In an argumentative essay, a student is asked to take a position on a topic and then defend that position. This generally requires the student to investigate the topic, evaluate the evidence, present the evidence that supports the position, and explain why conflicting evidence does not require you to take an alternative position. Failure to address conflicting evidence or arguments against your position weaken an argumentative essay, so it is critical to research positions other than the one you have chosen. Argumentative essays frequently focus on hot-button issues that are easily politicized like abortion, the death penalty, and gun control. However, you can write argumentative essays about lesser-known topics, which can be more impressive in an academic setting.
Yet at the same time, the only way that he is able to deal with the murder is to return his lost skull to the grave. This allows the headless horseman to return to hell and peace is restored to the community. These elements are significant, because they are illustrating how modern science can provide specific insights in addressing the underlying causes for a host of different problems. At the same time, it is also highlighting that it is not the end all solution in dealing with these underlying issues. As, there are certain aspects which cannot be explained that will affect the outcome. Therefore, the film is showing how some kind of balance needs to be applied when using the latest techniques in regards to addressing a wide variety of issues. ("Sleepy Hollow")
Clearly, the similarities between the two different works are that the novel is about a school teacher who is falling in love with Katrina. Once a jealous member of the aristocracy realizes this, they disguise themselves as the headless horseman and Crane disappears. At which point, they are able to peruse and marry Katrina. In this aspect, the book is a reflection of the values of the power as well as influence of the aristocracy in society. While the film, is highlighting how greed is reflection of contemporary thinking and the way modern science is utilized to understand the world around us. This is depicted mainly with Crane being an investigator that is looking into a series of different murders. These elements are important, because they are illustrating how both works are different. Yet, at the same time they are also a reflection of the societies and issues that were created.… [Read More]
Values Portrayed in Popular Music: Argumentative Essay
The content or meaning of the words accompanying today's popular music is such that serves to define, direct, inform and ultimately bring about cohesion within society among various views providing a balanced view of the world inclusive of the polar opposites and everything ranging between the two. Generally, the individual given proper guidance from the authority figures in their lives including parents and teachers, is able to sort through this information and correctly assign values.
The Popularity of Sexual Degrading Content in Today's Music
The work of Primack, Gold, Schwarz, Dalton (2008) reports a study that states findings that individuals who are exposed to "more degrading sexual references in popular music are more likely to initiate intercourse at a younger age." The study reported used Billboard magazine for identifying the top popular songs in 2005. The songs were analyzed by independent coders for "degrading and non-degrading sexual references. Of the 279 identified it is reported that 103 (36.95%) contained references to sexual activity. Songs with references to degrading sex were more common than songs with references to non-degrading sex. Songs with degrading sex were most commonly identified as Rap while songs with non-degrading sex were identified as being most likely Country music or Rhythm and Blues or Hip-Hop. Songs with degrading sex were more likely to be inclusive of "references to substance use, violence, and weapon carrying. Songs with non-degrading sex were no more likely than others to mention these other risk behaviors." (Primack, Gold, Schwarz, Dalton, 2008, p.593) The study states conclusions that references in popular music to sexual activity are commonplace and degrading sexual references were found to be more prevalent that references that were non-degrading. (Primack, Gold, Schwarz, Dalton, 2008, paraphrased)
II. Violence in Popular Music
A study reported in the work of Roberts, Christenson and Gentile (2003) relates the effects of violent music on children, adults, and states specifically that students spend an average of three hours each day listening to music and this demonstrates the importance of music to youth. Addressed in the…… [Read More]
The American administration was well aware of the genocidal massacre of the Tutsi by their Hutu neighbors that accounted for more than a million innocent victims killed, mostly by machetes that would have posed less of a problem to U.S. forces had they been deployed to stop the carnage in Rwanda.
