All posts by cnatkaniec

Course Reflection

My favorite post was the one about Trisomy 21. I really enjoyed writing it because I feel like I was able to effectively express my opinions about abortion and provide supporting details as to why I am against abortion, which is sometimes hard to do with such a heating topic. Sometimes I find that I even question my own opinions on abortion, whether I am pro-choice or pro-life. Writing the post definitely affirmed that I am pro-life, and I’m proud to say it.

https://cnatkaniec.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/trisomy-21/

I also really liked writing the post about men and women and the difference between ethics of care and ethics of justice because I feel like I did a really good job expressing how they compliment one another. It’s really hard in today’s society to justify the opinion of how men and women aren’t equal- I don’t think they are, and some people may judge me for that. But men and women aren’t equal- they’re different, and God created us that way to compliment one another.

 I had the most trouble writing the post about Elder Suicide. I had trouble with this post because one of my very close family friends, my best friend’s dad, committed suicide a little over two years ago. It was hard for me to write his post because while I am against what he did to himself and opt his family, I have to try and understand his feelings and recognize that he was ultimately mentally ill and did not take his own life out of selfishness. It was also hard for me to justify Elder Suicide, as I did in the post, when I see how much suicide has changed my best friends life.

https://cnatkaniec.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/48/

 My least favorite post was about chemical castration and its use as treatment for child molesters and other sex offenders. The idea of sex offenders makes me feel nauseous in general. I found it really difficult to write this post because one of my friends was molested as a child and she carries it with her every day- even 16 years later. It was really hard to remain strong in my convictions against the use of chemical castration and recognize the fact that many sex offenders were violated sexually themselves at one point or another. It is difficult to place blame on them for something that was done to them, while still it is important not to avoid recognizing that it is an entirely inexcusable act. It had trouble writing it because I don’t think anyone can make sense of a situation or the damage in can cause years later. I am not sure I could have improved on my post or the points made, because I am still against chemical castration.

https://cnatkaniec.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/chemical-castration/

 I learned the most from the post about “friendship”. Oftentimes, I see myself frustrated about my situation with my friends because of the geographical situation, their opinions, where they are in their lives, etc. At the end of the day, it is important to support each other and be there for one another no matter what. I feel that this post took over, and I was writing from true feelings about friendship, subconscious feelings, rather than being consciously being aware of what I was writing. I think friendship is a beautiful thing and a chosen bond unlike any other. A true friendship is valuable and worth cherishing for a lifetime. “Friends welcome anytime, family by appointment only”. I learned from this point because if gave me a chance to express my feelings freely and then examine them later, which is an awesome learning experience.

https://cnatkaniec.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/friendship/#comments

 The most interesting thing I learned in the course is to not judge a book by its cover- rather, do not judge people based on immediate interpretations. Everyone has a story, and everyone comes from a background which has made them who they are. It does not mean they are immoral or ding something wrong- Pojman had written about ethical relativism. I don’t believe people can be responsible for their actins if they are unaware that what they are doing is wrong. I feel that this topic made me more accepting of other people, other cultures, and other values, which is very important in America.

 I will use this knowledge about cultural acceptance and acceptance of other people’s ways as I move forward in my nursing career and life in general. It is important to respect other people’s cultures and their way of doing things, especially in the healthcare system. If you respect someone’s culture, you have a better chance to form a trusting relationship with that person so you can both work positively towards a therapeutic goal.

 I don’t think my views changed. However, I do feel that my thoughts were delved into further, supported, and explored. For example, “what is the meaning of life”? This is something I think about often, and being able to read Aristotle’s views made me further understand that life is about being good, and happy and it is about the little things. This course made me understand more about who I am as a person while recognizing the motives that other people often have also.

 At first, when I read how much of this course would involve social media, blogging, twitter, etc., I was nervous because I realistically stink at technology. However, I think ethics is a really good topic to compare with your peers. Ethics isn’t something that is stressed while growing up- we are raised with the values our parents choose to instill in us, and that is pretty much it. Rarely do we discuss what it means to be a good person, why it is important to be good people, what is the meaning of life, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and learned a lot from it. It is one thing to have to do homework and read and write for a grade- its another thing to read and write a post and actually learn something from the post. Throughout this course, I was given the opportunity to learn concrete knowledge, while being able to learn something about myself each and every time. I would recommend this class to other people because it allows for free guided thought, opinion exploration and expression, and discussion among peers, which is essential for developing our character. It is important that we recognize what is important to us so that can progress in our lives as we approach graduation and whatever we choose to come after that for us. 

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Final Part 4

“How to Get Rich in Rising Asia” is a story about a Man striving for a life with financial security, perhaps in excess, and not truly fulfilling what it means to be happy. The Man does not feel fulfilled until the end of the book when he is taken out of his comfort zone of money, power, and status- left without an income and without his health, and is left to better his interpersonal relationships which ultimately leads to a more fulfilling life and his happiness. Many people in our society are caught up in the ‘importance’ of possessions, for we are a very materialistic culture. The book provides us with a lesson not by example, but rather by repeated failure, and places an emphasize on the important things in life. 

