Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Blog #72 - Invention of Lying

After watching most of The Invention of Lying on Tuesday and Wednesday., 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 movie makers' 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 Nietzsche (bending reality to fit to one's will and lying creatively) when he asked "if you could remake life the way you want it, what would you do?"  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)? Or when "the man in the sky" is attributed with all of the bad/evil things that happen in life (like natural disasters, disease, accidents, even mankind's free will, etc.) - the classic problem of evil?  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. 


  1. In my alternate world, I would remove inequality. People would be treated exactly the same, regardless of their skin color, ethnicity, sex, gender, or who they love. This would obviously be directly positive because it liberates any and everyone currently experiencing oppression, bias, prejudice, or discrimination. Instead of living in fear due to who they are, people would be able to move forward and focus on being alive and well rather than scared and surviving. This would also provide a better representation of the world in all aspects of employment. People who make it to the top, or who have the best socioeconomic statuses don’t necessarily have to be older white men, which right now is the typical mold. Female and LGBT people of color are disproportionately voided the opportunities to make such leaps and bounds in education and employment, and the basis of this can often be those criteria listed. A world without inequality would allow everyone an equal chance to succeed based on merit, not personal characteristics. This type of world could also be detrimental. If taken too far, it lends to the idea of communism, where everyone is given equal everything, and an opportunity afforded to one is afforded to all. By allowing literally everyone the chance at one job, for example, it will be a lot harder to select from dozens of equally great candidates. That would be a devil’s advocate situation however, as I don’t truly think inequality should be perpetuated to avoid overcrowding in offices. In general, if we lose inequality, we also run the risk (again, playing devil’s advocate) of having such a variety of different individuals that nobody is truly represented, as everyone different and therefore is serving a tiny fraction of the overall population seeking representation, as an over dilution of uniqueness in a sense. In conclusion, though, I do believe the world would be better without inequality present.

    Olivia Reeves

  2. wallie

    First and foremost I did not in the slightest enjoy this movie at all (I watched it at home because I missed it in class). I am not looking forward to watching this movie in AP Psych next year. Mark IS a loser because he has to resort to lying in order to get the money and fame he wants. NOT COOL DUDE! I just…no. For me, the whole idea of removing one thing from the world isn’t a good idea; even though I do not believe in god I wouldn’t want to play a “god-like” role in society. However, if I were forced to make this decision, I honestly don’t know what I would chose. The first thing that comes to my mind to remove from the planet is religion. Okay, please please PLEASE hear me out because I’m not at all in any way insinuating that religion is bad, because it isn’t. and I know a lot of people will disagree with me and I’m sorry if I offend any of you with my paragraph thing because that is not at all what I want to do. I just think that so many wars and terrorist acts and hate violence come from religious beliefs. Muslim extremists, who do not believe in the acceptance of different religions, attacked the country on 9/11. Slavery was justified through the Bible. The LGBTQ+ community receives so much hate because that’s not “what god wanted”. Medical advancements have been turned down to help save people because some believe god would disapprove. I do know how much religion helps humanity though. I mean, religion puts hope into many people’s minds and religion does, in some ways, help the world coexist and religion unites groups of people. Rationally, I know that getting rid of religion would probable hurt the world more than it would benefit, but it hurts me so much to see people killing others and hating others and not accepting others because of the higher power they believe in. I don’t think I did a god job of explaining myself…but nevertheless, I think the world would be a little more united and a little less violent without religion.

  3. On the very first day of Honors Philosophy I realized that sometimes the simplest questions are the most difficult to answer... this would be one of those situations. There are so many things that the world that the world would be better off without, and it's hard to choose just one. You could be specific and pick something like murder, or you could go broad and pick something along the lines of hate. For me, I guess I would pick stubbornness. It sounds strange; with all the hate and evil induced events, of all things I'd choose stubbornness. However, if the world, specifically people involved with government, were just able to compromise, and for once be able to swallow their pride for the betterment of humanity, our world would be much better off. Without the common stubborn trait, everyday people would run into less conflict and be able to resolve it much faster when it does occur. Grudges between family, friends, etc. would not exist, and people wouldn't feel as much of a need to avoid others. As a country, we could move at a much more rapid pace if the parties weren't always clashing with completely opposite agendas. And even at a global scale, international agreements and institutions would be much easier to arrange and enemy nations would not be nearly as common. Just picture your own life. You'd be able to be st a constant understanding with family and friends, you would be able to properly negotiate in situations like work, you'd run into less conflict with people around you, if you were ever in a debate you could both understand the others point of view, and when you go home and watch the news, you don't have to deal with annoying government conflicts and gridlocks. It would positively effect our lives personally, and the future of our world/ species. Without stubbornness in our world, I truly think that we could be much more progressive, understanding, and loving, and that it would attribute to the lessening of other terrible characteristics of mankind, like hate, dishonesty, and indifference.

