Moral Education and the Fact Essay.
Can you please help me with this study guide. I need to have it completed so that I can study for a major exam. Thank you
Requirements: Answer the questions completely
- Argument, premise, conclusion.
An argument is reasoning that a writer introduces to their readers to form a basis they will use to explain their premise. Therefore, the premise is the line of thinking that they use to support this argument, ending with a conclusion (Wachsmuth et al., 2017). A conclusion is a statement which the writer uses to convince their readers of his final decision.
- Numbering premises. What is this, and why do we do it? Be prepared to read a paragraph and reconstruct its argument with numbered premises, making sure it is valid.
The process of numbering premises involves identifying some of the supporting points in an argument. The following is an example of an argument.
All men are Republicans; Barrack Obama is a man. Therefore, Barrack Obama is a Republican.
In this sentence, the major premise is the first sentence, All men are republican, while the minor premise is the second part, Barrack Obama is a man. The last part of the sentence forms the conclusion of the sentence. The above example highlights another essential fact that premises can be false, leading to a wrong decision.
- Validity vs. soundness vs. persuasiveness
The validity of an argument means that all statements mentioned in an essay are accurate and can be proven (Wachsmuth et al., 2017). In contrast, the soundness of the essay implies that the premises of the same paper are correct and can make a true conclusion. On the other hand, persuasiveness is the ability of the writer to convince their readers to agree with the argument they put forward.
- Truth vs. reasonableness/justification
Truthfulness means being honest about the points being presented. At the same time, reasonableness involves being objective, meaning that one should be unbiased and give both sides of a story without being biased by their personal opinions.
- McBrayer’s criticisms of the fact-opinion distinction
McBrayer argues that sentences cannot be grouped into two distinctive groups: a fact or an opinion because it is not entirely exhaustive (Schoone). A fact is true, while an opinion is a person’s way of thinking. Therefore, a person’s opinion may be a fact. In addition, not all facts can be proven to be true. For example, there is no evidence or proof of hell.
- Self-defeat. What is this, and why is it bad? Be able to write an example of a self-defeating statement.
Self-defeat is behavior that includes actions or thoughts that are not productive to a person. It is bad because it deteriorates our development in various sectors of our lives (Schoone). An example of self-defeating behavior is engaging oneself in irresponsible drug and alcohol abuse. This behavior makes a person forfeit essential tasks such as studying or working, making them unproductive.
- What is the argument from many religions?
The argument from many religions is about the existence of a superior being and divine presence.
- In what way does the argument from many religions rely on a self-defeating premise?
Sometimes, religion may encourage some indirect life-threatening behaviors that may be an example of a self-defeating premise. For example, a person may refuse to eat or drink completely because of fasting, self-defeating behavior that may cause adverse effects such as death.
- What are the three types of ad hominem? List and explain them, creating examples of each. (See my essay “The Ad Hominem Fallacy.”)
Abusive- This is a direct attack where a person’s physical appearance or characteristic is directly discredited. For example; This is why a woman should not be a manager.
Circumstantial – This ad hominem is influenced by a person taking advantage of their position to influence the other party. For example, in a store, the store attendant may tell a client that the dye of the cloth does not fade just so that the client may buy it. Progressively, the statement might not be accurate.
Guilt by association- This ad hominem involves being judged by someone else’s mistakes that happened in the past (Hitchcock, 2017). For example, a person may read that since Osama Bin Laden was a terrorist and a Muslim, all Muslims are terrorists, and this is not true.
- Why is ad hominem is a poor excuse for an argument?
Ad hominems are a poor excuse for an argument because they are speculations made without proof but due to people’s opinions and inaccurate judgments.
- What does ‘fallacy’ mean?
A fallacy is a mistaken conviction that people choose to believe because of an unsound judgment.
- The three valid forms: modus ponens, modus tollens, disjunctive syllogism
Modus ponens is a theme for affirming, while modus tollens is a theme for denying. On the other hand, the disjunctive syllogism is a theme that affirms the denying.
- The two formal fallacies: denying the antecedent and affirming the consequent.
Denying the antecedent is an inverse error of fallacy. For example, if you give a man a knife, he may kill someone. On the other hand, affirming the consequent is an example of a converse error of fallacy. For example, the lamp is broken, so the room is dark. Both arguments are made from unsound judgment.
- Be able to formalize arguments using symbolic notation such as ” ” for “if-then” and “v” for “or.” I may ask you to assign letters as variables to complete statements. So, you would write “if John goes to the beach, he will get a sunburn” as “B S.” The particular letters chosen are arbitrary.
If John goes to the beach, he will get a sunburn is a converse error, meaning that it is an affirmation of the consequent. Therefore, I would choose the main premise, which is beach and sunburn. The symbolic notation would then be ‘B S.’
- The conditional statement and its parts: antecedent and consequent
From the above example, B is the antecedent while S is the consequent.
- The three steps of an inference to the best explanation (IBE).
Deduction- making an inference based on facts that are widely known and accepted
Induction- Making an inference after careful consideration and reasoning
Abduction- making an inference after studying the observations and later making conclusions from a set of the observations.
- Explain the fine-tuning argument as an IBE. I don’t expect you to regurgitate a bunch of physics. But you will need to understand the basic phenomenon of fine-tuning and the multiverse hypothesis as a rival to the God hypothesis.
The fine-tuning argument as an inference to the best explanation highlights that situations happen precisely as they do because there is a higher power in control of it. This is the best explanation because we cannot rely on and believe in coincidences and chances only.
18. Explain the argument from human rights. Why must human rights be grounded in something? What are the three desiderata for an account of human rights? Why must capacity accounts fail? Why does the imago deiaccount do better (allegedly)?
Human rights are the principles that govern the safety and well-being of every individual, and they must be grounded to something, which is usually basic needs and safety.
The three desiderata for an account of human rights include the right to life, liberty, and the security and safety of a person.
Capacity account fails because they depend on human beings, a system that can easily be broken due to manly errors. However, imago dei accounts do better because humans believe and fear the superior being.
Index of readings:
For items 1-2: Numbering Premises
For item 3: Valid and Sound
For items 4-5: McBrayer’s essay
For items 6-8: Austen Cline’s essay and my response
For items 9-11: The Ad Hominem Fallacy
For items 12-15: The forms & fallacies reference sheet—See below
For item 16: Inference to the best explanation
For item 17: The fine-tuning argument
Hitchcock, D. (2017). Is there an argumentum ad hominem fallacy?. In On Reasoning and Argument (pp. 409-419). Springer, Cham.
Schoone, J. D. Moral Education and the Fact/Opinion Dichotomy.
Wachsmuth, H., Potthast, M., Al Khatib, K., Ajjour, Y., Puschmann, J., Qu, J., … & Stein, B. (2017, September). Building an argument search engine for the web. In Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Argument Mining (pp. 49-59).