Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blog #35 - Do It Yourself - Ask the Nagging Question

This one will be a little bit easier for me and a little bit harder for you. I've got 6 pm rehearsals this week in Ypsilanti w/ 1.5 hr drives there and back. It's going to be a long week. But after Feb. 28, life should return back to normal.

I am asking you to pick a topic/concept from any time during the semester that still puzzles you, baffles or confounds you, or something that just doesn't satisfy you. It could be a new take / angle on something that we've already discussed (b/c I know sometimes when you get a chance to stop and think about things we've discussed, it might 2 or 3 days later). Maybe you saw a movie that had some philosophical concepts - share it. For instance, I saw the movies 9 and Moon over break. Both had some wide ranging themes that we've talked about - what is a soul?; Man vs. machine; the right type of government; what does it mean to be human? Also, if you get a chance to see Creation, discuss what you saw or ask a question about the movie.

Due Monday, March 1 - 200 words.

Pick one of the questions below and answer it. Please do not pick your own.
1. Is being a Sunday Christian morally wrong or unjust in any ways? - Armen

2. Is the world “all in our heads?” How do you know? Will anyone ever know? If you realized you were living in a dream, would you jump off a cliff to see if you could wake up? - Jake P.

3. If you were given a timeline/future history of your life to come would you ignore it or take it into consideration throughout the rest of your life mapped out? If you would ignore, why? If you take it in, would you try and change things throughout your life knowing what's coming? Or is the future inevitable and can't be changed? Why? - Marcus

4. From Emily Wilson's ten criticisms of Socrates, ranging from the "chatter-box" to the rationalist thinking, which do you think is the worst criticism he has brought on to himself? (what is the #1 thing wrong with Socrates) - Armen

5. Who do you believe is the evil genius is our society/world? - Bianca, Stefanos

6. When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them free will, allowing Adam (and Eve) to sin. In heaven, there is supposed to be no sin, pain, sadness - everything is supposed to be perfect. Does this mean that there is no freedom in heaven? - Jules

7. When we talk about evil/wrong/bad in class, we talk about murder or nuclear bombs or diseases, but I don't think we have ever talked about whether some things are only a little bad, or if one thing is more wrong than another. Is there more than one degree of evil/bad? Can something be percieved as only a little evil/bad? For example, some people believe that smoking marijuana is bad, just like killing someone is bad. Could "bad" have more than one definition? - Olivia

8. Is your generation going to be different than previous ones? Will your generation change the world? If yes (to either), how so? How will your upbringing play a role in your generation’s actions? Is the generation headed in the right direction? - Jake P.

9. How come religion was such an important part of people’s lives a few centuries ago and is now “less important”? Do people have more doubt? Or is there something else? - Laetitia

10. Is death the end of everything or is there a soul that continues to exist after death? If so, is the soul immortal? - Sam T., Ben

11. Technology and other scientifical advantages seem to further divide religion and science. One example is Darwinism/evolution. What is another example that we may or may not have studied? - Sammy V., Stephen

12. How can you be sure that you are real and the people around you are real, if you can't trust your senses? - Irina, Jake P., Stefanos, Raphy

13. If you argue that man has no soul, what makes man want to be kind and love others?; If you argue man has a soul, where in the body is it? Does it have a place in the heart or in the mind? Maybe in the foot...? - Dayna

14. Do you believe that history could truly be manipulated like it was in George Orwell's 1984? - Jules

15. Spinoza’s philosophy claims that our world is deus sive natura, or “either Nature or God”, but how can it possibly be a question of either? It seems to me that either both exist, or neither exists. If only God exists, then he is malevolent in making a false nature that we perceive, and if only nature exists, then how could it have been created? - Claire

16. If we do, in fact, come into this world with “tabula rasa” do you think that eventually everyone ends up with the same general concepts on their slate or is what ends up on the slate determined by the individual? - Jessie

17. Given the recent intentional plane crash of an angry man into an IRS building (that killed one IRS agent) in Austin, TX, should the definition of a terrorist be redefined? In your own words what is a terrorist? Do you think the definition of terrorist changed over time? And what separates a terrorist from a freedom fighter or a martyr? - Moose

18. Which era do you believe was most significant in coming up with discoveries and ideas? (Rationalism, Empiricism, Enlightenment, or Romanticism?) - Stefanos

19. At what point does life end? At what point does life begin? If we define life as ending when the heart stops, then should we define life as beginning when the heart begins to beat or when the child is born? If we define life as beginning with the first heartbeat, is it ridiculous to label the mother a murderer during a stillbirth or would that be total heresy? - Eric S.

20. Is philosophy a waste of time since the meaning of life cannot truly be found? - Dayna

21. What makes someone a “philosopher?” Is it a way of thinking? Does it require a certain level of intelligence or understanding? Or is it something anyone is capable of doing if they truly set their mind to it? - Jessie

22. How have movies, especially horror and mystery movies, influenced our perception of reality? Have movies sometimes made you question reality and made you think about whether things are real or not? - Richard

23. Is dialectic materialism a circle? Since I saw the timeline of cultures affected by each other on our Marxism notes I have wondered if the process is linear. There has to be a limited amount of ideas so they would have to repeat themselves once in a while, but perhaps the amount is so vast that that is not possible. Or does it have an end like Marx says at which Communism is the end point? - Claire

24. What makes us think we can trust our senses? Explain. - Richard, Jake T.

25. Why is Darwin being placed in a philosophy book with men that pondered where we came from and questions that can’t be answered while his theories are based off of data and facts? - Lisa

26. Have the philosophers discussed in class changed your views on life at all? How so? - Megan

27. Do you believe that each person has one true love that they are destined to find, or that there are multiple true loves for each person? - Sara D.

