QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: Declining voter turnout is caused by a belief that politicians can’t solve our problems.
REASONING: People think that important problems can only be solved by attitude change AND people believe government can’t make this change ➞ declining voter turnout.
And it’s true that voters think politicians can’t solve our most important problems.
ANALYSIS: There are two problems with this argument.
- We’re told voters think that politicians can’t solve our problems. This isn’t the same as the sufficient condition in the premise, which was belief that problems can only be solved by attitude change. We don’t know why people think that government can’t solve our problems, it could be for another reason, e.g. corruption.
- The conclusion says that declining voter turnout is entirely caused by the belief. But even if something is a cause, that doesn’t prove it’s the only cause. There can be multiple sufficient causes of a phenomenon that each contribute.
- CORRECT. Maybe it’s also true that fewer people are voting because the internet is too distracting. Who knows? There can be multiple causes for the same phenomenon.
- The argument was about what people believe to be true. It’s not about what is actually true. Belief and truth are two different things.
- I can hardly make sense of this one. It says that the argument claims problems can be solved if people decide the argument’s premise is wrong.
That’s irrelevant. The argument didn’t even say if this belief was blocking progress. The author just said it reduces voter turnout, which is different.
- The argument never said people are dissatisfied with politicians. Maybe no one can solve the problems. In that case there’s no reason to blame the politicians. They could be doing their best.
- The argument never said whether the decline in voter turnout has any negative consequences.
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