Clarification Terms "aids wasting-syndrome"



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ARGUMENT ANALYSIS:

Free the Herb”



I. Clarification and Paraphrase

Clarification

Terms

“AIDS wasting-syndrome” ~ a group of symptoms, mainly (severe) weight loss, which are associated with AIDS, HIV, and cancer

Alkaloids ~ complex organic bases which are usually colorless and occur in seed plants

Bad ~ Morally objectionable

Bioplastics ~ plastics made from organic or recycled materials

Bronchial dilator ~ a drug that relaxes bronchial muscle resulting in expansion of the bronchial air passage

Cannabis sp., Marijuana, “The Herb” ~ Used as interchangeable terms to refer to the psychoactive drug marijuana (a.k.a. cannabis or “the herb”) which is extracted from the hemp plant.

Cellulose ~ An integral part of the cell wall of a plant. It occurs naturally in many fibrous

products and is the raw material for many manufactured goods.

Chemotherapy ~ the use of chemical agents in the treatment or control of disease, commonly cancer. This treatment is known to cause nausea.

Consenting ~ approving

Cultivation ~ growing plants

High ~ under the influence of the drug marijuana, therefore in a psychoactive state

Immoral ~ conflicting with generally or traditionally held moral principles

Industrial ~ used in or developed for use in industry

Intra-ocular pressure ~ pressure occurring in the eyeball, as due to glaucoma

Misnomer ~ the misnaming of something

Morality ~ conformity to ideals of right human conduct

Munchies ~ a hunger induced by the “high” of the drug marijuana

Non-theists ~ those who do not believe in the existence of a God or Gods

Pesticides ~ agents used to destroy pests

Petroleum products ~ gasoline, naphtha, petroleum jelly, and other products that contain petroleum

Privacy ~ freedom from unauthorized intrusion

Prohibition ~ The act of prohibiting by authority and/or law

Recreational stimulant ~ (usually) drugs which are used in social situations to produce a high

These may include, but are not limited to: caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine,

methamphetamine, and ecstasy

Responsible ~ able to choose for oneself between right and wrong

Tensile strength ~ the greatest longitudinal stress a substance can bear without tearing apart

Textile ~ cloth, especially woven or knit cloth

Therapeutic ~ assisting in the treatment of a disease or disorders by remedial agents or methods

Wrongful substance ~ unlawful substance

Vascular dilation ~ the expansion of the veins and arteries carrying blood

Virtues ~ commendable qualities or traits



Hypothetical Questions / Rewording

(2) I challenge you to find a quote in the bible that states that responsible use of cannabis, or alcohol for that matter, is detrimental to one’s morality or in conflict with God’s dictates. ---> The bible does not say that the responsible use of cannabis is detrimental to one’s morality or in conflict with God’s dictates.

(3) For you non-theists out there, present me with some argument to the effect that the responsible use of cannabis, or alcohol, or any other recreational stimulant is in conflict with man’s essential moral make-up. ---> The responsible use of cannabis is not in conflict with man’s moral make-up.

(25) ...people can get high from the plant. Does this make it a bad thing? ---> Getting high from something does not make it bad

(26) ...people can get high from the plant. Does this make it a wrongful substance to use? ---> Getting high from something doesn’t make it a wrongful substance

(27) Well, how many of you out there need your morning cup o’ java to get the day going? ---> Many people need coffee in the morning to get them going

(33) and (34) Did you know that the use of cannabis relieves intra-ocular pressure, thereby being useful for those suffering from glaucoma? --->(33) Cannabis relieves intra-ocular pressure and (34) Cannabis is useful for those suffering from glaucoma.

(35) Did you know that use of cannabis has been shown to be of significant value in reducing the extreme nausea resulting from chemotherapy, greatly assisting those who suffer from cancer and AIDS in their fight for life? --->(NA) Cannabis reduces the nausea resulting from chemotherapy, this is already stated in premise # 37, and (35) Cannabis greatly assists those suffering from cancer and AIDS



Paraphrase

The author’s main goal is to promote the legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational uses. Furthermore, he promotes the use of the hemp plant in products such as textiles, paper and bioplastics. This use is not currently available because growing the plant is illegal.



