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Humbert is awaiting trial for murder, and act of his own free will. No one will argue that Humbert could have made other choices in this case. However, it can be argued whether his sudden coronary in the end was a twist of bad fate, or of good fate. On one hand, it ended his life, on the other; it saved him from life in prison. Lolita's death in childbirth brings up the same question. as it a tragic death, or did it save her from a life of misery? Nabokov introduces the double-sided nature of fate and the idea that good or bad fate I a matter of perspective.
No Exit and Lolita explore the issue of fate vs. free will from several different perspectives. "No Exit" questions the role of fate in the predicament of humans. Lolita examines the question of fate more deeply be adding the dimension…… [Read More]
Therefore, they are compelled to choose what they do in order to instantiate God's foreordainment of history. It wouldn't seem to make sense, therefore, for the person to attempt to change their circumstances or to fight against fate. Affliction, tragedy and evil would be just what God wishes to throw at an individual, who could scarcely escape its occurrence. This seems to suggest a response of futility toward life in which all is merely endured and passes almost robotically. At the same time, one might interpret it as comforting, for it eliminates the human's striving and desire to achieve something before the eyes of God. Or if God allows good to enter a life, this good is not deserved or merited, but is purely random. God's character would appear fickle, if not even unjust, for subjecting people to a predestined fate they cannot hope to change. Perhaps the main problem…… [Read More]
The greatest strength of the concept of free will is that it allows evil deeds to be explained as poor conceptions of a weak human mind. The individual abilty to learn and become a greater agent of responsibility seeks a concept of free will to explain how this can be done and with good reason. The individual has no reason to express learning and to grow from human ideas and actions if he or she is resolved to live with a predetermined set of consequences and actions. As man's ability to reason is what is said to seprate us from animals then "free will" becomes and essential aspect of the equation.
hy exactly is it important to so many of us whether or not we can be self-directed, not just politically but also metaphysically? In certain philosophical contexts, such as some discussions of the problem of evil, the…… [Read More]
Goblins in this case can be viewed as devil's agents who force people to commit sins. Food items are presented as sins that man can get involved in if he doesn't have a strong will power. They are described in attractive terms (Bloom-down-cheek'd peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,/Wild free-born cranberries (5-14)), just like sins and vices that initially appear very tempting but are eventually harmful to one's soul. In the very same way, these fruits look attractive and are tasty but gradually rob the body of its vigor and beauty.
Laura is a risk-taker and hence fell victim to a clever and tempting ploy. Lizzie is timid and conforms to the norms and thus could save herself and later her sister. This is a rather puritanical argument but that's how the author presents it. But there is another thing which is far more important than their risk-taking capabilities. It is the ability…… [Read More]
The novel vividly illustrates this event, stated as follows:
The scorching blade slashed at my eyelashes and stabbed at my stinging eyes. That's when everything began to reel. The sea carried up a thick, fiery breath. It seemed to me as if the sky split open from one end to the other to rain down fire. My whole being tensed and I squeezed my hand around the revolver. The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time, is where I tall started. I shook off the sweat and sun. I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I'd been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times…… [Read More]
The free will defense suggests that God permits, but does not cause evil. Therefore, it is possible to live in a universe in which good and evil continually coexist. Human beings are blessed with the ability to make a choice that can further the objectives of God and good, or to promote the interests of evil. Although this view is logically coherent, there are clear objections to it.
One objection is that God has nothing at all to do with evil, and human beings, made in God's image, likewise have nothing to do with evil. Free will is therefore irrelevant and in fact negated. There is no such thing as free will, according to this point-of-view. All human beings have is a fate that has been pre-determined by God. Using this objection, it is easy to see how the human being is portrayed as a passive recipient of life…… [Read More]
Role of Free ill and Fate in Oedipus Rex and Othello, the Moor of Venice
Free will and fate play a major role in determining the outcome the hero experiences in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and illiam Shakespeare's Othello, the Moor of Venice. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus's destiny has been predetermined and despite his many efforts, he cannot escape the future the gods have planned for him. Oedipus Rex's form relies on a chorus to serve as an emissary between the gods and the audience and ultimately aims at allowing the audience to achieve catharsis. On the contrary, in Othello, the Moor of Venice, Othello's future is determined through a series of actions that were not influenced by the gods, but rather through free will. Othello, the Moor of Venice's form breaks up the action into separate "vignettes" that ultimately highlight the depravity of man and aims to serve as a…… [Read More]
Laius is responsible for his condition and there is no way for him to escape his fate, even with the fact that he does everything in his power with the purpose of fighting divinity's will. It is difficult and almost impossible to determine whether Oedipus should be accountable or not for killing Laius at the moment when he does so. One must consider that similar to how some religions promote the concept that some people are likely to be punished for the sins performed by their predecessors, Sophocles apparently wanted to put across the fact that Oedipus has no say at the time when he is fighting Laius, as he is forced to kill his father in self-defense.
The modern day society functions in accordance with the 'everything happens for a reason' system, taking into account that people are provided with benefits on account of the work that they do.…… [Read More]
Realist Moral Theories Unit IV: Bioethics
The moral of the film "ottaca" is quite obvious and the development of events also quite predictable. The film starts from the idea that parents want their children to have the best start in life. The majority of parents would agree with it. This idea is put into the context of genetic engineering, a palpable reality today. The moral is that letting doctors apply genetics to do every magic possible in order to get the "best version of you" by eliminating all the "less perfect possibilities" is wrong.
