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#17- Ethicist: The penalties for drunk driving are far more

rachue
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Hi. Could someone please help me understand why D is a better choice than B in this question? Thanks in advance.
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Hi, can you clarify your thinking on this question? The more information you provide about your thought process, the more easily we can assist you.

Thanks!
rachue
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To me it seemed like B was the correct answer. I thought the claim ("the penalties for drunk driving are far more severe when the drunk driver accidentally injures people than when no one is injured") could be used to illustrate that the criteria of legal responsibility include but are not the same as those for moral responsibility. I just don't understand at all why D is the better answer and I need help understanding the thought process behind it.
Steve Stein
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That's a good question. The ethicist's claim is that moral responsibility is different from legal responsibility. If, as asserted by the ethicist, moral responsibility relies solely on intent, than one who does something immoral is in the wrong, at the same level, regardless of the outcome. In the eyes of the law, however, it doesn't work that way: in the case discussed here, the penalties tend to worsen when more people die as a result of a drunk driver's actions. So, the degree of legal responsibility can depend not only on one's intent, but also on the results of one's actions. This is provided by correct answer choice (D), which provides that, at least in some cases, legal responsibility can depend on factors other than intent.

Answer choice (B), on the other hand, asserts that criteria for legal responsibility for an action "include but are not the same as" those for moral responsibility. This would imply that what is illegal = what is immoral, and then some. This is not the case, however, since not everything considered to be immoral is against the law--many vices are completely legal, and in many cases illegal acts have nothing to do with immorality (jaywalking across an empty street, for example, might be technically illegal but is not particularly morally objectionable).
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reop6780
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I got this question right but was confused between answer B and D.

(B is incorrect while D is correct)

Is B incorrect as it states "illustration"?

That is, Is the first sentence of the stimuli, "the panalties...," so essential to the argument that it cannot be called as illustration?
Adam Tyson
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The real problem with answer B is not the illustration aspect of the answer, but rather the portion of the answer that says the criteria for legal responsibility INCLUDES the criteria for moral responsibility. Legal responsibility is different from moral responsibility? You bet - we have that. Includes that criteria? Nope, not supported - moral responsibility is based on intentions, while legal responsibility, at least in this case, is based on results and not on intentions. Legal responsibility criteria do not have to include moral responsibility criteria.

Every word counts on these things! Read carefully, think critically, and you'll win the prize.

Good luck! Keep studying!
Adam M. Tyson
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Pragmatism
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So, I chose the right answer only by eliminating all the wrong answer choices. However, I would like your input on: 1. did I eliminate the wrong answers for the right reason? 2. Why is D the right answer?

So, for starters, I honed in on the conclusion, " Therefore, legal responsibility, is different than moral responsibility." As for the answer choices:
— A) It is actually describing moral responsibility, which is more like a 1/2 and 1/2 answer.
— B) LR is different than MR
— C) Out of scope. No such comparison was made. If anything, LR and MR are not mutually exclusive, one can be seen to violate both at once.
— D) I selected this because it was the conclusion and it seemed right.
— E) Well, MR is a not the claim. If anything, I took that premise to support both the statement on MR and LR.

So, please help me with this.

Thanks
Adam Tyson
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To start with, let's prephrase. The first sentence, which is what we are being asked about, describes something about legal responsibility. This has nothing to do with morality, other than to compare it to what we learn about moral responsibility later and learn that they are different. Not mutually exclusive, not necessarily overlapping, just different. That first sentence is a premise, supporting the conclusion that the two are different, since morality is only about intentions and legality sometimes disregards intent. It's a premise that supports the conclusion: Boom - that's answer D! Prephrasing makes D much clearer.

As to how I would eliminate the others, much of my analysis matches yours. Here's mine:

A. Solely about unintended stuff? No, just partly.
B. Nothing suggests that morality is included in legality. They are different, that's all.
C. The sentence is not about morality, but about legality.
D. Matches my prephrase. Winner.
E. Same as C, this sentence isn't about morality at all, just legality.

Looks like we are mostly on the same page here, with a few minor differences. Nice job! Keep that going!
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wrjackson1
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Hi, I saw answer choice (D) as supporting a subsidiary conclusion, that legal responsibility relies on other factors than just intention ("depending as it does in at least some cases on factors other than the agent's intentions"). This subsidiary conclusion is used in combination with the second sentence to support the overall conclusion that the two types of responsibility are different. Is this the correct interpretation?
Adam Tyson
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I think that's a valid way of looking at it, wrjackson! You could indeed say that "legal responsibility depends in at least some cases on factors other than the agent’s intentions" is a subsidiary or intermediate conclusion, which in turn supports the main conclusion that the two types of responsibility are different. Well done!
Adam M. Tyson
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