Law School Discussion

Principal Question from Feb 2000 lsat- All answer choices included

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Can someone explain this to me? I did the sufficient/necessary diagram. But, it did not help to figure out the correct answer.

Agricultural economist: We can increase agricultural production without reducing biodiversity, but only if we abandon conventional agriculture. Thus, if we choose to sustain economic growth, which requires increasing agricultural production, we should radically modify agricultural techniques.

Which of the following  principles, if valid, most help to justify the agricultural economists's reasoning?

Credited Response: Economic growth should not be pursued at the expense of a loss of biodiversity.

The other answer choices: a) agricultural production should be reduced if doing so would increase biodiversity.
                           c) economic growth should be sustained only as long as agricultural production continues to increase.
                           d) preserving biodiversity is no more important than increasing agricultural production.
                           e) agricultural techniques should be radically modified only if doing so would further the extent to which we can increase agricultural production.

dubsy

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Re: Principal Question from Feb 2000 lsat- All answer choices included
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2007, 05:57:53 AM »
You certainly don't need to, but diagramming can be used to visualize what's going on in the stimulus:

P1: Increase agriculture w/o reducing bio --> abandon conventional agriculture
P2: Economic growth --> increase agriculture
Conclusion: Economic growth --> radically modify agriculture

There's two main weak spots I see in this argument that could be fixed to make it flow better - one is that he's assuming abandoning conventional agriculture = radically modifying agriculture.  More importantly though, the argument is concluding that if we pursue economic growth we have to somehow end up at radically modifying/abandoning conventional agriculture.  So in order to get to this track, we need to show that P1 is somehow being met, right?  So, since the CR gives the additional info that if we pursue economic growth (which thereby means increasing agriculture) we need to pursue it WITHOUT reducing biodiversity - which is exactly the 1st premise, which in turn gives way to the conclusion: radically modify agriculture. HTH.