Western Michigan University Inductive Generalizations Paper

Topic 1: Inductive Generalizations

In chapter 5, we learn three commonly used forms of inductive reasoning, that of generalizing from controlled studies, expert testimony, and analogies. To complete the first topic discussion assignment, please do the following:

a. Find a controversial issue you are interested in (for example, the pros and cons of gun control, defund the police, animal testing, death penalty etc.).
b. Find at least two sources of research on the pro-con issue. At least one should be pro, and at least one should be con. Provide the links of sources you find. The sources may be online articles; newspaper, journal, or magazine articles; books; transcripts of radio or television broadcasts in which experts testify.
c. Based on the sources you find, what are the reasons for supporting the pro side of the issue? What are the reasons for supporting the con side? (Provide at least 2 reasons for each side)
d. Finally, take a position on the issue. Explain why you take that side, or why you remain neutral.

Topic 2: Reasoning Errors
Please read chapter 6-Reasoning Errors for discussing the second topic here. You can choose either question A or Question B to answer. Only one will be graded.

Question A. You Decide: Responding to Terrorism
Rational Individuals can agree that terrorism, the killing of innocent people to achieve political and social ends, is unethical and unjustifiable. Disagreement and debates on this topic often involve the treatment of terrorists. Should terrorists be tried in criminal or military courts? Is “enhanced interrogation” justifiable? Should terrorist leaders be assassinated? When Osama Bin Laden was killed by American Navy SEALs in 2011, several controversies emerged, such as whether Bin Laden should have been given a religious funeral service, whether he should have been buried at sea, and whether photos of his body should have been released to the press. Then president Obama decided not to release the photos, and supporters of his decision agreed that the release could endanger American troops and allies in the war on terror by inciting violence. They also argued that “two wrongs don’t make a right” and that keeping the photos private was a form of “taking the higher moral ground” by not gloating over an enemy and by providing a regard for human life not shown by terrorist activity. Those in favor of releasing the photos argued that they would serve as necessary proof that Bin Laden had been killed and put a stop to hasty conclusions in the forms of conspiracy theories. They also argued that the photos would provide some reliable closure for the families of victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Some News agencies refuse to print the names or photos of terrorists, reasoning that they don’t want to give them fame for their barbarous actions.

Questions: What do ‟two wrongs don’t make a right” and ‟hasty conclusions” mean in the above debate between two sides (in other words, to the supporters of Obama’s decision, what are the “two wrongs”? What is “a right”? What are hasty conclusions according to the opponents of Obama’s decision )? How do you believe people should respond to terrorist activities?

Question B:
Write a critique of an editorial or essay from a blog, newspaper, or magazine. Point out the fallacies made by the writer of the editorial or essay. Also, discuss valid reasoning on the part of the writer.

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