What’s wrong in the debate

Leo has a good example of what is wrong in many policy debates. In Iceland volcano gives warming world chance to debunk climate sceptic myths it appears he just can’t help himself in his departure from facts and reason towards ridicule and logical fallacies.

Consider the assertion “Climate sceptics’ favourite theory…”, this is a straw man plus. It selects a current event, ascribes it to a group as indicative of that group and then sets up a false premise in order to bash that group.

Ridicule shows in many phrases such as “barrel-aged climate sceptic canard” and “lanced this festering boil” and “put this hoary old chestnut to bed”. None of these address the issue but rather all address the people Leo calls “sceptics.” This is the ad hominem fallacy.

By choosing just one volcano to counter questions about the long term that include many, the story devolves into a “reduction to the absurd” logical fallacy,

Then there is the “debunked sceptic arguments” which shows the win/lose paradigm that is also a straw man. A skeptic isn’t presenting an argument that can be debunked, by definition a skeptic is asking questions about someone else’s argument that need answering.

When you create your own race of people and assign them certain attributes and then give them positions and arguments to suit your feelings, you are not engaging in any productive debate.

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