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Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by altate Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:35 pm

Hi,

I'm having a bit of trouble diagramming the conditional logic of this question. Could some one please map it out? Also, why is E incorrect and C correct? Is it because E doesn't match the wording of the stimulus and goes a bit too fat when it says: "one may choose for oneself the people with whom one will associate" rather than as C says: "no one should be denied that freedom"?

Also, I'm assuming D is incorrect because the stimulus does not say anything about anyone whose enjoyment of life DEPENDS on having friends with similar beliefs


Thank you :)
 
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by hwsitgoing Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:16 pm

Could someone please explain this?

Thanks!
 
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Re: Q23 - Essayist:

by qccgraphix Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:50 pm

Here's my take on it. Please feel free to correct:

The Argument: No one should be denied the freedom to choose the people with whom he or she will associate.
Why? Because it's so much easier to live an enjoyable life if you can just make lifestyle choices that fall in line with your beliefs and then have other people accept your choices.
What's one way of doing this? By choosing the people who have your same beliefs.

What's this argument saying? If there exists some way to make life easier for a person, then nobody should be denied the right to that way.

(A) Not what the conclusion indicates. Our argument concluded that nobody should be denied the right to choose their friends, because choosing friends is one way of making life easier for a person. Our argument does not conclude that nobody should be denied the freedom to make life easier for themselves, whatever that freedom may be.
(B) Our argument does not prescribe a way of life--to choose friends who share your beliefs in order to enjoy life more--like this answer choice does. All our argument says is that what's just mentioned is one way of enjoying life, and that nobody should be denied that way.
(C) Exactly what our argument says. If having a given freedom could make it easier for someone to live a good life (if there's some way to make life easier for a person), then nobody should be denied that freedom (then nobody should be denied the right to that way).
(D) Our argument says nothing about people whose enjoyment depends on making friends who share their beliefs. All it says is that making friends who share your beliefs is one way of enjoying life more.
(E) Remember our conclusion draws a view about everyone (no one should be denied something...), not about a particular individual like this answer choice does. And so this answer choice is too narrow in scope.
 
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by matthew.mainen Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:52 pm

I'd greatly appreciate some more comments on why C is preferable to E. The way I see it, C is a perfect fit whereas with E you have to draw out implications for it to work.
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by daniel Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:03 pm

matthew.mainen wrote:I'd greatly appreciate some more comments on why C is preferable to E. The way I see it, C is a perfect fit whereas with E you have to draw out implications for it to work.


I think the difference between (C) and (E) is a difference in degree. The principle expressed in (C)'s necessary condition is absolute: "no one should be denied that freedom." On the other hand, (E) introduces an element of possibility via the use of the word "may" in its necessary condition that does not exist in the original argument.

Hence, (C) is a much better fit.

ETA: One way to determine whether a problem identified is the only problem with an answer choice is to make a correction that fixes the answer choice and see whether there are any other problems remaining. So, taking my post above into consideration, let's "fix" (E) and see if it works. If we match the normative phrasing of the original's necessary condition, but retain the perspective inherent in (E), we'd have something like the following:

"One should be able to choose for oneself the people with whom one will associate, if doing so could make it easier to live an enjoyable life."

Does this resolve all the issues? I think so. Although there are some deviations in wording from the original argument ("easier" versus "less difficult", "could" versus "is able to", "should not be denied freedom" versus "should be able to choose"), I believe these are all close enough (if not exactly the same) in meaning that they would not warrant being classified as incorrect.
 
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by matthew.mainen Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:48 am

daniel wrote: If we match the normative phrasing of the original's necessary condition, but retain the perspective inherent in (E), we'd have something like the following:

"One should be able to choose for oneself the people with whom one will associate, if doing so could make it easier to live an enjoyable life."

