Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course



(okay, so this is a bit late. still, better late than never????)

So, I’m goingto be real here: I dont remember if the “What is Philosphy?” presentation was a part of the intro to philosophy or the logic unit… so im going to tag it as both and hope for the best.

I don’t really want to pist my script here, as it is a lot of me yelling REPENT!! and waving my hands about. Basically, I found my original medium in the for of a soapbox preacher screaming on a streetcorner. Now, my soapbox was a piece of paper where I had written soapbox, but it worked. My metaphor? Philosophy….. is like….. a river. Or water, to be more general. But that’s the gist.

All in all, this project taught me I’m a lot better at talking in front of people if I’m yelling dramatic nonsense at them.



you get salvation! you get salvation! EVERYBODY GETS SALVATION!

you get salvation! you get salvation! EVERYBODY GETS SALVATION!



Marijuana at Its “Finest”

Photo of Cannabis Plant shared via Herb.co for Cannabis Enthusiasts

In recent history, the use of marijuana has gone up considerably where people not only smoke it, but bake it, cook it, dab it, vape it. In contrast to our “adult” counterparts, we live in a generation where marijuana has become increasingly accessible among teens and young adults in specific. Many people have used or do use marijuana for recreational purposes to achieve the desired high that marijuana gives them, and while extensive research has been conducted and has proven the long-term and short-term negative effects of marijuana, there is often a societal bias that targets your typical “every-day” user. I will try to avoid as much personal bias as possible to avoid any controversy, however, I can’t help myself but give one personal statement if I may: just because a person has knowledge of, uses or has used marijuana does not mean they’re a “stoner” who lacks ambition for anything. Even if you are one, “Stoners are also entrepreneurs, mothers, CEO’s, celebrities, politicians—the list goes on”.

By taking the societal views of marijuana and breaking it down into various premises, the truth and/or accuracy of the following statements will allow us to dissect the validity and soundness of this argument.

Premise 1: Drugs that are widely accessible can be used in an abusive manner.

Premise 2: Drugs such as Marijuana are easily accessible in our society.

Premise 3: Using Marijuana makes you a “dead-weight” in society.

Conclusion: Therefore, the extensive accessibility of Marijuana prompts users to abuse of the drug, where they fall into the dregs of society.

  • Premise 1: This statement is factually true and easily agreed upon as drugs that are widely accessible to us (illegally or legally) can be easier to use in an abusive manner, rather than drugs that are not widely accessible.
  • Premise 2: This statement is also factually true and easily agreed upon in society, regardless of ones opinions with marijuana. Most people, if not everyone can agree that acquiring marijuana is very simple in our modern day society.
  • Premise 3: Within the third premise, there is lots to be contested regarding the societal views of marijuana. As an example, considerable evidence suggests that students who consume marijuana have poorer educational and/or social success than their non-consuming peers, while this may be true, this premise does not address the other portion of individuals who consume marijuana without necessarily being educationally/socially troubled or ‘stupid’ for lack of a better term. Not to say that marijuana does not have negative implications to peoples health, but it is important to note the seemingly unjust notion that marijuana is often considered the drug of the “dead-weights”. For this reason, the premise could be argued, for or against using marijuana, but for the sake of factual correctness, this statement is not true, nor is it valid. It disregards those who may use marijuana for their own purposes, without excess use, while often being labeled as mere “stoners” who fail in our society.

Validity and Soundness

As one may notice, this argument is not valid nor is it sound, in which the third premise creates damage to the truth of the conclusion. Though the accessibility of marijuana does influence people’s frequency of use of marijuana to a certain extent, using marijuana does not necessarily mean you are a “dead-weight” in society. There is a good portion of users who may consume marijuana “responsibly” which are directly disregarded in the third premise, challenging the statements truth. Though the sequence of the argument is valid, it is flawed within the false truths presented in the third premise, challenging both the validity of the argument and the soundness of the conclusion.

