Recently I’ve been watching a YouTuber play a game called ‘the walking dead”, an interactive version of the popular TV series. Throughout the series, various characters get bitten and each time the main character (Lee) must decide whether to shoot the infected before they turn or to wait and take the chance.
Near where PewDiePie (the YouTuber I watch) left off, the son of Lee’s friend is bitten. Naturally Kenny, the bitten child’s father, does not want to shoot his son. PewDiePie, however, utilises logic when it came to the moment of decision. He essentially put together the following syllogism:
All bitten people will turn into zombies
Duck (Kenny’s Son) is bitten
Duck will turn into a zombie
You may think that there is a problem with the first premise. However, it is essential to remember that PewDiePie arrives at this conclusion through inductive reasoning. No premise drawn from inductive reason can be proved outright. In the walking dead, PewDiePie has played enough of the game to see that every bitten person had turned into a zombie if he had not shot them. Although this may be bordering on a sweeping generalization, every time a bitten person turns into a zombie it corroborates the general statement through specific cases. We can now assume with reasonable confidence that the first premise is reliable. It may not be true, but it at least functional in the vast majority of cases.
On the other hand, the second premise that Duck is bitten is true. PewDiePie can clearly see that there is a large bite wound on the side of Duck’s torso, not to mention the fact that PewDiePie witnessed the bite happen.
Now breaking it down further:
Bitten People (A) is the middle term
Zombies (B) is the predicate term
Duck (C) is the subject term
Now once simplified:
All As are Bs
C is an A
Therefore C is a B
From this we can conclude that the structure of PewDiePie’s reasoning is indeed valid. The evidence provided for each premise throughout PewDiePie’s playthrough is consistent, making his premises true beyond a reasonable doubt. In conclusion, PewDiePie’s categorical syllogism is Valid and Sound because his premises are reliable. Tough luck Duck.