Inductive Deductive Argument Analogy Term Paper

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¶ … Analogy #1: "You wouldn't steal a car or snatch a purse, so you shouldn't illegally download music and movies."

This is a middling argument. The above argument attempts to re-orient those who illegally download by showing them that there is (im)moral equivalency between car theft and intellectual property theft. Just because the latter is a more secretive and passive crime, and the former requires more preparation and hands-on participation, does not mean one shouldn't feel the same level of reticence at perpetrating either. The argument appears strong initially but ultimately fails, because the reason people feel comfortable stealing music is the sense that stealing music is a victimless crime. If you deprive one person of a car, you've seriously affected their financial health. When you deprive many rich companies of the price of one CD, it doesn't really affect their bottom line.

Argument by Analogy #2: "If a politician cheats on his wife, you can't trust him to perform honest and effective public service."

This is a weak argument. It is more widespread and accepted for one spouse to cheat on another than for a politician to "cheat" on the public by accepting bribes, etc. The logic is presumably rooted in the idea that the cheated-on spouse might have done something to the cheating spouse to cause his behavior, or that the cheating is a symptom of a troubled relationship rather than the cause of it. The public as a whole, on the other hand, could not have done anything to the politician to warrant his betrayal. Thus, without any socially acceptable justification for cheating on the public, cheating on a spouse is lower on the totem pole of dastardly deeds than accepting a bribe, and there is no proof that an adulterer spouse will automatically sink even lower.

Argument by Analogy #3: "This product is developed by NASA, so it is good."

This is a weak argument. The above phrase contends that if NASA developed a product that can conquer space, the same product must surely be amazing here on more familiar earth. It is a weak argument, however, because it plays on the romance of deep space, even though it may, in actuality, be easier to develop things for space than for use on earth, depending on the physical laws (i.e. gravity) at play for the proposed product.

Argument by Analogy #4: "Someone who has a messy house is probably not successful at work."

This is a middling argument. While there is a likely correlation between being messy at home and being messy at work, this is not automatically true. In any event, just because someone is messy at work, does not mean that that person is not successful. Though being organized is an important aspect of work life, gaffes may be overlooked for a talented person in the field.

Argument by Analogy #5: "Like is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get."

This is a strong argument. Assuming the box of chocolates is not meticulously labeled, there is no way of predicting what you'll find in there other than the general distinction between chocolate and other types of food. Just so, while you can rule out certain possibilities for your life (e.g. I won't be farming today), within one's general structure it is impossible to know what exactly that day will bring you.

Argument by Analogy #6: "Handing out anti-war propaganda during wartime is like shouting 'fire!' In a crowded theater."

This is a poor argument. Warning of danger in a crowded theater will likely result in a mass exodus of theater patrons. The resulting chaos might endanger lives. The argument above is, therefore, that anti-war leaflets will cause a mass defection of soldiers or an erosion of public support; the resulting chaos undermines foreign policy and endangers the lives of many Americans. It is a poor argument because opposition to war can and should be debated, so there will likely be no instantaneous reaction by a frightened, stampeding crowd, and no resulting catastrophic chaos.

Argument by Analogy #7: "A watch has a watchmaker, so the universe has a designer."

This is a poor argument. The argument is that a watch looks designed and so must have a designer. Therefore, since the universe is delicately balanced and seems designed, there must be a designer for the universe, as well. This does not compute, however, since we know that the watch is designed because there is no other biological force at play by which the watch could have come into existence. The universe, on the other hand, even if it looks designed, could have become that way through an evolutionary process of accumulation through generations, where natural forces adapted biological entities in order to maximize the odds of survival.

Argument by Analogy #8: "Killing is wrong, so the death penalty to punish killers is also wrong."

This is a weak argument. The argument claims that there is an underlying irony in executing a killer to punish him for committing murder. but, as a society, we have created categories of killing that can be identified as either justified or unjustified. There is a clear distinction between murdering someone for revenge or pleasure, and killing someone because they represent a danger to society or to deter other murderers.

Argument by Analogy #9: "Writing is like baseball."

This is a good argument. The inference here is that natural ability matters in both baseball and writing. However, for both activities, natural talent will only take you so far. With both baseball and writing you need to put in long hours of practicing and honing your craft, and with both you can learn from those who have come before and succeeded.

Argument by Analogy #10: "Criticizing religion is like racism or sexism."

This is a bad argument. The analogy attempts to equate race and sex with religious affiliation, and place all of them on a pedestal immune from public scrutiny. The difference is that, though race and sex are not chosen, religion is a choice. Religion can be reasoned, argued, or experienced away, but that is not the case for race or sex.

Argument by Analogy #11: "We shouldn't ban pesticides because cars kill people too."

This is a terrible argument. The argument being attempted is as follows: people would never countenance banning cars because their enormous good outweighs the occasional bad. Just so, pesticides provide benefits that firmly outweigh their potential hazards. The difference between the two, however, is obvious: cars are not inherently dangerous. If their intended use and attendant safety protocols are adhered to, the damage they inflict on people is minimal. Pesticides, on the other hand, are dangerous by their very nature. If the chemicals are sprayed onto crops in exactly the manner prescribed by the manufacturer they are still a great danger to the public.

Argument by Analogy #12: "As a society we may understand, but don't condone, child molestation because the offender was also molested as a child. Thus, religion is also a choice."

This is a good argument. We understand that someone who was raised in a specific way may have a hard time shedding that conditioning. At the same time, though we understand this, we do not excuse someone who was molested as a child (and thus "raised" in that way) if he, in turn, molests a child. We expect maturity, time, and sober though to eventually free an adult of normal intelligence from the shackles of an oppressive youth. Just so, though religion is usually foisted on a young child, if the child continues in the same religious vein as an adult, we view it as his decision, and not his parents', any longer.

Argument by Analogy #13: "Homosexuality is unnatural because you never see two animals of the same sex attempting to mate."

This argument is faulty because the arguer above certainly believes that there are key differences between humans and animals, else why would he be using his language to engage in critical thought not essential for survival and reproduction?

Argument by Analogy #14: "Home schooling is like totalitarianism."

This is a strong or weak argument, depending on the point the arguer is trying to get across. If the comparison is that, like in a dictator in a totalitarian regime, the parent is the source for all knowledge and access to education in a home schooling environment, this is true. Unlike a totalitarian regime, however, which by definition prohibits contact with other peoples, behaviors, and beliefs, a home-schooling parent is unlikely to prevent his child from leaving the house and interacting with others.

Argument by Analogy #15: "Just as lottery tickets have relatively little value before the draw, embryos have relatively little value."

This is a strong argument. It is certainly of unquestioned scientific validity to say the overwhelming majority of embryos are likely to never mature into more developed embryos. Just like the vast majority of lottery tickets are not winners, just so… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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