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A Number of Law Suits Have Been Brought Against Popular Singing Groups Charging that Suicidal Themes in Their Songs Have Led to Teenage Suicides. - Logical Reasoning


A number of law suits have been brought against popular singing groups charging that suicidal themes in their songs have led to teenage suicides. So far, the courts have found that the lyrics are protected under the Constitution. But what if this should change and a court decides that suicidal themes in popular songs are dangerous? In fact, the songs that have been charged so far are anti-suicide; they present sardonically the self-destructive behaviour of drinking,  drugs, and escape by death. They describe a pitiful state of mind, but they do not endorse it.  Blaming suicide on the arts is nothing new. In the late eighteenth century, Goethe’s popular novel The Sorrows of  Young Werther was said to be the cause of a rash of suicides in imitation of the novel’s hero. If we begin to hold suicide in books or music responsible for suicides in real life the operas of Verdi and Puccini will have to go, and Romeo and  Juliet and Julius Caesar will disappear from the high school reading lists.  Which one of the following is an assumption necessary to the author's argument?


  • A lyric presenting suicide in a favourable light should not have Constitutional protection.

  • Literature or music cannot directly influence human behavior.

  • Freedom of speech is most threatened by our personal freedom.

  • The audience, not the performer, is responsible for the audience's actions.

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The audience, not the performer, is responsible for the audience's actions.


The author’s argument is the audience, not the performer, is responsible for the audience’s actions.

Concept: Critical Reasoning (Entrance Exam)
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