Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Blog #36 - Remove one thing from this world...

After watching most of The Invention of Lying on Wed. and Thurs., we discussed what the true intentions of the movie were.
  • Was it trying to show us that lying has its good points (little white lies, brutal honesty that numbs us to those in trouble around us, insults that should be better left unsaid)?;
  • Was it a critique of religion as false hope? When Mark was on a TV interview show for a brief second at Anna's house, he looked and sounded like just another televangelist;
  • Or did it show, even if religion may be a false hope (in the moviemakers' eyes), that hope is worth believing in b/c it gives the people in this world that their lives weren't for nothing (you're a loser on Earth and now you'll be rotting in the ground - geez, what's the point of life then? Look at Jonah Hill's character and his insistent research into suicide);
  • Did the filmmakers add deliberate philosophical tie-ins with Nietzche (bending reality to fit to one's will and lying creatively) or Christianity w/ Mark acting as a stand-in for God when he gave Anna the chance to love him on her own accord a few times (much like the Christian scholars have said that God gave mankind free will so that we can love Him on our own accord)? Though, I'm not sure what Mark sees in Anna...

So, your job is to think about something, just one single thing, that you would remove from our world in order to create a parallel world like the one in the movie so that this parallel world would somehow be better than our world.

Explain how your new world would be different, and try to be imaginative by thinking of both the positives and negatives. Don't be discouraged if someone has already taken your idea. Build on what they've already written or go off in a different direction or rethink your approach.
Due Tuesday, March 9 by 11:59 p.m. 200 words minimum.

Please try to stick to ONE thing; several of you have put down 2 things.  That's fudging, and it's also unfair to those who haven't written a comment yet.  Thanks. 
The Editor. 



  1. If I were to take one thing out of this world I would take out conflict/war because I feel that conflict and war is a very negative thing to have in the world and it leads to deaths of thousands of people. A world that didn’t have conflict and wars would be better in my opinion because everyone would get along well with each other and no one will have to fight over an issue. This world will be different than the one now in that people will go through their days by agreeing with other people and not fighting or arguing about something, and everyone will be happy. I think that a some positives from not having conflict/wars in a world is that people will be happy and won’t fight and that no one will die in wars that are being fought. Some negatives in this new world though may be that individuals may not have a different opinion than other people if everyone agreed with one another and didn’t fight. People may become accustomed to agreeing with everyone and they may become mindless in a sense that they wouldn’t have a say in anything that is happening.

    Stefanos Thomopoulos 5th Hour

  2. If I could remove one thing in our world, I would get rid of cheating; Cheating on tests, tax incomes, relationships etc. In our world where cheaters often gain an advantage over honest people, they are rewarded for their dishonesty. Is there was no ability to cheat in the world everyone would have the same fair advantage and would be held in equivalence to everyone else. Although this may separate the honest working man from the greedy politician, I see no consequences to getting rid of cheating. Even when a teacher catches a student cheating on an exam they are very unlikely to reprimand or punish the students and the increasing pressure for good grades for college make students more likely to cheat. Relationships would be more honest as well. When people cheat on others that they are dating they disrespect the person and show them how they don’t care. If no one was able to cheat than they would be kept honest and only be able to date one person at a time, like it should be. People in our world are often not reprimanded or discouraged from cheating and this leads to a dishonest generation who is greedy and selfish. Through the deletion of cheating from our world we could give everyone fair opportunities and keep everyone honest.

    Katie Weed

  3. If I could remove one thing in this world it would be pain and suffering. Pain and suffering are caused by bad things, so if you take away the result of bad things people won’t go kill themselves or be depressed because there is no pain and no suffering. I’m not saying people won’t be sad they just won’t feel pain or suffer in any sort. People in Africa who are dying of hunger won’t be suffering anymore of hunger. People who just lost a loved one to death would cry but not feel depressed they would remember that person without the pain of loss. People who are sick would no longer be suffering and fighting the sickness, it would be gone.

    Negatives of removing pain and suffering from the world would be. Death would be painless and peaceful, Sports would be painless and not as much fun to watch, the injuries would still be there but rules and regulations would have to be changed and the sport would be played differently. If there was no pain in an experience, what is to judge that you’ve learned from your mistake, the mistake that would have caused pain if there was any pain or suffering. All the good things are like no, depression, no eating disorders, all sicknesses will disappear

  4. If I could choose one way to make this world better by removing something that is abundantly used in our present-day society, it would be the invention of guns and bombs. Both of these tools are used as a way to harm something or protect ones self from harmful people. If guns and bombs were never created however, then people wouldn’t have such radical conflict often. Without the invention of artillery, I think that wars would rarely happen because there would be no way in solving it. The two enemies could have fistfights or thumb wars but ultimately nothing would get solved. Without the quick escape of just killing each other, governments would use discussion and compromise as tools to solve a problem. The downfall that would arise in this ideal world are people not having the feeling of being safe from dangerous people, but if no one knew what a gun was, then crime wouldn’t be as high and people wouldn’t be as fearful about having a gun stuck to their face. A downfall with not having guns is people would try to create other things that would do the job. Knives would probably become used more often and that seems like a much more brutal and painful way to die. Overall it seems that only positives come out of the banning of guns and the idea of them never existing. With no weapons, there would be less crime on the streets and fewer wars to fight.

