Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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Has Donald Trump Ever Made A Sound Argument?

“NBC News just called it ‘The Great Freeze’ – coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the global warming hoax?”

Let’s dissect this statement made by the always lovely USA presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

Premise 1: The United States of America is spending money on the issue of global warming.

Premise 2: Global warming is a hoax.

Conclusion: The United States of America should stop spending money trying to fix the issue of global warming.

To create a sound argument, it must have proper form (valid) and it must be factually correct. Let’s see if this argument holds up.

Is it factually correct? Is the USA spending money on the issue of global warming? Well, most scientists have now renamed their previous theory of global warming to the issue of climate change. Climate change refers to some regions of the world growing warmer, and some regions growing colder. There is funding going towards climate change, and there are likely people who donate money while still calling it global warming. So yes, the USA is arguably spending money towards fixing global warming. However, when he says “this country”, it begs the question of who he is referring to. Does he want the government to stop spending money on it, or anyone who lives in the USA? Depending on the answer to that question, it could potentially change whether or not this statement is true or not.

Now onto the next premise, is global warming a hoax? Climate change has been widely agreed as a true issue. We can not tell how he feels about the issue of climate change as a whole, only on the idea of global warming. Global warming, as stated before, has morphed into the idea of climate change since some regions did not follow the pattern that was originally proposed. The problem falls that Donald is talking about an issue from the past, as we have changed the name and meaning of the problem we are facing. Most people have adapted global warming to be a synonym for climate change. As well, it is hard to prove whether a theory like this can be true or false. The uncertainty of this statement makes us unable to call this 100% factually correct.

Is it valid? In order to make this valid, we would have to add another premise along the lines of, spending money on a hoax is a bad thing. Without this additional information, we cannot say that the USA should stop spending money on it because why is spending money a bad thing? He is assuming how we feel about spending extra money, but in a valid argument if we assume all premises are true then it should lead us to the conclusion. We are not directly pointed to the conclusion in this argument, we must make inferences.

Is it sound? This argument is not sound. The factual correctness of it can be debated because of the language he uses, but since it is not valid it cannot be sound. Regardless of whether or not his statements are true, his argument does not have proper form.

Perhaps with arguments like this, more people will think about climate change and the effects it can have on our lives. This environmental issue is one that will intrigue many people.

 

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