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Reading Comprehension - Worked Examples

Current time:0:00Total duration:5:01

Principles | Law passage | Cosmic Justice

Reading Comprehension - Worked Examples

Video transcript

- [Instructor] The discussion in passage A, but not the discussion passage B, relies on which one of the following principals? So it isn't really a good use of our time, to try to get in our mind what the answer is before we look at the choices here. Prediction is not a great strategy for a question like this, but it does help to remember what passage A is all about. Passage A is saying that Sowell comes out against cosmic justice because, it's impossible to know everything about the background of somebody. We need to focus our attention on the outputs and not the inputs because the inputs are ultimately unknowable and we can't be fair about that. Because we aren't omniscient, so we should be looking for something along those lines the wrong choices in questions like this might be in both passages. Or might be in passage B but not passage A. Or might be in neither of them, neither of the passages. So let's go through with those things in mind and see if we can rule out some bad answers, and maybe we'll also see that one choice jumps out at us. But on the first pass through, I wouldn't apply too rigorous a test in order to move on to the next one. You can leave them in hopefully one or two or three will disqualify themselves because of something wrong in them. But we should get to the end and then weight them all and see what we have, and this is a way to save time, rather than spend too much time on each choice figuring out whether maybe it's right, maybe it's wrong. Let's apply a level of rigor but not too much rigor. Because the right answer might just rise to the top, let's take a look. A, one should refrain from action when one lacks complete information. Okay so passage A is all about lacking complete information, humans lack complete information. But are we told we have to refrain from action completely? Not so sure. B, whether a punishment is fair matters less than whether it deters crime. Passage A never really mentions deterrence that's something that's in passage B but that's really not what we're looking for, let's keep on moving. C, although we should aim at perfect justice, we should recognize that we cannot attain it. Okay so this is definitely what passage A is about. We should recognize that we cannot attain it, but should we even aim at it? I don't think so, passage A basically says no perfect justice, cosmic justice, is actually impossible so I'm not liking C. D, one should not pass judgment on an action, unless one knows all of the factors that influenced it. Passage A is saying no we can't know all the factors that influenced it. So that is not right. E, if a goal is known to be impossible, then it should not be attempted. So the goal that's being discussed here, the goal of cosmic justice is it known to be impossible? Yes passage A basically says yeah cosmic justice is impossible. Does it go so far as to say look, we shouldn't even attempt it? We can go back up and see but right now, E is looking better than the other choices. We can have a quick look at A, one should refrain from action. Passage A isn't saying we should do nothing. So A is not good. B, whether a punishment is fair matters less than whether it deters crime. Again, passage B mentioned that but deterrence isn't mentioned in passage A. So stick around for another minute, we'll go up and we'll see whether we can find proof that passage A says that look we shouldn't even try. That does ring a bell, so let's go find that. We shouldn't even try, an omniscient being is capable of perfectly considering all these things, but we are not. With all the limitations that we face as mere humans, the best we can reasonably do is judge primarily based on outputs or consequences rather than inputs. Basically, we can't do it, we are not able to perfectly consider all these things. So we just shouldn't do it at all. So that support seems a little indirect, so let's just see if there's anything a little more direct. Okay the end of the first paragraph says, but our human legal system should not try to dispense cosmic justice since we do not know all the critical relevant facts or understand all the complex causal interrelationships involved or even know definitely what cosmic justice really is! So if ever there was support for an answer. Here we have it we basically have three different reasons why our human legal systems should not try to dispense cosmic justice, since one, we do not know all the critical relevant facts. Or, understand all the complex causal interrelationships involved. Or even know definitively what cosmic justice really is. So we have some strong support right there at the end of the first paragraph. So that we know for certain that our answer here is E. If a goal is known to be impossible, seeking cosmic justice, then it should not be attempted. This is our answer.