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June 2007, Logical Reasoning 1, Question 12


When we see, is most similar, in its reasoning, we have a parallel reasoning question. Parallel reasoning questions are often time consuming, so make sure that you have the time to do the question before you dive into it. They're mostly used by the test maker to slow you down, because they're long and often complicated.

It's perfectly acceptable to skip parallel reasoning questions on your first pass through the section. That said, parallel reasoning questions, as you find an answer choice that has an argument, with the same structure as the argument given to you in the stimulus. That means that your first job is going to be to break the argument in the stimulus down into its component parts.

Understand its conclusion, its evidence, its overall structure. The correct answer is going to be the answer that has the same structure. This question has the additional challenge, that the language used is really off putting. They say keep a confidence. Cannot be obliged.

Instead of keep a secret and must, or have to. Also if you look over those answer choices, they are really long. All that taken together definitely puts this in the low priority question pile. Still, our conclusion is marked with the helpful conclusory keyword, therefore. Therefore one cannot be obliged both to answer all questions truthfully and to keep all promises.

So there's two things, you can't be required to do both. You don't have to answer all questions truthfully and keep all of your promises. The evidence then is the first two sentences, which give us two statements. First, they give us a hypothetical. Suppose I've promised to keep a confidence and someone asks me a question that I can't answer truthfully without thereby breaking the promise.

And the second piece of evidence follows the word obviously. Obviously, I can't both keep and break the same promise. So, the correct answer choice is gonna follow the structure. It's gonna give us a case where there's two things that can't be done simultaneously. Doing one means not doing the other.

And then it's gonna conclude that you can't be required to do both. The actual content of the answers can vary greatly from this, but the structure needs to be the same. Now also, the order of the writing doesn't have to be the same. Just the structure logically. Thus a correct answer could begin with the conclusion and then have the evidence following it and that would be fine.

As long as it's the same kind of evidence, the same kinda conclusion and it uses the evidence the same way. Let's go to the answers and find our parallel argument. Answer choice A, the conclusion is probably easiest to find here. So, is our conclusory keyword. So, it cannot be true both that we have an unencumbered right to say whatever we want and that we have a duty to be civil.

Well, that's good. We want there to be two things that we can't both. So have an unencumbered right to say whatever you want and have the duty to be civil. That lines up with our conclusion. You can't be required to both keep all your promises and always tell the truth.

For this answer to work, we need evidence telling us basically that those two things you can't do them at the same time. It is claim that we have the unencumbered right to say whatever we want. Okay, well, it's possible to make a promise to keep a secret. It's also claimed that we have an obligation to be civil to others. And you could be asked to answer a question that if you answered it truthfully, would mean that you broke the promise.

The civility requires that we not always say what we want. Well, you can't do both. Civility means not saying what you want. Both are impossible. So that's our answer. That is a parallel argument.

It has the same structure, so that's our answer choice. Let's glance down at the other answers to see why they're wrong. B says, some politicians could attain popularity with voters only by making extravagant promises. This, however, would deceive people. So it starts out with two things.

Make promises, deceive people. For this to be parallel, the rest of the answer would need to say, you can't be required both to deceive people and to make extravagant promises. When we get to the conclusion though, since the only way for some politicians to be popular is to deceive and any politician needs to be popular, it followers that some politicians must deceive.

Thus this conclusion is not the same. We need an argument where the politicians can't both be popular and deceive. It's not our answer. So scroll down to answer C. Find the conclusion, cuz that's the easiest part to compare. So, whatever we do we, risk her criticism.

That can't be the right answer, because for two arguments to be parallel, they have to have the same kinda conclusion. This argument's conclusion is not. We can't do both, but rather whatever we do, we're gonna get criticized for it. So go to answer choice D. Our conclusion is at the end again.

So either the creditors did not have legitimate claims or the business did not have sufficient resources. Once again, it's not a trade-off. The original argument's conclusion was you can't do both. This is saying that one of the two definitely has to have happened. Since the conclusion isn't parallel, it doesn't matter what's going on in the rest of the argument, this can't be our answer.

So go to answer choice E. In answer choice E, the conclusion is at the end again. So, we'll have to keep our business hours as they stand. That's not a trade-off either. It's just telling us that we have to do one thing, rather than saying we can't do both.

So since answer choice E doesn't have a parallel conclusion, it is not our parallel argument either. Thus answer choice A is our answer.

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