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## #15 - People who take what others regard as a ridiculous

• PowerScore Staff
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• Joined: Feb 02, 2011
#24040
Complete Question Explanation

Parallel Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (A)

This Stimulus begins with its conclusion: “People who take what others regard as a ridiculous position should not bother to say ‘I mean every word!’” If their position is truly ridiculous, claiming to be serious about it is only embarrassing, or if their position has merit they should not have to reassure folks of their sincerity, instead replying in the form of logical argument.

The Question Stem indicates that this is Parallel Reasoning question type. In answering questions of this type, the test-taker must identify the form of reasoning used in the Stimulus and determine whether or not it is valid. Since 1992, when flawed reasoning is used in the Stimulus, the LSAT will state that the reasoning is flawed. When the question indicates that flawed reasoning is present, one must determine what flaw or flaws occur in the Stimulus.

While the reasoning must be parallel between the Stimulus and the correct answer choice, neither the topic of the Stimulus nor the order of presentation need to be parallel. In fact, when answer choices contained the same subject matter as the Stimulus, more often than not it is a trap by LSAT to lure lazy test-takers into selecting an incorrect answer Cchoice.

In examining the reasoning in the Stimulus, identify the Method of Reasoning, the Validity of the Argument, the Conclusion, and the Premises. The correct answer choice will be similar in each aspect.

PowerScore utilizes an Elemental Attack in examining Parallel Reasoning questions. First identify and match the Method of Reasoning. If there is an obvious Method used, such as analogy, causal reasoning, conditional reasoning, the correct answer choice will contain the same. Secondly, look to Match the Conclusions. This should eliminate some incorrect answer choices if not all of them. Thirdly, look to Match the Premises. If the argument in the Stimulus is complex, the more likely you will have to Match the Premises to obtain the correct answer. Finally, always make sure that the validity of the reasoning matches.

In the present Stimulus, the reasoning used is that the conclusion is something that should not be done when a position is criticized. In other words, it is a response to criticism. It then addresses the truth of the reply “I mean every word!” If the reply is truthful and they are serious about a ridiculous position, they face further embarrassment. If the reply is an exaggeration about a position which in fact does have merit, then they have replied by appealing to their sincerity instead of making a logical response. In either event, the person loses – either through further embarrassment or in not taking the opportunity to make a rational response.

In trying to find the answer choice that most closely parallels the Stimulus, look for an answer choice that is a reply to criticism. A cursory examination of the Answer Choices reveals that all five answer choices address a reply to criticism or rejection in some form or fashion. The remainder of the Stimulus gives two reasons why such a reply to criticism should not be given and that each of those responses is bad for the person being criticized.