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# Throughout human history there have been many stringent tabo

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Throughout human history there have been many stringent tabo [#permalink]  26 Feb 2019, 11:44
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Question Stats:

43% (04:03) correct 56% (03:37) wrong based on 30 sessions
Throughout human history there have been many stringent taboos concerning watching other people eat or eating in the presence of others. There have been attempts to explain these taboos in terms of inappropriate social relationships either between those who are involved and those who are not simultaneously involved in the satisfaction of a bodily need, or between those already satiated and those who appear to be shamelessly gorging. Undoubtedly such elements exist in the taboos, but there is an additional element with' a much more fundamental importance. In prehistoric times, when food was so precious and the on-lookers so hungry, not to offer half of the little food one had was unthinkable since every glance was a plea for life. Further, during those times, people existed in nuclear or extended family groups, and the sharing of food was quite literally supporting one's family or, by extension, preserving one's self.
23. If the argument in the passage is valid, taboos against eating in the presence of others who are not also eating would be LEAST likely in a society that

(B) emphasized the need to share worldly goods
(D) emphasized the value of privacy
(E) discouraged overindulgence

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
A

24. The author's hypothesis concerning the origin of taboos against watching other people eat emphasizes the

(A) general palatability of food
(B) religious significance of food
(C) limited availability of food
(D) various sources of food
(E) nutritional value of food

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
C

25. According to the passage, the author believes that past attempts to explain some taboos concerning eating are

(A) unimaginative
(B) implausible
(C) inelegant
(D) incomplete
(E) unclear

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
D

26. In developing the main idea of the passage, the author does which of the following?

(A) Downplays earlier attempts to explain the origins of a social prohibition.
(B) Adapts a scientific theory and applies it to a spiritual relationship.
(C) Simplifies a complex biological phenomenon by explaining it in terms of social needs.
(D) Reorganizes a system designed to guide personal behavior.
(E) Codifies earlier, unsystematized conjectures about family life.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
A

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Re: Throughout human history there have been many stringent tabo [#permalink]  13 Mar 2019, 15:31
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23. The main part of the argument is that the taboo originated in times of food scarcity. To eat and not offer to another was to condemn that other to hunger or worse. If food was plentiful, though, then one wouldn't have to worry about the welfare of the other when it came to food.

24. As mentioned for the previous question, the origination of the taboo, according to the author, had to do with the scarcity of food. There wasn't enough to go around, so to hoard it for oneself, eating while another watches hungrily, would be taboo.

25. The second sentence outlines several possible explanations. The author admits the truth of these explanations, saying that "such elements exist" in the taboos, but that there is a more important element. The past attempts, then, were not untrue, they were simply incomplete.

26. While the author does definitely acknowledge past explanations, she does not seem to give them much weight, dismissing them as much less fundamental than her own point.
Re: Throughout human history there have been many stringent tabo   [#permalink] 13 Mar 2019, 15:31
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