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TPJC JC2 PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION 2014

Paper 2 Answer Scheme


1In the first paragraph, why does the author say that rights should not be treated as an article of
faith? Use your own words as far as possible. [1]
Points from the Passage

In Your Own Words

But rights are not a cure for human


conflict, (line 5)
and I think it is a mistake to treat
them as an article of faith.(line 6)

Rights are not a solution for the tensions /


aggression / disagreements / differences between
man
and thus should not be elevated to a position where
we give it unquestioning allegiance.
2 pts 1 mark, 1pt- 0

What is the author implying by the phrase comforting but dogmatic in line 8?[2]
Points from the Passage
.human rights are turning
into a comforting but
dogmatic belief that we
invoke relentlessly so we
can try to escape the painful
dilemmas of war and
politics. (lines 7 9)

Inferred
The author is implyingthat having recourse to rights is
comforting because it gives us a sense of solace and
security.
However, this thinkingis flawed/problematic/not always
applicable
because it has become so rigid and inflexible (dogmatic)
that we do not acknowledge alternatives.
3 pts 2 marks, 2 pts 1 mark, 1 pt - 0

In paragraph 3, what reasons does the author offer for what he deems to be the main
weakness of human rights? Use your own words as far as possible. [3]
Points from the Passage

In Your Own Words

For many people, such


universality of rights is their
principal attraction, but for me it
is also their chief weakness.
(line 13)

(Inferred)
According to the author, the primary limitation of human
rights is that it applies to all regardless of culture or
context (1)
--------------------------------------------------------------This is because while it was originally believed that
rights were sacred / crucial for everyone because they
were God-given and their legitimacy was based on our
devotion to God / power of the spiritual realm (1)

Human freedom was divinely


ordained As such, the validity
of human rights depends on
religious commitment founded
on something beyond the human
world (lines 16 17)
However, many people today
are indifferent or hostile to
institutionalised religion and thus
lack the conviction to subscribe
to, least of all uphold these

manypeople today are not interested /unconcerned /


unconvinced by / antagonistic / opposed to religion. (1)
This phenomenon in effect demolishes / destroys the
entire basis on which the notion that rights is for everyone
is built.
OR The whole idea that rights is to be invoked for
1

supposedly universal freedoms.


This in turn renders null and
void any universal authority
proponents claim for the
institution of rights. (lines 19
22)
4

everyone is thus rendered invalid or ineffective. (1)


3

pts 2 marks. 2 pts 1 mark, 1 pt 0

How does the author illustrate his claim that rights are constructs of civilisation, not a
natural human condition? (line 29) Use your own words as far as possible. [2]
Points from the Passage

Inferred

In many parts of the world today, human rights simply do


not exist because the state is weak or collapsed,
rendered so by authoritarian rule or ineffective
governance.
In the case of the former, many think that that once
tyranny is demolished, human rights will emerge naturally
from the rubble.
Along these lines, it may be consoling to believe that the
horrendous cruelty in Syria could be stopped by deposing
the dictator and ending the war.
But rights are constructs of civilisation, not a natural
human condition.
In fact, if the President of Syria were toppled at this point,
the most likely result would be a country stuck in
chronic war.
In other cases where the government has lost control
or credibility, no rule of law prevails in daily life. In
these circumstances, even the Prime Minister is not safe
from kidnap by armed gangs, as the case has been in
Libya.
If a new state could be installed in any of these
conditions, would it be one that respected human
rights? (lines 25 35)
5

Explanation of phrase (1 mark):


The author shows that rights
are envisioned / created /
formulated by society / culture
/ governments / man-made
rather than instinctive or
inherent to man (1)
Explanation of Example (1
mark):
by using illustrating how in
countries such as Syria or
Lybia,
rights do not exist if the state
is powerless / dysfunctional /
non-existent
and even
when authoritarian rule
collapses / ceases, rights are
not automatically reinstated /
restored (1)

Suggest one reason for the authors questions at the end of paragraph 4.[1]

Points from the


Passage
But what if large
sections of the
population, or
those that are the
most ruthless in
imposing their
values, do not
accept them?

