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Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of

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Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2012, 14:55
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Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of their arguments the sanctity of human life, but this seeming bedrock assumption is actually as weak as shifting sand. And it is not necessary to invoke the red herring that many abortion opponents would allow that human life must sometimes be sacrificed for a great good, as in the fighting of a just war. There are counterexamples to the principle of sanctity of life that are even more embarrassing to abortion opponents. It would be possible to reduce the annual number of traffic fatalities to virtually zero by passing federal legislation mandating a nationwide 25-mile-per-hour speed limit on all roads. Implicitly, we have always been willing to trade off quantity of human life for quality.

Which of the following assumptions are made in the above argument?
1) A human fetus should not be considered a “life” for purposes of government protection.
2) An appropriate societal decision is made in the balancing of individual lives and the quality of life.
3) The abortion question just makes explicit that which for so long has remained hidden from view.
4) The protection of human life is not a justifiable goal of society.
5) Government may have no authority to act on behalf of families but legitimately protect the interests of individuals.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Abortion [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2012, 22:55
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gjg wrote:
Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of their arguments the sanctity of human life, but this seeming bedrock assumption is actually as weak as shifting sand. And it is not necessary to invoke the red herring that many abortion opponents would allow that human life must sometimes be sacrificed for a great good, as in the fighting of a just war. There are counterexamples to the principle of sanctity of life that are even more embarrassing to abortion opponents. It would be possible to reduce the annual number of traffic fatalities to virtually zero by passing federal legislation mandating a nationwide 25-mile-per-hour speed limit on all roads. Implicitly, we have always been willing to trade off quantity of human life for quality.

Which of the following assumptions are made in the above argument?
1) A human fetus should not be considered a “life” for purposes of government protection.
2) An appropriate societal decision is made in the balancing of individual lives and the quality of life.
3) The abortion question just makes explicit that which for so long has remained hidden from view.
4) The protection of human life is not a justifiable goal of society.
5) Government may have no authority to act on behalf of families but legitimately protect the interests of individuals.


This is quite tough question with the diffusing meaning and hardness to understand thoroughly the argument. First, we should evaluate this argument into small pieces.

The foundation of opposing abortion is the sanctity of human life. However, this foundation is weak.
And it is not necessary to invoke the read herring that many abortion opponents would allow that the human life must sometimes be sacrificed for a great good (as the fighting of war).
There are counterexample to the principle of the sanctity of life that are even more embarrassing to abortion opponents. That is THE EXAMPLE OF LEGISLATION ON THE TRAFFIC
We have always been willing to trade off quantity of human life for quality => Conclusion here.

Using the negate technique with the 5 choices, we got:
(A) A human fetus SHOULD be considered a “life” for purposes of government protection. => Clearly not attack the conclusion
(B) An appropriate societal decision is NOT made in the balancing of individual lives and the quality of life. => What happen? The conclusion "willing to trade off the quantity of human life for quality" is collapsed. So, this is the correct assumption of the argument.
(C) The abortion question just DOES NOT make explicit that which for so long has remained hidden from view. => whether or not the abortion question just DOES or DOES NOT make explicit has remain hidden from view DID not affect the conclusion of the argument in the bad way.
(D) The protection of human life IS a justifiable goal of society. => Go in the same way as the conclusion => this choice cannot be the assumption
(E)) Government may HAVE authority to act on behalf of families but legitimately protect the interests of individuals. => FAMILIES is out of scope here. So, this choice does not affect to the conclusion anyway.
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Re: Abortion [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2012, 23:11
tuanquang269 wrote:
gjg wrote:
Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of their arguments the sanctity of human life, but this seeming bedrock assumption is actually as weak as shifting sand. And it is not necessary to invoke the red herring that many abortion opponents would allow that human life must sometimes be sacrificed for a great good, as in the fighting of a just war. There are counterexamples to the principle of sanctity of life that are even more embarrassing to abortion opponents. It would be possible to reduce the annual number of traffic fatalities to virtually zero by passing federal legislation mandating a nationwide 25-mile-per-hour speed limit on all roads. Implicitly, we have always been willing to trade off quantity of human life for quality.

