Jurist: To ensure that a legal system remains just, it is important to guarantee that lawbreaking does not give lawbr...

Tes on December 26 at 08:17PM

How?

I do not understand the answer to this question

3 Replies

Jacob on December 27 at 02:09AM

Hi @crichburg1

I’m happy to help. As always, let’s start with the question stem. We are looking for the answer that describes the role in the argument of the jurist’s claim that it is important to guarantee that lawbreaking does not give lawbreakers an unfair advantage over law abiders.

In this passage, we just have two sentences, and the question stem is part of the first. Notice that that claim is what the jurist is saying what must be done in order to ensure that the legal system remains just.

Then, in sentence two, we begin with the indicator word “thus” — which signals to us that we may be about to receive the conclusion of the argument. And in fact, the conclusion does follow: that because of our principle that it is important to guarantee that lawbreaking does not give lawbreakers an unfair advantage, criminal punishment should ensure that criminal wrongdoing remains profitless. This follows logically, because if criminal wrongdoing were profitable, then lawbreaking would give lawbreakers an unfair advantage over law abiders!

Answer B describes almost exactly what we just laid out — the sentence is a principle offered as support for the conclusion that follows in sentence two.

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

Daisy on January 25 at 01:26PM

How can I identify that this is a principle?

Ravi on January 26 at 10:15PM

Hey there,

Great question. The claim that it is important to guarantee that
lawbreaking does not give lawbreakers an unfair advantage over law
abiders functions as part of the premise to support the conclusion
that Jacob described above.

Even if we're unsure about whether or not this statement is a
principle, because we know that it's part of the premise supporting the
conclusion, we can eliminate (A), (C), and (E) because none of those
answer choices is describing a premise. (B) mentions that it's offered
as support for the conclusion (that is, it's a premise), and (D)
mentions that it's a premise. Now let's look at the rest of (B) and
(D) to see which answer is better.

(B) says it expresses a principle that's offered as support for the
conclusion. The statement appears to function as a general claim,
which is synonymous with being a principle, and we also know that it's
providing support as a premise for the conclusion, so this answer
seems good.

In looking at the only other possible answer choice (because it's the
only other answer choice that's describing a premise), (D) says that
it's a premise presented as support for the claim that the most
important goal of criminal punishment is to ensure that criminal
wrongdoing remains profitless. The first part of (D) is perfect; we
know it's a premise and (D) says this. However, does (D) accurately
describe the conclusion of the argument? No, it doesn't. The
conclusion of the stimulus is that whatever other goals that criminal
punishment may serve, it should certainly attempt to ensure that
criminal wrongdoing remains profitless. Does this mean that the MOST
IMPORTANT goal of criminal punishment is to ensure that criminal
wrongdoing remains profitless? We have no support that it's the most
important goal—we can't make this leap. As a result, (D) is
inaccurately capturing the conclusion of the stimulus, so we can
eliminate it. This leaves us with (B) as the only remaining answer
choice, as it's the only other answer that has wording that describes
a premise.

Even if we were unsure about whether or not to classify the phrase as
a principle, we can arrive at the correct answer through
process-of-elimination. Additionally, as noted above, the jurist's
statement is a general claim, and general claims are synonymous with
principles.

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any more questions!