Most religions teach one to mind the body as well as the soul in order to be in harmony with od and the rest of the universe. They also teach about free will. Causal determinism, on the other side, superposes the end over the beginning and leaves no chance for the "chance." According to this philosophical…… [Read More]
Fate in Literature
Stories whether they are presented in film, printed or orally spoken all share important commonalities. One of the important shared elements amongst stories that have been around for hundreds maybe even thousands of years in literature is the role of fate within the stories. Fate in literature can be broadly defined as the power, influence or will of a superior or supernatural force that stages and predetermines events in the voyage of a the main character in the story (Princeton.edu).
A classic example of this is the tragedy written by Sophocles, the infamous tale of Oedipus Rex a king who desperately seeks to outrun, challenge and contradict fate, but is unable to because the supernatural forces above him (The Gods), have predetermined and staged inevitable events in his life. Fate is a very interesting topic to explore as it relates to stories because it challenges the notion…… [Read More]
hen Edith harton tells us that "it was the background that she [Lily] required," we understand that both Emma Bovary and Lily have a very important thing in common. They are first of all women in the nineteenth century society, fettered by social conventions to fulfill any kind of aspirations or ideals. A woman, as it is clearly stated in both novels, had no other means of being having a place in society than by acquiring respectability and money through a good marriage. To marry was the only vocation of a woman, as harton tells us.
Of course, there interferes a great difference between the two heroines here, because Madame Bovary, as her very title proves it, is already a married woman, while Lily in harton's book is in constant pursue of a redeeming marriage. But, essentially the frustration of the two heroines is the same, as Emma is as…… [Read More]
The fact is that numerous rooted macrophyte structures are not full of naturally strong and healthy particles and sediments and nutrients. It is because of the restriction or absence of these particles, sediments and nutrients that the study of these systems has not been as extensive and thorough as the concentration on the terrestrial structures when understanding the fate, sources and sinks of Co2 levels in the ecosystems and the plants structures (e.g., Drake and Leadley 1991). Researchers assert that "rooted macrophyte systems can be sources of CO2, Chapter 4 and other gases through microbial processing of organic matter in the sediments and direct emission from leaves" (Delaune et al. 1990).
Table 1. Total net primary production (NPP) from world systems (Modified from Valiela, 1984)
% of Total
% of Total
gC m-2 y-1
15,355…… [Read More]
The only hope rests in being sensible and alert to the danger we have incurred upon ourselves. Going green and seriously focusing on renewable forms of energy is the only way that we could save this planet from the impending disaster.
1) World Water Council, 'Water Crisis', retrieved Oct 1st, 2010, from, http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/index.php?id=25
2) U.S. Census ureau, 'World Population Summary', retrieved Oct 1st, 2010, from, http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/worldpopinfo.php
3) WWF, 'Water: Our Rivers Lakes and Wetlands', retrieved Oct 2nd 2010, from http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/about_freshwater/
4) Lester rown, (Oct 2001), 'China's Water Table Levels are Dropping Fast', retrieved Oct 2nd 2010, from, http://www.grist.org/article/table/
5) lue Planet, 'The Facts about the Global Drinking Water Crisis', retrieved Oct 2nd 2010, from, http://blueplanetnetwork.org/water/facts
6) Pew Center, 'Coal and Climate Change Facts', retrieved Oct 2nd 2010, from, http://www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-basics/coalfacts.cfm
7) Science Daily 'Environmental Scientists Estimate That China Could Meet Its Entire Future Energy Needs y Wind Alone', retrieved Oct…… [Read More]
As their saga unfolds, we realize that Turnus does not experience the same protection as Aeneas and we can even say that while fate is working for Aeneas, it is working against Turnus. Aeneas never looses sight of the prize and Turnus' death provides even more confirmation that his life is indeed in the hand of protective fate.
It is important to realize the significance of how the gods intervene in human fate. hile we have established that human fate can indeed be altered it is done almost always through the actions of a god. Some events are predestined to occur and only the circumstances relating to them can be altered or influenced by the gods. Free will without the intervention of the gods reveals itself most predominantly when Jupiter chooses not to become involved with the war between the Trojans and the Latins. ith this example, Virgil allows human…… [Read More]
Buddhists, who similarly believe in the concept of Karma, also have a strong commitment to the belief that their actions have consequences. hile Buddhists have a much different value system than Hindus or especially estern religions that tend to see good and bad as black and white, while Buddhists see it as wholesome or unwholesome (Sach 80), they still have a code of morality, such as valuing peace over harm. Karma represents this moral dichotomy. Thus, both the Eastern religions of Hinduism and Buddhism support the theory that one creates one's own destiny. If they did not, they could not have their system of moral rights and wrongs. ithout the chance to make positive or negative decisions, a belief system cannot coherently state that one cannot make one's own decisions, creating one's own destiny. How could a belief system maintain that one would be punished for his or her actions…… [Read More]
How the Criminal Justice System is Dysfunctional according to Paul Butler's Let's Get Free
The American criminal justice system has had a long history of prejudice. From the Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) decision that institutionalized the false concept of "separate but equal" to the Jim Crow laws that followed to the methods of "control" enacted by police in urban communities, criminal justice in the U.S. has seen lots of crime but little justice. Part of the reason for the inherent dysfunction in the way minorities have always been treated in America is that the country was founded on prejudiced WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) principles: the principle of "manifest destiny" was based on the supposedly "divine right" that WASPs had to "control" the New World and eradicate the "lesser" races (such as the Native Americans and the African-Americans). These prejudiced principles were absorbed into the criminal justice system through lawmakers…… [Read More]
These newspapers continuously wrote that there is no essential conflict between labor class (referring to wage earners) and the capitalists and that each should not suspect the other in the development of America.
