The following dialogue contains eleven arguments. Translate each into symbolic form, and then use truth tables to

Question:

The following dialogue contains eleven arguments. Translate each into symbolic form, and then use truth tables to determine whether each is valid or invalid.

Android Rights

“I just came from Professor Shaw’s class on the philosophy of human nature,” Nick says to his friend Erin, as he meets her in the hallway. “We discussed the question of whether an android could be a person and whether they have rights.”

“Sounds like an interesting class,” Erin replies, “but an android could never be a person.”
“Why is that?” Nick asks.
“It’s really quite simple,” she says. “If an android is a person, then it’s rational. But no android is rational, so it’s not a person.”

“But wait,” Nick says. “Androids can solve problems, and they can also deliberate. And if they can either deliberate or solve problems, then they’re rational. Right? So androids are rational, after all.”

“No they’re not,” Erin says. “If an android is rational, then it’s conscious, and if it’s conscious, then it has reflective mental activity—it can reflect on its own act of thinking. But no android can do that, so it’s not rational.”

“How do you know that no android has reflective mental activity?” he asks.
“Because an android has reflective mental activity only if it has a soul,” Erin says. “And it’s ridiculous to think that an android could have a soul. Hence it has no reflective mental activity.”

“But consider this,” Nick says. “Either a soul is a material entity or it’s a nonmaterial entity. You would agree with that, wouldn’t you?”

“Of course,” Erin replies.
“Okay,” says Nick. “Now let me finish the argument. If a soul is a material entity, then if an android is material, it could easily have a soul. But if a soul is a nonmaterial entity, then if God could infuse a soul into it, then it could have a soul. Now an android is material and God could infuse a soul into an android—after all, God can do anything. Thus, an android could have a soul.”

“Of course,” Erin replies.
“Okay,” says Nick. “Now let me finish the argument. If a soul is a material entity, then if an android is material, it could easily have a soul. But if a soul is a nonmaterial entity, then if God could infuse a soul into it, then it could have a soul. Now an android is material and God could infuse a soul into an android—after all, God can do anything. Thus, an android could have a soul.”

“By your reasoning,” Nick replies, “even humans may not be free.”
“How is that?” Erin asks.
“Well,” he says, “whatever we do is caused by our biological makeup or by our social conditioning. If it’s caused by our biological makeup, then it’s determined. If it’s caused by our social conditioning, then it’s determined, too. And if it’s determined, then it’s not free. Thus, whatever we do is not free.”

“Not so,” Erin objects. “Our actions may be influenced by our biological makeup and our social conditioning, but they’re not caused by them. Not strictly. And if they’re not strictly caused by them, they’re not determined by them, and if they’re not determined by them, then they’re free. Thus, our actions are free.”

“Well, I don’t know what it means for our actions to be influenced by something yet not be determined,” Nick replies. “If X is influenced by Y, then X is caused by Y, and if X is caused by Y, then X is determined by Y. Thus, if X is influenced by Y, then X is determined by Y.”

“I think you’re equivocating on the meaning of cause,” Erin replies. “But if you’re unconvinced, how about this: If an android is a person, then it has feelings. And if it has feelings, then it can feel love or compassion. But no android loves anything. Just imagine two computers in love. The very thought is absurd. So is one android feeling compassion for another. Thus, an android cannot be a person.”

“Well, look at it this way,” Nick replies. “Feelings are either mental or they’re physical. If they’re mental, then they’re brain states, and if they’re brain states then androids could have them—because all brain states are just arrangements of atoms. If feelings are physical, then androids could have them—because, once again, all physical things are just arrangements of atoms. Thus, androids can have feelings.”

Erin laughs. “That’s the worst reasoning I’ve ever heard in my life. Sure, feelings may be accompanied by physical states, but they’re not identical with them. Anyway, before I have to head off to class, tell me this: Do you really think that androids could be persons?”

“I think it’s possible,” Nick replies.
“So, would you say that an android has rights? Say the right to vote?”
“That depends,” he says.
“On what?” Erin asks.
“On whether it’s a Democrat or Republican,” he replies.
“Uh-huh.” She sighs. “Well, I’m off to class. Bye.”

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Related Book For  answer-question

A Concise Introduction to Logic

ISBN: 978-1305958098

13th edition

Authors: Patrick J. Hurley, Lori Watson

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