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GRE Issue Task...anybody able to critique my response?


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Claim: Many problems of modern society cannot be solved by laws and the legal system.

Reason: Laws cannot change what is in people's hearts or minds.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.



     Laws are enforced for the purpose of creating order in society. In order to avoid chaotic outbreaks of anarchy, laws are necessary for keeping members on the same page. Simple laws, such as prohibiting stealing, murder, and kidnapping, are relatively straight forward to understand. On the other hand, there are many laws which contradict ideological, religious, and cultural beliefs, such as the separation of church and state, the recent allowance of gay marriage, etc.


     The problems of modern society revolve heavily around ideological and religious differences. I agree with the reasoning behind the claim to the extent that laws cannot influences a person’s religious or spiritual beliefs. On the other hand, laws can definitely prevent certain actions from occurring based on the consequences involved. For example, hate crimes from religious extremists against the LGBT community may skyrocket if current hate crime laws are dissolved. In order to get to the root of the aforementioned problem, the government would have to prohibit certain religious beliefs; however, this would require abolishing a religious freedom within the country. This example elucidates the fact that the legal system has laws that are intertwines and connected, just like a most intricately designed spider web. Removing one law, or even modifying or adding one law, would create a cascade affect throughout the entire system.


     Modern laws tend to put a temporary bandage on grievous wounds within society due to the fact that these laws cannot change cultural or ideological beliefs. Solving a problem entails removing the source of the problem such that the problem never occurs again in the future. Removing the source of many problems within the country would entail removing entire belief systems, entire religions, etc. Laws are not meant to “cure” societal issues, they merely exist and preventative measures so that these societal issues do not manifest into harmful actions

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Your writing may come off as pretentious to your reviewers. For instance: "Simple laws ... are relatively straightforward to understand" and "just like a most intricately designed spider web".

You wrote, "I agree with the reasoning behind the claim to the extent that laws cannot influences a person’s religious or spiritual beliefs.", but with no justification other than stating that you agree with it. Much of your argument relies on this being true, so it is important to back it up. Also, avoid using absolutes like "cannot", unless you can absolutely back it up.

Edited by George Zhang
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