A group of citizens opposes developing a nearby abandoned railroad grade into a hiking trail. Its members argue that ...

Sean on October 23, 2018

PT 72, S3, Q11

I don't really understand why this is A. Can you please explain? Thank you!

2 Replies

on November 5, 2018

I would also like an explanation on this question as well! I was between the answers A and D but could not decide which one would be correct.

Jacob on December 27 at 02:27AM

I’m happy to help @smilde11 and @Anna

As always, let’s start with the question stem. We are looking for the answer that describes the flaw in the argument. For this type of question, I like to try to describe the find the flaw, describe it in my own words, and then see which answer matches that description most closely.

The argument we get in the passage is that citizens opposed developing an abandoned railroad into a hiking trail, arguing that there will be litter. But then we get the response to the argument: that the objection is groundless because most trail users will be dedicated hikers who are concerned for the environment. And consequently (notice the conclusion indicator word) development should proceed.

Well, let’s think about it. Does that conclusion follow? Maybe the fact that most hikers are concerned for the environment means that the specific concern raised by the citizens are somewhat addressed (although notice that “most trail users” not littering does not mean that there will be some trail users who litter). But is that enough to get us to the conclusion that development should proceed?

No! There could be many other reasons other than those raised by the concerned citizens for why the development should not proceed. Maybe the abandoned railroad grade would not be a safe hiking trail, or maybe it has toxic waste, or maybe it would be way too expensive. Merely addressing and countering the one argument made by the citizens does not get us all the way to the affirmative conclusion that the development of the trail SHOULD proceed!

And that is basically what answer A says: it bases the affirmative conclusion solely on the claim that the opposing argument is weak. And that is why answer A is correct.

I hope that helps! Please let us know if you have further questions.