  4. Ari M:

    If I could change/remove one thing in our world it would have to be crime. Regardless of how high or low a crime rate is in a particular area, it is still something that has to be worried about on the daily. Imagine a world with no murder, a world with no rape, a world with no arson; safety becomes something to worry for much less than we currently do. Something very positive in this different world would be the use of jails. On the surface, jails would have no purpose in this world and because they're is no criminals, there would be more people not in incarceration who may be able to work which could contribute positively to the economy. Hate to go full Donald but more jobs = more money. However, something negative that may result from a reality without crime is what may be seen as bad instead. It is hard to imagine a world were there is all good without bad. Therefore, things that currently seem not to bad may be seen as terrible to society. Cursing or cheating on a test may become the new unforgivables in a world were crime does not exist. However, I feel that if crime was eliminated the security that would come out of it is much better than the possible negative outcomes. Rather than some children being scared to walk alone in their neighborhood, walking in this world is greatly encouraged. No crime could mean a tighter knit community that has more approachable problems.

  5. So in AP Language I just wrote a paper about racism and has it been left in the past, but as we know today from the sight of the past few years it's been a strange thing where it seems as though it is resufacing even more. I understand I'm a real world there isn't actually a possible way to erase racism,but in my perfect world that would eliminate a lot of problems we have in society today. With black people everyone thinks of us as criminals and ghetto and thugs and I'm kind of over it because when I say that I am in AP and Honors courses or that I don't live in Detroit people are quite shocked by that I don't live in Detroit. This stereotyping doesn't just happen with black people, but it happens with every other minority too. It's like people judge first and ask questions later. I honestly can't think of any negatives that would arise if racism was gone. If racism was gone most hate crimes would be eliminated because over 50% are done because of hatred for a race. Racial microagressions would be eliminated also. Even though these are unconscious ways too be racist it still happens. Mass incarceration numbers may be down and the jail system may be proportionate for once. There are other issues in society such as Islamphobia, homophobia, anti-semetic, and a bunch of other issues, and I understand that by eliminating racism you wouldn't be eliminating all the problems of society, but maybe that would be a start.

  6. In all honesty, I think The Invention of Lying was the funniest movie we’ve watched all trimester. It’s a good reflection on what the world would be like without lies--for those people who think lying is bad.

    If I could remove one thing from this world, it would probably be standards. I mean standards on body types, skin color, gender, feelings, colors, etc. When I first thought of this, it was more so aimed at females rather than males because I feel as though women have more standards being set on them than men. For example, if a woman is seen out in public with armpit hair, then she’s looked at with disgust because she’s not “supposed” to have hairy armpits (like we all don’t go through puberty). Another example would be the clothes we’re expected to wear; it seems that no matter what we wear it’s a problem. Jeans with cuts in them = rebel. Short dress = slut. Shoulders out = distracting. It’s honestly crazy because women are never allowed to be themselves. If we wear weave or extensions, we’re told that we look better natural; same thing with make up. Why can’t we do what we please? Society feels as though what we do is supposed to benefit them, but we only have one person to live for, and nobody but ourselves. As I said in the beginning, this post was more so aimed at the standards placed on women, but there’s always standards that go the other way too. The infamous, boys shouldn’t show their feelings is a major one, along with the colors boys can and can’t like. If all these standards were gone completely, I don’t see any negative drawbacks. Do you? People are able to live their lives out without all these expectations placed on them since the day they’re born. There are no unrealistic standards for women with models, photoshop, or injections because everyone would (I would think) be happy and comfortable in their own skin. In this new world, everyone has their own goals and doesn't have to compare themselves to any and everyone. In my mind, the world would be better.