Similar atrocities, albeit less in number, have been ongoing in Sudan and especially in Darfur since before Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched. If humanitarian concern was the justification for the war in Iraq, we would have been equally obligated to intervene in all those situations, not to mention perhaps freeing the North Koreans from the oppressive reign of the maniacal Kim Jong Il. In truth, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolflowitz focused on Iraq immediately after the September 11th Attacks instead of on the real source of support for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and Washington insiders (Clarke 2004) consider the following to be their reasons: (1) to finish what we started but failed to finish in 1991; (2) to improve Israel's strategic position in the region; (3) to demonstrate to unstable countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt that Arab democracy was possible and desirable; (4) to finally be able to remove U.S. forces stationed in Saudi Arabia ever since 1991 against the continuing threat from Iraq because U.S. military presence in the Middle East was anathema to all Muslims throughout the world, inspiring hatred of the U.S.; and (5) Iraqi oil.
The War in Iraq Has Severely Compromised U.S. Efforts in the War on Terror:
Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda were responsible for the September 11th Attack on the U.S.; Saddam Hussein, contrary to the rhetoric of the Bush administration was not involved at all. Nor did he pose any threat to the American homeland by virtue of any WMDs,…… [Read More]
Commercialization of the Medical Profession
One of the problems with the field of medicine is that when it operates as a market-based business, severe imbalances of care and treatment inevitably arise. According to the New York Times, there has been a rapid spike in doctors desiring to specialize and a rapid downturn in the number of doctors willing to become general practitioners. This is a reflection both of economic and personal forces. Specialists make more money and work more predictable hours than physicians in high-need fields such as general practice or pediatrics. From a self-interested, market-based perspective, the decisions of young doctors simply 'make sense.' However, when allowing the market to simply run its course, the result for the individual patient is problematic: the need for general practitioners is far greater than the number of new physicians willing to fulfill them. Also, the 'best and the brightest' tend to be attracted to specialist fields, despite the fact that general practice is the point of entry of most consumers into healthcare.
In fields such as dermatology and radiology, "doctors can enjoy both more control over their time and a relatively hefty paycheck. According to the American Medical Association, a dermatologist averages $221,000 annually for 45.5 hours of work per week. That's more lucrative -- and less time-consuming -- than internal medicine or pediatrics, where doctors earn around $135,000 and spend more than 50 hours a week at work" (Richtel 2004: 342). From a pragmatic stance, particularly for a doctor with a family and hefty student loans, it is difficult to condemn him or her for not choosing the noble pursuits of general practice, where the financial rewards are less and the beeper must always be turned on.
However, Kuehn (2012) suggests the possibility that other influences may affect doctors' choices of specialties. The presence of female…… [Read More]
Legalization of Marijuana
The growing approval and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has strengthened the debate as to whether marijuana should be legalized for general use. Eight states now have laws allowing the medical use of marijuana, and territories within Australia and Canada have pass laws legalizing the use of the drug. European countries, such as Switzerland have also passed laws that legalize the use, but in some cases, outlaw the possession of the drug (Joffe et al., 2004). In fact, there are a wide variety of compelling factors that support the legalization of marijuana. Legalization allows for regulation of the substance for medicinal purposes, ensuring that supplies used by the public are not tainted with harmful chemicals. By permitting the use of marijuana governments also have increased potential to reduce the amount of violent crime that often results when drugs are illegalized and trade is driven to an underground or black market. Finally, legalization allows governments the ability to tax the sale of the drug, as is commonly done with cigarettes and alcohol, allowing governments to commit these funds to education, crime diversion, and community policing.
According to studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics, many professionals regard marijuana as a fairly harmless drug when compared to other drugs like cocaine or heroin. The potential of addiction to marijuana is low, and the medical benefits of use often outweigh the risks. In fact, one study indicated that about 30% of pediatricians approved of the use of marijuana to treat conditions such as anorexia or multiple sclerosis. Researchers note that smoking tainted marijuana can expose people to harmful chemicals, but it is likely that edible forms of drug don't cause the same harmful effects. By legalizing the use, governments can make sure that the supplies used by people are properly grown and prepared similar to the way our food is regulated for health quality. Legalizing marijuana allows people to use it for medical and recreational reasons without worry about having trouble with the law. This also means that people who supply it would have to follow specific rules about how it is prepared and sold.
