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 lenihil
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: Apr 27, 2020
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#75694
Dear Powerscore,

Could you please help to check my thoughts? Thank you.

Premise: Prevalence of knives causes increasing homicide rate
Conclusion: Government allows the knives to be sold so it is the one to blame
Assumption: Government causes the prevalence of knives

(E) says:
1. If ordinary knives, then the prevalence of knives doesn't cause increasing homicide rate. (cause absent but the effect still present)
(Is this attacking the Premise?)
2. If weaponry knives, then the government doesn't cause the prevalence of knives

Thank you for your help.
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 5150
  • Joined: Apr 14, 2011
|
#76397
That's pretty good, lenihil! If I was going to quibble at all with your analysis, it would be with #2. I would say that if weaponry knives, then the knives actually are not prevalent (they are not in the households where the homicides are occurring.) So the government didn't cause those knives to be prevalent in those homes. But like I said, that is just a quibble. Nice work!
 lenihil
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: Apr 27, 2020
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#76459
Dear Adam,

Thank you for your help! :lol:
 flowskiferda
  • Posts: 30
  • Joined: Sep 19, 2020
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#82946
I got this right by eliminating all the other ones, but I'm struggling to see why the first part of E) would weaken the argument. The fact that these ordinary household knives were common before the increase would not absolve the government of blame, because the government still allowed these potentially lethal knives in the first place.
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 5150
  • Joined: Apr 14, 2011
|
#83762
What you're missing in that analysis, flowskiferda, is that we aren't just looking at some steady number of murders occurring. We are looking at an INCREASE in the number of murders. If ordinary knives are being used, the type that were always around in the kitchen for cutting meat and spreading butter, then government permissiveness might be responsible for some murders, but this still wouldn't make the government responsible for the increase in murders. There must be something else, other than permissive government policies, that contributed to the rise in the homicide rate.

The author wants to blame the government for the increase in the homicide rate, but if the knives were always available then the increase has to be due to some other cause. That's why that first part weakens the argument!

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