Waller: If there were really such a thing as extrasensory perception, it would generally be accepted by the public s...

Timur on March 25, 2015

Clarification

I don't understand why D is correct over B

1 Reply

Melody on March 27, 2015

Waller tries to prove his point that there is no such thing as extrasensory perception, since if there were such a thing, then it would generally be accepted by the public (because anyone with extrasensory powers would be able to convince the general public of its existence through demonstrating those powers).

Chin responds that it's impossible to demonstrate anything to the satisfaction of all skeptics. Therefore, as long as these skeptics remain close-minded, the popular media and public opinion--in turn--will always be biased in favor of these skeptics.

We are tasked with finding the point of disagreement between the two arguments.

Answer choice (B) states: "extrasensory perception, if it were a real phenomenon, could be demonstrated to the satisfaction of all skeptics."

Well, we know that Chin does not agree with this, as it is the first sentence of his argument: "It's impossible to demonstrate anything to the satisfaction of all skeptics."

However, Waller has not indicated his opinion on whether extrasensory perception could be demonstrated to the satisfaction of all SKEPTICS. We know that Waller believes that if extrasensory perception were a real phenomenon, then it would be generally accepted by the PUBLIC. But, we do not know his opinion on whether it could be satisfactorily demonstrated to all the skeptics.

Thus, we cannot choose (B) as our point of contention because we do not know how Waller feels about it.

Answer choice (D), on the other hands, states: "the failure of the general public to believe in extrasensory perception is good evidence against its existence."

So, we know that Waller would agree with this statement. He states that if it were real, then it would be generally accepted. So, contrapositive: If it is not generally accepted, then it is not real.

However, Chin would disagree with this since he states that as long as the cultural elite, i.e. the skeptics, remain closed-minded to the possibility of extrasensory perception, the popular media, and thus public opinion, i.e. the general public, will fail to believe in it. Chin explains that since it is impossible to demonstrate anything to the satisfaction of all skeptics, the failure of the general public to believe in extrasensory perception is, therefore, not good evidence against it.

So, Waller would be for answer choice (D), whereas Chin would be against it. Therefore, answer choice (D) is our correct answer!

Hope that was helpful! Please let us know if you have any other questions.