Argument Diagrams: Make a photocopy of the following arguments. Then, on your photocopy, bracket and number the statements in the arguments, using the techniques outlined in the previous section. Finally, construct a diagram for each argument, placing it beside the argument on the photocopy.
- In spite of the fact that electrons are physical entities, they cannot be seen for electrons are too small to deﬂ ect photons (i.e., light particles). Hence, electrons are invisible.
- Since major historical events cannot be repeated, historians aren’t scientists. After all, the scientiﬁ c method necessarily involves events (called “experi-ments”) that can be repeated.
- The scientiﬁ c method doesn’t necessarily involve experimentation. For if anything is a science, astronomy is. But the great cosmic events observed by astronomers cannot be repeated. And, of course, an experiment is by deﬁ ni-tion a repeatable event.
- Although people often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are various reasons for thinking that beauty is objective. First, there is wide agreement about natural beauty. After all, virtually everyone ﬁ nds the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and the Rocky Mountains beautiful. Second, even though art critics frequently disagree with one another, they do defend their views with principled reasoning. Third, art critics tend to agree among them-selves about which historical works of art are truly great. And this agreement is no mere coincidence because the critics are not, in general, reluctant to disagree with one another.
- While some people seem to be under the impression that humans are making moral progress, I submit that the 20th century is a movement backwards into violence and cruelty. For in spite of the fact that science and technology have developed rapidly, the greatest mass murders in history have all occurred in this century. Millions died on the battleﬁ elds of World Wars I and II. Six million Jews died in Nazi prison camps. And from 1917 until the end of Stalin’s reign, 20 million people died in Soviet work camps. More recently, we have Pol Pot’s slaughter of the Cambodians as well as the atroci-ties in the former Yugoslavia.
- A liberal arts education is vital to any great nation. Why? For one thing, a liberal arts education provides the best possible skills in communication. And without good communication at all levels, a nation cannot move for-ward. For another, work is not the whole of life. And it is well known that a liberal arts education increases one’s capacity to enjoy life by substantially broadening the range of one’s interests.
- The legalization of drugs is neither unwise nor immoral. It is not unwise because by legalizing drugs we would eliminate the illegal drug trade. Hence, by legaliz-ing drugs, we would rid our nation of all the violence that goes along with the illegal drug trade. Furthermore, the legalization of drugs is not immoral because it can be combined with a massive program of moral education.
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