Controlling Irrational Fears After 9/11
The premise for the author's argument is that America's high level of panic after 9/11 was actually excessive in relation to the number of deaths. The conclusion is that Americans actually aided the success of the terrorists by giving in to their desire to shake us up so badly.
The author's second premise is that our country's misguided response to 9/11 was to start throwing money around in the hope of preventing further attacks. The conclusion is that the random and inefficient way in which we spent would have little effect in the war against terror.
1. The first argument's premises do validate the conclusion. The author supports his claim with the statistics on other types of causes of death, and by commenting on the milder way we react to them.
The author has a difficult time supporting, and ultimately doesn't prove, his second argument. To support the argument he only focuses on general opinions and anecdotes instead of the many details he provided for the first argument. He discusses how annoying the new antiterrorism procedures are and how much money we've wasted on them, but can't document that they are really useless.
2. The first argument is inductively strong. The author's contention is true: if we agree that America overreacted to 9/11, then it probable that, unfortunately, we did help the terrorists succeed in frightening us to an irrational level.
The second argument is much flimsier than the author's first, and is invalid and weak. No statistics or explanations are given to prove that the money spent right after 9/11 s has not helped prevent further attacks. Actually the argument would be almost impossible to prove, for anyone, because it's so difficult to prove that just because you lock the door of your house, that's the reason you are never robbed. It might be that the money you spent on a good lock helps, or it could be that your neighborhood watch prevents thefts, or...
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