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Critical Reasoning: "Complete The Argument" Format

Which of the following most logically completes the argument?

A statue belonging to a series of five was taken to Country A by a victorious ruler after a battle that had taken place in Country B around 300 BCE. Today, Country B is requesting the return of the statue, claiming that it was designed by one of their most important traditional artists. Country A is refusing to return the statue based on the claim that if their ancient ruler had not taken it, it would have been destroyed like the other four in the series. Country B's request should be honored since __________.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice weakens the conclusion and therefore cannot logically complete the argument. The fact that a major earthquake took place in Country B while the statue was not there, implies that the 4 remaining statues may have been destroyed by the earthquake. Therefore, it supports the idea that Country A's ruler "saved" the statue by moving it to Country A, where it avoided the earthquake.

Incorrect.

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If anything, this answer choice weakens the conclusion. If the people who made the statue were foreigners in Country B, then its claim for the statue as its own is weakened. It can also be argued that this is irrelevant as the artist behind the design was from Country B; in this case this answer choice neither strengthens nor weakens the conclusion.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice neither strengthens nor weakens the conclusion and therefore cannot logically complete the argument. It is a general fact about the region which cannot be used to favor Country B's request.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice neither strengthens nor weakens the conclusion and therefore cannot logically complete the argument. This information is too general and relates to both countries (of the area) so it can't help us support Country B's claim for the statue.

Great stuff!

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This answer choice strengthens the conclusion and therefore logically completes the argument. It tells us that Country A destroyed the other four statues, which undermines its explanation that its 'saved' the statue.

geologists have verified the occurence of a major earthquake that took place in Country B around 250 BCE
many wars were waged between tribal nations native to the areas now occupied by the two countries
an ancient scripture recounts that foreign slaves belonging to Country B were employed to fashion the statues from extremely hard and heavy granite slabs
archaeological evidence points to plundering by Country A as the cause for the destruction of the remaining statues in the series
the statue was created in an aesthetic style that holds no resemblance to the ancient architecture of the area