Inferred
He disagrees with the commonly accepted belief that rights are a given
(1)
OR
To overturn / invalidate / nullify the now-commonly accepted belief that
rights are a given (1)
OR

What if many
people do not
want human
rights? (lines 36
38)
6

To make provoke us into considering / make us considerthat the


unlikely alternative to universal human rights is possible (1)
OR
To emphasise the possibility that there may be many who may
disagree with the value of rights, thus rendering them void (1)

In paragraph 5, what similarities between evangelical religion and human rights


movements is the author presenting? Use your own words as far as possible. [2]
Points from the Passage

In Your Own Words

Those who believe in the value of rights


Both
uphold the conviction that only one way of
- Firmly believe that there is only one
life can be good. It is not surprising then
right / correct path in life
that human rights movements should exhibit
some of the attributes of evangelical religion,
- and will do their best to persuade others
the chief aim of the latter being to convince
of this
non-believers that salvation can only be
- believe that life has no dilemmas / is
attained by a personal belief in God.
simple/ problems can be solved
In essence, both evangelical religion and
human rights movements express the
perennial dream of a life without
3 pts 2 marks, 2 pts 1 mark, 1 pt - 0
irreconcilable conflicts.(lines 41 45)
7

a. What does the writer mean when he says that a world in which all rights are protected
is simply impracticable?[1]
Points from the Passage

As such, a world in which all rights are


protected is simply impracticable. (line
49)

In Your Own Words


It is too idealistic / not feasible for everyones
rights to be upheld / respected / implemented /
given in the real world / reality.(1)

b. How is this view supported?[2]


Points from the Passage

In Your Own Words

A case in point would be the longstanding


debate on capital punishment. Pro-life
activists have always questioned the power
of the state to claim any individuals right to
live, regardless of the severity of his actions.
On the other hand, those holding a
retributive view of justice firmly believe that
the court must impose punishments befitting
crimes so that the public abhorrenceis duly
reflected and would-be criminals deterred.

He supports this through examples of how the


rights of different groups will invariably
conflict and thus cannot be protected /
given at the same time. (1)

Similarly, freedom of expression is a good


thing, but so is protection from hate
speech.In multi-cultural societies where
racial or religious differences abound, any
insensitive remark or action can potentially

------------------------------------------------------------If above is nil, no mark for this section.


2nd mark (1) to be awarded for either example:
In the case of capital punishment, there is a
conflict between the criminals right to life
versus the need to enact justice or deter future
criminals.
OR

cause deep and irreparable rifts.We all want


to be free to voice our views without fear, but
we also want to be free from being insulted
or stigmatised. (lines 49 59)

Similarly, while people in multi-racial / diverse


societies clamour for the right to speak /
express themselves freely, they also want to
ensure / be assured that they are not
slandered / maligned by others.

In paragraph 7, what is the writers intention in describing the Ottoman Empire as a


peaceful haven?[2]
Points from the Passage

In Your Own Words

Instead of relying on human rights as the


ultimate panacea for various forms of conflict or
oppression, let us consider the possibility that
they are not the only way to protect universal
values.

The writer wants to show that upholding /


insisting on human rights may not be
thekey / sole cure / solutionfor ensuring
that the core beliefs of humanity are
upheld.

For several centuries,the Ottoman empire was


a haven where religious minorities persecuted in
Christian countries could live together in peace.
Instead of a system in which everyone was
accorded similar treatment, there wereseparate
systems of law for each community so that
their unique beliefs and values were
accorded due recognition.

OR There may be another / other


alternative(s) for upholding the core
beliefs of humanity. (1)

The Ottoman empire was an example of


how open-mindedness / mutual
respect(1) could be more successful in
bridging / resolving conflict than imposing
a common set of rights for all.

