Thursday, August 26, 2010

GRE Argument Task 2

“Twenty-five years ago, the depiction of violence in film was rare in the country of Edonia, because the Decency Commission, a quasi-governmental body appointed by the President of Edonia, had the authority to prohibit the showing of violent movies. The authority of the Decency Commission steadily eroded with the result that the incidence of the depiction of violence increased. Two years ago, the Commission was abolished. During the same time, the incidence of crime among Edonia teenagers has increased dramatically. Over 90% of the parents surveyed by the Independent Inquiry Poll stated that they believe that movies are too violent. Therefore, the Decency Commission shodul be reestablished with a mandate to preclude the showing of violent movies in order to solve the problem of teenage crime in Edonia.”

The speaker believes that precluding the showing of violent movie will solve the problem of teenage crime in Edonia. It is also emphasized that the one should be given this mandate is the Decency Commission which then has to be reestablished. However, the argument has at least three questionable assumptions.

The most vulnerable assumption is whether is it true that the dramatic increase of crime among Edonia teenagers has been incited by the showing of violent movies. There are many other possible factors, such as displays of violence in other media or direct contact with newcomers with such inclination.

The second weakness in the argument is the poll indicating that 90% of parents surveyed believe that movies are too violent. In order to examine the quality of this result, the poll should be elaborated into more details it had given to the parents surveyed. Were they asked whether movies are too violent for teenagers or for children in common? Those who participated in the survey might think the rate of violence suggested was for young children or even toddlers. It is very likely that they would change their answers if it was clearly stated that they the ones they should put in mind are teenagers.

Even if it is true that violent movies is the strongest driver for teenagers in Edonia to commit crimes, still there is a problem with the assumption that reestablishing the Decency Commission would suppress the teenage crime rate. The speaker’s assumption that the commission’s achievements twenty-five years ago could be repeated is very unlikely to be correct. Nowadays, the highly-developed technology allows anyone who is internet-savvy enough to gain access to violent movies easily. Therefore, simply banning the showing of violent movies in the cinemas and television would not help much. Banning access to such movies in the Internet is much more complicated and there is no guarantee that the teenagers would not find any leak to the limitation imposed by the commission. Eventually, the reestablishment would generate no objective intended.

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