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HELP ME IDENTIFY 2 ARGUMENTS IN THE CONTROLLING IRRATIONAL FEARS AFTER 9-11 ARTICLE AND OUTLINE THE PREMISES AND CONCLUSION OF EACH?

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    Selection 2
    Controlling Irrational Fears After 9/11*
    We present this selection as an example of a fairly well-reasoned argumentative
    essay. There is more here than arguments—there’s some
    window dressing and you’ll probably find some slanters here and there
    as well. You should go through the selection and identify the issues,
    the positions taken on those issues, and the arguments offered in support
    of those arguments. Are any arguments from opposing points of
    view considered? What is your final assessment of the essay?
    The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, produced a response among American
    officials, the media, and the public that is probably matched only by the
    attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Since it is the very nature of terrorism not
    only to cause immediate damage but also to strike fear in the hearts of the
    population under attack, one might say that the terrorists were extraordinarily
    successful, not just as a result of their own efforts but also in consequence
    of the American reaction. In this essay, I shall argue that this reaction was irrational
    to a great extent and that to that extent Americans unwittingly cooperated
    with the terrorists in achieving a major goal: spreading fear and thus
    disrupting lives. In other words, we could have reacted more rationally and as
    a result produced less disruption in the lives of our citizens.
    There are several reasons why one might say that a huge reaction to the
    9/11 attacks was justified. The first is simply the large number of lives that
    were lost. In the absence of a shooting war, that 2,800 Americans should die
    from the same cause strikes us as extraordinary indeed. But does the sheer
    size of the loss of life warrant the reaction we saw? Clearly sheer numbers do
    not always impress us. It is unlikely, for example, that many Americans
    *Note: This essay borrows very heavily from “A Skeptical Look at September 11th,” an article in the Skeptical Inquirer
    of September/October 2002 by Clark R. Chapman and Alan W. Harris. Rather than clutter the essay with numerous
    references, we simply refer the reader to the original, longer piece.
    Moore−Parker: Critical
    Thinking, Eighth Edition
    Back Matter Appendix 1: Essays for
    Analysis (And a Few Other
    Items)
    © The McGraw−Hill
    Companies, 2007
    SELECTION 2 457
    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 “closer to
    home” than the deaths that occurred in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.
    It may be harder to identify with an earthquake victim in Asia than
    with a 9/11 victim, but this cannot be said for the victims of fatal automobile
    accidents.
    One might say that it was the malice of the perpetrators that makes
    the 9/11 deaths so noteworthy, but surely there is plenty of malice present in
    the 15,000 homicides that occur every year in the United States. And while we
    have passed strict laws favoring prosecution of murderers, we do not see the
    huge and expensive shift in priorities that has followed the 9/11 attacks.
    It seems clear, at least, that sheer numbers cannot explain the response
    to 9/11. If more reasons were needed, we might consider that the actual total
    of the number of 9/11 deaths seemed of little consequence in post-attack reports.
    Immediately after the attacks, the estimated death toll was about 6,500.
    Several weeks later it was clear that fewer than half that many had actually
    died, but was there a great sigh of relief when it was learned that over 3,000
    people who were believed to have died were still alive? Not at all. In fact, well
    after it was confirmed that no more than 3,000 people had died, Secretary
    of Defense Donald Rumsfeld still talked about “over 5,000” deaths on 9/11.
    So the actual number seems to be of less consequence than one might have
    believed.
    We should remember that fear and outrage at the attacks are only the beginning
    of the country’s response to 9/11. We now have a new cabinet-level
    Department of Homeland Security; billions have been spent on beefing up security
    and in tracking terrorists and potential terrorists; billions more have
    been spent supporting airlines whose revenues took a nosedive after the attacks;
    the Congress was pulled away from other important business; the National
    Guard was called out to patrol the nation’s airports; air travelers have
    been subjected to time-consuming and expensive security measures; you can
    probably think of a half-dozen other items to add to this list.
    It is probable that a great lot of this trouble and expense is unwarranted.
    We think that random searches of luggage of elderly ladies getting on airplanes
    in Laramie, Wyoming, for example, is more effective as a way of annoying elderly
    ladies than of stopping terrorism.
    We might have accomplished something if we had been able to treat the
    terrorist attacks of 9/11 in a way similar to how we treat the carnage on the
    nation’s highways—by implementing practices and requirements that are directly
    related to results (as in the case of speed limits, 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.
    But we focused on 9/11 because of its terrorist nature and because of the
    spectacular film that was shown over and over on television, imprinting forever
    Moore−Parker: Critical
    Thinking, Eighth Edition
    Back Matter Appendix 1: Essays for
    Analysis (And a Few Other
    Items)
    © The McGraw−Hill
    Companies, 2007
    458 APPENDIX 1 ESSAYS FOR ANALYSIS (AND A FEW OTHER ITEMS)
    the horrific images of the airliner’s collision with the World Trade Center and
    the subsequent collapse of the two towers. The media’s instant obsession with
    the case is understandable, even if it is out of proportion to the actual damage,
    as awful as it was, when we compare the actual loss to the loss from automobile
    accidents.
    Finally, our point is that marginal or even completely ineffective expenditures
    and disruptive practices have taken our time, attention, and national
    treasure away from other matters with more promise of making the country a
    better place. We seem to have all begun to think of ourselves as terrorist targets,
    but, in fact, reason tells us we are in much greater danger from our friends
    and neighbors behind the wheels of their cars.
    The remainder of the essays in this section are here for analysis and
    evaluation. Your instructor will probably have specific directions if he
    or she assigns them, but at a minimum, they offer an opportunity to
    identify issues, separate arguments from other elements, identify
    premises and conclusions, evaluate the likely truth of the premises
    and the strength of the arguments, look for unstated assumptions or
    omitted premises, and lots of other stuff besides. We offer sample directions
    for many of the pieces.

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    Thank you for posting this article.

    We'll be glad to HELP you identify two arguments. You tell us what arguments you've found -- and then we'll HELP you.

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    arguements:
    1)In this essay, I shall argue that this reaction was irrational
    to a great extent and that to that extent Americans unwittingly cooperated
    with the terrorists in achieving a major goal: spreading fear and thus
    disrupting lives
    2) It is probable that a great lot of this trouble and expense is unwarranted (read the supporting paragraph).

    So outline the premise of each of these, and conclusion.

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