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A certain moral system holds that performing good actions is praisewor

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New post Updated on: 03 Jan 2019, 14:16
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A certain moral system holds that performing good actions is praiseworthy only when one overcomes a powerful temptation in order to perform them. Yet this same moral system also holds that performing good actions out of habit is sometimes praiseworthy.

Which one of the following, if true, does the most to reconcile the apparent conflict in the moral system described above?


(A) People who perform good actions out of habit have often acquired this habit after years of having resisted temptation.

(B) Most people face strong moral temptation from time to time but few people have to endure it regularly.

(C) People virtually always perform actions they think are good, regardless of what other people may think.

(D) Since it is difficult to tell what is going on in another person’s mind, it is often hard to know exactly how strongly a person is tempted.

(E) It is far more common for people to perform good actions out of habit than for them to do so against strong temptation.


Source : PrepTest 34 - June 2001 Q7

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Originally posted by vd on 27 May 2008, 05:26.
Last edited by Bunuel on 03 Jan 2019, 14:16, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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New post 27 May 2008, 14:28
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vdhawan1 wrote:
7. A certain moral system holds that performing good actions is praiseworthy only when one overcomes a powerful temptation in order to perform them. Yet this same moral system also holds that performing good actions out of habit is sometimes praiseworthy.
Which one of the following, if true, does the most to reconcile the apparent conflict in the moral system described above?

we basically have to find some common ground in the above two conflicting views

(A) People who perform good actions out of habit have often acquired this habit after years of having resisted temptation.
so do these people still overcome temptation which performing good actions out of habit? This isn't clear.
(B) Most people face strong moral temptation from time to time but few people have to endure it regularly. this looks good. It says that few people endure temptation regularly. So lets say if these people also perform good actions out of habit (regularly) then there will be some common ground and hence SOMETIMES PRAISEWORTHY is true
(C) People virtually always perform actions they think are good, regardless of what other people may think. irrelevant. there is no measure of temptation in this option.
(D) Since it is difficult to tell what is going on in another person’s mind, it is often hard to know exactly how strongly a person is tempted. irrelevant. there is no habit being shown in this question and neither is any reference to how often a person is tempted
(E) It is far more common for people to perform good actions out of habit than for them to do so against strong temptation.this does nothing to bridge the gap in our two conflicting views. If anything, it strengthens the conflict
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New post 28 May 2008, 19:33
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vdhawan1 wrote:
7. A certain moral system holds that performing good actions is praiseworthy only when one overcomes a powerful temptation in order to perform them. Yet this same moral system also holds that performing good actions out of habit is sometimes praiseworthy.
Which one of the following, if true, does the most to reconcile the apparent conflict in the moral system described above?
(I think because of the 'only' , even if one does good actions out of habit, he should first satisfy the prior condition of 'overcoming temptation'. ONLY takes precedence over the 'SOMETIMES'. A looks good.
First sentence: (A ...ONLY when X)
Second sentence: ( A ..when Y)
Any answer that attempts to resolve the paradox will address both X and Y. Thats how we can eliminate B,C,D right away. And of course, E is obviously too generic and OUT.



(A) People who perform good actions out of habit have often acquired this habit after years of having resisted temptation.
(B) Most people face strong moral temptation from time to time but few people have to endure it regularly.
(C) People virtually always perform actions they think are good, regardless of what other people may think.
(D) Since it is difficult to tell what is going on in another person’s mind, it is often hard to know exactly how strongly a person is tempted.
(E) It is far more common for people to perform good actions out of habit than for them to do so against strong temptation.
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New post 08 Jun 2010, 10:28
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IMO A.

A certain moral system holds that performing good actions is praiseworthy only when one overcomes a powerful temptation in order to perform them. Yet this same moral system also holds that performing good actions out of habit is sometimes praiseworthy.

In premise1, we have: overcome powerful teptxn >>>> praiseworthy only then
In premise2: performing actions as a habit >>>> sometimes praiseworthy.

From premise2, what I understood is that actions are moral but praiseworthy sometimes not always. We dont have a comparison in the stimulus. Just a aparadox.

So, E is incorrect.


vd wrote:
A certain moral system holds that performing good actions is praiseworthy only when one overcomes a powerful temptation in order to perform them. Yet this same moral system also holds that performing good actions out of habit is sometimes praiseworthy.

Which one of the following, if true, does the most to reconcile the apparent conflict in the moral system described above?

(A) People who perform good actions out of habit have often acquired this habit after years of having resisted temptation.
(B) Most people face strong moral temptation from time to time but few people have to endure it regularly.
(C) People virtually always perform actions they think are good, regardless of what other people may think.
(D) Since it is difficult to tell what is going on in another person’s mind, it is often hard to know exactly how strongly a person is tempted.
(E) It is far more common for people to perform good actions out of habit than for them to do so against strong temptation.

Spoiler: :: OA
A

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New post 08 Jun 2010, 10:51
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the moral holds that overcomin powerful temptation is a must for good actions to be praiseworthy.

if habitual good action is praiseworthy, then there must be a connection between habitual good action and overcoming temptation.

only A implies that relationship.
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New post 10 Jun 2010, 09:20
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I went for option A since the precondition for praiseworthy is doing good after
overcoming a powerful temptation.
(i) overcome a powerful temptation => (ii) do good => (iii) praiseworthy
In A, the precondition for praiseworthy had been set. Then, doing good (ii) could
sometimes call for praiseworthy (iii)

B does eliminate stage (ii)- doing good. It only talks of people who resist temptation
either on a frequent or infrequent basis -who cares? So, B is out.
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New post 13 Jun 2010, 11:28
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A and E so damn close.

