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COMPILED PRELIM QUESTIONS 2011

Abstract / Philosophical / History Issues The real test of character is power, not adversity. What are your views? (AJC) Consider the role of religion in achieving happiness. (AJC) Manners make man. Is this true? (DHS) Discuss the importance of image. (DHS) Ambition is the parent of all enterprise, and the cause of all improvement. Is ambition always a commendable and constructive thing? (HCI) To what extent is religion a force for good? (JJC) Slow and steady wins the race. Is this view relevant to the pursuit of success? (JJC) There is no place for history in modern society. Discuss. (MI) Have we become too obsessed with success in the modern world? (MI) Adversity is the best teacher. Do you agree? (MI) The future of humanity is bleak. Discuss. (MI) Words matter more than numbers. Discuss (MJC) There is nothing wrong in countries rewriting their history to suit their needs. Do you agree? (NJC) Total honesty can destroy societies and relationships. Discuss. (NJC) Consider the view that affluence means influence. (NJC) Fear is good. Comment. (NYJC) Governments have a right to censor undesirable elements of their nations history. Do you agree? (RI) It is not only the living who are killed in war. (Asimov) Discuss. (RVHS) How important is beauty? (RVHS) History is nothing more than the invention of the powerful. Is this a fair comment? (SAJC) Never leave till tomorrow what you can do today. Is this the secret to success? (TPJC) The modern man is a lonely man. Discuss. (VJC) Prosper thy neighbour, prosper thyself. Discuss. (YJC) Think before you speak. How far do you agree with this statement? (YJC) Should a challenge always be embraced? (CJC) Originality is dead. Comment. (CJC) Discuss the value of nostalgia in todays world. Religion has brought nothing but conflict and destruction to our world. Comment. Fear is good. Discuss. Arts and Culture In them you will find great treasures. Is this still true of books today? (AJC) The Arts have the power to influence perception, opinion and values. Can the Arts really be so powerful? (DHS) Meaningless noise from talentless people manufactured by calculating corporations for purely commercial gain. Is this a fair assessment of popular music today? (HCI) Explore the view that art and science have much more in common than most people imagine. (HCI) Appreciation of the arts is only relevant to the affluent. Comment. (JJC) Examine the claim that museums are undervalued in todays world. (MJC) Young people today pay far too much attention to fashion. How far do you agree? (NJC) One should not underestimate the significance of Literature. Do you agree? (NYJC) Is it necessary for a country to invest in its artists? (NYJC) Art is I; science is we. (Claude Bernard) Which has done more to unify societies, science or art? (RVHS) Is there a place for poetry in todays world? (RVHS) Do you agree that the arts allow us to understand the world better? (SAJC) Should multilingualism be encouraged in our world today? (TPJC) How important is it for music to be controversial in order to be relevant? (VJC) Is self-expression the primary purpose of art in todays world? (CJC) Movies are fun but useless. Comment.

Media / Celebrity Is fame more of a blessing or a curse? (AJC)

The internet promotes democracy. Is this really true? (JJC) Social media brings more harm than good. What are your views? (MI) What we say on online social media has no value. Discuss. (MJC) Our fascination with fame and celebrities is having a negative impact on our fundamental values. Do you agree? (NJC) In this new media era, censorship is needed now more than ever. Do you agree? (NYJC) To what extent has new media changed the face of human interaction? (RI) Advertisements truly reflect what a society desires. Do you agree? (RI) Can we tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements? (RVHS) Is objective reporting ever possible? (SAJC) To what extent does the media have a negative impact on youths today? (SRJC) To what extent is the new media a revolutionary tool? (TPJC) Can computer gaming be anything more than entertainment? (TPJC) Do the media always act in the interest of the public? (VJC) These days anyone can become a celebrity. Discuss (YJC) To what extent do celebrities deserve the media attention they receive? (CJC) What we say on online social media has no value. Discuss. Brands now dictate consumer choice. Do you agree? Science, Technology and Medicine/Health To what extent has the pursuit of profits dominated science? (AJC) To what extent are health problems by man today of his own doing? (AJC) Should the government regulate scientific research and development? (DHS) Scientists have taken the world apart but have no idea what to do with the pieces. Discuss (HCI) Explore the view that art and science have much more in common than most people imagine. (HCI) Should technology be blamed for all privacy threats? (JJC) Technology is the key for mankinds long term survival. Do you agree? (MJC) To what extent should people be concerned with the ethical implications of scientific research? (NJC) Art is I; science is we. (Claude Bernard) Which has done more to unify societies, science or art? (RVHS) Profit or perish. Is this an accurate statement about the state of science today? (RVHS) Do you agree that science only brings out the worst in mankind? (SAJC) Medical science brings about too many problems. Discuss. (SRJC) Technology threatens the family. Do you agree? (SRJC) Mans mistakes are more than sufficient reason to discard scientific research and inventions. Discuss. (TPJC) Medical science makes our lives better, but also much more complicated. Do you agree? (VJC) Technology enables us to do more with less. Discuss. (YJC) To what extent is the individual responsible for his own health? (CJC) Medical science overpromises and under delivers. How far do you agree? (CJC) Modern technology addresses our human desires rather than our needs? Discuss. To what extent are the healthcare problems faced by man today of his own doing? Modern technology has not made us wiser. What is your view? Inequality, Poverty and Global Development Has enough been done to solve the food crisis? (AJC) The problems of survival for mankind have never been so great as they are today. Is this a fair comment? (JJC) The rich should shoulder more of the poors burden. To what extent is this true? (MI) It the total elimination of equality a realistic aim? (NJC) 'A diverse society is better than a homogeneous one.' Discuss. (NYJC) The world thrives on economic inequalities. Do you agree? (RVHS) Idealism brings poverty; realism brings wealth. Discuss. (SAJC) Men rather than women face greater challenges. Is this true today? (SAJC) Is equality for all a realistic aim? (SRJC) We are closer to world peace than we think. Do you agree? (TPJC) An economic crisis is nothing but a reflection of greed and excesses. How true is this? (YJC) To what extent have we risen above prejudices? Discuss in relation to gender or race. (YJC) Do disasters really bring out the best in people? (CJC) The key to solving global problems lies in water security. Comment. We are getting poorer as we become richer. To what extent is this true? Has our quality of life really improved with time?

