30 LR Two Question 18
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This one was tricky for me. I got bogged down in the portion of the question that reads: "...technical ingenuity usually brings benefits to those who have this ingenuity, whereas ethical inventiveness brings only pain to those who have this inventiveness." The self-directed aspect of this sentence seemed important to me, particularly granted that it was supported by some amount of load-bearing language. I was thinking: why should we assume that ingenuity/inventiveness will lead the possessor to pain/benefit? Which led me to answer choice A, which seemed to assert that assumption. Can you help me understand why B is a better answer choice? I am typically VERY bad at strengthen/weaken questions; I almost always miss them. I feel like this is a great example of the type of question that often trips me up. I get into the weeds and...choose wrong answers. Help me, Dave -- you're my only hope.
My answer will be (as it almost always is) a structural reading of our passage. Imagine this version of our argument:
Monarchs believe ice cream makes them stronger, but that gummy worms make them impotent. Thus, ice cream makers will prosper while gummy worm manufacturers will be tortured to death.
Same exact argument. We've assumed that if a monarch thinks you're making him stronger, he'll reward you, but if he thinks you're making him impotent, he'll torture you to death. (B) directly asserts this assumption, and is therefore correct.
On the other hand, (A) says People who make monarchs stronger often prosper. And I have two problems with that:
1. It doesn't help us with the last half of our conclusion (about gummy worms), and
2. It doesn't even actually address the first half (our ice cream makers). We know that monarchs believe that ice cream makes them strong. We have no idea whether that's in fact the case, so we have no idea whether ice cream makers should be included in the group of people who "make monarchs stronger."
I put 1 in pride of place because it gives you a structural reason for suspicion. Not on its face, perhaps, but certainly in comparison to (B), we have a good reason for discarding it.
Very clear, thanks!
Upon revisiting the question, it's clear that I'm getting trapped by the gaps instead of using them to pick the best answer choice. The point is to identify the gaps, as you've persistently suggested, but not to get trapped in them.
So, instead of using the gaps strategically, I'm allowing them to confuse me. NO LONGER.