Generic counter-argument #2 (evolution)

29 03 2011

A lot of the time, we assume that things don’t evolve. This may result in us making statements like:

“Globalisation results in the loss of local cultures, and the Westernisation of many indigenous cultures”

“Technology has killed the simple pleasures of life because we now prefer to spend time on the computer to taking a stroll in the park”

“The media is destroying our moral values”

“The rise of e-books shows how the book has no place in modern society”

However, if we consider that the concepts above – culture, simple pleasures of life or moral values – are not static and that they evolve, we might argue that technically, globalisation doesn’t cause cultures to disappear, they merely evolve (as they always have). Similarly, as a concept, simple pleasures haven’t disappeared, it’s just that their nature has changed. Where we once might have seen a walk in the park as a simple pleasure, we now redefine our simple pleasures as things like lying in bed while listening to our iPods. Likewise for moral values – the concept of having moral values hasn’t vanished, it’s just that our moral values might have evolved with the times (as they always have). With e-books, technically, the very presence of e-books shows that there still is a place for the book – just in an evolved form.


Go through past-year GCE A level essay questions, and identify concepts where this argument applies.




3 responses

31 05 2011

If we were to write the above as a counter argument, would it come across as too hypothetical or personal to the markers? How do we substantiate the counter argument to make it more sound?

31 05 2011
Adrienne de Souza

It’s not hypothetical if you back it up with trends from the past – for instance, there’s a clear trend of how cultures have evolved. Case in point: the English language. Or morals – we used to object to organ transplants and IVF, now we generally don’t. And these aren’t in any way personal, so no worries there.

9 10 2012

(Warning: Am on auto-pilot GP mode, so all sentences that come out may sound a tad stiff.)
– Environmental concerns and economic growth cannot coexist: our environmental concerns have evolved from simplistic ‘preserve nature!’/holding back the tide of change, we have shifted our focus to other forms of green issues like urban greening.
– To what extent does technology had a negative impact on the skill levels of people: Some people bemoan the loss of communication skills with the rise of technology, with everything ranging from the art of letter-writing to the linguistic atrocities used in SMS and the internet, to interpersonal skills. Yet, who is to say that our communications skills have not simply evolved to suit the wired world we live in – and communicate in – today? Even bastions of language like Oxford English Dictionary, have acknowledged words such as “LOL” and “OMG”.
– How important is it for people in your society to retain a sense of tradition
– Assess the impact of foreign films on the culture of your society

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