Univ1212: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Semester: spring 2013/2014 Instructor: lisa marie hibbard



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UNIV1212: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Semester: spring 2013/2014

Instructor: LISA MARIE HIBBARD

Section 211


Name : REHAM ALZAHRANI


ID: 201200340

Assignment 4: Comparing and Contrasting Arguments


(Individual Work = 20%)




To Ban or Not to Ban Smoking in Public Areas

Introduction

Should smoking be banned in public areas or not? Smoking in public areas has become a big issue in recent years. Many people are up in arms about the subject and people on both sides of the argument feel that the subject is unfair. Banning smoking in public places is arguably unfair to smokers and takes away from their freedom; on the other hand, not banning it is unfair to the nonsmokers and puts their health in danger making it unsafe for them to go to public places where there are smokers. In the two essays provided, the two authors discuss their very different points of view on whether smoking in public should be banned or not. In the first essay, the author argues against banning smoking in public places with a tone that aims to put his philosophy of smoking above any other. However, in the second essay, the author approaches the topic differently, explaining reasons for banning smoking. Although he is defensive in reaction to others criticizing his choices to not smoke in public, he does not put his method above that of others, but simply wants to justify it. Despite the fact that the two authors discuss the same topic in their essays and both use evocative methods of writing to support their argument, they do so using very different viewpoints and attitudes towards the topic. This report will compare and contrast the two essays stating the reasons given in both essays, their argument types and fallacies.



Arguments against banning smoking in public

In the first essay, the author provided reasons against banning smoking in public areas. He claims that many public places, like schools, provide  designated smoking areas far enough away from the building so that the cigarette smoke will not affect the nonsmokers. The fallacy here is that the author depended on a sweeping claim by using the word “many”. Furthermore, the author jumps into the conclusion that cigarette smoke will not affect nonsmokers. In fact, smoke from designated smoking areas easily moves from the smoking areas to areas in a venue where smoking is not allowed. Air quality studies in Beijing show that places with designated smoking areas had more than twice the amount of pessay pollution than restaurants with 100% smoke-free policies ( CMU, 2008).



The author mentioned that employees who smoke at work places do so because of stressful situations and if smoking is not allowed at work, then the employees will be less productive. Here, the fallacy is that the author is begging the question by asking the reader to simply accept the conclusion without providing real evidence. In fact, there are other reasons for productivity level at work. Stoller (1994) conducted a study on the productivity level of both smokers and non-smokers at the work place. The results of our study show that former smokers and never smokers may indeed be more productive than current smokers.

The author used the effects of a ban on smoking in public places on bars, pubs and clubs. He stated that Smokers would not go to these places if smoking isn’t allowed and these businesses would earn less money from selling tobacco. Although the author here is using logic, he is missing the point. The argument is about the effects banning smoking on smokers and non-smokers and not on businesses.



If smoking in public places is banned, this would encourage people to smoke more at home and this will harm other people in their house, particularly children. The author here used logical analysis which sounds fair, but here he is using a slippery slope fallacy. He also mentioned that people smoking at home may drink more alcohol than they would if they went to a bar. Here he is using weak analogy by connecting smoking to drinking.  Although drinking and smoking are both addictive, they aren’t really alike in the relevant respects. Moreover, not all smokers are drinkers.

Giving another reason, the author stated that Smokers fund their own healthcare through the high taxes they pay on tobacco. Then he claims that heavy smokers are unlikely to give up since they are addicted to nicotine. The fallacy here is red herring . The author went off on a tangent—the fact that smokers are unlikely to quit. The author assumes that readers will be distracted from the fact that he has not given any evidence as to why this would be fair.

The other reason given is that it would be impossible to ban smoking in many public places anyway. The author here is appealing to ignorance. His point lacks evidence and he draws a conclusion from that lack of evidence.

Arguments for banning smoking in public areas

The authors first reason is that secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart and lung diseases. The author depended examples and numbers from previous studies to prove his point but didn’t provide reference.

The second reason is the effect of secondhand smoking on children’s health. Again the author depended on results and numbers from previous studies to prove his point.
            The author’s main reason to ban smoking in public areas is because the smoke does not remain solely in the smoking area and spreads around. The author here used the example of a drop of color in water. The fallacy here is using weak analogy by comparing liquid to smoke which don’t have the same qualities. It is true that liquid and smoke spread around but it’s ridiculous to think of smoke as liquid.

In another reason the author mentioned that everyone is aware of the unpleasant smell associated with smoking. The author here uses a sweeping claim by using the word “everyone”. This broad claim needs proof.

The author claims that allowing smoking in public places puts everyone there in risk of injury by fire. He is using analogy in connecting cigarettes with fire which seems logical but needs support by examples.

Comparison between the two essays

Both essays used weak analogy. The author in the first essay connected drinking to smoking and the author in the second essay connected smoke to water. Moreover, both depended on conclusions from generalizations. For example, in the first essay, he author stated that many public places, like schools, provide  designated smoking areas far enough away from the building. In the second essay the author claims that that everyone is aware of the unpleasant smell associated with smoking.


Contrast between the two essays

In the two essays the authors discuss their very different points of view on whether smoking in public should be banned or not. In the first essay, the author argues against banning smoking in public places with a tone that aims to put his philosophy of smoking above any other with no support from examples or studies. However, in the second essay, the author approaches the topic differently, explaining his own reasons for banning smoking by including numbers and case studies and examples. the speeches are similar because they both use powerful diction, tone, and argumentative methods to draw on their audience’s emotions and religious fervor to call them to action



Conclusion

In conclusion, the two essays come from entirely different points of view on whether smoking should be banned in public places or not. Both essays have strong arguments. This is definitely a hot topic. The first essay is strong in mentioning that smokers do have a right to their freedom. however the second essay is stronger in stating that non-smokers have a right to be able to remain in a smoke free environment and have freedom from secondhand smoke. I personally think that the second essay is more persuasive as it discusses health risks and well being issues which are considered a high priority to human beings.

References

CMU, (2008). Fine Pessays Density monitoring research on the air in six types of Places in Beijing. Beijing: Capital medical University, 2008.

Stoller, K.S.(1994). Economic effects of insomnia. Clin Ther 16. 873–897

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