QUESTION TEXT: The opponent's argument proceeds by (A) isolating…
QUESTION TYPE: Method of Reasoning
ARGUMENTS: The proponent argues that irradiation leaves no radiation behind. And while it does destroy nutrients it doesn’t destroy any more nutrients than cooking does. The advantage to irradiation is that it prevents spoiling and also kills salmonella.
The opponent points out that irradiation could kill the smelly bacteria that warn us of botulism. But botulism would survive. We could get very, very sick. Also, it’s easy to kill both salmonella and botulism using a chemical dip.
ANALYSIS: It’s hard to say who is right. We don’t know how common botulism is or how useful shelf life extension is.
The opponent’s argument addresses only the bacterial part of the proponent’s argument. They point out there is an alternative that has the same benefits as the proponent’s proposal, but none of the drawbacks. A chemical dip would avoid the botulism problem and clear up unwanted bacteria.
- There’s no ambiguity. The opponent just points out that the proponent doesn’t address the botulism problem.
- There isn’t a self-contradiction. The problem is that the opponent’s new information about botulism makes irradiation look like a bad idea.
- Actually the opponent seems to think the chemical dip has no risks.
- Both speakers are focused on consumer safety. There’s no shift in perspective.
- CORRECT. The opponent’s proposal seems like a good alternative. The advantage of a chemical dip is killing smelly bacteria. The chemical dip also kills salmonella, which avoids the disadvantage of irradiation.
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