outhern slave society: An essential conflict with free labor social order
There were many distinctions in the Northern and outhern economic and social outlook of America. There were conflicting ideologies being pursued in these regions and the economic progress of Northern region was associated to the free enterprising class known as the middle class. The class thrived in the Northern region by investing in their own businesses, small and large. On the contrary, outhern society was based on slavery system. The Northerners demanded that the slavery of fugitives' slaves shall be abolished and free soil in the west was to be enforced. The essential elements that divided the Northerners and outherners were the matter of slavery. The…… [Read More]
The vengeance of the gods is further underscored by the Chorus who warns that "But if any man comes striding, high and mighty, in all he says and does, no fear of justice, no reverence for the temples of the gods-let a rough doom tear him down, repay his pride, breakneck, ruinous pride!" Oedipus portrays tyranny and the people's greatest blessing becomes their worst curse.
In the last stage, Oedipus is a man who has become humbled with the pain and dejection of knowing the truth of reality as he is forced to admit his tragic destiny by the overwhelming evidence. The writer shows the sudden change in the protagonist's persona when Oedipus condemns himself by saying, "I stand revealed at last -- cursed in my birth, cursed in marriage, cursed in the lives I cut down with these hands!" (1309-1311) Oedipus's complete transformation is demonstrated when he gouged out…… [Read More]
Instead, we find two highly actionable and yet passionless men. In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Stoppard has fleshed out two men inevitably bound to their fates by the passions and wills of those around them, creating a compelling discussion on the balance between fate and free will. Stoppard develops twin personas through whom the passive complacency of man is examined, with basic impulses of self-preservation, concession to authority and a willingness to be moved by the desires of others ruling idle lives inexorably approaching deaths which will be overlooked by all. In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Stoppard creates two tragic figures that reflect the philosophical idleness of the average man, using their baseness, incomprehension and apathy to offer a critique of society.
Introduced in one of their frequent, pointless games, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern immediately reveal themselves as internally contradictory figures. Clearly intended as comical figures in the spirit of Shakespeare's classic fools,…… [Read More]
Oedipus also chose not to ask questions regarding his past, although this might be ascribed to the fact that he did not know to ask in the first place. It was his choice to leave his adopted family to escape the prophesy that he knows about. The adopted family however choose even at this point not to inform Oedipus of the true nature of his fate.
Another choice that Oedipus makes is to kill Laius at the crossroads, regardless of the fact that the prophesy is very specific regarding where the murder will take place. When he marries the wife of the dead king, it also does not occur to him that this is remarkably parallel to the prophesy. One might therefore argue that Oedipus might have been deliberately blind to the truth of his actions in order to further his own good fortune. On the other hand, ophocles' aim…… [Read More]
In this sense, the time and setting of these two plays are less significant because each of the two addresses universal questions of fate, destiny, free will, and the meaning of life, which are as current today as they were over 2000 years ago, when Oedipus Rex was written, for instance.
The arker Face of the Earth reflects many of the themes and plot elements that also occur in the ancient Greek play by Sophocles entitled Oedipus Rex. In both cases, although the protagonists are faced with challenges by the powerful forces of destiny, their fate is direct consequence of their choice regarding the exercise of free will. Both Augustus and Oedipus are victims of their own bloody choices. Because their actions are no longer controlled by rational thought, they exercise their free will poorly hence they must accept the consequences of their actions and suffer the painful fate that…… [Read More]
Classical and Modern Greek Theater
There are clear connections between the classical and modern theater in Greece - just as there are clear connections between the theater of classical Greece and the modern theater of the est in general. Much of what we believe to be proper theater-making comes from classical works: e still use many of the same ideas about character, about motif, about plot. But even as many of the internal structures have remained the same, the culture in which the plays of ancient and modern Greece are written and produced has changed dramatically, thus changing the content and understanding of the plays themselves. e can see how theater has changed (and how it has not) by examining one particular aspect of that runs through so many Greek plays, the concept of free will.
The works of the ancient Greek playwrights are difficult for us to read within…… [Read More]
Gods in the Aeneid?
Viewed from Virgil's Aeneid perspective, gods are central to human existence and fate. They determine the fate of all mortals; Aeneid is included in the category of mortals; and is particularly interesting because his mother is a goddess. Jupiter is the supreme god and controls all other gods. Jupiter controls destiny. Thus, other gods are at his mercy. The other gods have their altercations among themselves and often drag humans into these discordances. They may, therefore either help or harm (Christos, 2012).
