Is a world dominated by science a dream or a nightmare for future generations? (Mind Map and Sample)

25 Sep 2012

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Lin Guoyao
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Is a world dominated by science a dream or a nightmare for future generations? (Mind Map and Sample)

 

Introduction

Bleak, dystopian views of a world dominated by science have been around for quite some time. Literature and popular culture have successfully embedded in our collective psyche such nightmarish worlds as Orwell’s “1984”, Huxley’s “A Brave New World”, or more recently, the Wachowski brothers’ “The Matrix” – all of which are worlds in which science and technology have a powerful influence. However, one might argue that if we continue to use science in a way that is guided by sound morals and a desire for the greater good of humanity, then a world dominated by science need not necessarily be a nightmare for future generations. It may not be a perfect dream in which one has nothing to fear, but it certainly does not have to be a nightmare that strikes terror in our hearts.

Vocabulary
Bleak - Offering little or no hope
dystopian - as bad as can be

Argument 1 (topic sentence)

Some may argue that a world full of surveillance technology is reminiscent of a nightmarish world where Big Brother is always watching. Privacy would become a thing of the past and there would be no guarantee that the surveillance information gathered will not be abused.

Refutation/concession:

While it may be true that surveillance technology in the wrong hands may violate one’s right to privacy, one must remember that in most democratic countries today, there exist checks and balances on the powers of governments to prevent or at least minimize this sort of violation. The answer to Juvenal’s famous question “quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (ie. Who guards the guards?) is a range of checks and balances like legislation, the media, and lobby groups.

Vocabulary
surveillance - close observation
reminiscent - remindful

Argument 2 (topic sentence)

Others may say that a world where biotechnology plays a dominant role cannot be anything but a nightmare – one characterized by Frankenstein food, armies of clones or a highly stratified society where being born an Epsilon Minus condemns one to a life of drudgery.

Refutation/concession:

Biotechnology may indeed have its dangers, but so does just about any other tool wielded by mankind. We do not refuse to use fire just because fire can pose great danger if it goes out of control. In the same way, we should not refuse to use biotechnology just because there are risks associated with it. The fact is that biotechnology, if used with prudence and caution, could do a great deal of good for humanity. Laws have been put in place to ban the practice of human reproductive cloning; research is being done to find viable alternatives to the sacrifice of embryos upon the extraction of stem cells; etc.

Vocabulary
stratified - Socially hierarchical
Epsilon Minus - aka "Epsilon-Minus Semi-Moron" - A useful idiot. (One who belongs to the lowest caste in Aldous Huxley's book "Brave New World". Known for stunted growth, inferior intelligence, yet indispensibility.)
drudgery - hard monotonous routine work

Argument 3

Yet others may say that the spread of nuclear power technology around the world ensures that our world will meet a nightmarish, apocalyptic end in the near future. Already, intransigent states like North Korea and Iran, as well as terrorist cells the world over, are suspected of being in possession of nuclear weapons. It will only be a matter of time, they argue, before these are unleashed upon the world. The concept of “mutually assured destruction” is an insufficient deterrent to some of these groups as they may have no qualms about sacrificing their own lives besides those of others.

Refutation/concession:

The fear that groups in possession of nuclear weapons may use them to destroy others and themselves is indeed very real. That is why the international community continues to engage with North Korea and Iran today, to try to broker agreements for disarmament. There has been some success lately, with North Korea pledging to disable its nuclear facilities and declare its nuclear programmes in exchange for energy aid and political concessions. At the same time, there is greater global cooperation today in dealing with terrorist networks and there have been some successes in foiling terrorist attacks. Etc.

Vocabulary
apocalyptic - prophetic of doom
intransigent - inexorable / cannot be persuaded or reasoned
qualms - uneasiness

 

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Lin Guoyao
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Mind Map of points that may be used in your essay

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