QUESTION TEXT: One should not play a practical joke…
QUESTION TYPE: Principle
FACTS: You shouldn’t play a practical joke under two conditions: if it will show contempt for the person you’re playing the joke on, or if you think the joke will hurt the person.
Harm OR Contempt for subject of joke ? Don’t do it
ANALYSIS: We have information to conclude when not to play a practical joke: if one of the two conditions is true then you shouldn’t play the joke.
We have no information to tell us when a joke is a good idea. Even if there’s no contempt and no one will be hurt, a joke might still be a bad idea.
- This says the person should have known the joke would cause harm. The stimulus only talked about actually knowing. “Should have known” isn’t good enough for us to say a joke was wrong. Also, the stimulus didn’t talk about harm to “someone”. It only warned against causing harm to the person the joke was being played on.
- It’s true that the two conditions for proving a joke wrong are missing. But there might be other reasons not to do a practical joke. Maybe the joke is rude, or not funny, etc. We can never prove it’s right to play a joke.
- CORRECT. The person believes the joke might cause harm, so they’re correct that it would be wrong to play the joke.
- It’s not necessarily wrong to play a joke that shows contempt for “someone”. It’s only wrong to play a joke that shows contempt for the person the joke is being played on.
- We don’t know whether the joker believed the joke would cause harm. It’s the belief in harm that’s important.
Free Logical Reasoning lesson
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