The fate of Aeneid is beyond the control of the gods. They make attempts to create short-lived diversions or even alter the manner that the fate comes to pass. Venus, Aeneid's mother, and the senior-most cheerleader is Aeneid's mother. She helps Aeneid to navigate the difficulties of life. She has practically protected him against Juno. She gives him sound advice on the direction he…… [Read More]
Sophocles' Oedipus the King
Look up and/or reflect on the meaning of:
Tragedy: A tragedy is any event which causes great suffering and stress, such as the death of a loved one or a natural disaster. In the context of Greek literature, tragedy was the most popular form of theatre, with storytellers relying on the rhetorical technique of tragic irony to create emotionally resonant tales of lost love and territorial conquest.
Philosophy: The overall study of the human condition, reality, metaphysics, and other pursuits of higher intelligence.
Psychology: The scientific study of the human mind, including cognitive function, perception, attention, emotion and behavior.
Logic: The fundamental application of reasoning to the pursuit of problem solving, a function which only the human mind is known to hold the capacity to perform.
Ethics: The branch of philosophy which postulates certain standards which should be used to guide proper human conduct.
Mathematics: The…… [Read More]
let us begin by analyzing the Pharisees.
The term itself is derived from a Hebrew word which literally means "separated." Right from the ethimological interpretation we can deduce that the Pharisees were a group of people who saw things differently compared to the majority. This difference was manifested in the religious area, but also in the political area and the social one.
The Second Temple was the period in which the Phariseean philosophy flourished. It is worth underlining that it is this very philosophy and religious thought that put the basis of the contemporary forms of Judaism.
During the reign of the king Antiochus Epiphanes in which numerous pressures were being made in order to impose the Hellenistic culture and polytheist religion, an anti-Hellenistic Jewish movement was created in order to defend the traditional views.
This movement was called the Hasidim and the Pharisees are one of the group's successors.…… [Read More]
At this precise time, a young communist named Mao Zedong popularized the idea of land reforms and focused his attention on the issue of poverty among peasant class. He convinced his fellow communists that the only solution to all problems lied in strengthening the agricultural sector by introducing land reforms. He worked ceaselessly for the peasants but his party was driven to remote corners of North China during the Long March. This action, taken by Chiang government, was a clear indication of the paranoia and insecurity that were building in nationalist forces (Peoples: Rise). Mao continued to fight government's oppressive rule even while in exile and this lasted till 1937 at which point, Japan invaded China and the nationalist-communist conflict came to an end.
In 1920s, Malraux was present in China and observed the political dynamics of the country. The oppression and communist popularity affected his deeply and 1927 revolution…… [Read More]
Transparent Society: ill Technology Force Us
To Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?"
There seems to be no doubt that the genie is out of the bottle, never to be capped again. Individual privacy is being treaded upon daily by new technological devices that a mere generation ago were considered science fiction to be found only in novels such as George Orwell's "1984" and Aldous Huxley's "The Brave New orld." However, today these stories of surveillance and cloning have become reality. In "The Transparent Society: ill Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?" David Brin examines how privacy as it was known a quarter of a century ago is gone forever and how citizens of the world have very tough decisions to make regarding how this new technology will be used and more importantly who will be in control.
Brin argues that the more open a society is the…… [Read More]
The cost to its economy is greater than just lost opportunity as it extends to further damage the credibility of a relationship which the public views as suspect, in accordance with Campbell's estimation.
The oversight of international regulation is undertaken by the orld Trade Organization, which brings the globe's free trade partners together to broker affairs of economic cooperation or contract. However, this has proved to be an agency with too diluted a focus to effectively maintain balance between such partners as Canada and the U.S. Campbell addresses most of the regulatory differences between the two nations as being historical and incidental in some ways, indicating that perhaps the inconsistencies are simply in need of concentrated attention. This notion accounts for the 2005 launch of a Trilateral Regulatory Commission, partnering Canada, the U.S. And Mexico in an agreement to acknowledge a central forum for regulation of trade discrepancies. Though its…… [Read More]
The organization that will be the object of study is the Target Corporation, one of the large, major discount retailers in the U.S. famous for its catchy advertisements and its commission of relatively well-known designers to create exclusive in-house clothing and furniture brands. As a former employee, I have seen the organization from the inside out, from a retail level upward. However, the recent U.S. recession has hit Target particularly 'hard' as a company (Gregory 2009).
Target's revenue has been decreasing while its primary competitor Wal-Mart's profits have been growing, due to the fact that Target's core consumers are looking for more bargains on necessities, because of the economic downturn. This is a problem for all employees and shareholders. Given the failure or near-failure of other discount retailers like Sears and K-Mart, Target must ensure that it does not have a similar fate (Gregory 2009). The current problem…… [Read More]
Developing country that will be focused upon for this report is Haiti. The reason the author of this report chose Haiti for this report is because the recent earthquake there that claimed roughly 50,000 lives brought it to the forefront. This is in contrast to the Dominican epublic (which is on the other end of the same island) had little to no notable news coverage during the same aftermath. Haiti is certainly not at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to developing countries but it shares a colonial past (French) with many other countries and it faces many challenges including starkly low incomes, very low literacy rates and other major life challenges for normal every-day Haitians. Facts to be covered include the name of the country, which of course is Haiti, when it became independent, its location, in what ways the country is less develop than more advanced…… [Read More]
geniuses, history will never even be aware that most people even lived at all, much less that their lives had any real purpose, meaning or worth. All ideas of human equality and natural rights are just pious little myths and fables, since only a handful will ever have the talent and intelligence to be recognized as standing out from the anonymous masses. This world is a very cruel and Darwinian place in which only a handful achieve success and recognition, at least by the material and monetary standards that the capitalist system values so highly. In short, the majority of people who ever lived have simple been drones and worker bees, and if they have any talents or worth, few will ever notice them outside of their narrow little spheres of existence. Many people may have certain natural talents but make little effort to develop them, and through bad luck…… [Read More]
They were wrong about the Bolshevik's giving in to their demands, however.