Which of the following assumptions are made in the above argument?
1) A human fetus should not be considered a “life” for purposes of government protection.
2) An appropriate societal decision is made in the balancing of individual lives and the quality of life.
3) The abortion question just makes explicit that which for so long has remained hidden from view.
4) The protection of human life is not a justifiable goal of society.
5) Government may have no authority to act on behalf of families but legitimately protect the interests of individuals.


This is quite tough question with the diffusing meaning and hardness to understand thoroughly the argument. First, we should evaluate this argument into small pieces.

The foundation of opposing abortion is the sanctity of human life. However, this foundation is weak.
And it is not necessary to invoke the read herring that many abortion opponents would allow that the human life must sometimes be sacrificed for a great good (as the fighting of war).
There are counterexample to the principle of the sanctity of life that are even more embarrassing to abortion opponents. That is THE EXAMPLE OF LEGISLATION ON THE TRAFFIC
We have always been willing to trade off quantity of human life for quality => Conclusion here.

Using the negate technique with the 5 choices, we got:
(A) A human fetus SHOULD be considered a “life” for purposes of government protection. => Clearly not attack the conclusion
(B) An appropriate societal decision is NOT made in the balancing of individual lives and the quality of life. => What happen? The conclusion "willing to trade off the quantity of human life for quality" is collapsed. So, this is the correct assumption of the argument.
(C) The abortion question just DOES NOT make explicit that which for so long has remained hidden from view. => whether or not the abortion question just DOES or DOES NOT make explicit has remain hidden from view DID not affect the conclusion of the argument in the bad way.
(D) The protection of human life IS a justifiable goal of society. => Go in the same way as the conclusion => this choice cannot be the assumption
(E)) Government may HAVE authority to act on behalf of families but legitimately protect the interests of individuals. => FAMILIES is out of scope here. So, this choice does not affect to the conclusion anyway.


Please teach us how negation works in general, you made this difficult question answer in a very technical way to make us comprehend :)
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Re: Abortion [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2012, 23:26
Hi Tuanquang269,

How have you figured that the conclusion of the argument is 'We have always been willing to trade off quantity of human life for quality'?

From OA, your conclusion is obviously correct. But on first reading, i thought the below was the conclusion:

The abortion opponents' arguments based on sanctity of life are weak (conclusion) because we are always been willing to trade off quantity of human life for quality (premise)

tuanquang269 wrote:
gjg wrote:
Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of their arguments the sanctity of human life, but this seeming bedrock assumption is actually as weak as shifting sand. And it is not necessary to invoke the red herring that many abortion opponents would allow that human life must sometimes be sacrificed for a great good, as in the fighting of a just war. There are counterexamples to the principle of sanctity of life that are even more embarrassing to abortion opponents. It would be possible to reduce the annual number of traffic fatalities to virtually zero by passing federal legislation mandating a nationwide 25-mile-per-hour speed limit on all roads. Implicitly, we have always been willing to trade off quantity of human life for quality.

Which of the following assumptions are made in the above argument?
1) A human fetus should not be considered a “life” for purposes of government protection.
2) An appropriate societal decision is made in the balancing of individual lives and the quality of life.
3) The abortion question just makes explicit that which for so long has remained hidden from view.
4) The protection of human life is not a justifiable goal of society.
5) Government may have no authority to act on behalf of families but legitimately protect the interests of individuals.


This is quite tough question with the diffusing meaning and hardness to understand thoroughly the argument. First, we should evaluate this argument into small pieces.

The foundation of opposing abortion is the sanctity of human life. However, this foundation is weak.
And it is not necessary to invoke the read herring that many abortion opponents would allow that the human life must sometimes be sacrificed for a great good (as the fighting of war).
There are counterexample to the principle of the sanctity of life that are even more embarrassing to abortion opponents. That is THE EXAMPLE OF LEGISLATION ON THE TRAFFIC
We have always been willing to trade off quantity of human life for quality => Conclusion here.

