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    May 2015
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  1. Yeah, TOK has gotten pretty insane. I did a lot of work, and was predicted an A for my TOK essay and I ended up getting a B in that as well as the EE, missing the A cut off by just a mark. I really don't know what they look for in TOK essays.
  2. Congratulations! It's great to see hard work pay off eh? If you are going for revaluation, good luck! Those grades are amazing. A question to the experts, does 1 mark make a difference in such cases? For example, 44 instead of 45. 44 is more than enough for anywhere, but C'mon, a 45 is something different altogether.
  3. Hey, so I wanted to see how everyone feels about their results. I got a 40, but I can't stop thinking about how i missed a 7 and A in biology and the EE by just 1 mark. Nevertheless, I'm pretty happy. How did everyone else do?
  4. Just relax, really. Don't get so stressed about making mistakes in the beginning. We all do. Just try your best to make sure you don't repeat them. As IBidiot already said, succeeding in the IB is all about adhering strictly to deadlines, because the one one thing you don't want is everything piling up on you at the same time. And of course, this should go without saying, but you're going to have to work hard. No way to avoid that, haha. Don't stress too much about the past and I'm sure you'll do well.
  5. I believe the two factors are the greenhouse gas' relative abundance, and its greenhouse factor. Options D and E, TZ2, were fantastic. Really got my head off that P1 debacle.
  6. I'm TZ2 and I think P1 was a bit tough. There were some really tricky questions. P2 went quite well. Questions 7 and 10 in Section B were fairly straightforward. Everyone I know did question 7.
  7. Hey, I was going through some recent mark schemes and wondered why they often allocate a whole mark for circling certain points when we have to draw a graph. I'm not sure how this works. What features are you supposed to circle? Maxima? Minima? X/Y intercepts? Thanks in advance!
  8. I must say that this is extremely helpful. Thank you so very much for posting this for us all.
  9. I do not believe they count. My written assignment was exactly 350 words excluding the title.
  10. Hey, I wanted some thoughts on the notion that science or scientific research has decreased the meaning and purpose in our personal lives? I thought about the atomic bomb, but I'm not exactly too sure as to how that would decrease meaning and purpose. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  11. The easiest way to relate them is to say that our purpose is to be as moral as possible. Well, that's my purpose anyway, and possibly everybody else' purpose. We all want to make the world a better place. We all want everyone to be happy. We all want to solve hunger; we all want to help the poor, etc.... Why? because doing these makes a person moral and happy. Also, there's one huge difference between religion & non-religion regarding your question about meaning & purpose. Religious people think that it's God (or some higher being) who gives us meaning & purpose. In other words, religion claims that the universe itself has a purpose, and since we are inside the universe, we must have a purpose as well. This is obviously wrong if you look closely at the scientific evidence; because as far as we know, the universe doesn't have any purpose!!! On the other hand, non-religious people create the meaning & purpose by themselves. In other words, they believe that meaning & purpose are not given to us by anyone/anything, but humans can actually create the purpose ourselves. For example, my goal/purpose in life is to help as many people as I can, because whenever I help people, I feel happy, and they feel happy, too. And that's great. Why don't we just be moral and be happy about it, rather than being moral because of some fairy-tales given by religion? To me, happiness is a much better justification for our purposes in life! Fabulous. Thank you very very much. This last PT is so open ended that I tend to confuse myself more often than not.
