QUESTION TYPE: Method of Reasoning
ARGUMENTS: The politician thinks that it is reasonable that cigarette smokers should fund the new national health campaign. Smoking causes serious health problems therefore smokers should bear the cost of problems they cause.
The smoker argues that it would be unreasonable to tax those who eat foods high in fat and cholesterol. Yet it is just as well established that those people cause health problems.
ANALYSIS: The smoker uses an analogy. If the politician’s logic were applied to an identical situation it would produce results the politician would (presumably) disagree with.
A counterexample (answer choice A) can be a type of analogy. It uses a specific situation to disprove a general rule.
- CORRECT. The politician’s reasoning is: people with unhealthy habits should pay. The smoker shows that it would be absurd to apply the same reasoning to people who eat fatty food. That’s a counterexample: a specific situation that disproves general reasoning.
- The smoker did not say how funds should be raised.
- The intended purpose of the tax is to raise money. The smoker did not say that the tax wouldn’t raise money.
- The smoker actually agrees that eating fatty foods “causes as many serious health problems as does smoking.” But the smoker also thinks it is unfair to make smokers pay.
- The smoker didn’t say that the tax would make smokers even less healthy or would actually cause lower revenues. They just thought it was unfair to smokers.
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