Thinking skills paper 2 question 3
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Links. The text on which questions based. Before answering the questions. The analysed text. Thinking Skills Paper 2 question 3. July 2012 (adapted questions for 2012). 3 Read the passage and answer the questions below.

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Thinking Skills Paper 2 question 3

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Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

Links

The text on which questions based

Before answering the questions

The analysed text

Thinking Skills Paper 2 question 3

July 2012

(adapted questions for 2012)


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

  • 3 Read the passage and answer the questions below.

  • 1 Many people disapprove of gambling, i.e. betting money on the outcome of such things as horse races, sporting contests or card games. However, gambling should be regarded as no different from other leisure activities and should not be singled out for special condemnation.

  • 2 Whilst it is true that many people ‘waste’ their money gambling, the same could be said of many other leisure activities, such as buying expensive clothes and eating meals in restaurants, that are typical of a modern consumer society. If we are to disapprove of gambling, then we are in danger of condemning a large number of leisure pursuits which are purely pleasurable and yield no long-term gain.

  • 3 The amount of money spent on gambling is no more than is spent on smoking tobacco. At least gambling does not cause heart disease and lung cancer.

  • 4 Some people have argued gambling can be addictive. However, no intake of a chemically addictive substance such as nicotine is involved. The keen gambler is no different from the keen golfer – they may spend rather too much time pursuing their chosen pastime, but we would have a large number of ‘addicts’ if such attachment was always defined as ‘addiction’.

  • 5 Gambling is a worldwide phenomenon, with many cultures and societies having gambling as a feature of their lifestyle. This suggests it is an unavoidable aspect of human existence.

  • 6 Gambling is essential for success. Many successful people are risk-takers who would not have been successful if they were always cautious. This willingness to gamble is an essential ingredient in explaining their success. Disapproval of gambling is disapproval of risk and disapproval of risk is disapproval of success. Humans would not have progressed if everybody had disapproved of gambling. Gambling produces the ‘adrenalin rush’ that is so important in much human endeavour.


A using the exact words from the passage as far as possible identify the main conclusion 2 marks

(a) Using the exact words from the passage as far as possible, identify the main conclusion. (2 marks)

(b) Using the exact words from the passage as far as possible, identify three reasons used to support the main conclusion. (3 marks)

  • Evaluate the reasoning in the argument. In your answer you should consider any strengths, weaknesses, flaws and unstated assumptions. (5 marks)

(d) ‘‘Children should be encouraged to take risks.’ Write your own argument to support or challenge this claim. The conclusion of your argument must be stated. (5 marks)


Before you answer any questions

BEFORE you answer any questions …

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument

Assumption

Analyse the text. Highlight or underline:

Main conclusion

Intermediate conclusions

Supporting reasons

Examples

Counter argument

Remember: do not make it too complicated!


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

1

  • Many people disapprove of gambling, i.e. betting money on the outcome of such things as horse races, sporting contests or card games. However, gambling should be regarded as no different from other leisure activities and should not be singled out for special condemnation.

    2

  • Whilst it is true that many people ‘waste’ their money gambling, the same could be said of many other leisure activities, such as buying expensive clothes and eating meals in restaurants, that are typical of a modern consumer society. If we are to disapprove of gambling, then we are in danger of condemning a large number of leisure pursuits which are purely pleasurable and yield no long-term gain.

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

3

  • The amount of money spent on gambling is no more than is spent on smoking tobacco. At least gambling does not cause heart disease and lung cancer.

    4

  • Some people have argued gambling can be addictive. However, no intake of a chemically addictive substance such as nicotine is involved. The keen gambler is no different from the keengolfer – they may spend rather too much time pursuing their chosen pastime, but we would have a large number of ‘addicts’ if such attachment was always defined as ‘addiction’.

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument

Assumption

5

Gambling is a worldwide phenomenon, with many cultures and societies having gambling as a feature of their lifestyle. This suggests it is an unavoidable aspect of human existence.

6

Gambling is essential for success. Many successful people are risk-takers who would not have been successful if they were always cautious. This willingness to gamble is an essential ingredient in explaining their success. Disapproval of gambling is disapproval of risk and disapproval of risk is disapproval of success. Humans would not have progressed if everybody had disapproved of gambling. Gambling produces the ‘adrenalin rush’ that is so important in much human endeavour.


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

(a) Using the exact words from the passage as far as possible, identify the main conclusion. Back to Questions(2 marks)

It just says ‘identify’, so you only need to point out the main conclusion, not comment.

Simply quote from the text (or give a very close paraphrase).

  • 2 marks: (However) gambling (should be regarded as no different from other leisure activities and) should not be singled out for special condemnation.

  • 1 mark: Gambling should be regarded as no different from other leisure activities.


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

(b) Using the exact words from the passage as far as possible, identify three reasons used to support the main conclusion. (3 marks)

Back to Questions

  • In other words, find three intermediate conclusions. Try to find the best ones.

