PT72.S2.Q10 - council chair: the traditional code

Edmond.DantesEdmond.Dantes Alum Member
edited May 2016 in Logical Reasoning 154 karma
I have a quick question regarding #10 from PT72, S2 (the Parliamentary Procedure question), specifically answer D. I bounced back and forth between C and D, and even though I knew D is wrong, I couldn't eliminate it.

Question is reproduced below (it's a Weaken question):

"The traditional code of parliamentary procedure contains a large number of obscure, unnecessary rules, which cause us to quibble interminably over procedural details and so to appear unworthy of public confidence. Admittedly, the code is entrenched and widely accepted. But success in our endeavors depends on the public's having confidence in our effectiveness. Therefore, it is imperative that we adopt the alternative code, which has been in successful use elsewhere for several years."

D: It is not always reasonable to adopt a different code in order to maintain the public's confidence.

The argument is: given X (traditional code, quibble, unworthy of public confidence), thus Y (adopt alternative code). D sounds as though it's slightly weakening the argument by pointing out that it's not always reasonable to do Y given X (to adopt alternative code given the goal of public confidence). What am I missing here?

Obviously, I realized that I am assuming "if X is not always reasonable, then don't do it." Is that the rub? Thanks!


  • quinnxzhangquinnxzhang Legacy Member
    edited May 2016 611 karma
    Why should the proponent of the alternative code care that it's not always reasonable to adopt a different code in order to maintain the public's confidence? Proponents of the alternative code can happily accept this. For example, maybe there's a very effective procedure in place that doesn't have the public's confidence, but is nevertheless the most successful at getting the task done. Then, yeah, it's true that it's not always reasonable to adopt a new code to maintain public confidence.

    But for the specific code in question, the stimulus explicitly says that success depends on public confidence. That is, for this specific procedure in the stimulus, we *require* public confidence to succeed in our endeavors. Well if public confidence is required for success, then it seems like it *is* imperative to adopt an alternative code in this specific instance. (D) only pretends to weaken this specific argument, but is actually making a rather broad, vacuous claim. There can be plenty of codes that don't have public confidence and shouldn't be replaced (because they don't require public confidence), but that says nothing about the specific code we're talking about in the stimulus.

    (D) would be a better weakening answer choice if the argument relied on the assumption that public confidence is always important, but the argument doesn't rely on this.
  • hlsat180hlsat180 Member
    edited May 2016 362 karma
    To address your concern, I think Answer D is "too weak" for a Weaken answer. Just because it's "sometimes unreasonable" (e.g., adopting a different code during the middle of a hurricane, following a revolution/coup d'etat, or any theoretically unlimited list of straw-man possibilities) that doesn't undermine the conclusion. For the sake of argument let's assume Answer D is true - then it's still sometimes reasonable to adopt a different code. And what if those conditions are now, as per the Council chair's argument? In this sense (in the scheme of incorrect answers) Answer D is irrelevant and therefore neither strengthens nor weakens the argument.
  • Edmond.DantesEdmond.Dantes Alum Member
    154 karma
    Thanks @hlsat180 and @quinnxzhang!
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