- Thu Jul 14, 2022 10:42 am
The problem with answer E is that there is no evidence in the passage that the supporters of the punitive approach were concerned with the impact on the economy. This is a form of Must Be True question, so we need evidence taken directly from the text that supports the answer and shows those people would be likely to agree with it. Is it possible that those supporters of punishment might say this? Sure. Does it seem reasonable that they would agree with it, in addition to their stated position? Maybe. But is there evidence in the passage that they believe this to be true? No, none at all. That's a good enough reason to reject it.
But wait, there's more!
The supporters of the punitive approach believed that punishment was required because people who didn't pay their debts were, essentially, bad people doing bad things. If you asked one of those supporters "why do you want to punish them? Is it to prevent harm to the economy?", they would likely say "no, it's because they deserve to be punished for doing the bad things." The text makes clear that they aren't trying to prevent any harm, but are instead reacting to wrongdoing after the fact. Thus, there's actually evidence in the text that they would likely disagree with answer B!
Don't pick an answer just because it seems like maybe it could be true. Don't make assumptions about what the people being written about might also believe. You must base your answers solely on what the text provides. Any other approach violates the Fact Test. To put it in legal terms, answer B "assumes facts not in evidence," and that's not what we are supposed to do on the LSAT.
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
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