Globalization and National Issues Geography is destiny. How far is this true? (DHS)

Efforts to reconcile differences are mere symbolic gestures. How far is this true in the world today? (JJC) Global cooperation is unrealistic and a waste of time. What is your view? (NJC) Immigrants are a necessary evil. How true is this of your society? (NJC) For a small country, cooperation not competition is the key to survival in today's world. Comment. (NYJC) The prospect of a global village is a depressing one. Discuss. (RI) How far are our problems interconnected in a globalised world? (SRJC) The bigger, the better. How true is this in international relations? (SRJC) Can small countries play a significant role in todays globalised world? (TPJC) Tourism is not necessarily the best way to showcase a country. Comment. (VJC) Citizens first. Can countries continue to cling to such a mindset in an increasingly globalised world? (VJC) Would it matter if there were no borders between countries? (YJC) Is migration more of a blessing or a curse? Is international cooperation possible in the world today? The benefits of migration are overrated. Do you agree? Environment (Broadly) How far can we protect the earth when the worldwide demand for natural resources is increasing? (AJC) Consider the view that we need to radically change our eating habits if we are serious about saving the planet. (HCI) To what extent can a government be responsible for environmental protection? (MJC) How far can science and technology be relied upon to solve our environmental problems? (NYJC) Can national nuclear programmes ever be justified? (RI) Discuss the view that the environment can only be saved through the efforts of developed nations. (RI) The growth of eco-tourism is a threat to the environment. Discuss. (SAJC) Should environmental conservation be the top priority of governments? (SRJC) Food safety should be the responsibility of the producers alone. Is this a fair comment? (SRJC) What we need to do is to get the common man on board, otherwise the environment is doomed. Do you agree? (TPJC) How important is it to pay attention to where our food comes from? (CJC) Can green efforts be anything more than token gestures? (CJC) Should clean energy be a priority for all countries? Consider the view that we need to radically change our eating habits if we are serious about saving the world. The government, not the people, should be responsible for protecting the environment. Do you agree? Education To what extent have educational priorities changed to meet the needs of the modern world? (DHS) Do you agree with the view that educational qualifications are a very unreliable measure of a person's true abilities? (HCI) Education empowers. How far do you agree? (JJC) Education solves problems but creates new ones. To what extent is this true in todays society? Should education be a profit-seeking business? (MJC) The educated are truly free. Do you agree? (NYC) Education should be concerned with character development rather than achievement. Discuss. (RI) School stifles the imagination more than it evokes curiosity. Do you agree? (VJC) Is education for all a realistic aim? Family and Youth Young people are unable to cope with anxiety. Is this true of the modern world? (JJC) Is marriage necessary when people are becoming more liberal? (MI) Discuss the value of pain for young people today. (MJC) Is ageing gracefully still possible? (DHS) How far is ageing gracefully possible in todays society? (MJC) An unhappy marriage is best resolved with a divorce. Comment. (RI) A happy marriage does not depend on having children. Is this true? (RVHS) Are the young people today prepared to shoulder the burdens of tomorrow? (RVHS) Technology threatens the family. Do you agree? (SRJC) Young people today no longer appreciate the simple pleasures in life. How far is this true? (TPJC) Men should marry as late as possible; women should marry as soon as possible. Is this sound advice? (VJC) Is the increasing trend of singlehood in developed countries a cause for concern?