The Bolshevik's attacked the city (located on an island), under cover of darkness. They wore white uniforms to blend in with the snow and ice surrounding the city. The workers tried to defend themselves and their families, but the Bolshevik's sent in 50,000 troops. They began their attack on March 7, and the sailors and workers defended the Kronstadt fortress for ten days before they fell. A diary entry from the time says, "17th March, 1921: Kronstadt has fallen today. Thousands of sailors and workers lie dead in its streets. Summary execution of prisoners and hostages continues" (Schoolnet). Thousands of people, both sailors and civilians were killed in the streets of the city. When the Bolshevik's took Kronstadt sailors as prisoners, they later took them into the forests and executed them.
Kronstadt was the last rebellion against the…… [Read More]
In Chapter 5, the great churchman informs us that Water is in fact an apt designation for the Divinity, better than any of the other elements.
Water possess the unique properties of being more moveable than earth (though less movable than air) while at the same time being essential to the creation and sustaining of life, as in the way water must be added to the soil in order for plants to grow.
This signification of matter first conveys its end, that is, that for the sake of which it was made; secondly, its formlessness; thirdly, its service and subjection to the Maker. Therefore, it is first called heaven and earth; for its sake matter was made. Secondly, the earth invisible and without form and darkness over the abyss, that is, the formlessness itself without the light, as a result of which the earth is said to be invisible. Thirdly,…… [Read More]
hat is needed, then, is a concept of free will that can effectively counter the claims of naturalists that there is no physical basis for free will. It requires a different kind of free will that permits moral responsibility to be leveled squarely at the individual without ignoring the reality that sometimes there are external causes to internal decisions. In fact, some philosophers have even used the conceptual tools of the naturalists to make the argument that free will can exist in a deterministic world. Daniel Dennet argues that the deterministic universe provides the reliable framework of reality by which informed, individual choices can be made (Bailey par. 14-17). ithout some determinism in the universe, it would be impossible for free will to functionally exist, because no one would ever be able to make a rational choice in a purely chaotic world. So free will requires some level of determinism.…… [Read More]
In many ways, the literary movements and philosophies of determinism and individualism are opposites of one another. Determinism is one of the facets of Naturalism, and is based on the idea that things happen due to causes and effects largely out of the control of people and that choice is ultimately an illusion. Individualism, however, is widely based on the idea of free will and the fact that people can take action to control their surroundings and their fates in life. Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie provides an excellent example of determinist literature and is based on the critical ideas of amorality and environmental factors controlling a person's fate, while Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an example of individualism and illustrates the idea that a person can take action to make his or her own fate.
Dreiser's work chronicles the rise to wealth and social prominence of…… [Read More]
Euripides' tragedy of "Hippolytus":
Phaedra as a plaything of the gods
Euripides' tragedy of "Hippolytus" is a tragedy of paganism, at least on its surface. The work details the conflict between Hippolytus, the noble son of Theseus who honors the goddess of chastity and the hunt Artemis and his new stepmother Phaedra, who honors Aphrodite above all other goddesses. When Phaedra falls in love with Hippolytus he is repulsed not simply because of the incestuous nature of Phaedra's love but because it dishonors the principles of chastity embodied by his excessive worship of Artemis. The conflict between the two goddesses, translated into human terms, ultimately results in death and destruction for both Hippolytus and Artemis and the misery of Theseus, the father of Hippolytus and the husband of Phaedra. However, there is also a higher symbolic order beyond that a personal conflict between the gods that is being violated, one…… [Read More]
Life in a Godless orld
For as long as mankind has contemplated its own creation philosophers have pondered the meaning of life largely within the context of humanity's relationship to the divine, from Aristotle's metaphysical conception of God as all actuality to Descartes' systematic attempt to develop a proof of God's existence. The dominance of Christianity throughout much the civilized world invariably constrained the ability of great thinkers to challenge many of the religion's most fundamental precepts, from the concept of free will to the nature of good and evil, leaving much of the early philosophical canon regrettably limited by a reliance on unquestioned faith. After the European Renaissance validated the structural foundations of scientific inquiry, the glaring inability to empirically observe God in any conceivable form prompted many to privately question the dogmatic assertions of the Pope and his church. It wasn't until the momentous contribution of the German…… [Read More]
Identify four of these ideas, describing what they are, why they are considered dangerous, and how they might be avoided or mitigated as dangerous ideas
The absence of free will is defended by some scientists today: "British psychologist Susan Blackmore recently contended that our minds are actually nothing but collections of memes that we catch from each other like viruses and that the familiar sense of 'I' is some sort of fiction that memes create for their own agenda" (Davies, 2004, p.37). This idea postulates there is no central truth or morality and can be used to justify almost any moral action. Richard Dawkins has called human beings survival machines, rather than culpable moral actors (Davies, 2004, p.36). But if free will is merely an illusion, how is any action of a being that is subject to the whims of biology or evolution any different than someone who commits a…… [Read More]
If all of the events the world could be understood by examining a mathematical model, if there was essentially no free will on a macro level -- probably very little would be changed on a micro level. Even today, people are more and more aware of how genes affect their emotional behaviors and physical health, and how economic and social circumstances shape their character. Yet they still approach the questions of their daily lives as if they have freedom of choice, and the criminal justice system has been loathe to refuse to punish people, simply because of defendant's unavoidable previous circumstances. Politicians pass legislation that suggests human behavior can be changed, such as anti-smoking laws. Even if determinism exists on a 'macro' level, on a 'micro' level the perception of choice prevails and that is how we behave -- hence the timelessness but also the futility of Max's quest. The…… [Read More]
Jean Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir on Freedom, Being-for-Others, And Sartrean Despair
Simone de Beauvoir and JP Sartre were two famous existentialists that converged and diverged on various concepts. These included the existentialist concepts of freedom, being-for-others and transcendence or despair. Their converged and divergences will be addressed in this essay.