  • Remember to look first near the beginning and end of each paragraph.

  • Again simply quote from the text.

  • Set them out with bullet points. Do not give more than three!


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

  • If we are to disapprove of gambling then we are in danger of condemning a large

  • number of leisure pursuits (which are purely pleasurable and yield no long term gain).

  • The amount of money spent on gambling is no greater than that spent on tobacco.

  • Gambling does not cause heart disease and lung cancer.

  • (However) no intake of a chemically addictive substance is involved.

  • It is an unavoidable aspect of human existence.

  • Gambling is essential for success.

Back to Questions

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument

Assumption


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

Evaluate the reasoning in the argument. In your answer you should consider any strengths, weaknesses, flaws and unstated assumptions.(5 marks)

Back to Questions

  • For this question, you must evaluate: that means to give your judgement on the text.

  • Assumptionsare unstated, and will not be found in the text. Try to identify 2 or more.

  • You can mention any strengths; but mainly try to define the weaknesses and flaws, using appropriate terminology whenever possible.

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument

Assumption


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

Back to Questions

Possible points:

  • Evaluate the reasoning in the argument. In your answer you should consider any strengths, weaknesses, flaws and unstated assumptions.

    Overall:Indicative content

  • This passage offers some support for the claim that gambling should be regarded as no different from other leisure activities and should not be singled out for special condemnation However, it is weakened by over-generalisation, Slippery Slope arguments and poor use of examples.

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument

Assumption


Two suggested answers

Two suggested answers

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument

Assumption

Shortened answer: 306 words

Long answer: 644 words

You do not need to write too much and can answer by referring to the paragraphs (Best) or by looking at the reasoning in the argument, considering any strengths, weaknesses, flaws and unstated assumptions.

After the suggested answer there is an analysis of different flaws etc.


Shortened version probably more realistic for exam conditions

Shortened version (probably more realistic for exam conditions):

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument

Assumption

  • Overall, the argument concentrates on superficial similarities with other leisure activities but fails to consider some of the more serious criticisms of gambling: for example, that its compulsiveness can often wreck personal finances, and consequently break up families and ruin lives.

  • The reasoning in this passage offers some support for the conclusion that gambling “should not be singled out for special condemnation”, but is weakened by poor analogies, exaggeration, and confusion of terms.

  • In paragraph 2, the examples – of buying expensive clothes and eating in restaurants – are poor. In both of these cases, at least there is a product received in return for the money spent.

  • In paragraph 3, the argument assumes that, if society accepts smoking, it should accept any other comparably harmful activity. However, two wrongs do not make a right: whether or not smoking is harmful is irrelevant to considering the case of gambling. Also, just because gambling does not cause heart disease, does not mean that it cannot be very harmful in other ways.

  • In paragraph 4, there is an assumption that addictions must come from something ingested, and could not be psychological or caused by chemicals released within a person’s own body. 


Shortened version continued

Shortened version (continued):

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument

Assumption

  • In paragraph 5, it is assumed that a worldwide phenomenon must be accepted, and even condoned. Murder, prostitution and political corruption are also worldwide phenomena, but that does not mean we should approve of them. 

  • In paragraph 6, there is conflation of the terms ‘gambling’ and ‘risk taking’: the calculated risks taken in business are not comparable to simply betting money on horse races. It is also a slippery slope reasoning to go from disapproval of betting to holding back human progress. Finally, just because an adrenalin rush may be important, does not mean that any kind of adrenalin rush is acceptable.


Thinking skills june 2012 paper 22 q 3 c key evaluation vocabulary highlighted

Thinking Skills June 2012 Paper 22 q.3 (c): key evaluation vocabulary highlighted

The reasoning in this passage offers some support for the conclusion that gambling should not be singled out for condemnation, but the argument is severely weakened by poor analogies, exaggeration and confusion of terms.

In the first paragraph, the assertion that gambling is “no different from other leisure activities” is certainly open to challenge: the rest of the passage focuses on the supposed similarities, but does not acknowledge important differences between gambling and other activities.

In paragraph 2,there is an assumption that gambling is a “purely pleasurable” activity; in fact, some gamblers may feel compelled to continue gambling without any longer enjoying it. The examples given in this paragraph – of buying expensive clothes and eating in restaurants – are poor. In both of these cases, at least there is a product received in return for the money spent, whereas a gambler who loses a bet receives nothing.

In paragraph 3, the analogy with smoking gives only a very limited support to the main conclusion. The argument assumes that smoking is regarded as acceptable in society; but, for many people, it is not. The argument also assumes that, if society accepts smoking, it should accept any other comparably harmful or wasteful activity. However, two wrongs do not make a right: whether or not smoking is harmful is irrelevantto considering the case of gambling. The second sentence of paragraph 3 is especially weak: just because gambling does not directly cause heart disease or lung cancer, does not mean that it cannot be very harmful in other ways.