This illustrates how the practice of tolerance


proves to be a far more powerful approach in
reconciling differences and sustaining order
compared to any rigid enforcement of equal
rights for all. (lines 62 71)
9 Which aspect of the authors argument is reinforced by the last sentence of the
passage?[1]
Points from the Passage

Inferred

But rather than thinking of rights as a


militant creed that can deliver the world
from its conflicts, we should recognise rights
for what they are - useful devices that quite
often do not work.(lines 75 77)

The authors use of the phrase militant creed


shows that
theapplication of human rightsis aggressive
and uncompromising/ inflexible / rigid /
unyielding / dogmatic / an article of faith
(1)

10 Using material from paragraphs 3-6, summarise the authors reasons for not supporting
the universality of human rights.This is because while it was originally believed that
rights were sacred / crucial for everyone because they were God-given, and we as Gods
creation are bound to follow Gods rules,
Write your summary in no more than 120 words, not counting the opening words which
are printed below. Use your own words as far as possible.
4

The author believes that human rights are not universal because
Points from the Passage

[8]

In Your Own Words

1/a

Such universality of rights is their chief


weakness (line 13 14)

its primary / main limitation is that it is


supposed / claimed to be applicable to
everyone /all

2/b

(Originally, it was believed that) the validity of human


rights depends on religious commitment and
founded on something beyond the human world.
(lines 17 19)

While it was originally believed that rights were


sacred / crucial for everyone because they
wereGod-given, and their legitimacy was
based on our commitment to God / the
power of the spiritual realm

3/c

However, many people today are indifferent or


hostile to institutionalised religion (line 19)

many people today are not interested /


unconcerned / unconvinced by / antagonistic /
opposed to religion

4/d

and thus lack the conviction to subscribe to, least


of all uphold these supposedly universal
freedoms. (line 20)

and so do not believe in / will not stand up


for what others may define to be rights for all

5/e

This is in turn renders null and void any universal


authority proponents claim for the institution of
rights. (lines 21-22)

This phenomenon in effect demolishes /


destroys the entire basis on which the notion
of rightsbuilt.

6/f

Furthermore human rights are fundamentally


created and enforced by states. ( 24 25)

Rights originate from and are upheld by


governments.

7/g

In many parts of the world today, human rights


simply do not exist because the state is weak or
collapsed, rendered so by authoritarian rule or
ineffective governance. (lines 25 27)

But there are places where rights are not


present / valid because the government is
fragile or dysfunctional / has broken down
due to dictatorships or bad policies.

8/h

If a new state could be installed in any of these


conditions, would it be one that respected human
rights? (lines 34 35)

So even if a new government was put in place,


it would notuphold any rights / make a
difference.

9/i

But rights are constructs of civilisation, not a


natural human condition. (line 30)

Rights are envisioned / created /formulated


by society / man-made rather than
instinctive or inherent to us.

10/j

Rightsonly exist if enough people accept that


they exist (lines 35 - 36)

and will only stand / be validated if there are


a significant number who support /
acknowledge them

11 / k

What if many people do not want human rights? (line


38)

but this maynot be the case.

12 / l

This in turn upholds the conviction that only one

There may not be a single formula / model


5

way of life can be good.(line 41)

for the way we should live.

13/m

In essence, both evangelical religion and human


rights movements express the perennial dream of a
life without irreconcilable conflicts. (lines 44 45)

While both religion and human rights


supporters stand by / voice /pursue a vision of
life to be one that does not have any
tensions,

14/n

Unfortunately, human life as we know it is


imperfect. (line 46)

In reality, life / humanityis flawed.

15 /o

This is not only because every society is bound to


have inherent problems. (lines 46 )

This is because every society / community /


place will have existing difficulties.

16 / p

It is also because we lack any coherent idea of


what an ideal society would actually be like. (lines
47 48)

Furthermore we have no concrete / clear


sense of what a perfect world should be like.

17/ q

As such, a world in which all rights are protected is


simply impracticable. (line 49)

Therefore, to take care of / uphold everyones


rights is not feasible / cannot be done.

18 / r

We all want to be free to voice our views without


fear, but we also want to be free from being insulted
or stigmatised. (lines 50 59)

Just as everyone wants the liberty to speak up


boldly, we also want to be protected from the
slanderous remarks or labelling of others.
OR
We often have double standards when
exercising rights, demanding for rights that
inherently contradict or cancel out each other.

19 / s

The two freedoms will always be at odds, (line 59)


OR
Both are universal human values, but they will never
be reconciled in any kind of harmonious whole.
(lines 60 61)

These two liberties will always conflict /


contradict each other / be opposing
OR
Though both are common beliefs held by man,
they cannot be resolved / co-exist in any
peaceful way.