  7. If I could remove one thing from society, I think it would be ignorance. I’m not sure exactly how this would work, whether every person has to by law be informed before making decisions or if people become biologically unable to make decisions without accurate information to support it. I think that either of these solutions (or any other with similar outcomes) would most likely improve the decision making skills of humanity in general. If, by one way or another, every human was adequately informed of the consequences of their actions and made analytical decision based on that decision calculus, at the very least personal levels of happiness would dramatically improve. I feel like a common criticism of this modification would be that it could potentially create emotionless, cookie cutter people that all think alike. I have two response to this. First is that I don’t think that making decisions primarily based on the knowledge that you have. For example, just because all of the information that I have says that voting for Donald Trump is not in my best interest, it doesn’t guarantee per say that I can’t vote for Donald Trump if I feel like he matches my moral systems better and/or I have a strong emotional reason to do so. Because of this, there is no guarantee that this would cause EVERYONE to make their decisions based on logic, but there is a percentage of the world that makes poor decisions because of their lack of information (to continue with my previous example: people vote for Donald Trump because they think that Obama was statistically the worst thing that has ever happened to America). To me, these people are so unbearable that I’m willing to do anything to make them more knowledgeable. Secondly, I think that a more logical society that makes, on average, better decisions is worth the price of a little less individuality. Because, honestly, individuality is a lie (that’s another blog though).

  8. It seems like an impossible thought, but I would love to get rid of hatred in the world. Now I know there is virtually no way to eliminate all hate from the world, the thought is very nice. It would eliminate (hopefully) prejudice and issues among people who are different from each other. It is obviously not possible, at least in the world we have now, but in an alternate reality, maybe it could be. People would be more understanding and open to ideas that aren’t their own, it would be very different from the state we live in now, being afraid that not everyone will accept us for whoever we are. Everyone has something that makes them “different” from others, most people fall into one minority or another (if not, they are lucky) and will struggle in some sense or another. Without hatred, it would be much easier to understand the struggles of others and accept that we all have our downfalls without acting as if we are better than anyone else. On the other hand, there is always the idea that without one side of the story, you cannot appreciate the other. Without hate, acceptance and love wouldn’t mean as much as they do now. It would become the norm, but no one would necessarily appreciate that love that is there. However, if everyone could be accepted and happy with themselves and others, maybe there would be no reason to have to appreciate it. If tolerance was the norm, then there would be no reason to have to think about it so much, and maybe it would be okay to take it for granted. Being able to take something like that for granted just means that it’s a basic element of life, something everyone has. And tolerance should be like that in our world, but in my perfect world, it absolutely would be a fundamental part of society.

  9. This is excerpted from a research paper/extended argument I wrote:

    “It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so,” the remarkable women’s suffragist and abolitionist Ernestine Rose once said. Religion is arguably the most dangerous idea conceived to mankind. For centuries now, people have accomplished feats- both positive and negative- for the sake of some almighty higher power. Religion has enriched our culture and shaped our philosophies all the way from Plato to St. Augustine to Kant and so forth. There is not a single aspect of civilization that religion hasn’t graced, including the faults of man. Religion has led to slaughter and bloodshed; to dictatorships and genocide; to ethnocentricity and divisiveness. It has led to inconceivable misery. These ongoing realities force us to ask: is religion really necessary in our modern world? Religion, through its lasting impacts, is an antiquated practice because of its unconstitutional entanglement in people’s lives and ultimately leads to more bloodshed, hypocrisy, and lunacy than olive branches.
    In conclusion, religion negatively impacts public policy and culture, is a festering nursery for discrimination and violence, and it takes the credit away from actual solutions for pressing issues. Though it is an unrealistic ideal, religion must be transitioned out of society if we are ever to awaken from the ignorant stupor that has inculcated billions of people. It may never become reality, but people must begin to question the world around them, including their ideas about faith and a higher power. People must begin to see the forest through the trees and recognize that faith has flaws, and that many of the “crises” involving faith today are shallow and superficial. If people like Ken Ham can put down the bible and pick up a biology textbook, then we have the potential to change the world. Malala Yousafzai once stated, “With guns you can kill terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism,” and the same applies to religion. We can continue to regress, hiding behind blind faith as our medium, or we can reform our education, and enlighten the masses once more.