I chose the following picture because it show the positive impact of supportive personal relationships.

images-1

“How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” is a book about a boy growing up in said “rising Asia”, in search of ways to gain financial stability and security in the world around him. Throughout the book, he is faced with many situations, which could have brought him pleasure in many ways- however, pleasure and happiness are never directly referenced or mentioned at any point in the book. During the first half of the book, it is clear that the protagonist’s journey is based on the search of money for pleasure. I was not too fond of this book because of the writing style and the story in general. It did not stress any major points directly, rather just carried the reader through a journey of a man’s life, which was supposed to be paralleled to the reader’s life- after all, it had been portrayed as a self help book up until it became clear that this person’s life was to be learned from based on his failures rather than by example of his accomplishments.

The man seems to be suffering throughout the book- at least in my own personal interpretation. He was never satisfied with his relationships, whether it be with his father, or siblings, or the Pretty Girl, or his wife, or his son- he was always looking for bigger and better things of monetary value to bring him pleasure. The search for money had lead to poor decisions and poor judgments; ones that absolutely made the reader question the protagonist’s moral character. The concept of the novel was sad; the man was continuously searching for a happiness he could not possibly find in money and business; rather, the happiness he was looking for was not fulfilled until he became closer with the Pretty Girl and his own son, at the end of his life. Happiness is subjective- different things bring each of us a different amount of pleasure. While many people value materialistic objects as the key to a happy life, oftentimes it is through personal relationships and doing good for others that we as humans feel most fulfilled.

The Man’s story and moral character can be evaluated by delving into the theories or Aristotle and Pojman. Aristotle speaks of happiness and good men in terms of the goods that they do rather than the goods that they have; “a happy man lives well and does well”. According to Aristotle, the main goal in life – the point of the journey of life is to strive for happiness. Aristotle refers to a point in one’s life, which I can only assume to be close to death, where a man values himself by the goods within himself rather than the goods he possesses- the internal goods. This is where is becomes evident that the Man was not on the track to happiness until the later point of his life, when all of his possessions, wealth, and social status had been taken from him by his ex-brother-in-law. Aristotle talked about goodness and happiness, and so we will talk about how the Man was good and how he was not before we can talk about his happiness. With goodness, naturally comes the thoughts of morality.

Aristotle spoke of moral virtues in the sense that they are not naturally occurring- they are a learned behavior that must be practiced and exercised to become a part of us. This coincides nicely with the point that Pojman made about cultural relativism in the sense that morality is different among different cultures. If someone is not raised with moral virtues, they can not rightfully be judged because of the absence of these virtues simply because it was not part of their culture. So I pose the fact that the Man was not an honest businessman, not a good husband, not trustworthy, did not stand up against violence or unjust acts, etc.- but he could not be judged for not responding to these a certain way if his culture did not place an emphasize on the importance of them.

When we meet the Man, he is still living in a rural area with his family while his father is traveling back and forth from the city. In the beginning of the story, we are introduced to him while he is suffering from what seems to be a horrible ailment. In his culture it was normal to have this type of sickness, and he was not paid much attention to. In America, however, someone who had the possibility of dying from a virus or bacteria would be hospitalized immediately and would have intensive care, while here the Man, or boy at the time, was just depicted as lying there sick, while his parents were having sex in the same room that him and his siblings slept in. One could see how this differs from normal American culture, and how a difference at a young age could change the fundamentals of morality from ‘doing good for others’, and converting them into ‘survival mode’.

So then the boy goes to the city with his father and the rest of his family. He attends school, where he is humiliated for being intelligent, and eventually is employed at a video store. While working at this video store, he sees the pretty girl walking to her house often, and eventually comes into contact with her, discussing the possibility of stealing a movie for her viewing pleasure. This is the first of many immoral incidents on the Man’s part. However, we have to weigh the options- would there have possibly been another way the Man could have gotten the girl the DVD without stealing it?- perhaps not. I feel that it would be appropriate to attribute his wrong doing to the fact that he was interested in his own benefit, which was the chance to interact with the Pretty Girl, rather than actually intentionally doing wrong; being passively immoral, if you will.

Throughout the story, there were many times when the Man was immoral. One big example that I could not disregard was the fact that his entire water bottle business was built on the fact that he was not purifying or filtering the water professionally. Rather, he was just boiling the water and selling it as purified. During a conversation with one of his workers, he discussed that if someone got sick from the water if it was not boiled the right way, it would not be good for business. I felt that it was immoral to not recognize that it would be wrong to make someone sick in the first place. Also, I could not understand how someone could sell a product claiming it was one thing and actually selling something of lesser quality- but I suppose that would delve into a concept of business ethics. Regardless, the fact that he built his business on false advertising and deceiving his clients was morally wrong.

There was also a situation in which he felt threatened because of his financial power and status, and so he hired a body guard for protection. While he was out with the body guard one day, the guard felt that the Man’s safety was threatened by an individual, and so the guard shot him. The guard did not consult the Man before killing the individual. However, it was not written in the book that the Man reacted in a way, objecting the actions of the guard and stating they were wrong. It was morally wrong for the Man to not address the wrongdoing with the guard.

