Discussion: Argument Basics

Step 1 Consider the scenarios below.

  • Scenario 1: National Debt
    • If the national debt exceeds 125% of the national GDP, the economy will suffer.
    • The lawmakers in Washington are too engrossed in party politics to pay close attention to the economy.
  • Scenario 2: Smoking
    • Decades of research have established a causal correlation between using tobacco and various forms of cancer.
    • Sarah has been smoking cigarettes for over 30 years.
  • Scenario 3: Entertainment
    • Records sales have been steadily declining over the last 15 years, largely due to the increased popularity of peer-to-peer file sharing networks.
    • At the same time record sales are declining, the number of emerging artists releasing new music every week has skyrocketed. John has never even held an instrument and his record seems to be everywhere—what a phony!

Step 2 Draw and post scenario conclusions.

Review your course materials and then write three conclusions to the premises in each of the scenarios posted in Step 1.

  • Provide possible conclusions for the statements presented in scenarios 1 and 2. Based on the information provided, which of the two scenarios do you believe is more logical? Be sure to provide support for your choice.
  • Apply the concept of statements to scenario 3. Determine the presence of statement and non-statement. How are you able to classify one from the other?
  • How are you able to apply the concept of logical support to the scenarios presented in step 1? How else can you apply the concepts of logical support in everyday decision making?