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GMAT Sample Questions ›› Analytical Writing Assessment

GMAT Sample Questions : Analytical Writing Assessment

Scientific inquiry is rooted in the desire to discover, but there is no discovery so important that in its pursuit a threat to human life can be tolerated.


Scientific discoveries have always been important to the advancement of society. Every scientist is a kind of explorer trying to discover new truths about the natural world that can be applied to how we live. This is how we invented the light bulb and learned about space. This statement claims that scientific discoveries are important, but not so important that a threat to human life is caused. A threat to human life simply for the sake of exploring and discovering is intolerable.

Some research doesn't involve humans, like making better computers or inventing software. But in World War II, the Nazis experimented on live prisoners and used them like guinea pigs. The results were horrible. On the other hand, I believe there are situations in which a threat to human life might be tolerated in the pursuit of scientific discovery. I think that patients suffering from terminal diseases like cancer or AIDS might be used in experiments. Maybe there is a new drug that works on rats in a laboratory but no one knows if it works on humans in a hospital bed. The drug might be a cure, if not for that patient then for another patient. The patient would die anyway, so why not try the new drug?

In general, I do not believe scientific discovery is worth a threat to human life. Scientists might be different about this issue, but what I think determines when the pursuit of scientific discovery is more important than the protection of human life has to do with if a person's life is threatened. If a person is going to die from a terrible disease, then his life is not at risk and an experimental treatment won't hurt him. It might even help him and if it doesn't help him, it might help science.


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