PT33.S1.Q21 - attacks on an opponent's character

Quick SilverQuick Silver Alum Inactive Sage
edited January 2016 in Logical Reasoning 1049 karma

This is the Attacks on an Opponent in a Debate Question.

I'm not sure why the answer works. Can someone explain it to me?


  • chrijani7chrijani7 Alum Member
    827 karma
    Premise: Attacks [on persons characters] do not confront of the argument

    Conclusion: Attacks on an opponents character SHOULD be avoided in political debates.

    So we need to find an answer that justifies the argument that if something [attacking a persons character] does not confront the argument, then it should be avoided.

    A, B, & D are easily eliminated they have nothing to do with the argument.

    E is the tricky one, which I fell for the first time I did it thinking it was the contrapositive to the argument. However, we need to find something that justifies that if something doesn't confront the argument then it should be avoided. Again, the rules of the LSAT are to take what is given AS TRUE, so if we know that attacking a persons character DOES NOT confront the argument, then who cares if it's RELEVANT... It is relevant, but from the stimulus we know it is something is relevant and it still doesn't attack the argument and thus it should still be avoided.

    The other thing with E is that we are trying to justify why something should avoided, and by telling us why it shouldn't be avoided just leads us into another argument... which is not what we are looking for. We are looking for something that stops this argument in its tracks.

    So (C) is correct because it is saying debating techniques that do not confront every argument should be avoided. Remember what our job is for this question, that is to identify a principle that JUSTIFIES the reasoning. We don't care about anything else,

    things that don't confront every (including the argument in question) should be avoided
    well since we know we have to assume what is being given to us is true, if this were true would it not justify what was said in the argument? Yea it would

    Going back to E one last time, does saying that questions of character should be raised if relevant justify why we said it should be avoided? No it doesnt.

    This one is really just understanding the trap they threw at you, which is not get hung up on what you think is right and sticking to the fundamentals. Hope this helps.
  • paul-a-spaul-a-s Member
    7 karma

    Is AC C saying that unless your debating technique defangs every single argument that could ever be made about any topic, you should not use that technique? It would in fact rule out ALL debating techniques. That does mean it would out attacks on your opponent’s character, because such attacks don’t defang ANY arguments, let alone accomplish the absurd goal described in the AC.

    It’s just hard for me to deal with choices like C when they seem to make so little sense intuitively.

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