PT39.S2.Q12 - Is it wrong for the government to restrict the liberty of individuals

Jordan JohnsonJordan Johnson Alum Member
edited April 2021 in Logical Reasoning 680 karma

@jenleeva had a good question about the first LR section of PT 39, Q12, and I'm also stumped:

"How do we know that 'not right' = 'wrong'? And vice versa? Wouldn’t 'not wrong' logically have a neutral option?

help "


Admin Note: Edited the title. Please use the format: "PT#.S#.Q# - brief description of question"


  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    edited April 2021 7924 karma

    I literally just finished answering this comment! It does have a neutral option, but that doesn't matter for this question, because wrong falls into the set of things that are not right.

    RL → W

    Exception (perhaps): when RL would allow harm

    Publishing is a liberty

    Offending is not to cause harm

    A. if it is only offensive (meaning its not allowing someone to cause harm), RL is not right.

    We know that restricting publishing would be restricting a liberty, and we know its not allowing harm, so it must be wrong. Since it's wrong, it's by definition not right. Are other things also not right? Sure... but wrong is still not right. If we had a condition to make something neutral, we could say something that filled that condition was also not right.

    In other words, its not that "not right" = "wrong" but that "wrong" → "not right"

  • Jordan JohnsonJordan Johnson Alum Member
    680 karma

    @canihazJD Wow, that cleared it up perfectly. Thanks!

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    7924 karma

    Cool cool cool... I tend to ramble on so glad it was clear.

  • Burden.of.FloofBurden.of.Floof Monthly Member
    1040 karma

    I made a comment about this on the question page, but I'm re-posting this here hoping more people will see it. Wanting people to weigh in, do you treat except as a bi-conditional, or do you treat it the same as "unless, until, without"?

    I diagrammed things a little differently than JY and therefore got rid of B for a different reason. I know that in the "except" lesson, JY treats it as a bi-conditional which means perhaps would be the only word making B the wrong answer. But I've also read that except only works as a bi-conditional if it's preceded by a sufficient indicator like all, every, etc.. Ellen Cassidy and others treat "except" the same way as "unless." With that in mind, this is how I did it:

    Not a case where freedom leads to harm ---> wrong to restrict individual liberty
    Not wrong to restrict liberty ---> case where freedom leads to harm

    AC B, in that case is affirming the necessary and trying to conclude the sufficient condition. I feel like this bleeds over into application of the law in general, which I have a question about. Let's take a different example, say there's a law that says the following:

    It is illegal to run a red light, except in an emergency.

    /emergency --> illegal to run a red light
    legal to run a right light --> emergency

    So, to me all that it's saying is that if it's not an emergency, under no circumstance are you permitted to run a right light. It doesn't say that if there is an emergency, you can run a red light. In my mind, it's because the law is set up to restrict, not permit. You couldn't possibly enumerate everything citizens are allowed to do, it's far more efficient to simply outline what isn't permitted. If, for example, you do run a right light in an emergency, it's still probably okay though because the statute simply doesn't apply to you in your situation. It's only for people who are not in emergencies. It also prevents other laws from undercutting it... for example, if you had another law that said in an emergency you cannot impede the flow of traffic. But, what if you did that while running a red light? Having the conditional as it is leaves the space for the one law to not undercut the other.

    Now, if I were to change the law to state:

    It is always illegal to run a red light, except in an emergency.

    Does that functionally change the meaning of the sentence? According to what I said earlier, it should turn it into a bi-conditional.

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