Columnist: Obviously, money helps one satisfy one's desires. However, people become less happy as they become more w...

on February 17, 2020

Why B

Why B and not C?

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Annie on February 18, 2020

Hi @sprozes,

This question is asking you to find the answer choice which "most strengthens" the argument. Note that with questions like this there may be multiple options which sort of strengthen the argument, but you are looking for the best one.

Answer (B) is correct because it identifies a gap in the logic of the argument and fills it. The columnist tells us that having more money always makes people less happy. This seems somewhat illogical, if you imagine someone going from poverty to middle class. So, we need more to explain why this is the case. We know that the more money one has the more desires they have unfulfilled. Answer B connects the dots, and tells us that happiness is about having fewer unfilled desires. This explains the seeming conundrum of the argument.

Answer (C) is incorrect because it ignores the last sentence of the columnist's argument. We are told that increased wealth creates an "even greater number of desires that will not be satisfied." This answer choice is talking about what happens when desires are actually satisfied. This is somewhat irrelevant to the argument. You could say this answer choice lightly strengthens the argument (as it tells us that the ability to satisfy desires doesn't increase happiness), but it does not do so in nearly as a strong a way as Answer (B).

Shunhe on February 18, 2020

Hi @sprozes,

Thanks for the question! The columnist is arguing that money does help satisfy desires, but still makes people less happy as they have more of it. Why? Because money creates unsatisfied desires. There’s a missing link here between unsatisfied desires and happiness, and this is what (B) gives us. (B) tells us that the fewer unfulfilled desires someone has, the happier that person is, and this is what we need to link the two.

(C), on the other hand, is incorrect because even if it’s true that one’s happiness increase each time a desire is satisfied, there could still be a positive correlation between desire satisfaction and happiness. (C) isn’t committing us to the idea that one’s happiness never increase each time a desire is satisfied. More importantly, it doesn’t fill in the gap between unsatisfied desires and happiness.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.