- Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:33 pm
The cause has nothing to do with which dairy product is the better source of calcium, MissHumor. It's just about the motive for switching, and arguments about motive are a type of causal argument because they look into what is making people do something. In this case, people could be altering their source of calcium because they prefer the texture or the taste or the variety of the ways they can use it, regardless of which is the better source of calcium, but the author still thinks that people are actively swapping one product for the other and that they are doing because they are thinking about calcium. Maybe they don't care about calcium at all? Maybe they aren't even switching from one product to the other? Could it be that the people who always ate ice cream are still doing so, but less, maybe because they are concerned about sugar intake, or the rising cost of ice cream, or because there has been a growing number of cases of tainted ice cream causing illness and people are afraid? Maybe the cheddar cheese eaters are still the same as before, but they are eating more cheddar because a new study came out showing that it is good for your skin, or the cost has come down, or new varieties of cheddar have come to market that are extremely popular? Or new people who never used to eat either product started buying cheddar?
The problem here isn't about calcium, but about cause. Is calcium the cause of the change in the market for these products, or could something else be behind it? Are the two phenomena - decrease in ice cream sales, increase in cheddar sales - even related, or is it just a coincidence? Only answer B captures that idea of possible other causes (alternative explanations).
Adam M. Tyson
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