Animal rights is a futile pursuit. Discuss.

JC General Paper

Animal rights is a futile pursuit. Discuss.

1.At this current moment, humans have difficulty even preserving humans rights, to ask us to fight for animal rights seem a too far distant dream. Also, it questions the credibility of our fight for animal rights since we are already exploiting the humans of our kind. It does not make sense for animals rights to be championed at this current stage. e.g sweat shops in developing countries.

  1. Humans are intrinsically selfish by nature. Hence, in exchange for our own enjoyment and lowering of labour cost, companies may exploit animals rights for their own benefit. e.g Macdonalds which uses intensive farming unethical farming practices and even injecting steroids into bulls.  There are also reports of 10 chickens being stored in same cage. Even if we are aware of such practices carried out by these companies, but it does not seem to change any individual’s behaviour as they still support these companies.

  2. Animal rights encapsulates every single species. Humans get to be selective and only care about domestic animals. It is too selective in supporting the animal rights, only for domesticated animals. It is also very ironic that we tend to champion only certain animal rights (especially those animals that we consider to be “cute”).

  3. Animal rights is only alleviating the situation (main objective) and not eradicating the issues, hence we cannot say that it is futile. The aim of animals rights is to preserve the morality and dignity of the human race. Hence we should not trivialize the movement by saying that the animal right thing is futile. e.g, SPCA, PETA, WWF

P.s The culture would like to clarify that the above points are contributed by students during a class discussion. The writing in no way reflects the viewpoints of the tutor. For any clarification, please write in to theculture.

Fun Facts #2: Crime and Punishment

JC General Paper

This is a continuation from our first post on Crime and Punishment…

#1: In ancient Rome, the preferred method of execution was crucifixion. Although largely abandoned as a method of execution by nearly every country in the world, at least one country still uses the method: Sudan. Crucifixion results in a slow, agonizing death, which is can be caused by a number of factors, and can take hours or even days before death occurs.

#2: Roughly 25 percent of people wrongfully convicted of a crime were found guilty due to incriminating statements and false confessions. There is a reason (other than profit) that so many lawyers say that people who are accused of a crime should never talk to the police without a lawyer present. That’s if they are fortunate enough to be in a place where the law requires representation for accused persons.

#3: Mistaken identification of the accused was said to be a factor in 77 percent of the cases where convicted criminals have been exonerated later due to DNA evidence.  Much of the time, a person’s ability to recognize faces is not quite as accurate as they believe it is, and is further complicated by the difficulty people have remembering faces of people whose race differs from their own.

#4: Of all cases of convicted criminals being exonerated due to DNA evidence, 15 percent of convictions were due in part to testimony by snitches or informants. One of the main problems with snitches is that they are often criminals themselves who are offered rewards (such as a reduced sentence) in exchange for their testimony against someone else.

#5: Thomas Edison invented the electric chair. Its development was spurred on by the cruelty of hanging.

Fun Facts #1: Crime and Punishment

JC General Paper

Some interesting stats that you can use for the topic on Crime and Punishment… Most of these facts touch on the death penalty. Students should consider the goals of punishment, and assess for themselves whether the death penalty goes against their own ethical and moral beliefs. Death penalty is largely used for the goal of retribution.

#1: At least 1/25 people sentenced to the death penalty in the US are actually innocent.

#2: Death Penalty trials are at least 20 times more expensive than trials seeking a sentence of life prison with parole.

#3: In Singapore, the possession of drugs and trafficking are punishable by the death penalty.

#4: As many as 2/3 of all executions done in the world are committed in China. China is also known for their cheap and efficient method of executing the condemned, such as shooting a bullet through the head of the individual.

#5: Research reveals that criminals that are considered to be physically unattractive are likely to receive prison sentences that are up 50% longer than those who are considered to be attractive.

#6: The US has over 1/4 of the prison inmates in the world, making the US the country with the highest prison population.

#7: The Taser was developed to give the police another option to control violent individuals besides shooting them or beating them up. This technology has helped to save lives.

#8: Hanging, as a method of execution, was first originated from Persia 2000 years also. It is believed to be a more humane method of execution compared to beheading an individual, and that it could act as an effective deterrent as well.

‘The world would be a better place if more political leaders were women.’ What is your view?

JC General Paper

‘The world would be a better place if more political leaders were women.’ What is your view?

Question Analysis:

Female stereotype- more emotional; more nurturing and caring

Male stereotype: Stronger; more aggressive to push through policies; less emotional

Better place- economic prosperity; technological advancement; greater peace and prosperity for all; increased medical advancement to ensure

Some political leaders to take note: Aung San Suu Kyi; Margaret Thatcher; Angela Merkel

UK was once the ‘sick man of Europe’: Margaret Thatcher was known as the iron lady who can push through difficult times

Some possible arguments:

Men have greater tendencies towards aggressive acts that may spark war or even abuse of human rights (genocide). History has shown that men sparked destructive wars more compared to women. Examples of such dictators include: Stalin, Hilter, and even Pol Pot. This could potentially be due to the higher testosterone levels of the men.