  5. Jake Timmis - The Irony of Religion

    If I were to banish one thing from our world, it would most certainly be organized religion. It is not the faith in god that I would hope to remove, it is the strict organized religions that must be eradicated. Yes, I know, this does seem rather brash, but before jumping to the conclusion that I am an irrational, immoral atheist, one really must consider the perils that religion has brought into out lives. First and foremost, consider the strife and war either caused by religious beliefs, both directly and indirectly. Directly, organized religion has caused an extensive list of military conflict, but I only see it necessary to name three very significant instances:The Spanish Inquisition; World War Two, and the current War on Terrorism. The first two examples listed illustrate the devastating effects religion can cause; both are based around a mass genocide of a certain religion, or the lack thereof. World War Two centered around the Holocaust, an elimination of (most specifically) the Jewish population in Europe. Singled out for simply having a different view on essentially the same god, six million Jews were murdered. Similarly, the Spanish Inquisition targeted Jews, along with Protestants, and even Muslims who had converted to Catholicism. The two cases stated above depict just how dangerous and irrational organized religion can be. To counter my points, a "faithful" person could argue that these only happen in an unsophisticated world, and that now organized religion has no averse affects. This dogmatic belief is dismantled by a modern day example of religious terrorism: the radical Muslim group al-Qaeda's attacks on 9-11. Although this is a radical movement, the fact that the Islamic religion promotes Holy War is both absurd and wrong. To round off my argument without only discussing extreme war situations, I feel it is important to bring to light the stigma associated with either being agnostic or atheist. Far too often, children without a specific view, or with no view at all, will be castigated by his or her peers. Classmates of the atheists almost seem to take it as a personal offense when the atheist states his beliefs. More religious people will exclaim that you are immoral, or even satanic, if you let them know your atheist views (well really, lack of views). Even people as close as family will take the view offensively when notified. From first hand knowledge, I know how family can react, and I also know how illogical the anger directed towards me is. Irony is very closely intertwined within religion. Followers acknowledge that religion is designed to teach morals, but where are any morals in the several, completely factual, examples I have presented? Quite paradoxically, religion both promotes open-mindedness and kindness, but where are these virtues present in my examples? The answer is that they aren't; rather than instilling virtous attributes in its followers, organized religion can just promote genocide, castigation, and chastising without a logical reason.

  6. If there were one thing I would remove from this world, it would be human creation for evil items. My father once said “if people would use there knowledge to build, instead of destroy, imagine how far our society would be.” In a way he’s right, think about it, the nuclear bomb is about as far on destruction you can reach. However building is nearly limitless, human image, art, and science all collide and can make beautiful things. But instead a vast amount of knowledge is wasted items that can be made purely to harm. Without creation of evil items wars would be settled without guns and bombs, it would require convincing and meeting at neutral terms. If in-fact war were to happen, it would be physically fighting, no knifes, swords, guns, or bombs. These types of wars, would not allow civilians to accidentally killed, and none of the area’s people habit would be completely destroyed. The human mind is capable of so much more than we as a society have allowed it to be. As a society we haven’t created a forward progress that can be helpful to society, but instead we have invested as billions upon trillions of dollars in research and resources for defense.

    Mostafa Bendali-Amor 5th hour

  7. Well, unlike the first four people who responded to this prompt, I'm going to listen to what Mr. Wickersham said and come up with something new.
    To be honest, I find it difficult to say that there's something I would just get rid of, because the way I think always allows me to come up with a counterexample. Allow me to elaborate. The very first thought that came to mind as to what I would get rid of to make our world a better place was stupid people. And by stupid people, I am referring to all the members of society who don't ever think before they speak up or do something, or who intentionally remain ignorant of any information on any subject matter, especially those who claim the right to have an opinion on the matter despite their refusal to even listen to the facts, like the ultra-traditional Christians in that video who refused to ever really even try to understand the theory of evolution. If everybody was always receptive to new information, even if it contradicted their current understanding of things, I think people would be much more tolerant of people of other races/religions/upbringing/etc., and people would be all-around nicer to one another. But then I realized that as frustrating those people are, if there were no more stupid people, there would be no more sarcasm, or it would take the enjoyment out of it anyways, and I really like sarcasm. So my solution was to just get rid of intolerance altogether. No more intolerance equals no more discrimination, and lots of wars would be avoided completely. But on the flip side, there are some things that should not be tolerated, like brainwashing an entire society into not being aware that all of their couches are actually live atomic bombs. Besides, what if racism leads to discrimination just as much as intolerance does? (and it's very important to realize the difference between the two) We've actually been talking about racism in my social psych class lately, and I brought up the point that we can't get rid of racism unless we get rid of the entire way our brain works, which is the organization of all the information we receive into schemas (and if you don't know what schemas are, just look it up, because this entry is already way too long and I don't want to take up more time explaining it). So I considered getting rid of schemas, but without some superior alternative, I'm fairly certain our species wouldn't survive very long, since schemas are the very mechanism that has allowed us to survive and even simply function in any given situation. After all that, I considered eliminating something ridiculous or something funny, like bubble gum or homework. Bubble gum simply because I personally can't stand the texture of it in my mouth, or the annoying sound of people blowing bubbles and popping them over and over again, or the idea of chewing on one thing for so long, and all just to get rid of it, thus nullifying the original purpose behind the ability to chew things. And homework because it bothers me that teachers take up all my time all day, and then when I get home, and could be enjoying life in whatever way I so choose, I am instead forced to allow my teachers to use up that time, too, at least if I intend to go somewhere with my life anyways. And in my opinion, if a teacher is unable to convey knowledge to students effectively enough so as to allow the students to not have to struggle through hours of homework every night in an effort to figure it out on their own, then the teacher isn't really teaching much, and shouldn't be doing it for a living.
    So, all in all, I'd get rid of bubble gum and homework, it would seem. If I were forced to choose just one, well, I could probably live with the existence of bubble gum, I suppose.

