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#35836
Complete Question Explanation

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 ..... :arrow: ..... 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 ..... :arrow: ..... belief based choices accepted

    ..... ..... ..... Linking the above two conditional statements together, we arrive at the following:

    ..... ..... ..... Like-minded associates ..... :arrow: ..... belief based choices accepted ..... :arrow: ..... life less difficult
    ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... to enjoy
    Conclusion: ..... Therefore no one should be denied the right to choose their associates.
Based on the conditional reasoning in the stimulus, the author believes that everyone should be allowed to choose their associates, so the principle that will strengthen this conclusion will likely assert that we cannot stop people from doing things that will make life less difficult to enjoy.

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.
 Winup12
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#3426
I didn't recognize this was a strengthen question. I assumed it was a general principle question with conditional reasoning. I assume I can use condition diagramming to solve this.

Stimulus:
(freedom to make choices according to personal beliefs) and (see the beliefs accepted by others) => live an enjoyable life.

Principles (after paraphrase and diagramming):
A) People => free to make lifestyle choices according to personal beliefs
C) having a given freedom => people should have freedom

I chose A because it reinforce the first sufficient condition in the stimulus ("if you are a person then you satisfy the first sufficient condition"). The correct answer is C. Could anyone please help explain? Thanks!
 Jon Denning
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#3457
This is indeed a strengthen question, and you can tell by the language "most helps to justify." Justify questions will never be qualified with something like "most."

The argument here is that people should be allowed to choose their associates/friends, since surrounding yourself with people who share your beliefs means that your choices will be more acceptable to them and you will find it easier to have a more enjoyable life. To support this idea of the freedom to pick our associates based on it making an enjoyable life less difficult, we need an answer choice that connects those two ideas.

(C) does exactly that: having freedom to choose associates makes it less difficult to live an enjoyable life, so we should have that freedom.

(A) confuses the issue, as the freedom isn't about making choices that accord with personal beliefs, but rather it's the freedom to choose our associates. So (A) doesn't address the specific conclusion given, and thus doesn't affect the argument.

I hope that helps!
 carnegie49
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#23487
I was unsure when attempting this problem whether I should use conditional logic diagrams.

1. How do I know when to diagram/when it is even possible to diagram?

I thought conditional logic was present in this problem, but the discussion of the answer doesn't mention diagramming so I assume it was faster/easier to solve sans diagrams.

2. If one were to use conditional logic diagrams for this question, what would the diagramming look like?

Many thanks!
 BethRibet
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#23532
Hi Carnegie,

Thanks for writing.

It's a judgment call with this problem whether to diagram -- it's certainly not necessary, so the only reason to spend the time is if it will help you lock down the right answer expediently. If it were me, I wouldn't in this case.

The basic idea with this argument is that since the two premises indicate that freedom of association makes enjoyment less difficult, people should have the freedom to associate. What's missing from the argument is something to support the idea that if something will make an enjoyable less difficult, people should have it. It's easy to miss, because enjoyment sounds good -- so we might just make the assumption that therefore people should have it. But it is an assumption. For instance, it could be true that people live better lives if they have to work harder to enjoy them, in which case the conclusion no longer follows. So again the argument needs is some indication that people should have whatever leads to less difficulty in enjoying life.

Answer choice C fixes that problem -- if C is true, the flaw (or missing assumption) is corrected.

If you wanted to diagram, you could try this:

1) AMC (able to make lifestyle choices) + SCA (see choices accepted by others ---> LDEL (less difficult to enjoy life)
2) SCA = FA (friends and associates), so then AMC + FA ---> LDEL
3) Conclusion: people should have FA

You can see that the diagram doesn't really give you the answer, because this conclusion isn't derived from conditional logic. At best it just helps you visualize the structure of the argument, which might help you narrow in on what's missing. But given the time involved, for most people, this wouldn't be an argument that's easier to analyze by diagramming.

Hope this helps!
Beth
 emilysnoddon
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#25305
For this question, I understood the need to connect the freedom to pick one's associates based on making an enjoyable life less difficult and thus narrowed the answer choices down to answer choices C and E. Can someone please explain why answer choice E is incorrect?

Thank you,

Emily
 Nikki Siclunov
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#25359
Hi Emily,

First, let me repost Jon's excellent breakdown of the argument above:
The argument here is that people should be allowed to choose their associates/friends, since surrounding yourself with people who share your beliefs means that your choices will be more acceptable to them, and you will find it easier to have a more enjoyable life. To support this idea of the freedom to pick our associates based on it making an enjoyable life less difficult, we need an answer choice that connects those two ideas.

(C) does exactly that: having freedom to choose associates makes it less difficult to live an enjoyable life, so we should have that freedom.
The author believes that everyone should be allowed to choose their associates, so the principle that will strengthen this conclusion will likely assert that we cannot stop people from doing things that will make life less difficult to enjoy. This is precisely what (C) states: 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 (E) suggests 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: no one should be denied the right to choose one's associates, regardless of anything else.

Hope this clears it up!
 JSLSAT
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#26871
Hi all,

Could someone explain why B and D are incorrect?

Thank you!
 David Boyle
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#26886
JSLSAT wrote:Hi all,

Could someone explain why B and D are incorrect?

Thank you!

Hello JSLSAT,

Answer B turns things into a positive command, sort of, "Go forth and associate." However, the stimulus is about not being denied freedom, whereas answer B basically tells you to go do something.
Answer D is trickier, maybe. There are several ways to look at it. First, when the stimulus says, "Thus, no one should be denied the freedom to choose the people with whom he or she will associate", and answer E says, "No one whose enjoyment . . . . should be deliberately prevented from having . . . friends and associates", answer E may not cover everything in the stimulus. The stimulus just says, "no one should be denied the freedom", which may include unintentional, negligent, accidental, or other unplanned denials of freedom. But answer E only covers "deliberate prevent[ing]", not the other, less deliberate denials of freedom.
Another aspect of answer D is that it says, "No one whose enjoyment of life depends, at least in part, on . . ." However, the stimulus says, "no one should be denied the freedom to choose", and that includes everyone, not just those "whose enjoyment of life depends, at least in part, on . . ." Even if your enjoyment of life doesn't depend on friends and associates, you should be free to choose anyway, seemingly, from what the stimulus says.
Finally, "Thus, no one should be denied the freedom to choose the people with whom he or she will associate" seems to cover choice of anybody and everybody, whereas answer D just offers the freedom to have "friends and associates who share many of the same personal beliefs", which may be a mere small subset of all the people with whom one could associate.

Hope this helps,
David
 JSLSAT
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#26897
Ah, got it. Your explanation for B makes sense. Regarding D, it essentially adds restrictions that don't address general group that the conclusion addresses. But since it's a Strengthen question, wouldn't that be ok? One additional note I had was that it talks about "Having" those people, as opposed to the act of "choosing" them. Does that add anything?

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