Thinking skills june 2012 paper 22 q 3 c key evaluation vocabulary highlighted continued

Thinking Skills June 2012 Paper 22 q.3 (c): key evaluation vocabulary highlighted Continued

In paragraph 4,it is assumed that addictions must come from something ingested, and could not be psychological or caused by chemicals released within a person’s own body and brain. The later mention of “the adrenalin rush” shows that this is false. Furthermore, the analogy with playing golf is very weak because it focuses only on the time spent; it ignores, for example, the potential health and social benefits of playing golf. It also assumes that excessive golfing could not be considered an addiction. There are, no doubt, many ‘golf widows’ who would disagree!

In paragraph 5, the claim that gambling “is an unavoidable aspect of human existence” is probably sound – at least at the general level of society, though not for each individual. However, this is a weak support for the main conclusion because it assumes that a worldwide phenomenon must therefore be accepted, and even condoned. Murder, prostitution and political corruption are also worldwide phenomena, but that does not mean we should approve of them.


Thinking skills june 2012 paper 22 q 3 c key evaluation vocabulary highlighted continued1

Thinking Skills June 2012 Paper 22 q.3 (c): key evaluation vocabulary highlighted Continued

In paragraph 6,there is conflation of the terms ‘gambling’ and ‘risk taking’, and this seriously weakens the argument. The carefully considered risks taken in the business world, or in cutting-edge scientific investigation, are not comparable to simply betting money on horse races and card games. The assertion that all success must involve risk is unjustified, and probably not true. It is also an exaggerated, slippery slope reasoning to go from disapproval of betting on sports to disapproval of success in general, and then to holding back human progress. The final sentence of the passage is very weak: just because an adrenalin rush may be “important in much human endeavour” does not mean that any source of an adrenalin rush is acceptable. Probably there is a tremendous adrenalin rush for children playing on railway lines, or for burglars breaking into our homes, but we should not therefore accept and encourage such behaviours.

By the end of the text, the author has changed from trying to defend gambling to positively encouraging it, which means the main conclusion is not clearly supported. The overall argument concentrates on superficial similarities with other leisure activities but fails to considersome of the more serious criticisms of gambling: for


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

Back to Questions

Analysis - Possible points:

Assumptions

  • Para 2: Gamblers find the activity pleasurable – they might be addicted to something that no longer gives them pleasure.

  • Para 4: Addiction cannot be psychological/involve chemicals produced by the body.

  • Para 4: Assumes that golfing can not be an addiction.

  • Para 5: By implication, widespread / inevitable features of human existence should be accepted.

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument

Assumption


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

Back to Questions

  • Flaws

  • Slippery slope (s) in moving from gambling to risk and lack of progress.

  • Equivocation (Conflation) between gambling meaning a specific activity of betting money on outcomes and ‘gambling’ used as a synonym for risk taking.

  • Generalisation: It is not at all clear that risk taking is a necessary condition for success in all aspects of human achievement.

  • Various examples of ‘tu quoque’ (or “Conflate”)e.g. mindless consumption, tobacco, golf addiction. Using one argument to counter another without an actual link

    e.g. I tell you to stop gambling and your response is to tell me to stop smoking – both could be good or bad for us but whether you gamble or not is not linked to my drinking or not …

    at least it probably isn`t

  • Appeal to popularity rather than factual evidence. In Para 5.

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument

Assumption


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

Back to Questions

Other points about the reasoning

  • The author fails to address the aspects of gambling that are most dubious and distinguish it from other leisure activities. Even if some consumption is a ‘waste of money’, transactions are involved and one does get a product in return for the money expended, whereas the nature of gambling means it is unlikely that there will be any return on one’s expenditure.

  • Also, the hope that ‘one more time’ will prove successful means that the gambler can be drawn into a spiral of decline in which they end up losing far more than intended. This would not apply to, for instance, restaurant meals.

  • There may be links between gambling and smoking/AND there may be other diseases associated with gambling.

  • As the reference to ‘adrenalin rush’ in the final paragraph suggests, it may be that gambling encourages the release of chemicals in the brain and that the individual then becomes addicted to these internally produced chemicals. Focussing on only those chemicals that are ingested is too narrow when considering addiction.

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument

Assumption


Thinking skills paper 2 question 3

Other points about the reasoning (Cont)

Back to Questions

  • As discussed under assumptions, this reasoning can only work if one accepts that something widespread and universal is somehow insulated from disapproval. Candidates could think of a number of counter examples here e.g. obesity, death

    Paragraph Six.

  • The final paragraph rather moves away from the conclusion and suggests that we should positively approve of gambling as opposed to simply not condemning it. As discussed under flaws, this only works if one uses the expression ‘gambling’ equivocally.

Main conclusion; Intermediate conclusions; Supporting reasons; Examples; Counter argument

Assumption


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