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  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: Jan 09, 2020
Hello. Could someone explain Why is it (E)? not (D)?

Since the author thinks the intuition of the injustice of an overly harsh punishment is based on the "First rationale(line 10)", i thought the author was neutral.
 Christen Hammock
PowerScore Staff
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  • Posts: 62
  • Joined: May 14, 2020
Hey Jay!

The author isn't neutral about harsh penalties for minor offenses; s/he states that there appears to be "something intuitively wrong, or unjust" (lines 30-31) about really harsh punishments for low-harm crimes. This is strong language! The author clearly disapproves of how morally unjust that rationale would be, so it would be wrong to categorize the author's stance as neutral.

  • Posts: 54
  • Joined: Jun 20, 2018
Hi Powerscore,
I am troubled by the language "moral injustice" on (E); for me, this phrase seems stretched far from the passage in which the author uses words such as "intuitively" and "inherently" wrong and unjust. I was shocked by (E) especially because the question stem mentions "as expressed in the passage,..." so my expectation for the correct choice was stricter in that how a choice could be literally supported by the passage. Could you help comment on where I went wrong in my thinking?
 Jeremy Press
PowerScore Staff
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  • Joined: Jun 12, 2017
Hi tetsuya,

It's not much of a stretch, is it? After all, the author implies agreement with the view that there is something "intuitively wrong, or unjust" about punishing a shoplifter with a 20-year prison sentence. Calling a punishment "unjust" means it "lacks justice." So the justice part of answer choice E is clearly covered in the terminology of the passage. And the dictionary definition of the adjectival use of "moral" (from Merriam Webster) is "of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior." Given that the author uses the term "wrong" to describe the disproportionate punishment, this sense of "moral" is also adequately covered in the passage. If you're troubled merely by the fact that the word "moral" was used in the answer but doesn't appear in the passage, just be aware that synonymous language is fair game in reading comprehension answer choices, even when we're looking for something with specific passage support. So long as you've got a true synonym (here, "moral" = notions of "right/wrong"), you should consider the answer a contender.

I hope this helps!

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