Assumption — Identify Hidden

Identify the likely hidden assumptions in these arguments:
  1. We should reduce the penalty for drunken driving, as a milder penalty would mean more convictions.
  2. Moby Dick is a whale. So Moby Dick is a mammal.
  3. Giving students a fail grade will damage their self-confidence. Therefore, we should not fail students.
  4. It should not be illegal for adults to smoke pot. After all, it does not harm anyone.
  5. There is nothing wrong talking on a mobile phone during lectures. Other students do it all the time.
  6. Killing an innocent person is wrong. Therefore, abortion is wrong.
  7. Traces of ammonia have been found in Mars’ atmosphere. So there must be life on Mars.
  8. There cannot be more than one God. Otherwise, there would be two Gods equally powerful, or one is more powerful than the other. 

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  • We should reduce the penalty for drunken driving, as a milder penalty would mean more convictions. [Show answer]
    We should increase the number of convictions for drunken driving.
  • Moby Dick is a whale. So Moby Dick is a mammal. [Show answer]
    “Anything that is a whale is a mammal”, or “If Moby Dick is a whale it is a mammal.”
  • Giving students a fail grade will damage their self-confidence. Therefore, we should not fail students. [Show answer]
    We should not damage students’ self-confidence.
  • It should not be illegal for adults to smoke pot. After all, it does not harm anyone. [Show answer]
    Anything that does not cause harm should not be made illegal.
  • There is nothing wrong talking on a mobile phone during lectures. Other students do it all the time. [Show answer]
    If an action is done by other students (or people) all the time, then there is nothing wrong with it.
  • Killing an innocent person is wrong. Therefore, abortion is wrong. [Show answer]
    Abortion involves the killing of an innocent person.
  • Traces of ammonia have been found in Mars’ atmosphere. So there must be life on Mars. [Show answer]
    “Only living things produce ammonia.” (or something similar)
  • There cannot be more than one God. Otherwise, there would be two Gods equally powerful, or one is more powerful than the other. [Show answer]
    If something is a God, nothing else can be as powerful or more powerful than it.