like M&Ms.
I prefer Skittles.
Skittles are better than M&Ms.
With Skittles you can "taste the rainbow"
I like all the colors in a rainbow.
Your metal wagon is painted a blackish color, depending upon your point of view.
Obama is the first black president.
My definition of "black" is different than the dictionary's.
I have a green rubber ball.
I like to bounce my ball in puddles during rain storms.
Sunlight contains ultraviolet radiation.
Ultraviolet radiation is invisible to the naked eye.
I wear glasses.
I still can't see ultraviolet radiation.
Snow is white.
Snow is cold.
I think you are snow-blind.
Therefore I'm right and you don't know what you are talking about.

If I were to put your through the painful process of a symbolic validation/proof of the argument's structure, the end result would be an invalid argument. However, it doesn't take that knowledge of symbolic and sentient logic to see the gaping holes in the reason and rhetoric. Count the non-sequitur statements. It is more than obvious the conclusion is baseless, illogical, devoid of critical thought, and idiotic.

If you don't believe me, engage some socialist activist in a discourse and debate on this subject:  Is the Obamacare mandate that Religious Employers violate their Religious Beliefs to provide a service the law classifies as "health care" a violation of the First Amendment?

He/She will refuse to even talk about the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. His/Her argument will be about any other non-sequitur facts, supposition, opinion, and assumptions he/she can spew within a 2 minute segment. Then she will employ "fairness" in thinking you should give up your 2 minutes of rebuttal for her to re-iterate her flawed reason, rhetoric, and logic.

The mainstream news commentators attempt to obfuscate the applicable and relevant facts of most issues with superfluous and non-sequitur hyperbole to force a pejorative that they must know more  than you or I. To them, your thoughts, assessments, analysis, logic, and reason don't matter. This is, of course, despite the facts of the case and the truth they attempt to hide. Those relevant facts and truths are there to see, once you tear away the veils of obfuscation. After doing so, their fallacies and invalid reason become more than obvious. Of course, you do have to perform a little work on your own in order to clear away those veils of non-sequitur talking points.

Remember:  On the subject of A therefore A; A is A. Who cares if Z=X when they aren't part of the equation?