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June 2007, Logical Reasoning 2, Question 24


Question 24,when a question asks us to justify the argument, that's a strengthened question. Strengthen questions involve connecting the evidence and conclusion more tightly together. In other words, supporting the arguments assumption. Before we can find the arguments assumptions, we need to understand the argument, which means breaking it down into its conclusion and its evidence.

Conclusion here is found in the first sentence and then again in the second half of the first sentence. They essentially say it twice, the first sentence is the double negative. There are some people who claim that people are not born evil, but, rather, they're made evil by imperfect institutions, and the sociologist says that can't be right.

So, in other words, people can't be made evil by the imperfect institutions that they form. There's a single piece of evidence for this after the evidence key word after all, after all, institutions are merely collections of people. If this doesn't seem like a very good argument. Well, that's pretty common on strengthen questions that use the word justify, there's usually a very large gap.

And the gap here is, well, what is it about being a collection of people that stops institutions from affecting the people? There isn't really a reason given for that. So when we look into the answer choices, we're gonna be looking for a reason for that. So on to the answers, answer choice A.

Well, this won't help us prove that people are born evil, just that when they team up, they can do more good, or evil. Doesn't tell us where the evil came from. So, A isn't our answer. Answer choice B, institutions may be inevitably imperfect, but that doesn't tell us what made them imperfect.

Was it the people that made the institutions bad, was it the institution that made the people bad? We're still no closer to connecting the evidence and conclusion, so B isn't our answer. Take a look at C, well, C is something that probably is true if you already believe the argument.

If you believe that people are born evil, then you probably shouldn't be very overly optimistic about those people, but this won't help us prove that the argument is true. It's just something that makes sense if it's true. So it's not our answer, go to answer choice D, a society's institutions are the surest gauge that society's values.

Well, this further links, institutions and values, but it doesn't tell you what the direction the link is. Do the institutions create the values, do the values create the institution? So that means that by default, the answer must be E, but let's see why. Answer choice E, the whole does not determine the properties of the things that compose it.

Well, yeah, that would justify the argument. The whole here is the institutions, the things that compose it, the people. So if the institutions can't affect the people, then it's true that institutions don't make people evil. So answer choice E is the answer.

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