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#26222
Complete Question Explanation

Method of Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (C)

The question here asks you to describe the comparison utilized by the argument. The comparison here is an analogy between laws and manners. The argument claims that laws are successful primarily because the behavior they prescribe becomes custom just as manners are observed primarily because of repetition. “Custom” and “repetition” are synonymous terms here, and so the argument claims that both laws and manners are successful primarily because of custom.

Answer Choice (A): The stimulus never states that laws or manners vary from society to society. This answer choice is tempting since this statement might be true in the real world. However, the correct answer choice must accurately describe the analogy in the stimulus.

Answer Choice (B): This answer choice is very close, but ultimately incorrect. Custom is the primary reason why laws are obeyed and why manners are followed but it is not the primary reason why laws and manners are adopted. The argument never explained why laws or manners are adopted.

Answer Choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. This answer choice states that the main reason people comply with laws and manners is custom. This is an accurate restatement of the analogy in the stimulus.

Answer Choice (D): The word “most” eliminates this answer choice. The author never claimed that most laws and manners do not prescribe ethically required behavior. The argument merely stated that laws and manners are successful because the behavior they prescribe becomes customary, not because the behavior is ethically required.

Answer Choice (E): Once again, the word “most” eliminates this answer choice. The author never claimed that most laws and manners lack strict penalties for those who violate them. The author only states that penalties are not the reason why laws and manners are followed.
 Nina
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#5921
I struggled between B and C, but finally still chose the wrong one. What is the difference between these two answers, and why C is correct instead of B?

Many thanks!
 Adam Tyson
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#5926
Hey Nina,

Just to be sure, we are talking here about the question that compares behavior in relation to laws to behavior in relation to manners, right?

The key difference between your two contenders is that answer choice B deals with the motivations behind adopting a law - that is, creating it in the first place - while answer choice C deals with why people obey a law that has already been passed. That's what our stimulus is about - why we follow the law, not why we make a given law. Custom may have nothing to do with what goes into proposing and passing a law, but according to the stimulus it has a lot to do with why we then comply with that law once it has been passed.

Hope that helped!

Adam
 Nina
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#5940
Thank you very much, Adam!
 srcline@noctrl.edu
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#21257
Hello

I am not understanding why B is incorrect, the correct answer was C. Also is this a method question?

Would the conclusion be "a law is successful primarily because the behavior it prescribes has attained the status of custom?

Is C correct because it addresses the issue of compliance, that relates to behavior mentioned in the stimulus?

Thankyou
Sarah
 Adam Tyson
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#21262
Once again your self analysis is spot on - well done. The answer needs to deal with compliance, and only C does that.

You got the conclusion right, it is indeed that first sentence.

The problem with B is that it brings up something entirely new, in that it talks about why a given law is ADOPTED, as opposed to why it is eventually complied with. Nothing in the stimulus tells us anything about the motivations that lead to adopting any law, just about the motivations for complying with laws.

I'm not sure I would categorize this one as a Method of Reasoning question, because they don't ask for the method, the give it to us (we are told in the stem that it is an argument made by comparison). I'm not sure how I would categorize it, honestly, but probably very broadly as a Must Be True question because we are looking for something that is provable based solely on the stimulus and we should reject any new information.
 srcline@noctrl.edu
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#21282
Hello Adam,

Thankyou for replying back. I was in between two answer choices on these questions, and your explanation helped a great deal.

Sarah

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