Editorial: A recently passed law limits freedom of speech in order to silence dissenters. It has been said that thos...

Batman on November 24, 2015


I'm not sure which sentence is the conclusion. Therefore, I do not know why (E) is the correct answer for this identifying flaw question. Thanks,

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Mehran on December 3, 2015

Thanks for your question, @Batman. Let's examine the stimulus carefully.

It is from an editorial, which signals it's an argument. The conclusion is that "those responsible for passing the law must be ignorant of a great deal of history." The premises are (1) there is a new law limiting free speech to silence dissent; (2) those ignorant of history will repeat its patterns; and (3) historically, silencing dissenters has tended to promote undemocratic policies and the establishment of authoritarian regimes.

The conclusion is not warranted based on these premises. Just because people who are ignorant of history may repeat historical mistakes doesn't mean that ONLY those people will make mistakes. In other words, someone who knows history could still screw up and repeat a bad pattern. Right?

That's what answer choice (E) correctly notes.

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any additional questions.