Weakening arguments requires you to take an exactly opposite stance to the one you had adopted while attempting to strengthen arguments. The weakening type questions in Critical Reasoning require you to select an option which would best attack the foundation of truth in the argument presented to you. So in this case you have to transform from a builder to a demolisher. You are tasked with causing disbelief in the proposition of the argument. The option you choose should be such that it would lead the author to reconsider his stance.
Three popular methods of weakening arguments are
i) questioning the quality of evidence on which the argument is based
ii) introducing a piece of evidence that will decrease the validity of the claim being made
iii) showing that the argument is trying to extend a specific rule to a broader sample
Follow the example given in the first question and try to answer the rest on your own.
Iravi lives in Wowland. Wowland has a collection of brilliant jewels in museums. Iravi lives near a museum. She can see the jewels anytime she wants.
- Wowland is next to Blahblah World where people keep talking continuously.
- Jewellery is meant to be worn only by men in Wowland.
- The museums in Wowland close at 8pm sharp every evening.
- Museums are meant for displaying historical artefacts.
The correct answer is option c. The argument here is that Iravi can see the jewels anytime she wants. A time limit would prevent her from doing so. Option a and b talk about things that are irrelevant to the argument presented. What happens in Blahblah World will not affect Iravi’s ability to see the jewels nor will the fact that she cannot wear jewellery since wearing and viewing jewels are different. Option d is incorrect since the jewels can also be historical artefacts.
Aranya is a dedicated environmentalist. As a gardener takes care of trees in the botanical gardens. He puts manure on the flowerbed with his own hands every week.
- Aranya works as a gardener only because his family is poor.
- The environment will perish if individuals like Aranya do not take a step to improve the present conditions.
- Aranya has not eaten vegetables for 10 years because he doesn’t believe in hurting trees for his own greed.
- Aranya was named so due to his green thumb.
Corn has been found to contain harmful chemicals in its raw form. Consuming raw corn can result in stomach ulcers. Eating cooked corn is the safest bet for lovers of this golden vegetable.
- The researchers developed allergies after eating raw corn during an experiment.
- The research is based on samples collected from an area where there is annual sprinkling of pesticides.
- Corn is grown by poor families for their subsistence and not meant for the urban palate.
- Corn sushi is popular because of the risk factor that comes with each bite.
Owners of owls should consider getting their pets some new age day-vision glasses. These will help owls provide comfort to their owners even during the day. The glasses will also make the owls in being the coolest in the pet circle.
- Owls need not compete with other pets in case of looks.
- The photocells in the glasses lead to nocturnal blindness in owls in the long run.
- Glasses are a romantic cliché and owl owners are too sophisticated to subscribe to it.
- Being natural is the best reflection of beauty in a reasonable pet’s eyes.
Surveillance cameras are improving safety standards in hotels. Theft of hotel property has gone down significantly. Investment in procuring these new age watchdogs of property is a great bet.
- Surveillance cameras are ruining the lifestyles of thieves.
- Surveillance footage can help catch notorious criminals.
- Surveillance cameras facilitate intrusion of privacy of hotel guests.
- Hotel guests tend to think that they are in a reality show after looking at the cameras surrounding them.
Politicians are working hard with sincerity towards developing their respective constituencies. The residents of these areas are very happy about the activities. Infrastructure has been improving dramatically.
- It is the duty of politicians to serve the people.
- Politicians are involved in a lot of charitable activities.
- Elections are nearby and the work is meant to appease voters.
- Politicians are students of political science and their work reflects the school of thought that they promote.
Microphones are a boon to celebrities. Mics allow them their voice to reach out to the large crowds that gather to listen to them. Celebrities are saved from ruining their throats.
- Microphones give out invisible radiation which creates lumps in the throats of users after prolonged use.
- Microphones can be customized to match the outfit that the celebrity sports on stage.
- Microphones amplify sound waves for maximum coverage.
- Microphones distort voices and what fans hear is actually a mechanized voice.
Scarves are the new fashion symbol among the youth. They provide warmth alongside style to the wearers. Every youngster can be seen sporting a scarf these days. The new boom in the scarf market holds promise for manufacturers of accessories.
- Due to high costs of the scarves only rich teenagers are able to afford them.
- The interest in scarves is bound to be short-lived as the next season will bring in better designs.
- There is a high incidence of scarves being used to commit suicide.
- Shawls are a much better option than scarves to keep warm.
Buffalo milk is good for your health. Drinking one glass of this milk will fill you with enough energy to last the whole day. The milk strengthens your bones and keeps away backache.
- Buffaloes produce milk every alternate day.
- Buffalo milk contains high fat content which contributes to obesity.
- Many people get hurt due to kicks of the buffalo while milking it.
- Cow milk is the purest form of milk and good for babies.
Termites are destructive in nature. Their sole purpose is to bore holes into everything that they come across. They should be eliminated from this world since they do not contribute to the ecosystem at all.
- Termites can diminish a large conference table into sawdust in a single hour.
- Termites are the terminators of wooden furniture.
- Termites break down waste material into manure.
- Termites can be rehabilitated and trained to eat fruits.