autumnsoliloquy90: (straight through the heart)
[personal profile] autumnsoliloquy90
TOEFL Vol 1 Official Practice Test #5

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

A person should never make an important decisions alone.

A person who is capable of self-autonomy, rational thought and critical consideration is the best person to determine what's best for his or her own interests. Therefore, I believe that such an individual has the right to make an important decision by himself, especially when it pertains to their own lives. Indeed, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as incapacitated persons, underaged minors and certain complex situations. Nevertheless, the claim that a person should never make an important decision alone, without consulting others first, is absurd for it is not only insulting to the person's capabilities, it is also a hindrance to that individual's personal development.

It is perfectly acceptable for an adult whose faculties are intact to come to a decision on their own. Some might argue that it is better that people seek the advice of others, especially of their loved ones, before making an informed decision on important issues. For example, a patient who was just informed of his diagnosis of terminal stage cancer might be advised to seek the opinions of different medical practitioners regarding his therapy options, as well as to hear the thoughts of his family on how to deal with the difficult situation. However, there are also patients who independently make their decision about their lives without listening to other people's recommendations. They may choose to trust the first doctor they meet and proceed with the proposed therapy plan immediately, or they may opt for minimal intervention at their homes without informing their families even of their diagnosis. Whatever the decision is, it is only the individual who could decide for themselves the best way to go about dealing with a problem. Therefore, it does not make sense to me that a person should never be allowed to make important decisions based on their own considerations alone.

That said, I concede that there are some special instances when it is advisable that people do not make an important decision by themselves, especially when the decision will affect others instead of only their lives. The first exception applies to incapacitated persons, such as those with decreased mental faculties that rob them of rational decision-making, as well as those with psychiatric illnesses that distort the perception of reality and might endanger the individual as well as the public. These individuals are incapable of self-autonomy and thus cannot make the best decisions for their own interests. Another group of people who should not be allowed to make decisions alone, are underaged children who lack the maturity, foresight and experience to choose the right decisions for their lives. Their impressionable young minds make them susceptible to external manipulation which might not be for the benefit of their interests. That is not to say that young children must be excluded from the decision-making process pertaining to their own lives. On the contrary, I believe that children must partake in making decisions alongside their parents and experts in the field. Moreover, a complex problem that does not have a clear cut solution, and would affect many people and the society at large, cannot be made by a single individual alone. This is exactly how dictatorships work and that form of governance has time and again proven to be detrimental to society. Nevertheless, these are specific exceptions rather than the rule of thumb.

Lastly, to deny a person the opportunity to make important decisions by them is to deny them a right to self-autonomy, as well as the chance to develop their critical thinking skills and sense of responsibility for their actions. Someone who has never decided on any issue by themselves, without first consulting others for approval, is one who will never grow a backbone to make independent choices about their own lives. They will be insecure about their abilities to make decisions because they never had the practice and experience of trial and error, and they will always be passive about their lives instead of taking control of the direction they want their lives to take. Such persons are often fall prey to manipulation by others, or would rather let others dictate their lives because they fear the consequences of their own decisions.

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December 2016

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