20 / t

forthey protect different and competing human


interests. (line 60)

because they guard varied and conflicting /


contradictory needs of man

Mark Scheme
15 20 points:
13 - 14 points:
10 12 points:
7 - 9 points:
5 6 points:
4 points:
3points:
1 - 2points:

8 marks
7 marks
6 marks
5 marks
4 marks
3 marks
2 marks
1 mark

11 In his article, John Gray claims that the freedom from conflict that people seek in rights is
just an illusion. How far do you agree with his view? In giving your views, explain where
and why you agree or disagree with the author.
6

Question Requirements:
Students must
show an understanding of the authors position on the value of human rights.
evaluate the validity of his arguments by bringing in relevant examples to support their
view.
Key Ideas in the passage:
The belief that human rights is universal cannot stand because it originates from and rests
on religious conviction and many today no longer believe in the existence of God.

The state and quality of governance have big roles to play in the implementation of human
rights. Only if the state is committed to the welfare of its citizens and has good policies that
ensure social stability can any measure of human rights be upheld.

Upholding human rights is not instinctive to man. It can only thrive within when
many/enough people agree on its value and will stand up for it.

Believing that enforcing human rights is the only way


is an oversimplification of life as
one without conflicts, similar to those who might aggressively advocate that only one form of
religion is valid.

The inherent flaws in our society and the lack of clarity on what an ideal society might
constitute make it difficult to pro

It is simply not practical to protect everyones rights equally because the rights / demands of
different people / interest groups will invariably conflict.

Human rights are not the necessarily the best solution for conflict or violence. Other
approaches such as the practice of tolerance or implementing structures which facilitate
peaceful co-existence of different groups may be more effective than rigidly advocating
equal rights for everyone.

We are most likely deluding ourselves if we believe that human rights can remove
aggression and disagreements. Their main value lies in the fact that they are a part of mans
heritage / human tradition.

From
Passage

the

Paragraph
[Lines 13 22]
such
universality
rights
is

of
their

Elaboration and Evaluation


The validity of rights depends on religious conviction but many today
no longer subscribe to any religious belief, rendering any notion of
universality (that all are entitled to such rights) void.
Evaluation

principal attraction,
but for me it is also
their
chief
weakness,
believed
that
rights
were
grounded in our
duties to the one
God who created a
set of moral laws
for
all
human
beings
the
validity of human
rights depends on
religious
commitment and
the
acknowledgement
that they are not
merely
mans
invention
but
founded
on
something beyond
the human world.
many
people
today
are
indifferent
or
hostile
to
institutionalised
religionrenders
null and void any
universal authority
proponents claim
for the institution of
rights.

Many vocal proponents do consider human rights issues from a


religious perspective and the extent to which these violate religious
precepts or teachings.
The debates on euthanasia, abortion or even organ donation draw on core
religious principles such as the sanctity of life, particularly mans duty in
preserving and living out a dignified life as bestowed by God. The deliberate
taking of life (whether it be that of an unborn foetus who has no capacity to
defend itself or that of a terminally ill patient who desires to end his
suffering) is seen as an abominable sin akin to man playing God and
altering the balance of life.
On the other hand,religious fundamentalism has been used as an excuse
for unprecedented acts of violence and even terrorism. There has been a
rise in religiosity globally since the 1970s and with it, a rise in what many
analysts call religious terrorism. These groups use a religious idiom and
shape their 'mandate' in divine terms. Their goals however, are political:
recognition, power, territory or concessions from states. Some examples:
- Al Qaeda
- AumShinrikyo
- Ku Klux Klan
- Egyptian Islamic Jihad
- Hamas
- Hezbollah
The CIA's World Factbook gives the world population as 7,021,836,029 (July 2012 est.) and the
distribution of religions as Christian 33.39% (of which Roman Catholic 16.85%, Protestant 6.15%,
Orthodox 3.96%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 22.74%, Hindu 13.8%, Buddhist 6.77%, Sikh 0.35%, Jewish
0.22%, Baha'i 0.11%, other religions 10.95%, non-religious 9.66%, atheists 2.01% (2010 est.).

