Statements Arguments

In making decisions about important questions, it is desirable to be able to distinguish between “Strong” arguments and “weak” arguments. “Strong” arguments are those which are both important and directly related to the question. “Weak” arguments are those which are of minor importance and also may not be directly related to the question or may be related to a trivial aspect of the question.

Some Important Tips

  1. Consider only the matter which is given in the statement.  Do not add anything in the statement from your side.
  2. You should avoid the presumption. Don’t conclude the argument as strong just because you want.
  3. Read the statement very carefully. Also, read all the arguments before you mark the one you think.
  4. Take the sample test and study the explanation for each of the questions very carefully. This will help you fine-tune your reasoning on the actual test.

 

Type I:

Below is given statement followed by two arguments numbered I and II. You have to consider the statement and the following arguments and decide which of the arguments is strong in the statement and Give answer:

1) if only argument I is “strong”.

2) if only argument II is “strong”.

3) if either I or II is “strong”.

4) if neither I nor II is “strong”.

5) if both I and II are “strong”.

Example:

Statement: Should there be a ban on affiliation of students unions in political parties?

Arguments:

I. Yes, the political parties take undue advantage of the students’ unions to fulfill their own selfish interest.

II. No, without the support of political parties students’ unions will not be able to survive.

Answer:       (4)

Explanation:

Simply saying that a thing can be abused is a simplistic argument. This applies to everything and hence is weak unless you specify the reason for abuse. Hence I is weak. II is weak because it is just not true.

Example:

Statement: Should all those who are suffering from terminal diseases be allowed to end their lives if they so desire?

Arguments:

I. No, nobody should be allowed to end their life at their will as this goes against the basic tenets of humanity.

II. Yes, instead of suffering with pain and no chance of recovery they should be allowed to do so.

Answer:         (5)

Explanation:

Both I and II give strong reasons against and in support of mercy death.

Example:

Statement: Should there be complete ban on opening new engineering colleges in India?

Arguments:

I. Yes, every year lakhs of engineers and graduates from various colleges cannot find jobs as the demand is much less than the supply.

II. No, India needs more technically qualified people to meet the ever-increasing demand of technocrats in the international arena.

Answer:         (1)

Explanation:

I is strong because opening a new college will be wastage of resources. II is weak because this problem can be addressed through consolidation, not through proliferation .Instead going for new colleges, the existing ones should be improved.

Type II:

This type is similar to that of above type of question with the difference that each question is followed by three arguments numbered I, II and III. You have to decide which of the arguments is strong in the statement and chose the correct option.

Example:

Statement: Should there be a complete ban on registration of new cars for a few months in the big cities in India?

Arguments:

I. Yes, this will significantly reduce the number of cars on the already overcrowded roads of the big cities in India.

II. Yes, the existing car owners will be very happy as they will face less traffic snarls in peak hours.

III. No, this is highly discriminatory against those who decide to buy cars now and hence should not be enforced.

1) Only I is strong

2) Only I and III are strong

3) Only III is strong

4) All are strong

5) None of these

Answer:         (3)

Explanation:

I is weak because there is mismatch of scale. II is weak because it is a trivial reason.III is strong because discrimination is undesirable.

Example:

Statement: Should the salary and perquisites of public sector undertaking employees be made equivalent to those in private sector.

Arguments:

I. Yes, this will help the public sector undertakings to attract and retain competent workforce.

II. No, public sector undertakings cannot afford to pay salaries to the level of private sector.

III. Yes, otherwise the public sector undertakings will not be able to compete with the private sector organizations.

1) Only I is strong

2) Only II is strong

3) Only III is strong

4) All are strong

5) Only I and III are strong

Answer:         (5)

Explanation:

I is strong because competent workforce is desirable. II is weak because it doesn’t appear to be true for all Public sector units and even if it be true, an argument that takes recourse in helplessness seems to fall short on merit.III is strong because competition is desirable.