II. Bracket and Number Sentences to be used

(1) There is no merit in arguments to the effect that using cannabis is an immoral act

[1c] Using cannabis is a moral act

(2) The bible does not say that the responsible use of cannabis is detrimental to one’s morality or in conflict with God’s dictates

(3) The responsible use of cannabis is not in conflict with man’s moral make-up

(4) Hemp possesses many virtues in regards to industrial usage

(5) Hemp fiber is not limited strictly to rough fabrics such as burlap

(6) The fiber of the hemp plant can produce a wide range of textiles, from the consistency of a fine linen to that of a heavy sailcloth

(7) Hemp fiber is softer than cotton

[7a] Softer fabrics are better

(8) Hemp fiber is warmer than cotton

[8a] Warmer fabrics are better

(9) Hemp fiber is more water absorbent than cotton

[9a] More absorbent fibers are better

(10) Hemp fiber possesses three times the tensile strength of cotton

[10a] The more tensile strength the better

(11) Hemp fiber contains virtually no pesticides

[11a] Pesticides are bad

(12) Roughly half of all the pesticides in the U.S. are used on cotton

(13) Hemp cultivation is not at all as detrimental to the soil as is cotton production

(14) Hemp fiber is great for paper production

(15) Production of hemp paper requires only one-forth of the amount of land required for production of timber for the same use (i.e. one acre of hemp will produce the same amount of paper as four acres of timber.)

[15a] Saving timber is good

(16) There is not as heavy a reliance upon chemicals to prepare the hemp fibers for paper production as is the case with wood based paper

[16a] Heavy reliance on chemicals is bad

(17) Hemp seed can be produced in abundance

(18) Hemp seeds possess a high nutritional value

(19) Hemp seeds can be pressed for oil used in the productions of paints and varnishes

(20) Hemp seed oil would lessen our reliance upon petroleum products

[21] Hemp fiber produces better textiles than cotton

(22) The cellulose left over from the separation of the fiber from the stalks can be used in the manufacture of several types of bioplastics and in the production of paper

(23) Several useful products other than textiles can be made from the hemp plant

(24) The hemp plant possesses several alkaloids which people can get high from

(25) Getting high from something does not make it bad

(26) Getting high from something doesn’t make it a wrongful substance

(27) Many people need coffee in the morning to get them going

(28) Coffee is a derivative of a plant, just like the flower bud of hemp

(29) The coffee bean possesses some active ingredients which make people happy, just like the hemp bud

[30c] Drinking coffee is the same thing as smoking cannabis

(31) What people do in the privacy of their own home is nobody’s business if the parties so engaged in that activity happen to be responsible, consenting adults

(32) The alkaloids from hemp are of significant therapeutic value for a great number of people

(33) Cannabis relieves intra-ocular pressure

(34) Cannabis is useful for those suffering from glaucoma

(35) Cannabis greatly assists those suffering from cancer and AIDS

(36) Smoking cannabis induces appetite

(37) Smoking cannabis relieves nausea

(38) Smoking cannabis helps alleviate symptoms of “AIDS wasting-syndrome”

(39) Both cancer and AIDS patients suffer from “AIDS wasting-syndrome”

(40) Cannabis has been found to relieve the pain and alleviate the spasms associated with several

forms of multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, epilepsy, and certain types of spinal and

cranial injuries

(41) Some alkaloids found in hemp act as bronchial-dilators, thereby helping those who suffer from asthma

(42) Most people get red eyes when they smoke hemp

(43) Red eyes are a sign of vascular dilation

(44) Cannabis might be of use in the relief of migraine headaches

(45) There is significant medical promise in the hemp plant



(46) Hemp should be legalized



IV. Evaluation of truth-values

(1) There is no merit in arguments to the effect that using cannabis is an immoral act. This statement is 0% true. You cannot judge the merit of someone else’s morals. And, there is merit to some of the arguments that using cannabis is immoral, especially biblical ones. If that’s how people choose to live their lives, than there’s merit to it.