Sartre was one of the most famous existentialists of all times. For him, existence did not base itself on an ethos of God-ordained morality nor did it have any transcendental meaning. ather meaningfulness of life -- or liberty / freedom -- depended on the meaning that one arbitrarily accorded life and he claimed that man is "what he makes of himself," or in other words "in the end one is always responsible for what is made of one" In this way, Sartre's philosophy integrated both optimism and despair: optimism in the belief that one can resolutely make something…… [Read More]
Most Elizabethans believed their self-identity was wrapped up in a cosmic paradigm of fate and destiny, and were somehow controlled by the stars and planets and had a power over the baser side of man -- tools of God, but with certain amounts of free will. Thus, a very central idea in Shakespeare is this central view that an individual's identity is set by God, the Planets, the Universe, the Gods, and Nature. But in contrast, the idea of free will for the individual -- or even a single utterance or decision, can change forever the destiny of the individual. A superb example of this is in Romeo and Juliet.
Fate and chance surround the identities of the major and minor characters in RJ almost from the opening scene. Because the audience already believed that their destiny was predetermined, they saw the characters as having very little choice in their…… [Read More]
Oedipus is at once a King of courage and judicial propriety, and also one in whom there is a tendency toward pride. Underlying it all, however, lays a great and secret blemish that awaits his discovery. It is through this secret mark - a birthmark of sorts - that fate, or the fates will eventually lead him to his downfall. It will be his character traits of courage, honesty and integrity, however, in combination with an ego and pride that are more closely related hubris that will actually bring about his inevitable acts of self-destruction via free will. In many ways, Oedipus was created as a perfect specimen through whom Sophocles could effectively deliver one of the most dramatic of ancient Greek tragedies.
ith generous measures of irony Sophocles provides tantalizing situations intended to hold the attention of the audience that knows the secret blemish of Oedipus long before he…… [Read More]
One of the great ironies of Dante's Inferno is the centrality of earth-bound fame, moral reputation, praise and blame. The importance of reputation would seem to contradict Virgil's efforts in leading Dante through Purgatory to impart a more meaningful moral message. Yet it is important to remember that Dante travels alive; Virgil's lessons are instructive in a direct and practical manner. Dante ascertains life lessons from those he encounters in the afterlife, so that he may improve his prospects for earthbound fame. The importance of fame seems paradoxical when considered in light of the transitory nature of existence. However, Purgatory presents the consequences of a poor public relations scheme. Investment in moral reputation has the potential to strengthen The Divine Comedy's overarching pretensions, by linking the importance of one's earthly life to the life beyond.
Dante makes it clear that reputation does not necessarily have to be pristine to…… [Read More]
OEDIPUS VS. OTHELLO
Oedipus and Othello
Oedipus and Othello are both productions where the namesake of the story or play experiences a downfall before the end of the play.
Oedipus and Othello each experience a downfall
Oedipus was a victim of the actions of the gods
Othello was responsible for his own downfall
Othello had opportunity to change his fate
Othello was deceived by Iago
Othello maims Iago
Iago never explains his motivations iii. Othello's jealousy leads him to murder Desdemona
Othello learns that he was wrong about Desdemona
Some ancillary actions played a part in each of the tragic circumstances
Oedipus' behavior is clearly outside the bounds of morality
a. Oedipus ignores the warnings of his father, Laius
Oedipus has sexual relations with his mother
c. Oedipus kills his father
d. Oedipus had free will and could have stopped himself
Oedipus and Othello are both productions where the…… [Read More]
" (Dafler, 2005) Dafler relates that for more than thirty years children who were 'half-caste' "were forcibly removed from their families, often grabbed straight from their mother's arms, and transported directly to government and church missions." (Dafler, 2005) This process was termed to be one of assimilation' or 'absorption' towards the end of breeding out of Aboriginal blood in the population. At the time all of this was occurring Dafler relates that: "Many white Australians were convinced that any such hardship was better than the alternative of growing up as a member of an 'inferior' race and culture." (2005) it is plainly stated in a government document thus:
The destiny of the natives of Aboriginal origin, but not of the full blood, lies in their ultimate absorption by the people of the Commonwealth, and [the commission] therefore recommends that all efforts be directed towards this end." (eresford and Omaji, Our…… [Read More]
Perhaps nowhere is Apollo's relevance as poignant as his association with prognostication. A whole cult devoted to Apollo centered on the god's ability to foresee the future and to communicate his findings to mortals. Only Zeus is depicted as being as omniscient as Apollo (orford & Lenardon p. 128). Apollo's "brightness" takes on a new meaning in his role as seer because he sheds light on the future and also helps illuminate the human experience. His "brightness" indicates good visual sight as well as foresight. Being a psychic seer mirrors having solid long-distance vision, and Apollo was also an archer, dubbed the "far-shooter" by Homer (orford & Lenardon p. 121).