Only if people who overcome temptation -> perform good actions that are praiseworthy
Only (X) -> Y

How can some good actions be sometimes praiseworthy?

Overcoming temptation is essential to argument to be praiseworthy.
Between A and E

E says that it is common for people to do good actions without overcoming temptation. >> They can do good actions but X is not satisfied. It cannot be Y (praiseworthy)

First look A doesnt resolve sometimes?
(A) People who perform good actions out of habit have often acquired this habit after years of having resisted temptation. >> I think it means all didn't do X. Only some people resist temptation, all dont.

Finally A.
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New post 16 Sep 2010, 12:13
A certain moral system holds that performing good actions is praiseworthy only when one overcomes a powerful temptation in order to perform them. Yet this same moral system also holds that performing good actions out of habit is sometimes praiseworthy.
P1-Moral system ->Actions Praiseworthy->ONLY -> overcoming temptation
P2-Same system ->Actions Praiseworthy->SOMETIMES -> out of habit.

(A) People who perform good actions out of habit have often acquired this habit after years of having resisted temptation.
Considers complete set of people performing good actions out of habit. That means whosoever performs good actions out of habit does it against temptation, therefore ,
according to P1 everyone shall be worthy of praise, not true as per P2.
(B) Most people face strong moral temptation from time to time but few people have to endure it regularly.
According to moral system , an action is considered praiseworthy only if it overcomes powerful temptation.
Most people face strong moral temptation sometimes, reason why their actions are not always considered praiseworthy.
Few face it regularly-> whenever they perform good action it is against powerful temptation, hence agrees with P1 and are considered praiseworthy.

(C) People virtually always perform actions they think are good, regardless of what other people may think.
Stimulus focuses on Moral system and not on individual opinion.
(D) Since it is difficult to tell what is going on in another person’s mind, it is often hard to know exactly how
strongly a person is tempted.
Same as C , stimulus does not depend on whats going in other person's mind.
(E) It is far more common for people to perform good actions out of habit than for them to do so against strong temptation.
May be true but paradox is regarding the praise bestowed for the actions and not on frequency with which they are performed.

IMO B :wink:
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New post 14 Jun 2012, 06:12
A for me.

"People who perform good actions out of habit have often acquired this habit after years of having resisted temptation."--Thus every time an habitual do-gooder is praised, the praise is both retroactively worthy since the do-gooder has overcome temptations in the past.

And this reconciles the seeming contradiction.

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New post 29 Jul 2016, 03:47
A certain moral system holds that performing good actions is praiseworthy only when one overcomes a powerful temptation in order to perform them. Yet this same moral system also holds that performing good actions out of habit is sometimes praiseworthy.

Which one of the following, if true, does the most to reconcile the apparent conflict in the moral system described above?

(A) People who perform good actions out of habit have often acquired this habit after years of having resisted temptation.
(B) Most people face strong moral temptation from time to time but few people have to endure it regularly.
(C) People virtually always perform actions they think are good, regardless of what other people may think.
(D) Since it is difficult to tell what is going on in another person’s mind, it is often hard to know exactly how strongly a person is tempted.
(E) It is far more common for people to perform good actions out of habit than for them to do so against strong


In the end i had to choose between A or B
I Choose A

Why not B ?
Because B only talks about facing temptations, whereas we have no clue whether these people who are facing temptations are actualy doing some good or not.

Why A?
Because of the word "only"
As his good actions are praiseworthy only when he faces temptations
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New post 30 Jul 2016, 02:41
Adyy96 wrote:
A certain moral system holds that performing good actions is praiseworthy only when one overcomes a powerful temptation in order to perform them. Yet this same moral system also holds that performing good actions out of habit is sometimes praiseworthy.

Which one of the following, if true, does the most to reconcile the apparent conflict in the moral system described above?

(A) People who perform good actions out of habit have often acquired this habit after years of having resisted temptation.
(B) Most people face strong moral temptation from time to time but few people have to endure it regularly.
(C) People virtually always perform actions they think are good, regardless of what other people may think.
(D) Since it is difficult to tell what is going on in another person’s mind, it is often hard to know exactly how strongly a person is tempted.
(E) It is far more common for people to perform good actions out of habit than for them to do so against strong


In the end i had to choose between A or B
I Choose A

Why not B ?
Because B only talks about facing temptations, whereas we have no clue whether these people who are facing temptations are actualy doing some good or not.

Why A?
Because of the word "only"
As his good actions are praiseworthy only when he faces temptations


Per the question, moral system would consider performing good actions praiseworthy in two cases :
1) Only when one overcomes a powerful temptation in order to perform them
2) Sometimes, performing good actions out of habit.

It means it is considering the habitual actions have some link with the temptation. only A provides support to this point. While B does talk about temptation , it is not telling anything about habit that why Habitual actions are also considered sometimes.
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New post 03 Jan 2019, 16:39
MS praiseworthy —> if done by overcoming temptation
MS praiseworthy -> if done out of habit

How to connect “overcoming temptation” and “habit”?

A helps resolve the paradox


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Re: A certain moral system holds that performing good actions is praisewor  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2019, 04:25
I am not able to understand the paradox here. Someone please explain the argument and the discrepancy.
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Re: A certain moral system holds that performing good actions is praisewor   [#permalink] 22 Feb 2019, 04:25
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