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Scientific Arguments

Explain why each argument is either sound or unsound.

A scientist proposes the following arguments to determine if a human being is a person:

1. To be a person a human being must be conscious and able to feel pain. Therefore, a human being that is not conscious and unable to feel pain is not a person.

2. To be a person a human being must be able to reason (the developed capacity to solve new and relatively complex problems). Therefore, a human being that is unable to reason is not a person.

3. To be a person a human being must be able to communicate an indefinite variety of messages on numerous topics. Therefore, a human being that is unable to communicate such messages is not a person.

4. To be a person a human being must be self-aware (a basic understanding of who and what she/he is). Therefore, a human being that lacks self-awareness is not a person.

Solution Preview

1) This is sound because there are basic tenets that a human being needs to have that involves the ability to have thought and to feel. Thus, what these thoughts and feelings are cannot be prescribed but the ability to have them are essential. Therefore, if a human being is not able to think or feel, either pain or pleasure, that human ...

Solution Summary

The soundness of the following scientific arguments about human beings and people.

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