[1c] Using cannabis is a moral act. This conclusion is about 50% true. I assign it this truth value because although some people have no problem with smoking marijuana, others do. Everyone’s morals are different. So, I would say that about 50% of the population would agree with this statement and about 50% would not.

(2) The bible does not say that the responsible use of cannabis is detrimental to one’s morality or in conflict with God’s dictates. This statement is 0% true. I know this because there is something in the Bible that proves anyone’s point. Although I don’t know of any particular passage, I know God says that our bodies are his temple, or something like that, and we’re supposed to take care of them. Furthermore, that those herbs are harmful. Even if the Bible didn’t say anything of the like, this statement is a fallacy: an appeal to ignorance. Just because God doesn’t say it’s wrong doesn’t mean that God says it’s okay.

(3) The responsible use of cannabis is not in conflict with man’s moral make-up. This statement is only 20% true. I assigned it this low value mainly because it is much too broad. A “man’s moral make-up” greatly depends upon the culture and background of each man. It may be in conflict with some men’s morals. He also uses the word “responsible” but doesn’t say what he means. Is it that only adults can get high? That you shouldn’t operate heavy machinery high? The statement is too broad and vague to be more than 20% true.

(4) Hemp possesses many virtues in regards to industrial usage. This statement is 100% true. The author gives many premises to support this conclusion.

(5) Hemp fiber is not limited strictly to rough fabrics such as burlap. This statement is 100% true, as I know it to be true.

(6) The fiber of the hemp plant can produce a wide range of textiles, from the consistency of a fine linen to that of a heavy sailcloth. This statement is 100% true, as I know it to be true.

(7) Hemp fiber is softer than cotton. This statement is about 75% true because I’m not real sure how soft the actual fiber is. But because the fiber can be made into rough fabrics, it is not necessarily always softer than cotton.

[7a] Softer fabrics are better. This statement is 95% true. Softer fabrics are usually better, providing that they are warm enough.

(8) Hemp fiber is warmer than cotton. This statement is 100% true. I assigned it this value because a clothing catalog (Northern Sun) I receive says it is.

[8a] Warmer fabrics are better. This statement is only 50% true. Warmer fabrics are usually only better in the winter and fall months. In the spring and summer, cooler fabrics are better. Therefore, warmer fabrics are only better about 50% of the year.

(9) Hemp fiber is more water absorbent than cotton. I’m going to treat this premise as 50/50. Although I am inclined to take what the author says as true, I have no information of my own to support it. The author also fails to say by how much, and where he got this information. Because of this, it is hard to assign an accurate value.

[9a] More absorbent fibers are better. This statement is 100% true. It is completely true because my mom says it is. She says that the more absorbent the fabric, the cooler it is in the summer time.

(10) Hemp fiber possesses three times the tensile strength of cotton. This statement is 50/50. I don’t know if hemp does have three times the strength of cotton, but it sure does seem like an awful lot, too much to be assumed a true statement.

[10a] The more tensile strength the better. This statement is 100% true. The harder it is to rip clothes or fabrics, the better they are.

(11) Hemp fiber contains virtually no pesticides. This statement is 60% true. Although it seems valid, the author does not provide statistics. So, it is hard to assign a truth value and it loses points.

[11a] Pesticides are bad. This statement is 75% true. Although they may harm people and they kill animals, pesticides protect our food source. That’s a good thing, so the premise loses 25%.

(12) Roughly half of all the pesticides in the U.S. are used on cotton. This statement is 50/50 because I have no knowledge about whether or not it’s true.

(13) Hemp cultivation is not at all as detrimental to the soil as is cotton production. This statement is 50/50 because I have no knowledge of whether it’s true.