    This is only my introductory and conclusion paragraph. I would love to share more, but I don't have enough characters to adequately express my ideas. If you'd like more information, let me know! I have an entire document you can scrutinize.

  10. If I were to remove something from our society today, I think it would be the ability to judge someone else. I think this would fix a lot of prevalent issues among society, such as for parents raising future generations and global matters. Looking back at the course of history, a lot of the negative events that have occurred seem to actually have been stimulated from the sole, poor judgment on people. Dating all the way back before the 1500s, this pattern can start to be seen. During the Protestant Reformation, those who revolted were judged for not following the ways of the Roman Catholic Church, causing Protestants to voyage to the New World. This led to the horrific discrimination and the enslavement of Native Americans and African Americans, all because people were judging other people for things that don’t have to matter instead of everyone just living in harmony together. In this new society without the ability to judge someone else’s motivations, the Protestants should have been able to continue worshipping the way they wanted to without feeling the need to discriminate against others, even with the rise of Roman Catholicism. No race should have ever been enslaved, no gender or sexual orientation discriminated against, and so on. Obviously there would still be certain disputes, but no one’s general first intention would be to deliberately hurt someone by questioning their morals or basically who they are as a person or what they look like. I’ve noticed that the society we live in today, because of our history and this sort of idea continuously being passed on, is too focused on the individual being concerned with the “problems” of others, rather than the focus on the individual working on themselves in order to be their best personal self to benefit the world around them. With this being said, taking away the ability to judge someone else would cause for our world to benefit under many circumstances.

    There are, of course, some definite flaws to the inability to judge someone. Sometimes it may be necessary to question one’s actions and bring them to the attention of an individual. For example, if someone were to be a heavy smoker, I would want it to be acceptable to tell the individual that he or she should stop smoking for the numerous consequences it has on one’s body and on those around them. I wouldn’t want it to be okay for someone to not be able to judge one’s actions, if judging those particular actions, such as smoking, could save someone’s life. I guess this side to the elimination of the judgment of others wouldn’t make this society all too great, however, there are some clear aspects to a society like this that would call for a better world than what we live in today.

  11. If I could remove one thing from our world, it would be hate. I think a world in which hate doesn't exist is almost unfathomable. I can hardly imagine what i would hear in the news or see on tv if hate wasn't around to motivate negative acts. I believe that all war and violence against others and children would be eradicated, without hate, why would there be need for war. Wars wouldn't be fought, but settled over rational, possibly heated, but nonviolent long talks and mediations. Although I am fortunate enough as to not be affected by it, sex trafficking is still an large epidemic that reaches all around the world. When hate is gone, so will violence like that, one could argue the people behind these heinous crimes aren't doing it to be hateful ad are doing it because they don't have a conscious or for selfish reasons; but all those things come from a place of hate. When you don't have hate in your heart, it is clear as day that those crimes are crimes, and no one should have that reality. So many negative things in our lives are driven by hate. I honestly cannot see a negative effect resulting from erasing hate. Maybe not everything unpleasant in the world will go away, but no new acts of unkindness and violence will be introduced to the world and guaranteed the amount of despair and suffering in the world will decrease.

    -Francesca B

  12. I would remove avarice. I know it sounds a little strange, I struggled finding something to remove from the world. When I thought of an answer to the question, I had the sudden thought that “this Earth is perfect, what could I possibly remove that would make it better?”. Then I realized that this assignment is not about physical objects or places, but about humanity and its flaws. At first I thought of removing social classes, or make them so that they're based on something else rather than economic power, but I had to go deeper into the problem, so I decided on avarice. It's one of those capital sins of Christianity that I struggled understanding as a child, probably because it is an innate behavior in many children. Later on in my life, I realized that things like greed and avarice are simply bad, they just don't work if the goal is to live in a good and caring community.
    I’m not sure where the world would be now if avarice had never existed. I'm guessing, for example, we wouldn't have all the great architecturally and aesthetically pleasing buildings made for extremely rich monarchs all over the world, but if that's the price of a world without greediness I'm ready to pay for it.
    On the other hand, if avarice completely disappeared today we would be able to solve a decent number of our social issues in a much faster and easier way. Hopefully, we would all of a sudden have all these billionaires turn into magnates and start supporting poorer parts of the population, the development of arts and sciences, better infrastructures, etc.
    And, most importantly, we wouldn't have to buy four singles and wait months to finally be able to buy a new album of our favorite band because they want to make more money by selling one song at a time.



