Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Yet Another Failure, This Time of Logic

I have no stake in the fight over requiring sprinklers in new houses. I wanted to make that clear from the beginning. I was, however, frustrated by the complete perversion of logic that this author perpetrates after chiding her opponents for the very same failure. Notice that her responses to the “red herrings” often consist, themselves, of red herrings.

Notice, also, her exaggeration of the number of deaths in home fires by over 9% (from 2,740 to 3,000) in an attempt to shore up her argument that the number of deaths, despite consisting of .55% of the total number of fires, is acceptable. This appears to be a response to an argument that was never made, as what sort of fool would contend that any deaths constitute an “acceptable” number? (I'm ignoring the red herring of automobile deaths for space considerations.)

The argument that sprinklers “only” cost $1.61 per square foot fails, as well. Regardless of the costs associated with whirlpools, nicer carpet, or any other voluntary upgrade, they remain voluntary. If this “refutation” intends to convince people that sprinklers should be required then you cannot compare those apples to this orange, logically. And she fails to respond to the allegation that sprinklers have not been proven to perform their intended function.

Indeed, the author attempts to say that the opponents of in-home sprinkler requirements had been wrong in the past about a different requirement and thus clearly could not be trusted to be correct about this one. Is anyone else rolling his or her eyes, by now?

I’ll not analyze the entire post here, but I wanted to share my outrage over what I see as propaganda and what is a clearly flawed set of reasons to require anything by law. Such poorly-written "refutations" make the organization for which they were written look shady rather than safety-conscious and lend weight to the very arguments purported to be disproven.