The Man married a woman whom he was not entirely interested in. They had a child and he was not often present because, as always, he was in search of bigger and better things like money and social status. His marriage had fallen apart, and by the time he was interested in repairing the damage, his wife had zero intentions of putting effort towards the relationship. It was immoral for him to ignore the responsibility of marriage and a family. However, it is worth mentioning that we were not exposed to the culture regarding marriage in ‘rising Asia’. Perhaps it was the norm for the man to distance himself from the family to provide money- and so we as a culture are not in the position to judge because of the lack of knowledge on the matter.

The Man’s interactions with the Pretty Girl were overall immoral on both of their parts. I feel as though they toyed with one another’s emotions throughout the story, and it was not fair to either of them. The pretty girl was not necessarily the most modest character, and she was often with other men while the Man was getting married, having a family, lying and cheating to make money, etc. Their relationship was not feasible, but nevertheless, monumental. There were many instances when it was evident that they longed for one other, but were unable to make it work because of other desires like money and fame. Both the Man and the Pretty girl are guilty of this. However, I believe that if the Pretty Girl had given the Man the opportunity to be with her earlier in the story, in a more concrete way, like marriage, that he would have graciously accepted and perhaps the story would have played out much differently.

The main concept of this book was not directly introduces: the search for happiness and the importance in life. Throughout the book, the Man was not ‘happy’ although it seemed like he was chasing his own tail around it. The man did not seem satisfied with his life until all of his money and possessions and statuses were taken away from him. Towards the end of the book, the Man no longer had his health. Once he was discharged from the hospital, he was living in a hotel and helping young men who were trying to become entrepreneurs, giving them advice and showing them the way. Helping those people made him feel satisfied and happier with himself. However, he was still longing for something else. He had rekindled his relationship with the Pretty Girl and they lived together, having a mutually satisfying relationship. His son had visited and stayed with the Man and the Pretty Girl for a while- that was also an important relationship that made the man feel very satisfied.

The man was not a ‘good man’ throughout much of the book, because of the example of immoral decisions he made, and therefore I did not sense him as a happy man. It is hard to decipher if happiness makes you good, or if goodness makes you happy. However, it is very evident that when the man was no longer passively immoral, he became happier.  It is also very evident that the reader did not get a sense of satisfaction from the Man until he was nurturing his interpersonal relationships with his son and the Pretty Girl, supporting the fact that his true happiness was not fulfilled by material possessions and money. At the end of the book, the Man is dying, and we are painted a picture of a scene, which is either a dream or a hallucination. The Man thinks that he is in the hospital again, surrounded by many people. This reinforces that fact that he recognized the importance of his relationships with others- he did not dream of money, or water bottles, or cars, etc. The important things became clear to him much like Aristotle mentioned- “a man values himself by the goods within himself rather than the goods he possesses”. Even though the story ended on a sad note with the Man dying, I feel that the man had a successful story because he was able to find satisfaction in his situation and recognize that happiness was manifested in relationships rather than possessions.

Final Project Part 3

There are many characters we are introduced to in the book- some of which we learn about more than others, and some of which we know close to nothing about. The Man is the protagonist in the book, and so we learn about others form a point of view that many be biased; we are not sure if he is sharing with us his opinions on them, or if these are actual facts. It is safe to say, however, that we make moral judgments on these people based on what little we know about them, and suddenly our opinions are formed. Even about the Man- we formed opinions about him when there is still so little we know about him. It was never discussed whether he was happy in his situation or with his actions or with what he has done. Regardless of the lack of discussion about happiness, I feel that Aristotle’s theories on happiness would be most applicable to this book and the characters in this book in that the characters were concerned with their own happiness. I feel that many of the characters in this book were driven towards things that they believed would bring them happiness. Another point to mention, it was never discussed what constituted happiness in this culture or in the opinion of these individual characters. Happiness is subjective- everyone has a different idea of happiness. However, there are other concepts important to Aristotle’s theories, like morality and virtue, which I did not get a huge sense of in this book.

Even The Man, for example, it wasn’t discussed what would make him happy- it was just continuous discussion about money and his business for the first bulk of the book. It was just assumed by the reader that money and power was this Man’s opinion of success and happiness, which happens often for people. It was not later in the book where we find that the looses all of his possessions, is still looking to help people (particular young individuals with the same aspirations and a young ‘Man’), and was looking to find fulfillment in personal relationships as with the Pretty Girl, his son, etc.

One point in Aristotle’s writings he mentions what I can only assume to be the concept of death, and how one looks back with a sense of reflection trying to evaluate his or her own life and deciding whether or not it is fulfilling. There comes a point where one realizes that material possessions were not all the important, and the true importance lied in the concepts of love, family, kindness, etc. I feel that at the end of this book, when the Man was living with the Pretty Girl and they were sharing the final stages of their lives together, I felt a sense of this reflection Aristotle spoke about, and I feel that it became evident that the Man found the importance in life.

I did not care particularly for the writing style of this book. I believe it gave entirely too much detail in a blunt manner than made me feel uncomfortable at times. I don’t read books often, mostly just nursing textbooks, so I can’t say that I have much to compare the writing style to. I felt as though this book was more a narrative that a novel, perhaps because it was in the firs person and I felt as thought we were really connected to the Man. I hope the book would delve more into the feelings of the man- how he felt about his situation, what he thought he should strive for in the greater scheme of things, what happiness really meant. I felt that there were certain parts of the Man that were isolated. I do not feel that I can particularly connect the writing style with any moral ideas we have learned through out this semester.

