QUESTION TEXT: Anyone believing that no individual can have…
QUESTION TYPE: Principle
CONCLUSION: If you want to improve society, then you shouldn’t believe that individuals can’t affect it.
REASONING: If you don’t think individuals can affect society, you will feel too helpless to change it.
ANALYSIS: On LSAT principle-justify questions, you must first of all figure out what the argument is saying. Let’s look at the logic. It boils down to this:
“If you think individuals are powerless, then you’ll turn into a helpless loser and you won’t accomplish anything. Therefore you shouldn’t believe that individuals are powerless.”
Notice the word “should” in the conclusion. On the LSAT, you can never prove that something “should” happen unless you have a premise that says what you “should” do. So we need a “should” statement that links the premise and the conclusion. Like this:
“If something makes you a helpless loser, then you shouldn’t believe it.”
- This doesn’t match the conclusion, which was about what you should believe.
- We’re trying to prove that individuals should reject the belief that historical forces determine the future. This answer tells us what people should do if they reject this belief.
So this refers to the wrong term. This is an extremely common technique for tricky answers.
- Like answer B, this refers to the wrong thing. This answer talks about what you should do if you already feel helpless. We must prove that you should avoid beliefs that make you feel helpless.
- CORRECT. If this is true, then you shouldn’t accept the belief that society is determined by vast historical forces. We know that would make you feel too helpless to improve society.
- Rubbish. The stimulus was about what we should believe, not how we should act.
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