Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Aber scholarship exam.

Tomorrow I'll be sitting my first of two exams for an Aberystwyth exam. Tomorrow afternoon's one is "Pure Maths" and then on Thursday morning, I have "Politics & International Politics" and I was quietly confident when I sent off to do these exams. Now, not so much. That's why I've decided to revise some of the past paper questions from the past few years (you only have to pick two out of ten or twelve) and this is my revision for it. Odd that I have an excuse for this now.

1. Can torture ever be justified?

Torture is a huge moral dilemma. What gives us the right to torture people for information? Then again, what gives the right to not torture someone who was planning the mass-murder of innocent people? It has two sides and both are very strong and stubborn in their views. I plan to analyse both sides and weigh them up to decide; firstly, the anti-torture view.

I can see why people are anti-torture as it's a blatant violation of human rights. Agonising pain and possibly murder for information? It seems like an unjust thing to do to a potentially brain-washed person. Can you imagine the terrible concoctions they come up with in a way to summon information from them? Then again, who specified that this torture would be for information? It may just be to cause suffering to those who have been incarcerated for breaking the law which is hypocritical; they'd be violating the laws they're claiming to beat into these victims

Now, if it was for information on other terrorists and to save other innocent lives then it can be understandable. That's not always the case though, there are many other factors in a torture. What if they're being threatened and forced into such acts? They'd be suffering for the protection of family, friends and so on. What if the suspect is innocent? They'd be arguing saying they know nothing and that they're innocent to be tortured even more for "lying" when they're not. It would be a never ending cycle of anguish, misery and torment.

I'm - personally - pro-torture for information as long as there is hard physical evidence supporting the claims of their plans to harm people. Without it, it's the most inhumane and cruel thing to do for the "protection" of others. Protection from what? By tormenting people they cause serious psychological harm and could drive this person to do even more terrible things when released. What a dilemma.

The pain - and possible sacrifice - of one evil-minded person who plans to slaughter innocent people is a just dessert in my opinion. Not only could it lead to that danger being hindered but it could lead to more plans being foiled and more lives saved. I think that's a massive upside. Not only is it an upside because of spared lives, non-traumatised families and no biased or skewed views from a horrific tragedy; it's also a massive money boost. The government pay out massive compensations to the injured or families of the deceased and that would save a lot of money which could be spent on a lot of other important things. I'm not saying torture is justified because there'd be less payouts from the government, I'm just saying consider the amount of money that would go to them and could go to NHS funding, education and other important things.

I still disagree with unnecessary torture but I also disagree with the current prison system which is more of a luxury than a burden. It may be a burden when they get out because they might not be able to get a job but who says they'll try? If prison is that comfy and luxurious then why would you want to leave? Therefore, reform the prisons so they're less enjoyable like they should be. A bit of a ramble but I feel it is slightly relevant to torture as it is currently the complete opposite there.

Therefore, torture can be justified in my opinion. There are extenuating circumstances, of course, there always will be but if they have sufficient evidence to prove that the suspect has terror plots then it is justified to find out more information from these about future plans. If it's just because the torturer is a bit bored and wants to cause massive psychological harm and possibly cause a rage-filled killing spree, then no, of course it's wrong. There is no answer to the ambiguity of "torture" so I agree with it for information and to save lives but I disagree with it for everything else.

2. What does it mean to be a 'citizen of the world'?

The meaning of 'citizen of the world' is pretty self-explanatory. I, weirdly, decided that I agree with these views about five days ago. If you're a 'citizen of the world' it means that you're unpatriotic and do not pledge allegiance to a country, a bit of land that your ancestors maliciously and moronically fought over as they were power-hungry and greedy. Just some mud, some sand, a little bit of greenery and now massive man-made structures which are blemishes to real land. Weirdly, I prefer cityscapes to landscapes.

A 'citizen of the world' has no country and no national pride. They simply believe that the world is one and we should not segregate ourselves to countries, nationalities and so on. In my opinion, it raises questions of equality considering we all are confined to different countries as if having a nationality matters. Why does that matter? I'm technically Welsh but I consider myself to just be alive and free in a world with many possibilities. Personally, I'd prefer it if the world was solely governed by one government and wasn't dictated by the laws of religion and embarrassing ethical reasons. That's just me though.

I don't know how to extend this definition further, it's quite a simple concept.

3. What poses a greater threat: environmental change or weapons of mass destruction?

These two threats could potentially change the world we live in forever in such negative ways. The sad truth is we have no power over either of these. Mother nature isn't a nurturing loving mother that she's made out to be, but more of a destructive mistress who wants to remain unchanged and consistent so therefore she screams "get the hell off me and stop damaging me" by giving us warnings. Too late though. This is not the effect of global warming though, this is a natural cycle on this planet which is caused by changes; changes which aren't liked. I believe more in the Madea hypothesis than the Gaia hypothesis.

Then there's the other threat. The threat that one day, one person may launch a nuclear attack onto a country which then starts a world war and destroys everything and everyone. It'll take one unstable person, one unstable thought, one error of judgement to potentially murder an entire civilisation, an entire life and every other animal on the planet. An entire planet would remain hollow and unscathed but maybe that's what it wants?