28. Do people need to have faith in a higher power, or anything for that matter, to be successful in life? - Amanda

29. Society has many laws, rules, regulations, and consequences for those who don't follow them. Do you think that people derive the sense of right and wrong from these laws, rules, regulations, and consequences, or sentiment and feelings that Hume suggest? - Raphy

30. Would you drink the cool-aide? If someone presented you with a drink that could make you meet the eternal god and, guarantee you passage into heaven, would you drink it? It’s like would you press the button for a million dollars? Can we believe what we hear, do we hear the truth, or do we inherently believe what we want to hear? - Eric S.

31. The author of Sophie’s World appears to have a fanatic obsession with romantic irony. The fact that he is constantly reminding us every chapter about how he is in fact simply writing a book about a man who is writing a book about characters that may actually exist in the fantasy world that he (the author) has created proves this statement. My question is, why has the author gone to such great lengths with his use of romantic irony? What does it achieve for the novel? - Tyler F.

32. Do you believe the theory of evolution disproves the existence of God or does God and Darwin's theory of evolution go hand in hand? - Stephen

33. Was G-d or a higher power created in man's image? Why or why not? - Amanda

34. Communism has never been achieved in any country. Do you think that it’s the actual process/idea of communism that is flawed or the nature of mankind that is flawed that prevents the idea from working? - Annie, Tyler F.

35. Can there be perfection outside of situations in which there is a clear definition of what it means to be perfect? i.e. Bowling the perfect game - 300! - Sam G.

36. Do you believe that the average American is intelligent? - Jake T.
37. Freud said that "we have unconscious drives that can affect our actions without us knowing about them." Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? - Alesia
38. Can anything be infinite? (you have an infinite number of numbers between 1 and 2, and an infinite number of numbers between 2 and 4. are there twice as many numbers between 2 and 4 than there is between 1 and 2??) Why or why not? - it doesn't even have to apply to numbers. - Ben

39. If you assume that the universe is expanding, do you believe that it is expanding into something? Why or why not? - David M.
40. Does the idea of hell or a punishment seem reasonable with a just God? Why or why not? - Colin
41. As humans we are so needy, in this day and age technology is at all time high. Do you think people like Amish people have an advantage even though they are without, them being less depend it on the things we consider a necessity. Why or why not? - Alyssa T.


  1. Richard Widdett
    4th Hour

    2) I do not believe that the world is all in our heads because of the lost episode we watched in class about Hurley questioning whether the Island was just in his head. Hurley was close to jumping off the cliff to ‘wake up’ until he was stopped. Juliet made a good point when saying that with everything else going on in Hurley’s “dream”, it cannot actually be a dream. I can’t just be living a dream because of everything that goes on without me knowing or realizing it, something else must be going on around me. Even if we were living in a dream (which I highly doubt), we would never know. Living in a dream that we will never find out is actually a dream is just like living in the real world. Living in a dream would mean that everything that we see is happening isn’t really happening and if everything around us isn’t actually happening, why can I see it or sense it. If I did realize that I was in a dream, I wouldn’t jump off the cliff because everyone else is living in the dream too so we might as well live it out and not worry about whether everything is real or not.

  2. Eric Singer

    14. Do you believe that history could truly be manipulated like it was in George Orwell's 1984?

    In an odd sense I think history always has been, and always will be manipulated in the same ways the ministry of truth does. Winston Smith’s job was to rewrite the past, eradicate anything that might contradict the future, and work to make the party as powerful as it possibly can be. When we open a textbook and read the “history” written in the pages, we are not getting the whole picture, or half of the picture; in fact we are losing 99.9% of the picture. All that we get in those texts is a summary of the most “important” events that happened. I recently read a book where the author suggests that a person is much more than his name, his address, his telephone number, his social security number – he is, in fact a man. A man, the deeds he has done, his numbers cannot summarize the lives he has changed, there is more – there is an intangibility about a person. Something intangible cannot be translated in the tangible sense using numbers – I believe the closest thing to intangibility we get is adjectives and adverbs, the ability to describe, something numbers aren’t able to do.
    Of course, Orwell’s dystopia adds intolerable government, police state, and political ideology to the mix, but purely on the basis of erasing history? I think similarities become evident. Obviously in today’s society we do not erase, burn, destroy, or dismantle history intentionally but we do summarize and therefore neglect the multifaceted story that likely was the event as it took place.
    That said, we have to be able to look beyond every detail and accept that history is the anthology of time, a “big picture”, not simply an encyclopedia with specifics, dates, numbers, definitions; a theme that I believe is subtly in the book, 1984. History cannot be retold and if we become infatuated in retelling and learning from it, we will inevitably become obsessed with its mutilation and destruction. History is very, very powerful – it is blackmail, it is myth, it is legend, it is the bible, it is nostradamus it is the answer to virtually every question we ask simply because we cannot ask the future. Orwell’s novel displays a society bent on trying to ask the future by manipulating the past, purposefully. In today’s world, we mistakenly alter the past each time a textbook is rewritten after a historical event. We believe that text enshrines history, makes it eternal (as long as the book exists so does its message), but in reality it is saving the altered version as fact forever. Therefore history, for better or for worse, has been changed – in a way that might even make Big Brother jealous.

  3. If we do come into the world with “tabula rasa”, I do not think that everyone eventually will end up with the same general concepts on their slate. I believe that what ends up on our slate at the end of our lives is determined by the individual and his or her actions and decisions throughout their life. If we everyone eventually ended up with the same slate then I think that everyone’s lives would have been a waste because in the end after everything they have accomplished in their lifetimes they still end up having the same slate as everyone else. I believe that everyone on this earth was put on it by God or a higher power because each and every one of them has their own purpose, so they couldn’t end up with the same slate. Each individual goes through different paths and obstacles throughout their life; some grow up to save people’s lives, or murder and do bad things and end up in jail, or others grow up to become athletes or politicians that change the world. I don’t see how a doctor and a murderer could live their lives and in the end up with the same slate because everything they did in their lives was opposite.

