IBPS English Comprehension Test 2
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it.
To some extent, it is the nature of the intellect to narrow our vision and give it focus. Tragedy comes in when we forget this limitation and think the intellect can comprehend things as a whole. The intellect views the world through a slit. When a cat walks by, it observes the eye,
then fur, and then the tail, and then it infers that the eye is the cause of the tail, unless of course,
the cat was walking backward. If this sounds absurd, some of the theories about biochemistry and behaviour use very similar reasoning. Nachiketa would object, "Man, why don't you open the door? That's just your black cat Frodo, pacing back and forth" But instead we usually get caught
up in clarifying slit-information, even though without a larger view our conclusions may be entirely wrong. To make matters worse, we specialize. I am not against specialization peruse but what often happens is that we do not even look through whole slit, we subdivide.
My field is the upper part of the tail; yours is the lower. I might even forget about the eye and the fur. My main concern will be my debate with a colleague in Tokyo over whether hair on the tail grows up or down. If
anybody asks how the eye fits in, I refer him to another researcher. After all, what have eyes got to do with geotropic hair growth ?
Debates like this cannot be resolved on the slit level. What is required is to open the door; then argument becomes unnecessary. Once the door is opened, even a little, we will not quarrel over whose slit is correct or whether we should confine ourselves to the top of it or the bottom. As long as we see only part of the picture, logic and argumentation can never settle an issue. When the
intellect becomes calm and clear, theory gives way to demonstration. It is not beyond our reach to see life whole. We have simply become so attached to this precious slit that we think there is no higher mode of knowing. After a while, we become so used to slits that we put on a special mask with just a hairline crack in front of the eyes. Try walking around wearing a mask like this and see what happens. Every little thing will fill your field of vision. The intellect that sees only
a small corner of life makes a very poor guide. We follow it like the blind led by the blind.
I see this illustrated every day in the newspapers. To take just one urgent example, I have read that perhaps half a million scientists and engineers around the world are engaged in weapons research. I have no doubt that the vast majority of these people have no desire for war. They feel they are only doing a job, playing a small role in an inevitable activity. Nevertheless, this is not a
defence industry, this is a half a million highly skilled men and women preparing for war. Producing
and selling instruments of war is one of the biggest business in the world today. Even before the First World War, George Bernard Shaw caught the spirit of the industry in the character of under shaft in Major Barbara. Under shaft is no sinister "merchant of death". He is just a
businessman, whose credo is to give arms to all who offer an honest price for them, without respect of persons or principles, to capitalist and socialist, to protestant and catholic, to burglar and policeman, to black man, white man and yellow man, to all sorts and conditions, all
nationalities and faiths, all follies, all causes and all crimes.
The defence-minded intellect might object, That's unfortunate, but defence is necessary. Everybody has to have weapons, and somebody is going to sell them. Here is a business that is thriving. These sales, the merchant argue, "help supply allies who cannot produce needed equipment. Needed for what? Any school boy knows that weapons are needed by people in order to kill each other. From the evidence, we would have to conclude that death is a much more desirable goal than health, education, or welfare. Or, look at cancer. Many researchers today maintain that perhaps seventy to ninety per cent of all human cancers are caused by environmental agents involved in manufacturing and processing new products. Most of these substances are relatively recent additions to our environment. We made them, and we can cease to make them if we choose.Yet one way or another such substances appeal to us so much that life without them seems untenable. As a result, instead of trying to eliminate the causes of cancer, we pour millions of dollars into what one writer calls "The Vietnam of modern medicine" The
Search for a Cancer Cure. This kind of myopia is not a necessary fault of the intellect. Given a larger picture, the intellect
can rise to the occasion. Then even if the Nobel Prize is dangled before its eyes, it will refuse to work at any project that is at the expense of life, but will give all its attention to matters of real urgency.