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Re: P: Complying with the new safety regulations is useless. Even if the [#permalink]
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sivakumarm786 wrote:
P: Concludes that complying with the new safety regulations is useless as they have not addressed the underlying causes of last year's laboratory fire (P's line of reasoning/position).

Q: Contrasts P by stating that any regulations that can potentially prevent money from being wasted (Q's line of reasoning/position) are useful.

So we see that the line of reasoning of both P and Q are different and Q reasons for why we should comply with the new regulations and explains their utility.

Therefore, Q responds to P by extending the grounds/basis for assessing the utility of complying with the new regulations.

Option A is correct answer.

(B) citing additional evidence that undermines P’s assessment of the extent to which the new regulations would have prevented injuries in last year’s laboratory fire - the line of reasoning of Q does not undermine P's line of reasoning. Q gives an additional reason. Hence B is incorrect.

(C) giving examples to show that the uselessness of all regulations (broad scope) cannot validly be inferred from the uselessness of one particular set of regulations (particular regulation)- Both P and Q are discussing on the same new safety regulations. Hence, option C is incorrect

(D) showing that P’s argument depends on the false assumption that compliance with any regulations that would have prevented last year’s fire would be useful. Q has not proved that P's line of reasoning or assumption is false. Hence incorrect.

(E) pointing out a crucial distinction, overlooked by P, between potential benefits and actual benefits - Incorrect.


P: New regulations can't prevent fire or injury hence useless.
Q: Added one more variable stating that it can save money.

Option E: Q pointed out crucial distinction; there is no distinction cited by Q. P did overlook aspect of money which is added by Q but it can not be said a distinction. Also, we don't know if it is crucial or not as we are not sure about how significant money saving is for the regulation makers.
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Re: P: Complying with the new safety regulations is useless. Even if the [#permalink]
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The conclusion of P’s position is that complying with the new safety regulations is useless. This conclusion is supported by the evidence that the regulations would not have prevented last year’s fire since its causes are not covered by the regulations.

Q’s conclusion is that complying with the safety regulations will be useful because compliance might prevent fires caused by other causes (not those of last year’s fire).

For the sake of an example, let’s assume the cause of last year’s fire to be a short circuit. Keeping that in mind, we can understand that Q is simply stating that even though the new regulations would not have prevented a short circuit, they do contain rules to prevent other causes of a fire such as a gas leak or flammable chemicals in a lab. Therefore as long as the new regulations will be helpful to avoid mishaps arising from various other causes, the regulations would be useful since they would prevent accidents and in turn, money.

With this analysis in mind, we can go through the answer choices to find out which one reflects Q’s line of reasoning the best.

A. Extending the basis for assessing the utility of complying with the new regulations

Our analysis above shows that Q is “assessing the utility” by saying that if the new regulations are obeyed, they would help prevent some accidents thus highlighting the usefulness (utility) of the new rules. Q does not merely rely on last year’s fire as evidence to assess the utility of the regulations but also looks at their impact on other possible causes of lab fires. We can therefore say the Q assesses the situation by extending the scope (looking at other factors) of the application of the new rules. This choice looks good so let’s hold on to it.

B. Citing additional evidence that undermines P’s assessment of the extent to which the new regulations would have prevented injuries in last year’s laboratory fire

Q never disagrees with P on the utility of the regulations on the cause of last year’s fire. So the prevention of injuries arising from last year’s fire is not a matter of contention and so this answer choice can be eliminated.

C. Giving examples to show that the uselessness of all regulations cannot validly be inferred from the uselessness of one particular set of regulations

The keyword to note in this choice is “all” regulations. Well, P and Q are only discussing the utility of this new set of regulations and not all fire/safety related regulations. This answer choice is therefore incorrect.

D. Showing that P’s argument depends on the false assumption that compliance with any regulations that would have prevented last year’s fire would be useful

This answer choice reverses the logic of P’s argument. P states that the new regulations are futile because they would not have prevented last year’s fire, however this choice mentions P’s assumption to be that regulations preventing last year’s fire would be useful. P does not make any statement to that effect, so this answer choice is incorrect.

