Between 1951 and 1963, it was illegal in the country of Geronia to manufacture, sell, or transport any alcoholic beve...

on July 23 at 07:30PM

Answer Choice D

Does this not strengthen the argument rather than weaken?

4 Replies

on July 23 at 07:48PM

Never mind I forgot the question said except.

Shunhe on July 23 at 08:16PM

Glad you figured it out!

on July 24 at 01:04AM

Hi - I unfortunately haven't quite figured this out. I picked E as the correct answer here - please could you discuss this question / answers further?

Thank you!

Shunhe on July 24 at 05:48PM

Hi @Anna2020,

Sure, thanks for the question! Let’s start off by looking at the stimulus. We’re told here that between 1951 and 1963, alcohol was basically banned. You couldn’t make, sell, or move it. But despite this ban, the death rate from alcohol-related diseases was higher during the first five years (1951-1956) than it was in the five years before 1951. So, the argument concludes, trying to ban alcohol just made people want and use alcohol more than if it weren’t banned.

OK, this is a weaken except question, which means that we need to find an answer choice that does NOT weaken the argument. Four of these answer choices will weaken, and one won’t; that one is the correct answer choice. The problems will naturally take longer, since you’ll have to work through basically each answer choice.

Now let’s take a look at (E), which says that between 1951 and 1963, among people with preexisting alcohol-related diseases, the percentage who got lifesaving medical attention declined because of a social stigma attached to drinking too much. Well, if that’s true, then we have an alternate explanation for why the death rate was higher. It was because these people weren’t getting lifesaving medical attention they needed, and that in turn was because of the social stigma, not because of the ban. So (E) weakens the argument that it was the ban that caused more people to use alcohol, and so it’s not the correct answer.

Now take a look at (D), which tells us that a lot of the people who died of alcohol-related diseases between 1951-1963 consumed illegally imported alcoholic beverages that were made the same way as those within Geronia. So (D) basically tells us where people got their alcohol, and how it was made. But so what? Does this weaken the argument that the ban made more people drink? No, not at all. It’s possible that (D) means that people were importing alcohol illegally, so the ban did make them want more people to drink. Or (D) just doesn’t say anything about it. But that means (D) either strengthens or is just irrelevant, and that means (D) doesn’t weaken.

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