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LSAT 69. Section II LR, Question 20

BigJay20BigJay20 Monthly Member

Hello 7sagers,

Follow my analogy here- (hope it’s clear enough). If the corona virus is among the most common ills, doesn’t that mean that most people have it? The argument tells me if I take aspirin, I would be in better health but that’s not true because while I could be covid free from taking an aspirin, it doesn’t mean I’m in better health if my diarrhea is still persisting.

I chose C because preventing or reducing the severity of covid has nothing to do with the flu or blood pressure, all of which are common.

7sagers, Let’s discuss:

I don’t understand B over C because the fact that the corona virus is common would mean that millions of people in the US alone have it. The explanation video helped me under B but I'm still struggling with why C is wrong.

That's is how I attacked the question. Well not necessarily attacked, considering I got it wrong.

I’d would love to hear how you interpreted it. If the stimulus is saying it’s among the most common ills, won’t that mean that most people have it?


  • 7SageUser-27SageUser-2 Legacy Member
    58 karma

    To address your first question, no. Even if a particular illness/disease/ailment is the most common that does not necessarily mean that most people have it. You can even use the real world to think of how this applies. I don't have the exact figures, but I believe heart disease is one of the main killers in the U.S. (#1 or close to it). However, that doesn't mean that most people have heart disease. A quick google search says it contributes to a quarter of all deaths in the U.S. So you can have the most common illness only affect 25% of the population (naturally, more people have heart disease than just those who die from it, but I think the point is clear).

    Now, to the crux of your question: why is Answer Choice (C) wrong? Naturally, you already know that Answer Choice (B) is the correct answer, and I do think that answer choice correctly identifies where the prompt is "most vulnerable" as the question stem asks. Moving on to (C) though, it says:

    "it overlooks the possibility that preventing or reducing the severity of heart disease has little or no effect on any of the other most common diseases in industrialized nations".

    I don't think I'd consider this true though (at least this is how I interpret it). Does it not mention how aspirin won't affect most other common ailments? Yes. But just because something isn't mentioned doesn't mean it's being "overlooked". Does that make sense? The Prompt is talking solely about a preventative treatment for a very particular illness. The other illnesses are irrelevant for the purposes of the prompt. So while it may be true that it overlooks that aspirin won't improve the health of people with cancer, that isn't a "flaw" in the argument because the argument isn't trying to say that aspirin will treat or prevent all illnesses, just the most common one.

    Imagine instead, the prompt was about National Security and some Pentagon official reports to a General that the latest anti-missile defense system, if installed, will protect the country. Conceivably, a potential answer choice could be: it overlooks the possibility that Aliens attack using technology the anti-missile defense system doesn't retaliate against.

    I hope this helps, and sorry for the strange example!

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