Man : technologically advanced but morally backward
(1) Tech is used for self-preservation widen the gulf between the haves and the have-nots
(2) Tech is used for self-gratification hedonism, materialism, consumerism
(3) Tech is used even when it threatens the sanctity of life euthanasia, abortion
(4) Tech is used to commit crimes and acts of aggression hacking, piracy, online intimidation, voyeurism… biological/chemical/nuclear warfare
Man : technologically advanced, but not morally backward
(A) Tech is used to help the disadvantaged – poor, weak etc.
(B) Tech is used to save the planet
(C) Tech is used to unite and build understanding among people facilitate peace-making of course, there will be hatemongers, but with education, people can be more responsible
(D) Tech promotes democracy, openness more discourse, debate to improve the country or society; provides more checks and balances for the government to curb corruption, abuse of power
The past century has witnessed unprecedented discoveries and inventions that have transformed society. Air travel, space travel, genetic science, nanotechnology and the internet, among others, have made Man a technological giant. Skeptics of technology point out that despite astounding progress, Man is uncivilized, without a moral compass. There is, unfortunately, significant proof to support this criticism. However, there is also sufficient evidence that denounce this as an overgeneralisation that does not apply to all of mankind. Therefore, being technologically advanced does not always mean that Man is morally backward.
Man is a tech giant, but he does show that he can degenerate to be a moral pygmy. However, Man is making effort to find his sense of civility and humanity. Thus, all hope is not yet lost.
The theme for this week is : Interpretation
These are some of the questions covered so far in small groups.
For all these cases, deciding what to interpret, and interpreting fully helps broaden the discussion.
Interpreting can also involve activating some brainstorming strategies.
Please practise, because on The Day, you have no one else to help you generate ideas. Practice promotes familiarity.
The next hurdle is to reflect these interpretations – with the thesis – sensibly and coherently in the introduction to give a good first impression.
1) Science advances, but morality declines. Discuss.
Interpret ‘science advances’ : all forms including medicine, food, transport, communications, production
Interpret ‘morality’ : different manifestations of goodness or uprightness such as uplifting the poor, relieving pain and prolonging life, saving the environment
Interpret ‘declines’ using aspects : degradation of life through genetic modification; instigating violence through weapons development; encouraging wasteful consumerism through mass production; deception through the media.
2) Is the pace of life of society today too fast for its own good ?
Interpret ‘what is good for society’ : economic & social stability, quality fo life including physical and mental health of the people, happiness/satisfaction, quality of relationships
Interpret ‘pace of life today’ : pace of life is dictated by demands set on how productive or efficient we have to be
Interpret ‘too fast’ : this has a negative connotation that expecting greater productivity, efficiency or speed does not help our society achieve what is defined as ‘good’.
3) Environmental conservation is futile without government intervention. Do you agree ?
Interpret ‘environmental conservation’ : curbing pollution, replenishing resources, cutting down waste, looking for ‘greener’ alternatives
Interpret ‘futile without government intervention’ : useless unless the government takes part, that is to say the government is the most important player without whom the entire endeavour – including the efforts of other players – to save the earth will fail.
Interpret ‘government intervention’ : investing, legislating, cooperating with other international bodies & other countries, coordinating the efforts of non-government groups and the private sector within its own country, leading the masses by example, mass education
4) Has technology made us a society that is never satisfied ?
Interpret ‘never satisfied’ : wanting more (money, things, knowledge/information, looks, fame, attention, freedom etc.) & wanting better (seeing the shortcomings in what we have, so we always seek to improve; wanting to push the envelope and achieve more/surpass what was achieved before)