    Stefanos Thomopoulos 5th Hour

  4. Is being a Sunday Christian morally wrong or unjust in any ways?

    There are many different opinions about being a Sunday Christian. Some people believe that by going to church on Sunday it makes them a good person however others believe that church is the only thing they need to be good in the eyes of God. I believe that being a Sunday Christian is morally wrong or unjust because the people who listen to God only on Sundays are not making a real commitment to their faith or God. Just like people who feel a responsibility to attend church on Easter or Christmas they only believe in God because they feel obligated to do so. Another rational for people who attend mass on Sundays and do not follow the word of God on a daily basis is merely doing it for others. They want the other people who attend Church on a regular basis to see them and recognize them as a morally right family when in fact they are doing the exact opposite. After attending Catholic school and church for many years I have seen many of these families that only attend church for social recognition. They wear their expensive clothes and sit in church looking attractive yet the words of the priest go right over there ignorant heads. This is why being a Sunday Christian makes people bad, because they pretend to love God.
    Katie Weed

  5. 1.) I don’t think that being a Sunday Christian is necessarily wrong but if a person is one they do not take the full advantage of their religion. I do think that religion has no correlation to faith and one does not need religion to have faith. I think that a person needs some sort of formation in religion and they can’t get that through only living their religion on Sunday. I think that all people should have faith in some sort of belief but I think that not all people will have the opportunity to find a religion that they can believe in. The fact that a person doesn’t live their own religion during the week but they follow the ideas on Sunday is almost hypocritical in the way that they proclaim their faith but don’t truly live it. I think that in order to call yourself what your religion is you have to actually practice it during the week and follow the moral rather than just trying to repent on Sunday.

  6. 1. I don’t think being a Sunday Christian is morally wrong or unjust in any ways at all. The majority of people who are Christians are only “Sunday Christians”. The society that we live in today does not leave much room for us to be completely consumed in our religion. According to Martin Luther we don’t need the church in order to be good Christians; all we need is the Bible. I’m sure the people who only go to church on Sunday, still here and there think about God throughout the week. Personally I do not think you even need to go to church at all to be a good Christian. As long as you have your faith in God I believe that you can be a good Christian. Some people believe that you have to pray every day in order to be a good Christian but I don’t think that we really need to pray in order to be close to God. Just by having faith you can be a good Christian. To me Christianity is not valued by how often you go to church or how often you pray, I think it is the believe you have in your heart.

    Irina Laczkovich 4th hour

  7. 22.
    After watching a movie like Paranormal Activity or Scream, our minds are still afraid of the scenarios just viewed even if we know it’s a fictional story. When a person is frightened, it seems that our senses become more alert and listen for the small things that are usually left unnoticed. For example the creaking doors or the rusty pipes, which is so common for people to hear in their homes that it is never noticed that the floor squeaks. After watching a scary movie though, we think it’s the murderous killer that suddenly decided to come after you. I don’t think that movies make someone question their reality it just makes a person more alert. Their imagination is the thing that is creating these monsters in the closet. Along with horror, romantic movies also have a way of making people unhappy with their own relationships. After watching a movie like the Notebook, a boyfriend or girlfriend might not be as appealing because a real life situation isn’t as romantic as what’s seen on the screen. A movies purpose is to make a person feel like that. A director wants you to take something away from the film whether it be nightmares or another feeling.

  8. 32. I think that the theory of evolution and the concept of a higher power do not have to do with one another. Scientific facts have proved that evolution DID happen. That does supposedly disprove one of the many things that books like the bible have said: god placed the first beings – Adam and Eve- on Earth. But someone who appreciates science, but has faith in a higher power will not let evolution cause them a lack in faith. Sure, people should search further in science in order to discover new things about the world, but they should not do it only in order to disprove a higher power. People who believe in a god do not believe in him/her for the sole purpose of how we came on this Earth. I think that people believe in god so they have will have faith in bad situations, or in the bible as a moral guide of some sort. Since I am not very religious/faithful, I guess I will never know how the concept of evolution effects one’s faith. But even if we found a billion different reasons/evidence to disprove god, does it matter? Even the most religious people have faith because they choose to have faith- many don’t necessarily believe that the bible should be taken literally (Though I won’t say ALL are like this, because many people do take the bible/torah/Koran literally…. But that’s another topic). Does it really matter whether we used to be monkeys or if Adam and Eve are our ancestors?? No… we’re all here now, so who cares!

  9. #9
    Religion was so much more important a few centuries ago because there were not as many scientific theories as there are today. I also think that when someone proposed some kind of theory centuries ago that went against God, people would shun him or her and not take them seriously. That person would be looked at as insane or something. Today, those kinds of people are praised. In schools today, all theories of how the world was created are presented to students. Most people are more likely to believe a scientific explanation, such as the big bang theory, as opposed to some magical higher power who created everything just because he wanted to. I also think people have more doubt today, because when terrible things happen we often question a higher power, and why he or she would do such a thing to us.

    Jules Ashe

  10. 3. If I was given a timeline/future history of my life, I would not ignore it, I would be too anxious to not look at it; I would take into consideration of the rest of my life mapped out. If I had a choice to obtain a timeline of my future or to not obtain one at all, I would choose to fully ignore the timeline and to live life unexpectedly (normally). I wouldn’t want to know what’s going to happen to me after college, who I Marry, what kind of car ill be driving when I 40, or if I rich or poor. I wouldn’t want to know all that information because then I wouldn’t be living life. But let’s say I was given a map, I Don’t think I would have the strength to rip it up and throw it away. I would most likely end up peeking at it and keeping it for a long time so I can change things throughout my life so I can avoid the things I don’t want to happen; and to do the things I do want to happen. I believe if anyone was given a map of their future they would all look at it, but if they were given a choice to obtain one, most would choose not to have one. I don’t want to live my life knowing what’s going to happen every step of the way; it would be a very boring life to live. I think the future can be changed, depending on how you live and the choices you make throughout your life. I believe that everyone controls there own life and

    Armen Topouzian 5th Hour

  11. 6. When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them free will, allowing Adam (and Eve) to sin. In heaven, there is supposed to be no sin, pain, sadness - everything is supposed to be perfect. Does this mean that there is no freedom in heaven? question by jules

    In heaven there is freedom but satin is not in heaven. The reason why Eve ate the forbidden fruit off the tree was because of the serpent who gave them lust and temptation. In heaven there is no lust, no temptation, No sign of satin. Satin is in Hell where he rules over all the people who gave into lust and the other 6 deadly sins or who broke the 10 commandments.

