Ethicist: Robert Gillette has argued that because a thorough knowledge of genetics would enable us to cure the over 3...

Yuer-Wang on March 24, 2020

Answer B

Hi LSAT max, can you please explain why B is incorrect? Thanks!

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shunhe on March 24, 2020

Hi @Yuer-Wang,

Thanks for the question! We have an ethicist commenting on Robert Gillette’s argument. The ethicist first presents Gillette’s argument, saying that Gillette believes that deciphering the human genetic code would benefit humanity despite its enormous cost because it’d let us cure a lot of diseases. Then, the ethicist says that Gillette’s argument isn’t persuasive. Why? Because Gillette doesn’t consider that such knowledge might ultimately harm human beings more than it would benefit them.

Let’s take a look at the structure of this argument. The ethicist presents the opposing argument, presents evidence against the opposing argument, and then concludes that the opposing argument is not persuasive. In other words, the conclusion is that the argument is unconvincing, which is what (E) tells us. (B) tells us that the genetic code might ultimately harm human beings more than benefit them. This is actually a premise used in support of the overall conclusion. To make this more clear, we can think of the argument as:

Premise: [Robert Gillette’s argument]
Premise: Fact that Robert Gillette doesn’t consider
Conclusion: Robert Gillette’s argument isn’t persuasive

And since the question is asking for the conclusion of the ethicist’s argument, (B) cannot be true, even though it is mentioned in the passage. Remember that we have to keep in mind the distinction between premises and conclusions in these kinds of questions. If a sentence answers the question “Why?” or supports another claim, it’s usually a premise.

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