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### Statements and Arguments

Reasoning is the act of methodically using logic to derive a conclusion from certain premises.

There are two ways of solving analytical reasoning questions.

The first way is the one which consists of the general method for solving any type of analytical reasoning questions. This method consists of a standard approach which must be followed by all the analytical reasoning questions.

The other way is based on the specific type of approach.
In analytical reasoning the question itself consists of the answer. In Order to solve any analytical reasoning question, candidates must read the Statements very thoroughly and repeatedly to clearly understand the meanings and implications which they convey truly, with a very cool, cautious and patient mind. In this type of questions, a Statement (usually an interrogative sentence) in the form of a suggested course of action is followed by two arguments. One argument generally Supports the given Statement (or suggested course of action) by pointing out some positive features or positive results of that action while the second argument denies the Statement or argues against it by pointing out the negative features or deleterious effect/result of that action. In order to determine the forcefulness of the arguments we have to decide whether the argument is perfect or not.
If an argument is hundred per cent perfect, it would be forceful.

Remember that:

(i) The argument should not be just an opinion. It must answer one of the questions—Why, How, When, What—of the Statement. Otherwise it is not an argument.

(ii) An argument also depends on the language used because by changing a few words we can make a weak argument forceful.

(iii) The argument must be judged as an argument and not with what somebody or newspapers say (s). Ex. Statement : Should we follow non-alignment as foreign policy ?                                       Argument: Yes, because Ft. Jawaharlal Nehru advocated it. Explanation : The argument is not forceful. If somebody says in favour of any policy or adopts it, that does not mean that it is a correct policy.

(iv) If some one is quoted in support of the Statement it cannot be a forceful argument. Ex. Statement: Is child the father of man ? Argument: Yes, because Words-worth has said, "Heaven       lies about us in our infancy." Explanation : The argument cannot be forceful only because someone has quoted in support of the Statement. Generally the problems in analysing                   arguments have one or two arguments with a statement. Out of two arguments, the candidate has to find out which is strong argument and which is weak argument.

Statement is concerned with three topics like political, social, economic followed by two arguments that are in favour or against the statement. Also arguments that are strong or weak.

In making decisions about important questions, it is desirable to be able to distinguish between strong and weak arguments.
Common features of strong arguments:
1. Universal truth: It means that if an argument is scientifically established or universally accepted fact then it is strong and cannot be denied.
2. Analysed truth: Decisions taken by government, supreme court, constitutional bodies and united nations or any other supreme authority are called analysed truth which are strong arguments.
3. If any argument is said on the basis of experience then it is accepted as strong.

Weak arguments can be recognised by the following features:
1. Simple Information: If an argument is too simple although it is related with the given statement, but due to lack of proper argumentation it will be considered as a weak argument.
2. Opinion: If the argument simple supports or denies the given statement without proper analysis then it is a weak argument.
3. Ambiguous: If the argument is not clear in meaning and creates confusion such a debatable argument is weak.
4. An argument that promotes or prohibits on the basis of an example is considered to be weak.

SOME IMPORTANT TIPS

(A) If an argument is an assumption. (hat is. if it assumes somethiiig to be true whereas in reaüty it may or may not be true, the argument cannot be forceful.

Ex.

Statement : Should school teachers be banned to take any private tuitions ?

Argument : Yes, only then the quality of teaching in schools will improve. [SBI Associate Banks P.O. Exam, 2009]

Explanation : The argument is based on an assumption and hence it cannot be forceful.

(B) An ambiguous argument cannot be forceful. The argument must be clear in meaning otherwise it may not bc forceful or strong. An ambiguous argument leaves a doubtful and confused impression.

Ex.

Statement: Should education be made compulsory for all children upto the age of 14 ?

Argument : Yes, This would improve the Standard ol living.

Explanation : The argument is ambiguous. It is not clear how the compulsory education for all children upto the age of 14 could raise the Standard of living.

(C) If the argument is in form of a simple sentence lacking any facts established notions hui is not ambiguous cannot be forceful. Such argument shows proper relation with the Statement but due to its simplicity, it cannot be considered forceful or strong argument.

Ex. Statement:Should terminal examination in India's present present education System be abolished altogether.

Argument: Yes, It has outlived altogether. [Bank P.O. Exam, 2008]

Explanation : Although the argument talks about the Suggestion given in the Statement, it simply Supports the Suggestion without giving proper reason.

( D) If the argument the superfluous and only glances at the theme without making an in depth analysis of the facts or information, the argument cannot be forceful.