Thesis: “Happiness is subjective- different things bring each and every one of us different amounts of pleasure. While many people value materialistic objects as the key to a happy life, oftentimes it is through personal relationships and doing good for others that we as a human race feel the most fulfilled”.

Final Project 1

I felt that this book was very difficult to get into and hard to follow. I did not appreciate the writing style at all, and was confused by the “self help” bit at the beginning of each chapter. I thought the book was overly graphic during many parts- but perhaps that is just a dislike of the author’s writing style. I didn’t notice many of the ethical relation during the beginning of the book. The points I did notice were the father’s love and sacrifice by bringing the family to the urban area to better their lives. I noticed the mother’s love even though she was a harsh figure and described as less than feminine.During the beginning of the book, the strong emotional connections noted were that between the man and the pretty girl, the man and his siblings, the man and his parents, etc. Throughout the book I felt that the main point was his struggle making it to the top of the social hierarchy, making money and obtaining status. I was less than attracted or fond of the man’s personality and the way the author described it. His values and integrity were not noticed until the end of the book, and I did not feel emotionally connected to the character until the point where he was in the hospital and near the end of his life, when he rekindled his connected with the pretty girl etc. I thought the book was sad, but I think that it did exemplify how one’s life could feel unfulfilled by the things many people find value in like money and possession. It showed how a person can only feel fulfilled in the long run by strong personal connections with people that you love.

Who I Am

I identify myself with Polish culture. I was born in America, but I would consider my values to come from more of a Polish background than an American background. My father was born in Poland, and my mother’s parents were born in Poland. My closest community is the group of people that live in my house, the polish community in Worcester, my nursing classmates, and the friends I dance with on the Worcester State dance company, and the catholic community. My culture influences that standards I’ve set for my present day and my future, it influences my thinking and what I expect of myself and of other people. It has influenced by decision to go to college and be a successful woman with a career with the ability to one day support a family. Without my culture, I’m absolutely wouldn’t be who I am today and I wouldn’t approach life and situations in the same way.

The three values I find to be most important are integrity, dedication, and loyalty. These values have been instilled in me from the beginning of my childhood, and I feel that I exemplify these three values well. Honesty is important in building relationships and a reputation for yourself, dedication is necessary to make anything desirable and fruitful a part of your life, and loyalty is what makes any close relationship special. These values were very important and key when it came to my family emigrating from Poland and coming to America and establishing a life here. I also have certain values because of my religion, and the fact that religion and culture are very intertwined in my life and my family makes us a very tight knit group of Polish Roman Catholics with very firm values. Sometimes we seem judgmental, and some of us are, but I recognize that it’s important to accept other cultures and cultural values

My ethical standpoint is parallel to the “Golden Rule”; or treating others how you would like to be treated. It’s important to be mindful of other people and not cause any harm to others, either intentionally or passively. I think it is important to make choices based on what is best for the largest amount of people- while at the same time, its important to watch out for yourself and protect your family and loved ones. It is important to defend justice and protect others when they are not in the position to advocate for themselves. I think there is something to be said about a balanced life- a balance between being selfless and selfish, both caring for others and also putting the your own needs first when its appropriate. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a student nurse is that you need to put yourself in the best possible position to be able to help other people. Its not healthy to be selfless at all times- selfishness is a survival skill. Someone told me “you have to worry about yourself before you can worry about other people”, otherwise, it’ll be fruitless, maybe even self-destructive. I believe an ethical person is level headed and is able to take many standpoints into consideration, finding peace in the way they treat others and themselves.

I chose the bottom three pictures because I am Polish and I am Catholic, and both of those identifiers have played a huge role in shaping my lifestyle. Also, I chose a picture of Pope John Paul the Second because my family really appreciates everything he stood for. Needless to say, we were biased because he was also Polish and Catholic.

PJP2 cross polish eagle

 

Who has the right to judge?

Ethical relativism is the theory that there are no universally valid moral principles, but that all moral principles are valid relative to culture or individual choice. It is to be distinguished from moral skepticism, there are no valid moral principles at all (or at least we cannot know whether there are any), and from all forms of moral objectivism or absolutism. The following statement by the relativist philosopher John Ladd is a good characterization of the theory.

 

Ethical relativism is the doctrine that the moral rightness and wrongness of actions varies from society to society and that there are no absolute universal moral standards binding on all men at all times. Accordingly, it holds that whether or not it is right for an individual to act in a certain way depends on or is relative to the society to which he belongs. (John Ladd, Ethital Relativism)

(Pojman, Louis. “Who is to Judge?”)

The above paragraph means that each culture holds its own beliefs on what is moral and what is immoral, what is acceptable and what is unacceptable- what is right and what is wrong. It is not the position for someone from one culture to judge the actions of someone from another culture, simply because they were raised differently, with different moral standards and norms.

