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Counterarguing Coleman's Allegations That Global Warming Is A Scam

1277 words - 6 pages

The argument put forward by John Coleman, in his article “Global Warming Greatest Scam in History!”, is flawed mainly due to numerous logical fallacies. “Ad Hominem”, “Guilt by Association”, “Red Herring”, “Appeal to Irrelevant Authority”, “Hasty Generalization”, and “Genetic Fallacy” are some of the logical fallacies that can be observed to prevail in Coleman’s argument. As a consequence, the soundness, validity, clarity, reasoning and consistency of the whole article are insubstantial. Coleman’s premises fail to support his proposition that global warming is a scam, making the whole argument distorted and faulty.
The first defective premise that Coleman uses to support his claim, is that the scientists are “dastard”, “manipulative” and “wacko”, who are only “eager to produce findings that would be important and be widely noticed and trigger more research funding”. Coleman states that those scientists, who claim that global warming is happening, are only after their own agenda. They are lunatics, only after fame and glory. As such, he reasons that their findings must therefore not be trustworthy. That flawed logic is an example of “Abusive Ad Hominem”. By describing the scientists as being “dastard”, “manipulative” and “wacko”, Coleman attacks the scientists on a personal level in an attempt to discredit their findings. The logical fallacy is to assume that a person’s argument has a direct correlation with their character, when it does not. In this case, the strength of a scientist’s argument should not be assumed to be determined by his character. These types of abusive comments do not strengthen Coleman’s argument at all, but instead shows how groundless his premise is.
Furthermore, another type of “Ad Hominem” can be observed in that same premise, which is “Circumstantial Ad Hominem”. Circumstantial ad hominem is when someone attacks another person based on their intention, in order to discredit their argument. This logic is flawed as well for the validity of a person’s findings is not based on their intentions. An example of such an attack is when Coleman marks the scientists’ findings to have the sole purpose of “becoming well known and respected and [receiving] scholarly awards, and… more research dollars”. He is trying to argue that because the scientists want to become rich and popular, their findings must automatically be untrustworthy. This is fallacious logic in that the scientists’ intentions have no influence on their findings’ weight. This is another case of Coleman’s baseless premise.


The second flawed premise in the argument is that PHD students are “more likely than not, part of that single minded culture.” In this case, Coleman is saying that all PHDs are of the same type, their only aim is money and glory. Coleman uses hasty generalization and genetic fallacy to support it, which are both faulty logics. First of all, hasty generalization can be observed as Coleman reasons that because he got his PHD, all other PHDs must...

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