Ex.

Statement : Should open book examinations be introduced for professional courses in India

Argument: Yes, All candidates can pass easily and can start their professional life. [Banks P.O. Exam, 2008]

Explanation : The argument is superfluous. It does not delve into the core of the topic. Therefore, it is a weak argument.

(E) The "Law identity" must not be violated. In other words. a word or phrase should be used in the same sense in the Statement as well as in the argument.

Ex.

Statement: Should religion and politics be divorced?

Argument : No, because religion and politics are not husband and wife.

Explanation : In the Statement, the word "divorce" has been used in one sense whereas in the argument it has been used in different context and sense. Therefore, the argument is not forceful. In the foregoing discussion, we have provided sufficient Clues for rejecting an argument at a glance. However, it does not work in every type of arguments. In some cases, an argument appears to be forceful at a first glance but when we analyse it properly, it does not hold strong. Therefore, it is necessary to provide Borne basic tips so that you can identify such arguments.

WEAK ARGUMENTS

Weak arguments are those which are of minor importance and also may not be directly related to the Statement or may be related to a trivial aspect of the question/statement. You can declare an argument as weak on the basis of the following grounds :

I. If it is an established fact that such a result as mentioned in the argument would not follow an action suggested in the Statement.

Ex.

Statement: Should we use bottled water for health and hygiene reason ?

Argument : No. Bottled waters are not fresh and so may be contaminated.

Explanation : The argument is incorrect because it is an established fact that the bottled water is good for health and it is hygienic too.

ii) If experiences predict that the result. will not follow.

Ex.

Statement: Should love marriages be preferred to arranged marriages ?

Argument: Yes, because love. marriages are more stable.

Explanation: The argument stipulates that love marriages are more stable but our experiences reflect that love marriages are not stable as that of arranged marriages and in most cases love marriages lack social recognition too.

III. If logically the result is not probable. That means. if we analyse the result it does not appear to be logical sound.

Ex.

Statement: Should India take seriously the proxy war on the part of Pakistan ?

Argument : No, because it will invitc international criticism.

Explanation : The argument does not sound logically. If one nation tries to protect its sovereignty how it will be objectionable internationally. It is the prime duty of any nation to protect its sovereignty and integrity.

IV. An argument should not be factually incorrect. The argument must not violate the prevailing notion of truth or ideas. An argument can be rejected if it violates the previewing notion of truth. Suppose. an argument is that "Man is not social", it is not forceful because it is factually incorrect.

Ex.

Statement : Should religion be taught in the Government Institution ?

Argument : Yes, because it is necessary to promote religion.

Explanation : The argument is against the philosophy of secularism and hence it is not forceful. The argument is not according our prevailing ideals.

V. Sometimes an argument Supports an action on the basis of consequences which are not universally accepted and which are not logically sound. Such an argument can only be described as the assumption or individual perception of the Speaker or arguer. In no case such an a argument be forceful.

Ex

Statement: Should India remain non-aligned ?

Argument: Yes, because this policy will do us a lot of good.

Explanation : The argument is vague and is more or less an individual opinion. How will it do good ? What good will it do ? These questions remain unanswered. Therefore, the argument is not strong.

VI. Sometimes an argument asserts something on the basis of  experience it or an example. A number or an analogy is usually argumentation. Just because somebody did something in the past, the same cannot be declared as persuadable. Thus, if an argument consists of an example. it cannot be forceful because an example cannot justify anything.

Ex.

Statement: Should System of reservation of posts for socially and economically disadvantaged groups/castes be introduced in the private sector ?

Argument : No. Nowhere else in the world such a practice is being followed. [Bank P.O. Exam, 2010]

Explanation : The argument is based on example and hence it cannot be forceful.

AFTER discussing in detail the various facets of a "week argument" we should attempt to analyse the features of a "strong argument". An argument ran be considered as "strong" or "forceful" if it is important and directly related to the Statement. In order to determine the forcefulness of the arguments, the following three Steps should be followed.

STEP-I In the first step. we have to determine the validity of the result as indicated in the argument. In other words, we have to determine whether the positive feature or result mentioned in the argument really follows. We can judge this by an intuitive idea and applying some common sense. Some typical cases, in which result will follow, have been discussed below :

(A) A result will follow if it is an established fact or universally accepted/acknowledged notion of truth. An established fact may be scientifically proved or it may be universally acknowledged. Thus. a result will follow a course of action if it is an established fact that such a result usually follows such a course of action.