    Another topic that I would like to discuss is the topic of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution V.S. creationism/ bible scripture. I hate the fact that science has tried to prove the bible wrong. I feel that science and religion should never be compared. Yes people should know both sides of the story but they should be able to choose what they believe. In a public school religion should be kept out of a science/biology classroom when teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. In a private religious school Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution should not be taught in a science classroom. It upsets me that people don’t respect other people’s views on faith or faith in science on this controversial issue. People have fought over it since it was first taught in a classroom. I’m not sure if this was a question someone asked in the blog but I would like to discuss it because I felt we did not have the discussion that I wanted on Friday.

  12. 31. I think the use of Romantic irony has the same effect in Sophie’s World as it did when it became widely used in the Romantic period, it offers a new way of thinking that is extraordinary and new. Up until the Enlightenment chapter we believe we are reading a straightforward story, and then we learn we are in fact reading a story about Hilde, reading a story about Sophie, and therefore we ourselves could just as easily be fiction. The novel shows that this phenomenon is not too unrealistic either; take, for example, a religious person, and that person believes they are made in God’s image and God is in control of everything they do and say. This corresponds well with Alberto, who knows, just like we do, that a higher power (the author) is in control of everything (the story, setting, and characters). The romantic irony might also be somewhat satirical or metaphorical; after the Romanticism chapter Alberto uses romantic irony more and more and Sophie gets annoyed because she doesn’t understand it and she doesn’t believe it. This might symbolize how very religious people are dismissed as a heretic when they might, in fact, be the most enlightened. That being said, the fact that I’m reflecting on the process may disprove the theory all together, but it still is a new and fascinating way to think.
    Claire Holton
    5th hr

  13. Tyler Friedman
    5th Hour

    34. Communism sounds like an amazing idea on paper. What could be wrong in a world where everyone has equal land, equal money, and equal power? Yet, since the publishing of the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx over 150 years ago, communism has yet to be implemented successfully in a country. I would have to say the reason that accounts for this is a combination of both flaws in the implementation of communism and in the nature of mankind. I think George Orwell’s Animal Farm provides a perfect example of my point. In his novella, we see a group of animals (personified animals, but animals nonetheless) go through a typical transition towards communism, and how through ignorance, greed, and malice their community inevitably reverts back to a dictatorship and leaves the majority worse off than before. This has become an overlying theme in so called “communist” countries over the past 100 years. The failure of communism in the Animal Farm society and in countries today lies in the fact that, one, during the transition there is always someone (or some pig) who realizes that they can use this new government as a means to gain immense amounts of power with minimal effort, and two, this person (or pig) does this out of ignorance, greed, and malice, all flaws inherent in human nature.

  14. 17. Given the recent intentional plane crash of an angry man into an IRS building (that killed one IRS agent) in Austin, TX, should the definition of a terrorist be redefined? In your own words what is a terrorist? Do you think the definition of terrorist changed over time? And what separates a terrorist from a freedom fighter or a martyr?

    Everyone has their own definition for terrorism. The dictionary definition for terrorism is "the use of violence, especially murder and bombing, in order to achieve political aims or to force a government to do something." If you compare this definition to what that man did, you could very well call him a terrorist. I believe the word terrorist/terrorism means any man, woman, or organization that causes fear using violence in any way (murder, bombs, planes etc) that is aimed at a large number of people, including people working for the government. I think the definition of terrorism changed after 9/11. After 9/11, terrorism for the U.S. became any nation, most likely one from the middle east, that uses violence or terror to scare us. Then there were stereotypes attached to this definition. Because this man wasn't a muslim or arabic or from the middle east, he isn't being considered a terrorist. This man, in no way, should be considered a freedom fighter or a martyr. He intentionally used violence to get his way. There are easier (and less violent) ways to be heard. The Tea Party people marched in cities, people against health care voiced their opinions in town halls, people everyday use the internet to get their opinions across. You DO NOT need to use violence to be heard. I think people don't consider this man a terrorist because he's from America. If this man was either muslim, dark and hairy, from the middle east, or he wore a turban, this man would have been immediately called a terrorist. But he wasn't the stereotyped "terrorist", he was just an american-born man in Texas, and therefore people, like Congressman Steve King, could empathize for him and not be criticized.

  15. 1. I truly do believe that being a “Sunday Christian” is very wrong and unjust. The definition of a Sunday Christian states that the person only really goes to church on Sundays, which in some ways could be interpreted as cheating G-d because of the fact that the person only goes when it is convenient to them- not really requiring any sort of commitment at all. I think that the people that are Sunday Christians are taking the easy way out, and I don’t think that’s right or just in any situation. I even think it’s somewhat offensive. If I were very religious, I think that I would rather have someone not believe at all and have nothing to do with my temple/church, rather than occasionally show up and pretend to care about the G-d that I truly believed to be the most important figure in my life. If a person has faith in G-d, they should show it in acts towards what they believe is right; such as participating in community service, praying to G-d on their own, or attending Church as much as they feel comfortable with/think is necessary. I don’t think that they should just show up on Sundays and pretend to care because they think that they should, or for the reputation it would give them in society.

