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“Developments in technology has made the world a more dangerous place than ever before.” Do you agree?

Key words

  • “dangerous”: greater risk of armed conflict and increased cybercrime
  • “ever before”: compare past and present

Stand

  • Agree to a large extent

Arguments

  • Development of nuclear technology → Threat of nuclear war and nuclear accidents
  • Greater ease of movement across borders → Rise of terrorism
  • Increasing reliance on cyber platforms for many areas of life → Compromise of information security

1. Development of nuclear technology → Threat of nuclear war and nuclear accidents

Point & Elaboration:

The development of nuclear technology has provided us with a source of clean energy and military capabilities, both of which had made the world a more dangerous place.

While nuclear energy is an efficient and clean source of energy, the risk of a nuclear accident is too much for any nation to bear. A nuclear fallout can easily wipe out lives and cause long-lasting harm to the area with the resulting radiation.

Example:

It had been three decades since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, but the city is still uninhabitable to this day. More recently, the Fukushima disaster is another reminder of the devastating consequences of a nuclear fallout. According to a Greenpeace report in 2016, the environmental impacts of the Fukushima fallout will persist for decades to centuries, affecting forests, rivers and even the Pacific Ocean. These examples show the danger nuclear plants pose, and the world is still bearing the risk of future nuclear fallouts with the use of nuclear energy.

Point & Elaboration: 

The development of nuclear weapons had also escalated tensions among nations.  The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) had been signed by 190 countries, and was meant to work towards the goal of complete nuclear disarmament.  However, the goal, as of today, is still a distant dream. Countries with existing nuclear weapons like the US and Russia are unlikely to disarm, especially when there are still rogue nations trying to develop their own nuclear arms.

Example:

In particular, North Korea had recently launched their fifth nuclear test in early 2017, to which both the US and China had expressed deep concerns over. US also warned that their “era of patience” is over and might consider taking further action. The consequence of a nuclear war is unimaginable and could potentially lead to the destruction of the world. The devastating power that nuclear weapons possessed had indeed made the world a more dangerous place.

2. Greater ease of movement across borders → Rise of terrorism

Point & Elaboration: 

While technology had granted us greater mobility across borders, the convenience also made it easier for terrorists to enter countries and execute attacks.

Example:

The 2015 Paris attacks were claimed by ISIS, and the chief perpetrator, together with other foreign nationals, were able to enter France despite being on the terrorist watchlist. In the age of globalisation, it is far more difficult to stop potential terrorists from entering countries to carry out attacks.

Point & Elaboration:

More importantly, social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube had also made it easier for extremist content to be propagated across the world, resulting in a rise of self-radicalised terrorists.

Example:

The Manchester bombing that took place at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017 was carried out by a British Muslim, who reportedly was self-radicalised in the UK through the internet. In Singapore, a woman was also detained in 2017 under the Internal Security Act for self-radicalisation. She had been active in sharing pro-ISIS materials online and was actively planning to join ISIS in Syria. These examples underscore the threat of terrorism today, exacerbated by the ease of which extremist ideology can be propagated through social media.

3. Increasing reliance on cyber platforms for many areas of life → Compromise of information security

Point & Elaboration: 

IT developments in the last ten years had given rise to the success of e-commerce. Coupled with the proliferation of smart mobile devices and payment gateways, we had become more reliant and intertwined with the cyberspace. Unfortunately, this had also led to the rise of cybercrime.

Example:

The Singapore Police Force had revealed that while overall crime rate had dropped from 2015 to 2016, cybercrime is still a concern. Many of these cybercrimes involving e-commerce and identity impersonation are carried out after the criminals had obtained some of the victims’ personal information. As many online applications now require users to submit their personal information online e.g. credit card details and contact numbers, the risk of information leak and theft via the internet should be a cause of worry.

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