    Drew Fisher

  8. If I were to create a parallel world I would make a world with no stealing. In a world just like ours but where no one stole, everyone would have exactly what they earned. People would still love and hate and destroy just like they do now, but everyone would get what they deserved. There would be no locks on doors, and people would keep the keys in their cars and their children would be safe if left alone for a while. If there were no thieves we would all have exactly what we worked for and exactly what we earned. People would have to work for what they need, and everyone would have a better work ethic. The lazy people would starve and the hard workers would excel. Children on the playground would be better to each other and no one would have to worry about the safety of their homes at night. No one would have to worry about the garage door opener not working either, which bothers me. A world with no thieves would be better in my opinion, because it would be a much more trusting world, but it wouldn’t change the world we live in now as much as if say there was no more lying.

    Megan Walsh 4th

  9. If I could remove one thing from the world, it would be weapons of mass destruction (including guns and bombs). I feel that if you have an issue with someone, fight the person by yourself and don't bring other innocent people into the conflict. I figure that if you get rid of the WMDs, then war would not be an issue anymore (unless war was fought one-on-one combat with knives, not guns). I also feel that just getting rid of bombs would not be enough, that guns would have to be banned also because the idea of a gun can evolve and eventually turn into a device that, once again, becomes a WMD. I also feel that people would be more skilled in negotiation and resolving issues because they would not be able to turn to bombs to destroy the country, they would be more confrontational and discuss the issue they have with someone/something else.
    Eliminating WMDs would lead to less death, less mourning and grieve, and ultimately more happiness within the world. When you hear of someone dying on the news, it would be less "thats so sad" and continuing with what you are doing, to "oh my gosh, why are people dying?...we need to do something". Homicide rates would decrease, along with the suicide rates because many peoples weapon of choice is the gun. With the bombs, guns, and WMDs eliminated, the idea of weapons would be misunderstood and knives wouldn't be used for stabbing, but for cutting fruit.

  10. If I could take away one single thing that would somehow make our world better, I would take away stress. If we would not have so much stress in the world many people would be a lot happier and people would not suffer from the stress. Stress can affect the body in many ways. For instance, it can make you sick and deteriorate you physically and mentally. In this world with no stress people would probably be more carefree and enjoy life a bit more. They would most likely live longer lives and be a lot happier with themselves. In addition, they might be able to do things that fulfill their life a bit more, instead of just doing the work because your well-being depends on it. Without stress, people would do more things that they want to do. However, the down side on not having stress in your life is that you would not have any motivation to do the things that you have to do whether you like them or not. People would not have the urge to get anything done on time anymore because to them it would not matter anymore since there would be no stress. Sometimes people need some stress so they can get their work done on time. Without stress in peoples lives, they might be a bit to carefree and careless.

    Irina Laczkovich 4th hour

  11. If I could remove one thing from our world, I would remove unemployment and eventually poverty. We constantly see homeless people roaming the streets for change and begging people to spare them some cash for food. It would seem that with so many companies and businesses around the world, we could surely find a job for everybody. Even if it’s a struggle for a business to spare just one more job, I believe that it would be worth it in the long run. Several people try to avoid passing the homeless in the streets merely because they don’t want to empty their pockets of change. Others believe that the reason they are on the streets is because of drug addictions, and that if they give them money, they will just spend it on drugs and not food. For several homeless people, this is the reason they are on the streets but I believe that if they are given a job opportunity at even the smallest burger place or seven eleven, they will be inspired and given new hope. Let’s face it, we don’t like seeing homeless people on the streets and we should be more eager to do something about it knowing that there are homeless people who are forced to sleep outside on the coldest winter nights. So removing unemployment would make the world a better place.

    Richard Widdett 4th Hour

  12. If I was to remove one single thing from our world in order to create a parallel world like the one in the movie, I would remove greed/selfishness. Greed is a desire to acquire more needs/wants that u really need or deserve, it’s the desire for material, wealth, or gain, ignoring everyone else in your life. Selfishness is similar in due to the fact that you act in your own self-interest. When someone is selfish or greedy, they place there own needs/desires above and in front of the needs/desires of others. We need more people in our society to be selflessness, but that’s probably never going to happen in our world today. People always blame people for being greedy and selfish based on their religions, beliefs, and just purely ways of life, but everyone is greedy at some point in their life. “Our world was not always like this, says Famous psychologist Ernie Tradwell, and we can probably never change this, its evolution”. If there was no greed, people would care about other people more, people would have more friends, less enemies, and it would cause fewer problems in society. If you think about it in a bigger picture, if there was no greed, then that could also mean no wars. The gas companies wouldn’t be greedy; the Middle Eastern nations would be more caring of other American nations, and the world could all be one big ally. I don’t believe there would be any negatives, but the one thing I believe could happen, is people being too nice, and not ever having the courage to say no to other people. But overall I feel if greed and selfishness was removed from our world, our world would be a much better place to live in.

    Armen Topouzian 5th Hour

  13. If I was allowed to remove a single thing from our world, it would be greed. Many people suffer from this “disease” and I believe that it makes them perform things that they would not normally do. Instead of enjoying life, the avaricious spend their time attempting to get more money, material possessions… They sometimes even hurt others in order to acquire more. Many people are ejected from their houses; lose their jobs, their insurance… all because of big business owners who want to expand their company. Politics works that way, as Bismarck said: “Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made.” Politics are often run by seeing who has the best “prize”, if greed was taken away, maybe they would be more focused on everyone’s best interest. If this trait was never created, technology would never have been as advanced as it is today. Improvements are usually made at other people’s expenses. On the other hand, we may be happier as a society if this character trait disappeared. Others would never have known how it felt to be hurt. The flip side is that they might not know what true happiness is either.
    Laetitia Crosnier
    4th hour

  14. If I could remove one thing from our society, I would remove the immorality of the human and the necessity to have sex in everything. Well I don’t think that the act of sex is wrong by any means, I feel like the world may be a better place where sixth graders were not getting pregnant and people were not worried about children being exposed to things like that because it would not happen. I think that people would have an easier time related to each other when there is not a constant barrage of images of people should be. Changing this would also cause a couple issues because people would be less inclined to experience these acts. I think that if it was to be changed the way that it should be perceived is that it is an act of love not so much an act of passion. On the other hand, immorality also has a big part to do with addiction to certain substances. I think that by removing a stigma that is attached to these things we can negate the amount of people that abuse it. I think that people gravitate towards things that seem like they’re out of bounds to most people such as binge drinking and drugs. I think if we take out immorality people will be more inclined to do the right thing when making decision about those things.