(14) Hemp fiber is great for paper production. This statement is 90% true because the author gives reasons to support it, and I cannot think of any counter evidence except one possibility. I know that there was a time when hemp paper was used widely and there must be a reason why it no longer is. So, the author loses 10%.

(15) Production of hemp paper requires only one-forth of the amount of land required for production of timber for the same use (i.e. one acre of hemp will produce the same amount of paper as four acres of timber.) This statement is 50/50. I’m definitely not sure if it’s true. It does seem difficult to grow 4 times as much hemp on the same land, because trees grow up and take less space.

[15a] Saving timber is good. This statement is 100% true. Saving trees is of a definite benefit to both humans and animals (including endangered species).

(16) There is not as heavy a reliance upon chemicals to prepare the hemp fibers for paper production as is the case with wood based paper. This statement is 50/50 because I don’t know whether or not it’s true.

[16a] Heavy reliance on chemicals is bad. This statement is 100% true. The more chemicals are used, the more chemicals end up back in our environment. That is bad, and there’s really no reason why using a lot of chemicals would be good.

(17) Hemp seed can be produced in abundance. This statement is 100% true. I know it is from personal experience. With how many seeds there are in a twenty sack of cannabis, they must be produced in abundance.

(18) Hemp seeds possess a high nutritional value. This statement is 50/50. I don’t know if it is true or not.

(19) Hemp seeds can be pressed for oil used in the productions of paints and varnishes. This statement is 100% true.

(20) Hemp seed oil would lessen our reliance upon petroleum products. This statement is 50% true. Although using oils made of hemp may be possible, that doesn’t mean it is cheaper or more energy efficient.

[21] Hemp fiber produces better textiles than cotton. This statement is 70% true. It depends upon what type of textiles one is talking about, and the statement is too broad. I would give it a 60% but the author has made a case for what he thinks are the good qualities of hemp textiles.

(22) The cellulose left over from the separation of the fiber from the stalks can be used in the manufacture of several types of bioplastics and in the production of paper. This statement is 60% true because I don’t know about the bioplastics part, but the paper part is definitely true.

(23) Several useful products other than textiles can be made from the hemp plant. This statement is 100% true. The author gave many examples, paper and oil being two.

(24) The hemp plant possesses several alkaloids which people can get high from. This statement is 100% true, it is common knowledge.

(25) Getting high from something does not make it bad. This statement is 0% true. Bad means morally objectionable. The very thing that people object to is getting high. This statement may even be a bit subjective, a fallacy.

(26) Getting high from something doesn’t make it a wrongful substance. This statement is 0% true. Wrongful substance means unlawful substance and because cannabis gets you high, it is unlawful. The author is being subjective here as well, and he provides no evidence to support his opinion.

(27) Many people need coffee in the morning to get them going. This statement is 100% true. I know it is true from personal experience; Bill drinks coffee every morning to get him going and so do a lot of other people.

(28) Coffee is a derivative of a plant, just like the flower bud of hemp. I think this is 100% true. I know that both definitely come from a plant.

(29) The coffee bean possesses some active ingredients which make people happy, just like the hemp bud. This is 100% true. Coffee possesses caffeine and hemp possesses THC.

[30] Drinking coffee is the same thing as smoking cannabis. This is 0% true. I am tempted to give it five percent because both contain stimulants, but it doesn’t even deserve that. The statement is a conclusion based on statements 27, 28, and 29 and is a complete logical fallacy: Equivocation. Drinking coffee is not the same as smoking cannabis. They contain different amounts of different stimulants which produce different effects. And one is against the law.

(31) What people do in the privacy of their own home is nobody’s business if the parties so engaged in that activity happen to be responsible, consenting adults. This statement is 100% true, it’s in the Constitution.

(32) The alkaloids from hemp are of significant therapeutic value for a great number of people. This statement is 100% true. I know this because the FDA has approved medical marijuana.

(33) Cannabis relieves intra-ocular pressure. This statement is 100% true. I know this because I know someone who uses medical marijuana for this reason.

(34)Cannabis is useful for those suffering from glaucoma. This is 100% true because of statement 33.