  12. I think your question is alright. It obviously deals with morality as a human knowledge, and you also focus on religion (and probably other disciplines) for your AOKs. However, my TOK teacher used to tell me that it’s better to phrase the question as an open-ended one, rather than simply a yes-no question. So if it’s possible, you might want to somehow rephrase the question as a “howâ€, or “what†question. But otherwise, I really like your question. Now, I don’t want to interfere with your personal opinions about this matter. However, I strongly suggest you to analyse the question a bit more carefully (like do a more thorough research on the topic) before you draw the conclusion that it’s impossible to have morals without religion. If you asked me whether we can get morals FROM religion, then I would certainly say yes. But since your question is whether we can get morals WITHOUT religion, then I’m afraid that I strongly disagree with you. For me, not only we can get morals without religion, but religion sometimes can even give us IMMORALITY. I’m going to give you a brief piece of argumentation for both of these claims. My first claim: religion does not have a monopoly on the question of morality. As Noticeable Absent has already pointed out, “it doesn't take a Christian to give a few dollars to a poor childâ€. Now, to push this point a little bit further, we know that the majority of Scandinavian population are atheists, or at least agnostic. So if your claim is true, then you are basically implying that the majority of Scandinavia is made up of immoral people. But if morality doesn’t only come from religion, then where else can it come from? Here, I argue that there are at least 3 other places where we can get morality from: philosophical reasoning, science, and human ‘nature’. If you look closely at a law program in university, you can see that law students don’t need to study religion (i.e. theology) to be able to be a good lawyer, or a good judge. But they have to study philosophy of ethics to graduate. I bet that some ethical theories, such as Kant’s moral philosophy, are part of the law syllabus. And all of these are based on reasoning as the WOK. So you see, there are clearly coherent theories of morality in philosophy of ethics, which are all based on reasoning. Morality can also come from science!!! Because I argue much worse compared to Sam Harris himself, I’ll recommend you to watch his talk in TED: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj9oB4zpHww (if you aren’t familiar with Harris’ talks or academic works, then this may be a little big hard to follow, so make sure you watch it at least 2-3 times). Now, I don’t mean science as in “natural scienceâ€. But here, science means “natural†+ “social†science, which includes e.g. physics, chem, bio, psych, economics, geography, or even politics. For example, we can make a connection between our morality and people’s happiness. And since happiness is related to economic well-being, thus being moral means that we want to push our economic prosperity & equality to a maximum extent that can give happiness to everyone. This partly explains why extremely-developed countries like in Scandinavia often have very high tax rates, because the moral standards in these countries are to raise both economic well-being & equality. So you see, economics does play a role in determining our morality. Anyway, you should watch the video above for more details. Morality is part of human ‘nature’!!! I don’t need to be religious to know that stealing is wrong, or that killing is wrong. I don’t need to follow religion to feel pity when looking somebody dying of hunger, or when looking at people doing violent act to other human beings & animals. All of these claims can actually be backed up by scientific evidence. In 1976, Richard Dawkins wrote The Selfish Gene, arguing how this idea of a selfish gene can actually explain the altruistic behaviour of human beings. You can watch in more detail here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8C-ntwUpzM. In other words, morality is actually the product of human evolutionistic process, rather than the product of some man-made scriptures written by some prophets thousands of years ago! My second claim: Religion can sometimes even give us immorality. I’ll give you examples of the 2 most popular world religions. Christian religious knowledge (taken from the scriptures, as well as traditional religious beliefs) tells us that homosexuals should be sentenced to death, for example. Also many Christians are against stem-cell research which – in Christopher Hitchen’s opinion – is the most immoral act that has been done by religion. Why? Because stem-cell treatment is perhaps among the best medical treatments of all time, and can potentially save thousands or even millions of human lives in the future. In Islam, it is also the same. People are stoned to death for leaving Islam. People can be sentenced to death for practicing their freedom of speech (because just last year, an Iranian citizen was sentenced to death because of his criticism of Islam on his own facebook page; I mean, how ridiculous!!!). Women are treated as less superior compared to men. And Sharia law is perhaps the most evil, immoral, & primitive law that should never exist in our 21st-century modern society. Now, as I have argued that even without religion, we can still get our morality from philosophical reasoning or science, so I want to end my post by claiming that: It is much healthier to base our morality on reasoning & empirical evidence, compared to having faith as the base for our morals. This is because we can’t trust faith (& especially religious faith), simply because it’s not true!!! Science & reasoning are much better as the backbone for morality compared to faith because they can also give us facts about the world! Anyway, my general advice to you is to do a bit more thorough research and analysis before you draw your final conclusion. Good luck with writing your essay!!! And most importantly, have fun with it Thank you very much! You have helped me a lot. However, I was wondering how I could relate morality and religion/no religion to one's meaning and purpose.
  13. I love the question! Absolutely - think of for example doing good deeds: it doesn't take a christian to give a few dollars to a poor child. An atheist would do it swell, it is only a question of the individual developing these morals himself through life. From this we can conclude that morals do not necessarily have to be shaped by religion. Hope this helped ! :-) Thank you very much!
  14. Hey, everyone. For my essay, my second knowledge question is: "Can we have morals to give us meaning and purpose without religion?" I've already come up with substantial thoughts saying that it is not possible, however, I noticed that I am lacking on arguments saying that it is possible to have morals to give us meaning and purpose without religion. I would really appreciate your thoughts and opinions about this. Thanks.
  15. Hey, so I'm pretty much done with my EE, just brushing it up a bit, but I wanted to ask whether it is possible or even advisable to put a glossary in an appendix defining the biological terms I have used in my essay, and there are quite a few. Any advice would be great. Thanks!
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