Origin and Conclusive Statements

The origin of this argument can be directly linked to the societal bias most people withhold against marijuana. Although our generation may be a bit more “embracing” on the recreational and medical use of marijuana, many people still remain skeptical and look down upon those who consume the drug. This can be traced to the values held in the households of many, primarily in the families of “old-gen” people, like our parents. The conclusion that many “marijuana-opposers” draw essentially comes from the strong belief that all marijuana does is impair learning capacity and prevents people from reaching their maximum brain-power; when being someone who has used or uses marijuana is someone who is just throwing their life out the window, right? Not necessarily. Marijuana can definitely impair ones ability to process and execute complex tasks, but lower levels of intellectual capacity is usually a consequence of continuous use over long periods of time; where problems such as addiction or depression may arise. While drug abuse (in this case marijuana) may be a consequence of ease of accessibility, it all comes down to how the person chooses to use the drug while generally using marijuana doesn’t necessarily lead to the demise of an individual. Consequently, the negative societal bias regarding marijuana consumption is only reinforced through the origin of its legality issues, but that’s something we can save for later.




“She was asking for it” by Ashlee

After countless nights of pondering, and an infinite amount of research, the vital factor that really helped me solidify my topic was the conversation I had with my good friend, Ben (shout out to you!). The question, “What’s one topic that irks you? Without hesitation, my reflex answer was rape culture and its discriminatory traits. So, why do these thoughts occur? Where is the foundation of such beliefs? It’s time to dissect what has constantly been bothering me: why is there fear generating from the victims, when what’s been done had an absence of consent? Maybe a step by step analysis will help me (and whoever is reading) at least understand the root of such logic.


Premise #1: women dressed provocatively evoke men’s sexual urges

Premise #2: men cannot control their sexual urges

Conclusion: Therefore, men aren’t to blame for sexual assault

Let’s start with validity. The definition of a valid statement is a one that has a conclusion that follows from its premises. Considering such definition, the premises above technically lead to the final conclusion. The argument is structured, putting aside its lack of truth or consideration. If the way women dressed did provoke sexual arousal from men, and if men had a difficult time controlling such desire, then men shouldn’t be the ones to blame. It’s as simple as which party pried it out and which party has less control over their vulnerability. As much as I think it’s quite unprofessional to incorporate personal opinions into my work, I will! Personally, I value the “truth” part of a deductive argument more than its validity; anything can be valid because validity is mostly about its structure. For instance, the argument:

Premise #1: all dogs are astronauts

Premise #2: All astronauts are Spanish

Conclusion: Therefore, all dogs are Spanish

aw ye boi

With common sense, most people can detect that such argument is blatantly false (although, never take away a dog’s right to become an astronaut). The way that this argument is structured however, is completely valid. This example can be used to prove the importance of both aspects of an argument: validity and truth.

Let’s dissect the truth aspect of such argument:

The first premise that states, “ women dressed provocatively evoke men’s sexual urges” not only comes straight from the ancient prejudice of labelling men to be more aggressive and sexually active, but is false. This generalization is an attack to not only the reputation and characterization of men, but the safety of women (or any sexual assault victims).

The second premise, “men cannot control their sexual urges” is a biased cliché, and there are countless reasons as to why it isn’t factually correct, but let’s state some of the obvious. The real question here is, what is the difference between the sexual desire of a man versus a woman? The common belief that men have a stronger sexual longing than woman, to mark them as “the gender that has the uncontrollable crave to reproduce” is a myth. This myth exists due to the fact that men generally tend to place the emphasis on the outcome of the relation (in this case, sex), while most women might value the relationship, mood, or their partner more. Although this is also a societal image formed over a period of time. There is no solid answer as to how exactly specific genders feel about sex and the amount of control they have; it’s solely dependant on the person. Being aware that many studies have proven that in fact, men do have a stronger sex drive than women, that can never be an excuse to sexual assault. Everyone, no matter the gender, is entitled to a right to safety; it’s unfair for their rights to be taken away because of someone else’s lack of self-control. A more truer statement would be, “some people cannot control their sexual urges”.

