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University of Washington Computing Technology and Public Policy Argument Evaluation

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ESSAY # 2 – ARGUMENT EVALUATION

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The court ruled that the law violated free-speech rights and that government did not have the power to “restrict ideas to which children may be   exposed.” In a letter to the IEEE magazine “The Institute”, a reader expressed his disagreement with the court ruling using the following argument:

“Minors need to be protected, but not all parents are willing or able to protect their children from harmful materials. There is evidence that many minors involved in brutal crimes regularly played violent video games and often copied certain aspects of the games in the real life. A government that fails to protect its citizens can rightfully be blamed for sacrificing essential human values to ensure profits for the gaming industry.”

Convert the reader’s argument into standard form (premises and conclusion). Then test his or her argument to see if it is valid or invalid. If the argument is valid, is it sound or unsound? If not, is it inductive or fallacious? Explain your assessment and its conclusion. Also, do you find the argument persuasive? Explain your reasons. Whether you find the argument persuasive or not, can you find a way of strengthening the argument?

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