Physics 3333 / CFB 3333 Homework 4

Read the following two pieces, adapted from various sources. Analyze them using the tools developed in Browne and Keeley.

    Sooner or later someone's going to tell you that algebra teaches reasoning. This is a lie propagated by, among others, algebra teachers. Writing is the highest form of reasoning. This is a fact. Algebra is not. The proof of this is all the people in my high school who were whizzes at math but did not know a thing about history and could not write a readable English sentence.

    For example, Snork favors euthanasia of the old whose minds have declined, but it's not hard to see that if "voluntary euthanasia" became common, bullies would take what he had wrought and apply pressure on the elderly or the disabled to get out of the way rather than use up resources.

    Similarly, Snork says that parents up to a year or two should be able to kill children with physical or mental problems, with the OK of a group of Snorkists on hospital ethics boards. That's gruesome enough, but if infanticide under "strict" conditions were legalized, the conditions would soon be loosened, reporters would discover inequities where it was allowed in some circumstances and not others, and infanticide on parental demand would become standard. That's what happened with abortion.

Print this out, circle the issue and conclusion indicating which is which, then analyze the reasoning fallacies in the piece. Use the space after each piece for the fallacy analysis. It is also OK to email it if you convert the issue and conclusion to boldface type and indicate which is which. Do not use colors to distinguish the issue and conclusion since we will be printing these in black and white.

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