Does this resolve all the issues? I think so. Although there are some deviations in wording from the original argument ("easier" versus "less difficult", "could" versus "is able to", "should not be denied freedom" versus "should be able to choose"), I believe these are all close enough (if not exactly the same) in meaning that they would not warrant being classified as incorrect.


Yeah, that's what I am getting at. It appears that E is the logical equivalent to C. So then does this problem all boil down to wording - which answer more directly addresses the stimulus as it's written?
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by daniel Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:23 pm

matthew.mainen wrote:
daniel wrote: If we match the normative phrasing of the original's necessary condition, but retain the perspective inherent in (E), we'd have something like the following:

"One should be able to choose for oneself the people with whom one will associate, if doing so could make it easier to live an enjoyable life."

Does this resolve all the issues? I think so. Although there are some deviations in wording from the original argument ("easier" versus "less difficult", "could" versus "is able to", "should not be denied freedom" versus "should be able to choose"), I believe these are all close enough (if not exactly the same) in meaning that they would not warrant being classified as incorrect.


Yeah, that's what I am getting at. It appears that E is the logical equivalent to C. So then does this problem all boil down to wording - which answer more directly addresses the stimulus as it's written?


But are they really equivalent logical statements? What do we know in each of the following cases?

1. If John goes to the party, then Frank will go.
2. If John goes to the party, then Frank must go.
3. If John goes to the party, then Frank should go.
4. If John goes to the party, then Frank may go.

Many of us would probably diagram these statements the same way (J --> F), and that can lead to some incorrect answer selections.

Statements 1 and 2 are logical equivalents. In each case, we know that if Frank does not go to the party, then John does not go to the party.

However, statements 3 and 4 do not have the same degree of certainty as the other statements or even with each other.

Statement 3 is normative; it prescribes a certain behavior suggesting what is right. However, it does not actually mean that Frank will in fact go to the party if John goes. If Frank doesn't go, is it because he shouldn't go, or because he is doing the wrong thing? We can only infer that John will not go to the party if Frank should not go.

Statement 4 merely expresses that if one thing happens, another thing is possible. What do you know if Frank doesn't go to the party? Does John go? We can only infer that John doesn't go to the party when it is not possible for Frank to go.
 
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by matthew.mainen Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:07 pm

Wait -- are you reading the "may" in E as meaning "its possible?" I'm reading the "may" as meaning "is allowed to."
Even so, I'm seeing now how this can be seen as weak. Just because someone is allowed to do something , it doesn't mean that they should be ALLOWED to do that (not be denied the freedom to do it). After all, one may (is permitted to) smoke in a house with children . it doesn't mean they shouldn't be denied that freedom.
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by daniel Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:58 pm

matthew.mainen wrote:Wait -- are you reading the "may" in E as meaning "its possible?" I'm reading the "may" as meaning "is allowed to."
Even so, I'm seeing now how this can be seen as weak. Just because someone is allowed to do something , it doesn't mean that they should be ALLOWED to do that (not be denied the freedom to do it). After all, one may (is permitted to) smoke in a house with children . it doesn't mean they shouldn't be denied that freedom.


That's a great point, and a good analogy. I think your reading is correct.

I was thinking some more about this problem, and I think another problem with (E) is that it doesn't have the same shift from "one" to "no one" that is present in the argument. I may have been too focused on the "may/should' issue and didn't think about the implications of this previously.

What about the following thoughts?

(E) If one finds X enjoyable, then one is permitted to do X.

(C) If one finds X enjoyable, then no one should be denied the freedom to do X. (that is, EVERYONE should be permitted to do X).

The implication of (C) (and the argument) is that even people who do not find X enjoyable should be permitted to do X, if at least one person finds X enjoyable. One the other hand (E) does not apply to everyone (or "no one"), just the one for whom X is enjoyable.
 
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by christine.defenbaugh Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:18 am

matthew.mainen and daniel, you've got some killer discussion going on here! You've really worked to the heart of this tempting wrong answer choice. The lack of "should", the fact that it applies to a limited field, and the possible ambiguity of the word "may" are excellent reasons to eliminate (E)!