  15. If I could remove something from this world and create a parallel universe, I would eliminate anger. Anger is one of the number one factors that causes other bad emotions. Without anger, people would be happier and be more likely to do better things. There wouldn’t be hate or crime and everyone would get along. There is no reason to be angry about something because if it already happened, nothing can take it back. Being angry towards someone usually just causes more anger. It doesn’t really solve anything or make anything better. Without anger, people wouldn’t be emotionally and physically abused. Abuse is mainly caused from anger, and it diminishes who the person is. Anger makes people uncomfortable and they feel like they can’t be themselves. They have to hide whatever the other person doesn’t like about them and pretend to be someone their aren’t. People should be able to feel comfortable and calm at all times. Getting rid of anger would also eliminate stress, depression and anxiety. Without anger, people would be healthier and feel a lot better. Everyone would be at peace with themselves and others.
    Hilary S.
    4th hour

  16. If I could remove one thing from the world it would be disease. I know that everybody has to die and it is just a part of life, but i dont think anybody should have to die from a horrible disease. I would want it so everybody could just die from natural causes and not have to go through all of that suffering. Diseases are so unfair because there are many people who go there whole life being extrmely healthy (eating the right foods, exercising ect.) and they still end up with cancer and die at a young age. To me that is the saddest most upsetting thing in the world. Also, besides the fact that disease causes alot of suffereing and pain, it also causes worry. Some people spend way too much of their life worrying about getting diseases which causes stress and if there were no diseases that would be avoided. I think people could live more relaxed lives if they knew they would never get a terrible painful disease in the future.
    Sara Dziubek

  17. Eric Singer
    I would get rid of sneezing. There isn’t any bodily function more stupid and irritating than sneezing. Ever notice how that huge sneeze that coats everything in a five foot radius with goopy snot tends to come at exactly the wrong moment? Have you ever noticed a sneeze that comes at the right moment? The answer is no. No, there is no right moment for a sneeze. Furthermore, because sneezes never happen when you want them to, you end up having to try to hold back the sneeze – and you hardly ever win. The stupid sneeze, despite how hard you hold, despite the pain and pressure in your head will sneak out, and then you look like a fool. How stupid is it that you have to close your eyes when you sneeze? You mean if I keep my eyes open when I sneeze they’ll fall out? That’s blasphemy. Driving and texting is illegal, but at least your eyes are open. I wonder how many people have died as a result of a sneezing fit that happened at the wrong place at the wrong time.
    Think of it. You wouldn’t have to buy Kleenex, you wouldn’t have to be all red and Rudolph-like around your nose when you have the sniffles, little kids wouldn’t snot on their hands and then wipe the goop on you, and finally achoo wouldn’t be a word. What about this “god bless you” when you sneeze nonsense? If you need a blessing that badly – go to confession. How is a sneeze at all connected to religion? There is nothing saintly, or divine about a sneeze. I think a little piece of me dies each and every time I sneeze – it’s kinda like smoking. Somebody smart, somewhere said that every time you smoke a cigarette 7 hours is taken off your life expectancy. I think when you sneeze it’s more like a day and a half.
    But think about all the positives of sneezing. Okay, let me know another time.

  18. Noah Saperstein
    Imagine a world without greed, how would our history be altered, how would the world have changed. There would have been no slavery, no colonization, much less war. I believe that it would be a much more socialistic nation, everyone is happy with what they have no one striving for more. It is the dream of every revolutionist, a world full of equals. Trickle down economics never would have been thought of, no revolutions of the 1800s or 1900s, no OPEC, industries would be more concerned on quality and environmental effects. Would people still have enslaved others, instead of for economical gain but due to a belief of cultural superiority, would there still have been genocide, Holocaust, Turkey, Vietnam? No one would ever know about Marx because his dream would be reality, Che Guevara would be a nobody just as Fidel Castro and Simone Bolivar would be. I think there wouldn’t be racism because it would have no origin; people would have accepted multi-colored people. As far as the entire Cold War, it never would have happened. No one would be greedy so there would be no socialist-capitalist competition, there would have been no Vietnam conflict meaning no Weathermen and most likely no counter culture of the 60s. It would be a much different world.

  19. Jake Prosyniuk - 4th Hour - The Irony of NeedsMarch 9, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    If I could remove one thing from the world, it would be needs. Not some silly world hunger business or AIDs. Naw, needs would take care of all that. This idea might blow some minds, but just imagine how chill the world would be if people didn’t need foods, clothing, shelter, and love. Everyone would just be having a great time, all the time. We could all do what we want, when we want. Yeah, that’d be the life. All that crap about guns and bombs? Crazy talk. People would kill each other with sharp objects if they didn’t have bullets, and people would probably have much more painful deaths. If there were no needs, there would be a lot less reason to have war. Actually, there would be no reason. If there weren’t guns and bombs, the population of Earth would literally be 200 billion. AIDs would probably go airborne, health care would be too expensive, and we’d be shoulder to shoulder with everyone, for our entire lives. Doesn’t sound like a good time. No, guns are a pretty good idea. “No needs” is where the party at. I mean seriously, people would just be chilling all the time, probably just having a good time with their bros. I don’t think I explained this well. I thought my use of colloquial language would put more emphasis on my ideas. Didn’t work. Whoopsies.

