PT 70


“Most strengthens” indicates that we are dealing with a strengthen question. Click to learn about Strengthen questions Strengthen questions ask us to bolster the argument presented in the stimulus. Strengthen questions very often contain either an unwarranted assumption, or commit a logical flaw. We can thus strengthen the argument by fixing the assumption, or by correcting the flaw (or demonstrating that the flaw didn’t occur). Correct answers are allowed to introduce new information (and often do, in the form of additional support). Wrong answers either weaken the argument, or are irrelevant to the argument. So lets look at the situation. Some people want to drill for oil, some think it’s bad for the environment. Supporters of drilling say: “Hey! Don’t worry about the environment, we are using modern drilling methods!” Author replies: So what! Look at that town over there, they started drilling 5 years ago, and they’re all messed up! Clearly we shouldn’t drill for oil! The authors point is we shouldn’t drill for oil, even if we use modern methods, because the nearby town that only recently started drilling has suffered consequences. Here lays the assumption. The question to ask is what methods were used in that other town: is five years recent enough that we are talking about the same technology? Isn’t it possible that the technology they want to use in our town was only developed 2 years ago? Perhaps his evidence isn’t valid because our technology will be better.   We can see this argument relies heavily on this assumption, so our job is to strengthen the argument by addressing it. Lets look towards the answers: A) Irrelevant. Maybe its the most pristine, maybe it isn’t, doesn’t address any of the assumptions currently weakening the argument. B) This is mostly irrelevant, but even if it wasn’t, it would actually weaken our argument, by showing a further divide between the two towns and weakening his evidence. C) It’s logical reasoning, not Peter Pan. How strong he believes in something doesn’t strengthen the argument at all. D) Now we’re talking, this addresses our assumption above. How do we know that the modern technology we are considering is the same technology used in that other town? We...

Read More