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Argument

I. FIRST STEP: EXAMINE THE STATEMENT OF THE CONCLUSION A. State your conclusion in simple language. Sort out the type of concepts used in the conclusion (analytic, empirical, evaluative, fictitious, etc.) Conclusion: Capital punishment should be abolished. The statement of the conclusion is simple and uncomplicated. The term capital punishment is an abstract term that is very controversial in terms of its impact on the lives of certain people. The term abolish is a prescriptive term, while the term should signals the statement to be evaluative in the form of a legal proposal. B. Please define the key terms in your conclusion using the technique of analytic definition so that you can have common frame of reference. Pay close attention to what can be taken as vague or ambiguous terms. Two terms must be defined: 1.Capital punishment is the legal infliction of death as a penalty for violating criminal law. 2.To abolish capital punishment means to to put an end to its implementation in accordance with the law. C. Can there be agreement in the meaning (or use) of the terms? Or the very definition of the term is biased, hence controversial? The meanings of the terms capital punishment and abolish are not biased, hence theyre meanings are not controversial. They are neither vague nor ambiguous so there can be agreement in the use of the terms.

II. SECOND STEP: ANALYSIS OF THE CLAIM OF THE CONCLUSION A. Please classify the conclusion into types of knwowledge claims, viz., analytic, empirical, or eveluative. Is it a legal or policy proposal? is the claim of the conclusion controversial? The claim of the conclusion capital punishment should be abolished is obviously a legal proposal. The abolition of capital punishment is very controversial in the Philippine context. Throughout history, many nations have sanctioned the use of capital punishment. In the late 20th century, some countries abolished the death penalty, imposing life sentences instead. The death penalty is imposed in the country, but the practice has long been controversial, because of the strong opposition of the Catholic church as well as non-government organizations. B. What is the conclusion trying to prove? What is the required proof or evidence to justify the claim of the conclusion? You cannot answer these questions unless you have classified the knowledge claim that your conclusion is asserting. Let me detail the steps below. The claim of the conclusion is a legal proposal. 1. If the conclusion is an empirical generalization, we have an ascending degree of generalization beginning from some, a few, many, most, almost all, and all, you can appeal to the required evidence supporting different levels of generalizations. Not applicable. 2. If the conclusion is an evaluative claim (like religious, aesthetic, political or moral claims), we can appeal to the strength of the inter-subjective consensus or public acceptability that can justify the claim?

Not readily applicable. 3. If the conclusion is a legal or a policy proposal, you can appeal to the beneficial consequences, if the proposal is implemented. Or you can harp on the aversive consequences, if the proposal is not implemented. This is the best way to justify a legal or policy proposal. The conclusion is a legal proposal. Legal and policy proposals are justified teleologicallythat is in terms of the beneficial consequence of implementing the proposal and aversive consequences of not implementing the proposal. 4. Try to detremine if the claik of the conclusion is in the realm of the known, knowable, or unknowable? If the claim is in the known and knowable, then it is provable. If the claim is unknowable, then it is unprovable, and you can stop using the template. However if the claim is provable, then try to determine if the evidence can be produced in fact or in principle? The claim of the conclusion is in the realm of the known and therefore provable. Hence, the evidence can be produced in fact.

III. THIRD STEP: COMPOSE THE ARGUMENT Conclusion: Capital punishment should be abolished. Premise set: 1.Capital punishment is killing, as such, its implementation is wrong because it means taking a persons life arbitrarily and is a blatant violation of human rights as stated in the Universal Declaration of Rights. 2.It is biased against the poor under our justice system. 3.If it is abolished, then the possibility of rehabilitation of those found guilty of crimes is

increased. 4.If it is abolished, then crime rate would increase since nothing will deter people form committing crimes, although studies have shown that it is not a deterrent to crime.

