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Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below Knowledge is power. In agriculture, medicine, and industry, for example, knowledge has liberated us from hunger, disease, and tedious labor. Today, however, our knowledge has become so powerful that it is beyond our control. We know how to do many things, but we do not know where, when, or even whether this know-how should be used.

Assignment: Can knowledge be a burden rather than a benefit? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observation.


知识就是力量。例如,农业、医学、工业等方面的知识使我们从饥饿、疾病和单调的劳作中得到了解放。然而,如今我们的知识变得如此强大,以至于超出了我们的控制范围。我们知道如何去做很多事情,但我们不知道何地、何时,甚至是否需要将这种认识付诸于实际运用。 命题:


Knowledge is power; it liberates us, enlightens us, allows us to grow and expand and better our conditions. Today, our knowledge of the world has grown immensely, and could be seen as “beyond our control”, and even a burden. However, history shows us that while great knowledge can sometimes be a heavy burden, it always has outweighing benefits.

History is rife with examples of knowledge being a burden, but ultimately proving to be beneficial. For instance, Galileo, a 17th century astronomer and scientist, was arguably the greatest contributor to science of our time. His diligent research of our Earth and solar system led to

groundbreaking discoveries that, at the time, were extremely controversial. Galileo was the first scientist, and person, to question the Church’s statement that the Earth was the center of the solar system, and all other planets and the Sun revolved around it. He instead argued, and proved through research, that the Sun was the center of our galaxy, and Earth just another planet in its orbit. This knowledge was profound, enlightening, and powerful; it was also a great burden.

Galileo’s theory was met with disbelief, outrage, and violent opposition; it was an extreme burden to him. The Church was furious at Galileo for disproving its teachings because at the time, the Church’s word was law. Never before had its teachings been so scientifically and poi gnantly questioned. To think that the Earth wasn’t the center around which all things revolved was a shocking and humbling fact that those so fervently set in their beliefs couldn’t accept. Galileo was immediately attacked and interogated because of his powerful knowledge. He was declared a heretic, and excommunicated from the Church. Galileo was a very religious man; this social and spiritual ostracizing broke him completely. Even still, he knew that although his knowledge was a heavy and painful burden, it was true, and would later benefit generations of scientists to come. Today, attribute Galileo’s discoveries as some of the most important scientific findings of the common era.

Galileo’s story is a historical example of powerful knowledge being a burden, but ultimately having extremely positive benefits. If it weren’t for great minds constantly expanding our knowledge of the world, we would be a stagnant peoples, never moving forward and creating new and marvelous things. Knowledge truly is a tool that can change the world and although it may sometimes be inconvenient, it is the most powerful thing we have.

知识就是力量。它解放我们,启迪我们,使我们成长,改善我们的条件状况。如今,我们对世界的了解得到了极大的提高,可以视为“超出了我们的控制范围”,甚至成了一种负担。然而,历史表明,尽管伟大的知识有时会成为一种沉重的负担,但它总会带来更多的福祉。 历史上,知识给人带来负担,但最终被证明对人有益的事例并不鲜见。以17世纪的天文学家和科学家伽利略为例,他或许是历史上对科学贡献最大的人之一。他对于地球和太阳系的辛勤研究带来了突破性的发现,而这种发现在当时极具争议性。当时教会认为,地球是太阳系的中心,其他行星和太阳都围绕地球运动。伽利略是质疑这一说法的第一位科学家,第一

8. Is it better for a society when people act as individuals rather than copying the ideas and opinions of others?

9. Are widely held views often wrong, or are such views more likely to be correct?