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GRE AWA Practice - GRE ISSUE ESSAY 114

GRE Analytical Writing ISSUE Essay Topic - 114

"Such nonmainstream areas of inquiry as astrology, fortune-telling, and psychic and paranormal pursuits play a vital role in society by satisfying human needs that are not addressed by mainstream science."





GRE AWA Analytical Writing ISSUE Essay Sample Solution - 114

Mainstream science is based on facts and theories that are established after years of research and endless discussions. Astrology, fortune-telling, psychic and paranormal pursuits are not given any importance in mainstream science. I support the idea of separating these two means of quest for knowledge about our pasts, presents and futures. At the same time, I disagree with the author when he thinks that these quests for knowledge are vital to society. I believe they are mere distractions and people only seek satisfaction of their curiosity through these means.

Segregating sources of wisdom as mainstream and nonmainstream and the complete exclusion of nonmainstream sources from science is completely justified. Anything recognized as science has to be based on scientific principles and proven through experiments. Science is a study of natural phenomenon based on observation and experimentation. There are no assumptions in science, only facts interrelated to give us knowledge about our present and future. Take for instance the Jantar Mantar in India, a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, used for prediction of weather. Each instrument is an architectural marvel focused to precision. There is no mystery surrounding the place and it is pure science at play.

Nonmainstream sources of wisdom, on the other hand, are based on prediction, assumption, impulse, intuition, sixth sense; all of which hold no bearing in the scientific world. Astrology, fortune telling, and psychic and paranormal quests are undertaken by those who do not believe in themselves. These are signs of a weak mind that does not have the strength to face the future unprepared. To top it all, there are ample predictions in nonmainstream pursuits but very few solutions to help the situations. Those people who pursue such modes of knowledge are the very ones who rely on fate and believe that we cannot control our destinies. They believe more in soothsayers than they do in themselves. No wonder then, that there are innumerable cases of touts who extract huge amounts of money from people who engage their services.

In my view, these nonmainstream pursuits do not play any significant role in society as far as satisfying human 'needs' is concerned. They can be a means for satisfying human curiosity and that is all. There is no human need that such sources can satisfy. We all are aware that the future can only be predicted to a certain extent. When the predictions of science, which is based on laws and principles, can also go wrong, then how can predictions by astrologers and fortune-tellers hold any ground? Moreover, the percentage of people in any society that approaches such means for prediction of future is much below those who rely on science. These means only put one's mind at ease for some time. They rarely find useful solutions to the problems that are to come.

Human needs differ from person to person. Where one might be more concerned about the present, another person might be bothered about his future. Mainstream science has practical solutions to problems of present and future both, nonmainstream quests, on the other hand, offer indefinite solutions only. Moreover, people belonging to different sections of a society think differently. The educated lot rely more on scientific principles, while uneducated people depend on such pursuits to appease their disturbed minds and gain confidence. There is very little that such pursuits contribute to human needs.

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