This task is proven more difficult than anticipated actually, and I needed about an hour to be half-way satisfied. Yet, an online evaluation tool gave it 3.6 from 6. I would therefore very much appreciate a human evaluation and detailed feedback.
Here is the challenge:”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 surveys Mason City residents rank water sports (swimming, boating, and fishing) 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.
The argument claims that access to clean water is the only barrier for the residents of Mason City to quality recreational time pursuing their favourite water sports. This is backed up by both surveys on their interests and their complaints about the quality of the water flowing through the city.
While cleaning up the river can be regarded as a priority on its own, given the impact of pollutants on the lives of water inhabitants, its effect in promoting water sports can be debatable. For one, drawing such a conclusion would be based on the river being the only accessible water source around the city, and that it is actually suitable for such kind of sports. In reality, the speed of flow and depth of the river could be more detrimental in people’s ability to engage in water sports in the first place.
Another assumption is that those residents will be keen on and actually practice once the water is clean. This discounts the effect of the city’s weather and temperature on people’s readiness, and also social and cultural taboos that might have developed around these activities, for example as a result of high rate of accidents that occurred in the past to those who went to the river.
While the surveys seems to be swaying towards the opposite direction, this discrepancy might well be due to the wording of questions, the order of answers, or simply the inclusion criteria of participants to the study. Even the complaints about the quality of water could have been raised by environmental activists who are naturally more concerned with the lifes of all God’s creation than they are with water sports. The interests of those filing complaints or designing the survey are indeed keys to qualifying their conclusions.
Without further details on the city’s socio-economical and geographical status, acting based on this statement alone could lead to greater wrath from the people, as they see their tax money being wasted on recreation, as opposed to the money contributing towards their well-being. Such lack of trust between the people and government could not only cause losses in votes in election, but also greater ridge between the members of society.