why should governments put an end to travesty immediately

Consider the following passage:
If Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites were invisible, then they would be a wonderful tool
that should be supported by governments around the world. But they are not invisible:
their solar panels catch more light than expected and they fill the night sky like
garbage in a river. Governments should put an end to this travesty immediately.
(a) Standardise or diagram the argument
(b) State the form (eg affirming the necessary condition) of any conditional arguments
(c) State whether each conditional argument is valid or invalid

Attachments:Pages: 6
Questions: 7
XBR105 Good Thinking
Take-Home Exam
Semester 1, 2020
Instructions:
 You should answer all SEVEN (7) questions.
 Questions carry the marks indicated in brackets in bold to their right [like this].
 There are ONE HUNDRED (100) marks in total.
 This exam is worth 40% of your final grade.
 This exam is due 4pm Monday 15 June.
 NB: As this is an exam, the COVID-19 5-day extension does not apply.
 Late submissions will not be accepted without prior permission from the Unit
Coordinator.
 Put your answers into a single document and submit it using the MyLO Assignment tool.
 No cover sheet is necessary – just put your student number somewhere on the first page.
XBR105 Good Thinking: Reasoning Skills for Life -2-
Question 1: [10 marks]
Consider the following passage:
If Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites were invisible, then they would be a wonderful tool
that should be supported by governments around the world. But they are not invisible:
their solar panels catch more light than expected and they fill the night sky like
garbage in a river. Governments should put an end to this travesty immediately.
(a) Standardise or diagram the argument
(b) State the form (eg affirming the necessary condition) of any conditional arguments
(c) State whether each conditional argument is valid or invalid
Question 2: [10 marks]
Consider the following analogical argument:
I do not allow my dog to run around the neighbourhood at night getting into trouble,
so why shouldn’t I enforce an 8pm curfew on my 16 year old daughter? I am
responsible for keeping both my dog and my daughter safe, as well as responsible for
what either of them might do when they are out. The right thing to do is to keep them
both home in evenings, where I know what they are doing.
(a) What is the subject of the analogy?
(b) What is the analogue?
(c) What are the known similarities?
(d) What is the property being analogically extended?
(e) How might the argument be criticised? (Answer in a paragraph or two)
Question 3: [10 marks]
It has recently been reported that owning a horse for recreational purposes is correlated
strongly with significantly longer than expected life-expectancy for the owner.
Does this mean that if I go and buy myself a horse tomorrow it is likely this will improve my
chances of living for longer than I otherwise would? Explain your answer and name any
statistical reasoning concepts that you think might be at play here.
(As a rough guide, it is expected your answer will consist of 1-3 paragraphs.)
Continued…
XBR105 Good Thinking: Reasoning Skills for Life -3-
Question 4: [10 marks]
A University cafeteria offers students a $10 lunch. For food, the students can choose either
burgers or sushi, and drink they can choose either coke or lemonade. Last week the cafeteria
sold 100 lunches and recorded the following choices made by the students:
Coke Lemonade
Burgers 40 20
Sushi 10 30
Based on these numbers, do you think that the student’s choice of food is independent from
their choice of drink? Explain your reasoning.
(As a rough guide, it is expected your answer will consist of 1-3 paragraphs.)
Question 5: [10 marks]
A researcher is interested in estimating how many University of Tasmanian students have
downloaded the Government’s COVID-SAFE app onto their mobile phones. They are
considering two approaches to gathering the relevant data:
Option A: Stand outside the University libraries and interview students as they come out. Do
this until you have interviewed 50 students.
Option B: Choose a single first-year unit (such as Good Thinking XBR105!) and email the
first 50 students on the class list.
Which of these options do you think will be most effective? Give a reason for your choice
and explain how the option you choose could be further improved.
(As a rough guide, it is expected your answer will consist of 1-3 paragraphs.)
Continued…
XBR105 Good Thinking: Reasoning Skills for Life -4-
Question 6: [10 marks]
A local high-school athletics teacher wishes to find the fastest 5 girls in the school to enter
into the inter-school swimming championship. They do this, by timing every girl in the
school to swim 100m. From this they select the 5 girls with the best time.
