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Monday, May 20, 2024

Letters to the Editor: Letter contained bogus arguments

In a Science and Society class I took entitled “Terrorism and War,” we learned about the common characteristics of bogus arguments as put forth by Carl Sagan in his book A Demon Haunted World. While reading Dave Karimi’s letter to the editor, “Marijuana column not irresponsible,” I noticed it contained aspects identified by Sagan as signs of a mislead argument.

The first “bogus” aspect is the fact that Karimi attacks the arguer instead of the argument. In his first paragraph he goes to denounce Cheng as being biased because he is in the department of land, air and water resources. Not only is this a severe generalization, it also carries no real weight, as attacking Cheng does not affect the

validity of his argument.

Observational selection, assuming the answer and jumping to conclusions, plague Karimi’s second paragraph. Karimi chooses to neglect the fact that Cheng doesn’t even mention morality in his original letter, yet he brings it up as a counter-argument to Cheng’s

statement that marijuana is still illegal. This is at best jumping to the conclusion of, and assuming Cheng’s possible response to why marijuana is still illegal.

Karimi continues on to have a confusion of correlation when he relates marijuana to Viagra. Viagra is used to treat, if not a disease, at least a dysfunction, while marijuana is used (as considered in all opinions so far) as a recreational tool. To correlate promoting Viagra as a reason to promote marijuana can only be made with a confusion of correlation between the two.

Please don’t take this the wrong way, Mr. Karimi. All I seek to do is better inform the reader and simply, “call it like I see it.”


Sophomore, aerospace science and engineering


  1. Also, Marijuana is used by physicians to treat chronic pain in cancer patients and to eliminate their insomnia. I would consider that a much more realistic, important drug than making my dick get hard. Just sayin’ . But that’s common knowledge and you should know that. You can’t tell me that my Viagra argument is invalid.

  2. *sigh* Dear, Zac…I was kidding about the air land and water resources…it’s a joke. Not a real argument. As for the observational selection: isn’t that the ultimate question? Why would this even be an issue if it weren’t for morality? How can you seriously sit there and tell me this isn’t a moral issue? If it wasn’t, I could go outside right now, take a fatty rip from a 3 foot bong and call it a day without worrying about anyone arresting me or any other nonsense. We could talk about its non-detrimental effects without worrying about people saying that it’s “illegal” or that “you’ll get sent to jail.” You’d be surprised how radically the dialogue will change once people realize it’s legal. You forget, quite easily Mr. Dillon, that morality and the law are still RELATED, but not NECESSARILY the same. I’m advocating for our laws to better reflect our smarter morality (what’s smarter? What professional scientists tell us). But that’s not to say that it’s MERELY moral. Which bring me to my next point (concurrent with morality) there IS an issue of health, etc. etc. But it’s been thoroughly confirmed by PHYSICIANS, SCIENTISTS, etc. that marijuana is relatively harmless compared to even drugs which are legal…take a look here if you don’t believe me. http://scienceblogs.com/isisthescientist/2009/09/a_comparison_of_addiction_and.php

    The LANCET (probably the most world-wide respected physicians resource for up-to-date scientific discoveries) essentially eviscerates, hang-drawn-and-quarters any useless argument you or Mr. cheng may propose. As far as I’m concerned, this argument ends and begins with the scientists. I’m sure you would agree with me as a scientist yourself. Funny that you’re in aerospace, my father (who’s been in aerospace for the past 30 years) always tells me a funny story: would you trust a baker to effectively engineer a landing gear on a 777? Absolutely not. That is, if you think landing a bajillion ton airplane on sourdough bread is a good idea. And I also wouldn’t trust Caleb Cheng, the government, or other unqualified peoples to tell me why marijuana is bad, or is still illegal and that we should be afraid of it, or some other bullshit nonsense when we have scientists, doctors, and everyone whose job it is to give us sound reasonable advice on these issues give us clear advice that it’s JUST NOT THAT BAD. My argument sidesteps the law and presupposes that we should follow the scientists on this issue. If a bunch of bakers told me tomorrow that we shouldn’t talk about implementing sourdough LG, then I’d still go out and tell everyone to use real landing gears despite it being “illegal”. Because sourdough landing gears suck.

    I guess my argument has strayed, but that’s the very point of my entire letter. We have very inconsistent views on morality and laws in our country, and I’m merely advocating that we stick to the facts so that everyone can progress.


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