(35) Cannabis greatly assists those suffering from cancer and AIDS. This statement is 100% true or else medical marijuana wouldn’t have been approved and legalized.

(36) Smoking cannabis induces appetite. This statement is 100% true. It is common knowledge that people who are “high” get the “munchies.”

(37) Smoking cannabis relieves nausea. This statement is 50/50. I’m not really sure if it’s true or not. It shouldn’t really matter as it is not essential to the argument.

(38) Smoking cannabis helps alleviate symptoms of “AIDS wasting-syndrome.” This is 100% true, it was approved for medical use for this reason.

(39) Both cancer and AIDS patients suffer from “AIDS wasting-syndrome.” This is 100% true. If you have either disease, your body and immune system get weaker.

(40) Cannabis has been found to relieve the pain and alleviate the spasms associated with several

forms of multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, epilepsy, and certain types of spinal and

cranial injuries. This statement is 50/50. I don’t know whether or not it’s true.

(41) Some alkaloids found in hemp act as bronchial-dilators, thereby helping those who suffer from asthma. This statement is 50/50, I don’t know if it’s true.

(42) Most people get red eyes when they smoke hemp. This statement is 100% true, it is common knowledge.

(43) Red eyes are a sign of vascular dilation. This statement is 100% true, I learned about it in health class I think.

(44) Cannabis might be of use in the relief of migraine headaches. This statement is 100% true. It would get a lower score if the author said it definitely was, but because he uses the word “might” there isn’t much one can say to refute it.

(45) There is significant medical promise in the hemp plant. This statement is 100% true, that is why the FDA approved it.

(46) Hemp should be legalized. This statement is 50% true. The author argues it should be legalized on three merits: moral, medical, and industrial. He fails miserably to prove in any way that hemp should be legalized because it is moral. So, he lost 33%. I also took off an extra 17% because of lack of support and use of fallacies as well as a semi-weak argument for industrial hemp. The 50% that is left does a pretty good job proving the point for medical marijuana and an okay job proving the point for industrial hemp.

V. Plausibility Ranking and Degrees of Support

a. Sub-argument: (5) - (23) --> (4)

Brief Summary: Hemp fiber and/or seeds can be used to produce a wide variety of textiles with better characteristics than cotton as well as to make paper and petroleum products. Therefore hemp possesses many virtues in regards to industrial usage.

Counter-Argument: Hemp fiber and/or seeds can be used to produce a wide variety of textiles with better characteristics than cotton as well as to make paper and petroleum products. These hemp products are costly to make and require more care in cultivation, thus making hemp a less efficient material to make products with. In addition, there aren’t enough hemp seeds in the world to make enough oil to significantly reduce our reliance on petroleum. Also, although hemp paper requires only one-fourth of the land required for timber, trees are easier to harvest than hemp. Therefore although hemp possesses many virtues in regards to industrial usage they are not really worth exploring as they are not economical or preferable to current products.

Degree of Support: Moderate, the counter is of approximately equal plausibility.



b. Sub-argument: (2) (3) (24)+(25)+(26) (1) --> [1c]

Brief Summary: The Bible does not say that the use of cannabis is wrong, it’s not immoral, and just because you can get high from something doesn’t make it bad or a wrongful substance. Therefore there is no merit in arguments to the effect that using cannabis is an immoral act. Therefore using cannabis is a moral act.

Counter-Argument: The Bible says that smoking cannabis is wrong. Bad means the same thing as immoral, which smoking cannabis is in most people‘s eyes. And, “wrongful substance” means illegal substance, which cannabis is. Therefore there are merits to

arguments that smoking cannabis is an immoral act and it is possible that smoking

cannabis actually is immoral.

Degree of Support: Nil, support is subjective and includes an appeal to ignorance.



c. Sub-argument: (32) - (44) --> (45)

Brief Summary: The alkaloids in cannabis can/may relieve a myriad of medical symptoms ranging from headaches to “AIDS-wasting syndrome” therefore there is significant medical promise in the hemp plant.

