A 1991 calculation was made to determine what, if any, additional health–care costs beyond the ordinary are borne by ...

on September 10, 2020

Please explain answer C

I'm having a hard time understanding how answer C weakens the argument as it seems to apply to only a small portion (elderly and those with certain medical condition) of the general population the argument is referring to.

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Shunhe on September 13, 2020

Hi @yckim2180,

Thanks for the question! So let’s start off by taking a look at the argument. We’re told that a 1991 calculation was made to determine additional health-care costs beyond ordinary borne by society for people who live a sedentary life (don’t exercise). Turns out, it’s $1650 on average over their lives. So, concludes the argument, people’s voluntary choice not to exercise places a significant burden on society.

Now we’re asked to weaken the argument. What’s the conclusion? It’s that people’s voluntary choice not to exercise places a significant burden on society. How can we weaken the argument? By showing that this isn’t the case. Maybe it’s not a voluntary choice, or maybe the calculation is wrong or something.

Take a look at (C), which tells us that physical conditions that eventually require medical or nursing-home care often first predispose a person to adopt a sedentary life-style. Sure, it “seems” to apply to only a small population, but we can’t say this. Who knows, this could apply to a significant number of sedentary people! And if this is true, it’s not a voluntary choice, it’s these physical conditions. So (C) introduces an alternate cause that could explain the outcome of the survey, and in doing so weakens the idea that it has to be for the reason the argument suggests (voluntary choice).

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