PrepTest 1 (June 1991), Section A, Question 4--Please help!

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LSAT_Padawan
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PrepTest 1 (June 1991), Section A, Question 4--Please help!

Postby LSAT_Padawan » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:37 pm

I am having trouble understanding why it cannot be answer choice (C) or (E), particularly (C).

(Paraphrasing) This is a MUST BE TRUE question about the theory of military, how it's deterrence is based on a simple psychological truth-- that fear of retaliation makes a would be aggressor nation hesitate before attacking and is often sufficient to deter it altogether from attacking. The conclusion states that to maintain military deterrence, a nation would have to be believed to have retaliatory power so great that a potential aggressor nation would have reason to think that it could not defend itself against such retaliation.

If the statements above are true, which one of the following can be properly inferred?

(C) One nation’s failing to attack another establishes that the nation that fails to attack believes that it could not withstand a retaliatory attack from the other nation.

(D) It is in the interests of a nation that seeks deterrence and has unsurpassed military power to let potential aggressors against it become aware of its power of retaliatory attack.

(E) Maintaining maximum deterrence from aggression by other nations requires that a nation maintain a retaliatory force greater than that of any other nation.

To me, answer choice (C) a nation (that fails to attack) "believes that it could not withstand a retaliatory attack" sounds a lot like the stimulus' conclusion, "could not defend itself against such retaliation." I understand that answer choice (D) is the correct answer because it better summarizes the stimulus' elements; I just don't get why one would discount (C). Additionally, (E) sounds attractive too but I suppose it would fall under the category of an incorrect Must Be True answer because it "Could Be True."

Thanks for your enlightenment!
Last edited by LSAT_Padawan on Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

skip james
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Re: PrepTest 1 (June 1991), Section A, Question 4--Please help!

Postby skip james » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:58 pm

LSAT_Padawan wrote:I am having trouble understanding why it cannot be answer choice (C) or (E), particularly (C).

(Paraphrasing) This is a MUST BE TRUE question about the theory of military, how it's deterrence is based on a simple psychological truth-- that fear of retaliation makes a would be aggressor nation hesitate before attacking and is often sufficient to deter it altogether from attacking. The conclusion state that to maintain military deterrence, a nation would have to be believed to have retaliatory power so great that a potential aggressor nation would have reason to think that it could not defend itself against such retaliation.

If the statements above are true, which one of the following can be properly inferred?

(C) One nation’s failing to attack another establishes that the nation that fails to attack believes that it could not withstand a retaliatory attack from the other nation.

(D) It is in the interests of a nation that seeks deterrence and has unsurpassed military power to let potential aggressors against it become aware of its power of retaliatory attack.

(E) Maintaining maximum deterrence from aggression by other nations requires that a nation maintain a retaliatory force greater than that of any other nation.

To me, answer choice (C) a nation (that fails to attack) "believes that it could not withstand a retaliatory attack" sounds a lot like the stimulus' conclusion, "could not defend itself against such retaliation." I understand that answer choice (D) better summarizes the stimulus' elements, I just don't get why one would discount (C). Additionally, (E) sounds attractive too but I suppose it would fall under the category of an incorrect Must Be True answer because it "Could Be True."

Thanks for your enlightenment!


I'm not sure if you have the right test # listed, because I checked and the first section of PT1 is RC. Anyhow, I think I can help because I remember this question.

To be honest, I think you went wrong by not really playing close attention to the grammar of the sentence. The conclusion, as you stated, was:

"to maintain military deterrence, a nation would have to be believed to have retaliatory power so great that a potential aggressor nation would have reason to think that it could not defend itself against such retaliation."

the first part can be restated to read as a sufficient clause:

If Country X is to maintain MD (military deterrence) -->

the next part is the necessary:

"a potential aggressor nation (or Country Y) believes that they (Y) can't defend against X's retaliation"

But C says: "One nation’s failing to attack another establishes that the nation that fails to attack believes that it could not withstand a retaliatory attack from the other nation."

or in the lingo above:

IF Y does not attack X THEN...

"Y believes that they can't defend against X's retaliation"

____________________________________________________

The necessary conditions match up, but the key is does this:

If Country X is to maintain MD (military deterrence)

mean the same thing as this:

IF Y does not attack X

and I think the difference is subtle but still there. Country X maintaining deterrence ENTAILS that Y doesn't attack X, however Y not attacking X DOES NOT ENTAIL that X is maintain deterrence.

HTH.

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bgdddymtty
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Re: PrepTest 1 (June 1991), Section A, Question 4--Please help!

Postby bgdddymtty » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:29 pm

LSAT_Padawan wrote:(C) One nation’s failing to attack another establishes that the nation that fails to attack believes that it could not withstand a retaliatory attack from the other nation.

What about the alternative possibility that the non-attacking nation simply doesn't have a beef with the other nation? You've fallen for the fallacy that "if X, then Y" equals "if Y, then X." "If deterred, then not attack" does not necessarily mean "if not attack, then deterred."

(E) Maintaining maximum deterrence from aggression by other nations requires that a nation maintain a retaliatory force greater than that of any other nation.

It is irrelevant whether a nation actually maintains retaliatory force. What is required is that the other nation believes that it does.




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