Apollo's reputation as the god of foresight reached ancient Persia too. orford & Lenardon refer to the story of Croesus the Persian who heard of the Oracle at Delphi and sought Apollo's advice in spite of the geographic and cultural…… [Read More]
Theme of Collapsing Uncertainties
The Collapsing Birth Rate in the Developed orld
Human beings perceive events, individuals, and objects in different manners in relation to the circumstances and understanding. This is vital towards the development of concept of reality with the aim of continuous leadership, caring, and forms of goodness. This is an indication that human beings believe in whatever they see and purport to be ideal thus generation of meaning and form of understanding or knowledge for the purposes of guidance and leadership. Various personalities have focused on the examination of the concept of collapsing uncertainties. Some of these personalities include Timothy Eves, Plato, and Sartre. Sartre focuses on the examination of the concept of hell or the world of darkness through integration of the No Exit play. This is ideal for effective understanding and development of the forms of goodness in relation to reality and knowledge.…… [Read More]
Ethics and Public Policy
This paper discusses the application of the major ethical theories of consequentialism (utilitarianism), deontology, and virtue ethics to a specific policy question, namely how to improve the nutrition of the nation's poor and to reduce the rise in food insecurity. It also discusses the implications of ethical theories such as determinism and moral relativism. First, the theory is discussed in the abstract, followed by an exposition of how the theory relates to real-world practice. The paper concludes with a more general reflection on the implications of ethical theories for public policy-makers. The specific merits of virtue ethics are stressed vs. The more extreme and polarizing views of deontology and consequentialism.
An ethical dilemma: Food insecurity
One of the dilemmas facing public policy-makers regarding food insecurity and the need to improve the diet of poor Americans is the balance between individual liberties and the need…… [Read More]
'For though beauty is seen and confessed by all, yet, from the many fruitless attempts to account for the cause of its being so, enquiries on this head have almost been given up"
illiam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, (1753)
Not very encouraging words, but if the great artist illiam Hogarth felt himself up to the task, we can attempt at least to follow his lead. That beauty is enigmatic goes almost without saying. Different ages, different cultures, and even different individuals, will have their own definitions of "beauty." The problem is more than skin deep. Any term that can be so widely and irregularly employed is bound to trap the casual researcher ... Or reader ... Or viewer ... Or for that matter, any other human being who attempts to define what is and what is not "beauty." People, places, things -- even ideas dreams -- can…… [Read More]
History Naval Warfare
What was naval power in the age of sail and how did different sea going states exercise it from the period 1650-1850?
"There is a deep landlubber bias in historical and social research," writes Charles King. "History and social life, we seem to think, happen on the ground. What happens on the water…is just the scene-setter for the real action when the actors get where they are going. ut oceans, seas, and rivers have a history of their own, not merely as highways or boundaries but as central players in distinct stories of human interaction and exchange." Current essay is an exploration of the naval power and sea command during the period of the age of sail (1650-1850). The author has mentioned the war history and war strategies of major navies and sailors during this era. The author has also discussed how different sea going states exercise…… [Read More]
An early influence on Gestalt psychology was the philosopher Immanuel Kant, who stressed that humans do not perceive the world as it is. Rather, they impose cause and effect relationships on it and therefore our perceptions are influenced by their experiences. Max Wertheimer was the strongest proponent of this approach. Gestalt psychology greatly declined when Nazis came to power in Germany and many scholars were forced to flee. In the United States, behaviorism was too strong to overcome, and many of its ideas were in opposition to Gestalt beliefs.
Humanistic therapy overlaps with CBT and both are very common in today's society. It emphasizes the growth and fulfillment of the self or self-actualization through self-mastery, self-examination and creative expression. Although the influences of the unconscious and society are taken into account, freedom of choice in creating one's experience is essential and is often referred to as self-determination. A humanistic therapist…… [Read More]
More precisely, the determinist view considers that actions are in fact a result of previous manifested circumstances and that freedom is not an important factor in the life of the individual precisely because they cannot surpass and avoid the power of circumstances. On the other hand, Honderich wonders whether indeed the determinist view is entirely correct, taking into account any possible considerations of the possibility to choose and the possibility to decide on a different path in a certain day.
From the point-of-view of two relatively conflicting ideas, more precisely the idea of conditionality and the one of choice, Honderich considers that freedom is also the ability to actually influence the present by making a different choice at a certain moment in time. In this sense, he uses both the idea of the determinist view, that of complying with the circumstances; he does agree on the issue stating that all…… [Read More]
Despite Kundera's own assertion that Nietzsche's eternal recurrence can only be interpreted metaphorically, he manifests four different forms of this philosophy by means of the lives he describes. These indeed include the literal interpretation, where actions and events literally repeat throughout a lifetime; the collective, where similar events occur in different lives but in similar relationships; the symbolic, where symbols recur within lifetimes, and the metaphorical, which Kundera describes in the beginning of the novel, where the same events occur in different forms. These forms of recurrence deserve some more detailed discussion, as follows.
