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Tips on how to approach CAT Reading Comprehension passages
  • Don’t get into the minor details of the passage; just focus on what each paragraph has to say
  • As you read, create a map of the passage; you must remember what thing is located where in the passage
  • Once you read the question, come back to the part of the passage that is likely to have the answer
  • Compare the options and eliminate the incorrect choices based on the evidence that you see in the passage
  • Choose the answer once you are convinced of the right choice


THE question whether war is ever justified, and if so under what circumstances, is one which has been forcing itself upon the attention of all thoughtful men. On this question I find myself in the somewhat painful position of holding that no single one of the combatants is justified in the present war, while not taking the extreme Tolstoyan view that war is under all circumstances a crime. Opinions on such a subject as war are the outcome of feeling rather than of thought: given a man's emotional temperament, his convictions, both on war in general, and on any particular war which may occur during his lifetime, can be predicted with tolerable certainty. The arguments used will be mere reinforcements to convictions otherwise reached. The fundamental facts in this as in all ethical questions are feelings; all that thought can do is to clarify and systematize the expression of those feelings, and it is such clarifying and systematizing of my own feelings that I wish to attempt in the present article.

The question of rights and wrongs of a particular war is generally considered from a juridical or quasi-juridical standpoint: so and so broke such and such a treaty, crossed such and such a frontier, committed such and such technically unfriendly acts, and therefore by the rules it is permissible to kill as many of his nation as modern armaments render possible. There is a certain unreality, a certain lack of imaginative grasp about this way of viewing matters. It has the advantage, always dearly prized by lazy men, of substituting a formula, at once ambiguous and easily applied, for the vital realization of the consequences of acts. The juridical point of view is in fact an illegitimate transference, to the relations of States, of principles properly applicable to the relation of individuals within a State. Within a State, private war is forbidden, and the disputes of private citizens are settled, not by their own force, but by the force of the police, which, being overwhelming, very seldom needs to be explicitly displayed. It is necessary that there should be rules according to which the police decide who is to be considered in the right in a private dispute. These rules constitute law. The chief gain derived from the law and the police is the abolition of private wars, and this gain is independent of the question whether the law as it stands is the best possible. It is therefore in the public interest that the man who goes against the law should be considered in the wrong, not because of the excellence of the law, but because of the importance of avoiding the resort to force as between individuals within the State.

Question: Which of the following would be an appropriate title to the passage?
The do’s and don’ts of war
War- A historical perspective
The Ethics of War
The moral justification of war
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Option # 4

Question: What is the main purpose of the author?
To justify the necessity of war through arguments
To prove that war is unnecessary and cannot have any moral justification
To discuss the justification of war through arguments
To juxtapose internal law and war and do a comparative analysis
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Option # 3

Question: The author is most likely to agree with which of the following?
Tolstoy believed that war under all circumstances is a crime
Private wars are very much likely within a state
Mankind should avoid war as far as possible
All of the above
Show Answer
Option # 1

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