June 2013 LSAT, LR2, Q14, pleasure and getting what one wants

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project Guest blogger: Chino Baluyut

I'm Chino, and I'm an English teacher.  What am I doing answering an LSAT question on Nathan's blog?  I'm living the ultimate "what if" scenario”¦ what if I opted for law school instead of education?

I think I've made the right choice.

But really, I'm doing this because Nathan is a great guy who has given me tons of (non-law related) advice.

The argument says that if you get what you want, you feel pleasure. Therefore, people must want pleasure. Does this make sense? Apparently not, because the question asks us to find an answer that shares the same questionable reasoning. Before we look at the answer choices, we should make sure we understand the flaw. If X causes Y, does that mean any time you do X, you want Y? Let's see:

Smoking causes cancer. Do smokers want cancer? Drinking causes hangovers. Do drinkers want hangovers? Of course not. Let's see if we can find an answer that matches this flawed thinking.

A. I don't see anything here about one thing causing another. I doubt this is the answer.

B. Thinking about skiing causes terror. Sounds good so far. In order to make this the answer, it should say "so, whenever I think about skiing, I must want to feel terror." But that's not what it says, so this isn't the answer.

C. Stomachache happens when you eat pizza. Stomachache is the natural consequence of eating pizza. So if I eat pizza, I must want a stomachache. YES!

D. This answer is like "X has caused Y in the past, so X will probably cause Y tonight." That's not the pattern we were looking for.

E. No. This one is like "I can't have X without Y, so I can't have Z without Y either." That's not a match.

Our answer is C, because it's the same flaw as the given argument.

Chino Baluyut is the principal and founder of The Sentence Center, which provides expert writing instruction to students in middle and high school.  Chino teaches adolescents how to select, organize, and express their thoughts in a clear manner.  He stresses the importance of mastering the fundamentals of writing, preparing ideas in advance, and developing a unique voice.

For more information, visit The Sentence Center at www.SentenceCenter.com.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends! --nathan

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project