Grasshopper Soup: What’s that syllogism doing in my soup?
Special to the Sun
TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; A syllogism is a line of reasoning with a major premise, a minor premise (or more) and at least one conclusion. A syllogism is a plausible argument, or what sounds like a plausible argument. Any old clown can make an argument sound plausible. Take this column for example. Even a grasshopper, or a duck, can make an argument sound plausible.
The ACLU is a champion for the separation of church and state. The Obama administration says the economic and social justice debate should be based on its interpretation of the moral principles in the Bible. Therefore, nobody is asking why the ACLU remains curiously silent now that the White House is actually joining church and state. Who is the official White House theologian, Joe Biden?
Every clown is a politician. But not all politicians are clowns. Therefore, most of what the government does is circus business. Although, next year could be the end of this circus.
The main argument for mandatory health care is that everyone requires medical care, so everyone should pay. But, Obama administration attorney Ian Gershengorn says health care costs and#8220;and#8230; are unpredictable.and#8221; If that is true, it cannot be said that everyone always requires health care. People have been known to live and die without ever needing a doctor. So, the administration proves that both their premise and their conclusions are wrong. They also prove that there are too many clowns (and magicians) in government.
You do better work if you love what you do. If you are a soldier and love what you do, which at times could be to kill to stay alive, get shot at and maybe die, then you will be a better soldier if you love that sort of thing. You could also conclude that cheerleaders make lousy soldiers.
Obama says that, although serious problems lie ahead, the wars are going rather well. Isnand#8217;t that refreshing? Politicians say that about every war. Therefore, since the wars are going so well, and we love what we do, we could be in our favorite wars forever, or risk the same fate in Afghanistan as the Russians experienced.
They probably donand#8217;t teach syllogisms in public schools and, if they ever did, more and more students would be successful and not have to live at home until they are 26, though they love it when mother does their laundry and feeds them. And they love not having to buy health insurance.
Plausible? Maybe, maybe not. The high school dropout rate is skyrocketing, sand the more people who can are pulling their kids out of the failing public school system and sending them to better schools. Public school boards, more often than not, defend their failures with a superficial, dismissive analysis of the models and methods of successful schools, and why such methods will not work in public schools. Public schools rarely, if ever, even try the successful methods. And they make their reasons for not doing so sound plausible.
So, how do you know if itand#8217;s true when an argument sounds plausible? Ask the WikiLleaks guy. If he canand#8217;t bring enlightenment and truth to the world, no body can.
If Julian Assange is a hero for trafficking in stolen property, and his work is noble, his local fans should follow suit and copy all the administrative and personnel files of every business and government agency in the Tahoe Basin; tap phones, offices and board rooms and uncover all the local corruption. If corruption exists nationally and internationally, you can bet your best syllogism we have it right here in our own backyard.
Sometimes even wacky syllogisms sound plausible. For example; all homo sapiens are clowns; homo erectus became so wise they all think they are the smartest clown on the block. So, to our credit, perfect clowns are as common as, and walk as upright as, grasshoppers and ducks.
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 28 years.
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