Politician: It is wrong for the government to restrict the liberty of individuals, except perhaps in those cases w...

Avi on July 3, 2020

A vs. B

I was a bit confused here between A and B. Whats wrong with B?

Replies

Shunhe on July 5, 2020

Hi @avif,

Thanks for the question! Let’s look at a quick diagram of the stimulus

~Prevent harm —> Wrong for government to restrict individual liberty
Publish —> Liberty
Offend —> ~Harm

Now what does (B) say? It says

Prevent harm —> ~Wrong for government to restrict individual liberty

And we can see that this is a mistaken negation of the first stimulus, and so can’t be properly inferred from the politician’s statements. As far as we know, it could be wrong for the government to restrict lib arty, even if to do so were to allow some harm to occur. And important here is the “except perhaps” language in the second half of the first sentence of the stimulus.

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

Avi on July 6, 2020

How do you treat a statement with except? I treated it like unless with the causing harm being the necessary and negating the first half of the statement.