Literature is one of the great riches of life. It has been the most important form of recording since the beginning of time. Just think about how crazy the art of writing thoughts for everyone –at any point in time, to experience is. Thousands of thoughts are expressed in one single article. To me, literature and press have given me a truely spiritual gift, the gift of knowledge. Philosophers such as John Hobbes, Baron de Montesqeu, and Plato are the heroes that set fourth ideals that many of us take for granted each day. Those who can think are the people that can write for people to read. This is the literature that I build my mindset upon, a beneficial element to mantain in this crazy occurance called life.
Reflect & Connect
Our connection with nature is so strained at this point in time, my pessimistic side can’t help but think we are going too finally use the last breath nature has left in the not-so-distant future. Technology has done great things to help humanity thrive, but it has taken away some of the innocence life naturally has. Although, I am not complaining at all, I love the knowledge and evolution technology has provided for me. Without technology I would probably not be living in the state of consciousness I currently find myself residing in. Nonetheless, I can’t help but feel that simpler times were more natural, without the cloudiness technology brings to distract mankind. Not to say however that religion didn’t cause the same effect or help the negative aspects happen that has been brought upon society today. The fate of humanity may seem bleak at this point, too many concepts have taken nature out of us, just a side effect of having the most complex nervous system of any animal.
- Would you agree that creation myths represent one of the most stunning feats of the human imagination? Why?
Many of these myths are a stretch of the human mind, because without facts and evidence, these primitive cultures had to give meaning and reason to their lives and the events occurring around them. If you have no basis or logic for why things happen, the sky is the limit for where your imagination can take you. For example, in the African story of creation it states that mankind was constructed using clay from the Nile River. All different races were made from different types of clay and sand, which is a simple explanation for there BEING different races in the first place. The Nile is the most important water source to that culture and clay is often used to create works of art. I’m sure we would be considered a “work of art”, so you really don’t have to be a genius to see how this culture reached this conclusion.
- In the Jewish story told in the first book of the Tanakh, what about man’s tasting of the Tree of Knowledge is a threat? Why? What does that say about the relationship of the Hebrew God to man?
The tree of knowledge is a threat because it shows humanity both right and wrong. Until this point in time, it seems that man has only known about right, so tasting the fruit from the tree of knowledge will show us evil. One particular observation I made from reading this is the way God treats women rather than man. He refers to them as “man and his wife”, basically stating that she is property. He gives the wife to Ish labeling her as his helper. I believe these sorts of ideals set forth a long history of women taking a backseat to men, which to me is extremely troubling.
- What might account for the differences between the original materials used to create human beings in all these stories?
The materials used in each story is different, I think that it has to do with geographic location. Examples include: The African story of creation, using clay from the Nile, The Pawnee Creation Myth, which refers to “Mother Corn” ( a reference to corn if I am correct, which is one of the great basic foods from primitive cultures), or Ovid who wrote of creation using water , clay, & land to create the globe out of chaos. All these things have meaning to their specific culture; it is easy to see where roots came from.
In my house hold I deal with communication issues on a daily basis, specifically starting when I entered my teen years. As stated amongst the communication principles, the event of communication is unavoidable. Constantly I am sending messages to my parents and vice versa. Most of the time we are casual but there is a much darker time in my personal communication experience when arguing about the household is in progress. Everyone’s nerves are on red alert, whilst the elephant in the room takes a toll on the general decoding and encoding processes. Usually, during such an even I choose to only relay content messages , avoiding relational messages making my entire persona emotionless with a goal of stopping the conflict A.S.A.P. I firmly believe that sometimes the best action to take is no action whatsoever.
The Irreversible principle has probably had the most impact on my life. As stated in the book “At one time or another, we have all wished we could take back words we regretted uttering” (PG 10 Adler/ Elmorst). I have said many rude and despising things to my parents out of anger that are regrettable, things that I will never be able to take back. Even in the present I deal with the consequences from my actions/ words spoken. The amount of lasting feelings that has been communicated between my parents and I is great but forgiveness is always possible.
I have taken notice to past fights/arguments that there are obvious communication patterns occurring throughout them all. Generally, bad blood has been shown days before a fight ever takes place, starting simply with small incidents that affect the agenda of the days following. Almost as if you can feel the tension in the air, words spoken seem to display a small jab to ones ego. Communication only continues to gain hostility, you can sense the water is boiling hotter than ever before. A ridiculous event is the temperature rising, reaching the boiling point where finally someone is triggered into a hasty reaction.
Tayler Cole Humanities 1100 Tayler Cole, Period 4, 2-10-12
The combination of reading literature to gain knowledge and viewing the world without black/white thinking would make our world a better place. In order to reach our civilization’s full potential we must first educate ourselves on a variety of topics so we can find the best compromise for complex solutions using proper argumentation and debate. We all possess the ability to self-educate through use internet, books, documentaries, and schooling, although many people find comfort in laziness rather than knowledge.
Frank L. Cioffi in his work Argumentation in a Culture of Discord states that when perusing complex issues we must drop the “I’m right, you’re wrong” persona that weakens possible compromise. From argument, questions should be raised, thoughts should be reexamined, and ideologies should be flexible or open. Cioffi writes “Philosophical and, more generally, argumentative discourse presents no irrefutable proofs, no indelible answers” (Page 64). This statement reveals that in argumentative discourse one must be completely open, toning down fallacies of logic in order to gain a better understanding of the subject at hand. If these ideals were introduced in our society, the economy would not be in the status it is in. Compromise would conquer all issues brought before it and many American families who are suffering would live much brighter days.
