essay

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Evaluating Truth and Validity Exercise
PHL/458
July 7th, 2014
Richard Burgoon

Evaluating Truth and Validity Exercise The arguments I choose to assess for truth and validity will be three statements taken from the Application's list 12.2 (a -y) at the end of Ch. 12, “The Art of Thinking” publication. I will start with the statement (j) the premise that "power must be evil because it can corrupt people." Checking the argument for any hidden premises and ensuring it is stated fully and in a clear concise way is the first step. This argument seems to pass the first hurdle, however after checking for errors affecting truth, the argument has flaws. Beginning with, the part of the argument that says power corrupts people is not true
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The first statement, "Nuclear power is a threat to world peace," is not true as it is written. I would rewrite the statement to read, "Nuclear power used in the production of weaponry is a threat to world peace." There are many peaceful uses for nuclear energy, such as an alternative to fossil energy. The second statement is true; however, it would be placed in the peaceful uses category. This takes us to the step where we examine the argument for validity errors and examine the reasoning that links conclusions to premises. The premise was that nuclear power is a threat to world peace. I determined that statement, how it is written to be false. After inserting the qualifying statement "used in the production of weaponry," the statement is now in a better position to be defended. The conclusion that nuclear energy stations are a threat to world peace because they generate nuclear power is even more indefensible once the first statement has been revised. The qualifying statement "used in the production of weaponry" has changed everything. Unless the nuclear energy station is producing weapons, which most are used for producing clean energy, it is not a threat to world peace. The entire scenario would have to be rewritten, as “Nuclear power used in the production of weaponry is a threat to world peace. Since most nuclear energy stations are only used as an alternative energy source, these stations are not a threat to world peace.” As it says in step four of the