Workplace safety, a fun argument

Honestly, I heard this on NPR. Because I'm a philosonerd, I'll render the argument schematically.
  1. No mine worker would willingly enter a mine unless it were operating safely.
  2. The miners in Utah willingly entered the mine.
  3. Hence, the Utah mine was operating safely.

It seems to me that figuring out where this argument goes wrong turns on the question of how best to understand the degree of freedom of the workers. If you think that the choices workers make about where to work and under what conditions are best described as being uncoerced and fully informed, then I think you have to say that the first premise is false. Which is to say that if you hold the view that becoming a coal miner is the sort of thing which might be freely chosen by someone who understands the risks, then you ought to acknowledge that people sometimes freely choose to do unsafe things. If, on the other hand, you tend to think that the choices made by workers are subject to coercion or are not made in full knowledge of the facts, then the second premise falls under suspicion.

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