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GRE Issue 1: As People Rely More And More On Technology - With A Free Essay Review
As people rely more and more on technology to solve problems, the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
In the era of advanced technology, technology has undoubtedly changed the way people live. With the use of calculators, people gradually get rid of mental arithmetic. Due to this fact, some people argue that the ability of humans to think for themselves will undoubtedly decline. This is because when relying excessively on instruments, people may hardly figure out the right number without calculators if the calculation becomes somewhat complicated.
Admittedly, it is true that human’s ability of calculation might diminish to some extent. However, technology decidedly facilitates humans to think deeply for themselves through freeing them from trivial things. This is an indisputable fact that with versatile and state-of-the-art computers, especially mainframe, scientists no longer take pains to deal with complex and numerous formulas. Therefore, these talented scientists can spend their time and energy in doing more meaningful things by avoiding being bogged down with trivial computations. For instance, engineers who major in aerodynamics, can use the latest computers to simulate how the attitude of airplane will change with respect to different levels of wind. Thus, due to the assistance of modern instruments, these engineers can focus more on how to design planes to fly more safely and efficiently.
In contrast to the statement, we can see that people begin involving themselves in some more complex problems that did not occur in the past, which motivates humans to think assiduously for themselves. By utilizing technology, for example, people build large dams to store the water as well as preventing devastating floods. However, this approach also has led to consequences people never thought of. The Three Gorges Dam in China is an excellent instance of this point. After construction of this huge and marvelous dam, some unpremeditated problems emerged, such as undue fluctuations in temperature in local areas and sediments and silt deposited excessively under on the bottom of the Yellow River. As a result, this phenomenon forced experts in China to contemplate whether altering the local topography might negatively influence climate and to what extent. Therefore, humans’ ability to think for themselves has improved rather than deteriorated
In addition, technology also inevitably leads humanity to think of moral questions that did not appear in the past. One of the most profound and contentious moral questions is cloning. While cloning will definitely help sick people with deteriorating organs by cloning new ones, this technology is also likely to raise a debate of whether cloning is illicit or not. Will cloning finally crumple up our established morality, or must scientists stop doing research on cloning even if the advantages of cloning far exceed the disadvantages arising from this advanced technology? By answering these controversial questions, we, human race, are unquestionably engaged in thinking for ourselves.
All the evidence put forward supports an unshakable conclusion that although some human abilities, such as computation, are slightly worse because of reliance on calculators, the ability of thinking is expected to improve rather than deteriorate. On one hand, people, especially sophisticated scientists, will have more time to focus on significant as well as knotty problems. On the other hand, new questions that pop up appear as a result of technology involve humans in more profound contemplation.
Your first paragraph claims that the idea that the ability of humans to think for themselves will decline derives just from what you take to be the fact that “with the use of calculators, people gradually get rid of mental arithmetic.” That’s probably not what you intended to imply, but it is what you say. There are of course many other technological developments which people use to solve problems, and I think one of the weakness of your essay is that you don’t consider any of these. There are all kinds of ways in which ordinary people rely on technology to solve problems every day, and the statement imagines that reliance on technology will increase into the future. Once we worked out how to get from one place to another. Now an application tells us how to do that. Soon the car we use to get there will do it without our needing to control it. What happens to ordinary people when there are fewer and fewer everyday problems to solve?
The argument that technological developments might free up time once to devoted to trivial computations is sound, but it doesn’t follow that people in general (those who are not scientists, say) would take advantage of the time to tackle more interesting problems. The argument that technological progress gives rise to problems that humans need to think about is reasonable, I suppose, but it doesn’t need two examples (I think the “dam” example is the poorer one), and again it’s not clear that more than a few interested experts would engage in the task of addressing such problems. It as at least possible to imagine a world, surely, in which there are still engineers, but in which most people do rely increasingly on technology to solve problems and actually exercise their brains on fewer and fewer occasions.
It may be, however, that our need to solve problems is strong enough to ensure that we will continue to find ways to exercise our brains. We don’t just rely on technology to solve problems, after all; we also rely on it to create problems for us to solve (e.g., games).