Our government currently spends a lot of money and resources enforcing laws against the use of marijuana. People who sell or are found in possession have…… [Read More]
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. GMO foods are microorganisms or organisms with genetically altered material that contain a piece of DNA from another organism. Pieces of DNA that are stitched together are the work of modern recombinant DNA technology, and can be done regardless of the pieces' source. The technology has been around for decades. As early as the 1980's researchers have stitched pieces of DNA together to see what can be made. Some uses have been to determine gene function, make copies of proteins or genes, generate models for human illness, and study gene expression patterns.
Recent and prevalent application of this technology has been to create food crops modified in such a way that is beneficial to either the consumer or the producer or both. Today's GMO crops have had bacterial genes added into their genomes encoded for herbicide or pest resistance. This is supposed to allow the producer to use less chemicals on the crops. In practice however, the objective has not been realized as weed and pests become resistant to any chemicals used. The food crops in the United States that are most often found to be genetically modified are corn, canola, and soy.
While there is majority consensus that GM foods are safe, the public has its concerns. Those wishing to accept GMO foods as a main food source explain foods have been 'genetically modified' since humanity transitioned from the 'hunter gatherer' civilizations to agriculture. Those against it share their concern that such a technology is given a 'blanket approval' and can lead to overproduction of GMO foods. In a little over a decade, GMO crops have made their way to the majority of processed foods in the United States and in pantries and supermarkets. From those believing GMO foods can be a useful addition to agriculture to those pushing legislation to require food companies to label GMO ingredients, there is a tug of war on whether GMO food is harmful for people or not.
GMO foods have contributed greatly to growing crops faster and easier. "Public opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) remains strong. By contrast, studies demonstrate again and again that GM crops make a valuable contribution to the development of a sustainable type of agriculture" (Blancke, Van Breusegem, De Jaeger,…… [Read More]
Shelby Steele and Gerald Early are firmly on the side of liberal individualism and equal rights in their essays, as opposed to nationalism or racial group identities, and argued that this was exactly what Martin Luther King and the early civil rights movement were trying to achieve. Steele was a conservative Republican and supporter of Ronald Reagan, which was most unusual for any black intellectual, and argued that blacks would be best served by adopting middle class values and aspirations. Black nationalists had criticized James Baldwin for being too sympathetic to the idea of liberal integration in the 1950s and 1960s, although at best he seemed only cautiously optimistic about this possibility compared to Steele and Early, even while recognizing that blacks and whites in American had developed a different identity from their ancestors in Europe and Africa, partially as a result of their struggles against each other. All three authors believed that race was still important in the United States, and both Early and Steele rejected Black Nationalism, Afrocentrism and racial separatism. They had faith in the country's ability to accept blacks as equal citizens on these terms, although James Baldwin was far more uncertain about this in his 1955 essay. He was writing at a time before the civil rights movement and made any great gains. In my opinion, the U.S. is still a highly racist society, even if not as blatantly so as in the era before the civil rights movement, and I also believe that Black Nationalism becomes more important in conservative eras when hopes for civil rights and integration are actually in decline. This was the situation in the 1980s and 1990s, in the Reagan era.
As Gerald Early pointed out in "Understanding Afrocentrism" (1995), nationalism among blacks takes many forms, from extreme claims that Jesus was black and Africa was the mother of all world civilizations, to the Pan-Africanism of Marcus Garvey and the struggles against colonialism and apartheid. Early agrees with Shelby Steele that ideas of…… [Read More]
Sonny's Blues," by James Baldwin, "The Sorrow Songs," by W.E.B. Du Bois, and "Am I Blue," by Alice Walker. Specifically, it will discuss the use of the blues in all three works, and how music influences each story. In this paper I will argue that music, specifically the blues, play an important and valuable role in supporting the characters and making the stories more believable and moving. Music has always played a strong part in black American's lives, from the old-time Negro spirituals to urban rap today, and this is why the authors use them to illustrate the most important themes of their stories.
THE BLUES IN THREE WORKS
Each author uses the blues in a different way, but the music plays an important part in each story, making them more readable, and the characters more sympathetic to the reader. The blues is a form of music that originated in black Harlem in New York City in the 1920s and 1930s. It has always been a kind of melancholy music that illustrates the unhappiness and unsettled lives of black Americans.
