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Explain in your own words why we need to refer to authorities to provide justifications for our beliefs. What are two problems that we may encounter when trying to justify our beliefs by referring to others.

Explain in your own words why we need to refer to authorities to provide justifications for our beliefs. What are two problems that we may encounter when trying to justify our beliefs by referring to others.

Short-Answer Questions

1. (1 pt.) Explain in your own words why we need to refer to authorities to provide justifications for our beliefs. What are two problems that we may encounter when trying to justify our beliefs by referring to others. 

2. (2 pts.) The following argument, drawn from our textbook, is a type of ad hominem argument. Put it in a standard ad hominem argument form as illustrated on p. 132 (what’s the conclusion? What are the premises?). After you do this, use the critical questions listed at the top of p. 133 to analyze its quality. Is it poor or good? 

[NOTE: as you probably noticed, our textbook is written by a Brit. Fox hunting was restricted in 2005. The House of Commons is similar to the U.S. House of Representatives.]

“It puzzles me that [those who oppose fox-hunting] should have singled out an activity in which animals and humans, working in happy companionship, are fully and magnificently alive, and in which no suffering occurs that is not part of nature’s due. Do the protesters trouble themselves, I wonder, over the factory farms, where pigs and chickens are grown like vegetables for the sake of their meat? One glance into these fermenting seas of misery would cure people of the illusion that they live on morally respectable terms with the rest of nature. … Many who shout and scream at the hunt happily eat the tortured limbs of battery chickens. … [Factory farmed pigs] are served in the House of Commons. And not one of those members who parade their tender conscience over fox-hunting has protested over the crime.”

3. (1 pt.) Ask a question to your classmates about either A) the reading itself or B) how to apply the ideas from the reading to everyday life.

Long-Answer Prompt

4. (2 pts.) Give an example from your personal experience (maybe from your friends/family or from a news article you heard/read) of either A) an argument from expert authority OR B) an argument from a position to know. Put it in standard form (using one of the argument forms presented in Sections 5.1 or 5.2) and evaluate it using the corresponding critical questions. 


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