Essay, Pages 3 (656 words)
The reason she would have most likely be asking this question is probably because the world at the time is going through tough times such as The Depression and it also being post World War 1 era. Einstein’s response to Phyllis’s question was ineffective because it lacks ethos, pathos, and it did not give a straight forward answer to the question.
The lack of ethos made the argument less effective because even though Albert Einstein is one of the most famous scientists of the twentieth century, he did not show any credibility that he had towards the argument.
Yes he might have won a Nobel Prize for Physics, but that does not mean he knows anything about religion, also being the only scientist responding to Phyllis’s question, Einstein does not necessarily have the correct answer because he does not give the point-of-view of the other scientists.
Yes, Einstein was most likely one of the only known scientist at the time, and for that reason he would be the “go-to” guy, for this question, but that does not give him much credibility for this question.
The lack of pathos made the argument less effective because he did not show any emotion towards the reader, Phyllis Wright. Einstein should have showed more compassion towards Phyllis because she was merely a 6th grader, not one of his colleagues. Yes, Einstein had many facts on why scientists may or may not pray, but by the way he worded the response, it seemed that he did not take into consideration that Phyllis was just a young girl.
He also says that “a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer,” thus making it seem that there was no reason for Phyllis to even ask the question, thus making her feel like she just wasted his time asking him the question. His answer too was not straightforward, due to how he would say one thing and then went on saying something else that would go against his first argument by doing this; he is making it difficult for Phyllis to comprehend what he is trying to say.
If he were to use more pathos the argument would be more effective because it allows the reader to feel what the writer is feeling. Einstein did not lack logos, but he did fail to give a straight forward answer which in turn made the made the argument ineffective. He uses the “Red Herring Fallacy” in order to divert attention from the original question. For example he stated ”the belief in the existence of basic all-embracing laws in Nature also rests on a sort of faith” which has nothing to do with the question on whether scientist pray or not.
Using this fallacy makes Phyllis’s attention to her question divert from whether or not scientist pray to, whether or not there is a god. Einstein’s use of logos was used greatly throughout his argument, but he must remember that he is talking to a young girl and should not be talking to her as if it was one of his colleagues, so there is a chance that she did not comprehend the argument thoroughly. Because Einstein’s argument lacked ethos and pathos, as well as not giving a straight forward answer, it was ineffective.
The fact that he lacked ethos, made this essay ineffective because being a scientist does not give him any credibility towards religion. The lack of pathos, made this argument ineffective because he needs to make the reader feel the way he felt while writing this response. The way he worded the response made the argument unclear of what he wanted to say, which made the reader unsure of what his stand on the question was. Ethos, pathos, and logos are all necessary when attempting to make an effective argument, but Einstein seemed to have left some of these key factors out of his argument.