In "Sonny's Blues," James Baldwin uses music to bring two brothers together that have never gotten along.."..it came to me that what we both were seeking through our separate cab windows was that part of ourselves which had been left behind" (Baldwin). This shows how much the two brothers did not get along. They were riding in a cab together, but they did not talk, they both looked out their "separate windows." It was like they had a wall between them. "Sonny, you hear me? I hear you, but you never hear me."
Sonny plays the blues because it is a type of sad music, which tells how he feels about his life. It is also a very important type of music for Black people; it is part of their culture. The music…… [Read More]
Ageism in the United States
Many countries of the world honor their elderly citizens and hold them up as paragons of another time. Other countries look down upon the elderly and push them to the margins of society, sometimes quite literally. In the United States, elderly citizens as a group are very widely marginalized by the larger population. Many are put in retirement homes are pushed off to hospitals. Quite a few are forced out of their homes and made to exist on pension or Social Security and in some cases are not able to get by. Most senior citizens are negatively stereotyped as extremely weak and feeble. There are also positives stereotypes of the elderly which allow them to have more freedom of discourse and behavior which people younger than them are not afforded. There are many potential reasons behind this national tendency to possess biases against elderly people among them are the stereotypes the society has against this group, the supposed benefits that the elderly have over other members of society, and the psychological effect that the presence of elderly people has on the majority population.
According to stereotypes, all elderly people are bad drivers who smell badly, eat dinner well before sunset and watch Matlock reruns or listen to Paul Harvey on their radios. Senior citizens can also be given positive stereotypical characteristics. Either they are portrayed as weak and ineffective or the elderly are depicted in the opposite extreme: as healthy, eccentric individuals who are using the twilight years to behave in risky fashions and who deliver one-liners at the drop of a hat. Betty White is a particularly prevalent example of this type of elderly American. This is an example of what F.L. Cook describes as "positive ageism" (292). Cook goes on to state why either of these types of depictions is dangerous. "We continue to measure attitudes and media portrayals about 'the elderly' as if 'the elderly' or 'older persons' or 'people over 65' were homogeneous and represent some unitary construct" (292). Stereotypes are overgeneralizations attributed to a group and even the positive stereotypes can be harmful. In the case of the elderly, the perceptions of the group are either that they are feeble and should be put in nursing homes or that they are completely healthy and require no aid. Citizens who do not fit into one or the other of these molds…… [Read More]
Beyond Police Oversight
Oversight by external agencies has been posited as one of the best means of improving the standard of policing in America. In recent years, issues with many police departments have come to the fore, in particular the treatment of minorities by police departments. Issues identified include a lack of consistent training, either on ethics or on operations, that allows bad police to continue to operate, to the detriment of the people whom they are serving, and to the detriment of the reputation of police officers across the country. Scholars have sought to examine the sometimes vague, but broad-based issues faced by police departments in ensuring a high standard of quality, looking at issues of recruitment, training and motivation, all of which go far beyond what external oversight boards can offer. If one is seeking to improve the quality of policing, then it should be understood that the problem itself is ill-defined, and the solutions poorly-understood. As such, an oversight board would be hard pressed to achieve meaningful change. To achieve change requires understanding the issues, and dealing with them on many different levels, from structural, to leadership, to transactional. To improve policing in the United States, it is essential to move beyond the idea of external oversight, a panacea wholly incapable of addressing the myriad issues that face police departments in America today.
Training is one of the most important ways that policing can be improved. Evidence-based training can be implemented in a systematic way to the benefit of overall policing quality. For example, it has been shown necessary to specifically train to eliminate racial bias in assessing danger -- without specific training in that regard, bias will not be eliminated (Sim et al., 2013). There have been calls for a national training standard to be established, which would assist police forces in ensuring that a minimum standard of officer competency is established. This would be especially helpful for smaller forces that do not have the resources to run their own…… [Read More]
Argument Analysis" "The Cohabitation Epidemic"
In "The Cohabitation Epidemic," Neil Clark Warren argues that cohabitation between unmarried couples is an unhealthy situation that is decreasing the livelihood and well being of people in the contemporary context. Warren's argument is based on the idea that [state here the most important premises or assumption of the argument, or the basic strategy of his argument]. More specifically, in a part of his argument Warren assumes that [or something like this] [state problematic assumption]. I will argue that this move is problematic. In particular, is will show that ... [state main idea of your disagreement].
