Symbolize each argument, providing a key. State whether the argument is valid or invalid, and state whether you think it is a persuasive/strong argument, and briefly explain why, being sure to use the concepts we have been covering in class when applicable. In some cases, you are told to assume you have some relevant knowledge.
Your car won’t start. And when a car won’t start, it’s because it’s out of gas. So your car’s out of gas. (Assume you know it won’t start.)
If your car is out of gas, then it won’t start. It won’t start. Obviously, it’s out of gas. (Assume you know it won’t start.)
If your car is out of gas, then it won’t start. It is out of gas. Obviously, it won’t start. (Assume you know it is out of gas.)
If on 9-11 the World Trade Center buildings were brought down by a controlled demolition secretly ordered by the Bush Administration, then the buildings would have collapsed straight down, falling into their own “footprint”. That’s how they fell. So, the buildings were brought down by a controlled demolition secretly ordered by the Bush Administration.
Either there is intelligent life somewhere in the universe, or we are the only intelligent life anywhere. But if we are the only intelligent life anywhere in this mind-numbingly vast universe, then when life occurred here, it was just as mind-numbingly improbable–a random fluke. But life cannot be mind-numbingly improbable. That’s why I think there must be intelligent life elsewhere.
The problem with the belief in extraterrestrial intelligence was best expressed by Enrico Fermi when he said, “Where is everyone?” By now we should have received some signals from somewhere. But we haven’t.
If the thief entered through the window, then there should be marks on the window pane and dirt from the garden on the rug. We found both marks on the pane and dirt on the rug, so it’s pretty clear that’s how the thief got in. (Assume you can see the marks and the dirt.)
We should get rid of the US electoral college. Either it’s useless (when the elector’s vote is simply redundant) or dangerous (when the elector’s vote is not redundant). But if it’s useless then we should get rid of it. If it’s dangerous then we should get rid of it. So there you have it.
Either every event is caused by some previous event in the universe, or at least one event is caused by something else. But there cannot be a chain of events going back forever, so not every event is caused by a previous event in the universe. Thus, at some point in our past, there must be some unique event outside of the universe which got everything going–a supernatural event. And that’s why I believe in God.
Even this killer does not deserve punishment for doing things he could not have possibly avoided doing. And because the killer’s actions were ultimately the product of brain cells just following the laws of physics, he couldn’t possibly have avoided committing those actions. Thus the killer doesn’t deserve to be punished.
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