Mario Vargas Llosa in his work Why Literature? displays the importance of literature for those who seek to increase their understanding and knowledge of the world around them. Llosa states “ But literature has been, and will continue to be, as long as it exists, one of the common denominators of human experience through which human beings may recognize themselves and converse with others, no matter how different their professions, their geographical and cultural locations, their personal circumstances” (Page 40). This statement refers to the importance literature in history, showing how much it has meant to men of any background. Think about literature as a tool, think about your brain as a tool bag, ask yourself: Why would I deny the possession of a tool if it can help me in any one of life’s many situations? The answer is of course, you wouldn’t.
Both of these concepts have had a direct impact on my life, my father does not have the education I was so blessed to be raised with nor does he possess the skills to argue effectively. One specific example is the way he views the political spectrum. If you try to discuss topics and issues from an “argumentation” stand point he will automatically jump to verbal fallacies as a defense mechanism, especially when the issue at hand goes against his personal values, even slightly. He appears to not have containment for the ability to view the world from the point of view of others, although in many cases we are all guilty of this crime. One example of this defense mechanism in action is the way he views gay marriage, as he believes the bible is the only true window to watch outside (life) from. He puts no effort towards experiencing life in the shoes of a homosexual American, and honestly I doubt he ever will. However, lessons can be learned from the ignorance displayed.
If you combine both of these two intelligible ideologies you will find a greater harmony fall upon our country, especially if each individual takes on the task to self-educate and debate correctly. Our world is headed into a negative direction, but we must recognize the tools and choices are there to help direct towards a brighter tomorrow.
A Fable for Tomorrow by Rachel Carson
This story is about how a place of great prosperity and natural beauty became a wasteland. Death became prominent in this imaginary town because everything was subjected to “a white granular powder” (PG 371). I believe this white granular powder is pesticides used on the farmland, the poison that killed this wonderful place. All types of animals in the area died, as well as citizens, a giant disruption of the local ecosystem had occurred. “The people had done it to themselves” (PG 371) writes Carson, and she is completely correct.
The main point of this story is to show the potential damage that can occur when using deadly pesticides in nature. It disrupts the whole environment, causing death amongst all forms of life, even human life. Even though this event has not happened yet, the truth is that it is a real possibility, capable of destroying the lives of many people. We must take action to prevent something like this from occurring in the future, although we are killing nature every day. For example, the great pacific garbage patch causes immense harm to the marine life that lies beneath it. The garbage patch is estimated to be 90% plastic, which as we all know is not biodegradable, meaning it can take hundreds of years to break down. This plastic kills wildlife, litters surrounding beaches, and increases by a large amount each year. We need to truly look at the impact we are making on our earth, I just hope people will someday come to their senses.
Polemic by Edward Abbey
The general point made by Edward Abbey in his work Polemic is that people generally only care about time and money, and that involving cars/industrial machines in National Parks takes away some tranquility from the scene. More specifically, the author suggests that economical thinking encourages the use of vehicles in National Parks while environmental thinking generally argues that vehicles and wilderness don’t go well together. He writes, “There are some who frankly and boldly advocate the eradication of the last remnants of wilderness and the complete subjugation of nature to the requirements of –not man—but industry” (PG 187). This passage suggests that there are people in this world who strongly believe that our resources must be used by industry in order to keep our economy thriving, ignoring the risk this method will develop in the future. In conclusion, it is Abbey’s belief that the ideals everyday Americans have about nature and National Parks alike is a danger for future generations; basically the priorities of this country are out of control. The earth is a gift, one that must be cherished and respected.
In my view, Abbey is right because the connection humans have with nature is being damaged every single day, although in the future it may not even be available to damage. For example, the massive release of carbon dioxide emissions into that occur in every car, every day, in order for our society to keep progressing is detrimental to the outlook of humanity. Laws that protect the earth are attempted to be passed all of the time, but are usually shot down by corporate lobbyists. Specifically, laws that place a minimum MPG status, or laws that ensure cars will burn gas more efficiently, many of which never make it past the ideal stage. Many people argue that introducing regulations such as these will directly harm economic growth. I guess the question that must be asked is as such: What is more important, economic prosperity or the preservation of earth for future generations? Therefore, I conclude that our earth is far more important than any amount of money; we must ensure that it is here for our youth, especially our national parks.
Wildlife in American Culture
The general point made by Aldo Leopold in his work wildlife in American culture is that experiences with nature create awareness about history, industry, and that invention has clouded the classic American connection with nature, and that the evolution of tools/mechanisms has led to the destruction of nature. More specifically, Leopold suggests that our ethics concerning natural resources are removing balance between man and nature. He writes, “It is unlikely that economic motives alone will ever teach us to use our new tools gently. The only remedy is to extend our system of ethics from the man-man relation to the man-earth relation.” (PG 372). In this passage, Leopold is deducing that the only way to save nature is to treat crimes against it like crimes committed against another human being. The punishment for these crimes must be equal; even though one is obviously more detrimental than the other (crime against man is usually seen as worse).
In my view, Leopold is correct in his views because our planet is a gift, a gift that we must respect and cherish, for this Earth is the only one we have. For example, anti-littering is one of my core values, because I know that every piece of trash will end up somewhere. It is possible that some random garbage man will pick the trash up, but it is just as possible it will endanger the habitat of some random creature trying to survive. Although Leopold might object to the use of technology/mechanisms to be used against nature, I maintain that it’s a necessity. In reality, we need machinery to support our society, but there are better ways to preserve our planet for future generations. We must introduce harsher regulations to help control the harm inflicted on the environment. Therefore, I conclude that although technology is a must for society, there are actions that can be taken to ease the strain put on the Earth.