I will begin by explaining Warren's argument. He argues for this main thesis: that cohabitation rates are increasing, changing the nature of society, which is essentially endangering the health and welfare of future generations of Americans. Warren is essentially documenting a major rift in the structure of our contemporary society. This is one element of his argument that does have a logical foundation to it. After all, society and culture is always evolving to meet new environmental and technological demands. In the article, he states "make no mistake: We are witnessing a major societal shift before our very eyes" (Warren 2003). To document this shift and attest to its significance within societal structure, Warren does turn towards using statistical figures to augment his argument that cohabitation rates are increasing. Warren uses credible sources, like the U.S. Census Bureau to highlight the increasing number of individuals opting to cohabitate with their partners outside of the confines of marriage.
Warren sees this sociological shift in residency patterns in an incredibly negative light. He believes that cohabitation is bad for the health and livelihood of the individuals involved. Warren claims that in such situations, children are in much less stable environments. The increasing rate of cohabitation has coincided with increasing rates of children being born and raised illegitimately, or in single parent households.
He proposes the solution on advocating marriage to help alleviate such instability within the American society. Therefore, Warren he suggests that "marriage offers…… [Read More]
Argument from Scripture: God's existence cannot be proven by the presence of the concept of God within the text of the Holy Scriptures
Does God exist? Some would argue that this is the most fundamental question posed by any religion. However, even this assertion is somewhat problematic, since this assumption of God as a unified, theologically cohesive being that intervenes, but sometimes does not intervene in worldly affairs is itself problematic and a cultural construction of the major Western traditions of religious thought. There are those who would appeal to scripture for a proof of God's existence, such as the Catholic theologian and saint Anselm, who said that because scripture and the human mind could conceive of a 'something greater' existing, therefore it must exist. In other words, because the higher ideal of God was recorded in the Bible, filtered through the less perfect collective consciousness of the human animal, some higher being must be manifest, and must be true.
But this premise quite simply, is unsound.
Assailants of this [Anselm's] argument should remember that all minds are not cast in one mould, and it is easy to understand how some can feel the force of arguments that are not felt by others." (Kent, 2004) In other words, many faith traditions of the world, as well as many nonbelievers disagree with the Bible. The existence of the word of God, as recoded within a specific set of texts and cultural constraints does not prove the existence of that being.
The premises of the existence of God in scripture thus presuppose because God is spoken of as such, such a higher power exists and all such contradictions that are manifest are simply indications and proofs of the lower state of human mentalities, in relation to the divine. The contrary or skeptical philosopher would have to note that fundamentally, the argument of God from scripture is tautological, assuming because God can do…… [Read More]
Legalization of Marijuana in Washington State
The legalization of Marijuana would allow for the government to have more regulation over the drug and its users. This of course does not come without rules and blankets like how cigarettes and alcohol come with warnings when purchased. If Marijuana were to be legalized, it can be sold with a list of active ingredients, purity levels and warnings like those of pharmaceutical drugs; this would let people know more about the drug. Marijuana does not have any harmful effects besides for the user, who is willing to accept those risks when in taking the drug. Countries that have legalized Marijuana, such as Amsterdam, have had positive results. The legalization of Marijuana has more benefits for the state of Washington than negative aspects.
