It has been said that understanding a person completely leads one to forgive that person entirely. If so, then it fol...

Aidyn on May 25, 2019

Explain elimination

Can you explain why we arrive at this answer over the others?

1 Reply

Victoria on May 25, 2019

Hi @Aidyn-Carlson,

These questions can be tricky because the language is so abstract! It definitely helps to go through each answer choice and try to relate it directly to the passage to make the choices a little bit more concrete.

Let's start by diagramming the question. The passage states:

If you understand a person completely, you will forgive that person entirely.


Not FPE - > Not UPC

It follows then that, if we cannot understand ourselves completely, we cannot forgive ourselves completely.

Not USC - > Not FSC


Now let's go through the answer choices.

B is incorrect because nothing in the argument is presented as "necessary for an action to occur." Understanding someone completely is sufficient for forgiving a person entirely. In addition, the author does not state that forgiveness necessarily results from understanding, as evidenced by the inclusion of "if so."

C is incorrect because the conclusion of the argument is conditional. This answer seems correct after reading the first sentence of the passage; however, it is important to note that the author writes, "if so," meaning, if it is in fact true that understanding a person completely leads to forgiving a person entirely, then the following is true.

D is incorrect because the passage does actually state that complete self-understanding is desirable even if it cannot be attained.

E is incorrect because this claim was not made in the argument. The author simply states that attaining complete self-understanding is unattainable.

A is the correct answer because the reasoning used by the argument suggests that fulfilling the sufficient condition - understanding a person completely - is the only way to achieve the necessary condition. The passage states that if you understand someone completely, you will forgive them entirely. However, there are other possible ways for a person to forgive someone entirely, even if they do not completely understand them. The passage argues that we cannot forgive ourselves entirely unless we first understand ourselves entirely. Therefore, the passage treats the failure to understand ourselves completely as the only way to forgive ourselves completely, ignoring the fact that understanding someone completely is sufficient, not necessary, to forgiving someone completely.

Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any further questions.