pt-41 LR-2 Q16

jmjm
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:59 am

pt-41 LR-2 Q16

Postby jmjm » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:50 pm

This weaken-except question has choice (C) as the official credited response.

If "higher transportation costs" for the family are assumed to be occurring only from "oil, gasoline", then one could argue that choice (C) is relevant to the editorialist's argument and can weaken it if tax increase occurred mainly on coal and not on oil, gasoline.
Also, the question appears to equate "conservation" with "cleaner environment" or else choice (B) could be argued to be the right answer.

Why is (C) considered irrelevant to the argument?

CristopherG
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:12 pm

Re: pt-41 LR-2 Q16

Postby CristopherG » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:55 am

Not really, as to the point about question B. The conclusion is that the proposed tax hike would do more harm than good. The other premise doesn't really matter. You don't have to justify the tax advocates position - just discredit the editorialist's.

As far as C goes, it's right because it's so non-conclusive. What does a difference in taxation rates do to disprove his claims, and more importantly, to destabilize his conclusion? Literally nothing. Look at the other answer choices - they all include an explicit reference to a public good created by the tax. C doesn't even try to. Basically, you appear to be attacking premises/trying to justify the original argument, rather than trying to destabilize the conclusion - namely that the tax will do more harm than good.

If you have to assume things like "well graduated taxation could really mean X Y and Z, thus weakening the conclusion", you're making a bunch of unwarranted assumptions. It's not right because it strengthens his argument or anything, it's right because the other ones all clearly smack it in the face, and C just might.

jmjm
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:59 am

Re: pt-41 LR-2 Q16

Postby jmjm » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:06 pm

"more harm than good" is in reference to entities "to raise revenues and encourage conservation"; else the meaning of "harm" and "good" itself is subjective.

Choice (B) leads to good things but only because "cleaner environment" is a good thing when considered in reference to "conservation". Testmaker considered cleaner environment and conservation one and the same but it looks like this link should have been clarified in the question in the interest of clarity of question.

I agree that choice (C) based on certain assumptions ("well graduated taxation could really mean X Y and Z, thus weakening the conclusion") can either weaken the question conclusion or can be wholly irrelevant. So, if (B) has already been ruled out (I only have cleaner environment = conservation issue with the choice B), then nothing but (C) is right.
But, if an answer choice is stated in such a way that it is a superset of many scenarios one of which scenario can lead to it being a wrong answer choice, can LSAT still regard it as a right answer choice (this is what happens in choice C); is this an LSAT quirk?




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