  20. If I could remove one fact of life from our world, I would remove selfishness. It would be a completely utilitarian, altruistic, and non-capitalistic world, and progress would be inevitable. People would feel more purposeful, more tolerant, and obviously not greedy. Corporations would put consumer’s welfare above their own, and government and politics would certainly be very different from our own, (perhaps legislators would truly put their constituent’s needs before a company’s)? But this statement itself presents a problem- just because people aren’t selfish doesn’t mean they’re loyal or would automatically follow the Golden Rule, they would just not be selfish. Also, if everyone is selfless no one could really receive the selflessness, although they would feel grateful it would not be for long because they would be concerned with the giver’s needs first. A plus, however, is no more ego-maniacs or narcissists, the problem is no one would appreciate it or even know to describe them as not an ego-maniac. In a word, this reality would almost certainly be better than ours simply for the reason that people would genuinely care for each other and those less fortunate, so much so that they wouldn’t even exist, no poverty or social order! It’s sort of the communist ideal, only the government would be less oppressive, if at all.

    Claire Holton 5th hour

  21. It’s hard for me to think of just one thing to take away, because everything negative in the world comes with something positive...But If I HAD to take away one thing from the world, somehow I would take out racism/discrimination etc. I think that the cause for most irrational wars or genocides or deaths in the world have to do with people thinking that they have superiority based on their race, looks, religion or anything else. It’s not that I would take away the differences in people, because without differences the world would be horrible. But I mean to take away the thought that one human being is superior over another because of simple characteristics. I think in the end, all problems root down to superiority. (Not that I’m a communist and think everyone should be economically equal.) Everyone should not look exactly the same way, but they should ACT as if they do. In my opinion, the concept of racial superiority is ridiculous, disgusting, ignorant, naive, pointless etc.. If I could get rid of it, and make everyone in the world see every other race and religion as just as legitimate and equal is their own, then the world could be saved years of wars and countless deaths. I’m sure that some stereotypes may be true. But stereotypes are only true because we have caused them to be true. If you oppress a race for ages it is no doubt that they will be left without certain advantages that other races have over them, and in turn cause the so called ‘superior’ race to think of them as inferior. I know that racism isn’t really that big of a problem today, but the world would be perfect if everyone was born without any preconceived notions, stereotypes or anything having to do with people different than themselves.

    Sammy Voutyras

  22. If I could remove one thing from the world I would definitely get rid of religion. Though I do have a strong religious background and have enjoyed some of the festivities of have religion, I feel that the cons of religion outweigh the pros without a doubt. It’s true that for many, religion gives faith, acceptance, and a sense of belonging, BUT like most things in this world, if it was never created then mankind would have survived without those things. When thinking about all the conflicts throughout history and today, 99.99% are a result of religious conflicts. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a perfect example (or perfectly imperfect?). The two religions have built up so much hate against each other that has turned into horrific violence over a piece of land. Like most preschoolers learn, sharing is caring, but for religion these life lessons are pushed aside and do not matter. Conflicts such as Protestants vs. Catholics in Ireland, Hindus vs. Muslims in India, Hitler vs. Jews/everyone all carry the same theme of religion being the reason of violence and war. The most ironic thing about all of this is that religion is supposed to teach moral values, like the 10 commandments, that tell people to not steal, kill, lie, etc. But these same religions who preach these things everyday are blind to the fact that when fighting for their religion they’re disobeying it at the same time. Another con of religion is the way that people judge you when you follow a certain faith. There are many preconceived notions and stereotypes about people of a certain religion. People of the same religion are usually in the same group of friends just because. It’s not like all the Jews go to the synagogue on the weekend and spin dreidels or the Christian kids go to church and talk about the creation story. People are grouped together by religion because it exists, not because they actually have similarities that separate them completely from a person who follows a different religion. So back to the question, the world would probably be a much more peaceful and safe place (hopefully) without religion.

    Annie Minns
    5th hour

  23. If I could remove one thing from the world we live in it would probably be greed. Greed is like a drug to people, once people get a taste of something better, that’s all they want. Greed in turn causes people to do or say things they would’ve never dreamt of before. Greed is the root of jealousy, stealing, cheating and lying, among others. A positive outcome of removing greed from society is that there would be more equality, in a material sense. People care more about the amount of material objects in their possession than their peers these days. Greed can turn the most morally correct person into a rude, malicious, unmoral person. Greed turns things into a competition, where there’s always someone losing out because someone else is taking more than their share, and more than is necessary. I really don’t see any upside to greed; I believe removing it would really benefit the world. For example, back when people were mining for diamonds in Africa, if they didn’t feel greed they would’ve never destroyed their land and used their people, ultimately, as slaves. I think without greed everyone would be much nicer, more caring, and generally more pure.

    Jessica Keyes
    4th hour

  24. Tyler Friedman
    5th Hour

    In a world in which I could remove one thing, just one single thing, I would remove 24 hour news corporations. Today, we in America know 24-hour media corporations through the three biggest: MSNBC (left-wing, more liberal views), CNN (a little more central than MSNBC, but still left of center), and Satan—oops I mean Fox News (right-wing, conservative). I think we must question the existence of these insatiable media giants and whether or not they play a beneficial role to society in any way, shape, or form. The clear answer to this is no, they DO NOT play a beneficial role to society in any way, shape, or form. First of all, anything the 24-hour networks do a conventional news station can do. The only difference is the fact that because they are constantly broadcasting, they are able to get that information to viewers instantaneously as opposed to have to waiting for the program to broadcast in a conventional manner. This might seem like a major advantage for 24-hours networks, when in fact this is the essence of their inherent fault: because they are constantly broadcasting, the overall content that they broadcast is dreadful. So yes, you may be able to catch a story break an hour early than normal, but in order to do so you must also suffer through hours upon hours of talking heads babble on about meaningless things that don’t matter. Secondly, the other aspect that draws viewers to these networks are their specialized talk shows (Fox and Friends, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, etc.) While these are all clearly opinionated shows, it has come more increasingly common for each of these networks to present these shows as if they were actually news programs, when this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In many cases this ultimately leads to disinformation towards the public, which is the exact opposite of what these networks claim to provide to the public. Ultimately, the world would be a much better place without these networks. Most importantly, I’m proud to say that in this brave, new, Glenn Beck-less world, we would finally be able to live more peacefully knowing there are no longer any scathing imbecilic non-entities screaming blasphemy into our indifferent ears.