The state of Washington has enacted laws on the legalization of medical Marijuana. This is due to modern research which suggests that Marijuana can help with the treatment of a lot of clinical applications, and can ease pain (Bock 2000, null7). Additionally, this treatment includes relief from nausea, glaucoma, spasticity and movement disorders. Because Marijuana is a very strong appetite stimulant, research suggests that it could protect the body from a variety of medical conditions such as some types of malignant tumors (Bock 2000, null7). This was effective on July 27, 2007, Chapter 69.51A RCW Amendments (Stiley and Cikuvitch, n.d.). The act states that only patients who are terminally ill, with the approval of a licensed physician can benefit from the medical use of Marijuana. Medical professionals are to exercise their best judgment in approving for patients who they believe would qualify as a benefactor of this drug. In the state of Washington, an individual caught with the possession of Marijuana which is less than 40 grams will be punished up to 90 days in jail, and will be fined up to $1,000, depending on the amount on person. A greater punishment is for those who are in possession of over 40 grams, penalties can be up to five years in prison and they can be fined up to $10,000 (Stiley and Cikuvitch, n.d.). The delivery, cultivation or sale of Marijuana is considered a…… [Read More]
Against Affirmative Action
Contrary to the common perception, not all opponents of "Affirmative Action" are white males. Many African-Americans are also opposed to its continued application. For example, Ward Connerly, University of California Regent is black and a leading opponent of Affirmative Action. He believes that:
Affirmative action is an undesirable "crutch" for the black people on which they have started to depend believing that it is not possible to achieve anything without this "crutch."
The original intent of Affirmative Action was to eliminate discrimination rather than having different standards for blacks and whites for university admissions and hiring in government jobs. Connerly views such "preferences" as discriminatory.
Affirmative Action poisons the relationships between different groups and builds resentment because of the wide-spread perception among the white males that it works to the advantage of the minorities at their cost.
Connerly believes that preferences in jobs and admissions unnecessarily marginalize blacks, Latinos, and females who lose their sense of accomplishment by the "stigma" of having been given something instead of competing for it fairly in a level-playing field. (Montgomery, "Poison Divides Us.")
Walter E. Williams, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, writing in the Cato Journal (Vol. 17, No. 1-Spring/Summer 1997) points out that:
It is ironic that initially, civil rights organizations fought against the use of race in hiring, access to public schools, and university admissions while today, they fight for the use of race in the very same areas.
He terms Affirmative Action a "zero-sum-game" and quotes the example of the UC, Berkeley's affirmative action program for blacks whereby blacks are admitted with average SAT scores of 952 compared to the average white score of 1232 and Asian student average of 1254. He points out that the admissions gains by blacks are exactly matched by admissions losses by white and Asian students, which virtually defines a "zero sum game."
Williams believes that a majority of the people (including blacks) oppose "preferential treatment." He quotes a 1992 Study by S.M. Lipset in support of his…… [Read More]
limiting free speech ID: 53711
The arguments most often used for limiting freedom of speech include national security, protecting the public from disrupting influences at home, and protecting the public against such things as pornography.
Of the three most often given reasons for limiting freedom of speech, national security may well be the most used. President after president, regardless of party has used national security as a reason to not answer questions that might be embarrassing personally or would show their administration as behaving in ways that would upset the populace. Although there are many examples of government apply the "national security" label to various situations, perhaps some of the stories that are associated with the Iran-Contra issue best display what government uses limitations on free speech for. In horrific tangle of lies double and triple dealing that resulted in the deaths of many Nicaraguans, the Regan administration sought to overthrow a popularly elected government because the new government wouldn't behave as the U.S. wanted it to. Our government didn't want to be seen as supporting terrorists so information was suppressed and events re-written to make it seems we were not part of the operations. Journalists were transferred away from the area because of articles they wrote, and government responded to open questions with lies in the name of national security. It is perhaps good to lie to a population that prides itself on believing in freedom for everyone.
The history of limiting freedom of expression to "protect the public from disrupting influences" is also as long as our history as a nation. The purposes of the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 seem contradictory to the just achieved freedoms.
However, if it was the fear of the new government that criticism and dissent would threaten what they were trying to build, then the Act perhaps makes sense. Zinn…… [Read More]
Theism or Atheism?
