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James Finch wrote:Hi LSAT Novice,

This question gives us a conditional relationship:

Effective Law (EL) :arrow: Effective Enforcement Mechanism (EEM),

and the contrapositive,

EEM:arrow: EL

The stimulus then tells us that police are one form of EEM. It then concludes that because there is no international police force, international law isn't effective, or:

PoliceInternational :arrow: ELInternational

From here, we can see that in order to justify the conclusion, we need to show that lack of a police force leads to a lack of an effective enforcement mechanism, or:

PoliceInternational :arrow: EEMInternational

Answer choice (E) provides this missing link in the conditional chain, and is the correct answer.

Answer choice (B) gives us a Mistaken Negation of the conclusion, or:

PoliceInternational :arrow: ELInternational

Hope this clears things up!

Dear Powerscore,

I have difficulty identifying conditional relationships when there are no apparent sufficient or necessary indicator words. The last two sentences of this question are conditional, according to the above response. But how do know which part is the sufficient and necessary condition? In this case, the sufficient appears first, but I doubt that is a reliable indicator of how to order these conditional relationships. Thank you for your consideration.

 Adam Tyson
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The stimulus here does have one clear conditional indicator, the word "must" in the first sentence. Beyond that, though, you're right that this argument lacks those clear indications. However, most arguments can be viewed conditionally by realizing that the author believes that their premises are sufficient (that is, they are enough, all by themselves) to prove their conclusions (in other words, thy think the conclusions are necessary, that they follow logically from the premises). So in this case, you can see that the author thinks that no international police force (their premise) is sufficient to prove that there is no effective international law (their conclusion). When a conclusion is completely certain, it may help to think of it as being a necessary condition, at least in the mind of the author (who could be, and very often is, mistaken).

It's not the order of the claims, as you said. It is the logical relationship between them that matters. The conclusion is what the author thinks is necessary, and the premises are, in the author's view, sufficient.
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Hello, I chose B, but now I see it is a mistaken negation. I had eliminated E almost immediately bc of the strong word “ONLY...” even though I see how this is the correct answer that word still throws me off since this is an assumption question. Can someone help me see why this word can be used here?
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Hi gmsanch3!

We can't really ever eliminate an answer choice in an Assumption question just because it uses the word "only." There are plenty of assumptions that use strong, specific language. You're correct that we have to be careful about selecting an answer choice that provides more information than is necessary for the argument. But some arguments need strong assumptions.

Let's break down this argument:
Conclusion: what is called "international law" is not effective law
Premise: there is currently no international police force
Premise: the power of the police to enforce a society's laws makes those laws effective

We're looking for an answer choice that is necessary to the conclusion that "international law" is not effective law based on the premise that there is currently no international police force to enforce the laws and make those laws effective. If the only reason that international law is not considered effective is because there is no international police force to enforce those laws, then the author must be assuming that the only way for international laws to be effectively enforced is through an international police force. If an international police force wasn't the only way to enforce international laws, then this entire argument would fall apart. Thus, answer choice (E) is necessary for the argument.

Don't eliminate an answer choice just because it contains a strong/absolute term like "only." Really think about the term in the context of the answer choice and in the context of the argument.

Hope this helps!

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Yup! It makes much more sense when you highlighted what the author says qualifies as effective law. I overlook these details often. I have to get better at seeing these. Thank you!

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