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Louis: People's intentions cannot be, on the whole, more bad than good

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Joined: 24 Feb 2015
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Louis: People's intentions cannot be, on the whole, more bad than good  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 10 Oct 2018, 05:03
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Difficulty:

95% (hard)

Question Stats:

14% (02:18) correct 86% (02:23) wrong based on 153 sessions

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Louis: People's intentions cannot be, on the whole, more bad than good. Were we to believe otherwise, we would inevitably cease to trust each other, and no society can survive without mutual trust among its members.

The argument is most vulnerable to which one of the following criticisms?

(A) It fails to rule out the possibility that a true belief can have deleterious consequences.

(B) It mistakenly assumes that if two claims cannot at the same time both be true, then they cannot at the same time both be false.

(C) It challenges the truth of a claim merely by calling into question the motives of those who profess that they believe it to be true.

(D) It assumes without warrant that in any situation with two possible outcomes, the most negative one will inevitably occur.

(E) It provides no reason to believe that a statement that is true of a given group of individuals is also true of any other group of individuals.

Source : LSATPracticeTests

Originally posted by Prajat on 12 Sep 2015, 19:20.
Last edited by Bunuel on 10 Oct 2018, 05:03, edited 4 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Posts: 45
Louis: People's intentions cannot be, on the whole, more bad than good  [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2015, 21:59
5
The official explanation is as follows :

Overview: Louis' conclusion is that people's intentions cannot be, on the whole, more bad than good. He bases this conclusion on an argument that considers the consequences of believing that people's intentions are more bad than good. He basically argues that because there would be very negative consequences if this were widely believed, it cannot be true.

A. Louis claims that if we held the belief that people's intentions were more bad than good, certain negative consequences would result-society would lack the mutual trust that is necessary for its survival. From this he concludes that this belief is false. Louis' argument makes little sense, however, unless you understand that he is assuming that believing in something that is true will not bring about negative consequences. But Louis does nothing to back up this assumption, and this assumption certainly requires some sort of justification. So Louis' argument is vulnerable to the objection that nothing he says shows that holding a true belief cannot have deleterious consequences.

B. Louis' argument focuses on the consequences of a certain view being believed. It does not make any logical moves from the impossibility of two claims both being true to the impossibility of their both being false. So (B) simply does not describe what
goes on in Louis' argument, so it is not a criticism that the argument is vulnerable to.

C. Louis' argument does challenge the truth of a potential claim-that people's intentions can, on the whole, be more bad than good. But he does not suggest that anyone actually holds this belief. So the issue of "the motives of those who profess that they believe it to be true" does not arise. Louis' argument, therefore, is not vulnerable to the criticism in (C).

D. At certain points in the argument, Louis implicitly deals with situations with two possible outcomes: for example, society surviving and society not surviving. But he never assumes that the most negative will inevitably occur. His argument actually takes it for granted that positive outcomes (such as society surviving) can occur. So the argument is not vulnerable to the criticism in D.

E. Louis' argument is very general: it is about people, their beliefs, and the effects of those beliefs on society. Louis does not focus on particular groups of individuals. In particular, he does not make any inferences from what is true about one group of
individuals to what is true about some other group of individuals. So his argument is not vulnerable to the criticism in (E).
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Re: Louis: People's intentions cannot be, on the whole, more bad than good  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2019, 01:01
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Louis: People's intentions cannot be, on the whole, more bad than good   [#permalink] 15 Oct 2019, 01:01
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