to the top

#12- Ethicist: Although science is frequently said to be

syr1990
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 12:39 am
Points: 0

Could someone please explain why D is a better answer than B?
Steve Stein
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:33 pm
Points: 1,249

Thanks for your question. It would be helpful to know how you broke that one down, and how you were able to narrow the answer choices down to D and B.

Thanks!

~Steve
Steve Stein
PowerScore Test Preparation
taylor
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:00 am
Points: 0

I actually just took that preptest, and I got that question right, but I see how it can be confusing. While both B and D could possibly work, D more strongly supports the ethicist's statements. The criteria for something being "immoral" (choice B) are not explicitly mentioned in the stimulus. It's possible that a scientist who does research that turns out to yield harmful applications did not realize in advance that the consequences would be harmful, so perhaps ordinary morality would not judge his/her actions as "immoral."

Choice D, then, is a better fit. A scientist could pursue research without considering the harmful consequences and still adhere to science's "traditional value system" but violate the principle of ordinary morality that requires people to take such consequences into account.
Steve Stein
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:33 pm
Points: 1,249

In that one, the ethicist's basic point is that science has a traditional value system. To prove this, the author points to the fact that a scientist can forsee harm in some particular line of research, science values would say not to consider that potential harm, while ordinary moral values would dictate that we consider forseeable consequences.

Since the ethicist's statements are followed by a Must be True question, we can confirm the right answer choice based on the information provided in the stimulus. Answer choice D provides that a scientist can act according to scientific values but against standard moral values. This is exactly what the ethicist discussed.

As for answer choice B, there are a couple of problems:

First, the ethicist did not say that such research was always immoral--rather, that morality dictates that we at least consider the consequences of our actions.

Second, the ethicist's statements concerned forseeable detrimental consequences of research--not any research that eventually leads to some harm.

I hope that's helpful! Let me know whether this makes sense--thanks!

~Steve
Steve Stein
PowerScore Test Preparation