Ex.

Statement : Should number of holidays of Government employees be reduced ?

Argument: Yes, it will result in increased produeüvity of Government offices.                                                                                 (Bank P.O. Exam. 2009]

Explanation: In the above mentioned example whatever has been stipulated in the argument can follow because more or less it is an established fact It is an established fact that if work hour is increased the productivity will also increase. Therefore we can say that the argument is suitable for further consideration. The argument ably withstands the first yardstick. Here, it must be noted that we have not yet determined the forcefulness of the argument. In this step it is not possible to determine whether the arguments are forceful or not. We have only determined that the argument has satisfied the first condition. An argument can be declared "strong" or "weak" only after the Step III.

(B) We can evaluate the arguments on the basis of our experiences. That is, in this category are the results which can be expected to follow because experiences indicate this.

(C) If the result is logically probable, it will follow. In such cases we have to ascertain with proper logic whether the result will follow or not. The reasoning or logic applied in determining the validity of a result must be self-sufficient.

Ex.

Statement : Should open book examinations be introduced for professional courses in India?

Argument: Yes, all candidates can pass easily and can start their professional life.                                         [Banks P.O. Exam, 2009]

Explanation : The argument mentioned above seems to be logically convincing. For example, if open book examinations be introduced in professional courses all candidates could pass the exams easily.

STEP-II       This step is meant to check whether the result is desirable or the benefits mentioned in the argument will follow beyond a reasonable doubt or the results are really harmful (in case of negative results).

Ex.

Statement: Should Central Government open well equipped hospital for every sub-division of every district?

Argument: Yes, health and well-being of every Citizen is the primary responsibility of the Government.                                [Bank P.O. Exam, 2009]

Explanation : Manpower is the most important resource of a country. Well being and good health of every Citizen is the prime duty of the Government. In order to ensure better health there should be sufficient number of hospitals and primary health care centers with all the facilities. Therefore, the fact stated in the argument is desirable.

STEP-III        We can reject an argument solely on the basis what the argument says seems to have no connection with the Statement. That means, an argument cannot be forceful or strong if it is not properly related with the Statement. A strong argument must be directly connected with the Statement. If its implication is connected, it cannot be a forceful argument. Thus, strong arguments are those which are both important and directly related to the statement. A strong argument should highlight the main issue invoked in the statement. It should not emphasis any irrelevant, insignificant or minor issues.

Ex.

Statement : Should the age of voting be raised to 21 years in India?

Argument : Yes, by that age people develop sense of responsibility and higher level of maturity.

Explanation: The argument shows proper relation with the statement and also argues important issue. Therefore, it is forceful. Through voting we elect a responsible Government and, therefore, people should have proper understanding about. the right and wrong choices.

FORMAT OF THE QUESTION

Directions : In making decision about important questions, it is desirable to be able to distinguish between "Strong" arguments and "Weak" arguments so far as they relate to the question. "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.

Instructions : Each question below is followed by a statement and two arguments numbered I and II. You lave to decide which of the arguments is a "Strong" argument and which is a Weak" argument.

(1) if only argument I is strong Give answer

(2) if only argument II is strong Give answer

(3) if either I or II is strong. Give answer

(4) if neither I nor II is strong Give answer

(5) if both I and Ii are strong.

ON THE BASIS of foregoing discussion we can devise systematic approach for solving questions on forcefulness of Arguments. We do suggest that you should follow the procedure given below :

A.Preliminary Screening First of all check whether the given argument is a/an:

(i) weak argument,

(ii) ambiguous argument,

(iii) assumption,

(iv) superfluous argument,

or (v) question thrown back argument.

if an argument falls in any of the above mentioned categories, then it cannot be forceful and hence you should reject such arguments at the very beginning. If an argument does not belong to these categories, you should analyse it further step-by-step to determine its validity.

B. Step I: To test whether a result will follow or not? A result will follow a course of action, if :

(i) it is an established fact, or

(ii) experiences indicate this or

(iii) it is logically probable

A result will not follow a course of action, if :

(i) it is against the established fact, or

(ii) past experiences indicate so, or

(iii) it is not logically probable. If an argument conforms to Step I, move to Step II otherwise the argument is not forceful.

C.  Step II : To test the desirability of the result. If an argument can pass this Step, move to Step III otherwise the argument is not forceful.

D. Step III: To test whether the argument is properly related with the statement or not If an argument is directly related with the statement and highlights the main issue, then it is forceful.

