21st September 2018

2.5 Speaking Assessment

Topic: We should have limits on scientific exploration.

We are falling into the darkness without knowing what lies beneath. Scientific exploration is a widely debated subject. Should we have limits? Shouldn’t we have limits? How much is too far? Scientific exploration is about exploring our unknown, pushing the boundaries or our knowledge whilst stretching our morals at the same time. Many authors use scientific exploration to push the boundaries of our morals and Mary Shelley is no exception in her novel Frankenstein. Victor Frankenstein pushes scientific exploration past societies morals. He creates a monster through electromagnetism by using body parts of dead corpses. Victor is an example of a person who doesn’t think we should have limitations to scientific exploration. Victor Frankenstein has an opposing perspective to John Locke with the idea of scientific exploration. He contradicts the ideas of John Locke and this has its consequences. (pause). “If I succeed, that may have the effect of persuading the busy mind of man to be more cautious in meddling with things that are beyond its powers to understand”. John Locke was a philosopher in the enlightenment period. He believed that we should have limits on scientific exploration. He believes that the unknown should stay as the unknown. This creates a conflict between John Locke’s perspective and Victor Frankensteins perspective.

Scientific exploration is within the boundaries of our curious human nature. Scientific exploration is about pushing our boundaries to advance our knowledge. This often pushes our individual morals and societies morals. John Locke believes that we should have limitations to scientific exploration. In one of his essays, he points out the dangers of going too far. He says in the introduction of his essay “I hope that this enquiry into the nature of the understanding will enable me to discover what its powers are—how far they reach, what things they are adequate to deal with, and where they fail us.” John Locke thinks that if we go too far then scientific exploration will start to fail us. If this happens then it could be too late to reverse the dangers we have put ourselves into.  “If I succeed, that may have the effect of persuading the busy mind of man to be more cautious in meddling with things that are beyond its powers to understand; to stop when it is at the extreme end of its tether; and to be peacefully reconciled to ignorance of things that turn out to be beyond the reach of our capacities.”  John Locke is presenting a warning to us not to mess with things that are beyond our power to understand. He thinks that if we go too far to the extremes then we could discover something that should remain undiscovered. Our scientific exploration could become a threat to the human race. For example, we could discover how to create a deadly nerve agent that could kill the human race. Imagine if an extremist group such as Islamic State got a hold of that. We are gone… we have no chance. John Locke also says that “Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God has seen fit to give them” We shouldn’t need to explore the unknown because we should be able to be satisfied with our knowledge that we already have. We shouldn’t need to explore science any further because God has given us enough to be satisfied. If we dig any deeper then we are just being selfish with our curiosity and no longer exploring our unknown for beneficial reasons.

There have been many cases in which we have pushed scientific exploration too far. If we push our boundaries too far then we will create a man vs machine situation. It will be a real-life Terminator. We will have pushed our boundaries so much that we will have to fight to get back our dominance. John Locke can see this.

Victor Frankenstein is obsessed with exploring the unknown. He feeds his curiosity off of scientific exploration. He will stop at nothing to discover new things about science. He states “One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of knowledge which I sought” and “It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn.” This shows the extent that Victor would go to in order to quench his thirst for knowledge. He is willing to kill in order to explore what science is hiding. Victor completely contradicts what John Locke says in his essay and offers a completely opposite opinion on scientific exploration. He thinks there shouldn’t be limits on scientific exploration. Victor thinks that we would never get anywhere if we did explore our unknown even it is not “morally” accepted. Scientific exploration is like a drug to Victor. He is consumed by the thought of pushing scientific exploration to its limits for his selfish needs. He looks at the concept as though if we didn’t have scientific exploration then we wouldn’t be able to progress as a species and we are going nowhere without it. He believes in the quote of T.S Eliot says which reads  “Only those who are willing to risk going too far can possibly find out how far we can go”.  If we didn’t have scientific exploration then we wouldn’t have any improvement with illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, liver disease just to name a few. If we didn’t have scientific exploration then we would have an average life expectancy which is well below what it is now. This is why Victor thinks that we don’t need limitations to scientific exploration. Victor is willing to risk everything in order to feed his curious nature and explore the unknown even if this results in a catastrophe.

Scientific exploration is reaching a point where it is no longer being used to benefit us but instead being used for unnecessary needs. 

I agree with John Locke in that we should have limits to scientific exploration. However, I also believe scientific exploration should exist to an extent. I think he should have limits but scientific exploration is still important for our species to push forward. This means we will be able to live longer and be healthier. I think we should stop at the point where the exploration is no longer being used to benefit our species. We should stop when scientific exploration is being used to explore our curious nature and for selfish reasons. I side more with John Locke’s perspective. I think that Victor was in the wrong because he was pushing scientific exploration past the point of societal and individual morals. We should limit ourselves to only push the boundaries to a point that is reversible. In conclusion, I think we should have limitations to scientific exploration.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Lewie,

    A good start! You make some strong points in this script.

    Some of your evidence needs to be trimmed and used more seamlessly (as you have suggested yourself).

    Make sure you justify some of the comments you are making and use a range of examples confidently to illustrate your ideas to your audience.

    Also remember that this is a speech- you need to use written language and sound devices to engage your audience. There are some suggestions available on the task handout if you need some extra assistance with this.

    Mrs. P


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