Essay topics: "Many lives might be saved if inoculations against cow flu were routinely administered to all people in areas where the disease is detected. However, since there is a small possibility that the person will die as a result of the inoculations, we cannot permit inoculations against cow flu to be routinely administered." -
Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.
There are quite a few inherent faults in the argument, the main premise of which is stated in a vague manner. Considering the fact that inoculations have been developed against this disease, cow flu is possibly a deadly disease or at least one which is sufficiently dangerous to humans. The argument itself says in its beginning that "many lives might be saved", if the inoculations were administered regularly. In such a case, saying that routine inoculations should be stopped just because there is a small chance that the person will die as a result of the inoculations is hasty & not well thought-out. The author should have realized that the pros clearly outweigh the cons. He should have made the statement a little less vague - by stating, if not explicitly, but with a slightly more definiteness, the exact possibility of a person dying as a result of the inoculations. Only then could he have stated whether it is worth putting the lives of a possibly huge number of people in danger by cancelling the inoculations.
Also, the author should have considered the case of the sections of the population who are uneducated, poor or possess insufficient information about the disease. In such cases, usually the only recourse is to administer routine inoculations since such people either don't know enough or don't care enough about the disease, to go out of their own volition to an inoculation center & get themselves inoculated. By putting up the reason of the "small" possibility of a person dying due to the inoculations, the author is basically condemning these people to their fate.
Another fact that the author should have stated more clearly, is the degree to which the disease is deadly or fatal. By doing so,he would have supplied evidence that would help in the evaluation of the argument, by considering whether ignoring the possibility of a person dying due to the inoculations is justified. If the disease turns out to be extremely deadly, ignoring that small possibility would undoubtedly help save a large number of lives. Also, the argument could be better evaluated.
Another faulty assumption that the author makes while stating the argument is that, after developing the inoculation or vaccine, the government or responsible body will not be able to find a way to improve the vaccine - hence reducing or completely removing the already small possibility of a person dying because of the inoculations. This assumption increases the vagueness of the argument & reduces its credibility.
Thus, as I have stated in the above points, the arguments contains a few inherent faults & assumptions that weaken it.
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