Doomsday: The Rebuttal Essay

967 words - 4 pages

The world has to end because it began. How the world will end has been the center of heated discussions. The topic of Doomsday has produced conferences, meetings, movies and books attempting to prophesy the end of age. With the emergence of Doomsday prophets have also emerged fallacies that preach propaganda to audiences of those seeking immunity from one sole apocalyptic day. One author in particular is Ronald Bailey. According to Forbes.com, Ronald Bailey has been a science writer for Forbes magazine and wrote an essay called Seven Doomsday Myths About The Environment. Bailey wrote this essay in response to fallacies concerning Doomsday. In his essay he attempts to identify fallacies that are present in seven of the most common Doomsday claims made by apocalyptic preachers. Bailey seeks to debunk some of the fallacies that are used to invoke the agendas of Doomsday prophets in order to present people with the unadulterated truth. However, as Bailey attempts to debunk the fallacies of others, he as well creates fallacies himself. The purpose of my rebuttal paper is to point out a few of the fallacies that Bailey himself creates as he attempts to debunk common Doomsday fallacies.
Indeed, the notions of the beginning and the end of the world are left up to interpretation. Although, many people have claimed that based on the data that they have encountered that there will one day be a Doomsday. On the other hand, others such as Bailey do not subscribe to the Doomsday hype. In fact, according to Bailey, “THE END IS NOT NIGH! That's right--the Apocalypse has been postponed for the foreseeable future, despite the gloomy prognostications” (Bailey) This statement is one way that Bailey seeks t o debunk the entire Doomsday theory, which is to deny Doomsday all together. Another way that Bailey attempts to debunk common claims of Doomsday prophets are to discredit the claims that are presented. Bailey does this by, illustrating the Ad Hominem fallacy tactic. The Ad Hominem fallacy is committed when the “arguer ignores the merits of his/her opponent's argument, and rather makes some reference to the arguer himself/herself, and assumes that this somehow discredits the argument” (qtd. in Hurley 119) this is a way to discredit the opponent. Bailey debunks Doomsday Myths by repeatedly ignoring the merits of his opponent. For illustration Bailey stated, “the gloomy prognostications by the likes of Paul Ehrlich, Lester Brown, Al Gore, Stephen Schneider, and Carl Sagan. There is no scientific evidence to support the often heard claim that there is a global ecological crisis threatening humanity and life on the entire Planet Earth.” (Bailey). He then follows up with more discredit by stating repeatedly in his rebuttal to his opponents claims by stating “False Doomsday Prediction” and “what really happened” (Bailey), as part of his oppositional statement. This tactic...

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