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#21 - Ethicist: People who avoid alcoholic beverages simply

PowerScore Staff
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Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen—PR. The correct answer choice is (C)

The ethicist in this stimulus asserts that those who abstain from drinking do not deserve praise if their abstinence is based on financial constraints, or on lack of desire, unless that lack of desire is the result of disciplining oneself in order to refrain.

The question stem asks for the principle which would strengthen (or "most justify") the author's argument. A prephrase for such a principle would be something like "praise is only merited when one's abstinence from an act has required discipline."

Answer choice (A): The stimulus presents no discussion of the consequences of one's behavior, so this principle does not lend strength to the author's argument.

Answer choice (B): This choice deals with blameworthiness, while the ethicist's argument deals only with praiseworthiness, so answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. The ethicist has already ruled out financial constraints and simple preference as justification for praise. According to this principle and to the ethicist, praise is only due to those whose natural desires have been overcome with discipline.

Answer choice (D): While the ethicist does require arduous discipline to justify praise for abstinence, there is no discussion of the relationship between the arduousness of attaining self-discipline and an individual's particular desires and aversions, so this answer choice does not strengthen the author's conclusion.

Answer choice (E): No such proportionality is suggested by the ethicist, and the stimulus does not deal with blameworthiness at all, so this answer choice is incorrect.
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Hi. I tried to explain this question to myslef with conditional diagrams since so many conditional indicating elements are loaded in Q stem and in the answer choices. But couldnt make myself witb convincing and undetstandable diagram. Am i Doing something wrong.? Here i come to find out and realize the Powerscore staff solved the question without coditional relationship diagram. Am i missing something?
Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
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While there are conditional indicators such as "people who", we don't end up with classic conditionality because the claims conclude not with things that are necessary but only things that "should" be true. While we could force these into a conditional framework (avoid because not afford :arrow: should be praised), the presence of "should" rather than a more absolute indicator like "must" suggests that a conditional approach may not be the best one. Instead, focus on the "should" aspect of the argument. It isn't about facts and certainty, but about opinions and right vs wrong.

Not every conditional indicator requires a diagram! It takes practice and experience to know when to use it and when not to, but looking for differences like "should" rather than "must" will help. Keep at it!
Adam M. Tyson
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