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· Minimum of 2 scholarly sources cited for EACH discussion unless stated in the initial post instructions. Please include a link to EACH scholarly source(s) in your references.

· APA format for in-text citations and list of references


Discussion 2: Context, Meaning, and Value

Initial Post Instructions Select one of the following options to research for this discussion:

· Option 1: Google <California Washington mural>. You will find numerous reports concerning a California school district that voted to paint over a mural in the high school. The Life of Washington was painted by Depression-era artist Victor Arnautoff.

· Option 2: Google <Indiana University Thomas Hart Benton mural>. You will find numerous articles on the controversy surround a panel from Benton’s A Social History of Indiana (1933) murals.

· Option 3: Conduct research on a mural or statue or monument in your town that is the subject of controversy.

Before you read the news articles, try to look at the artworks through an image search in Google. Then, read the news articles to see the different viewpoints about the murals.

For the initial post, address at least four (4) of the following questions for the option you selected:

· What do you think should be done with the artwork (e.g., painted over, covered, destroyed, left as is in plain view, etc.)? Why?

· Should the context in which the artwork was created (the Great Depression of the 1930s in the case of the Benton and Arnautoff murals) have an impact on the decision of what to do with the artwork?

· Should the context in which people now view the artwork have an impact on the decision of what to do with it?

· What message do you think the artwork conveys?

· Do you think there is ambiguity in the message?

· Do you think the message is vague?

· Does the artistic value of the artwork require that it be saved regardless of message?

· Does the historic value of the artwork require that it be saved regardless of message?

· Do you think the message of the artwork is sufficiently important that the message alone requires that it be saved?

· Do you think the artists were biased or prejudiced? If yes, explain specifics about the artwork that support your opinion. Do you think viewers might be bringing bias or prejudice to their opinions? Are you?


Discussion 3: Evaluating Sources

Introduction “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions – but not their own facts.” (Daniel Patrick Moynihan, cited in Vanity Fair, 2010, para. 2)

We form opinions – and make our judgments – based on facts we observe and values we hold. Our judgments are also influenced by the opinions of others. In the section “An Expert on Hate in America” in Chapter 6, one of the authors, Dr. Peter Facione, renders an opinion on a non-profit civil rights organization: Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Dr. Facione is a leading advocate and one of the most influential voices in the field of critical thinking.

His endorsement of the civil rights organization is unqualified. It is also transparent: Dr. Facione reveals that he is a financial supporter of the organization and has arranged speaking engagements for its founder. This is Dr. Facione’s invitation to you, the reader:

Knowing where you can learn more about the SPLC for yourself, and knowing about Dr. Facione’s endorsement and support of the Center’s work, evaluate this claim made by Dr. Facione: “The SPLC is an expert on hate in America” (p. 124).

The endorsement of the SPLC is contained in the most current edition of the text, whose copyright date is 2016. Since that time Morris Dees, co-founder and former chief trial counsel, has been fired (Hassan, Zraick & Blinder, 2019). Previously, there has been controversy about groups and individuals that are listed by the SPLC as “hate groups” (Graham, 2016; Price, 2018). The organization, which has nearly a half-billion dollars in assets, has also been criticized for how it spends these funds (Robinson, 2019).

Initial Post Instructions For the initial post, address the following:

· Conduct additional researched on the SPLC. Did your opinion alter in any way? Why?

Only after you have done some responsible research should you begin to respond to the discussion prompt. The discussion is not about the SPLC; it is not about Dr. Facione. It is about what you have learned about forming opinions.

Your post MUST answer this question:

· How do you define the term “expert”?

Your post must also discuss at least two (2) of the following questions:

· How important are facts in the process of forming an opinion? Explain what you believe to be the purpose or function of facts in making a judgment.

· How did you respond to the self-assessment question? Since doing further research, have you re-thought the way in which you assess credibility and reliability? What is the importance of factoring the recency of a reference or opinion (i.e., how old is it?) into an assessment of credibility and reliability?

· How would you evaluate Dr. Facione’s claim “The SPLC is an expert on hate in America” (p. 124). Does the SPLC fit your definition of “expert”? Be specific in your answer.


Discussion 4: Distinguishing Inductive and Deductive Reasoning

In deductive arguments, the speaker asserts that her premises are true and, therefore, her conclusion must be accepted. Remember that in a deductive argument, logical strength does not depend on the literal truth of the premises. When we test for logical strength, we assume the premises are true. Once we determine that the argument is logically valid, we can then look at the actual – not presumed – truth of the premises.

In inductive arguments, the speaker presents evidence that she claims support the probable truth of her conclusion – that her conclusion is the most likely true – and so you should accept it.

Initial Post Instructions For the initial post, address the following:

· Find and post examples of deductive and inductive arguments.

· For each example, evaluate its logical strength, using the concepts and ideas presented in the textbook readings, the lesson, and any other source you find that helps you to evaluate the validity (deductive) or strength (inductive) of the argument. You can use examples from the text, or you can find examples elsewhere.

