PT50 S4 Q18: Pesticides

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PT50 S4 Q18: Pesticides

Postby WaltGrace83 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:25 pm

THere was a thread on this question awhile back but it has since been defunct. Can anyone help me out with this question? I have been staring at it for hours.

Okay. So the argument is essentially this:

E&Z cause greater environmental harm than T
((E&Z banned) v (T legalized))

Thus, there can be 3 outcomes to this;
(1) E&Z & T = both legal (if you choose T to be legalized)
(2) E&Z & T = both illegal (if you choose E&Z to be banned)
(3) E&Z is banned & T is legalized (if you choose both - correct me if I am wrong in the ability to choose both due to the phrase "either/or" here)

Now let's look at the answer choices:
(A) Two pesticides should not both be legal if one is measurably more harmful to the environment than the other is.
(B) Two pesticides should both be legal only if neither is harmful to the environment.
(C) Two pesticides should both be illegal only if both are harmful to the environment.
(D) One pesticide should be legal and another illegal only if the former is less harmful to the environment than is the latter.
(E) One pesticide should be legal and another illegal if the former is harmless to the environment and the latter is harmful to it.

So if we put this in a logical formula, it would look like this (I do believe...)
(A) One is measurably more harmful to the environment than the other --> Two pesticides should not both be legal
(B) Two pesticides should both be legal --> Neither is harmful to the environment
(C) Two pesticide should both be illegal --> Both are harmful to the environment
(D) One pesticide should be legal and another illegal --> Former is less harmful than latter
(E) Former is harmless and latter is harmful to it --> One should be legal and another illegal

So now I can analyze the conditional statements:
(B) Well if we say that, "okay, let's legalize both of them! (aka we do outcome 1)" this doesn't necessarily mean that NEITHER are HARMFUL. They are probably harmful to some extent or perhaps one is harmful and the other harmless. We simply do not know! Therefore, that word "harmful" without talking about any relative relationship is too strong. Eliminate it.
(C) Okay, well if we say that "both should be illegal! (aka we do outcome 2)" this doesn't necessarily mean that BOTH are HARMFUL. Maybe one is harmful? Maybe they both are but we simply do not know. As the same for (B), we just really don't know. Eliminate it.
(E) Once again, we have the word "harmless." No one ever said that one was "harmless." Eliminate it.

So I am left with (A) and (D). I chose A because I think that it mimicked the type of reasoning that was going on in the argument. My problem with (A) though is the word "measurably." I just think it is weird that it introduced the word "measurably" here. Also, it doesn't really give the opportunity for outcome (1), which is also a problem.

However, (D) doesn't really give the option for any other outcome than (3). According to the argument, can't both legal even if one is more harmful than the other? I don't know. This question just is really really confusing me. I hope someone can offer some advice.
Last edited by WaltGrace83 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PT50 S4 Q18: Pesticides

Postby ScottRiqui » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:29 pm

I don't know - "D" really makes the most sense to me.

In the question, the author describes a situation where a harmful pesticide (two, actually) are legal, while a third, less-harmful pesticide is illegal. The author obviously disagrees with this situation, saying that either all of them should be banned, or at least the banned one should be made legal.

And that's exactly what D is saying - the only time you should have one pesticide that's banned while another is legal is if the legal one is less harmful than than the banned one.

Working from that philosophy, your choices are either to legalize TSX-400 (making all three legal and removing the conflict), or ban Envirochem and Zanar (making all three illegal and again removing the conflict). You could also make TSX-400 legal AND ban the other two, I guess.

So the logical result of applying the philosophy described in 'D' leads you to the same conclusion the author stated - that we should legalize TSX-400 or ban Zanar/Envirochem, so that we're not in the position of having a legal pesticide that's more harmful than a banned one.

EDIT - Also, 'A' describes a situation where you have two legal pesticides with different levels of harmfulness. That's not the situation that's described in the stimulus. The author is obviously okay with having two or more legal pesticides that differ in harmfulness, since that's what would happen if you took his recommendation to legalize TSX-400 while keeping Zanar and Envirochem legal.


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Re: PT50 S4 Q18: Pesticides

Postby magickware » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:08 pm

Why're you breaking this question down that way?

The stimulus basically breaks down like so-
E and Z are not harmful to the environment, while TSX-4000 is. Therefore, TSX-4000 is banned from use while E and Z are not. However, recent studies show that E and Z actually cause greater harm to the environment that TSX-4000 does. Therefore, either E and Z should be banned or TSX-4000 should be legalized.

Now, there are two possibilities here.

If you choose the first one, where E and Z should be banned, then all three are banned. They are presumably banned because anything that is equally bad or worse than TSX-4000 should be banned.

If you choose the second then, where TSX-4000 is legalized, then you have to follow the logic that it doesn't make sense to ban things that are less worse than things that are legal.

Let's go to the answers-

A-Well, no. If that was the case, then the second possibility shouldn't be allowed. In the second possibility, all three pesticides are legal, and that goes against what A says. E and Z are supposedly measurably worse than TSX-4000 is, but we're still entertaining the possibility of having all three legal.

B-This should be an auto-cross off because it blatantly goes against the second possibility. Don't even have to bother working with the seemingly complicated language here.

C-This one goes once again goes against the second possibility. The second possibility allows us to have pesticides that are harmful to the environment legal.

D- This actually matches the initial logic we see in the stimulus. One pesticide is not allowed because it is supposedly worse than the other two. Then suddenly we see that the other are actually worse than the first one. Therefore, if you were to just merely follow the logic we had previously, then TSX-4000 cannot be illegal so long as E and Z are both legal.

Now, notice how the first possibility leads to all of them being illegal, and the second leads to all of them being legal? If they're all illegal, then D is satisfied. D only deals with the situations in which we have a legal pesticide and an illegal pesticide. So, if they're all illegal, then you don't need to worry about which one is more harmful and whatnot.

If they're all legal, then D is satisfied again. Why? Because we don't have an illegal one.

E- We don't have any pesticides that are harmless to the environment here. Auto X.

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Re: PT50 S4 Q18: Pesticides

Postby mindarmed » Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:26 pm

you can't poast full LSAT questions on TLS

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Re: PT50 S4 Q18: Pesticides

Postby Clyde Frog » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:32 pm

Yeah, if you post full LSAT question you goin' ta jail.

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