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Some argue that laws are instituted

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Some argue that laws are instituted [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2012, 02:14
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  25% (low)

Question Stats:

67% (02:44) correct 32% (01:38) wrong based on 156 sessions
Some argue that laws are instituted at least in part to help establish a particular moral fabric in society. But the primary function of law is surely to help order society so that its institutions, organizations, and citizenry can work together harmoniously, regardless of any further moral aims of the law. Indeed, the highest courts have on occasion treated moral beliefs based on conscience or religious faith as grounds for making exceptions in the application of laws. The statements above, if true, most strongly support which one of the following?

A. The manner in which laws are applied sometimes takes into account the beliefs of the people governed by those laws.
B. The law has as one of its functions the ordering of society but is devoid of moral aims.
C. Actions based on religious belief or on moral conviction tend to receive the protection of the highest courts.
D. The way a society is ordered by law should not reflect any moral convictions about the way society ought to be ordered.
E. The best way to promote cooperation among a society’s institutions, organizations, and citizenry is to institute order in that society by means of law.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Some argue that laws are instituted [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2012, 12:05
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getgyan wrote:
Some argue that laws are instituted at least in part to help establish a particular moral fabric in society. But the primary function of law is surely to help order society so that its institutions, organizations, and citizenry can work together harmoniously, regardless of any further moral aims of the law. Indeed, the highest courts have on occasion treated moral beliefs based on conscience or religious faith as grounds for making exceptions in the application of laws. The statements above, if true, most strongly support which one of the following?

A. The manner in which laws are applied sometimes takes into account the beliefs of the people governed by those laws.
B. The law has as one of its functions the ordering of society but is devoid of moral aims.
C. Actions based on religious belief or on moral conviction tend to receive the protection of the highest courts.
D. The way a society is ordered by law should not reflect any moral convictions about the way society ought to be ordered.
E. The best way to promote cooperation among a society’s institutions, organizations, and citizenry is to institute order in that society by means of law.


The Argument
Sentence #1 --- viewpoint which the author doesn't support
Sentence #2 --- the author's principle claim
Sentence #3 --- further evidence for the author's claim and against the claim of Sentence #1

A. The manner in which laws are applied sometimes takes into account the beliefs of the people governed by those laws.
This is a balanced reasonable statement. This more or less restates what Sentence #3 says --- sometimes the way the courts applies the law is to make an exception for someone's strong belief --- it therefore "takes into account the beliefs of the people governed." This is a possible answer.

B. The law has as one of its functions the ordering of society but is devoid of moral aims.
Whoa! Way too strong and extreme. The author says the primary purpose of the law is the ordering of society, not morality, but that certainly does not preclude the possibility that when people live in this ordered society, it will tend to encourage their moral development. Choice (B) implies that law has absolutely nothing to do with morality, which is way to strong a claim, and a clear distortion of the author's point. This is not correct.

C. Actions based on religious belief or on moral conviction tend to receive the protection of the highest courts.
This is overstated. What the argument says is: "...the highest courts have on occasion treated moral beliefs based on conscience or religious faith as grounds for making exceptions ..." The phrase "on occasion" means this is relatively rare --- in 100 cases in which the law is in conflict with someone's religion or personal moral code, then say, in 2-3 of them, the court grants an exception --- that's "on occasion." The word "exception" also means that this is rare, not the general pattern. The word "tend" in this answer choice, by contrast, suggests a general pattern. Thus, this answer choice contradicts the passage. This is not correct.

D. The way a society is ordered by law should not reflect any moral convictions about the way society ought to be ordered.
This is very much like (B) in its extremism. The author is saying: morality is not the highest priority in deciding what the law should be, but again, in creating a harmonious society, it's quite likely that the law will overlap with both conventional morality and with codes of ethics from religions. For example, it's hard to imagine a harmoniously functions society in which something resembling the Golden Rule is not displayed. This choice, like (B), takes the author's point to a bizarre extreme, as if there were absolutely no overlap between morality and law. This is not correct.

E. The best way to promote cooperation among a society’s institutions, organizations, and citizenry is to institute order in that society by means of law
Also, too extreme. Yes, the author does say law is a way to promote this civic cooperation, but is it the only way? the best way? How does law as a promoter of social harmony compare to the efficacy of some other agency (shared culture, the "invisible hand" of the market, morality and religion, etc.)? That is entirely outside of the scope of the argument. The author is comparing one view of the purpose of law to another, but he is not comparing the law to anything else. This is not correct.

So, four answers are clearly incorrect, leaving (A) as the only viable choice.

Does all that make sense?

Mike :-)
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Re: Some argue that laws are instituted [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2012, 21:08
Thanks Mike. It makes total sense.
:)
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Re: Some argue that laws are instituted [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2012, 03:07
some experts advise us to prethink an inference before going to answer choices. prethink an inference not exaustively. I try this method and see effective.

prethink an inference help us better understand the argument/fact set before going to answer choices though we do not prethink exhaustively.

I wish experts to comment on this point. Thank you .
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Re: Some argue that laws are instituted [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2012, 13:00
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thangvietnam wrote:
some experts advise us to prethink an inference before going to answer choices. prethink an inference not exaustively. I try this method and see effective. prethink an inference help us better understand the argument/fact set before going to answer choices though we do not prethink exhaustively. I wish experts to comment on this point. Thank you .

Pre-thinking can be helpful, especially on GMAT CR Assumption questions, but the GMAT is very skilled at creating answers that are usually, something of which you would never have thought, and yet are correct. Pre-thinking can help deepen your understanding of the argument, but never be too attached to thoughts you have developed in pre-thinking.
Does that make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Some argue that laws are instituted [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2012, 01:24
A. The manner in which laws are applied sometimes takes into account the beliefs of the people governed by those laws.
on occasions high courts made decisions based on religion or moral beliefs... THIS IS TRUE!

B. The law has as one of its functions the ordering of society but is devoid of moral aims.
ThIS OPPOSITE OF THE STIMULUS.

C. Actions based on religious belief or on moral conviction tend to receive the protection of the highest courts.
"on ocassions" is not parallel to "tendency" THIS IS FALSE!

D. The way a society is ordered by law should not reflect any moral convictions about the way society ought to be ordered.
THE AUTHOR MENTIONED WHAT IS AND NOT WHAT OUGHT TO BE.


E. The best way to promote cooperation among a society’s institutions, organizations, and citizenry is to institute order in that society by means of law.
EXTREME FOR THE TONE OF STIMULUS...

Answer: E
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Re: Some argue that laws are instituted [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2013, 06:34
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: Some argue that laws are instituted   [#permalink] 14 Oct 2013, 06:34
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