Conflicts and Assumptions

Module 3: Value Conflict, Assumptions, and Descriptive Assumption33 unread replies.33 replies.

For the Death Penalty article Answer this assignment in the following manner:

1. What is the Value Conflict? Opponents vs Proponents

2. Identify some general Assumptions in the article (Unstated beliefs).

3. Identify the Descriptive Assumption (Unstated belief).

Since assumptions are not stated, you will not be able to quote a statement made by the author, but must analyze the premise (something assumed or taken for granted) of the statement.

What are the Values Conflicts and Assumptions?

Remember, the value conflict is between the opponents and proponents of the death penalty based on their respective value preferences. Assumptions are unstated beliefs; they are not stated in the article. Can you support or refute these assumptions with additional quality evidence?

For example: By definition assumptions are unstated. When the author states: “Even life in prison does not guarantee that they will not kill again”. Certain murderers have murdered again in prison, so this claim is factual.  Some assumptions are that:

  1. An assumption is that persons who murder consider the consequences of their actions, but do they?
  2. That it can only be prevented by implementing the death penalty. (However, states without or without the death penalty have managed violent prisoners by building super max prisons and isolating these prisoners from the general population.)

Do you see that the assumption is derived from the factual claim as an unstated belief that supports the explicit reasoning.  We can refute the premises (assumptions) upon which this claim is made by identifying the underlying assumptions and producing counterarguments.

What are the Descriptive Assumptions?

What are the Descriptive Assumptions in the Death Penalty Article?  Descriptive assumptions are also unstated.  They are the glue that binds the reasons to the conclusion.  The descriptive assumption is the main underlying assumption in the article.  What must we assume about individuals convicted of murder? Don’t over think this.  If you would support the death penalty with the intensity of the author, what would you believe in your heart of hearts?

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