  25. If I could remove one thing from this world, it would be drug/alcohol addiction. By eliminating this, many other things would decrease as well...such as stress, poverty and greed. Addicts live such a dark and depressing life when they are withdrawing, and I just think that no one should be able to put themselves in such an unfortunate place. I don’t think people who use drugs that truly make them happy, should have to suffer through all the hardships that come with addiction. Without addiction, there would be no such thing as cigarettes because no one would be addicted to them and sales would completely plummet. This would also cause an extreme decrease in the cases of lung cancer and second hand smoke. With addiction eliminated, I don’t know if people would just go crazy and try all these insane drugs, or if there would just be no drugs period, because all addicting substances would be eliminated. I haven’t decided yet if the addicting substance in the drug is eliminated, or if it is still there without being addicting. Now that I think about it…this really wouldn’t work at all. It seemed like a good idea at first because I thought it might be fun to be able to try all those crazy drugs knowing they would do no harm to you at all.
    –PS I DO NOT PLAN ON TRYING ANY HARDCORE DRUGS IN THE FUTURE...I was just trying to picture what I might do in a world without addiction.


  26. If I I could remove one thing from this world I would remove uncertainty because I feel that it can be very misleading and cause people to worry about the outcome of things. It can also cause people to be scared and nervous when they think about the worst possible outcome. If uncertainty were eliminated then surprises would be eliminated also causing everyone to receive what they expected. For myself though, uncertainty drives me crazy because I always over analyze situations and worry about them more then I should. If I were certain about everything then I wouldn’t have to worry about the worst possible outcome. Unfortunately everything in life is uncertain so I try to create the most positive predictions for myself even though I know that they are not necessarily the truth. If people were completely certain about all situations then it would be easy to make long-term decisions. I believe that when an issue or question comes up that uncertainty should be eliminated but when it comes to knowing things like when you are going to die, I believe that it should still exist. Unfortunately in limbo is my least favorite state of mind to be in.

    Ian Perfitt

  27. If I could get rid of one thing in this world, I’d have to agree with Jake and get rid of organized religion. Someone once said to me that organized religion is the center of all evil and hate occurring in the world today, and hearing that definitely made me take a step back and think. Whether its everyday problems or big conflicts, most of the problems in the world have to do with judging people based on their religious beliefs. For example, the Holocaust- Hitler and the Nazis brutally murdered over 6 million Jews just because of their religious beliefs. People in this world don’t take the time to get to know the people around them anymore, they just simply hear what the other person believes in and goes on to judge the person from there. I think that if organized religion simply did not exist, people would form a closer bond to each other, no matter where the person is from or what they believe in. This would make the world a more safe and happy place, because all people would be coming together as one to create a world where people are taught not to like certain people because of the things they believe in. Religion was made to bring people together, and in my opinion, the only thing it has done has torn the world apart.

    Thank you!

  28. If there was one thing I could take out of this world it would be judgement. Without judgement people wouldn't feel discriminated by color race religion or sexuality. Gay people would feel more comfortable coming out and saying " Hey I'm gay" if they knew they wouldn't be looked at differently or judge by there decision. Girls won't feel obligated to get upo at 5 am to make themselves look pretty becasue if they wear sweats or don't have make-up on another person might not like them as much. Without judgement everyone in the world wouldn't be afraid to take a risk and try something new becasue they would know that it would be accpeted no matter what. Clique's wouldn't form based on apperance or what is judged as right and wrong. No one would feel left out and it would make everyone a little more happy. I think if this was a judge free would there would be a less chance of suicidal people who think they don't fit in because there being judge on there appreance or there views. Everyone would be liked or disliked based on personality, but without judging who they choose to be or what they choose to look like.

    Sam T. -4th

  29. If there was one thing in the whole world I could remove from society it would busy work. Without busy work, students will have way more time to study for crucial, grade changing assignments. The issue with busy work is that it takes away from substantial learning and replaces our time with mindless, stupid assignments. For example, I am a bit confused on the thinking behind having students complete a crossword puzzle in Spanish. How does this assignment advance my learning in the culture and language of Spanish? Everyone uses their books on the puzzle anyways so if the idea is to help memorize definitions, which does not happen. Sometimes I get so stressed out about this stupid, heavily weighted work that I have my mother complete it for me. Classes that are more test-based would be a more accurate read of the student’s actual ability rather than work based. The concept is just ridiculous and needs to be removed.

    Alyse Yashinsky

  30. Daniel Mooney
    If I could remove one thing in the world to create a parallel universe similar to that of the invention of lying, it would be war. There are countless conflicts throughout human history that, while I will admit some have been necessary (WW II), the majority were fought over things that could have just as well been solved by non violent means. According to wikipedia, 378 000 people died due to war each year between 1985 and 1994. That is a major loss of human life. Many wars were fought over religion, resources, and politics, if people had no option but to peacefully settle their differences then perhaps the world would be a better place and we might be living in a happier, more culturally advanced world. I understand that there are problems with this theory. Malthus’ theories on population clearly state war as a main contributor to population control and, if it weren’t for war we may be dealing with massive overpopulation. I think however that we could find a solution to this problem. By no means would this make the world a perfect place but I think that a world with out war would be significantly better than our world today.

