Critical Analysis Chapter 3: What are the Value Assumptions and Conflicts?

For the assigned passage(s), identify the conclusion (thesis) and reasons that make up the argument. Also identify any unstated value assumptions you can detect here. Remember, for a reason to support a thesis, a value assumption of some kind must also be true. After identifying that value at work, identify the value conflict as well. Please type your answers and use complete sentences, not simply phrases or single words, in all segments of your answers. Also, avoid quoting full sentences. Paraphrase instead.

Passage 1:

Some members of society receive outrageous sums of money each year. Athletes, entertainers, and executives receive incomes that most of us can hardly imagine. At the same time, in the same country, other people are unable to heat their homes, afford nutritious meals, or finance an automobile. No one should be allowed to make a salary that is 100 times larger than that of the average person.

Passage 2:

For most people, college is a waste of time and money. One does not need schools to learn. If you go to college to make it possible to earn more money, you have been had. More than half of those who earn more than $25,000 never received a college diploma. What you do learn is college is rarely useful on the job. Most of you would be better off saving part of the money you earn while your naïve friends are in college.

Passage 3:

Depressed? Take an antidepressant. That’s a solution offered to way too many of our children and adolescents, and for some, it’s a killer recommendation. Recent studies suggest that there are at least 3 million children suffering from depression in the United States. Despite concerns that have been raised, doctors have been prescribing alarming numbers of antidepressants, such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft. And some of these kids are responding to the drugs with the urge to kill. Kip Kinkel was taking Prozac when he killed his parents and killed two other students at a high school in Oregon. Eric Harris was under the influence of Luvox, an antidepressant medication, when he shot students at Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado. Other researchers have found a high incidence of the use of anti-depressants in the histories of murder/suicides involving women and their children. It’s time for physicians to be much more cautious in their willingness to prescribe antidepressant medicines.


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