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#18 - Editorial: In order to encourage personal

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Complete Question Explanation

Cannot Be True—PR. The correct answer choice is (E)

This editorial asserts that to encourage personal responsibility, society should avoid restricting any acts, or their consequences, with one exception: preventing detriment to others.

The stimulus is followed by a Cannot Be True—Principle question, which means that the correct answer choice will be the only one that is not consistent with the principle in the editorial. The four incorrect answers will be consistent with the principle as presented.

Answer choice (A): This choice supports personal freedom to waste time, but suggests restricting activities that might be detrimental to others, so this answer is consistent with the principle presented in the stimulus, and cannot be the right answer to this Cannot Be True question.

Answer choice (B): This choice concludes that activities should not be restricted, because there is no reason to believe that they would have detrimental effects on others. This is in line with the principle presented in the stimulus, making this one of the four consistent, and incorrect, answer choices.

Answer choice (C): The author of the stimulus provides that in the interest of encouraging adult personal responsibility, the only restrictions on actions or their consequences should be made to prevent detriment to others. This choice provides that where there are other ways to avoid detriment to others, broad restrictions should not be imposed. Since this is consistent with the principle from the editorial, it is one of the four incorrect answer choices to this Cannot Be True question.

Answer choice (D): This choice supports restrictions on driving speed, in the interest of preventing harm to others. This is perfectly consistent with the principle presented in the editorial; since it is not inconsistent, this choice should be ruled out of contention in response to this Cannot Be True question.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice, as this is the only choice that is inconsistent with the editorial’s principle. Based on the fact that a lot of people ignore product warnings, this choice suggests that consumption of products with harmful substances be legally prohibited. The editorial, however, specifies that restrictions only be enforced to prevent detriment to others—not to oneself. This confirms this as the answer choice that is not consistent with the principle presented in the stimulus, and as the right answer to this Cannot Be True question.
SherryZ
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Hi there, it is me again :ras: It is so frustrated that I got so many questions wrong :cry:

My understanding to the principle of the stimulus is "Don't interfere/restrict adult's acts EXCEPT to prevent harms to OTHERS".

I picked C but the correct answer is E. I did not pick E because I thought E did not "HARM OTHERS".

Also, could you explain why C is NOT right?

THank you so much!

Best regards,
Sherry
David Boyle
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SherryZ wrote:Hi there, it is me again :ras: It is so frustrated that I got so many questions wrong :cry:

My understanding to the principle of the stimulus is "Don't interfere/restrict adult's acts EXCEPT to prevent harms to OTHERS".

I picked C but the correct answer is E. I did not pick E because I thought E did not "HARM OTHERS".

Also, could you explain why C is NOT right?

THank you so much!

Best regards,
Sherry


Hello Sherry,

It's actually because you don't have harm to others in E, that E is the right answer! E is about people harming themselves but being restricted anyway ("consuming such substances should be illegal"), which contradicts the "libertarian" thrust of the principle in the stimulus, about not interfering with people.
In answer choice C, by contrast, other people could be harmed, but the author says that there are other ways, besides a ban, to prevent the harm. That goes along with the "libertarian" principle.

Hope that helps,
David
SherryZ
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Hi David,

Thank you for your help! Could you rephrase the principle of the stimulus? I still don't get it and I guess maybe because my pre-phrase is wrong.

Also, could you explain D? It seems that D says that it is ok to interfere with ppl's actions. Does it contradict to the principle?

Thank you!

--Sherry
David Boyle
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SherryZ wrote:Hi David,

Thank you for your help! Could you rephrase the principle of the stimulus? I still don't get it and I guess maybe because my pre-phrase is wrong.

Also, could you explain D? It seems that D says that it is ok to interfere with ppl's actions. Does it contradict to the principle?

Thank you!

--Sherry


Hello,

"In order to encourage personal responsibility in adults, society should not restrict the performance of any of the actions of adults or interfere with the likely results except to prevent negative effects on others." is a sort of "libertarian" thing (look up John Stuart Mill). I thought you phrased it fairly well, about noninterference unless you hurt someone else.
D fits with that principle, in that highway accidents hurt other people, and no alternative is given to speed limits.

David
Nikki Siclunov
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The following is a response to a question we received about PT69, LR1 Q18 (CANNOT-Principle question)

The principle in the stimulus boils down to this:
Restrict activity :arrow: Prevent harm to others

(notice the use of the word “except,” which is analogous to “unless” as a necessary condition indicator).

The correct answer choice to a CANNOT be true question would show an example where the sufficient condition occurs, but the necessary condition does not. In other words, a situation where an activity is being restricted for reasons other than to prevent harm to others.

Answer choices (A), (B), (C) can be eliminated because their conclusion does not involve restricting an activity. Answer choice (C) is particularly attractive, but ultimately incorrect. The principle does not suggest that every instance of preventable harm to others should be restricted – answer choice (C) is inconsistent with the Mistaken Reversal of the principle in the stimulus, but consistent with (i.e. could be true in the context of) the principle as stated above.

Answer choices (D) and (E) are the only ones where the conclusion argues for restricting an activity, and thus suggest a possible violation of the principle. Answer choice (D), however, is consistent with it, because the restriction is justified (it prevents injury to other people). By contrast, in answer choice (E) the only rationale for restricting consumable substances with harmful ingredients is to prevent harm to those who consume them (as they ignore the warning labels). Since the necessary condition of the principle is not satisfied (the rationale has nothing to do with preventing harm to others) the activity should not be restricted. Answer choice (E) argues that it should be, which violates the principle outlined in the stimulus. Consequently, answer choice (E) cannot be true.
Nikki Siclunov
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bli2016
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Hi, I got this question correct but I was quite tempted by A because the answer choice deals with students, who are presumably not adults, the stimulus specifies that the principle only applies to adults. Am I overthinking things? I do understand how E directly violates the principle, so now I am thinking that perhaps E is just a better answer choice than A comparatively. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks!
Adam Tyson
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You bring up an interesting point here, bli, but I think there are two problems with your analysis. First, are all students necessarily children? I should think all you would have to do is consider the people engaged in this forum to see the flaw in that assumption! Students can be adults, too, like LSAT students and college students and law school students and graduate students and GED students and so on, and so on, and so on.

Second, though, is this - even if all students are children, there is no way that answer A, about children, could possibly conflict with a principle about adults! "Consistent" means "not in conflict with". It does not mean "agrees with" or "follows", which is how some folks might mistakenly interpret it (and I suspect that is what happened here with you, in which case you are in good company). If the principle is "leave adults alone unless they are harming someone", how would "leave children alone" or even "don't leave children alone" conflict with that? The only conflict that could exist with that principle would be to show that we are restricting some adults who are not harming anyone.

Answer A, if applied to adult students, is still consistent with the principle, because it says we should restrict the harmful-to-others activities but not those that are not harmful to others. That follows the principle perfectly!

The takeaway here is the particular meaning of "consistent with" on the LSAT. Again, all it means is that two ideas or claims do not conflict with each other, but can coexist peacefully, either because they are in agreement or simply because they have no impact on each other. "I like meatloaf" is completely consistent with "I do not like to go shopping" because these two statements can both be true simultaneously.

I hope that information turns out to be consistent with your improved performance on the LSAT!
Adam M. Tyson
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