When humans consider the existence of God, they tend to look outward for evidence and inward for understanding. Humans must process both types of information through a filter that is based on an unwarranted confidence in human reasoning. Or, failing that, humans must fall back to rely on faith. The nature of faith may perhaps be characterized by an absence of definitive criteria other than the absolutes that are sometimes associated with faith. Consider the parameter suggested by the phrase: "Oh, ye of little faith" (Matthew 8:26). A believer can be described as having faith along a continuum: Great faith, little faith, no faith. However, if-then clauses are not attached to faith. It is generally not regarded as acceptable to claim that one will have faith, if something else -- whatever that concept of else may be. To qualify faith in this way transforms belief into bargaining: A person may promise to believe -- to have sufficient faith, going forward, to believe in God -- if only prayers are answered. To the contrary, belief that is grounded in human understanding is fraught with if-then qualifications. Accordingly, theism -- the belief in the existence of God -- can be defended from both a position of faith and a position of understanding.
St. Anselm argued that, "it is one thing for an object to be in the understanding, and another to understand that the object exists" (St. Anselm, n.d.). Rather than conflate conceptualization by using "the word signifying it is conceived" with the phenomenon "when the thing itself is understood," St. Anselm determined that a lexicon may provide a definition, but it does not necessarily evoke understanding. True understanding, according to St. Anselm's argument, is dependent upon the reality of the thing -- the true existence of what is conceptualized. St. Anselm uses the word conceived, which be taken to be a birthing -- a coming into being -- than a perception of what might be. St. Anselm's assertions are derived from his faith, while Gaunilo argues from a position of evidence, insisting that, "the hypothetical excellence of this island exists as a real and indubitable fact, and in no wise as any unreal object, or one whose existence is uncertain, in my understanding" (Gaunilo, n.d.).
The overarching difficulty between the two believers -- St. Anselm and Gaunilo -- is that they argue from different philosophical positions, which is…… [Read More]
Capitalism vs. Democracy
Curing Neoliberalism with Democracy
Pope Francis, never one to shy away from controversy, attacked contemporary forms of capitalism as not only exclusionary, but also deadly (Downie). To support his claim, Francis notes that the news media regularly report a meaningless one or two percent change in the Dow Industrials, but the death of a homeless person goes unnoticed; or that daily tons of food is thrown into the trash while millions starve. Although some liberty was taking in the paraphrasing of Francis' words, the point is the same; i.e., capitalism today, as it is being practiced, rewards the ruthless and powerful and marginalizes the rest. According to the author of the Washington Post article about Pope Francis' stinging criticism of neoliberalism, James Downie, what separates Pope Francis from earlier papal proclamations of capitalist evils is that Francis talks specifics, such as the destructiveness of trickle-down economics and the market economy. The main tenet of trickle-down theory, according to Downie, is that economic growth through a free market economy will eventually increase social justice and inclusion (para. 4). In addition, neoliberal proponents argue that the nation state should step aside and let the open markets determine our economic fates.
Thomas Pikatty explained in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century that historically, economic and social inequality and exclusion have always dominated, at least up to the end of World War II (241). During the 18th and 19th centuries, Western societies were stratified economically into incomes derived from capital or labor; the latter at a huge disadvantage. Inherited wealth was everything, since the amount of income that could be expected from labor alone, regardless of the profession, relegated laborers to a life of struggle near the edge of poverty. Increasing one's social status, therefore, could only be accomplished by acquiring a large dowry through marriage or inheriting a fortune. The moral implications of such a system, according to Pikatty, are…… [Read More]
In the Apology, Socrates is being placed on trial by three of his rivals for different activities that he is accused of being involved in. The most notable include: corrupting the youth of Athens and not supporting the same religious beliefs as everyone else. During the trial, his enemies are utilizing these charges to demonstrate how he knowingly engaged in these actions. They are demanding that he apologize for the crimes that he committed and begin to conform to the most common practices in contemporary society. (Plato, 2000) ("The Apology," 2012) ("Analysis of the Apology," 2010)
