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Complete Question Explanation

Flaw in the Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (E).

Answer choice (A):

Answer choice (B):

Answer choice (C):

Answer choice (D):

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice.

This explanation is still in progress. Please post any questions below!
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Hello, Can someone please explain why E is correct. I chose B. MY thinking of this was that from the conclusion vagrancy laws increase crime while purporting to reduce it." I was thinking who care if you can remove these crimes. I was thinking maybe the author assumed that because its Vagrancy laws cause the increase.
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 Jeff Wren
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Hi kat,

The main problem/flaw in this argument is that the columnist concludes that vagrancy laws increase the overall amount of criminal activity by making certain activities (such as being homeless) criminal that previously were not considered criminal.

In other words, the argument assumes that by expanding the list of possible crimes that can be committed, the actual amount of crimes being committed will also increase.

The problem here is that we don't know that the addition of vagrancy laws will increase criminal activity. By making certain activities illegal (loitering, for example), perhaps people will do less of that activity. It is also possible that the vagrancy laws will reduce other types of criminal activity in other ways (perhaps by reducing the opportunities or incentives to commit certain crimes).

Answer E describes this difference. Simply reclassifying an activity as criminal does not equal an increase in overall criminal activity.

The problem with Answer B is that the argument does not mistakenly infer that vagrancy laws cause the increase in many innocuous everyday occurrences. The "innocuous everyday occurrences" discussed in the argument are just referring to the behaviors that the vagrancy laws will outlaw (presumably things like homelessness and loitering, for example). The vagrancy laws don't cause these activities; the laws just now make them criminal.

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