    Amanda Schmerin
    4th hour

  16. 24. We mainly trust our senses because we really do not have anything else that we can trust, perhaps except for our own thoughts. Sure, we can postulate that we are all living in a world similar to the movie The Matrix, where the human race is enslaved by machines; or that everything pops in and out of existence, depending upon my presence or not. But frankly, all of this is pointless to even consider because it is impossible to prove that either side is correct. It is much easier to simply accept the fact that our senses can be trusted because those are the things that have sustained the existence of the human race for years. We also trust our senses because they are inherent, assuming that the person is born with five fully functional senses. Every idea within our mind has, in some way, been attained through the use of one our five senses. This is supported by the thought that the human mind is limited to simply creating complex ideas from simpler ideas, rather than the ability to think of anything purely original. But what makes us think we cannot trust our senses? The theory that we cannot trust our senses, that everything we perceive or have perceived is a lie, is pretty fantastical, and is therefore very appealing. There really are no facts or evidence that would allow anyone to question our trust of our senses. The only reason our senses are questioned, is the fact that we blindly rely on them to the point that the idea of our senses not being able to be trusted is strictly inconceivable; and this inconceivability is enough to allow people to construct the most wonderfully ridiculous theories about our minds.

    David Mohan
    4th Hr.

  17. 6. This question assumes that when given the choice, a free man will “sin” rather than do the right thing. This is not necessarily the case, and the reason people go to “heaven” (theoretically, of course) is because they have demonstrated their tendency to do right when given the chance to do wrong. Of course, nobody is without “sin,” but perhaps if people were removed from those who would sin when given the choice, they would always choose to do the right thing. Their freedom would keep heaven perfect, while allowing its residents free. People often do “wrong” because it shows promise of happiness, but heaven would show them that they would be happier by doing right, they would not sin. The argument I’m making is ignoring the possibility of a devil. If such an entity exists, heaven would be out of the reach of evil (unlike earth), and he could not pervert man’s intentions. Christian religions that include a devil in their beliefs would argue that man’s free will only leads them to do wrong when they are on earth, where the devil could tempt and provoke them. Either way, man’s free will is not necessarily compromised by heaven’s perfection. I am not a religious man, but when I saw this question I started to think of the flaws in the asker’s logic, and how this could not be used to destroy heaven.

  18. 32.) I do not think that evolution disproves the existence of god, though many do. This never ending battle between science and faith is not looked at closely enough. Just because Darwin proved that things evolve over time and that the fittest survive does not necessarily mean that everything in the bible is disproved. In our discussion during class about evolution verses the creation story, Drew (Fisher) made a good point about the stories in the bible. He said that maybe the stories in the bible weren’t meant to be taken literally, and compared them to children’s books in which the morals and life lessons are meant to be learned and practiced not the actually story itself. I agree with this statement completely. Evolution has nothing to do with moral law or life guidance in the way that the bible does. Many look toward the bible for faith, something to believe in, and for what it guides them to do, rather than how many days the earth was created in, how Adam and Eve were created, etc. If people are so adamant about the creation story they can still at least consider the idea of evolution. If they believe that Adam and Eve were created in G-d’s image and that G-d put a soul into humans (I think it’s something like that) that doesn’t mean that Adam and Eve never evolved from something else or that the “humans” in the bible were the same type of humans that we have today. Six days in the bible does not necessarily correlate with our 24 hour days because we have seen that over history these types of measurements have been made. A scientist can have faith and a priest/rabbi/imam can also believe in science.

  19. 28. Do people need to have faith in a higher power, or anything for that matter, to be successful in life?
    No, I don’t believe that people need to have faith in a higher power, or God to be successful in life. For some I’m sure having that faith helps them get through the day, or and any hardships, but I don’t think if they didn’t have that faith they would be unsuccessful. I think success depends more on faith in yourself and abilities than some supposed higher power. Success also depends on many other factors, such as hard work, passion, and motivation, and commitment. In fact, many successful people in the business world had to do a lot of acts that could be considered “sinful” in order to get to the top. In my opinion a higher power is just something for people to believe in, they feel they have a purpose in life and that’s to live for God with the Bible as their guide book. The movie we watched in class on Friday, for example, one guy was talking about living a life not believing in God, is a scary life. He explained his thinking saying he would feel purposeless, why would he be living for if not God. I also think faith in a higher power gives some people something to fall back on in times of struggle, which is why many ailing people tend to seek forgiveness or build a stronger faith when things turn fatal. In general, I don’t think success and faith have any correlation.

    Jessica Keyes
    4th hour

  20. how come religion was such an important part of people’s lives a few centuries ago and is now “less important”? Do people have more doubt? Or is there something else?

    It seems to me that religion played a huge role in individual’s life centuries ago due to the lack of technology. Centuries ago there wasn’t TV or the newest game system, there weren’t even cars. Way back when, all they had was family and the church and that’s probably why it played a huge role in their lives. As of today, I don’t think religion is “less important” than it was centuries ago. I feel that people think that because we have more distractions in our lives than we had before like technology. As time goes on and technology keeps growing will continue to stay on the back burner off our conversations. Also, with technology growing it’s able to answer the questions evolution, and in some people’s life it may create more doubt than it did centuries ago but in others it may make their faith stronger. Another reason why religion may not seem like such an important part in people’s life is because may they don’t choose to talk about. Like I mentioned earlier, religion is becoming less and less of our everyday conversation due to the controversy between certain religions. Just because religion isn’t in our everyday conversations or always publicized doesn’t make it less important.

    Bianca Kea

  21. 27. I do not believe people are destined to find any kind of soul mate. Two people with an ample amount of interests and similar hobbies can have a long, happy life together. Every couple has problems, but those problems were meant to be worked through. Problems may challenge a relationship, but thats what solidifies the relationship in the long run. Years ago, divorce was not an option; Once you were married, you stayed true to your vows (through sickness and health, till death do you part). Now, people waste time searching for “the one”, when instead, they should spend time bettering themselves to be “the one”. People go from person to person, hoping the current one will be perfect. They expect that there will somehow be no fights, no hostility towards each other, and they will unconditionally love one another- but what happens when the husband forgets the anniversary? Does the wife still love him as much as she did yesterday? The answer is yes. All the same emotions still lie within the wife, but she is displaying ones that are rarely shown opposed to the happiness or excitement that is usually displayed. The answer to the question is the person you love was not pre-destined, you worked to get the relationship to function.

  22. 24. What makes us think we can trust our senses? Explain.

