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Beef with Biden

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Fox News and some others on the right recently pushed the false claim that Biden intends to limit American meat consumption. The truth of the matter is that the Daily Mail baselessly linked an academic study to Biden. This study did an analysis of the possible impact of a hypothetical reduction in meat consumption by Americans. Biden had no connection to this 2020 study and has not indicated any intention to impose such a reduction in meat consumption. It is possible that Fox News and others acted in error rather than with an intent to deceive. One Fox News host later acknowledged the claim is not true—so one could argue that John Roberts was merely mistaken when he made the false claim. Currently, he seems to be the only one admitting to this error. We are all imperfect beings and make mistakes. As such, doing unto others as we would have them do unto us would generally require that we be tolerant and forgiving of honest errors. That said, there are also reasonable expectations that need to be met—especially when one purports to be a professional journalist. A basic critical thinking rule is that before accepting a claim, the credibility of the source must be considered. As noted above, the Daily Mail was the main source of this story. The unreliability and inaccuracy of the Daily Mail are well known, which damages its credibility. But it has also won numerous awards, which increases its credibility. This mixed credibility entails that a careful thinker should neither reject nor accept a claim simply because it comes from the Daily Mail: it might be true, or it might even be an intentionally inaccurate story aimed at getting attention. In such a situation, the rational thing to do is to assess the claim being made by the Daily Mail in terms of its plausibility and in terms of other available evidence. To be fair to the Daily Mail, they did not directly claim that Biden was going to restrict meat consumption; rather they speculated about what might be done. To be. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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