Gce 2000 Gp Paper 2 - UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE LOCAL...

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Unformatted text preview: UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE LOCAL EXAMINATIONS SYNDICATE General Certificate of Education GENERAL PAPER 8003/ 1 , 2 INSERT Wednesday 8 NOVEMBER 2000 2 hours 40 minutes INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES I This insert contains the pasaage for Paper 2. ———-————-———_.._.—._—.—__.___ This inseri consists 014 printed pages. 50 (KN) 0K00125+rz s UCLES 2000 [Turn over 2 The Age of Uncertainty A poet, Hugh McDiarmid. asks, ‘Who can guarantee that two and two are not five on Jupiter?‘ A philosopher, Zygmunt Baumann. writes: ‘Uncertainty is now a permanent condition or life. We have no universally agreed codesfland rules.‘ The collapse of Communism destroyed a system and undermined a.£ai_tl_1)in which half the wond had lived for nearly a century. Everywhere. fundamental values are questioned all the time as new technologies such as the internet, geneticaliy manipulated births or transplant surgery accelerate the pace of change in the way we live our fives and the possibilities open to us. I would say unhesitatingly that there is no doubt that we have entered upon the Age of Uncertainty - it it wasn't that uncertainty itself breeds doubt. In many parts of the world. Ethics are no longer prescriptive but a matter of choice. What used to be considered sins or crimes “ abortion. homosexuality. the bearing of children outside wedlock — are now commonly regarded as manifestations of an alternative lifestyle. Marriage itself is merely provisional. a contract which may be easily, if still often painfully. terminated. This moral uncertainty may be dated from the Sixties, adecade when we hailed the ‘dawning of the Age of Aquarius'. a watery and a shifting season. We have now gone beyond that. and entered a period or economic uncertainty. Many workers are now employed on a freelance or short-term contract basis. The old idea of a iob-for-llfe is rapidly disappearing as changes in technology make skills redundant and destroy cornpanies which have not been quick enough to adapt to them. Consequently, employers cannot offer their workers the guarantees of employment with a company pension on retirement which in the past gave them a feeling of security. Global markets have also brought the possibility of unpredictable fluctuations in the fortunes of individual countries and particular industries when their customers suddenly suffer catastrophes or their competitors outstrip them in production. Uncertainty is evident in other more fundamental ways. As more and more of the ancient mysteries of the world and the universe are being probed and apparently solved by science, and as more and more people have their material and bodily needs more than adequately supplied by its products. religious beliefs are questioned. adapted. diluted or abandoned. In place of the old institutionalised religions spring up a host of cults and alternative religions through which individuals try to establish a new foundation on which their spiritual values can rest secure. Yet science itself. which once seemed to offer an alternative to religion, no longer does so. The old solidifies have dissolved. Modern scientists are prepared to question any and ail 'accepted theories' which have long been held to explain or describe the physical world — such as Darwin‘s Theory of Evolution, for example. or Einstein's Theory of Relativity. As one scientist has written: 'Theones are perceived increasingly not as revealed tmths. but as working tools for the understanding of natural processes — to be cheerfully abandoned when they do not work or are Overtaken by other and better theories.’ We now see that the explanations of the universe by Newton and Galileo were no more than attempts to describe it In the light of their Knowledge, and we have no reason to suppose that the same will not be said of contemporary scientists‘ 'explanations'. Science itself has become merely provisional, and scientific truths have become flexible. For if the great increase in human knowtedge over the centuries has taught us anything, it is that the more we know, the more we realise how much we don't know. One theory is constantly being replaced by another, one discovery challenged by another — so why should we accept any of them? MLZWD 10 I5 25' 25 30 35 40 45 50 3 It is not surprising that the Age of Uncertainty has encouraged many alternative sciences [or pseudo-sciences) to flower. Astrology, which was once scorned by a world which believed scientific truth had defeated superstition, is vastly popular again; it the future alter all cannot be determined by human intelligence, why then. it may just as probably be disclosed by the stars and planets. if orthodox medicine admits its limitations and has so otten been proved mistaken in its theories and practices. why then. not turn to unorthodox medicine. which taiks the language of magic? Hotistic medicine talks of 'the need to place more emphasis on the flow of energies through the body than on the study of its physical parts.’ The 'flow’ of these ‘energies' cannot. of course. be observed or measured: but that is part of the attraction. What of the two great systems that have claimed to provide a rational basis for the ordering of society — Communism and Capitalism? Communism promised an organisation of resources which would banish poverty and injustice, thereby creating a society in which each individual worked for the general good and all were rewarded according to their needs. Instead it brought terror. suppression of dissent and a pollution that cormpted minds as well as the Earth and its atmosphere. Capitalism preached the superior logic of the self-adjusting market. This has certainly proved better than Communism at delivering the goods, but it exacts its price in an ever—increasing insecurity. We see the consequences of Capitalism in societies with communities in decay and more and more individuals detached. self-contained and uninvolved: where there is increased rec0urse to drugs and soporitics u heroin. alcohol or day-time television - where famiiies iragment. and where traditional values are undermined in a widespread cynicism about old-established institutions and sources of authority. These are all manifestations of the Age of Uncertainty. the dark and tracldess forest of modern lite. Should we despair? I think not. People in the past have tived throuh many worse times than ours: times of war, siaughter. persecution. famine and servitude to hideous tyrannies and vile superstitions. beside which our present discontents and insecurities may seem trivial. The human being is an endlessly building and re building animal. There is no reason to suppose that human beings in general have lost either the will or the capacity to adapt to yet another challenge. On the economic level. we will shift from our present pattern of inflation and debt (encouraged by the former certainties otjob-security) to the old one which deferred purchases until the obiect a house. car. holiday. even a marriage - could be paid for. On the more important ethical level, we shall slowly construct a new code of behaviour which recognises that the human being as an individual is also a social being. and the individual's duty to society and society‘s duties to the individuat have to be held in continual balance. We shalt continue to believe in the pre-eminence of rationality in Homo Sapiens, while admitting and respecting the irrationality that is in all of us. In this way we shall come through. accepting that uncertainty is inescapable but can enrich as well as dismay. WIZW 55 50 7O 75 30 85 9t? 3 PAPER 2 Read the passage in the insert and then answer all the questions which follow below. Note that up to fifteen marks will be given for the quality and accuracy of your use of English throughout this Paper. Note: When a question asks for an answer IN YOUR OWN WORDS AS FAFt AS POSSIBLE and you select the appropriate material from the passage for your answer, you must still use your own words to express it. Little credit can be given to answers which only copy words or phrases trom the passage. From paragraph 1: 1 Explain in your own words as for as possible what Baumann means by 'We have no universaliy agreed codes and rules' and say how McDiarmid's question illustrates this statement. 12] 2 The first paragraph ends with a contradiction or paradox. Expiain in your own words as far as possible what the author is saying in the last sentence of the paragraph. [2] From paragraph 2: 3 Aquarius {the Water—Carrier) is the sign of the Zodiac which was often used to describe the decade of the Sixties. Explain in your own words as far as possible why the author thinks that this was an appropriate description. [2] From paragraph 4: 4 What does the author imply are the two reasons why people have turned in the past to reiigion? Use your own words as far as possible in your answer. [2] From paragraph 6: 5 ‘...determined...discl0sed‘ (lines 5455). Explain how these two words show the different attitudes ot Science and Astrology towards the future. {2] From paragraphs 8 and 9: 6 (a) ‘...more and more individuals detached. self-contained and uninvolved'. Explain In your own words as tar as possible how. in paragraph 9. the author suggests this consequence of Capitalism may be avoided in the future. [2] (b) What qualifies does the author imply human beings have which enable them to survive? [2] 7 Explain the meaning of the following words as they are used in the passage. You may write the answer in one word or a short phrase. fundamental (line 5); provisional (line 14); diluted (line 32); scorned (line 52); dissent (line 55) [5] BDEEELE wanna [Turn DVET Use each of the foIIOwing words as it is used in the passage in a sentence 0! your own which clearly illustrates this meaning. Your five sentences should not deal with the subject-matter of the passage. undermined (line 4); abandoned (fine 41): challenged (line 49): limitations (line 56}; deterred (line 85); [51 Write a summary 01 what lhe author believes has contributed to the uncertainty of the modern age. Write about 150 words. using your own words as far as possible. Select the material for your summary from paragraphs 2 to 8‘ lines 11—77. {11] mm M000 ...
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This note was uploaded on 08/18/2010 for the course ENGL 100 taught by Professor N during the Spring '00 term at Johnson County Community College.

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Gce 2000 Gp Paper 2 - UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE LOCAL...

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