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Strengthen—SN, PR. The correct answer choice is (C)
This essayist says that life is less difficult to enjoy if one can make choices that are aligned with ones beliefs, and then see others accept these lifestyle choices. One way to assure that one’s choices will be accepted is to surround oneself with others who share his or her beliefs. Based on this, the essayist concludes that no one should be denied the freedom to choose one’s friends and associates:
- Premise: If you base your lifestyle choices on your beliefs and see others accept those choices, life is less difficult to enjoy:
Belief based choices accepted life less difficult to enjoy
Premise: If you associate with people who share your beliefs, that is one way that you can assure that your lifestyle choices will be accepted:
Like-minded associates belief based choices accepted
Linking the above two conditional statements together, we arrive at the following:
Like-minded associates belief based choices accepted life less difficult
Conclusion: Therefore no one should be denied the right to choose their associates.
Answer choice (A): The right to make lifestyle choices would not justify the author’s conclusion that people should be allowed to have the right to choose their associates, so this choice does not strengthen the essayist’s argument.
Answer choice (B): The notion that one should associate with one or more people with similar beliefs does not strengthen the author’s bold claim: that the right to choose one’s associates should be denied to no one. Since this choice does not provide the link that would strengthen the author’s argument, it cannot be the right answer choice.
Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice, and the one which is prephrased in the discussion above. If the freedom to associate with like-minded associates and have beliefs accepted makes life easier to enjoy, people should not be denied that freedom.
Answer choice (D): This answer provides that no one whose enjoyment of life depends on particular associates should be deliberately prevented from having such friends. That doesn’t help to justify the author’s much bolder claim that no one should be denied the right to choose the people with whom he or she associates, so this choice can be ruled out.
Answer choice (E): This choice provides that a person may choose his or her associates—if that makes it easier to live an enjoyable life. This does not strengthen the author’s claim, which is more absolute: that no one should be denied the right to choose ones associates, regardless of anything else.