I agree with the above statement, that it is not the right for people from one culture to judge those from another culture. It’s almost like when someone is tried in a court, the jury must be made up by council of their peers (ideally, anyway). People from the western world are raised differently than people in the eastern world. Can someone be judged by the actions if they were not aware of the severity of what they were doing? Norms and acceptable actions are different in different parts of the world. In the Middle East for example, in certain areas, it is wrong for women to walk outside without their proper coverings. While here, in America, it is pretty much acceptable for women to go outside in anything short of being naked. If someone from the middle east judged the American women, her actions would absolutely be found as inappropriate- when here, it would be found as the norm, a little eccentric at most, but not punishable by law or judgment from a higher power. I think is important to be accepting of other people’s cultures and traditions as long as they do not cause harm or suffering to other people, nations, or cultures. I think accepting cultures would lead to ultimate peace- however, this is far from what is going on in the world.

I think that the only time when one culture has the right to judge the actions of another culture is when human rights issues are involved- as with the Nazi Germany takeover, the Holocaust, genocide in Africa, etc. When it becomes an issue of the human race destroying itself or people harming others unjustly, then I believe it is our right to judge and our duty to intervene.

The argument of subjectivism states that someone is as moral as they feel they are; something is moral if they feel good after doing it and immoral if they feel wrong or badly after doing it. I think that the idea of subjectivism is absolutely asinine- it was suggested that if this theory was true, Adolf Hitler could be held to the same moral standard as Ghandi. Adolf Hitler might have felt good after discriminating against the Jewish at first, and then containing them in ghettos, and then exiling them to labor camps and death camps- but he was also insane, so there goes that argument. Morality can not be judged based on what we think is moral for us to do individually, but rather what morals we were raised to abide by as a culture and a society.

I believe that the idea of conventional relativism is legitimate. I believe that we can only be held to judgment of our morals by the morals of our culture and our society. There are exceptions, of course, as previously mentioned, in instances that teeter on the line of going against and threatening the human rights. In cases where cause harm to the human race, I believe it is just to find them as wrong and immoral, regardless of what culture they come from.

I do not believe that anyone has the right to judge anyone based on their culture- what is the norm in their culture may not be the norm in ours. It is only right to judge and intervene when it becomes a human race issue rather than a cultural issue. If people are being killed, lives are being threatened, and individuals are suffering- then it is our right to act upon what we believe to be right. I believe that there is a little bit of good in ever culture, but it is hard to see when some cultural norms are so different from others, and we are constantly on the defense, especially this day in age.

I chose the following song because it remind me of a very controversial time during my childhood- the September 11, 2001. This song came out just around that time. I was going to elementary school in New York at the time, I was in the fourth grade. There was a lot of talk about “we should just go to Afghanistan and kill all of them”- which I thought was absolutely horrible. I felt like these people were raised in a culture where they were taught to hate America and everything it stood for, and really, could they have been blamed for being raised that way? And also, there were people in Afghanistan and in the Middle East that were good and tolerant of other people’s cultures. Anywho, I chose this song because it demanded tolerance for other people’s cultures and demanded a recognition for the good in people.

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/blackeyedpeas/whereisthelove.html

Lists: Final Project part 2

It is very difficult to judge a person and whether or not they are virtuous because while you know their story, you never completely know where they stand, their feelings and emotions, or their intentions. It is very difficult to determine whether a person wanted to do good for others, do good for others to benefit himself, or harm others to benefit himself- there are so many possible ways to go. Below is a list based on my initial interpretations of the individuals. The following are a list of people which I found to be virtuous:

  1. I believe the son was virtuous because he came to visit the father during a time in which he needed attention, stayed with the father, cared for him by cooking meals, etc. and left him money. While it can be pointed out that the son was not there for a great deal of time, it is necessary to recognize that the son also had his own needs to attend to and there were circumstances preventing him from leaving America because of immigration status etc. Also, virtue has a great deal to do with balance.
  2. I believe that the ex-wife was virtuous because she came to visit the main character in the hospital and advocated for him during his time of need b requesting he get other opinions and go to other facilities etc. She also paid for the Man’s medical bills while he was in the hospital- might this have been out of guilt of what her brother had done? Perhaps. But either way, she was not responsible nor expected to have paid those bills.
  3. The Man’s mother and father were virtuous people because while they may not have shown it in ways which we traditionally value, they did what was right for their family and advocated for them the whole time, wanting better for their family as a whole.

The following are people I did not think were virtuous:

  1. The pretty girl was not at all virtuous. She was selfish in meeting her own needs and seemed to have little regard for the Man’s feelings even though it was evident that they were involved and she was leading him on in thoughts of togetherness. He had very clear feelings for her and she often toyed with him by not calling him regularly and taking advantage of him when the timing was convenient for her, etc.
  2. The teacher was not a virtuous man because he took his anger and dissatisfaction of his position as a teacher out on his students and instead of challenging them to benefit their intelligence, punished them for forming their own opinions or learning.
  3. The guard was not a virtuous man because when the Man was being threatened, he killed the alleged attacker and I feel that that was unnecessary. He could have protected the man, the main character in a better way, without having to be so brutal. Even if he had to kill the attacker, he could have been more respectful towards human life.
  4. The brother in law was not at all a virtuous man because he saw the Man’s aging state as a weakness and found that he could perhaps utilize this to his benefit. When the Man was in the hospital is poor condition, he took the money that as allotted to be used to better the company and ran with it.

