Justin Bieber launches devastating assault on logic.

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A few weeks ago we considered how a variety of celebrities would fit in as attorneys. Aaron Rodgers, for example, who at one point considered foregoing his football ambitions to focus on getting into law school. Or George Clooney, whose wife is such a brilliant attorney that he may be able to pass the bar right now, just based on intellectual osmosis across the pillow.

This week we consider Justin Bieber. The Biebs would be that kid who takes three unsuccessful LSATs within two years and is required by the Law School Admissions Council to wait to take a fourth. Consider, for example, his conditional illogicisms:

“You don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. If you go to Taco Bell, that doesn’t make you a taco.”

Now I sympathize with Bieber, truly, that his errors crop up in international news rather than on the scantron of the Logical Reasoning Section of his diagnostic LSAT. But this is really unacceptable – a simple matter of sufficient and necessary conditions!

Let’s break it down: you don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. No slight on his particular exegesis – he may be quite right. But note that what he’s saying is it is not necessary that you go to church to be a Christian. He refutes a negative condition. And how does he analogize? With an inapposite sufficient condition! Going to Taco Bell is not sufficient to make you a taco. Surely he’s not wrong there – not least because Taco Bell’s food products could hardly be described appropriately as “tacos.” But with a sufficient condition attempting to reinforce his necessary condition, in what way is he bolstering his argument?

He isn’t. What the Biebs should have gone for is something of the form of you don’t need to go to culinary school to be a chef. Or he could have reframed his first comment in a manner consistent with the Taco Bell claim, saying if you go to church that doesn’t make you a Christian (but this, of course, would drastically change his original meaning). At the end of the day, I’m just appreciative that he’s stuck to high-pitched warbling rather than pursuing a legal career.

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