    What makes me think I can trust my senses is the fact that I can trust my senses 100% of the time, excluding instances where i am dreaming. When I see an object, it is there; I can touch it, I can smell or hear it, it is there. How do I know this object is there? I can perceive it, therefore my senses are correct, as usual. We live in a real world, where every object is real, and our senses can perceive reality. Those who say reality is not real or any other crap like that are just trying to be deep or think deep. This is far too open minded though, seeing that one could say its possible for anything like that to exist.

    Jake Timmis

  23. I don’t know if I believe in things like love at first sight, but what I do believe in is true love. I don’t think that you can know from the second you meet someone that you are in love with them and they will be your one and only true forever. When people date and get to know each other, it’s very possible to find someone you love and adore. I believe that each person has their perfect match somewhere out there, but they just might have trouble finding them. I definitely think there is more than one person for everybody. It would be pretty hard to find someone that is perfect for you, but there are many people that are a close second. These sorts of people are possible to find. I think people may take it too literally when they are looking for their “true love they are destined to find.” True love can be found in many different people, it just takes time together to create that love.
    hilary sircus

  24. I do not think that Darwin’s theory of evolution takes away the existence of God at all. I think Darwin uses what he knew through evidence through the finch’s beaks. He just proposed the theory of evolution and natural selection. God was never rejected in his theory he never even mention God in any of his findings. So we cannot say that he rejected God in a sense. I think that even though Christians believe in the “six-day creation”. I think that all of us should learn about Darwin just for scientifical purposes whether we believe him or not. I think it is very educational for everyone to learn. I think it’s something that all of us should know for everyday prior knowledge. I also agree with that Darwin’s theory and God go hand in hand because all Darwin is doing is confirming what God has already done though the many species that were discovered and I think that all of us should look at that in an instance. Although I do believe that we have the right in the constitution that has the division between church and state I think one should not rule over the other because it only results in havoc. That is what I think about God and Darwin’s theory.

  25. When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them free will, allowing Adam (and Eve) to sin. In heaven, there is supposed to be no sin, pain, sadness - everything is supposed to be perfect. Does this mean that there is no freedom in heaven? - Jules

    I see heaven as a gateway to freedom, but in a more controlled way. When in heaven we are free from sin, pain and suffering. We can't be entirely free or we would replicate the lives we had on earth and start doing the same terrible things we did on earth. To be welcomed into heaven is to be pure and to be pure you must have the same morals as God. Heaven isn't about being free its about facing are creator, heaven is where are creator wants us to be, free with him. Heaven is known as the paradies everyone longs to go to, we go there for freedom from sin. In heaven there is no conflict with the way God wants us to be free and the way we want to be free, we both want the same things. Before we die are actions choose are freedom in the after life. If we sin alot and don't bother to confess to are wrong doings then we will be sent to hell and there is no freedom there, we will be burned for are wrong doings. If we do bad things, but try to improve and confess to are wrong doings then we will be sent to purgatory, we will be burned for some wrong doings then sent to heaven. When doing good and helping others to do good as well we will be sent to heaven and when in heaven with God you will feel free casue your in his presence. That's how freedom is done in the after life.
    Sam T.

  26. Yes I do believe being a Christian Sunday is wrong and unjust in every way. The way you live your life Monday through Saturday is your business. But there is still a certain way you go about things, one thing you don’t do is pretend. Pretending to be something that you’re not on Sundays is wrong and the only person you’re fooling is yourself. Staying true to yourself and being real and staying true to God is what being a Christina is all about, it’s the things you stand for and the things you’re willing to fall for. God knows the truth so lying and pretending and perpetrating is not beneficial to anyone. It’s simply not Christian because it’s not right.

    Alyssa T,

  27. 2. I honestly do not know if the world is all in our heads. At times it does not feel that way because when you fall down, usually, it hurts. Other times it seems as if one can’t completely grasp reality. I don’t know if anyone else feels this but sometimes I don’t feel connected to the world, it is as if nothing really is there. I do not think anyone will ever really know the answers to all these questions. If there is an afterlife then our answers may eventually be answered, but even that is not a completely sure thing. How can we even be certain that after death we don’t simply stop existing? If someone finds a way to bring back people from the dead, the people living on earth may have their questioned answered.
    If I realized that we were in a dream I don’t know if I would be daring enough to jump off a cliff. I would have to be extremely sure of myself. Why waste my life? I would probably simply wait to die naturally in my dream that way I would have nothing to lose. If we weren’t living a dream and I was wrong then I would have had a fulfilling life and if this was a dream my life would have been even “longer”.
    Laetitia crosnier 4th hour

  28. 9. How come religion was such an important part of people’s lives a few centuries ago and is now “less important”? Do people have more doubt? Or is there something else?

    It is not that religion is less important than it used to be, it is that science has become more prevalent than it used to be back centuries ago. People are less concerned with their own faith and more in tuned with what science and proof have to offer us. People used to believe blindly in gods or a god to solve their problems where not it is more obvious that people themselves have to overcome their problems with their own willpower. Life also used to be based of the church centuries ago. Everything had to do with the church and being heresy if you did something immoral. People have realized that life is much easier and more productive if you don’t force religion on life. Our country has also added laws prohibiting religion in everyday life for the public, or at least contains it and holds it back from the open public. People do have more doubt but this is because of science and reason. People want to believe in a certain thing, but unless there is proof they have a hard time doing so. Society is also way more accepting than it used to be and people allow other religions and ways of life more than it used to.

  29. 32. Do you believe the theory of evolution disproves the existence of God or does God and Darwin's theory of evolution go hand in hand? – Stephen

    Traditionally I could never understand why there was so much controversy around the subject of evolution. After watching the video on Friday I realized it’s not the theory of evolution people have a problem with, it’s the fact that Darwin’s theories contradict their Christian stories. Darwin’s theory does not disprove the existence of God all it does it theorize where did humans come from where did everyone come from. Just because evolution basically states we evolved from primates does not mean that God doesn’t exist. I believe in Darwin’s theories to a certain extent, and I believe in God to an extent. The problem lies when you believe in one way too much and are blind to any other ideas. Darwin never in his theories never placed a position on God, why does believing in Darwin’s theories cause people to say it’s against God? Only because they’re scared that the stories they have been told differ from Darwin’s theories. I believe that not all stories told are true, and probably have changed a lot of time, I do believe though the point of the story hasn’t change, and Darwin theories have not and cannot change the point of the stories.