However, Socrates uses this as a forum to ridicule these individuals, question the legitimacy of the trial and to defend himself. This is problematic, as these cavalier attitudes will eventually lead to him being found guilty and sentenced to death. To fully understand what is taking place requires carefully examining his key arguments and how they influenced the jury. Together, these elements will highlight the way he presented his case and the lasting impact. (Plato, 2000) ("The Apology," 2012) ("Analysis of the Apology," 2010)
Main Arguments in the Apology
In the Apology, Socrates tells the jury how their minds have been influenced by his enemies. They are focused on destroying him at all costs and are jealous of his success. This is because he is more intellectual and sophisticated than they are. These individuals cannot stand the fact that he is wiser than them and wants to discredit him at any cost. (Plato, 2000) ("The Apology," 2012) ("Analysis of the Apology," 2010)
Evidence of this can be seen with Socrates saying, "There have been many who have accused me for many years now, and none of their accusations are true. These earlier ones, however, are more so gentleman; they got a hold of your from childhood, persuaded you and accused me quite falsely. They are saying that there is a…… [Read More]
William Apess and the Biblical argument against racism
As a Native American who lived through the end of the 18th century and first 39 years of the 19th century, William Apess was subjected to extreme levels of racial prejudice. Indeed, the years during which Apess was most prolific as an author corresponded with the Presidential term of Andrew Jackson, a figure whose political platform included the mistreatment (and eradication) of Native Americans. As the son of a former slave and a member of the Pequot Native American tribe, Apess was exposed to significant racial injustice. However, he was also an Evangelical Christian, and used his extensive knowledge of the Bible as a platform through which to argue against racism. He also advocated for Native Americans to receive a formal education, and his own writing testifies to the power that education can have in influencing popular belief. Drawing from Apess's 1833 essay "An Indian's Looking-Glass for the White Man" and 1831 memoir "A Son of the Forest," this essay delineates Apess's Biblical arguments against racism.
In "A Son of the Forest," Apess provides a comprehensive description of the injustice that was inflicted upon him by the white race. Additionally, he describes the immoral conduct exhibited by members of his own Native American family as a result of harmful cultural influences instigated by the white race, such as alcohol. Writing about the violent, alcoholic behavior of his own grandmother (who broke his arm in a drunken rage when the author was four years old), Apess states that "this cruel and unnatural conduct was the effect of some cause. I attribute it in great measure to the whites" (7). It should be noted that Apess does not exonerate his grandmother from blame. However, by stating that the violence "was the effect of some cause," Apess's statement implies that people (including Native Americans) are inherently virtuous and therefore should not be targeted as objects of discrimination. By arguing that the Native Americans are not inherently immoral, Apess implicitly suggests that Native Americans descended from Adam and Eve, a claim that he earlier makes explicit through stating that "We are in fact but one family; we are all the descendents of one great progenitor -- Adam" (4).
In "An Indian's Looking Glass for the White Man," Apess invokes more explicit references to the Bible in arguing against the racism that was…… [Read More]
Basil's Argumentation on the Holy Trinity
Basil's argumentation defending the divinity of the Holy Spirit addresses the unity of the Godhead and the eternal associations of the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son within the Holy Trinity (Basil 60). Not only does this augment his defense of the Holy Spirit, it completes St. Basils' trinitarian theology thereby laying the foundations of Orthodox Christian Trinitarian theology.
The Holy Trinity
The unity of the Godhead is reflected in the works of the Holy Trinity. Whether regarding creation or human redemption, the works of the Holy Trinity are always one, revealing the communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A good example of this unity of action is in the creation of the angels. These pure, spiritual and transcendent powers are called holy because they receive their holiness from the Holy Spirit. In considering the angels, or any other creature, it is best to think of the Father as the cause of all that exists. Then one should think of the Son, Who is their creator, and the Holy Spirit Who is their perfecter. The angels exist, therefore, due to the will of the Father and are brought into being through the work of the Son. They are perfected by the presence of the Holy Spirit since they persevere in the holiness which comes from Him. The Originator of all things is One, creating through the Son and perfecting through the Holy Spirit (Basil 61).
The Father's work is perfect since He achieves all in all. The Son's handiwork is not deficient if not completed by the Holy Spirit. The Father creates through His will alone and needs not create through the Son, but chooses to do so. Similarly, the Son works as the Father's likeness and needs no…… [Read More]