A Petition And The President Of The United States Essay example

A Petition And The President Of The United States Essay example

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In “A Petition to the President of the United States,” originally published in 1945 at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, physicist Leo Szilard conveys his concern about the potential use of atomic power by the United States. Szilard contends that the President ought to rule that the United States should not, in the present phase of the war, resort to the use of atomic bombs. Szilard further argues that introduction of atomic power use will establish a precedent with inconceivable consequences. The assertion of the author that the President should rule against the use of atomic bombs by the United States is successful due to the fact that it is supported with logical claims, emotional appeal, and factual statements.
Szilard effectively uses ethos by establishing in the beginning of his letter that he and the “undersigned scientists have been working in the field of atomic power for a number of years” (Szilard). In this manner, he has presented to the audience that his position is credible as he has a formal education in physics as well as expertise in the field of atomic power. Szilard also employs the use of ethos by referencing the fact that American Air Forces are utilizing the same warfare practices which were previously “condemned by American public opinion” when used by the Germans to attack English cities. He then further emphasizes his point by asserting that our use of atomic power would only lead to warfare practices of greater “ruthlessness” (Szilard). In this manner, the author implies to the audience that engaging in such behavior would be hypocritical as well as unjust.
The author effectively utilizes pathos by associating negative emotions with the opposing argument of his letter. Szilard states, “Atomic power wi...


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...ional manner, thus the intended message is carried out ardently. The letter begins with a clear introduction that points out the risks presented to the United States due to the finding of atomic power, and its successive placement in the hands of the American military force. The author has written this letter from a position of concern for the population of the United States as well as the rest of the world. While the author realizes that use of atomic power could terminate the war sooner, he believes that at the moment it is inexcusable. Szilard offers explanations on why the use of atomic power on Japanese cities would not be a good plan as well as when the use of atomic power may be warranted. The argument presented in the letter by Szilard, due to its use of logical claims, emotional appeal, and factual statements, is successful in conveying its intended message.

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