The chosen opinion piece is a publication from The New York Times which is called “Japan: Stop Slaughtering Whales” (The New York Times, 2018). The article was published on 31 December 2018 by the editorial board. The thesis of the opinion piece states that Tokyo should reconsider its decision related to the exit from the International Whaling Commission. The opinion piece concludes that the act of withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission for the sake of insignificant political gain is a foolish decision for Japan.
The author starts with the argument from principle by saying that Tokyo should change its decision on exiting the International Whaling Commission and reconsider its policy regarding whaling because it is an industry that was abandoned by most nations and had claimed as cruel and dangerous for the mammals. The argument from principle is a kind of argument based on the basic truths and statements that serve as the basis of beliefs and behavioral systems and a series of arguments. Thus, the principle that the author has based their argument on is the idea that killing whales is an unnecessary and cruel act. In addition, it was emphasized that almost all countries have already abandoned whaling, thus, showing that the principle is common for most. Using such a type of argument highlights the dominance of the idea that Japan is acting out of normal behavior. By using the argument from principle, the author shows that it is not only their opinion but is supported by many other nations.
The next argument is a pragmatic type of argument, and it is based on the facts about the unnecessity of whaling and its consequences. Pragmatic arguments suggest or reject a series of actions based on their practical meaning. This type of argument evaluates action in terms of its favorable or unfavorable outcome. The argument starts by mentioning the fact that some Japanese politicians and actors claim that whaling eating meat, and using the oil of the whale is a part of Japanese traditions and identity. Even though the author admits the fact that Japanese people consumed whale meat a lot after World War II, today, the rate of meat consumption has radically decreased. Then, the author continues their argument by making clear that because people do not need more whale meat in their diet, killing whales is an unnecessary act, which will lead to the reduction of whales’ numbers on the earth. The author says that consumption of whale meat has plummeted; thus, killing whales is an unnecessary act, which will result in the extinction of whales.
The next type of argument is an argument with an example, which is a type of argument that uses examples to support the claim. The nature of provided examples varies and has a specific role and function. In the opinion piece, the author used an example of Donald Trump and his political approaches to show that he is a bad role model for Japan. To be more exact, the decision of Trump to reject the Paris climate treaty was treated as an example of a bad political decision. The author states that such a dismissive attitude towards international treaties, trade accords, and alliances have resulted in damage to international offer. I think that using an argument with an example is generally a useful technique; however, I doubt whether it is relevant to the given case.
Finally, the opinion piece includes the argument from the analogy type of argumentation. An analogical argument is a formal expression of a kind of analogical reasoning that uses the similarities observed between the two systems to support the conclusion that they are more similar. The analogical argument claims that two things are comparable, so what applies to the former also applies to the latter. The opinion piece makes an analogy of killing whales with killing such animals as rhinoceroses or elephants for trophies. The role of such an argument in the chosen opinion piece is to show that there are some animals on the planet killing, which are out of normal. Even though this type of argumentation might be effective in certain cases, I do not think that it is highly relevant in the given situation.
The reason for my dislike for using the last two types of argumentation in the given context is that they are not strong enough to support the thesis. I believe that these arguments lack enough evidence and explanation. For example, if the author decides to provide an example of Donald Trump and make such a claim that his decisions disrupted the international order, they should provide distinct justifications and proof for that. However, there were no specific examples of how Trump’s decisions led to adverse outcomes. The problem with the argument with analogy might also be irrelevant. I think that juxtaposing whales and elephants might not make sense for some people. The author did not provide any logical basis for comparing whales with elephants and rhinoceroses.
In conclusion, the opinion piece used different types of arguments to support the main thesis. Such types of arguments as the argument from example, argument from analogy, argument from principle, and pragmatic argument were provided. Even though all of these have an important role in supporting certain claims, using each type requires relevancy in terms of context and efficiency. I think that the argument from principle and pragmatic arguments served as a relevant and effective argumentation in the given topic. However, I do not see enough relevance in the argument with examples and arguments from analogy in this particular situation.
Japan: Stop Slaughtering Whales. 2018. The New York Times. Web.