QUESTION TEXT: Cultural historian: Universal acceptance of scientific theories…
QUESTION TYPE: Sufficient Assumption
CONCLUSION: If we think we’re just objects controlled by natural laws then morality will decline.
REASONING: Not believe responsible ➞ not ashamed at immorality ➞ moral decline
ANALYSIS: The missing link is between thinking we’re subject to natural forces outside our control and not thinking we’re responsible for our actions. The chain should be:
Thinking we’re subject to forces ➞ Not believe responsible ➞ not ashamed at immorality ➞ moral decline
- This doesn’t let us connect anything to people not believing they were responsible.
- CORRECT. If that happens, then they won’t become ashamed at immorality and morals will decline.
- This doesn’t let us connect natural laws to believing you’re not responsible.
- So? We don’t even know if those theories are correct.
- We’re trying to conclude “decline in morality.” This doesn’t help.
It’s very useful to diagram sufficient assumption questions. They’re almost always in this format:
Example: The conclusion is: A➞ D
The premises are one of the following. There is a gap between letters. :
A B ➞ C ➞ D
A ➞ B ➞ C D
A ➞ B C ➞ D
In each case the right answer will provide the missing link.
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