With two false (and biased) premises, it’s impossible for the final conclusion to be sound. “Therefore, men aren’t to blame for sexual assault” is technically valid, but far from being factually correct, therefore, not a sound argument. After reading many articles, my ultimate conclusion was that the main cause of rape are the rapists. There might be a higher statistic in a certain cohort or a recurring similarity in sexual assault cases, but that does not change the fact that what potentially caused it was the mindset of the rapist.

It should never be okay to normalise rape culture. Although, the argument stated above, unfortunately is still the perception of some. I do not aspire to brainwash every single existing misogynist into considering gender equality, yet I do think it’s possible for me to get some people thinking, or at least myself. These things should infuriate us; one of the biggest benefits to such arguments is that it gets us thinking. I do not believe I am doing this “because I’m a woman”, but because violation against other’s rights should never be tolerated. Some might say that this argument is completely sound, but even being the frankly neutral and indecisive person I am, my answer to that is, and will stay in a strong disagreement. 



Katherine: Make America Gay Again!


Disclaimer: this post has nothing to do with being gay. I just really wanted to make that the title.

Welcome to Logic 101: how to pick apart your opponent’s arguments flawlessly while doing a sick hair flip.

So for my argument, or point of view, I picked a Trump statement. While that does kind of seem like taking the easy way out, why not go for the low hanging fruit?



Quote from Donald Trump, Playboy Magazine in 1990

Now, this isn’t just a Trump(tm) thought. There’s a lot of people who believe that as a country gets kinder, less strict and more “politically correct”,  the more weak countries become. Countries are only powerful if they have an aura of fear!!!! and scariness!!

To break it down into some premises and conclusions:

Premise 1: America is becoming a kinder country

Premise 2: Countries that are kind are seen as weak

Premise 3: Weak countries will cease to exist

Conclusion: America will cease to exist

Now, to use the good ol’ valid, factually correct, and sound method to debunk this argument.

Valid: this argument is valid, as the three premises together do lead to the conclusion

Factually correct: Well, this one we have to look at piece by piece. For premise one, it is hard to measure the “kindness” of a country, as it’s not really like population, it is probably true that America is becoming kinder. With more and more rights being recognized, it’s probably safe to say that since the beginning, America has become kinder. I’d rate the factual correctness of this one as a solid “can’t tell”

In premise 2, it is stated that so called “kind” countries are seen as weak. Again, this is kinda a hard thing to measure. It is true that countries with weapons and harsh laws and threats of war are seen as threats, but is that the same as being powerful? Can you measure how weak a country is? Perhaps countries that are kind and welcoming are seen as strong because they are joined togther and united. A country can be “kind” to it’s citizens and be politically correct and still have a thousand nuclear missles. This premise still confuses me a little, so I’ll give it a second “can’t tell”

Premise 3 states that weak countries will cease to exist. Is that so? If a country is kinda, does that mean it will just start beind eroded by other countries until it disappears? I’m assuming that this argument believes that “kind” countries will just be taken over by other countries. I find that stupid.

Okay, but actually: no where deos it say that being kind or gentle does not mean you are defended and a pushover. I mean, this is a whole country we’re talking about here. (also, this is America were talking about. Not the definition of sunshine and rainbows in the grand scheme of things). For factually correct, I’m going to give this one a “nope”.

Sound: Now, it’s pretty hard to be a sound argument when you are not a factually correct argument. In fact, kinda impossible. So imma vote this a solid nope.

Now, as his argument is neither factually correct nor sound, it should be easy to ignore. The problem is, there’s a lot of people who subsribe to this theory. That if America becomes more kind and gentle, it will just *disappear*. Poof. Magic.

Man, I love fighting.



