CSS English (Precis & Composition)

ENGLISH (Precis & Composition)



Q. 2:

Make a précis of the following text and suggest a suitable title. (20)
In studying the breakdowns of civilizations, the writer has subscribed to the conclusion – no new discovery! – that war
has proved to have been the proximate cause of the breakdown of every civilization which is known for certain to have
broken down, in so far as it has been possible to analyze the nature of these breakdowns and to account for their
occurrence. Like other evils, war has an insidious way of appearing not intolerable until it has secured such astranglehold upon the lives of its addicts that they no longer have the power to escape from its grip when its deadlinesshas become manifest. In the early stages of a civilization’s growth, the cost of wars in suffering and destruction might seem to be exceeded by the benefits accruing from the winning of wealth and power and the cultivation of the “militaryvirtues”; and, in this phase of history, states have often found themselves able to indulge in war with one another withsomething like impunity even for the defeated party. War does not begin to reveal its malignity till the war-makingsociety has begun to increase its economic ability to exploit physical nature and its political ability to organize man- power; but, as soon as this happens, the god of war to which the growing society has long since been dedicated proveshimself a Moloch by devouring an ever larger share of the increasing fruits of man’s industry and intelligence in theprocess of taking an ever larger toll of life and happiness; and, when the society’s growth in efficiency reaches a point at which it becomes capable of mobilizing a lethal quantum of its energies and resources for military use, then war reveals itself as being a cancer which is bound to prove fatal to its victim unless he can cut it out and cast it from him, since its malignant tissues have now learnt to grow faster that the healthy tissues on which they feed. In the past, when this danger-point in the history of the relations between war and civilization has been reached andrecognized, serious efforts have sometimes been made to get rid of war in time to save society, and these endeavourshave been apt to take one or other of two alternative directions. Salvation cannot, of course, be sought anywhere except in the working of the consciences of individual human beings; but individuals have a choice between trying to achievetheir aims through direct action as private citizens and trying to achieve them through indirect action as citizens of states. A personal refusal to lend himself in any way to any war waged by his state for any purpose and in anycircumstances is a line of attack against the institution of war that is likely to appeal to an ardent and self-sacrificingnature; by comparison, the alternative peace strategy of seeking to persuade and accustom governments to combine injointly resisting aggression when it comes and in trying to remove its stimuli before hand may seem a circuitous andunheroic line of attack on the problem. Yet experience up to date indicates unmistakably, in the present writer’sopinion, that the second of these two hard roads is by far the more promising.


Read the following text carefully and answer the questions below: (20) Experience has quite definitely shown that some reasons for holding a belief are much more likely to be justified bythe event than others. It might naturally be supposed, for instance, that the best of all reasons for a belief was a strongconviction of certainty accompanying the belief. Experience, however, shows that this is not so, and that as a matter of fact, conviction by itself is more likely to mislead than it is to guarantee truth. On the other hand, lack of assuranceand persistent hesitation to come to any belief whatever are an equally poor guarantee that the few beliefs which arearrived at are sound. Experience also shows that assertion, however long continued, although it is unfortunately withmany people an effective enough means of inducing belief, is not in any way a ground for holding it. The method which has proved effective, as a matter of actual fact, in providing a firm foundation for belief wherever it has been capable of application, is what is usually called the scientific method. I firmly believe that the scientificmethod, although slow and never claiming to lead to complete truth, is the only method which in the long run will givesatisfactory foundations for beliefs. It consists in demanding facts as the only basis for conclusions, and in consistentlyand continuously testing any conclusions which may have been reached, against the test of new facts and, wherever possible, by the crucial test of experiment. It consists also in full publication of the evidence on which conclusions areFEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION FOR RECRUITMENT TO POSTS IN BS-17 UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, 2015 Roll Number Page 2 of 2based, so that other workers may be assisted in new researchers, or enabled to develop their own interpretations andarrive at possibly very different conclusions. There are, however, all sorts of occasions on which the scientific method is not applicable. That method involves slowtesting, frequent suspension of judgment, restricted conclusions. The exigencies of everyday life, on the other hand, often make it necessary to act on a hasty balancing of admittedly incomplete evidence, to take immediate action, andto draw conclusions in advance of the evidence. It is also true that such action will always be necessary, and necessaryin respect of ever larger issues; and this inspite of the fact that one of the most important trends of civilization is toremove sphere after sphere of life out of the domain of such intuitive judgment into the domain of rigid calculationbased on science. It is here that belief plays its most important role. When we cannot be certain, we must proceed inpart by faith—faith not only in the validity of our own capacity of making judgments, but also in the existence of certain other realities, pre-eminently moral and spiritual realities. It has been said that faith consists in acting alwayson the nobler hypothesis; and though this definition is a trifle rhetorical, it embodies a seed of real truth.

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