Above mentioned Information can be tabulated as :       Test                                                                 Argument

A. Preliminary Screening                |              √

B. Step I                                              |              √

C Step II                                               |              √

D. Step III                                            |               √

Model 1: Statement: Is ragging in universities a decent practice?
Arguments:
I: Yes. A sensible ragging helps the young men to venture into manliness and shows them to take unimportant in a pleasantness.
II: No. The tortures caused for the sake of ragging and the mortification suffered by young men and young ladies frequently go past.
Choose the correct answer from below:
a) If only argument I is strong.
b) If only argument II is strong.
c) If either I or II is strong.
d) If neither I or II is strong.
e) If both I or II are strong.
Solution:

Given statement is
Is ragging in universities a decent practice?
Now, from the statement, sensible ragging makes the understudies progressive and all around familiar with each other.
So, argument I is strong.
Once in a while, these young men and young ladies are tortured and embarrassed a lot for the sake of ragging, which makes it an unhealthy practice.
So, argument II also holds strong.
Therefore, option(e) is the correct choice.

Model 2: Statement: Should the guardians in India in future be compelled to select one and only kid against the two or numerous at present?
Arguments:
I: Yes. This is the best way to check the ever-lasting expanding populace of India.
II: No. This kind of pressure strategy is not embraced by whatever other nation in the world.
Choose the correct answer from below:
a) If only argument I is strong.
b) If only argument II is strong.
c) If either I or II is strong.
d) If neither I or II is strong.
e) If both I or II are strong.
Solution:

Given Statement is
Should the guardians in India in future be compelled to select one and only kid against the two or numerous at present?
Now, it is clear that, embracing such an arrangement will control the populace development, which in turn will facilitate proper growth of the economy and optimum utilization of the country’s resources.
So, argument I holds strong.
Also, a comparison with what alternate nations have done is not a strong criteria for taking a decision on the issue.
So, argument II doesn’t hold.
Therefore, option(a) is correct.

Model 3: Statement: Should military administration be made obligatory in our nation?
Arguments:
I: No. It is against the approach of peacefulness.
II: Yes. Every citizen should secure his nation.
Choose the correct answer from below:
a) If only argument I is strong.
b) If only argument II is strong.
c) If either I or II is strong.
d) If neither I or II is strong.
e) If both I or II are strong.
Solution:

Given statement is
Should military administration be made obligatory in our nation?
It is clear that, military administration is not intended to make savagery but rather to protect against violence.
So, argument I is vague.
Since each citizen must have an offer in the administration towards the nation.
So, argument II holds strong.
Therefore, option(b) is correct choice.

Model 4: Statement: Should admission to proficient courses in India be given just on merit with no admission to a specific gathering of understudies?
Arguments:
I: Yes. This will enhance the nature of the experts as they will have the capacity to finish the courses effectively.
II: No. This will keep countless and financially in reverse understudies out of span of the expert courses.
Choose the correct answer from below:
a) If only argument I is strong.
b) If only argument II is strong.
c) If either I or II is strong.
d) If neither I or II is strong.
e) If both I or II are strong.
Solution:

Given statement is:
Should admission to proficient courses in India be given just on merit with no admission to a specific gathering of understudies?
From the statement, it is clear that, proficient employments require quality and merit thus the understudies having the required ability can end up being preferred experts over the individuals who join the course on concession.
So, argument I holds strong.
However, it is these exceptional concessions which make the expert courses moderate for certain skilled understudies, having a place with socially and economically weaker areas, who generally would stay dispossessed of the same.
So, argument II also holds strong.
Therefore, option(e) is the correct choice.

Model 5: Statement: Should all the foreign banks be requested that shut down their operation in India?
Arguments:
I: No. There will be adverse affect in Indian economy.
II: Yes. This is the best way to make the Indian banks survive and flourish.
Choose the correct answer from below:
a) If only argument I is strong.
b) If only argument II is strong.
c) If either I or II is strong.
d) If neither I or II is strong.
e) If both I or II are strong.
Solution:

Given statement is:
Should all the foreign banks be requested that shut down their operation in India?
It is clear that, India has its own nationalized banks to deal with the financial business.
So, argument I is vague.
Moreover, Indian banks can survive well with the remote banks likewise, by giving better offices and administrations to their customers.
So, argument II also does not hold strong. Thus, none of the arguments holds strong.
Therefore, option(d) is the correct choice.