Racist Internet Frogs-Benedict Mendes

As many of our generation know, Pepe The Frog is a popular internet meme that has been popular among internet users since about 2008. Very recently, this innocent product of modern day culture has been deemed a symbol of hate and white supremacy by many people. It has even been added to the Anti-Defamation League’s hate symbol database. Today, I will be dissecting that argument and trying to see if and how that is true in any way, and hopefully in the process I will redeem our web-fingered friend’s reputation a bit in the process.


So basically, the conclusion is that Pepe The Frog is a symbol for hate. I’ve broken down the argument into a few premises that represent the opinion of those who consider this frog as a hate symbol.


Premise 1: Pepe the Frog is popular on sites such as 4chan


Premise 2: Some users of 4chan create racist and anti-Semitic versions of Pepe the Frog


Conclusion: Therefore Pepe The Frog, and all memes made with him, are symbols of those ideologies


Well, let’s start with truthfulness, shall we? Premise 1 is true, Pepe The Frog is popular on 4chan and many other popular sites, there’s no disputing that. This bug-eyed amphibian is indeed an internet sensation. The second premise is also true, a small subset of 4chan users do create offensive images with Pepe The Frog, usually in some way altering his catch phrase “feels good man”. So the premises are true, but we still need to deal with validity. The formula is A=B, and B=C, so therefore A=C. Let’s see if this fits the formula. It’s pretty obvious pretty fast that this argument is not valid, most from the word “Some” in the second premise. If only some users are creating racist versions of Pepe then that does not necessarily mean that all things that include Pepe The Frog are indicative of racist attitudes. The premises also do not clearly state that those with such prejudices are the only ones making memes involving Pepe, nor that all of those people are active users of sites such as 4chan. Therefore it is not certain that all memes made with Pepe are racist and/or anti-Semitic.


Now, you may be asking, “Ben, why did you go through all this trouble to deconstruct an argument against a mostly outdated internet trend?”

The answer is: I don’t know, I’m probably wasting my life. Thank you for reading.




Wage Gap

Regarding the gender wage gap in the U.S, these videos  articulate the statistical information regarding the wage gap and how it isn’t disappearing in continually progressive society. The argument made is valid and arrived at logically.


Men get paid more than women

On average a man makes a dollar to a woman’s 77 cents

Therefore women face discrimination

However the argument is factually incorrect, the wage gap is simply the average earnings of men and women working full time, it does not count for different job positions, hours worked or different jobs. It has nothing to do with the same job, that which viewers are led to believe.

The argument made is valid, and arrived at logically, as well as the conclusion being correct, but is statistically skewed and therefore factually incorrect, making the argument not sound either.



Feminism Debate- Alysha Gillis

In the argument, Emma Watson is explaining her views on gender equallity. This topic is one that raises many arguments and controversy due to the vast majority not being fully aware of the definition of femanism.

Main Points of the argument:

  • There is no country in the world where women have obtained equal rights as men
  • Men have sterotypes that are considered unreasonable 
  • If stereotypes were abolished, gender equallity would be reached
  • Gender should be percieved on a spectrum rather than 2 sets of opposing ideals

Emma’s Conclusion:

Gender equality will not be obtained if we expect men and woman to fall into their stereotypes.

Truth, Validity and Soundness:

I believe that Emma’s argument was definately valid becuase it was backed up by people who were considered experts in their fields reasearch on the topic and you can tell she believes in the cause of gender equalllity and she has been effected first hand by this problem. Due to her extensive knowledge and expertice her argument I believe her argument is factually correct. Since the argument was both vaild and factually correct, it is a sound argument.