Read:
Religious Hostilities Reach six-year high (Pew Research Jan
2014)http://www.pewforum.org/2014/01/14/religious-hostilities-reach-sixyear-high/

Paragraph
[Lines 24 35]

they
are
fundamentally
created
and
enforced by states.
In many parts of
the world today,
human
rights
simply do not exist
because the state
is
weak
or
collapsed,
rendered so by
authoritarian rule
or
ineffective
governanceIf a
new state could be
installed in any of
these conditions,
would it be one
that
respected
human rights?
Paragraph
[Lines 35 38]

Paragraph
[Lines 41 45]

An effective state or government is crucial to the enforcement of


human rights. However, many parts of the world today lack such
institutions, rendering any attempt to uphold human rights invalid.
Evaluation
In recent years, the world has seen escalating tensions in parts of the world
where the government has failed to recognise the needs and rights of its
populace.
For example, the Arab Spring, a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and
protests riots, and civil wars in the Arab world that began on 18 December
2010 and spread throughout the countries of the Arab League show how the
unhappiness of the masses ruled by incompetent or corrupt governments
can erupt in unprecedented violence. By December 2013, rulers had been
forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libyaand Yemen. Civil uprisings had
erupted in Bahrainand Syria. Major protests had broken out in Algeria, Iraq,
Jordan,Kuwait, Morocco, Israel and Sudan.
However, when these widespread protests resulted in violence and social
chaos, the international community stepped in to intervene so that the basic
rights of innocent civilians could be protected.

For instance, when the uprising in Libya degenerated into violence as leader
Moammar Gadhafi's forces marched on the opposition-stronghold of
Rights only exist Benghazi, the UN Security Council authorized the use of force to protect
if enough people civilians. Just 30 days after the Libyan government's crackdown began, an
accept that they international military coalition initiated airstrikes to stop Gadhafi's advance.
exist What if
many people do The Security Council is also increasingly using the International Criminal
not want human Court to investigate war crimes, as in the case of Libya. Overall there is a
better understanding of the value assigned to protecting civilians and the
rights?
prevention of war crimes has become a central aim of the international
community.

This
in
turn
upholds
the
conviction that only
one way of life can
be
goodIn
essence,
both
evangelical religion
and human rights
movements

Life itself and by extension the organisation of societies is a complex


and dynamic process. It is impossible to prescribe a single approach
that will cater to the needs and interests of everyone in equal measure.
Conflict of rights is inevitable.
Evaluation
It may indeed be difficult to accord equal rights to all especially in
circumstances where ethnic / religious beliefs or political ambitions of
certain groups are at odds.
Examples include the furore over Danish cartoons representation of
Prophet Mohamed, the Israel-Palestinian conflict and

express
the
perennial dream of
a
life
without
irreconcilable
conflicts.
Paragraph
[Lines 46 48]

Unfortunately,
human life as we
know
it
is
imperfectevery
society is bound to
have
inherent
problems. It is also
because we lack
any coherent idea
of what an ideal
society
would
actually be like.
Paragraph 6
[Lines 49 61]
As such, a world
in which all rights
are protected is
simply
impracticable
The two freedoms
will always be at
odds, for they
protect different
and competing
human interests.
Both are universal
human values, but
they will never be
reconciled in any
kind of harmonious
whole.

However,social stability and harmony have to be built upona set of


fundamental human values that are formalised and acknowledged by those
in power. Only then will this common understanding provide the basis for the
international community to interact, dialogue and construct sound policies
both within their countries and on a regional or global level.

