Diablo Valley College Arguments and Moral Principles Discussion



Each of the following sentences is an argument. You are to list the conclusion and then any premise or conclusion indicator words.

1) Rene hates Julia, and she always upsets him, so he should avoid her.

2) Jesus loves me, for the Bible tells me so.

3) Spiderman is a better superhero than Superman because kryptonite can’t hurt him, and he doesn’t have Lois Lane around to mess things up.

4) If someone says something that offends me, I should have the right to stop that kind of speech. After all, words can assault people just as weapons can.

5) “Whether our argument concerns public affairs or some other subject, we must know some, if not all, of the facts about the subject on which we are to speak and argue. Otherwise, we can have no materials out of which to construct arguments.” (Aristotle)

6) “The GAO says that any weapon that costs more than $50 million apiece will actually impair our military readiness. The cost of the new XJ fighter plane is $650 million. The cost of three AR21 fighter bombers is $1.2 billion. We should never impair our readiness. Therefore, the administration should cancel both of these projects.”

7) The Wall Street Journal says that people should invest heavily in stocks. So investing in stocks is a smart move.

8) When Judy drives her car, she’s always late. Since she’s driving her car today, she will be late.

9) Any move with clowns in it cannot be a good movie. Last night’s movie had at least a dozen clowns in it. Consequently, it was awful.

10) No one should buy a beer brewed in Canada. Old Guzzler beer is brewed in Canada, so no one should buy it.

Moral Principles:

For each of the following passages, add a moral premise to turn it into a valid moral argument.

1) Noah promised to drive Thelma to Los Angeles, so he should stop bellyaching and do it.

2) The refugees were shot at and lied to, and the authorities did nothing to stop any of this. The authorities should have intervened.

3) There was never any imminent threat from the Iraqi government, so the U.S. should not have invaded Iraq.

4) The Indian government posed an imminent threat to Pakistan and the world, so the Pakistanis were justified in attacking Indian troops.

5) Burton used a gun in the commission of a crime; therefore he should get a long prison term.

6) Ellen knew that a murder was going to take place. It was her duty to try to stop it.

7) Ahmed should never have allowed his daughter to receive in vitro fertilization. Such a procedure is unnatural.

8) The doctors performed the experiment on twenty patients without their consent. Obviously, that was wrong.

9) What you did was immoral. You hacked into a database containing personal information on thousands of people and invaded their privacy.

10) Ling spent all day weeding Mrs. Black’s garden for no pay. The least Mrs. Black should do is let Ling borrow some gardening tools


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