IV. FOURTH STEP: CRICIZE THE ARGUMENT A. Scrutinize The Conclusion 1. Please re-examine the way the conclusion was written. Is the statement of the conclusion biased? Is the definitoion of the key terms neutral and acceptable? Or is it controversial? Is there a need to revise the statement of the conclusion? There is no need to revise the statement of the conclusion since it is simple and uncomplicated enough. The meanings of the words are neither bias nor controversial. 2. next, re-examine the claim of the conclusion: If it is an empirical generalization, then challenge t by demanding the required evidence for many, most or all claim in the premises set. If the required evidence for the dgeneralization was not offered in the premise set, then reject the argument as pure guess work. Not applicable. 3. The quickest way o demolish an empirical argument is to confront the cfonclusion and prove it to be false or at least improbable by produing counter-examples. If the claim is all, reject the conclusion by a counter-example; if the claim is most, produce as many counter examples as you can. Not applicable. 4. Now, if the conclusion is an evaluative claim, challenge it by demanding the requyired evidence for a strong inter-subjective consensus. If this evidence was not offered in the premises, reject the argument as fallacious - irrelevant reason.

The conclusion is making an evaluative claim in the from of a egal proposal. Abolishing capital punishment have the required strength of inter-subjective consensus in a predominantly Catholic population, however the government remains steadfast on the implementation of capital punishment. 5. You know that the quickest way to demolish an evaluative argument is to confront the evaluative conclusion and show that it is contary to certain moral principle that is supported by very strng public acceptance and approval. Abolishing capital punishment enjoy public acceptance and approval and is apparently supported by the moral principles taught by the Catholic church. It is said that killing is a mortal sin and only God can take away a persons life. However, being a legal proposal, skeptics can appeal to the beneficial consequences as well as aversive consequences that can be avoided by not abolishing capital punishment which may override the moral principle. 6. Finally, if the conclusion is proposing a legal or policy proposal, challenge the estimate of the probability of the anticipated beneficial as well as aversive consequences. The conclusion is a legal proposal and hence susceptible to the challenge of demanding solid evidence for the anticipated beneficial consequences if abolished and the predicted avoidance of aversive consequences if the proposal is not abolished.

B. Scrutinize The Premise Set: 1. Please check if there are dulications in the premises? If there are, merge the redundant premises into one. There are no duplications in the premise set. 2. You have to clasify the assortment of your premises into types of knowledge claims,

either empirical, evaluative or even analytic. The first premise is an evaluative claim, while the rest of the premises supporting the conclusion are empirical claims. 3. Are there inconsistent or contradictory premises? There are no inconsistent or contradictory premises. 4. Make a tentative estimate of the strength of the argument by ranking the strength of the support offered by each and every premise. Which premise, if true or acceptable, provides the strongest support to the claim of the conclusion? Is the argument persuasive? That is to say likely to be accepted by the target audience. Premise 1, 2, and 3 give strong support to the conclusion capital punishment should be abolished. If abolished, the beneficial consequences are Premise 1 criminals would be given their right to life, (despite being sentenced to life, at least their lives were not taken arbitrarily,) thus theyll be given the chance of Premise 3 rehabilitation. Moreover, Premise 2 implies that the poor will be served justice and not be victims of the system. On the other hand, Premise 4 offers the least support. If the argument of these beneficial consequences is not challenged, then the argument is quite strong and persuasive. 5. You have to determine if the premises offered are all necessary to prove the conclusion. Is there a premise that offers little or no support? All the premises are necessary, except Premise 4 which offers little support. 6. If all the premises are necessary to prove the claim of the conclusion, the next question to ask is: Is the premise set sufficient to establish claim of the conclusion without additional premise(s). You have to demonstrate that the premise set is not sufficient to establish the claim of the conclusion by claiming that the premise set is very inadequate to prove what is wanted.

