Last Updated 20 Jun 2022

Good and Bad Arguments

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ASSIGNMENT 1 MODULE 1 SHORT ANSWER PAPER Distinguish between good and bad arguments. Give the elements of ethical arguments. On what grounds do you distinguish between fact and mere opinion? An argument is a group of statements where one of which is supposed to be supported by the rest. The premise is the supporting statement and the conclusion is the statement being supported. Ethical arguments must have premise(s) and a conclusion and may appear in any order. Often arguments have indicator words that signal a premise or conclusion is near.

There are two types of arguments, deductive and inductive and they can be valid or invalid, strong or weak, or sound or cogent. A good argument has a conclusion that is worthy and gives good reasons to accept a claim, where a bad argument fails to have a premise or conclusion or both. A true argument always has something to prove and presents good reasons to a claim. An argument is not the same thing as persuasion but if you express it correctly and prove something then you may be able to persuade people by reasoning and not by appealing to them via other methods.

Good arguments have true premises and show its conclusion is worthy of belief, it also both must have the correct form by being either valid (having true premises that logically prove that the conclusion is also true) or strong (having premises that provide probable support for its conclusion). A bad argument proves nothing however it can still be persuasive. A bad argument can persuade someone by influencing them by any means besides reason.

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A bad argument has false premises that lead to false conclusions, these conclusions are called fallacies. Fallacies though wrong can be persuasive. There are nine different types of fallacies which all try to persuade by appealing to people’s emotions, using linguistic or rhetorical tricks, deception, threats, lack of evidence, using invalid citations and many other tricks. To check if a argument is bad you must learn different techniques, do research, and beware when there is conflicting evidence.

To distinguish between fact and opinion in an argument you must check the form, the validity of the argument, and whether or not the premise has any truth. If something is a fact it is a statement or a claim that asserts that something is either true or false. Opinions are based on moral judgments, principles, and theories. Opinions also take into account feelings, desires, and beliefs. However in an argument both a fact and a opinion can be proven if the opinion has a good premise.

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