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It is exceedingly difficult to make people realize that an

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It is exceedingly difficult to make people realize that an [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2016, 09:01
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It is exceedingly difficult to make people realize that an evil is an evil. For instance, we seize a man and deliberately do him a malicious injury: say, imprison him for years. One would not suppose that it needed any exceptional clearness of wit to recognize in this an act of diabolical cruelty. But in England such a recognition provokes a stare of surprise, followed by an explanation that the outrage is punishment or justice or something else that is all right, or perhaps by a heated attempt to argue that we should all be robbed and murdered in our beds if such senseless villainies as sentences of imprisonment were not committed daily. It is useless to argue that even if this were true, which it is not, the alternative to adding crimes of our own to the crimes from which we suffer is not helpless submission. Chickenpox is an evil; but if I were to declare that we must either submit to it or else repress it by seizing everyone who suffers from it and punishing them by inoculation with smallpox, I should be laughed at; for though nobody could deny that the result would be to prevent chickenpox to some extent by making people avoid it much more carefully, and to effect a further apparent prevention by making them conceal it very anxiously, yet people would have sense enough to see that the deliberate propagation of smallpox was a creation of evil, and must therefore be ruled out in favor of purely humane and hygienic measures. Yet in the precisely parallel case of a man breaking into my house and stealing my diamonds I am expected as a matter of course to steal ten years of his life. If he tries to defeat that monstrous retaliation by shooting me, my survivors hang him. The net result suggested by the police statistics is that we inflict atrocious injuries on the burglars we catch in order to make the rest take effectual precautions against detection; so that instead of saving our diamonds from burglary we only greatly decrease our chances of ever getting them back, and increase our chances of being shot by the robber.
But the thoughtless wickedness with which we scatter sentences of imprisonment is as nothing compared to the stupid levity with which we tolerate poverty as if it were either a wholesome tonic for lazy people or else a virtue to be embraced as St. Francis embraced it. If a man is indolent,let him be poor. If he is drunken, let him be poor. If he is not a gentleman, let him be poor. If he is addicted to the fine arts or to pure science instead of to trade and finance, let him be poor. If he chooses to spend his wages on his beer and his family instead of saving it up for his old age, let him be poor. Let nothing be done for "the undeserving": let him be poor. Serve him right! Also -- somewhat inconsistently -- blessed are the poor!
The author’s argument about imprisonment would be most weakened by showing that

A. imprisonment is not widely regarded as an act of cruelty
B. chicken pox and burglary are not analogous evils
C. imprisonment does not cause malicious injury
D. sentences of imprisonment are given increasingly rarely
E. a burglar who commits murder in self-defense would not be hanged
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
B


Last edited by phoenixio on 03 Jul 2016, 09:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It is exceedingly difficult to make people realize that an [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2016, 11:39
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Re: It is exceedingly difficult to make people realize that an [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2016, 19:26
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The author begins the passage with arguing evil is evil...so you cannot differentiate between two evils.

Then in the middle of the passage he criticizes people for thinking Chicken Pox as not evil but burglary as evil. So, according to author, you cannot differentiate between Chicken Pox and burglary.

Choice B by saying both Chicken Pox and burglary are not analogous weakens the author argument.
Re: It is exceedingly difficult to make people realize that an   [#permalink] 03 Jun 2016, 19:26
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It is exceedingly difficult to make people realize that an

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