I do not know where to stand on my opinions of the man. I can not help but recognize that this fortune was built upon deceiving other people because of the water business and how that was a phony product. The water wasn’t natural or pure- it was water that had just been boiled. However, the man was virtuous in other things such as taking care of his parents, giving his sister and brother money when they needed it, tending to the pretty girl’s needs (although he was infatuated, so that wouldn’t have been granted as ethical, more just seeking praise). Towards the end, I decided that the man was indeed virtuous because it seemed as though he discovered what the important things in life are and never intentionally hurt anyone for his own benefit. It was more of a gamble or “this water may not be safe”. Either way, I finally decided, based on the integration of many of the theories of philosophy we have discussed thus far, that the man was virtuous, just perhaps a little lost and misguided.

 There were many situations in the book that were morally right and morally wrong. The following are the situations which stood out to me the most as wrong.

The conditions in which the family was living in during the time they were in the rural area and the urban area were wrong.

The fact that the brother and sister were denied schooling and the Man was able to go to school was wrong.

The fact that the Man was personally greeted by the Doctor because of the money he had, his status symbols, and the contribution he made to the hospital prior was not good- all of the patients should have been treated like that.

The fact that the mother had to die in such a way because the medical care was too much of a burden for the family to carry- that was wrong.

The way that the Man was humiliated by the teacher while he was in school for stating the correct answer to the multiplication table, while the teacher was the one who really made the mistake- that was wrong.

The fact that the boy stole the DVD for the girl was wrong.

The fact that the boy and the girl had sex on the roof at such a young age and then the girl told him that she was leaving the next day- that whole situation was wrong.

The way the pretty girl’s father acted towards both the pretty girl and the pretty girl’s mother was wrong.

The way the Man was held up at gunpoint and threatened was wrong.

The way the Man’s guard shot the individual that threatened the Man was wrong.

The fact that the Man build an empire of a business on selling water that was merely just boiled as opposed to natural, spring water- it may have had the ability to make many people sick, and that is considered causing harm.

The fact that the Man wasn’t appreciative of his wife was wrong. The fact that they were divorced after their child was grown- that was wrong.

The fact that businesses and companies had to form partnerships based on money and payments with the bureaucrats to gain easier access to certain things and establish protection from certain things- that was not good, or right, or just.

When the brother-in-law stole his money and ran while he was in the hospital in poor shape- that was wrong.

The fact that the father took the family to the city with him so that they could have a better life and education was good.

The fact that the boy was able to go to school was good.

The fact that the Man felt threatened and so was able to get protection (the fact that the guard killed someone was not moral) was good.

The cohabitation between the pretty girl and the Man in the latter years of their life was very good because they were able to fulfill each other’s fundamental needs of loving and caring and rekindle some past feelings which may have caused grief if not tended to.

There were many instances in the story, which increased either one’s pleasure or one’s suffering.

When the father decided to bring his children to the city, that was a situation presenting itself as ultimate pleasure- although some suffering to get to that point of success was inevitable.

The mother’s illness was obviously a situation in which suffering was imminent.

The sister being forced into an arranged marriage and back to the village was a form of suffering, and her quickened aging and early death presented as suffering for her obviously, and for her family, the Man included.

The brother’s employment by the painter caused suffering because he was often not protected properly and was coughing and got sick frequently.

The entire situation between the Man and the pretty girl caused much suffering on the Man’s part because he loved her and thought of her often, it just never worked out between them because of the pretty girl’s status and ambitions and the boy’s status at certain times throughout the novel.

The pretty girl’s status presented as pleasurable because of the fact that she had a lot of money and traveled often. However, towards the end of the novel, when she has been alone by herself in the townhouse, with tenants who did not pay much attention to her- that could have been interpreted as suffering.

Technology aiding the Man to communicate with his son over seas at an internet café- that was a situation that presented itself with much pleasure because the man was able to keep in touch regularly.

When the guard brutally killed the Man’s attacker, that caused much suffering.

The divorce between the Man and his wife caused suffering for all three parties- the Man, the Wife, and the son.

The Man’s business in bottling water and selling/distributing it presented itself as a form of pleasure for the man because of the money and status symbols it provided, while could have caused suffering to many because of the people that were harmed (the attacker) and those that could have potentially fallen ill due to the uncleanliness of the product.

The conditions of Asia were prime for suffering among the majority of the population as a whole, those in poverty, overcrowded cities, etc.

There were many characters and situations which could have been interpreted as either moral or immoral, ethical or unethical. It all depends on our own opinions and upbringings, and which theorist we identify most with. All in all, I think the Man was ethical and truly just tried to better himself and just got lost along the way, loosing his nuclear family by becoming all wrapped up with what society things the important things are- this happens often. When he died, he was alone. He had a delusion that the pretty girl, his son and his ex wife were with him. In reality- the pretty girl had died, his son was in America, and his wife was with her current husband. It was sad to learn that he was ultimately alone. However, it was comforting knowing that at the end, him and the pretty girl were able to spend their last memories together.