The premise set is not sufficient to prove the claim of the conclusion because the predicted consequences seem unlikely to happen. In any case, the predictions of the consequences were not supported by evidence. 7. try to determine if there is an important premise missing in the set. This premise must be produced. If you can do this, you have succeeded in weakening the argument. An important evidence missing in the premise set is the experience of other countries in abolishing capital punishment where it could be demonstrated that the anticipated consequences whether beneficial or aversive obtained. Without this evidence the anticipated consequence is pure speculation and cannot be accepted. 8. Are the evaluative or moral premises supported by a strong inter-subjecftive consensus or public approval? Demonstrate that it does not have such support. Or you can offer another moral/evaluative premise4 that is inconsistent with the evaluative premise offered? Premise 1 is an evaluative claim and enjoys strong inter-subjective consensus in a predominantly Catholic population, while the other premises are all empirical claims. 9. Are there empirical generalizatrions in the premises? Challenge them by demanding for the required evidence for each level of generalizations beginning fron many, most, almost all and all. Not applicable. a. You know that generalizations can be challenged by citing that the observed cases are not representative of the populatiuon or that the sample is not large enough, hence the fallacy of hasty generalization is made. Not applicable. b. Another tactic is to demonstrate that the observed cases are biased because they were

not observed in every possible variety of time, place and circumstance and that a thorough search for counter examples was not done. Not applicable. c. Then, to clinch your point, produce the counter example. Caution: a vounter example applies only to an all claim; but very few are aware of this. You could use this to your advantage. In contrast, to challenge a most claim you need many counter examples. Not applicable. 10. In a legal or policy proposal criticize the estimate of the probabilities of the occurence of both beneficial and aversive consequence. Or give counter examles with a opposite consequence than those predicted. Predictions of this sort ofetentimes are not grounde on empirical data. Harp on this weakness. If you can succeed in doing either, you can reject the argument as a non sequitur. The projected consequences whether beneficial or aversive in the premises are all wishful thinking. The best way to demonstrate that the projected consequences are likely to occur would be to draw from the experiences of other countries that abolished capital punishment. Unfortunately, these data were not produced. The support needed by a legal proposal has been destroyed. 11. You have to demonstrate that the premise et is inadequate because it did not offer the best reason (or evidence) to support the conclusion. then you have to produce the best reason. Remember arguments would dramatically improve its strength with the addition of a novel premise. The premise set is inadequate because it did not offer any empirical evidence to support the probability of the occurrence of the predicted consequences. What is needed is hard data from the experience of other countries that abolished death penalty would

dramatically improve the strength of the argument. 12. You are now ready to demonstrate that the premise set failed to prove or justify the conclusion, by challenging the premises one by one beginning with the premise(s) that offered the strongest support. Premise 1 states a universal truth, however although the execution of a murderer does not provide full justice for the victim, it is the closest pursuit of justice that would be allowed by the moral sensibilities of most people. Without.the use of death penalty for murder, the injustice against the murder victim continues and increases with time until the murderer eventually dies. Premise 2 implies that our justice system is not fair or just, thus creating another set of issues. Premise 3 predicts that if capital punishment is abolished, those who were found guilty will have the opportunity to repent, to change themselves for the better, however this would not provide the peace of mind for many victims and their families. Moreover, Rehabilitating these criminals will only add to the government's burden of supporting them, through food, prison houses, etc. Furthermore, this premise only states a chance, a maybe, a perhaps, not an empirical truth. Premise 4 claims that abolishing capital punishment would contribute to the increase of crime rate, although it has a rejoinder that capital punishment does not really deter crimes. Deterrence, prevention and effectivity are the main reasons why capital punishment is implemented thus if it is abolished, then nothing will deter or prevent criminals from committing crimes.

The Counter-Argument

I. FIRST STEP: EXAMINE THE STATEMENT OF THE CONCLUSION A. State your conclusion in simple language. Sort out the type of concepts used in the conclusion (analytic, empirical, evaluative, fictitious, etc.) Conclusion: Capital punishment should be abolished. The statement of the conclusion is simple and uncomplicated. The term capital punishment is an abstract term that is very controversial in terms of its impact on the lives of certain people. The term abolish is a prescriptive term, while the term not is merely used to negate the statement, and the term should signals the statement to be evaluative in the form of a legal proposal. B. Please define the key terms in your conclusion using the technique of analytic definition so that you can have common frame of reference. Pay close attention to what can be taken as vague or ambiguous terms. Two terms must be defined: 1.Capital punishment is the legal infliction of death as a penalty for violating criminal law. 2.To abolish capital punishment means to to put an end to its implementation in accordance with the law. C. Can there be agreement in the meaning (or use) of the terms? Or the very definition of the term is biased, hence controversial? The meanings of the terms capital punishment and abolish are not biased, hence theyre meanings are not controversial. They are neither vague nor ambiguous so there can be agreement in the use of the terms.

