Assignment: Refute one of the following controversial statements (your choice) using a reductio ad absurdum:

1. We should attack Iran with everything we've got, before they get nuclear weapons of their own.
2. The deliberate stimulation of one's own genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure  is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.
3. The current economic crisis is no concern of mine, because it has not significantly affected me or my family in any way.
4. Sending American jobs away to foreign maquilas and sweatshops is good for everyone since it gives us inexpensive merchandise and gives people in poor countries jobs.
5. In this world one can either be a brave wolf and take what one wants, or a cringing rabbit and get eaten by the wolves.  Life is either eat or get eaten--there is no other choice. 
6. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are of no concern to me, because these places are far away, and all those who are fighting over there are volunteers who are doing the job they are paid to do.

This refutation should consist of five parts:

1. State your thesis (i.e. that the argument you are refuting is absurd, ridiculous, or generally stupid].

2. Show your reasons or warrant why the proposal or argument is absurd.

3. If possible, give an absurd example of how this proposal applies, or would apply if accepted.

4.  Add an absurd imaginary analogy to increase the force of your refutation. [This would be just like...]

5.  Offer an alternative [Instead of arguing that ..., it would be much better to ...]


Assignment: Post this on the class CourseMine blog.   Follow the 3 rules of writing enforced in this course.

For educational purposes only.


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