The following appeared as part of a campaign statement for Velazquez, who is seeking election as alderman in the town of Barchester:
“Under Police Commissioner Draco, the city of Spartanburg began jailing people for committing petty crimes such as littering, shoplifting, and spraying graffiti. Criminals in Spartanburg must have understood that lawlessness would no longer be tolerated, because the following year Spartanburg saw a 20% drop in violent crimes such as homicide. Our town should learn from Commissioner Draco’s success, and begin a large-scale crackdown on petty crime.”
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.[/b]
The argument that the town of Barchester should learn from Commissioner Draco's success and begin a large scale crackdown on petty thefts has a valid premise underlying the conclusion. The author highlights the example of the city of Spartanburg which saw a 20% decline in violent crimes as a direct consequence of the city police crackdown under Police Commissioner Draco.
The author seeks to establish the fact that people often heed to warnings and restrain from unlawful activities when force is displayed against even the smallest occurrence of crime. This is often very true, as people get the idea that the law enforcement authorities are in no mood to tolerate crimes of any sort. The fact that the police is coming down forcefully on criminals, even in cases of petty thefts and shoplifting, serves as a silent warning to criminals engaged in more violent activities such as homicide. In other words, the police is trying to set an example and send out a message.
It is often seen that the highest rates of crime are observed in areas where law enforcement is weak. People take advantage of this weakness and exploit circumstances for their own benefit. In areas where the police cannot even apprehend criminals for petty thefts, shoplifting and spraying graffiti, violent crimes such as homicide and hit and run also increase as criminals gain confidence through the inabilities of the police. However, if there is strong willed leadership at the helm, and the police cracks down on petty criminals in an organized manner through force, it sends out a clear cut warning message to all types of criminals. In areas where this type of enforcement has been seen, crime rates are either low, or have shown a decline over a period of time.
Hence, in my opinion, the author's argument is quite valid and well reasoned and the conclusion he arrives at is fully justified. The author's argument can be further strengthened if more explicit details regarding the decline of all types of crime are stated. This would reinforce the idea that a determined police force, that exhibits zero tolerance towards crime through its nature of apprehending criminals, leads to a fall in the crime rate and sets a society on its course towards becoming a lawful state.
"Nuclear weapons are potentially more devastating than any other weapon in human history. We must stop pointing the nuclear gun at our own heads. The best way to lower the threat of nuclear war is for the nuclear capable nations, including the U.S., to lead by example and dismantle their own nuclear arsenals."
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the position stated above. Support your viewpoint using reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
It is often said that when you point a finger at someone, four point back towards you as well. To some extent, this concept can also be extended to guns and weapons. Even since the end of the World Wars, a silent cold war is brewing among the various countries of the world. Although, the formal Cold War between the USA and Russia has ended, nations still compete with each other in what is now called the arms race in order to be ready for an outbreak of war. As time passes by, technology improves and gives us newer weapons of mass destruction. The latest to have captured the imagination of the world are nuclear weapons.
History is witness to the devastation left behind by nuclear weapons. Only two nuclear or atom bombs have ever been practically used in actual warfare. Both were used during the Second World War when the United States bombed the Japanese towns of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although, the bombs completely devastated the two cities, their detrimental effects continue to this very day. Many survivors of the attack and their offspring still suffer from various fatal diseases such as cancer, as a result of direct exposure to the nuclear radiation.
In today's world, being a nuclear state is not just a status symbol. It is a strong message to one and all that the country cannot be messed around with. This can best be exemplified by the ongoing war of words between the United States and Iran. The latter is a small nation of the middle east while the former is arguably the most powerful nation in the world. But in today's world, where the concept of equality is fast evolving no nation wants to be seen down upon by anyone. Iran, led by a vitriolic leader, is leaving no stone unturned to demonstrate that it can match the nuclear arsenal possessed by the United States and is thus worthy of being noted as an equally capable state. However, as the number of nuclear weapons possessed by countries increases, so does the possibility of a nuclear war.
War has never benefited anyone. As Bertrand Russell once said, only what's left in war is right. The only far reaching consequences wars have had are the massive destruction they leave behind. Thus, in the interest of mankind in general, it is best that all nations control their production of nuclear arsenal, if not dismantle it altogether. It is justified then, when a country like the United States asks a country like Iran to dismantle its nuclear program and itself shows no intention of doing so. Powerful and wise nations should lead by example. The United States itself should stop any advancements in its nuclear program and dismantle its own nuclear arsenal before advising or directing any other nation to do so. Only then would this be viewed by the other side as a good suggestion rather than a hypocritical advice.
I fully agree with the position that nuclear capable nations should take the initiative in dismantling their own nuclear arsenal and then advising and helping other nations in the arms race to do the same. Although this would not eliminate the possibility of any war in the future, it would rid the world of the potential threat of a full scale nuclear war and thus lower the devastation mankind would have to face.