It is obvious that one ought to have a will stating how one wishes one's estate to be distributed. This can easily be...

Veda on August 6, 2020

Stuck between A and D

Why is D more correct than A? Because of the strength of the argument, I felt like the negation of A was more damaging to the argument than the negation of D since it is not as forceful.

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Shunhe on August 7, 2020

Hi @Veda-Bhadharla,

Thanks for the question! So let’s walk through the argument again. The argument’s basically arguing that people should have wills stating how they want their estates to be distributed when they die. How does it show this? Because based on current laws, far away relatives have more claim to your stuff than near and beloved friends.

So now we’re asked for an assumption on which this argument depends. (A) tells us that no one wants his or her estate to go to someone he or she has never met. Let’s try applying the negation test, as you mentioned. It’s not the case that no one wants his/her estate to go to someone he/she has never met; in other words, there is at least one person who wants his or her estate to go to someone he or she has never met. OK, but but this doesn’t tell us how many people. It could just be that one person. And if that’s true, that doesn’t really hurt the argument that on average, people should be getting wills. Just because one random person somewhere would want his/her estate to go to someone he/she has never met doesn’t really change it for everyone else. So negating (A) doesn’t really hurt the argument that much, so it’s not a necessary assumption.

Negating (D), on the other hand, lets us know that people are generally not indifferent about how their estates are distributed. Now we have a statement about people in general. And when we negate this, it tells us that people are generally indifferent about how their estates are distributed. Well, if that’s true, then the majority of people don’t care, and so the argument is defeated. And that’s how we know (D) is a necessary assumption and the correct answer.

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