· Editorials and opinion columns are a good source, as are letters to the editor. Blogs will also often be based on arguments.

· Use mapping and evaluative techniques to make sure it is an argument.

· Is it inductive or deductive? Explain why.

· Does it pass the tests of validity and strength? Explain.


Discussion 5: In My Opinion

Initial Post Instructions Consider one of the following current social issues – or one of your choice:

· Opioid crisis

· Legalization of recreational or medical marijuana

· Vaping

· Immigration

· Elimination of the electoral college

· Gun control

For the initial post, address the following:

· State your position on one of these issues – are you for, against, or neutral? Explain why. Avoid vagueness or ambiguity in your response. Make your position very clear.

· Examine how you have formed that opinion.

· How well do you think you know the facts?

· Do you know and understand statistical information that applies to the issue?

· Do you think you have formed your opinion using only System-1 thinking, or have you applied System-2?

· What part have heuristics, cognitive bias, and dominance structuring played in how you have formed your opinions?

The initial post is not about how “correct” your position is; it is about how you arrived at your position on the issue. This discussion requires application of metacognition – thinking about how you think.


Discussion 6: Comparative Reasoning

(only 1 additional scholarly source for this discussion)

Please read/review the following resources for this activity. You must include the following resources in your post.

· The Doctor’s Choice is America’s Choice”: The Physician in US Cigarette Advertisements, 1930 – 1953. Link to article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470496/


· The Opioid Epidemic: Who is to Blame? Link to article: https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/pain/opioid-epidemic-who-blame


· The Opioid Epidemic: It’s Time to Place Blame Where It Belongs. Link to article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140023/

Introduction The medical profession has a muddled and contradictory association with its approach toward the tobacco industry. While the profession now firmly opposes to smoking and vigorously publicizes the serious, even fatal, health hazards associated with smoking, this was not always so. Advertisements for tobacco products, including cigarettes “… became a ready source of income for numerous medical organizations and journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), as well as many branches and bulletins of local medical associations” (Wolinsky & Brune, 1994). Physicians and reference to doctors and smoking were once common in tobacco industry advertisements. The story of physicians and promotion of smoking can be found in “The Doctors’ Choice Is America’s Choice” (Gardner & Brandt, 2006).

The role of physicians in the current opioid crisis is now under scrutiny on television (Farmer, 2019) by trade publications (King, 2018), peer-reviewed journals (deShazo, et al, 2018), and by physicians themselves (Hirsch, 2019).

Initial Post Instructions For the initial post, research the history of the association of doctors with tobacco companies and tobacco advertising. Read about the association of doctors with the opioid crisis. Then, address the following:

· In what way are the two situations comparable?

· In what way are they different?

· Apply the concept of moral equivalence. Is the conduct of doctors in relation to smoking and the tobacco industry morally equivalent to the conduct of doctors in the opioid crisis? Explain your position and be very specific.


Discussion 7: What Do I Value?

Initial Post Instructions For the initial post, address the following:

· What core values would you risk your life and freedom to defend?

· Could a nation going to war be appropriate in certain circumstances – or is war never an appropriate response?

Notice that this exercise requires deductive reasoning. You are stating a position and supporting it with “top down” reasoning. Be sure to review Three Features of Ideological Reasoning. Apply these concepts as you create your own arguments and evaluate those of your peers.

Remember that you are using ideological reasoning here. Is your post structured like an ideological argument, beginning with a general idea (opinion, belief, or principle) and moving down from these abstractions to their specific applications?

The text warns us that ideological arguments often fail the test of Truthfulness of the Premises. Have you tested the truth of your premises?

Discussion 8: When the People You Love Don’t Think Like You

Introduction Facione & Gittens (2016) state, “Strong critical thinking about complex and difficult social policies demands that we respect those with whom we disagree” (p. 344). The authors of your text ask us to take seriously the points of view of those with whom we disagree.

· Should I respect the point of view of a misogynist – a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women?

· Should I respect the point of view of a racist?

· How about someone who believes marriage is only between one man and one woman?

· How about someone who does not believe that humans are contributing to the conditions that cause climate change?

· How about someone who denies that the Holocaust occurred?

Initial Post Instructions For the initial post, pick one point of view from the five questions above that you find particularly repugnant – one that you think is completely unjustifiable. If you were in conversation with such a person, how could you ethically respond to the statement of such a point of view? Keep in mind that you are expressing a value opinion, which requires ideological reasoning.

As you form your response, keep in mind the following; these are things you need to think about but not necessarily to write about in your initial post:

· Reflect if you are using System-1 or System-2 thinking? Are your responses tinged with cognitive bias?

· Do you think there is a qualitative difference between believing some races are inferior and the belief that marriage should only be between one man and one woman?

· Do you think there is a qualitative difference between not believing in human contribution to climate change and not believing in the Holocaust?

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