Today, this is embodied the UN Declaration of Human Rights 30 articles


outlining the rights that should be accorded to all.
The Universal Declaration begins by recognising that the inherent dignity of
all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and
peace in the world.It declares that human rights are universal to be
enjoyed by all people, no matter who they are or where they live.There are
inclusions on civil and political rights, like the right to life, liberty, free speech
and privacy. It also includes economic, social and cultural rights, like the
right to social security, health and education.
This framework provides a basis for countries and international
organisations to work towards the common good and progress of humanity.
While not legally binding, it is an expression of the fundamental values
which are shared by all members of the international community. More
importantly, it has had a profound influence on the development of
international human rights law. Some argue that because countries have
consistently invoked the Declaration for more than sixty years, it has
become binding as a part of customary international law.
The Universal Declaration has given rise to a range of other international
agreements which are legally binding on the countries that ratify them.
These include:
-

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights


The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Other binding agreements which expand on the rights contained in the


Universal Declaration include:
-

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1965


the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1979
the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment 1984
the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989
the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006

All these provide the legal framework within with marginalised or minority
groups can be accorded due recognition and dignity, reducing the possibility
10

of discrimination, oppression and violence.

Paragraph
[Lines 62 71]

Instead of relying
on human rights
as the ultimate
panacea
for
various forms of
conflict
or
oppression they
are not the only
way to protect
universal values
the practice of
tolerance proves to
a
far
more
powerful approach
in
reconciling
differences
and
sustaining
order
compared to any
rigid enforcement
of equal rights for
all.

Other approaches advocating tolerance and peaceful co-existence are


far more effective means of resolving conflict as compared to an
insistence on enforcing equal rights for all.
Evaluation
While looking to the institution of human rights alone to solve problems may
be an ideal approach, it is still necessary to ensure that everyone has
access to a basic set of rights so that their livelihood and wellbeing can
be taken care of. No society can profess to be an affluent and progressive
one if it does not enact baseline standards that cater to the survival of its
citizens.
Many societies adopt a combination of methods by firstly ensuring that
government policies take into account the basic rights of all. This could be
done through the creation of equal opportunities for education, healthcare,
housing and employment. Only when these rights are accorded equally to
all citizens will there be a level playing field for all to progress and for some
measure of social contentment and stability to exist. Where the
governments resources are limited, welfare or advocacy groups may step in
to represent and take care of the needs of marginalised or disadvantaged
groups(Eg: Singapore)
Over and above these basic rights, it has to be acknowledged that there are
many potentially controversial issues within any diverse society that could
be difficult to reconcile and where the rights of one group may inadvertently
challenge those of another. This is especially so in todays dynamic and
open climate where there are many external forces beyond any
governments control. Some examples:
- freedom of speech on social media
- income disparity in affluent societies
- attitudes towards migrant populations

The practice of self-censorship, observation of OB markers and the


values of tolerance, understanding and compromise are also
indicators of a civil society where individuals or groups may vocalise
their beliefs or position with the intention of better understanding anothers
perspective and seeking the best way forward rather than perpetuating
tension or conflict.
11

AQ Banding
Band 1
8-10

Requirements: Systematic reference to the requirements of the question with


evidence of a balanced treatment. Discussion must be explicitly based on
students society with fully relevant parallels made.
Explanation: Shows a good or very good understanding of the authors views
on the concept of human rights and their purpose / value in todays world.
Evaluation: Makes very convincing evaluation of the validity of human rights
today. Shows ability to make judgements and develop arguments to form
logical conclusions. Includes elaboration and support through personal insight
and apt illustration from a variety of significant examples.
Coherence: Shows impeccable coherence and organization very good
paragraphing, good use of appropriate connectors, very clear development of
ideas and logical flow of argument.

Band 2
4-7

Requirements: Covers requirements of the question adequately but not


necessarily a balanced treatment. Inadequate or superficial references to
students society.
Explanation: Shows an adequate understanding of the of the authors views
on the concept of human rights and their purpose / value in todays world.
Evaluation: Evaluation is attempted but is not always convincing, and tends
to be superficial with limited development of ideas, and is not thorough in
support.
Coherence: Paragraphing is sometimes helpful and there is a recognizable
overall shape to the answer; arguments are generally cogent.

Band 3
1-3

Requirements:
requirements.

An

incomplete

and/or

unbalanced

treatment

of

the

Explanation: Shows very limited degree of understanding and a higher


incidence of misinterpretation.
Evaluation: Tends to be a mere summary of restatement of the text with a few
simple and undeveloped judgements, with very thin support.
Coherence: Paragraphing
inconsistent and illogical.
0

and

organisation

are

haphazard;

arguments

Nothing in the answer meets any of the criteria.

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