Prime minister: Our nation's government should give priority to satisfying the needs of our nation's people over sati...

Kenji on June 4, 2020

December 2014 LSAT lr 12

Can someone explain this question in detail? Thanks!

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Victoria on June 4, 2020

Hi @kenken,

Happy to help!

This is both a principle and a paradox question. We are looking for the general principle which helps to reconcile the paradox which arises from the prime minister's claims.

The prime minister concludes that the government should prioritize satisfying the needs of their own people before satisfying the needs of those from other nations.

The prime minister also notes that their conclusion should stand despite the fact that all human beings have equal worth and that their needs are all objectively equivalent in importance.

What is the paradox here? The prime minister concludes that the people of their nation should have their needs prioritized even though there is no objective reason for doing so as people of all nations and their needs have equal worth.

Answer choice (A) is incorrect because it states the opposite of the prime minister's conclusion. If a government should not attempt to satisfy one group's needs unless they are objectively more important than any other group's needs, then the prime minister's conclusion does not hold, and their government should not prioritize the needs of their own people as their needs are equivalent to all others.

Answer choice (B) is incorrect because it contradicts the prime minister's claims. If a government should only give priority to its own people's needs if they are more worthy than other nations' people, then the prime minister's conclusion does not hold as they highlight that all people are equally worthy.

Answer choice (C) is incorrect because it would no longer allow the prime minister to draw their conclusion. If the priority a government places on satisfying the needs of a group is dependent upon the objective importance of such satisfaction, then there is no reason that the prime minister's government should prioritize their own people as they and their needs are objectively no more important than those of other nations and their people.

Answer choice (E) is incorrect because it does not resolve the paradox. We don't know if there are any alternative ways for the prime minister's people to have their needs satisfied. The prime minister simply concludes that their needs should receive priority despite the lack of objective importance over the needs of others.

Finally, answer choice (D) is correct because it helps to resolve the paradox.

P: People of other nations are equally worthy to the people of the prime minister's nation and their needs are of equal importance.

P: But, when the people of two nations are equally worthy, the needs of the people of each nation should be satisfied primarily by the people's own governments.

C: Therefore, the government should prioritize satisfying the needs of their own people.

Notice that the inclusion of this principle allows the prime minister to logically draw their conclusion that their government should prioritize the needs of their own people.

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