These threats are equally real and equally dangerous. Currently, there is a cyclone in Australia which is tearing it apart, bit by bit. This is nature at its worst. You can't stop it from tearing things apart with its colossal power, it is almost a god-like entity who has been infuriated. The worst thing about nature is how do you stop it? There is no way to intervene, you just have to ride out the storm - pardon the pun. You cannot stop it its reckoning and therefore its threat could eclipse the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

There's a possibility of stopping these weapons from being used. Whether it be a peace treaty or an uprising in a dictator controlled country to get rid of the unstable and inhumane leader or the military intervention to stop these genocidal maniacs. Much like the Iraq war, they may have been underlying reasons and it may have been eclipsed by money and greed but it still wiped out a lunatic with far too much power. I live with more with the fear of human ignorance and stupidity to nature taking its toll. This is because humans are far more unstable, eccentric and destructive as our power hungry nature is nothing short of an arrogant god-complex.

One bad decision could result in the end of the world, a real apocalypse. How frightening. It's scary that one man like Kim Jong-il could potentially ruin the world we live in just because of his crazy ways. It's an unjust world that we live in that one man could destroy so much but it's one we have to live in and fight against. There is a way to do it but an illegal war in Iraq is not the answer to a genocidal maniac apparently.

In my opinion, the biggest threat are the weapons of mass destruction. Not just their power of mass devastation but the power in an imperfect person's hand; that is the bigger threat.

4. Does British politics limit the participation of women?

No but if it brings terrible people like Margaret Thatcher into politics maybe it should. There's also Harriet Harmon and a few others. That's all I have to say on that ridiculous question.

5. Examine the arguments for and against the BNP being banned from participating in the UK's representative democracy?

The BNP is a party which is founded on ignorance and - quite simply - racism, xenophobia and homophobia. The same views as Adolf Hitler. They are a party which practice suggestions as deporting all immigrants, legal or illegal; banning homosexuality and making it an arrestable offence, like in the olden days of ignorance and misunderstanding. Oddly appropriate to their outdated and right-winged views.

They have traditional views and traditions hinder change and evolution. Why hinder something which is for the good of a nation? That's like disagreeing to know thereal creation of the universe by believing a book written millenniums ago.

Their moronic leader once said:

"Rape is simply sex. Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible physical ordeal... [it] is like suggesting force-feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence." - Nick Griffin.

We wouldn't be a democratic country if we stopped them from running, that would completely contradict the point of a democracy. I don't even believe that the problem really lies with their twisted ideals, though they are cause for worry. The real problem is the ignorance and stupidity of society and how they get brainwashed by the right-winged media and fail to see the full picture. Instead, they stereotype and blame an entire race or religion instead of blaming the real minority. I don't understand how they thought Britain was so "great" when it's never been great and is actually better than it was, yet, they want to revert us back in time.

I believe that the real problem lies with media not reporting full facts and slandering innocent people by generalising their race or religion. I mean, Hindus and Sikhs even suffered abuse thanks to the ignorance of their attackers after 9/11 and 7/7. I don't think we can stop the BNP from running but they should have to publicise their real views and every opinion. Ranging from their disgusting and backward views on immigration, rape and unnatural homosexuality. They should have to tell everyone of how they plan on incarcerating those who are genetically different.

The idea that legal immigrants are "stealing our jobs" is ludicrous and preposterous. The amount of people who lazily lounge around watching Sky TV and only leave the house to get more Carling and to pick up their dole have no jobs because they're too pathetic to actually get one. They're the real disgrace. They'd rather sit back and jack up on heroine complaining that their dole isn't enough to pay their dealer so they start blaming immigrants for stealing their money. They aren't stealing any money from you, you bum. They actually pay tax, you drug-addled and AIDS-ridden junkie. They contribute to the taxes and that actually pay for you to sit there and complain about them, how hypocritical. They aren't stealing your job but they are, unfortunately, helping you live and breathe.

Therefore, there should be a reform in the public media so that they don't promote their neo-Nazi views and get away with it as they publish exaggerated rumours, figures and statistics. Only 4% of Britain are immigrants, that's about 2.4 million immigrants, that doesn't necessarily mean Muslims either. Also, 92.1% of people in Britain are white, how can we claim to be overrun? We cannot stop them running but let's stop their lies.

6. Is military intervention for humanitarian reasons a moral imperative in cases of genocide?

Cases of genocide need to be stopped, that much is obvious, and if the only way to achieve this is via a military intervention then so be it. Some people are so stubborn and ignorant in their views - especially genocidal dictators - then force is the only option to stop these lunatics. A very good example is the Iraq war.

The ever debatable Iraq war. While others say it was an illegal, greedy war for oil and money, I still think the murder of a villainous dictator who slaughtered innocent people is enough of a reason to intrude. It may have been for the wrong reason but the intervention stopped him so I deem it very worthy. Installing democracy in a previously dictated country seems very worth it. That country had no quality of life, bar the people who were bought by Saddam Hussein. We effectively resurrected a country and will give millions of people happiness, equality and no fear of being murdered for insubordination.

