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Truth and Validity

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Folks often believe they are certain when they make open statements. Many people are sensible enough to circumvent and qualify their statements, as their own opinions about something that person believes. However, not all folks are not skilled at staying unbiased and keeping a full perspective. The scenarios below will show and describe some common faults that folks can think about. The scenarios will follow the corresponding letter item in the textbook for each item. The scenarios I have chosen to evaluate for the truth and validity assignment will be taken from the Applications listed at the end of Ch. 12 in The Art of Thinking. I will be evaluating exercises r, x, and n.

Evaluating for truth and validity will begin with exercise r, “If the Social Security system is further weakened, the elderly will have to fear poverty. Therefore, if the Social Security system is not further weakened, the elderly will not have to fear poverty.” Using the four step evaluation process, I began to checking the example for any hidden premises as well as making sure that the statement was stated fully and in a clear way, I will move on to the next step, checking for mistakes disturbing the truth. Since all elderly are not dependent on Social Security, the statement that all (all is inferred) elderly will fear poverty if the Social Security system is further weakened becomes untrue. Also, the second segment of the statement is still not true because it assumes the only cause of poverty is a decrease or loss of income, when in fact; there are many different reasons for poverty, such as mismanagement of resources caused by anything from addiction to poor financial decisions.

The statement becomes more valid if it is changed to read, “If the Social Security system is further weakened, the elderly who depend on it will have to fear poverty. Hence, if the Social Security system is not further weakened, those same elderly might not have to fear poverty.” Then, the final step will be checking the case for validity errors and determining if a legitimate assumption can be derived from the premise. The adjusted statement now has more validity and the assumption that those elderly that depend on Social Security will be confronted with poverty if the program is weakened is now convincing. The next scenario I selected is x. “If an expectant mother drinks, smokes, takes drugs, or fails to get proper rest, she may damage her unborn child.

Therefore, if an expectant mother does these things and her child is born with a defect or ailment that can be traced to them, the mother should face criminal charges.” Once again I must check for a hidden premises. In this case I do not see any hidden premises implied. We all know that if a woman is not taking care to the baby something could happen. The written statement in this case goes straight to the point. I believe that the argument is valid; there are many studies that show that if an expecting mother dose not takes care of her self, then the baby could be born with a deficiency. Another part of the case stated if a mother does take drugs or any other harmful substances that can harm the baby and the mother is aware of it, the mother should be put into custody.

My final exercise will be scenario n, “Nuclear power is a threat to world peace. Nuclear energy stations generate nuclear power. So Nuclear energy stations are a threat to world peace.” After checking for hidden premises and assuring that it was stated fully and clearly, I move to the next step, checking for errors affecting the truth. The first statement, “Nuclear power is a threat to world peace”, is not true as is. I would have to rewrite the statement to read, “Nuclear power used in the creation of weaponry is a threat to world peace”. There are many peaceful uses for nuclear energy, such as an alternative to fossil fuels. The second statement is true. Now to examine the argument for any validity mistakes and to inspect the logic that associates conclusions to premises. The premise was that nuclear power is a threat to world peace. I determined that statement, how it was written, was false. After inserting the qualifying statement “used in the production of weaponry”, the statement is now more significant 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 to produce nuclear power to be used as an alternative energy source, these stations are not a threat to world peace.” As it says in step four of the evaluation process, you may find your case so unsound that the only suitable action is to move on and comprise a different case.

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