Men are believed to be less emotional compared to women; hence they are able to base decisions based on rational thinking. Rational thinking is especially important during crisis times of a nation, and to look at things objectively. However, rational thinking should not take precedence all the time. Decisions should be based on emotions as well.

Female political leaders are believed to be more nurturing and hence better able to develop people under them/mentor them into better individuals and leaders. Female leaders are able to use their emotions to make decisions, have people’s welfare more at heart, to ensure a more nurturing workplace and society for all.

Females are less corrupted than men. But I’m sure there are black sheep among the females. Marcos’ wife has a large collection of shoes- 1000. This corruption scandal shook the country so much so that they set up a museum to house the shoes,  just to serve as a reminder to the public to be aware of the politicians’’ actions and potential corruption.

 Evaluation:

A good student should not just be arguing whether political leaders are better if they are female or male. He or she should take a step back and ponder about the larger issue- what kind of leaders can actually make the world a better place for all?

Should political leaders be decided on a gender bias basis? What matters is the innate quality of the leaders? A good leader should be one who has foresight, strong moral ethics and the leadership qualities.

PS: If you are interested in how GP is being taught in lessons, please have a look at our upcoming crash course in May.

Here’s the link: https://theculture.sg/2016/03/gp-crash-course/

Consider the view that spoken language is more important than the written form.

JC General Paper

Consider the view that spoken language is more important than the written form.

This is one of the easier questions to attempt for this year, as it is just a simple comparison between the spoken language and the written form.

So what are some of the benefits of the spoken language?

  • We are able to decipher from the intonation the mood of the person delivering the speech. Written language is just presented in a very neutral form, which makes it hard to decipher the mood of the person. The tone is harder to pick up through written language, and interpretation can always be inaccurate. Through speech, we can always tell if the speaker is being sarcastic or even exasperated with us.
  • Spoken language is able to bring up the emotions of the speaker better, enabling the speaker to connect with his audience on a more personal level compared to the writer. In fact, many politicians are great oratory speakers who can rally the crowd together for a common purpose. Examples of politicians who are charismatic and convincing are Lee Kuan Yew, Obama and even Hitler.
  • Spoken language is a very economic form of writing that allows one to express their thoughts, similar to the written form. Spoken language through the advancement of technology can be easily edited especially if they are expressed through videos. This is similar to the written form where proofreading makes it easy to edit flaws and inaccuracies in writing.

What are some of the benefits of the written language?

  • Written language is deemed to be more personal in the context of courtship than speech. It appears to be more sincere to girls as it shows careful thought in the choice of words when crafting a love poetry compared to an oral declaration of love. After all, actions speak louder than words right?
  • Written language in the form of books/ letters is a good way of passing down information from generations to generations, especially in areas in where technology is not easily accessible.

How far, in your society, should unpopular views be open to discussion?

JC General Paper

 How far, in your society, should unpopular views be open to discussion?

Students should consider whether it is possible to censor off these unpopular views given how advanced technology is nowadays. Even if it is possible for the state to monitor and censor off these views, it is going to be a very tedious process of monitoring and expensive at the same time.  Students should also consider the benefits of opening up these views for discussion. How will society benefit from it?

Define terms

Unpopular views- views that are so “unpopular”; obscure that nearly no one knows about it OR views that are considered controversial/ against the mainstream

Some plausible arguments to consider:

  1. Unpopular views should be open up to discussion to help the growth and maturity of the society over time. Unpopular views in Singapore such as LGBT and the CPF issue should be debated so that we can see the society’s consensus on these controversial issues. At the same time, it helps individuals to be more open-minded and accepting of individuals who are different. If we are afraid of opening up a Pandora’s Box of social ills with these controversial issues, we can always ensure that these views are talked about in a measured and controlled manner. For instance, we always have the Hong Lim Park where we can discuss these issues. (However, we should note that free speech is not always evident here, as your names have to be recorded and you would need to apply for a permit to speak at the Speaker’s Corner).

 

  1. Unpopular views that are released at an inappropriate time should not be opened for discussion at all, especially when the country is not ready to deal with it. A case in point would be the insensitivity of Amos Yee releasing a video defaming the respected late Lee Kuan Yew while the nation was moaning about his death. Unpopular views regarding the tyranny of his rule will only serve to tear the social fabric of the nation apart. The timing is not ripe for Singapore society to debate and discuss about LKY’s rule and the type of political system we would like moving forward.

 

  1. It is getting increasingly harder to censor these obscure or even controversial views because of the advancement of technology- especially that of social media. Given how quickly messages and tweets can be passed around through social media, it is very hard to monitor individuals’ posts. In fact, social media liberates and empowers individuals to voice out their opinions, and given how vocal our youths are, it is only a matter of time that unpopular views surface in the media. When that happens, it may potentially serve as a learning point for society on how to deal with it.