Andrew: I think this country needs more scientists.

Britney: But if everyone were scientists, then we won't have any artists! And without artists, we might as well all be robots.

Is Britney's argument acceptable?

2 Answers 2


Britany's arguments aren't reasonable or rational.

Conflating "we need more scientists" and "everyone will be a scientist" is a straw man attack. Andrew didn't say everyone needed to be a scientist, so to hold him to that argument would be fallacious. From WP:

A straw man fallacy (sometimes written as strawman) is the informal fallacy of refuting an argument different from the one actually under discussion, while not recognizing or acknowledging the distinction.

And the claim "without artists, we might as well all be robots" is also absurd as such reasoning would also apply to any group of people without artists in it. Such a group, of course, wouldn't be robots, because what makes a group of people different from robots isn't the inclusion of artists among them. From WP:

An absurdity is a state or condition of being extremely unreasonable, meaningless or unsound in reason so as to be irrational or not taken seriously. "Absurd" is an adjective used to describe an absurdity, e.g., "Tyler and the boys laughed at the absurd situation." It derives from the Latin absurdum meaning "out of tune". The Latin surdus means "deaf", implying stupidity. Absurdity is contrasted with being realistic or reasonable[3] In general usage, absurdity may be synonymous with fanciful, foolish, bizarre, wild or nonsense.



To a degree scientists are artists, at least some level of creativity is certainly involved in pushing the boundaries of human knowledge. Also that correlation between lack of artists and being robots isn't quite apparent.

And "more of" is significantly different from "everybody should be". So that's kind of a straw man argument. Although the better argument would be "if everyone were to be a scientist there were no farmers and we'd all be dead". Which is true, but as said doesn't attack the actual argument of a stronger focus in science, but instead an absurd assertion that isn't made, namely that everybody should be a scientist.

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