Politics, Governance and Security In a world where we are constantly watched, there is nothing to fear. Do you agree? (AJC) How far should the views of the people influence political decisions? (AJC) Do wars ever settle anything? (DHS) Is democracy the panacea to modernitys ills? (DHS) 'It is better to be feared than loved.' (Machiavelli) Discuss the wisdom of this advice where politics is concerned. (HCI) You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake. Discuss. (HCI) How far should public opinion in your society be regulated by the state? (JJC) Is the elimination of terrorism a realistic aim? (MI) Does war bring out the best of the worst in man? (MJC) How important is charisma for leaders to succeed in todays world? (MJC) Political dissent is needed for a society to progress. What is your view? (NJC) Only when people accept the authority of the state and the security it provides, do they gain freedom. Do you agree with this view? (NJC) It is of no concern to the public what a politician does in his private life. Discuss. (RI) Should war be fought for humanitarian reasons? (SAJC) A good government is one which satisfies the desires of its people. Do you agree? (SRJC) Is it justifiable for democracy to be imposed by force? (TPJC) To what extent has democracy created a more progressive world? (YJC) How far can our leaders be trusted to do what is right? (CJC) How far should the views of the people influence political decisions? To what extent is freedom of speech an ideal? We have guide missiles but misguided men. Discuss. Urban Lifestyles / Work and Business Will restricting the growth of cities improve the quality of life? Profit-making cannot be the sole concern of businesses today. Do you agree? (NYJC) How far do you agree that life is better enjoyed when we slow down? (SAJC) To what extent should businesses be socially responsible? (SAJC) There is no pleasure in work. Discuss. (TPJC) Is the city still worth living in despite the cost involved? (VJC) Should play have more of a place in modern society? (CJC) Crime and Punishment To what extent is the imposition of extremely harsh punishments an acceptable way to combat crime? (HCI) How far do you agree that punishment is effective in combating crime? (MI) Capital punishment should be abolished. Discuss. (NYJC) Should justice be pursued at all costs? (SAJC) Forgive and forget. Should this be the attitude we adopt towards criminals? (SRJC) Should we reconsider the relevance of capital punishment in modern society? (VJC) Sport There is too much attention on sport today. Do you agree? (DHS) A successful sports scene is solely about the winning of medals. Discuss. (RI) How far do you agree that sport has lost its ideals? (YJC)

Singapore / Your Society Discuss the impact of the Internet on politics in your country. (AJC) To what extent is social inequality a problem in your country? (AJC) Unprepared for the modern world. How true is this of the young people in your society? (DHS) How urgent are population challenges in your society today? (DHS) How far can ordinary Singaporeans be held responsible for their countrys environmental problems? (HCI) We are becoming poorer as we are getting richer. To what extent does this observation apply to your own country? (HCI) Change should be embraced and not feared. Is this true in your society? (JJC) How important is sports in the shaping of the future of your society? (MI) Individual rights must always be sacrificed for the good of the majority. How far is this true in your society? (MI) The passionate pursuit of sports makes little sense for young people in Singapore. Discuss. (MJC) Singapores economy has grown, but people are not living better lives. To what extent do you agree? (MJC) Graciousness is a lost virtue amongst Singaporeans. Is this a fair comment? (NJC) The golden years is a myth. Is this true of old age in your society? (NYJC) National identity has become irrelevant in today's world. Discuss with reference to your society. (NYJC) It has been said that Singapore is economically First World but socially Third World. What is your view? (RI) Is it ever justified to spend large amounts of public money on national defence? Discuss this with reference to your country. (RI) The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things. Has education accomplished this goal in your society? (RVHS) Is cultural change in your country a source of optimism or pessimism? (RVHS) Singapore is an enviable country but not an admirable one. Discuss. (RVHS) To what extent do young people in your society take a real interest in politics? (SAJC) The Arts is only for the rich. How far is this true of your society? (SRJC ) How important is imagination in your society? (SRJC) How effective are campaigns in changing the attitudes of people in your society? (TPJC) Are the elderly in your society really valued? (VJC) Would it matter if cars were banned in your country? (VJC) Consider the view that the youth in your society today have an opinion on everything but a passion for nothing. (YJC) Language can unite and divide. How true is this in your society? (YJC) How far does the arts scene preserve the culture and traditions of your society? (YJC) The needs of many always outweigh the needs of a the few. How true is this in your society? (CJC) Consider the importance of foreign talent in your society. Work-life balance is unrealistic in todays world. How far is this true of your country? How far does the arts scene preserve the culture and traditions of your country? Many developed countries are paying increasing attention to the arts. How far is this true of Singapore? Money is everything. Is this true in your society?