I'd like to pull together all of the fantastic thoughts here into one shot for the sake of future readers, and add just a few tweaks of my own. Please let me know if I miss anything!


To tackle this question from the top, I'll expand slightly on some of the great analysis by qccgraphix above.

When attacking Principle support questions, we need to start with the core:

    Premise: One can find acceptance by choosing assoc. w/ shared beliefs.
    If one 1) has this acceptance and 2) can make lifestyle/belief choices, then it's easier to live enjoyable life.

    Conclusion: No one should be denied the freedom to choose assoc.
While choosing one's associates doesn't guarantee less difficulty in living an enjoyable life, it certainly opens up the possibility! We need a principle, or rule, that gets us from that idea to the conclusion that no one should then be denied the freedom to do precisely that.

(C) steps up to the plate. The trigger here requires merely that the freedom in question have the possibility of making it less difficult for someone to live an enjoyable life, which our premises fully support. The result is the blanket normative prohibition that no one should be denied the freedom, which matches our conclusion perfectly.




The Unprincipled
(A) This blanket prohibition attempts to protect the freedom to make lifestyle choices, which is an altogether different freedom that that protected by the conclusion.

(B) The conclusion protects the freedom to choose, while this rule would dictate to people who they ought to associate with.

(D) This rule would only apply the protection to those people whose enjoyment of life depends on having like-minded friends. The protection in the conclusion would apply to everyone.

(E) There are a few problems with this rule:

    1) The grammar used here means that the protection would only apply to those people for whom choosing associates could make it easier to live an enjoyable life. The protection in the conclusion applied to everyone.

    2) It is ambiguous whether "may" is used here to denote the mere possibility of choosing or that one is explicitly permitted to choose. Both uses are flawed.

    If "may" is meant to express a mere possibility (as in "Joe may go to the party, or he may not"), then this ambiguity is clearly not a match to idea that "no one should be denied the freedom".

    However, if "may" is instead intended to convey explicit permission, a different problem appears. "Everyone may choose" might be rewritten as "No one is denied the freedom to choose". However the conclusion was "no one SHOULD be denied the freedom to choose". "May" as explicit permission describes a situation as it is, while "should" describes a situation as it ought to be. Dropping the "should" prevents this principle from matching our conclusion!

Should is a very powerful word on the LSAT! Always take note of it when it appears, and be aware when arguments shift from descriptions of the way things are to the way they ought to be!

Again, bravo to both of you for an excellent discussion on the (de)merits of (E)!
 
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by phoebster21 Thu May 19, 2016 8:58 pm

christine.defenbaugh wrote:matthew.mainen and daniel, you've got some killer discussion going on here! You've really worked to the heart of this tempting wrong answer choice. The lack of "should", the fact that it applies to a limited field, and the possible ambiguity of the word "may" are excellent reasons to eliminate (E)!

I'd like to pull together all of the fantastic thoughts here into one shot for the sake of future readers, and add just a few tweaks of my own. Please let me know if I miss anything!


To tackle this question from the top, I'll expand slightly on some of the great analysis by qccgraphix above.

When attacking Principle support questions, we need to start with the core:

    Premise: One can find acceptance by choosing assoc. w/ shared beliefs.
    If one 1) has this acceptance and 2) can make lifestyle/belief choices, then it's easier to live enjoyable life.

    Conclusion: No one should be denied the freedom to choose assoc.
While choosing one's associates doesn't guarantee less difficulty in living an enjoyable life, it certainly opens up the possibility! We need a principle, or rule, that gets us from that idea to the conclusion that no one should then be denied the freedom to do precisely that.

(C) steps up to the plate. The trigger here requires merely that the freedom in question have the possibility of making it less difficult for someone to live an enjoyable life, which our premises fully support. The result is the blanket normative prohibition that no one should be denied the freedom, which matches our conclusion perfectly.