Using the negate technique with the 5 choices, we got:
(A) A human fetus SHOULD be considered a “life” for purposes of government protection. => Clearly not attack the conclusion
(B) An appropriate societal decision is NOT made in the balancing of individual lives and the quality of life. => What happen? The conclusion "willing to trade off the quantity of human life for quality" is collapsed. So, this is the correct assumption of the argument.
(C) The abortion question just DOES NOT make explicit that which for so long has remained hidden from view. => whether or not the abortion question just DOES or DOES NOT make explicit has remain hidden from view DID not affect the conclusion of the argument in the bad way.
(D) The protection of human life IS a justifiable goal of society. => Go in the same way as the conclusion => this choice cannot be the assumption
(E)) Government may HAVE authority to act on behalf of families but legitimately protect the interests of individuals. => FAMILIES is out of scope here. So, this choice does not affect to the conclusion anyway.
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Re: Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2012, 08:59
I choose option B . However the reason was that i did not find anyother suitable option . But when we see B , it looks more like the re iteration of the conclusion.
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Re: Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2012, 04:14
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People who oppose abortion base their argument on the sanctity of human life. But the same people does allow human sacrifice in the war which they think is for the greater good of humanity in general.
Example has been provided: Number of traffic fatalities can be reduced if a federal legislation is mandated to limit the speed to 25mph nationwide.
We are willing to let go quantity of human life for quality.

This overlap occurs because there has to be a balance between what human think implicitly and explicitly. Its the same balance that deals with quantity and quality of life. Hence B is the answer.
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Re: Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2012, 11:18
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I really don't understand how come you guys are saying that answer is B.
As per the conclusion," we have always been willing to trade off QUANTITY of human life for quality".
B says..........in the balancing of individual lives and the quality of life.
D says.....the protection of human life is not a justifiable goal of society. Has protection of human life been the justifiable goal of society, then in such a case we won't have always been willing to trade of quantity of human life for quality.
With that, I suppose the answer has to be D.
Please correct me if I am missing something.
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Re: Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2012, 22:38
siddharthasingh wrote:
I really don't understand how come you guys are saying that answer is B.
As per the conclusion," we have always been willing to trade off QUANTITY of human life for quality".
B says..........in the balancing of individual lives and the quality of life.
D says.....the protection of human life is not a justifiable goal of society. Has protection of human life been the justifiable goal of society, then in such a case we won't have always been willing to trade of quantity of human life for quality.
With that, I suppose the answer has to be D.
Please correct me if I am missing something.


I think your going a way bit off here.

We actually want to have a balance ; but option D just states that protection of life is not a justifiable goal . how does it even relate to the conclusion or even when you negate, it does not attack the conclusion .

It's a mere conclusion drawn and not any unstated premise from which we can draw a conclusion.
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Re: Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2013, 03:39
The author is pro-abortion, so it makes sense to him/her to sacrifice a life in order to obtain a better life quality for the parents, for example.

And he/she says we have been doing this for years, by not lowering speed limits. Since we traded some road fatalities with the speed, it makes sense to keep trading some lives for some benefits.

Option B states exactly this.
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Re: Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2013, 20:42
OMG! What a question, It took 3.04 minute to find the right answer choice.

Conclusion: Implicitly, we have always been willing to trade off quantity of human life for quality.

Narrowed down to A, B
Negated A
So, B
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Re: Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2013, 21:09
Really good question. Got me thinking but finally got it right aft 2:32 s :-(

Here was my approach:

Conclusion: Implicitly, we have always been willing to trade off quantity of human life for quality.

Pre-thinking: From the premises and esp conclusion, we get to know that the assumption should not be too specific to any of the premises but has to be somewhat braod covering the argument. Also from the premises and conclusion, we come to know that the argument is mainly talking about the quantity(abortions, no. of traffic fatalities,war) and quality (sanctity of life that are even more embarrassing to abortion opponents; federal legislation mandating a nationwide 25-mile-per-hour speed limit on all roads). Moreover, the focus of the conclusion is about quantity and quality of human life.

By POE, we see that options A,C & E are too specific and do not make sense looking at the conclusion. Finally on negating D & E as below:

D. The protection of human life is a justifiable goal of society --> Doesn't affect the conclusion at all.
B. An appropriate societal decision is not made in the balancing of individual lives and the quality of life. ---> If this is true then the conclusion will fall part. In the sense there will be trade off in terms of quantity and quality of human life, affecting arguments concerning war , traffic fatalities and abortion opponents and sanctity of human life.

What's the source?
Re: Those who oppose abortion upon demand make the foundation of   [#permalink] 18 Dec 2013, 21:09
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