  31. The one thing I would get rid of in the world would be those tiny Chihuahua dogs. Those bring no joy into the world. If everyone in the world had the burden of having a small dog they would then become depressed. With the world depression rates skyrocketing, the rate of suicides and group shooting would increase. This mass increase in violence would lead to a much stricter culture and, in some areas lead to a police state. As discussed in class, the rise in fascism would lead to more wars and global conflicts and eventually leading to a nuclear war. No one wants nuclear war. The small dogs also make their owners earn less respect than their counterparts. These people would be inhibited from living a productive life thus making the lower, poverty-stricken class much larger. With the percent of poverty stricken rising out of control, more revolutions, communist or otherwise, would take place often leading top purges or ethnic cleansing. All this rise in bloodshed can be contributes to the diminutive Chihuahua. Without these dogs people would be forced to have a real dog, something larger that the palm of your hand. With these dogs, the rates of obesity and general unhealthiness would drop as people would be forced to take their dogs out for walks and exercise. Also there would be a drop in the amount of annoying yap-yap barking that normally accompanies these small dogs.

  32. If I could remove one thing from our world to make it better in any way, I would remove stupidity. I believe this will be the best thing to remove because it will rid the world of mistakes and problems. If everyone were to be at the same intelligence, there would not be any mistakes made. Everyone would use common sense to handle situations and overcome obstacles. All the world’s problems would be handled because there would be one consensus on the solution. People would no longer feel stupid because they know exactly what everyone else knows.
    The problem with this would be people wouldn’t learn from their mistakes and people may not become smarter. There might be a cap on how intelligent people can be. I could imagine society being more advance and civilized and there would be a more futuristic appeal to the world. There would be less pollution, less violence, and smarter generations of kids.
    -Nick slish

  33. If I were to remove one element from the world, it would have to be chance or probability. If probability was none existent, so that people would know the outcomes of choices, then I believe the world would be a better place. Suffering would be drastically lower compared to our world. To further examine that statement, take this example under consideration. If probability did not exist, pregnant women wouldn't have to bear through pregnancy if they knew they were going to have a miscarriage. Another example is if a hard working parent of a family of five who has a big gambling problem knows he or she is going to lose a gamble, they know they would be better off not gambling at all. No one would ever have to risk lives, money, or anything else if we all knew the outcomes of our choices. We could then make choices that benefits ourselves and others, therefore leading to a better future, rather than living in our world where pollution, hunger, and poverty are prevalent. With the world we live in now, our future is questionable; whether it exists or not. I know I would definitely be better off knowing where I can succeed in life, then failing by risking it all for nothing. Yet, people say “that's life”, and I say “that's YOUR life”. In the parallel world I suggested, you make your own future and not leave it up to chance.

    -Tim W. 4th Hour

  34. In the movie he removed lying and brought in honestly because he thought it would make a better place. I feel that by removing cruelty will maybe somehow bring in joy and happiness. In the news today we don’t just see crime anymore; we see how cruelty mixed with crime. Kidnapping and robbing is old news in today’s society, now it’s being held hostage while being beaten and starved. As our world progresses so does the severity of the crimes. By taking out cruelty I believe it will make the world much safe and bring happiness into it. Removing cruelty would be a huge relief for parents, civilians, and government officials. On the positive end this it removes severity of crimes, fear, and worry but on the negative end of the spectrum is doesn’t remove crime. By removing cruelty is just removing the fur off an untamed animal but it doesn’t technically remove the animal. By removing one little thing like cruelty has a possibility to remove other things like crime itself. The world is never going to be perfect, so to ask for removal of world hunger is unrealistic, but by asking to remove something like cruelty could help make the world a better place.

    Bianca Kea

  35. If I could remove one thing from the world it would have to be ignorance. Living in a world without ignorance would open up so many people to real thought. Without ignorance there wouldn’t be stupid people. Ignorance leads to many conflicts. If people weren’t ignorant, we wouldn’t have wars. Everyone would know what the right way of doing things is. We wouldn’t have racism without ignorance. People would be aware and see that everyone should be treated equal. Although the world would be better without ignorance, there are some side effects. Without ignorance we wouldn’t learn from the wrong way. Seeing acts of racism or causes of war teaches us what not to do and if we didn’t have those things I don’t know what negatives we would learn from. In 1984 they say that ignorance is bliss. I have always liked the flow to that and how backwards it sounds. When I think of it this way, I see bliss as floating around doing the same thing everyday, like the characters in the book. If ignorance never existed, the world would never have become that dystopia. Winston broke past ignorance being bliss and took ignorance out of his life.

    Rachel Fine 5th

  36. One thing I would remove is Sex. I would remove sex because without physical intimacy you can see people’s true feelings about you. So many people play mind games, or go out of their way just so you can sleep with them; they will do anything or say anything to get into your pants and that goes both ways with men and women. Sex also always complicates things, when you have sex with someone you get up with emotions; some people view sex as something spiritual and intimate; while others just look at it pleasure filled. Without Sex, there could be no rape; so many girls have been victims to rape (and guys) it’s ridiculous and sad. Also when you have sex with someone they sometimes look at you differently, and lose respect for you… maybe women would be appreciated more if we didn’t have sex, and this would be viewed as such a sexes “man world.” Although sex is not necessarily a bad thing, and is somewhat the way of life; because it is the way many of us was conceived I personally believe it tends to cause more bad than good. And lastly even though we’re not talking about the United States strictly, but the whole world; The U.S. seems to be the most relaxed society when it comes to dating, sex, and marriage; traditions and religious beliefs are far removed and parental don’t have the control they once use too. The world would definitely be a different place if anything without sex being involved.

