An effective argumentative essay convinces readers to share the author’s position of the author and he/she does this by providing logical arguments to substantiate his/her assertions. To back the author’s logical arguments he/she must in turn provide evidence to support his/her claims. The article of Patrick Guinan (2002) on “Bioterrorism, Embryonic Stem Cells, and Frankenstein” presents the argument that the quest for scientific knowledge has its limits and that ethical and moral conception of God and humanity should take precedence over the desire to discover and create scientific cures.
Guinan at the first part of his article presents logical arguments that developing a super-germ is a threat to human lives. He goes on to discuss embryonic stem cell research and cloning as scientific discoveries and the advantages of the procedure as well as its advantages. He referred to how humans are developed from cells and how human DNA can be permanently altered to the detriment of the human species.
However, from this point on, Guinan have made use of emotional appeals to convince the reader that stem cell and cloning are not necessary and ethically wrong, he played on the general fear of the reader regarding the possibility of mishaps occurring in the process of cloning or stem cell research. Guinan then shifted to a discussion about Frankenstein and Faust and argued that they are classic examples of scientific curiosity gone wrong. He goes on to cite biblical evidences and mythological characters that have been punished or given retribution for succumbing to their personal curiosity or as he called it forbidden knowledge.
Again, Guinan made use of emotionally laden arguments, it is obvious that the examples he cited inspire fear and possible worst scenarios that would occur if man was to continue with his pursuit of the forbidden knowledge. He also adds the example that the physicists discovery of the nuclear power have led to tremendous destruction. He also gives evidence that the medical profession is riddled with scrupulous and unethical scientists. He concludes that man if given the chance will still attempt to seek forbidden knowledge in the guise of scientific advancement.
Guinan had heavily made use of emotional arguments than logical ones, although in some instances he attempts to argue logically but his assumptions are weak and at times false. Like when he argued that our culture contain myths and stories that punish those who give in to their curiosity, this argument appears to be sound but if the reader is familiar with the story of Pandora then one would know that Pandora was enticed by the box as well as eve was enticed by the serpent. Moreover his use of scientific evidences was not enough considering that the main topic of the article was scientific procedures.
What little scientific data he had he used to elaborate more on his arguments and to describe the cloning and stem cell research process and the development of a super-germ rather than to substantiate his arguments. He also relied on the emotional reaction of his readers to convince them to share his point of view, upon reading the article, a reader would believe his assumptions as he evoke mental images of Frankenstein the monster, the 9-11 attacks, anthrax and even the release of the seven deadly sins which are all frightening and seem to overcome the importance of scientific advancement.