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Argumentative Critique of the Essay "A Case for Torture" by Micha...

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Argumentative Critique of the Essay "A Case for Torture" by Michael Levin.

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  • April 16, 2006
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"The Case for Torture" by Michael Levin, presents excellent justification for the use of torture in situations of extreme desperation. Levin gives great arguments for the use of torture through clever wording and great exemplification. In supplement to the already great argument, he provides potential counter-arguments and proves why they are invalid. It is made very clear that he believes that torture is morally mandatory and makes great effort to sway the opinion of readers, provided they keep an open mind. Levin presents a great argument and presents the ideas in an organized fashion, but as with many essays, it is not without flaw and could use some minor changes to make this great essay into a incredible essay.

The format of the introduction of Levin's essay is somewhat unusual. It begins with a few powerful statements, but the very first statement violates a rule of literature, inclusion of an unsupported fact. Levin says," It is generally assumed that torture is impermissible, a throwback to a more brutal age." Not only is the statement a generalization, he is saying that something is generally assumed, but he does not say whom it is assumed by. So who generally assumes it? It seems it is more of a mistake of wording because he is the one who is assuming that generally people think torture is wrong, therefore the essay should read that way because the last thing one should do is start off on the wrong foot.

The essay truly lacks any real lead-in or background. The essay just jumps right into the real issues without introducing them or explaining why it was even written in the first place. The reason for the essay is not the real issue though. The issue is that it lacks background because it doesn't appear that Levin is actually arguing against another point of view. Last I knew, an argument required two points of view to start with, but as I read the introduction it doesn't seem he has an opponent to win favor over. Without question it is obvious...