In surveys Mason City residents rank water sports (swimming, boating, and fish - ing) among their favorite recreational activities. The Mason River flowing through the city is rarely used for these pursuits, however, and the city park department devotes little of its budget to maintaining riverside recreational facilities. For years there have been complaints from residents about the quality of the river’s water
and the river’s smell. In response, the state has recently announced plans to clean up Mason River. Use of the river for water sports is, therefore, sure to increase. The city government should for that reason devote more money in this year’s budget to riverside recreational facilities.
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
In the above argument it has been stated that the city government of Mason city should devote more money in this year's budget to riverside recreational facilities as city park department devotes little of its budget towards maintaining riverside recreational facilities and people are complaining about the quality of the river's water and the river's smell while they rank water sports among their favorite recreational activities. But there are some assumptions taken behind the argument and the implications of those assumptions may prove the argument unwarranted.
First of all, it has been said that Mason City residents rank water sports among their favorite recreational activities. It implies that there are other recreational activities also in their favorite list besides water sports. And it may be the case that if city government devotes money in this year's budget to other leisure activities then also the residents would be happy. Currently residents are complaining about riverside recreational facility because there may not be any other option of recreation besides watersports. So, that riverside recreational activity is the only activity which people of Mason City love to do and government should pour money is a one unstated assumption and it makes the arguments an unwanted one.
Secondly, in fore stated argument there is no information about the usefulness of the survey. The usefulness of a survey depends on the sample space it is considering, questioner it is preparing and efficiency of the people who are interpreting the survey. So, if the survey has not efficiency then it may mislead to a wrong result. Therefore, the statement 'Mason City residents rank water sports among their favorite recreational activities" may no longer be valid. If the survey's sample space is too small then the result should be interpreted as “a part of Mason City residents like water sports". In that case, if government spends money in a field where most of the resident have no or little interest then the investment may be a total loss. Therefore, the survey is an efficient enough is the second unstated assumption and this also is making the argument unwarranted.
Finally, it has been described that the residents of Mason City have complained about the water quality and the foul smell coming from water. But whether the complaints are strong enough or the residents are making one small issue a big one is another area of concern. Therefore the weight and truthfulness of the complaints are also an assumption of the argument and which in turn may oppose the argument.
So, looking at the above facts, it can be concluded that the government of Mason City should take the decision of devoting money to riverside recreational activities only after treating those assumptions scrupulously.