Another infamous case is obviously World War II where one man brainwashed a country into killing innocent men, women and even children. Not only did he kill most people who were Jewish but he forced them to work to build their weapons, performed medical experimentation on them and other horrendous and gruesome forms of torture filled with endless agony. Without military intervention, the numbers would be even higher than their current disgusting high. Numerous amounts more of innocent people - whether they were Jewish or disabled or anything else that was against their leader's xenophobic views - would be killed because we did nothing.

The mass extinction of life is not something that we should sit back and ignore. It is a necessity to counter these despicable occurrences. I personally do not understand the disagreement with this, I cannot even think of any logical reason.

When people claim that the "loss of lives" in their army isn't worth it then they're clearly unnecessarily patriotic and think that they're better than everyone else. Why listen to those uneducated morons? The type of people who claim that footballers get too much (quick summary of this: it's the money in the football industry which means they get taxed a lot so it does effectively pay for a lot, get over it) and that soldiers deserve more money and respect. They get a lot of respect and I respect them for what they do but they weren't conscripted into the army, it was their choice; something that the country which is being torn apart doesn't have.

Yes, it is a moral imperative to stop mass genocide and I cannot see any other side of that. I'm not being close-minded, I'm being a humane realist with compassion. I'm open to your opinion though but I just do not see any counter to the cessation of genocide.

I'm done. Was it any good?


  1. Thanks so much for this. I am also sitting this exam tomorrow and researching stuff is driving me crazy.
    Good Luck :D

  2. No problem, I'm surprised you found it and someone even read it. Either or. :P

    I wrote about seven pages today for mine for question two and nine. How did yours go?

  3. I wrote about 4 pages for each question. I also answered 9 and then 3 :D
    I think mine went well.

    How did yours go?

  4. Ah nice. What was question three again? I've forgotten.

    It either went really well or really badly which is a shame. I think my Pure Maths paper has majorly let me down though so I don't think I'll get the merit.

  5. Question 3 was about the rise of china and what that meant for International affairs. I think i may have said the same thing loads of times but oh well.

    I took History-America and Europe for my other paper on Tuesday. I think it went well but thats just because the questions i answered were the ones that i am currently doing in History ;)
    Maths is stupidly hard though and you probably did better then you think :)

    Is Aber your first choice and what do you want to do there?

  6. I was going to do that or America not being a superpower any more but I didn't have enough to write, I'm not even taking politics as an A-level, it's more of a dull and boring hobby.

    Ahh nice, that sounds like you aced it then. Hello scholarship? Nah, I didn't, it was stupid of me. I'm quite good at maths, I'd say it's my best subject but I'm not studying the Further Pure modules and they came up in the exam so I guessed and just failed miserably ha.

    If I get the scholarship it will be but I'm torn between there and Cardiff. Economics, you?

  7. I'm not taking politics either :)

    Haha, the likely hood of me getting it is very small i would argue. I do not consider myself intelligent in any kind of way, i am also not saying this just for attention or whatever. It is genuinely how i view myself. Aber sent me and email and were like we think you should try this so that's what i did.

    But you are still good at maths so you probably did amazing :D

    Aber's definately my first choice. I applied for 2 courses there but i don't know what one i prefer. It's either International politics and International History, OR International politics and Military History. I should probably make up my mind soon i guess :) It's just to hard.

  8. Ah cool. :)

    If you think they went well then the likelihood is that they did, everyone is usually negative about an exam wrongly but never confident wrongly. :P They didn't send me anything like that (that I remember, they send a lot) but my friends did it last year so I knew from that.

    Yeah but you needed to know formulas, ones I didn't know and there wasn't a formula booklet with it so I could guess either. :P

    Ahhh, nice. At least you can decide on a place because you can always switch course, it's harder to switch place. :P

  9. Did any of your friends get a scholarship?

    I know that i can just switch course but i just can't decide. It would be so much easier if Aber said i only got the scholarship for one of my two choices, that would help so much.
    I didn't even know what i wanted to do at the beginning of year 13 and now i still don't :/
    I sometimes wish i was like one of them people that have always known what they wanted to do.

    Good luck with your decision :) I hope you get the schloarship :)

  10. Four of them got a merit and one got the full scholarship.

    Yeah, I know what you mean. These decisions are far too difficult, I've had an extra year to completely reconsider my life really. I was going to do Pharmacy but I hate chemistry and I'm bad at it so I'm really glad I'm not doing that any more.

    Thanks, good luck with yours too and the scholarship. :)

  11. Hey :)

    Have you got your results yet?
    I got mine today and i got merit, i can't quite believe yet :)

  12. Yeah I got them and no I didn't get it. :( Congratulations on the merit! :) x

  13. Thanks :)
    Does this mean that Cardiff is probably going to be your first choice then? x

  14. I have no idea, got to decide now. x

  15. Good luck with deciding :)
    I still have to decide which course i am going to do at Aber. I should really decide soon :/x