9.2 Quiz Critical Thinking by Example


1. Background: The following is a group debate made in a philosophy class in a U.S. university.

[1] Capital punishment is morally wrong. [2] Sometimes innocent people are wrongly put to death. [3] If society supports something that will lead to the loss of innocent lives, then a grave injustice is being perpetuated. [4] If capital punishment were abolished, then governments would have more money. [5] This money could be used to pay for more law enforcement officers. [6] Putting more police officers on the beat is a better deterrent against crime than the death penalty. [7] If we are to be a just society, then we should choose the more efficient way to eliminate criminal behavior. [8] Here is what Barry Scheck wrote in the Huffington Post about the Mr. Willingham, who was executed in 2004: “Whether our criminal justice system has executed an innocent man should no longer be an open question. We don't know how often it happens, but we know it has happened. Cameron Todd Willingham's case proves that.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barry-scheck/innocent-but-executed_b_272327.html)



The best evaluation of [1] is that it

a) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on experience.
b) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on common knowledge.
c) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on an epistemic authority.
d) is not a bottom level premise.
e) is an unacceptable bottom level premise.
2. The best evaluation of [2] is that it

a) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on experience.
b) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on common knowledge.
c) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on an epistemic authority.
d) is not a bottom level premise.
e) is an unacceptable bottom level premise.
3. The best evaluation of [3] is that it

a) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on experience.
b) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on common knowledge.
c) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on an epistemic authority.
d) is not a bottom level premise.
e) is an unacceptable bottom level premise.
4. The best evaluation of [4] is that it

a) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on experience.
b) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on common knowledge.
c) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on an epistemic authority.
d) is not a bottom level premise.
e) is an unacceptable bottom level premise.
5. The best evaluation of [5] is that it

a) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on experience.
b) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on common knowledge.
c) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on an epistemic authority.
d) is not a bottom level premise.
e) is an unacceptable bottom level premise.
6. The best evaluation of [6] is that it

a) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on experience.
b) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on common knowledge.
c) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on an epistemic authority.
d) is not a bottom level premise.
e) is an unacceptable bottom level premise.
7. The best evaluation of [7] is that it

a) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on experience.
b) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on common knowledge.
c) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on an epistemic authority.
d) is not a bottom level premise.
e) is an unacceptable bottom level premise.
8. The best evaluation of [8] is that it

a) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on experience.
b) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on common knowledge.
c) is an acceptable bottom level premise based on an epistemic authority.
d) is not a bottom level premise.
e) is an unacceptable bottom level premise.
9. A counterexample to [3] is a society that supports building a new freeway system that will lead to the deaths of innocents. People die in car accidents even on the safest freeway systems. The society might claim to be just on the basis of the fact that the new freeway system is predicted to reduce by half the number of deaths of innocents as compared with the old system.

a) True.
b) False
10. A counterexample to [7] is the Soviet Union under Stalin’s control. This was a very unjust society, but they had a more efficient means of eliminating criminal behavior. Stalin’s secret police put people in jail on the slightest evidence-sometimes no evidence-of criminal behavior. This put many criminals in jail, but it also lead to lots of innocent people being put in jail. Putting lots of innocent people in jail is unjust.

a) True.
b) False
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