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Critical Reasoning: Investigation Questions

The manifesto of a non-profit organization claims that its founders' sole purpose is to help people quit smoking cigarettes. The organization's activities are in the form of seminars which are conducted by volunteers in outdoor public areas. Although the seminars carry no expenses, participants are required to pay a fee. It is clear that the organization's members are not acting according to their own manifesto.

The answer to which of the following would be most useful in evaluating the argument?



This question deals with an exception and is therefore not useful in determining whether the conclusion is true. The argument is based on the fact that asking for a fee in the first place is not in accord with the organization's beliefs.



This question is beside the point. What happens in the actual seminar is not important since it can't explain why people must pay for something that costs nothing.



Answering this question would make no difference. Even if the fees for the seminar are really low, since there are no expenses, it seems that the organization is making a profit off the participants, while it claims to be a non-profit organization.



The answer to this question wouldn't really change anything. Although ex-smokers might have better experience, the effectiveness of the seminars is not in question. Focus on the conclusion - it's the organization's non-profit status that is under examination.

Superb work!


Answering this question would either weaken or strengthen the conclusion. If paying the fee does not help people quit smoking in some way, then the demand of such a payment does go against the manifesto. If, however, paying the fee in some way helps the participants reach their goal, then the manifesto has not been contradicted.

In the event that a participant is not satisfied with the seminar, can that participant receive a refund?
Does the manifesto make any mention of the actual methods used by the volunteers to assist people with their addiction?
Is the fee paid by the participants in the seminar lower than what regular companies would charge for participation in a seminar of a similar nature?
Does the payment of a fee contribute in any way to the process of quitting smoking?
What percentage of the members of the organization are ex-smokers?