E. Pointing out a crucial distinction, overlooked by P, between potential benefits and actual benefits

It’s probably easy to fall into this trap but a thorough reading reveals there is no potential v. actual benefits debate. P’s argument only talks about the pointlessness of the regulations since they would not have been able to prevent last year’s fire. P simply states that there are other cases in which the regulations will prove useful so there is no distinction highlighted between the potential and actual benefits. We can safely eliminate option E.

Answer choice (A) delineates Q’s method of reasoning the best out of the 5 options and that is our answer.
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Re: P: Complying with the new safety regulations is useless. Even if the [#permalink]
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P: Complying with the new safety regulations is useless. Even if the new regulations had been in effect before last year’s laboratory fire, they would not have
prevented the fire or the injuries resulting from it because they do not address its underlying causes.

Q: But any regulations that can potentially prevent money from being wasted are useful. If obeyed, the new safety regulations will prevent some accidents,
and whenever there is an accident here at the laboratory, money is wasted even if no one is injured.

Q responds to P’s position by

(A) extending the basis for assessing the utility of complying with the new regulations - CORRECT. Extending, certainly yes. Even though the word "but" is used Q's response is only adding more color to P's argument.

(B) citing additional evidence that undermines P’s assessment of the extent to which the new regulations would have prevented injuries in last year’s laboratory fire - WRONG. Plain wrong and easy to eliminate. red text is certainly not true but blue text text does looks wrong as Q starts his/her argument with "but". However, it may go in either direction thus in blue color.

(C) giving examples to show that the uselessness of all regulations cannot validly be inferred from the uselessness of one particular set of regulations - WRONG. Generalises by using the word "all". Though one may get trapped if he/she consider 'regulations = all regulations'.

(D) showing that P’s argument depends on the false assumption that compliance with any regulations that would have prevented last year’s fire would be useful - WRONG. Big claim but bigger issue is with prevention of fire which is not what Q says.

(E) pointing out a crucial distinction, overlooked by P, between potential benefits and actual benefits - WRONG. There is no distinction neither any benefits discussed.

Usually when two person argument with each other in CR passage, there is a conflict as in one takes one pov and other takes different(mostly opposite). However, this generality should be taken with a pinch of salt. In this passage too Q responds to P's argument by using the word "but" that suggest it might be an opposite view. But it's not as we see in the option choice.

Answer A.
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Re: P: Complying with the new safety regulations is useless. Even if the [#permalink]
P: Complying with the new safety regulations is useless. Even if the new regulations had been in effect before last year’s laboratory fire, they would not have
prevented the fire or the injuries resulting from it because they do not address its underlying causes.

Q: But any regulations that can potentially prevent money from being wasted are useful. If obeyed, the new safety regulations will prevent some accidents,
and whenever there is an accident here at the laboratory, money is wasted even if no one is injured.

Summary of the argument - P says .. safety regulations are ineffective and will be ineffective as they do not attack the main cause (wants 100% accuracy) ignores other factors which could be saved by application of these regulations

Q responds by addressing the partial success which will be achieved on application of these safety regulations


Q responds to P’s position by

(A) extending the basis for assessing the utility of complying with the new regulations correct

(B) citing additional evidence that undermines P’s assessment of the extent to which the new regulations would have prevented injuries in last year’s laboratory fire no additional evidence is cited by Q

(C) giving examples to show that the uselessness of all regulations cannot validly be inferred from the uselessness of one particular set of regulations no example are given by Q

(D) showing that P’s argument depends on the false assumption that compliance with any regulations that would have prevented last year’s fire would be useful Q does not downgrade P. Q responds with a positive intent

(E) pointing out a crucial distinction, overlooked by P, between potential benefits and actual benefits a very tempting choice . But no distinction is made between potentional benefits and actual benefits
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Re: P: Complying with the new safety regulations is useless. Even if the [#permalink]
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