“Contradicting isn’t arguing!” (“Yes, it is!”)

The famous philosopher Montague Python devised the most popular circular argument of all times when he posited the hypotheses that contradicting is a legitimate, scholarly method of argumentation and he subsequently spawned a cottage industry in academic circles for professors and PhD candidates to assert the converse theorem:  “No; it isn’t!”

The Republicans have adapted the Python-esque attitude regarding the possibility that global warming will kill off all the polar bears (even the massive colony of expat white bears living in zoos around the world?) by disqualifying any scientific preditions designed to elicit sympathy for the gigantic brutes.

The Democrats have embraced the challenge in such a wholehearted and enthusiastic way that some observers are alarmed about the possibility that the Democrats are showing symptoms of addiction in their compulsive responses to the Republican invitations to put aside substantive topics and, instead, waste some campaign time by continually injecting new scientific information into the argument which, by the Republican ground rules, automatically disqualifies the material that is (in the Republicans’ august opinion) worthy of a room of its own in the Mad Scientists Hall of Fame.

Here is a hypothetical transcript of how to play the game:

Dem:  A new scientific report says that all polar bears will drown because the polar ice cap is melting.

Rep:  Where does it say that in the Bible?

Dem:  But if you read the report, surely, you will admit that without a polar ice cap, the polar bears will soon disappear form this earth.

Rep:  Don’t call me Shirley. 

Dem:  So you don’t care if all the polar bears drown? 

Rep:  Polar bears are known for their remarkable long distance swimming ability, polar bear skeletons have been found on Samoa.  (Republicans are not confined to reality.  For Democrats, truth is a self imposed restriction limiting their retorts.)

Dem:  Don’t you care about Global Warming?

Rep:  If you could prove it exists, I most certainly would, but for now, I think it’s like the “theory” that if I flap my arms fast enough, I’ll start to fly.  Aren’t scientists the ones who say that, according to the laws of aerodynamics, bees can’t fly?

Dem:  I’ll do anything I have to, to prove that Global Warming really exists.

Rep:  Anything? . . . ?

Dem:  Science has proved conclusively that global warming is occurring and that polar bears are in peril. 

Rep:  No!  It doesn’t!

Here’s a suggestion for Democrats who want to argue logically and simultaneously break out of their addiction to the Monty Python game:  issue this challenge:  given the fact that you don’t believe in Global Warming because you don’t’ believe in science, how about this:  The Democratic Party will build you a World Headquarters for the Science Skeptics (AKA the Republican elite SS Society) Association on the atomic proving ground’s “Ground Zero” conveniently located close to Las Vegas!  Whatcha say?  Free! 

At that point the Republicans would face a philosophic crisis.  They must accept the dare because if they decline the offer, the discussion will then put them on the defensive.  If they want to decline the offer based on any scientific reasons, then they have been  proven to be hypocrites; if they decline and attribute it to “common sense,” then they can be asked what common sense tells them about the photos that show a shrinking polar icecap.  If they don’t believe in photos; ask them if you can buy all their family album photos, home movies, and negatives.  Do they use family snapshots to remind themselves that grandpa and grandma really existed (and looked groovy in their youth?)?  If they don’t believe in photographic evidence, then they don’t need family snapshots and should jump at the chance to sell them off.  Isn’t offering a Republican a chance to make some easy money just like offering a drink to an alcoholic?

If they accept the offer, the Democrats should use reconciliation to get legal permission to build such a facility and then they should build it and turn it over to the Republican Society of Science Skeptics.

If the Democrats wanted to use methodology as mean and crooked as the Republicans utilize, they might want to run ads showing victims of disabilities acquired by fighting in territory where Agent Orange was used.  The spokesmen could then say that only scientists disapproved of using Agent Orange and that there was absolutely nothing in the Bible that would indicate that there was any reason to avoid waging war with or living where it had been used for defoliation.  Has the use Agent Orange been abandoned in the Bush Wars just because of scientific evidence?  (Have you noticed that there are no trees or vegetables growing in the Tora Bora pass?)

What does the Bible say about accepting this generous offer (a free headquarters building on Ground Zero) from the Democrats?  Did any polar bears offer to testify at the Scope’s Trial?

Question:  If Bible thumping conservatives are diagnosed with cancer do they seek help by going to an African witch doctor or do they head for an American doctor who relies heavily on science?  What does the Bible say about chemo-therapy?  Shouldn’t Republican Christians turn down any and all recommendations for such cancer treatments? 

The Global warming circular argument might, in the final inning, boil down to an old Republican election slogan’s advise:  “If God meant for man to fly; He would have given him wings!”  Amen, brother!

Now, the disk jockey will play the Foreigner’s song “Blinded by Science,” Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science,” and Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas.”  Whew, we need to go take a reinvigorating look at some photos taken back when it was clever to ask a girl:  “Wanna see my Walmetto?”  Have a “Sock it to me!” type week.

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