    Mostafa Bendali-Amor 5th

  30. Noah Saperstein
    1) To be a Sunday Christian in entirely acceptable. First of all who are you to say how one must practice their own, personal beliefs. That is entirely contradictory of this nations beliefs of freedom. Second of all religion isn’t the practice of the cult like behaviors (such as dunking a baby in a bucket of water), it is the belief in a higher being, a belief in the morals and ethics that are taught, not about what ancient guy fought against who or who enslaved who, it is the big picture. Third of all why does the frequency of which one prays or practices their religion have to do with their belief in a higher being, why does the Orthodox Jew with his black hat and curls any more religious than a reformed Jew who believes in god and eats bacon? There is nothing wrong with being a “Sunday Christian” or Sunday anything for that matter, jew, muslim, pagan, Christian or any other religion, what it all comes down to is how much you believe. Not about how much you know, or how much you practice or even how often you practice, just that you believe. That is where religion has fallen short, it is all about belief and not practice/

  31. 20. I think that philosophy isn’t a waste of time at all regardless of question is asked and if the question can even be answered at all. I think philosophy is way to understand the world around you, and determine/ figure things out for yourself. Though you may never find out the answer to life or the existence of higher being / god, philosophy allows you to ponder ideas and come to an answer or understanding that satisfy you. I don’t think thinking about these issues or problems are a waste of time as long as you come to your own conclusion and allow your mind to rest at ease until another dilemma comes up and must be pondered again. I also think philosophy is another way of understanding different cultures, ways of thought, and religion. Philosophy can bring people together and it advocates diversity and understanding. Overall I don’t think it is a waste of time even though you won’t have any definite answers, you will at least have an answer that will satisfy your own needs.

    Raphael Egziabher 5th

  32. 32. I do not think that evolution disproves god even in the slightest. I believe that in the beginning god, or a supreme deity of some kind had a basic plan for all life and just let the world run on its own. I don’t think god made man and created the world in 6 days, instead it makes sense that god had a general sense of what god wanted to see happen. I think that evolution is a way of showing gods work. All of the diversity and beauty in all creatures, I feel is too great for there not to be a supreme deity. It is unfortunate that Darwin and evolution has gotten such a bad rap with religion, especially Christianity. The church could have embraced this idea and used it to prove the existence of god. Had they done this there might not be as much of a divide between religion and science. I think religion should try and move towards science and use it to prove god as opposed to being completely against it and declaring anything they don’t agree with heresy. I would be very interested in hearing some theories that combine science and religion.

  33. If I were given a timeline/future history of my life to come I would ignore it, but only if good things were going to happen. If I knew good things were going to happen in the future of my life I would not pay attention to the timeline because any one small thing I do differently could change the future. If I knew that bad things were going to happen in my future I would do everything I could to change it. I think that the future can be changed, I’m going to use a twilight reference, Alice, (the one that could see the future) could see the future and then when someone changed their mind she could see their new future.
    -maia knox

  34. 32. No, I don’t believe that the theory of evolution disproves the existence of God. Throughout all of history, God or the gods have been our best explanation for essentially everything we don’t understand. What did people used to believe was the cause for different types of weather? The change in mood of whichever “god(s)” the people believed was responsible for the weather were the cause. What did people used to think was the cause for people getting sick, before we knew about germs, bacteria, and viruses? God was mad at you because you had sinned. Why are we here? Well, because God created the world and everything in it in six days, and created us “in his own image” and put us in his world. Why is God our answer for everything we don’t get, right up until we finally figure it out? Because God literally cannot ever be understood, and therefore can’t be disproven. Once we do figure out the real cause of that which was once inexplicable, God is no longer the direct cause of it, but since he supposedly created our entire reality, he’s still behind it indirectly, at least for those who believe he exists. So he’s always the cause behind everything, even the things we can explain. And there will always be things we don’t understand, so God will always have to be the suitable explanation for those who need one where none exists yet.

    Drew Fisher

  35. #1
    I personally think being a Sunday christian is very wrong. I myself am not religious and i don't pretend to be, but what agrivates me is people who say they are good people because they go to church, and they only go when they absolutley need to. You either are commited to a religion or you aren't. I think the people that only go to church when they absolutley need to (holidays ect.
    ) are just going to say they went and so they can say that they are good christians and go to heaven. I dont agree with this at all. Not that im religious, but I think if you want to go to heaven you would have to go to church because you want to and not just to say you went and got it over with.
    Sara Dziubek
    4th hour

  36. 17. Even after the events in Texas I believe that the definition of a terrorist will always remain the same. A terrorist is some one who inflicts terror in some way as political weapon. In the same way the hijackers on 9/11 were terrorist this most recent attack is one as well. I believe the definition of a terrorist has remained unchanged because similar types of activism are well defined as different from a terrorist attack in several ways. A freedom fighter differs from a terrorist because his primary goal is not to inflict terror in a political attack but to use brute force to take power from an oppressive government. This differs from terrorism because its primary goal is not terror and violence. In the same way martyrdom is not always violent but a peaceful objection to an oppressive government or religion. You don’t have to fly a plane in a building to be a martyr you can simply stand up for you believe and when someone comes to punish your objection you take that punishment as a form of protest. Those are just some of the ways that I believe terrorism will never change.

