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Determine which of the following is an underlying assumption of the above argument

A fear of spiders could be justified in that the bite of all spiders is to some extent venomous.

However, we need to put this justification into perspective.In the United States, which has more than its fair share of hard-biting spiders, only three people die from spider bites each year and they are usually small children or the frail elderly.

Furthermore, a good rule is that if a spider spins a web, as all British spiders do, its jaws are unlikely to be strong enough to penetrate human skin.  Even when a web spider does bite humans, its venom is unlikely to be dangerous.  Clearly people in Britain have no good reason to fear spiders.

Which one of the following is an underlying assumption of the above argument?

A.Very few British spiders have a venomous bite.
B.Most people in Britain are unlikely to be afraid of spiders.
C.Most spiders that do not spin webs can bite through human skin.
D.The only way in which spiders can harm people is by biting them.
E.It is only very small children and the frail elderly who are affected by the venom of spiders.

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  1. Last Week’s Answer: D is the correct response.

    The reasoning is as follows:

    A fear of spiders could be justified in that the bite of all spiders is venomous BUT:
    Reason 1: In the United States, which has more than its fair share of biting spider, only three people die form spider bites each year.

    Reason 2: they are usually small children or the frail elderly.
    Intermediate conclusion: We need to put this into perspective.

    AND

    Reason 3: A good rule is that if a spider spins a web, as all British spiders do, its jaws are unlikely to be strong enough to penetrate human skin.

    Reason 4: Even when a web spider does bite humans, its venom is unlikely to be dangerous.

    This reasoning supports the conclusion: People in Britain have no good reason to be afraid of spiders.

    Clearly, this argument rests on the assumption that being bitten is what people fear. To draw the conclusion it has to be assumed that biting is the only way spiders can harm people and hence justify their fear.

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