The Unprincipled
(A) This blanket prohibition attempts to protect the freedom to make lifestyle choices, which is an altogether different freedom that that protected by the conclusion.

(B) The conclusion protects the freedom to choose, while this rule would dictate to people who they ought to associate with.

(D) This rule would only apply the protection to those people whose enjoyment of life depends on having like-minded friends. The protection in the conclusion would apply to everyone.

(E) There are a few problems with this rule:

    1) The grammar used here means that the protection would only apply to those people for whom choosing associates could make it easier to live an enjoyable life. The protection in the conclusion applied to everyone.

    2) It is ambiguous whether "may" is used here to denote the mere possibility of choosing or that one is explicitly permitted to choose. Both uses are flawed.

    If "may" is meant to express a mere possibility (as in "Joe may go to the party, or he may not"), then this ambiguity is clearly not a match to idea that "no one should be denied the freedom".

    However, if "may" is instead intended to convey explicit permission, a different problem appears. "Everyone may choose" might be rewritten as "No one is denied the freedom to choose". However the conclusion was "no one SHOULD be denied the freedom to choose". "May" as explicit permission describes a situation as it is, while "should" describes a situation as it ought to be. Dropping the "should" prevents this principle from matching our conclusion!

Should is a very powerful word on the LSAT! Always take note of it when it appears, and be aware when arguments shift from descriptions of the way things are to the way they ought to be!

Again, bravo to both of you for an excellent discussion on the (de)merits of (E)!



For these principle type questions, is it worth matching the conclusion? Specifically, I feel that "no one should be denied" is very different from "one should be allowed" (i.e. one may, or one should)
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by maryadkins Tue May 31, 2016 10:40 am

Absolutely you want to match conclusions. But "should" and "should not" are usually similar enough that I don't automatically rule out an answer choice based on the addition of "not" alone. I would, however, rule out an answer choice that didn't have a "should" in it at all. (If, for example, the answer choice read "will" or "can" or "might," etc.)
 
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by erikwoodward10 Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:25 pm

Is E additionally wrong because "choosing for oneself the people with whom one will associate" isn't by itself sufficient to "make it less difficult to live an enjoyable life? The relationship in the stimulus gives us TWO SCs ("choosing for one self" and "make life style choices in accordance with personal beliefs") that trigger the NC ("make it less difficult").

I realize that E qualifies itself by saying that it "could" trigger the NC, which can be interpreted as "it could if the second SC was triggered as well".

Hope this makes sense. Just wondering if this is a valid reason to eliminate E in addition to what is posted above.
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by snoopy Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:44 pm

erikwoodward10 wrote:Is E additionally wrong because "choosing for oneself the people with whom one will associate" isn't by itself sufficient to "make it less difficult to live an enjoyable life? The relationship in the stimulus gives us TWO SCs ("choosing for one self" and "make life style choices in accordance with personal beliefs") that trigger the NC ("make it less difficult").

I realize that E qualifies itself by saying that it "could" trigger the NC, which can be interpreted as "it could if the second SC was triggered as well".

Hope this makes sense. Just wondering if this is a valid reason to eliminate E in addition to what is posted above.


Not really following what you're saying. E doesn't say that it "could" trigger the NC. I think you switched up the NC ("make it less difficult") and SC ("make life choices") in the stimulus with the answer choice's NC ("one may choose" for E; "nobody should be denied" for C). E and C say this:

E) If choosing the people with whom one will associate with could make it easier to live an enjoyable life, then one may choose those people.
C) If choosing the people you can associate with could make it easier to live an enjoyable life, then nobody should be denied that freedom.

E and C are similar with their SC: "if having friends makes it easier to live..." BUT differ in their NCs. E is saying "one may choose" and C is saying "nobody should be denied." The difference is the degree of freedom + everybody vs. one.
 