  37. Is the world “all in our heads?” How do you know? Will anyone ever know? If you realized you were living in a dream, would you jump off a cliff to see if you could wake up?
    I believe that the world is not all in our heads because there is a natural world that exists without reason. The natural world is what I perceive to be the realest form, because the rationalist world is only an opinion, and is in the eyes of the beholding thinker. I do not know this for sure but I sure do believe it because it is all that I have to believe. If I realized that I was living inside of a dream, I would not jump off a cliff to check if it was real, instead I would do something a little less intense to check up on my reality, because if I did not wake up then I would simply be dead. I could be living inside of a dream but I may as well enjoy the living in the dream instead of ruining it for the sleeper.

    Ian Perfitt

  38. “36. Do you believe that the average American is intelligent? - Jake T.”

    I’m going to try really hard to control my inner cynicism and resist the temptation to say that most Americans are dumb. From a purely scientific point of view all Americas, and for that matter, all humans are considered to be intelligent life. Now come the most difficult part in answering the question; are most Americans intelligent when compared to the above average human? My answer is a resounding maybe. It all really depends on your definition of intelligence. Take for example a butcher. He could not know anything about government, math or art. But when it comes to the knowledge of how to cut/trim a steak or advice on how to prepare it he could be second to none. The same notion if felt by many Americans in regard to politicians. Many Americans believe that the politicians might know a lot when to comes to “pork-barrel spending” and “corrupt practices”, they know nothing about the average worker and the difficulty of living under the poverty line. I this sense I believe that most Americans know something about one area in the entire world. But with respect to the original meaning of the question and its roots, no I don’t think that many Americans would be considered intelligent. There have been studies that our public school systems are failing and that our nation is slipping behind other industrial nations like China and India when it comes to math and science. This is the intelligence that I think most Americans lack. Finally I think that most Americans lack foresight, logic, and the desire for the greater good. This can be seen in our fanatical demand for low taxes and for privatized everything. And it is in this regard that I personally think that Americans are stupid.

    5TH HOUR

    6. When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them free will, allowing Adam (and Eve) to sin. In heaven, there is supposed to be no sin, pain, sadness - everything is supposed to be perfect. Does this mean that there is no freedom in heaven?-JULES

    Well first and foremost Adam and Eve were created in heaven but the sin did not happen in heaven, it happened on Earth.
    But if i am wrong,this example does not mean that there is no freedom in heaven;there would just be no need for sadness or pain and sin when you are in heaven. It is a utopia with your God,your creator. When you make it to heaven that means that you have become apart of the word of God. It's a way of life for you at that point.. But while you are here on earth you make decisions that will determine if you are following the word of God or not; and Adam and Eve are the first example of sin. They made the choice not to follow the word of God- has nothing to do with the freedom you have in heaven. But to mainly answer the question it isn't that you have no free will in heaven just because you won't feel pain, sadness or sin its that there will be no need or reason to feel sadness, or pain in heaven because it's heaven/utopia; and you for sure won't commit sin because your mind set is not as a human anymore in heaven so mistakes and what not are over you are free from that, you're an angel (angels don't commit sin). But underneath it all, i have never been to heaven so i wouldn't know FOR SURE what the limits are. But from my knowledge, these are it.

  40. I think that in no way does the theory of evolution disprove the existence of god. The theory of evolution says nothing of the origin of the life forms that we evolved from, and may very well have been created by some sort of “god”. Evolution may contradict some of the stories in the bible, such as the creation of the earth and of man, but I think that there is plenty of wiggle room in the theory of evolution to say that god might still have created our universe. I think that when people dismiss the idea of evolution simply because it is said to be contradictory to their religious beliefs, they should at least look into the theory and see how it might be possible that both ideas are correct. In the movie we watched, the parents of the young scientist would not even discuss the possibility of evolution being true. Whether evolution is true or not, each person should look at the evidence and make a judgment based on more than just what they hear. I think that you can b religious and still believe in evolution.

    Megan Walsh 4th

  41. I do not think that the world is all in our heads. It easily could be but really I will never know. I think, therefore I am, is what tells me that I do have a mind. I think too much about things and I truly will never know if none if life is real or not but I still think about it, which convinces me that I have a mind. I feel that my emotions and senses tell me I have a mind and I don’t think they can be altered. If one day I figure out I don’t have a mind, it would confuse me because my mind is telling me that. I probably would jump off a bridge to test out to see if I really existed. I mean if someone told me that all of this was fake I would be pretty mad confused and conflicted about everything. I don’t know if I would be able to live in a world where I know that I don’t exist. If I didn’t jump off a bridge to test it out I would probably revolt in some other way. Maybe I would be like Neo or Winston, but maybe I wouldn’t.

    Rachel Fine 5th

  42. Clare Andrew: hour #5March 16, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    2. Is the world all in our heads? From the first moment that question was asked I have found myself constantly mulling it over. Trying to imagine that every time I walk out of a room it disappears is very intriguing, but I find it to be impossible. When we discussed it in class many people said that they didn't believe it or that it revolves around the question: if nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? As I have come to believe, yes it will still make a sound. So relating the first question with the second has caused me to come up with this answer: What if there are so many living creatures on this planet that it is impossible for something to not be seen? I believe that because there are so many beings should one person leave a room that room will still remain there because there is still a living thing inside it. Of course if there is no living organism inside of a room, then maybe there is the possibility that the room will disappear. My next question then comes to mind: What if that is why space is impossible for us to see the full extent of? Maybe we can't see anything even close to the boundaries of space because there are no living organisms to keep it there. The only thing that we believe is able to travel long distances in space is light, but light isn't alive. Who knows? The possibilities are endless and that is why this question interests me so much.

  43. Marcus Johnson 5th Hour

    10. I believe that neither everything ends nor that a soul continues to roam around after death. I think that when we die we are reincarnated in a new life form, as if as you close your eyes to die it is only a blink and you automatically open them to new life with a blank slate and no recollection of your previous life. You pretty much go from whatever age you may be given it be 80 or 30, you open up to being reborn with new opportunities and a new family and a new way of life, a baby essentially. But then again, there is a part of me that believes in heaven or at least a better place/your idea of a better place. So instead of ending everything, free roaming spirits and reincarnation your soul or essence of your being would travel to remain in an everlasting, eternal, and joyous resting place.


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