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Counterargument and Peaceful Species

IGCSE English as a First Language – The Winchester School, Dubai Ishita Sharma – 11G Argumentative writing: “Humans are a peaceful species at heart” How far do you agree? Are humans a peaceful species at heart? It’s a difficult task to pick a clear side but many people have many opinions. There are various people who will say yes, humans are a peaceful species at heart but there are equally many people who would say no. After all, it is a broad topic concerning an unpredictable species.

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One strong argument in support of this statement would be that if we weren’t a peaceful species how would we co-exist in such a large population in places like mega cities. Furthermore, criminals exist in a minority, how can that tip the scales and make us think that we are a violent species. Also, if we were so violent, why would we organize charities for people we don’t even know? Why would donations exist? If we were not cooperative how would generations of scientists from all over the world discover things such as the atom, medicines etc.

The counter-argument to that would be that we could just be cooperating for selfish reasons or from fear of justice. There are many who are against this statement and have just as many points to justify their opinion. The most important point is that if we were so peaceful, why are there such things as wars? A minority of criminals, which is slowly rising, have the ability to kill innocent people, are they not humans too? Why is it that weapons such as guns which were invented to protect the innocent, are now being used to kill them? Terrorism and racism, in other words hatred, have consumed many defenceless beings.

It is in human nature in fact, to be aggressive. In our history, there have been massive blood baths for selfish reasons such as a quest for power and even natural resources. We are the reason that the Earth may suffer another Ice Age as we are destroying it on a daily basis. Could it not be that it is a fear of being reprimanded that makes us behave like civil people? After all, just 3000 years or so ago, we were barbarians who fought over land and food, and it seems we continue to do so. In conclusion, after weighing up the arguments, I feel that I am against this statement. Humans are not peaceful as it is not even in our nature to be so.

We are the cause of many epidemics and in the end we are the ones who destroy each other and everything around us whether it is for selfish purposes or justice. After all, there is no justification for violence, destruction and of course, selfishness. Comment: Introductory paragraph. Explains the fact that this is a complex topics towards which people have differing opinions. Comment: Reason 1. Argument for Comment: Good example of connective adverb to develop reason 1. Comment: Reason 2 Comment: Bridge sentence, indicating that she is now moving on to the reasons against the topic Comment: Argument sections. Reasons for.

Comment: Use of rhetorical questions to bring the reader over to her viewpoint. Comment: Counter argument section. Reasons against. Comment: Conclusion section of the essay. She states her opinion and reiterated the main reason why she doesn’t believe humans are a peaceful species at heart. Overall, this essay scores an A grade. Ishita has followed the structure we discussed in class: clear introduction, followed by argument, counterargument and a conclusion. She has points for and against the topic indicating that she has considered both sides of the argument and is aware of what the proponents and opponents of the statement believe.

She has used a few rhetorical questions for emphasis – always a good strategy. Her conclusion was sound: she states her opinion after presenting us with her main reason why she believes humans aren’t a peaceful species at heart. Her sentences are grammatically correct and she makes her points succinctly with a confident economy of words. She could score a higher grade if she focused a little more on elaborating her points for/against. Using a more varied vocabulary would add an extra dimension to her writing and drive home her points all the more effectively. – Mr. Roberts