II. SECOND STEP: ANALYSIS OF THE CLAIM OF THE CONCLUSION A. Please classify the conclusion into types of knwowledge claims, viz., analytic, empirical, or eveluative. Is it a legal or policy proposal? is the claim of the conclusion controversial? The claim of the conclusion capital punishment should be abolished is obviously a legal proposal. The abolition of capital punishment is very controversial in the Philippine context. Throughout history, many nations have sanctioned the use of capital punishment. In the late 20th century, some countries abolished the death penalty, imposing life sentences instead. The death penalty is imposed in the country, but the practice has long been controversial, because of the strong opposition of the Catholic church as well as non-government organizations. B. What is the conclusion trying to prove? What is the required proof or evidence to justify the claim of the conclusion? You cannot answer these questions unless you have classified the knowledge claim that your conclusion is asserting. Let me detail the steps below. The claim of the conclusion is a legal proposal. 1. If the conclusion is an empirical generalization, we have an ascending degree of generalization beginning from some, a few, many, most, almost all, and all, you can appeal to the required evidence supporting different levels of generalizations. Not applicable. 2. If the conclusion is an evaluative claim (like religious, aesthetic, political or moral claims), we can appeal to the strength of the inter-subjective consensus or public acceptability that can justify the claim?

Not readily applicable. 3. If the conclusion is a legal or a policy proposal, you can appeal to the beneficial consequences, if the proposal is implemented. Or you can harp on the aversive consequences, if the proposal is not implemented. This is the best way to justify a legal or policy proposal. The conclusion is a legal proposal. Legal and policy proposals are justified teleologicallythat is in terms of the beneficial consequence of implementing the proposal and aversive consequences of not implementing the proposal. 4. Try to detremine if the claik of the conclusion is in the realm of the known, knowable, or unknowable? If the claim is in the known and knowable, then it is provable. If the claim is unknowable, then it is unprovable, and you can stop using the template. However if the claim is provable, then try to determine if the evidence can be produced in fact or in principle? The claim of the conclusion is in the realm of the known and therefore provable. Hence, the evidence can be produced in fact.

III. THIRD STEP: COMPOSE THE COUNTER-ARGUMENT Conclusion: Capital punishment should not be abolished. Premise set: 1.People committing the most heinous crimes have forfeited their right to life, thus capital punishment should not be abolished. 2.It shows how seriuosly society looks at the most heinuos crimes and show the greatest respect for the ordinary man's, and especially the victim's, inviolable value. 3.It provides peace of mind for many victims and their families, as well as a way of

balancing justice to a limited degree for the crime committed.. 4.It deters people from committing crimes, and prevents offenders from going back to society.

VI. SIXTH STEP: EVALUATE BOTH ARGUMENTS As a critical thinker please state which of your arguments is stronger - the original or the counter argument? Which argument is more persuasive? That is to say, likely to be accepted by the target audience. Can you strengthen the weaker argument by adding, altering and/or modifying the premises? This is the opportunity tro evaluate your counter argument by following the steps in IV. This is the second level of your training in hastening the development of your meta cognitive skills. Imagine evaluating the strength of your original argument and counter- argument. The counter argument is stronger because it upholds the rule of law by discouraging vigilantism or self-help on the part of the victim's family or friends. If not controlled, such self-help can lead to extremely destructive vendettas or blood feuds. Just as the virtuous deserve reward proportionate to their good deeds, so too the vicious deserve punishment proportionate to their bad deeds. Moreover, it is less cruel than prolongefd sentences of imprisonment, especially under the conditions that would be popularly deamnded for heinuos crimes. In order to strengthen the original argument, empirical data from other countries which abolished capital punidhment should be offered. Especially their beneficial consequences like protection of the public, diminishing the crime rate, and upholding the rule of law. Without these data, the original argument is weaker.