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by obobob Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:30 pm

christine.defenbaugh wrote:
When attacking Principle support questions, we need to start with the core:

    Premise: One can find acceptance by choosing assoc. w/ shared beliefs.
    If one 1) has this acceptance and 2) can make lifestyle/belief choices, then it's easier to live enjoyable life.

    Conclusion: No one should be denied the freedom to choose assoc.

[/quote]

Hi, I don't agree with your conditional logic structure. Instead, I think the conditional statement's premises should be like:

If one can make lifestyle/belief choices that accord with one's personal beliefs --> See THOSE CHOICES accepted by others --> It's less difficult to live enjoyable life.

While the difference might be insignificant, technically speaking, I thought your way of combining the first two premises like:
1) "has this acceptance and
2) can make lifestyle/belief choices"
is not the exactly correct way to put, if I am not misinterpreting anything; we shouldn't combine the conditional statement's two premises, because the statement implies some kind of a sequential relationship by connecting the two premises with the words "and then."

Granted, the point I'm making isn't hugely influencial for this question, I just wanted to write this out so that any expert can confirm or deny my thought for the future reference.

Can anyone confirm what I wrote? If not, can anyone please explain what I am missing or misinterpreting? Or any thoughts? Thanks!
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by ohthatpatrick Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:32 pm

I think you're correct to say that how she was representing it was not conveying well the sequential nature of the events, but you wouldn't break those two things up with conditional arrows.

You started using conditional arrows to imply chronology, but conditional arrows only imply certainty.

We might say, "Being a practicing lawyer requires doing well enough on the LSAT to get into an accredited law school and then doing well enough on the Bar exam to pass it."

And we would symbolize that conditionally as:
"Practicing lawyer --> Did well enough on LSAT and Did well enough on Bar Exam"

It would be interchangeable for us to say
"Practicing lawyer --> Did well enough on Bar Exam and Did well enough on LSAT"

It would not be correct for us to say
"Practicing lawyer --> Did well enough on LSAT --> Did well enough on Bar Exam"

That last one doesn't work in terms of chronology or certainty.

The chronology of this isn't hugely important or clear. For example, when does the 2nd sentence occur? Do we pick our friends BEFORE we've made our lifestyle choices or after?

It could be:
We have personal beliefs, we make corresponding lifestyle choices, we pick friends that align, we see our choices are accepted
or it could be the same with ingredients 2 and 3 switched.

Long story short, you're right that something about the meaning of the paragraph wasn't being fully conveyed, but what she was saying wasn't wrong and there doesn't seem to be a clearer way to represent it with conditional logic.
 
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by MingL143 Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:58 pm

ohthatpatrick wrote:I think you're correct to say that how she was representing it was not conveying well the sequential nature of the events, but you wouldn't break those two things up with conditional arrows.

You started using conditional arrows to imply chronology, but conditional arrows only imply certainty.

We might say, "Being a practicing lawyer requires doing well enough on the LSAT to get into an accredited law school and then doing well enough on the Bar exam to pass it."

And we would symbolize that conditionally as:
"Practicing lawyer --> Did well enough on LSAT and Did well enough on Bar Exam"

It would be interchangeable for us to say
"Practicing lawyer --> Did well enough on Bar Exam and Did well enough on LSAT"

It would not be correct for us to say
"Practicing lawyer --> Did well enough on LSAT --> Did well enough on Bar Exam"

That last one doesn't work in terms of chronology or certainty.

The chronology of this isn't hugely important or clear. For example, when does the 2nd sentence occur? Do we pick our friends BEFORE we've made our lifestyle choices or after?

It could be:
We have personal beliefs, we make corresponding lifestyle choices, we pick friends that align, we see our choices are accepted
or it could be the same with ingredients 2 and 3 switched.

Long story short, you're right that something about the meaning of the paragraph wasn't being fully conveyed, but what she was saying wasn't wrong and there doesn't seem to be a clearer way to represent it with conditional logic.