Best Friends

I am a female, and I identify myself as a female. I like being a ‘girl’ and never thought of myself as anything different. My identity is made up by many things: the way I dress, the way I act, and the goals I set for myself. One day I want to be a wife and mother and have a family of my own to take care of. I want to be a nurse to help others and earn a living to support my family. I think my goals do absolutely conform with and follow the ‘ethics of care’ that women are prone to fulfill by their very nature. In caring for my family and caring for others through my career in nursing, I absolute conform to the ethics of care, and I feel content with that.

My best friend is Paulina. Paulina just recently moved to San Francisco and I haven’t seen her since August, but we still find ways of staying close and keeping in touch. I think that me and Paulina have a very special bond that is ways if indescribable. We have been through so much together- I’ve known her since I was 7 years old. We lost touch for about five years when I moved to Long Island and she stayed behind in Brooklyn, but we got in touch through Myspace, back in 2007. Since then, we’ve have each other’s backs and supported one another through some of the worst times in our lives thus far. Her Father committed suicide in 2011, and that was a really hard time for her, and for me, as not only did I loose a close person in my life, but I lost Paulina in a sense that she would never be the same again. It’s difficult to think of our friendship sometimes before 2011, just because that was such a defining moment, we use it as a reference point in time. Sometimes I think maybe I suppress the memories we have together before the suicide so that I can move past that friendship that was taken away from me and maintain a friendship with Paulina in the way she is today. I think the essential elements of a friendship are as follows: honesty, support, and happiness. Paulina is one of the most stubborn people I know, and it drives me mad. She has crazy ideas that in my opinion, are stupid. The thing that makes this okay, is that I tell her. When she told me she wanted to move to San Francisco, the complete other side of the country I told her that it think it’s a ridiculous idea, stupid- for lack of a better word. I concluded by telling her that I support her one way or another, and will be here to welcome her home if and when the time comes. She’s been there since June, and still hasn’t exactly found her nook, but her coming back to New York isn’t something that we talk about. She knows that I don’t like the fact she is out there for many reasons, and I know she doesn’t want to entertain the idea of coming back home. It is understood that we don’t talk about this. However, she knows that if she were to need anything, want to talk about anything, just cry about life, etc- I would be there for her without thinking twice.

I think one of the most important things about friendship is having the ability to be happy for someone else, regardless of your own jealousies, downfalls, and current position in life. I have one friend, Bethany, and she just got a promise ring from her boyfriend. I had been in a terrible relationship for about three years that has left me a little bit bitter about the whole idea of trusting relationships. But this is my friend, and something really exciting is happening for her. Telling her I was happy for her, and sincerely meaning it, was really important- you can’t just harp on your own problems, because if these people are in your life, their problems are also your problems, just as their happiness should also be your happiness.

I think you can have as many best friends as you want. I think it’s a heavy term to just through around, but if you’re truly close with someone, maybe you don’t need to put a ‘best friend’ label on it, and its just an understanding. I don’t think any two friendships are alike, especially ‘best’ friendships. I think every connection you make is special and important, and to compare it to others would just belittle and minimize the potential of the connection between two people.

This is a picture of me and Paulina at the Coast of California

photo-3

Trisomy 21

I’ve always had very strong opinions about abortion. I don’t really thing abortion is morally justifiable in any circumstance. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been raised as a Roman Catholic, or maybe its because I’ve always had really motherly figures in my life. I don’t think abortion is justifiable for many reasons. One reason in particular is the impending guilt that an individual experiences after the abortion takes place- something that many people neglect to recognize when deciding on whether or not to go through with the life ending procedure.

I believe that it would be wrong for parents to abort a fetus with trisomy 21. I believe it is wrong because every life has the right to live. I believe that the very nature of a women, the woman being able to bear children, gives the women the responsibility to protect human life in its most vulnerable form- when it wouldn’t be able to survive by itself. The woman has the responsibility to care for the child, as described in ‘ethics of care’.

The only time I believe abortion should be justified would be when the women’s life or possibility of future fertility is jeopardized. For example, in the event of ectopic pregnancy, I believe that it would be justifiable to abort the pregnancy. However, that is not to say that there will not be impending guilt and perhaps subsequent depression for the mother who carried this pregnancy.

I also believe that abortion is justified in cases of rape- but it wouldn’t make a difference if the fetus had trisomy 21 or had the standard number of chromosomes.

Prenatal testing can be very beneficial. Prenatal testing and care is necessary so that women can prepare their bodies well enough to provide their fetuses with the best possible chances of being able to adapt to life outside of the uterus after 40 weeks. I believe the if women choose to have the amniocentesis test, that is their personal choice. This test allows mothers time to accept the diagnosis, allowing themselves time to prepare and establish the necessary resources they will need for caring for a child with downs syndrome. However, I believe that sometimes these tests cause unnecessary anxiety by giving the mother and in some cases the father, the choice of whether of not to abort the fetus. In my opinion, I wouldn’t abort the fetus. However, if I was pregnant and took the amnio-test and found out that my child would have downs syndrome, it would be stressful to hear everyone’s opinion and know that I would still have a ‘way out’- which seems totally selfish and inhumane in my opinion.

