Feb '96 Section IV LR Q25 (from official lsat superprep)

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Feb '96 Section IV LR Q25 (from official lsat superprep)

Postby tskela » Thu May 07, 2015 4:01 pm

"People's intentions cannot be, on the whole, more bad than good."

I don't quite understand the book's explanation for why A is correct. All the answer choices just confuse the hell out of me. What are the "claims" and the "beliefs" in the prompt that many of the answer choices refer to? Especially the "two claims" referenced in B and the "true belief" in A. I crossed out C, D and E but I'm having trouble understanding what both A and B mean.

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Re: Feb '96 Section IV LR Q25 (from official lsat superprep)

Postby giantswan » Fri May 15, 2015 7:28 pm

In case you still need this answered:

The first step is to make sure you understand the argument. I'm going to rephrase it below so that hopefully the premises/conclusion are clear.

Louis: If people's intentions were more bad than good, we would stop trusting each other and no society can survive without mutual trust. Therefore, people intentions are not more bad than good.

Before you even get to the question stem, you should be thinking about whether this is a good argument - basically does the conclusion logically follow. The problem with this argument is pretty much that it is taking for granted that our society will survive. Broken down even further it is saying: "If X (people's intentions being bad) is true than Y (society not surviving) would happen. Therefore, X is not true." However that conclusion does not follow since there is absolutely no reason that we know of in our LSAT world that Y can't happen.

So looking at answer choices A and B:

A) In simpler terms: The argument is ignoring the possibility that a true belief (people's intentions being bad) can have negative consequences (society not surviving).

This is basically another way of saying what we figured out before reading the question stem/answer choices. The argument is telling us this belief is untrue because it leads to negative consequences, but there is no reason that we know of that those negative consequences can't happen. Sometimes beliefs do have negative consequences and the argument is ignoring that possibility.

B) I can't really explain this further than saying that it's simply not happening in the argument. Which may be why the answer choice didn't make sense to you.

Hope that helped.

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