Essay topics: The following appeared as part of a petition sent to residents of Youngtown by an environmental protection group:
“The Smith Corporation should not be permitted to develop the land that is now part of the Youngtown Wildlife Preserve. This sanctuary is essential to the survival of the 300 bird species that live in our area. Although only a small percentage of the land will be sold to Smith, the proposed development will have disastrous consequences for our area. The company plans to build a small hotel on the land. Although they have promised to ensure the preservation of the sanctuary, there is no way that their plans will do anything but harm the sanctuary. There are no circumstances under which this sale will benefit our community, which relies on tourists who visit.”
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
The argument states that the Smith Corporation should not be permitted to build a hotel on the land which is now a part of Youngtown Wildlife Preserve as it would harm the 300 bird species that live in the sanctuary. There are lot of assumptions taken by the environmental protection group which needs to be clarified before the residents of Youngtown decide their stand.
The petition says that the sanctuary is essential to the survival of the 300 bird species that live in the Youngtown Wildlife Preserve. Only a small percentage of the land is going to be sold. So it is possible that the hotel being built would not harm the birds. It may be that the birds do not live near the area where the hotel is to be built. The argument assumes that the hotel would surely harm the sanctuary but on what basis? How will it harm the birds? The argument only states that is will have disastrous consequences but it does not say in what way. If the argument had stated these things, the argument would have been more convincing.
The argument assumes that if the Smith Corporation builds the hotel it will harm the sanctuary. But it could be possible that instead of harming it would help the sanctuary and Youngtown. The argument does say that Youngtown depends on tourists who visit primarily to see the magnificent bird population so if a hotel is built in the sanctuary, then it could be that more tourists visit the sanctuary as they can observe more birds if they stay in the hotel. If this does happen it would help Youngtown and the sanctuary instead of harming it.
The petition also says that Smith Corporation has promised to ensure preservation of the sanctuary. But the environmental protection group assumes without proof that they will not be able to do so and the hotel would harm the community. Had the environmental protection group given reasons why the Smith Corporation would not be able to keep their promise, the argument would have been stronger.
There are a lot of assumptions taken by the environmental protection group for the petition, so these assumptions need to be clarified before the residents decide their stand.
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