Counter-Argument: The alkaloids in cannabis may not relieve all medical symptoms. It is also thought that hemp speeds up the development of Alzheimer's disease so there is not significant medical promise in the hemp plant.

Degree of Support: Strong, the best counter is pretty off the wall.



d. Sub-argument: (27) - (29) --> (30)

Brief Summary: Coffee is a derivative of a plant just like hemp and it has active ingredients that make people happy just like hemp so drinking coffee is the same thing as smoking cannabis.

Counter-Argument: Coffee is a derivative of a plant just like hemp and it has active ingredients that make people happy just like hemp. But, those active ingredients are different and are in different amounts. In, addition, although both coffee and hemp are said to be stimulants, cannabis tends to make people tired. Therefore, drinking coffee and smoking cannabis are not the same thing.

Degree of Support: Nil, support is irrelevant and argument commits an equivocation fallacy



e. Sub-argument: [1c] (4) (30) (31) (45) --> (46)

Brief Summary: There is medical and industrial promise in the hemp plant. In addition, smoking cannabis is a moral act and the same thing as drinking coffee. Finally, what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes is nobody else’s business. Therefore hemp should be legalized.

Counter-Argument: There is medical and industrial promise in the hemp plant. However, the Bible says that smoking cannabis is imoral, so many people believe it is. Because America is a democracy, that majority of the people make the laws. Smoking cannabis is far from being the same thing as drinking coffee. Furthermore, people should never break the law, even if it is in their own homes. The purpose of the law is to protect people and if someone breaks any law it is possible that they may endanger themselves or someone else. Therefore, uses for medical and industrial hemp should be explored and possibly legalized but recreational marijuana use should remain unlawful.

Degree of Support: Weak, some premises were unsupported fallacies.



VI. Soundness; Overall Judgment

Internal Soundness

I. Sub-argument: (5) - (23) --> (4) Statement 4 is definitely true with moderate support. Therefore it is MODERATELY SOUND

II. Sub-argument: (2) (3) (24)+(25)+(26) (1) --> [1c] Statement 1c is 50/50 with nil support.

Therefore it is UNSOUND

III. Sub-argument: (32) - (44) --> (45) Statement 45 is definitely true with strong support.

Therefore it is SOUND

IV. Sub-argument: (27) - (29) --> (30) Statement 30 is definitely false with nil support.

Therefore it is UNSOUND

V. Sub-argument: [1c] (4) (30) (31) (45) --> (46) Statement 46 is 50/50 with weak support.

Therefore it is PROBABLY UNSOUND



Global Soundness

This argument is not globally sound in any way. The strongest part of the argument is that Cannabis should be legalized because of its medical benefits. This argument is obviously old because cannabis has been legalized in some states for medical use, and rightfully so. The author does present good evidence to support the legalization of medical marijuana, probably some of the same evidence that actually got it legalized. The next most plausible section of this argument was that hemp plants should be legalized to use in industry. Although the author gave some convincing premises, there were obviously holes in the argument and the shaky parts were left out, leaving that part of the argument only moderately sound. The two parts of his argument that failed miserably were that smoking cannabis is moral and that it’s the same thing as drinking coffee. The fallacies in this argument ended up costing it a lot. The more globally sound argument here would have been that alcohol has the same effects of cannabis. People who think drinking alcohol is moral sometimes drink alcohol to have a good time. The people who don’t think drinking alcohol is moral just don’t drink it. If smoking cannabis was legal, the same thing would happen. People who thought it was moral could partake and those who didn’t wouldn’t have to be involved. Cannabis use could be prohibited while driving, or before driving. There could be regulations, just as there are on alcohol. Some people may even prefer cannabis to alcohol because although it may damage your lungs it does not damage your liver.



In conclusion, this is not a very globally sound argument. While two of the sub-arguments were at least moderately sound, two were unsound. Because of the fallacies and the unsound sub-arguments, this argument, as a whole, is globally unsound.


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