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#12 - Politician: It is wrong for the government to restrict

vgsundar
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Hello!

Usually on the thread, the first post is the explanation by the PS expert that gives the answer to the question and a detailed reasoning for each answer choice and why a particular answer choice is correct/incorrect...etc. I am unable to find the detailed explanation for this question. I may be just overlooking it... If so, could someone point me to the right direction?

Thank you in advance!
Jonathan Evans
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Hi, VGSundar!

Unfortunately, while we have complete answer explanations available for many LSAT sections, we do not have answer explanations done for all of them. We do endeavor to do as many of these as possible.

However, we are available to answer any question you may have.

In the meantime, I'll do a quick breakdown of this question:

    Synopsis of stimulus:

  • If not to prevent harm :arrow: Gov't restricting liberty of individuals is wrong.
  • Publish something :arrow: liberty
  • Offend :arrow: not harm

    Question type: Must Be True

    Prephrase: What do we know for sure from the information above? Let's connect the statements. Since we know publishing something is a liberty, we therefore know Gov't restricting individuals' publishing something is wrong, unless maybe to prevent harm.

    We also know to offend is not harm. Therefore we can further connect the dots to establish that Gov't restricting individuals' publishing something that is only offensive is wrong.

    This is because the one case in which the government might be justified in restricting a liberty is when such a liberty could cause harm to others. To offend fails to pass this test.

    Answer choices:

    A) This is the credited response. This is a spot on match for our prephrase. Since we know to offend is not to cause harm, we know that restricting liberty of something that is only offensive would not meet the criteria established in the stimulus. This passes the Fact Test™ and is correct.

    B) We actually don't know this for sure. It might not be wrong for the government to restrict liberty in a situation in which harm could occur, but the information in the stimulus fails to establish that this harm situation is a sure thing. In other words, it might still be wrong for the government to restrict liberty even in a situation in which harm could occur. Notice the language "except perhaps" in the stimulus.

    C) We do not have any criteria to determine whether or not something is offensive.

    D) We do not have any criteria to determine what is right of wrong for an individual to do. The only thing we have information about is what is right or wrong for the government to do.

    E) We do not have any information about different degrees of harm. This is outside the scope of the argument. Notice that "not right" :dbl: "wrong"

I hope this helps!
hanvan
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In the test prep book, the politician said" it is wrong for the government to restrict.....except perhaps..to cause harm" ...because of the " except perhaps, so we negate the sufficient condition, and keep the phrase after except perhaps as necessary condition. This means: " it is NOT wrong for the goverment to restrict........" I saw the right answer is A instead of B, while B is right fit the bill? Please help me! :( thanks so much!
Steve Stein
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Thanks for your question. "Except perhaps" means that there might be an exception--under certain conditions. That is, certain necessary conditions.

When the author says that it is wrong to restrict individual liberties, except perhaps (in some limited cases) to prevent harm.

In other words, the only situation in which such a restriction would be warranted (if ever) would be to prevent harm:

restriction of liberty not wrong --> prevent harm

Let me know whether that clears this one up--thanks!

~Steve
Steve Stein
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hanvan
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I looked again in the answer B, it is Mistaken Reversal, because of the phrase " it is not wrong.....when failing to do so...". That's why this answer choice is wrong.
Thanks, Steve.
Sdaoud17
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Can you please show me the right Digram for each Answer choices , Even Though I got A is the Correct answer I want to make sure I was in the right Track of my diagraming.

Also Would you agree that the word restrict "Negative term" could count as Double negative in any sentence that has Not, No , wrong for Example :
My mom didnot restrict me from playing today. in other words :
My mom let me play today.
from this simple example , you can see that the word restrict is counted as negative term. would you agree then "NO, Not , Wrong + Restrict = double Negative"

I am asking this question because I had some difficulty diagraming the first Sentence especially when I saw the word Except.

Thank you
Steve Stein
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Hi Sdoud17,

In some cases, a double negative is equivalent to a positive; never being present is the same as always being absent, for example. With that said, I avoid re-characterizing when possible.

For the first sentence of the question you asked about, you could apply the Unless Equation (which also works for "except" and other similar terms such as "until" and "without"). It is wrong to restrict individual liberties unless (perhaps) failing to restrict would allow harm.

NOT wrong to restrict :arrow: Not restricting would allow for harm

Contrapositive:

Not restricting would NOT allow for harm :arrow: Wrong to restrict

You could recharacterize each non-restriction as an allowance, but in my opinion, the less moving parts, the better. Regardless, either way will work.

I hope that's helpful! Let me know. As for the other answer choices, I'm not sure which you're asking about, but if there are any diagrams that you'd like checked, if you could post those, we'd be happy to assess them. Thanks!

~Steve
Steve Stein
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netherlands
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Hi there PS,

I thought that "C" was incorrect because it was a "shell game" as I think you guys refer to it.

It talks about whether the actions of the government were "offensive or harmful" - yet, the stimulus never connects either of those characteristics to the actions of the government, the stimulus only states whether with the government is doing is "right" or "wrong".

Why does your explanation say that C contradicts the conditional statement? Saying that what the government is doing is " not harmful" is not necessarily a contradiction of it being "not right" is it?

I guess everything about "C" seemed to be wrong to me, all the way down to their trying to associate certain words with government actions that were never associated with those actions in the stimulus - so I wasn't sure how you just pinned it down to it being "contradictory". And I want to be sure to curb my elimination process if I'm eliminating for the wrong reasons.

Thanks in advance! :)
Steve Stein
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Hi Netherlands,

Thanks for your question. Answer choice C cannot be properly inferred from the politician's statements; it does not pass the Fact Test, because it cannot be confirmed by the information provided in the stimulus.


I hope that's helpful!

~Steve
Steve Stein
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netherlands
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Ok. So simply put, the stimulus didn't tell us anything about whether the governments actions were "offensive" or not - therefore its unsupported.