- What is the nature of the text’s central argumentative point? Is it a claim of fact, causality, evaluation, interpretation or recommendation, or some combination of two or more of these – or something entirely different? (Provide a few sentences here.)
It is an evaluative/recommendatory claim because it evaluates comments of the politicians and makes recommendations on the use of sleep deprivation as an interrogation technique.
- How much simple opinion (the expression of the author’s viewpoint without any supporting argumentation) is there is the text? Would you classify the text as being more opinion or more argumentation? (a few sentences)
Although it contains opinions, the article is argumentative overall, as it provides facts and quotes to back up the statements.
- Does the author offer an explicitly asserted statement of the text’s principal argumentative point? (briefly discuss)
Yes, the closing paragraph explicitly states the argumentative point. “Interrogation is an important tool in the fight, but politicians shouldn’t try to justify torture and therefore lower us to the level of our enemies.”
4. Are there any contentious terms in the text and, if so, does the author offer any stipulative definitions of these? To what extent are any such definitions supported with their own justification? (a few sentences)
‘Torture’ and ‘sleep deprivation’ are contentious terms in the text, and while they weren’t explicitly defined, the writer uses the UN quote as a justification to explain his view on what the terms mean.
5.What types of justificatory support (secondary claims) does the author employ and does he seem to favour one type of these?
Primary Claim: Politicians can’t justify the legitimacy of sleep deprivation as a method of interrogation because it’s a form of torture.
- Politicians have not experienced sleep deprivation (authority)
warrant: Without expertise, opinion is irrelevant
2. International group have declared it as a form of torture (ethical, legal, social and authority)
warrant: International organisations should be trusted
3.Because it causes physical harm (ethical)
warrant: purposefully causing physical harm is unethical
- Used in WW2 and we would be wrong to mirror this practise (precedent, emotion)
warrant: We should not mirror practises used to harm Australians
- Because we shouldn’t stoop to the level of terrorists (consequences, ethical)
warrant: To use torture would put us on the level of terrorists, we are better than our enemies.
5. Informal Fallacies
Ad hominem- attacking ruddock
Strawperson- saying that Ruddock wants America to operate outside of Australian law
Presumptuous evaluation- opening sentence
Either/or or possibly false analogy- If we allow sleep deprivation we will be as bad as terrorists.