Characters response meets the challenge of argument

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Read the following dialogues. In each one, the first character gives an argument and the second character responds to it. Find those cases in which the second character's response meets the challenge of argument and indicate that it does and explain how. Find those cases in which the second character's response does not meet this challenge and indicate that it does not. Then reconstruct the arguemnt so that it does meet the challenge. In each case, explain the basis for your answer. Assess each dialogue for the ARG.

Submit your paper in essay format: intro, assessments and reconstructions, conclusion.

1. Jim: A mediator should be completely neutral between the two parties in a dispute. If he or she is on the side of either party, the process will be unfair to the other party. In addition, the disadvantaged party will probably detect the lack of neutrality and then the mediation won't work. Neutrality is probably the most essential of all qualities for a mediator to have. And because the United States is the world's only superpower, it will never be perceived as neutral. The idea that the United States can go in and mediate in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is completely stupid!

Roger: I don't think so. It's the one country capable of bringing pressure on both sides, and that's the most fundamental thing.

2. Steve: I would never let myself be hypnotized by anyone, for any reason. Peter: Why not?

Steve: Too much is at stake. I just don't trust anyone that much. When you let somebody hypnotize you, they are getting right inside your mind, and they have a lot of potential to control you. Hypnosis is dangerous because it opens your mind to too much outside influence.

Peter: I can see what you mean but I don't know; hypnosis helped me a lot when I was quitting smoking. I used it once for dental work too, and it was great.

3. Nicholas: Legislation compelling children to wear helmets when they are riding their bikes is really a good thing. The latest statistics from the Canadian Institute for Health Information show that hospitalizations due to cycling-related injuries decreased by 12.5 percent between 1997 and '98 and 2001 and '02, and during the same period, head injuries decreased by 26 percent. Helmet laws really work.

Kaitlyn: That's great news. But I wonder whether these declines are actually the result of the legislation. I mean, it could be that people are cycling less, or that public education campaigns about helmets are helping more than the actual legislation.

Note: The evidence described by Nicholas was publicized in the Globe and Mail for March 26, 2003.

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