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## #6 - Specific Reference, Weaken

natalierohrig
• Posts: 5
• Joined: Dec 20, 2019
#73131
I am probably overthinking #6, but I wanted to explain what I'm thinking so I can know how far to go into detail with questions as such in the future.

I had a problem with accepting C as the right answer, because even if in the example of cutting a cake, one person who would cut the cake in half and the cut only one of the halves into smaller pieces in hopes of getting the large portion still has same probability as anyone else of getting the largest portion.

Lines 49-51 describe the original position as everyone getting "at least a minimum amount of these primary goods." It does not specify these have to be equal. Furthermore, I inferred that one of those "primary goods" could be zero in the allotment hypothetically chosen by an individual. With this in mind, I did not see answer choice C as weakening the argument at all.

I know that in the cake analogy used earlier in the passage, the just arrangement was the child cutting the cake into equal pieces, but I didn't impose that restriction on the allocation of primary ideals in life. Because a cake is a homogenous substance, I didn't apply that to someone allocating primary ideals for people because there are wealth, power, opportunity (heterogenous). The hypothetical person responsible for allocating the primary could decide "everybody needs more income than opportunities," therefore lessening a particular amount of a primary good without lessening the share for any individual receiving the primary goods.

I know somewhere in here I'm incorrect, but I'm not sure how to know in future situations to not reason like this. Sometimes reasoning in this way is beneficial on the LSAT, so I'm a little confused. Any ideas on how to move forward without making this mistake?

I chose B because, if correct, the thought experiment which served as the basis for the rest of the implications in the passage would be useless. However, I read the explanations for why it's wrong in the earlier comments and can see how, because its a thought experiment, it doesn't necessary have to be realistic.

• PowerScore Staff
• Posts: 5104
• Joined: Apr 14, 2011
#73347
That's a pretty deep analysis, natalierohrig, and I think you're correct that you are overthinking it a bit. You may also be misinterpreting the language in the referenced lines. Those lines say that "everyone should get at least a minimum
amount of these primary goods." You seem to be interpreting that as meaning "THE minimum amount required," which might be zero if a primary good is unnecessary, but there are two problems with that. The first is that the author told us just before these lines that "Without these primary goods, people cannot accomplish their goals, whatever they may be." That means the minimum amount required is more than zero - we all need at least some of every primary good. Second, "a minimum amount" really means "some," or "at least a little." If you must have a minimum amount of something, then you have to have some of it. Zero is not an option.

The reason answer C is correct is because it challenges the claim that everyone would agree that everyone should get at least some of every primary good. It indicates that some people would say they would be okay with NOT getting some of every primary good - they are okay with the chance of getting zero! These people do not agree with this idea, and that weakens the claim that everyone does agree with it.
BigDogLittleBark
• Posts: 5
• Joined: Jan 13, 2021
#90791
Can someone please explain why A is not correct? I was down between A and C but chose A. I chose A because I thought that valuing your preferences over someone else getting their own preferences directly goes against the claim that any person in the original position would agree that everyone gets the minimum amount of primary goods". I am just struggling with what I am missing. thank you!
evelineliu
• PowerScore Staff
• Posts: 91
• Joined: Sep 06, 2021
#90853
Hi there,

The claim in question is all part of Rawls' theory. An "individual in the original position" refers back to fourth paragraph, which describes people motivated by self-interest but ignorant of their standing. Self interest will lead to solutions where individuals "will not lose, because nobody loses" (line 42). That supports the claim in question, which suggests individuals will act so that "everyone should get at least a minimum." To weaken this idea, the right answer will show that this will not always happen. Sometimes people act in a way that lead to somebody getting nothing.

Answer choice (A) is wrong because it does not weaken the claim. Under Rawls' theory, people can still be motivated by self-interest and put their preferences over those of others--as long as everybody gets at least something.

Best,
Eveline
lsatquestions
• Posts: 66
• Joined: Nov 08, 2021
#97739
I correctly chose C but had a hard time eliminating E, mainly because I couldn't understand the implications of E. Can you please explain why E is incorrect?
• PowerScore Staff
• Posts: 5104
• Joined: Apr 14, 2011
#98049
Answer E has no bearing on the lines in question here, which are about people all agreeing that everyone should have at least some of the primary goods. That is, everyone should have some rights and liberties, powers and opportunities, and
income and wealth.

Answer E tells us there may be fewer resources than we think, and that people might need more of those resources than they think. Are those resources related to the primary goods? Does our overestimation of the amount of resources available have any impact on the claim that everyone would agree that everyone should have some primary goods? That might actually make us all even MORE likely to agree with that claim: "there seems to be plenty of resources, and none of us needs all that much, so let's make sure everyone gets some."
alyssalsat
• Posts: 2
• Joined: Aug 01, 2023
#102843
Just want to make sure I fully understand why A is wrong here, I know that we are operating within the bounds of the "original position" -- so that eliminates some choices, but I feel like A and C are interlinked because if A becomes true, C can also still exist and even has a higher chance of occurring in the original position! (person values themselves over strangers, and therefore elects to forego some primary goods to have an abundance of others)

Essentially I don't see these as two distinct answers, which is where I'm struggling. TYIA!
Jonathan Evans
• PowerScore Staff
• Posts: 726
• Joined: Jun 09, 2016
#102894
Hi, Alyssa!

Remember that in the original position we are operating in the "veil of ignorance," i.e. people have no idea what their original station will be. To weaken this position, we need to understand why people might choose not to guarantee "at least a minimum amount of [...] primary goods."

With respect to answer choice (A) the valuing of one person's preferences over another person's preferences would not give any reason why someone would deny primary goods. After all, under the "veil of ignorance," they would be equally risking their own access to these primary goods.

In contrast, answer choice (C) gives a scenario in which someone might be willing to go below this "minimum amount" for themselves in order to obtain a large amount of another primary good. With answer choice (C) in mind, this person might be willing to make a calculated risk, even under the veil of ignorance.

I hope this helps!

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