On the day of the inter-school championships they are rather disappointed that their elite
group of 5 girls doesn’t perform particularly well. In fact, several of the girls record a time
that is much slower than the time they recorded previously.
Why was this a bad way of choosing the best girls to enter into the championships? What
statistical concept is relevant here? Explain your answer in detail.
(As a rough guide, it is expected your answer will consist of 1-3 paragraphs.)
Continued…
XBR105 Good Thinking: Reasoning Skills for Life -5-
Question 7: [40 marks]
After reading the argument on the next page, called “Lift the Ban” (which I cobbled together
from real arguments I found on the web), do the following:
(a) Provide a brief summary of the main argument(s) presented in the article. Remember,
you are summarising the argument, not the article: a summary will indicate, at the
very least, the argument’s main conclusion and the main reasons given for that
conclusion (see Chapter 5 of the studyguide for details of summarising an argument).
A standardisation is not required, but you can give one if you wish.
(b) In around 400 words (and no more than 1000), provide an evaluation of the argument.
Are the inferences valid/strong? Are the premises acceptable? Have any fallacies been
committed? Make use of any of the tools from the unit that you think are appropriate.
Don’t get bogged down in discussions of the premises of the arguments—that, after
all was not the focus of this unit. If you disagree with a premise, then by all means
point this out, but don’t spend all your time discussing that. You should spend at least
equal time on the strength of the inferences—how good would the argument be if you
assumed that the premises were true?
To give you an idea of the kind of thing that I am looking for in part (b), take a look at the
analysis of the text “Why Beazley should be given a go with the jigsaw puzzle” in Chapter 10
of the study guide. Given your word limit, however, you will not be able to be quite so
comprehensive as the example. Focus on the points that you feel are most important for your
conclusions.
Continued…
XBR105 Good Thinking: Reasoning Skills for Life -6-
Lift the Ban
It is time to lift the ban on performance enhancing drugs in sport. Elite athletes have always
done everything in their power to improve their performance, and the ban simply gets in their
way.
Defenders of the ban on performance enhancing drugs often justify their position by arguing
that these drugs harm the athletes who take them. But even if it is true that these drugs can be
harmful, athletes have a right to make up their own minds about whether they are willing to
take this risk, they should not have a ban forced down their throats. We have no problem with
athletes risking other kinds of harm for their sport (injuries, dehydration, time away from
loved ones), so why should we treat the harm of performance enhancing drugs any
differently?
A second rationale for banning drugs in sport is that the doped athlete gains an unfair
advantage by enhancing himself with the use of prohibited drugs. However, high
performance sport of today is not fair in itself. The unequal financial background of the
athletes together with the unequal access to new training methods and modern equipment and
facilities places an inherent inequality on modern day sport. If we were really concerned with
fairness in sport, then we would have to restrict the kinds of equipment and facilities that
athletes could use for training and competing, or make them available to all. Lifting the ban
on doping would actually make sport fairer, since performance enhancing drugs would
become cheaper and hence accessible to a broader selection of people.
What is more, all the top athletes are taking performance enhancing drugs, so the ban is
pointless. Consider Australian race-walker, and “clean competition” advocate Jared Tallent.
He is an avid campaigner against drugs in sport, saying that he has been “robbed” of victories
numerous times. But he has won many competitions, and is a four-time Olympic medallist.
So, if taking drugs makes you significantly more likely to win, he must be taking drugs
himself.
The ban on drugs in sport is like the absolute prohibition of prostitution, alcohol and
recreational drugs. All of these prohibitions have failed. The only policies that work are
harm-reduction strategies. Rather than banning drugs in sport, we should educate athletes
about the risks they pose, and then ensure that high quality drugs are available for those
athletes who choose to use them.
Elite athletics matter to us because we want to explore the limits of human endeavour. How
fast can we run? How high can we jump? We can’t answer these questions if we introduce
arbitrary restrictions on the means athletes can use to explore those limits.
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