Argument Essay

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WHY SHOULD WE STUDY ARGUMENTS? I can think of two reasons. First, we should study them to glorify God. As the New Testament says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31). We use reasoning (arguments) frequently, it is something we do, so it follows that we should try to do a good job of it for God's glory. Second, we should study arguments so that we will become more effective people. If we can reason well, we are more likely to come up with good plans and proposals, we are less likely to be taken in by someone else's bad arguments, and we have a better chance of getting our ideas across. Note: This paragraph contains an argument. Can you identify it, analyze it, and evaluate it? In other words, can you recognize this (or any) argument when you encounter it, can you break it down into its various parts to see how it fits together, and can you determine whether this (or any) argument is a good one, worth paying attention to? ************************************************************************************** WHAT IS AN ARGUMENT, AND WHAT ARE ITS PARTS? An argument is the basic unit of reasoning. It consists of a set of statements in which one or more statements, called "premises," are offered in support of another statement, called the "conclusion." The simplest arguments have one premise offered in support of one conclusion. Example: "We should demolish that office building because the experts tell us it is not safe." From this example notice that a statement is not the same thing as a sentence. The argument given here consists of one sentence but two statements. The same argument can be recast in two sentences: The experts tell us that this office building is not safe. Therefore we should demolish it. Of course not all arguments are so simple. An argument may have any number of

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