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#18 - Global Reference, Weaken

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Could you possibly explain why answer choice E is correct? I was a little confused by all of the answer choices and how they related to the question so I guessed D.

Thank you!
Adam Tyson
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Absolutely, dauckley! The question here is asking us to weaken the argument laid out in Passage B, so our first step might be to identify what that argument is. What is author B trying to prove? Most of the discussion is about why it is unlikely that we could ever successfully remove the concept of blame from our criminal justice system. The author believes, and provides some evidence for the claim, that blame is something that is just hard-wired into humanity and cannot be removed. The second paragraph, I think, captures this the most clearly where it says:

The blaming urge is deeply rooted in the human psyche, and I have considerable doubt that any amount of scientific evidence can remove it from our criminal justice processes.

That's the argument that author B is making, and that is what we need to weaken. So, we need an answer that suggests that maybe the author is wrong, and that blame is not such a fundamental human behavior or quality that we cannot excise it from our thinking.

Answer E does the job for us by showing that there is at least one example of human society that does not have that hard-wired behavior or belief system. If there are societies that have no concept of blame, then blame must be learned, rather than inherent in who we are. If it is learned, then our author is wrong about it being so deeply rooted. None of the other answers raise any doubts about whether blame is that much a part of who we all are.

I hope that helps! If not, blame me for not doing a good enough job!
Adam M. Tyson
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