  37. The one thing that should undoubtedly be removed from this world is suffering. I don’t know how it could possibly be anything else. Any other thing that someone might choose to remove would ultimately be placed under the category of suffering, such as removing war, pain, or evil. A world that is wiped clean off suffering could arguably be labeled as perfect since the absence of suffering implies that everyone is happy, or is at least in a content state. The one negative aspect about a world without suffering, is that happiness and joy lose their meaning since there is no polar opposite to compare them to. However, I am willing to make the sacrifice of not having a grasp upon what happiness is, in order to live in a world without suffering. Unfortunately, it would be impossible to achieve a world without suffering, since that would require everyone to have paralleling wants and desires, and as we all know, people’s wants and desires often conflict. If we live in a world where a content state is the worst feeling we experience, then that would inherently achieve the meaning of suffering. So, in order to truly satisfy eternal happiness, we would have to be a in a constant state of bliss, our brains would be saturated with endorphins, and we would never be able to feel hungry or thirsty. At first we might hold in our minds the desire for this great feeling to never go away, but eventually we would grow so accustomed to it that we would expect it, and at that point we will have reached the utmost level of happiness.


  38. If I could remove one thing from the world it would be hate, there could still be dislike, but no true hatred. Some positives of a world with no hate would be that there wouldn’t be as much discrimination; there would still be some discrimination because in my world there is still dislike. Another positive aspect of a world with no hatred is that there wouldn’t be as many wars and if there were wars, they wouldn’t be as detrimental because everyone would get along better. Also in my world things like the holocaust would never have happened because no one would be able to feel such hate for certain kinds of people. I wouldn’t remove all hate and dislike from my world because if there were no dislike then there would be no advancement of things, such as technology. A negative aspect of my world could be that some problems just get pushed aside. I think that people wouldn’t want to deal with problems that had to do with hatred. I feel that people wouldn’t know how to wrap their heads around such extreme dislike, so they wouldn’t know how to solve the problem. Another thing that wouldn’t be discriminated against as much would be homosexuality.
    Maia Knox

  39. Marcus Johnson 5th Hour

    If I were to remove something from a world in which I have created in order to make a better world then the one we live in, it would have to be, unfortunately, sex or at least the concept of sex before marriage. I know it may be hard to imagine without but imagine the way things would be simplified. A relationship would no longer have that dwindling thought of “I hope he’s as good in bed as he is outside of it.” It would leave the world to see people for who they really are instead of just the physical attraction because there is always that douche bag out in the world that goes around sleeping with girls just because she looks sexy. When, in my opinion, something along the line of sex/love making should only be shared with that individual that you love both physically and emotionally. Now the only thing I can see negative about eliminating sex is the fact that reproduction would be a problem but this is why I rephrased it to eliminating the concept until later years of life so that reproduction is a thing that people are looking to do, since obviously children aren’t ready to do. But, if I were to eliminate sex completely I would just have to create a new way of reproducing that occurs at an older age to resolve the problem.

    5TH HOUR
    If i could take out one thing in this would have to be stereo types. Stereo types is a belief that you've put on someone through judgment. So you pretty much you label someone with out knowing them at all. Who really wants that in the world? people use this as a defense mechanism to either protect themselves from something; if they went through 'something' with one person they believe that they will get the same result from a person that might have something similar to them, or they use it to make them selves feel better/ up their status. If we took stereo types out of the world this would eliminate insecurities for girls, racism, being self conscience, and guys being sluts cause they think it's cool(which could potentially lead to less disease in the world) would be eliminated. This would also take away judging others for what you've seen from one or two of the same "look" of person, or what they APPEAR to be because of past judgments they kept in mind to LABEL others. This could help people get jobs, love interest and once again-less insecurities. When people get more jobs this could also decrease crime! and being less insecure could lead to decrease in suicide rates! GOSH!..see eliminating stereotypes makes my world different because it can expand in SO many other positive ways.

  41. Clare Andrew: hour #5April 6, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    If I could remove one thing from this world, I would remove hate. I say this because hate can only be destructive and can only bring negative things. In my new world humans wouldn't have the need to "get back at someone" or to start wars killing thousands of innocent people in the process. The other night my mother and I got into an argument and wound up severely hurting each other's feelings. When we settled down and discussed what had happened, we found out that the only reason why the argument had begun in the first place was because we were angry at each other and wanted revenge. I asked my mom, why did it have to be this way and she told me that was how humans react to sinister feelings. That was when I thought to myself that hate has got to go. If it is so powerful as to be able to make a mom and her child want to get back at each other, then I want to get rid of it. The world would definitely be a better place without it.

  42. Of the six main philosophers, I can identify myself best with Descartes. He believed that humans were made up of the spirit and the body; an idea called dualism. The soul and the body were separate and not linked. I like this idea because I like the thought that, when I die, my spirit will live on. A major point in arguing his case would be that, when I die in a dream my body is unharmed. Another example to support dualism would be out of body experiences. If the soul and the body weren’t two separate entities, then how could one see themselves leaving the body? Brain surgeons have seen the inside of people’s heads, yet none claim to have seen a thought. Why is this? Because thoughts are part of the soul, are intangible, and are separate from the body. Descartes realized that, through reason, he could doubt having a body; perhaps he was in a dream, and couldn’t wake up. However, he could in no way disprove having a soul or mind. This would eventually develop into his belief of the soul as being separate from the body. I can relate to this because I sometimes wonder if it is possible that one day I’ll wake up and life will all have been a dream.

    -Ben Robinson


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