I would assume that some people feel that prenatal testing is unnecessary because the human species has been reproducing for countless years, and prenatal testing has only come to be popular within the past 30 years or so, if that. The argument could be that, child bearing has always gone well in the past, why should we use such invasive procedures for something so natural. Natural, some people think child birth and being pregnant is so beautiful because it is the most human thing that has been constant throughout history- some people believe that extra measures are unnecessary.

I feel that abortion is a really touchy topic. It’s really hard to debate this because truthfully, I’ve never been pregnant. More importantly, I’ve never had an unwanted pregnancy. However, I can’t fail to recognize that it’s necessary to respect human life in all of its forms. I suppose, however, that it depends on an individual’s opinion on when human life starts. If someone doesn’t believe human life begins until the child is born, well then I guess it would be really easy for them to justify abortion. If you’re someone like me who thinks that human life beings at the moment of conception, or at least when that test turns positive, then you would probably have a really hard time justifying abortion at any point during the pregnancy. I think the main moral issue at hand here is respecting life, beneficence, and nonmaleficence.

Meet Paisley

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2440151/Father-Heath-White-loved-Down-Syndrome-daughter-abortion-request.html

http://now.msn.com/heath-white-talks-about-daughter-paisleys-down-syndrome-in-perfect-documentary

Friendship

Asking herself questions like the ones raised above, Mary Wollstonecraft concluded that moral virtue is unitary. Women, she said, are obligated to practice the same morality men practice; that is, human morality. Although she did not use terms like “socially-constructed gender roles,” Wollstonecraft denied that women are doomed by nature to be less virtuous than men. Deprived of sufficient opportunities to develop their rational powers, women wind up being overly emotional, hypersensitive, narcissistic, self-indulgent individuals. Wollstonecraft said there is nothing wrong about women, including their supposedly weak moral characters, that cannot be cured by a rigorous education; that is, the kind of education that aims to develop students’ rational powers. Men have concerns, causes, and commitments over and beyond petty, self-interested ones because they receive a proper education. Give women men’s education, said Wollstonecraft, and women, no less than men, will become morally-mature human beings (Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women, p. 105).

Tong, Rosemarie and Williams, Nancy, “Feminist Ethics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2011/entries/feminism-ethics/&gt;.

This post is communicating the point that women and men are not held to the same standard in terms of ethics and morality because they are not provided the opportunity to experience the same things as men in order to develop morality and an ethical standpoint. However, if men and women were given the same opportunities, particularly education, they would be able to and should be held to the same moral standards and judged on it equally.

In my opinion, men and women are different biologically and for that reason have different habits caused by nature. For example, the fact that women actually bear children and are the ones to carry the child for 40 weeks before the male becomes more involved predisposes the women to feeling more connected to the child, and in that, acting more morally on that child’s behalf. Because of the way we were made by God, I believe that our moral and ethical perspectives are different in nature, but are of equal importance in making the world ‘go round’. I also believe that if women and men were given the same educational opportunities, as they are in the present day America, that their moral and ethical standpoints would grow to be more similar. For example, now that men and women both go to school and college and often times the mother works fulltime, just as the father- the women may take on opinions of justice that she needs to be successful in the workplace, while the male may take on and develop knowledge of caring and nurturing, because he now too has to stay with and take care of the child. In conclusion, I agree that men and women will begin to develop more congruent ethical and moral ideas provided they are given the same opportunities. However, I also think that biological make up and the difference in human nature between men and women plays a large role in developing morals.

I will try to express my opinion of ethics of caring and ethics of justice in a way that sounds minimally sexist. I feel that men and women were meant to compliment each other, not for the suppressive women to serve the dominant man, but rather that the qualities of a woman will perfectly compliment the qualities of a man in a way in which they will become a functional unit (hopeless romantic, I know). I feel that women are predisposed genetically to be more caring because of their role as child bearers, and I feel that men are genetically predisposed to defend justice because of their lacking the ability to bear children, and so take of the role of protector of their mate and child. I do not feel that these ethical roles of caring and justice are opposite- rather I feel that compliment each other. And while genetics and biology predispose the women to fulfill one role and the men to fill another, I feel that in the event on is slacking, the other member will take on the ethical responsibilities of the other.

Friendship, true friendship, in my opinion is supporting one individual in their struggles and endeavors and trying to understand their point of view. The basis of friendship, mutual understanding, is an essential role in building our ethical opinions and moral standpoints, trying carefully not to judge others and respect where they are coming from.

My definition of empathy is to be able to understand where a person is coming from, and understanding their sorrow rather than just feeling sorry for them for a split second. Empathy is the ability to really look at a situation from the other person’s point of view and being able to understand their many emotions. Through empathy, we can learn not to judge others and learn to be more accepting of many points of view.

I feel that if we put too much emphasis on caring personally for one person, we will be too focused on their points of view and perspective. This may not be an issue, but if the person’s opinions are morally wrong, then we end up supporting morally unethical causes and in that, neglect larger ethical issues.

I chose the song ‘Thank You’ by Celine Dion as the multimedia piece to show what my opinions of friendship are and how important and meaningful and true friendship can be. The lyrics can be found on the following link:

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/c/celine+dion/thank+you_21068348.html