“We might have accomplished something if we have been able to treat the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in a way similar to how we treat the damage on the nation's highways-by implementing practices and requirements that are directly related to results (as in the case of speed limit, safety belts, and the like, which took decades to accomplish in the cause of auto safety)-rather than by throwing the nation into a near panic and using the resulting fears to justify expensive but not necessarily effective or even relevant measures.” Premise: If we have been able to treat the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in a way similar to how we treat the damage on the nation’s highways. Conclusion: By treating the terrorist the same way we treat our highways we might have accomplished something. Do the premises sufficiently support the conclusions?
The stated premises support the conclusion.
Are the arguments either deductively valid or inductively strong, or are they invalid or weak? The argument is weak. The method cannot be proven to work.
Are the premises true or plausibly true, or are they difficult to prove? The premise is plausibly true. It is possible that the method is true.
“But does the sheer size of the loss of life warrants the reaction we saw? Clearly sheer numbers do not always impress us. It is unlikely, for example, that many Americans remember that earlier in 2001, an earthquake in Gujarat, India, killed approximately 20,000 people. One might explain the difference in reaction by saying that we naturally respond more strongly to the deaths of Americans closer to home than to those of others halfway around the world. But then consider the fact that, every month during 2001 more Americans were killed in automobile crashes than were killed on 9/11 (and it has continued every month since as well). Since the victims of car accidents come from every geographical area and every social stratum, one can say that those deaths are even...