QUESTION TYPE: Parallel Reasoning
CONCLUSION: It’s incoherent to think that it is a good idea to behave irrationally in pursuit of a worthy goal.
REASONING: The goal would be even better served if you behaved rationally.
ANALYSIS: This isn’t a good argument. The author hasn’t shown that rational behavior is more likely to achieve the goal than irrational behavior. Acting crazy works, sometimes.
The argument is circular. The conclusion is that acting irrationally is dumb. The evidence is that it is dumb to act irrationally. They’re the same thing.
This argument sounds like a good argument. But that’s only because we tend to believe that irrational actions are inferior to rational actions. But the fact that something is justified does not make it rational. The right answer also sounds good. It’s hard to see how an accident can be intentional.
- This just states the obvious: it isn’t good for officers of the law to commit crimes. There isn’t any circular reasoning.
- CORRECT. This is a bad argument, and it parallels the stimulus. It’s perfectly possible to plan to spill water accidentally. I could create a situation where I am likely to spill water, but without knowing when and how the spill would happen. So it would be an accident.
The argument’s premise is the same as its conclusion (spilling water intentionally isn’t an accident.)
- This is a bad argument, but it isn’t circular. The conclusion is about how to live the good life. The evidence is about whether neighbors see that we live the good life. Those are different things.
- This is a bad argument. It hasn’t shown that self-diagnosis requires good medicine. Maybe a doctor can diagnose something even if it is bad medicine. But this isn’t circular reasoning.
- This is a bad argument. It hasn’t established that merely by owning both animals we are placing the goldfish at the cat’s disposal. Most people keep fish in fish tanks, sealed away from cats. But this argument isn’t circular.
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