Induction and Deduction Video (Crash Course)

This video really does a good job of explaining induction and deduction, along with a bunch of other philosophical terms. It really helped me to understand the definitions. If you want to learn more about induction or deduction or you just don’t understand it that well, I highly recommend you watch this video. 



no matter what, we strive to look good

almost all of our lives us people are very socially aware about everything. ranging from what shoes you are wearing to even how u put them on, the way we smile, how our voice sounds, we all strive for perfection in our heads and it makes us do certain things or hold back from saying certain things that we otherwise would have done differently if we all just acted ourselves without social pressure of being perfect. everyones idea in their head is that if they aren’t perfect that they aren’t worth as much, and that people will think they are weird. don’t deny it, its easy to SAY you always “act yourself” 100% all the time. It is something to be aware of, if you believe this isn’t you, think about every time you get up to public speak, overtime you talk to someone you like, and notice you get really worried about how you look and what they will think but ask yourself why?

what do you think you or your life would be like if you weren’t this way? if you just never worried and was the most “outgoing self” and cheery? i think some of the people in their life that have managed to overcome this, have really become successful. because they don’t hold themselves back from opportunities and what their heart desires, because there isn’t fear or risk holding them back from being productive. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. don’t let your ego get in the way of your desires and opportunities. i make my following conclusions about our egos and how it affects us in these premises:


Premise 1: being socially aware holds us back from possibilities & ourselves

premise 2: we crave perfection

premise 3: we lack self belief and confidence

conclusion: our egos hold us back from getting what we want done and to feel good about ourselves.


to evaluate these premises on truth and validity,

premise 1: can be accepted as truth, i believe it is something we all know.

premise 2: rather it is molded by society, it is definitely true. just look around you.

premise 3: some could argue they are very confident people and that they always believe in themselves but i believe there is even a reason of looking good by saying that.


i believe we all notice these things but never address them to ourselves and its good to get you thinking and something to be aware of in your life, and trying not to let it affect you in any negative way.



Miley Cyrus and The Wolf Cull

After Miley Cyrus’s surprise visit to Vancouver in September, the pop princess witnessed BC’s wilderness on a wildlife tour. She then became determined to stop the BC Wolf Cull. Using the information she obtained from environmentalists, she used her fans by asking them to sign Pacific Wild’s petition to end the wolf cull.

Image via thestar.com

According to Ian McAllister, the director of Pacific Wild, killing wolves to save caribou will not help the endangered caribou population from going extinct. The cause of the endangerment appears to be linked to human activities such as snowmobiling. Christy Clark responded by telling Cyrus that she has no reason to interfere with BC’s politics and environmental plans, as well as slut shaming the well known singer.

Miley Cyrus’s argument to bring closure to the wolf cull can be separated into the following premises and conclusion:

Premise 1: The BC government believe that wolves are the blame for the endangerment of the caribou

Premise 2: The endangerment of the caribou is due to the impact of humans

Premise 3: The wolves are also being killed due to human impact.

Conclusion: Therefore the government is killing BC wildlife for no beneficial reason.

The soundness Cyrus’s argument is comprehendible when we begin to understand the premises.

Premise 1: Wolves in BC are the most predominate predators towards caribou, therefore the government has something else to blame for their mismanagement of the caribou as well as justification for their actions. This can be acknowledged as true.

Premise 2: The effects of humans on the caribou population are easy to challenge given that there are many contributing factors to the decrease in population such as climate, predators and the loss of habitat. While the wolf is one predator of the caribou, humans may be considered a larger predator to various species of wildlife according to environmentalists. Due to man-made logging roads and the process of logging have been main causes of habitat loss for the endangered caribou.

Premise 3: It is clear that by culling wolves is a direct impact on the wolf population.

The form of this logical argument believed by Miley Cyrus and her environmentalist pals may be valid and also have true premises. This results in a sound argument.

When I first decided to address the logistics of the Wolf Cull, I thought that I would side with the BC

Image via cknw.com

government; considering Miley Cyrus isn’t necessarily a positive influence on society, but as I discovered more about the wolf cull, I began to realize that Cyrus has a point. Instead of intervening in the endangerment of caribou, the BC government seemed to have waited until the last moment to do anything about it; implementing a 5 year plan to try to control the population problem so that they appear to be doing something. In reality, the government is not legitimately doing anything but killing beautiful BC wildlife. It took the humiliation of being called out by Miley Cyrus for them to fully address the reality of the situation.