Tereza and Tomas's relationship is somewhat problematic from the beginning, but no less inevitable for it. It is as if the decision to stay together despite the fact that their needs and goals are incompatible is made on their behalf by a power similar to fate. Hence the various fateful events that resulted in…… [Read More]
He alone knew that with the consciousness of the injustices done him, with his wife's incessant nagging, and with the debts he had contracted by living beyond his means, his position was far from normal." (Tolstoy, Chapter III). Not everyone thinks Ivan Ilyich's salary is meager, and he chooses to live beyond his means, thus although he is ordinary, his world is not absent of examples of how it is possible to live differently. Likewise, the married lovers of "The Lady with the Dog" could theoretically leave their spouses, although divorce is difficult in 19th century Russia. hat impedes them seems to be the fact that openly leaving their spouses and children will make them societal pariahs, and result in a loss of financial and social status. At the end of the tale, their resolve to begin their life anew rings hollow, and they may very well remain willing to…… [Read More]
Last of the Mohicians
James Fennimore Cooper's The Last of The Mohicans was published in 1826, part of a pentology, but the best known work for contemporary readers. The story takes place in 1757 during the French and Indian War, when France and Great Britain were at odds for dominance of the North American Colonies. During this war, the French made treaties and allied themselves with many Native American tribes to up the balance between the far more numerous British and colonialists. It was written in a popular genre of the time in which historical accuracy came second and numerous inaccuracies in terms of Native culture were simply overlooked, or became part of White popular culture (Peck). Ironically, there is a famous American author who took great pains to deride the material, Mark Twain. Twain found the novel lacking in variety with excessive verbiage, and even suggested that before praising…… [Read More]
Over the course of the 1960s, the United States saw great social and political upheaval, as countless young people revolted against a system that was fundamentally incapable of effectively representing them or their desires. Though the decade saw the development of a number of important social and political efforts, such as the civil rights movement, the hippie movement has come to define the era, and for good reason. Hippies not only opposed the Vietnam War, but they also formed a counter-culture, opposing repressive standards of dress, behavior, and even thought, and, ultimately, they ended up forcing the entire country to undergo a dramatic ideological shift. The films Head, Skidoo, and Psych-Out represent three different reactions to the social conflict that gave rise to the hippie movement, and each films' implicit or explicit treatment of psychedelic drugs, as well as its representation of preexisting entertainment genres, reveals its particular…… [Read More]
Buddhist and Christina Ethic on Suicide and Euthanasia
The ethical issues associated with suicide and euthanasia are often viewed through the secular eyes of our modern world, yet many of the issues that are a part of the reasons why an individual might be for or against suicide and euthanasia are based almost entirely upon religious ethics. In this work a comparison will be drawn between the Christian and Buddhist views of the ethics of suicide and euthanasia. Comparing these two faith's standards and moral guidelines regarding these two issues will demonstrate a greater understanding of the ethics and standards associated with the modern secular moral stand on the issue in a political and personal way. The Christian and Buddhist ethic on suicide and euthanasia demonstrate a historical perspective of a very ancient ethical dilemma and the similarities and differences of the outgrowth of social and cultural responses to it…… [Read More]
His stance is also one of superiority as he presents himself as the victim of his own vision and artistic expression. In this context, the generic pronoun "they" symbolizes Craig's detachment from the world around him as he feels superior which he believes, is what causes his isolation.
Craig's wife, Lotte, is perhaps the most radically changed as a result of traveling through the portal. She becomes convinced that she is a transsexual, and consequently, feels the only way she can be true to herself is to assume a new sexual identity, i.e. that of a man. However Lotte abandons her desire of sexual reassignment when she becomes aware that by starting a relationship with Maxine, she can in fact assume a different gender role simply by falling in love with Maxine. Maxine, on the other hand, embarks on a sexual relationship with Malkovich so she can be with Lotte.…… [Read More]
Philosophy of Life
Humans have a distinguishing nature, which defines the way they think, act, and feel. The human nature has influenced the culture that humans have kept with each other. In my observation, humans have a distinct culture that defines their operations and activities. For many years, many studies have been carried out to establish the human nature, which defines all human beings. Various views on the nature of human beings have been developed to explain human behaviors and mannerisms. Aristotle and Plato argued that humans may be explained as conjugal animals because they couple when adults to build household. It is also argued that humans are political animals with the potential of developing complex communities besides being mimetic (Oruka, 1996).
ecent years have seen the development of modern views on the nature of humans, such as, a being with potency to think, develop, and replicate. This modern view…… [Read More]
In principle, it would be entirely possible to replace religious-inspired morality with logically derived concepts of morality in human life. Generally little else would be required besides suspending religious teachings and substituting the rules of organized religion with very basic ideas such as "do no harm." In that regard, the commandment "do unto others" is a perfectly useful and easily understandable ethical principle that could be taught with much better results without the cloak of its religious context.
Instead of teaching that human beings are incapable of ascertaining what is right and what is wrong without divine help and that we are morally tarnished by our involuntary thoughts, we would learn that one ought not to treat other unfairly or cause them harm and that the worse our involuntary desires and thoughts, the more moral credit we deserve for resisting the impulse to act on them. Ultimately, one of…… [Read More]