A society in which there are many crimes, such as thefts and murders, should not be called "lawless." That is an abus...

Maria on June 25 at 06:07PM

H E L P

I really can get this question, the June 1991 sec 4 Q 21. Can someone please explain it and the answer choices? pleaseeee

1 Reply

Shunhe on June 26 at 06:38PM

Hi @Maria-Marin,

Thanks for the question! This one is definitely a tricky one at first. Let’s take a look at what the stimulus is saying. So basically, we’re told that a society with many crimes shouldn’t be called lawless, since if you don’t have laws, you can’t have crimes.

Now we’re asked for something that must be true based on the argument in the stimulus. Notice first that we can eliminate (A) and (B) right off the bat. Why? Because they logically mean the same thing, so they can’t be the answer, because if one was the answer, the other would also have to be the answer. After all, (A) says

Laws —> Crimes

And (B) says

~Crimes —> ~Laws

And those are just the contrapositive of each other! So (A) and (B) can immediately be cast aside.

Now let’s take a look at (C): a society that has many laws has many crimes. Does that have to be true based on the argument? No, you could have a society with a bunch of laws, and no one breaks them. Then it’s a crimeless society that has laws; nothing the stimulus says rules out this possibility, so (C) doesn’t have to be true.

Now take a look at (D), which says that if a society has some crimes, then it has some laws. Well, remember that on the LSAT, “some” just means “at least one.” And remember that the argument’s saying, if you have crimes, then you have to have laws, since crimes happen when you break a law. Well, then that means if you have some crimes, then you have some laws, and so (D) has to be true based on the stimulus.

(E) is phrased the same as (D) but replaces the word “some” with “many,” and that’s why (E) is incorrect. Is it true that a society with many crimes has to have many laws? No, not necessarily. For example, you could have a society with one law that everyone breaks. Then there’d be many crimes, but not many laws. And so (E) doesn’t have to follow from the stimulus either.

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