Can you please notate the argument? Is it like the following:

Premise: Personal Belief AND Being Accepted ---> Enjoy Life
Associate Friend AND Shared Belief ---> Being Accepted
Conl: Associate ---> Freedom

How do you link them together? I understand "Freedom" is a new information, and it has to be repeated in the correct answer choice. This approach leads to choose between C and D. D's wording is difficult to understand. But C seems not linking the argument right.

Wha't the takeaway?
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Re: Q23 - Essayist: It is much less

by ohthatpatrick Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:08 pm

We could try to diagram this, but it's certainly not something I would intuitively do on the test.

Our answer choice should help us get from Evidence to Conclusion.
The Conclusion is "no one should be denied the freedom to choose their associates"
why?
because "choosing your associates is an important part of making it easier to live an enjoyable life".

So we could just prephrase
"If something is an important part of making it easier to live an enjoyable life, then no one should be denied the freedom to do that something."

That's actually really close to the real answer.

You might be torturing yourself down the more mechanistic path of diagramming the stimulus, when a simpler "What's the Conclusion? What's the most salient premise? Okay, so I want an answer that says 'IF that premise, THEN that conclusion'."


Here's how you symbolized it:
Premise: Personal Belief AND Being Accepted ---> Enjoy Life
Associate Friend AND Shared Belief ---> Being Accepted
Conl: Associate ---> Freedom


The 1st one is basically right, although it's "less difficult to enjoy life", not a guarantee that you will enjoy life.

And "Personal Belief" is a dubious shorthand for "able to make lifestyle choices that accord with one's personal beliefs". It's more about whether or not you're able to make appropriate choices.

"Able to make appropriate choices" and "Choices accepted" --> easier to enjoy life

The 2nd one isn't two ideas, it's just one. It's saying "if you choose like-minded friends, your choices will be accepted".

"Choose like minded friends" --> "Choices accepted"

And the conclusion one doesn't make any sense. What meaning are you getting when you read back to yourself "IF associate, THEN freedom"?

How does that rule sound anything like the meaning of the last sentence? I'm worried you're getting lost in the weeds of trying to diagram / derive, and you're losing the conversation and the meaning.

The last sentence isn't really conditional. If you wanted to force it to be conditional, it would be saying: "IF you're someone, THEN shouldn't be denied freedom to choose friends".

If we wanted to see this in a more diagram-y light, it would be something like:
A and B --> easier to get Z
C --> B
Thus, everyone should be allowed to do C.

The first two rules don't link together. C leads to B, but we can't immediately get to Z (we still need A)

But the reason the author is saying everyone should be allowed to do C, is because C leads to B, and because B is part of how you would get to Z.

So we could say we need an answer that says "Everyone should be allowed to do something that would help bring them closer to Z".

Or, in the terms of the argument, "Everyone should be allowed to do something that would help bring them closer to living an enjoyable life".

When you read (C), don't worry about whether you can create a circuit of logic. Just ask yourself if it's relevant to "choosing the people with whom we associate".

Ask yourself, "Is choosing the people with whom we associate something that could make it less difficult to live an enjoyable life?"

If the answer is YES, then we've triggered this rule. The answer is YES, as long as we understood that choosing whom we associate with enables our choices to be accepted by others, which is one of the key components of making enjoyable life easier.

According to (C), then, "no one should be denied the freedom to choose the people with whom we associate." It looks like we've pretty much proven the conclusion!

With (D), we have a hard time matching the trigger. We ask ourselves, "Do we know about anyone whose enjoyment of life depends on like-minded friends?" No. We only know that enjoyment of life would be less difficult to achieve with like-minded friends. The argument never said that anyone's life enjoyment DEPENDS on this.

If enjoyment DEPENDED on something, then we would have seen
ENJOY LIFE --> make appropriate choices AND choices accepted by others

Hope this helps.