QUESTION TEXT: Some people see no harm in promoting a folk…
QUESTION TYPE: Principle – Justify
CONCLUSION: It’s bad to promote folk remedies, even if those remedies have no effect.
REASONING: Using an ineffective remedy might stop people from seeking conventional treatments that would help them.
ANALYSIS: This argument is a bit more complex than most “principle/justify” questions. Normally the stimulus presents facts, and the answer says “those facts are bad”, connecting the facts to the moral judgement in the conclusion.
That’s still the case here, but the facts to criticize are not as clear. So let’s look at a timeline:
- People are seeking a remedy.
- They would pursue conventional remedies.
- However, someone promotes a folk remedy.
- The patient uses the ineffective folk remedy for years, and stops looking for a conventional remedy.
The stimulus says “are convinced to use” and “rather than”. This implies that people were convinced to use the folk remedy instead of the conventional remedy they would have pursued otherwise. So, it’s not a stretch to say that the person offering the folk remedy “interfered” with the search. It’s a legitimate, if less common, use of the word. This question is an example of a shift in terms that isn’t a shift in concepts.
If you doubt any of the definitions I used, check the dictionary. The oxford dictionary is best. Increasingly, LSAT questions are using less common but valid definitions of words in order to increase the difficulty of questions.
- Using the remedy doesn’t cause harm – we’re talking about folk remedies that have no effect.
- CORRECT. See the analysis above. The short version is that people normally would look for a (beneficial) conventional remedy, and pushing a folk remedy interferes with this process.
- Honesty is irrelevant. The argument is about whether promoting folk remedies causes harm. Lies aren’t inherently harmful.
- This talks about whether someone is responsible for harm. The question is about whether there was harm.
- We’re trying to prove that there was harm. “Consequences” isn’t automatically a negative word. It can refer to beneficial consequences too.
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