  13. Out of the many things I would want to change about the world, the one thing that I think would make a dramatic change is education. In modern day schooling, students are often defined by a number. They grow up thinking less of themselves because they don’t always conform to the standards of the education system. With all the pressure and stress that comes with school, it can leave students feeling unmotivated and depressed. Most days the first thing I hear when I walk into school are complaints about how tired my friends are feeling, or how they were too busy to get their homework done. By this attitude, it is clear that the school system can oftentimes drain students instead of giving them the resources to efficiently learn. Students are too worried about grades, that begin to associate knowledge with the work and stress of school and learning starts to lose its value. When did knowledge become about memorization and busywork? About grades and competition instead of creativity and individuality. Students spend most of their life growing up sitting in a classroom lectured by teachers and geared toward a future in this capitalist society; a place where innovation and fun is often buried behind paperwork and lost sight of due to greed and power. With this fast-changing society, it only makes sense that the way we prepare the future generation changes with it.
    The first thing that would make my system different is teachers would be paid more. Teachers have one of the most important jobs in order to advance society, and we can credit many of our abilities we learned at a young age to their efforts. Teachers have the responsibility and ability to really make a change in the lives of students everywhere. However, the only negative thing I can think that would come out of raising teacher’s salaries is that people might just decide to be a teacher because they don't have to go to school as long as a doctor or lawyer. This would cause us to have an overload of teachers with the wrong intentions. When you look back in life, some of the greatest role models and people who made a real difference in your life was a teacher. Instead of being motivated by making a difference in children’s lives, they might do it all for money.
    Another thing I would do is make university free. Many students have the potential to go to a college that they can’t afford and end up having to settle for something less. I believe every student deserves the right to go to somewhere that fits their abilities and desires, not the amount of money their family makes. However, this goes with the salary thing. If we don’t pay teachers more, but still make college free, we may see an even larger decrease in teachers.
    The last thing I would do is make school shorter, and give children less homework. Students should be able to have time for things other than work. By overloading them with more schooling, outside of school, we are in someway taking away their childhood. At that age, kids shouldn't have to worry about whether they got an a or not, because it should be based on effort. After spending about 7 hours at school, when kids get home, they should have time to be able to be a kid. They should have the time to play, eat dinner and be able to relax. Students will spend more time focusing on the time they spend in school, and have more time for independent learning outside of it.

  14. In my world, which is probably worse than the real world, creativity is inhibited. No one creates art for the sake of art, or to send a message; all of the imaginative process is focused on inventions directly preceeding what’s been invented before.

    Pros: No effort is wasted on artists, since they just don’t exist. Artists in our world are frequently underappreciated and looked down on, and unless they’re very popular, it’s hard to make ends meet. In this world, they’ve all got ‘real jobs’. The technology these people have developed is not as far reaching as ours is, since their’s follows a very linear process (they can’t imagine things that are much further than what they’ve already made). What they do have, however, has been improved upon a lot more than ours has, because it’s all they have to work on. For example, maybe they’re only just now figuring out the television for sharing information (because they don’t movies or shows), but their cars are extremely fuel efficient and sleek, since they’ve been improving on carts and carriages for ages. The people are productive and efficient, able to focus on work instead of frivolous entertainments.Everyone is used to this, having done it for all their lives.

    Cons: This is gonna be a big one. First – there’s no art. None at all. There’s barely even any photos, since the camera hasn’t been very well developed yet. Nobody needs color in their pictures, after all, since art isn’t really a thing. Advertisments are bland and uncreative, rarely even featuring their product. Movies, TV shows, and fictional books don’t exist. Everything is a documentary or guidebook. Fashion is nonexistant, and almost everyone wears the same thing, and it hasn’t changed much in a few centuries. Life is rather dull and uninteresting for most, as everyone just works day to day. They may be used to it, but stress is high, and smiling doesn’t happen often. Particularily since noone can really come up with jokes besides puns, and there’s only so many of those. Noone daydreams, or even has an idea of what they want to be. Everything is in the now, in the outside world. People fall into their place in the world, and stay there for the rest of their lives. Love isn’t even a concept that they fully understand.

    Kyle Beauregard

  15. My new world would be different in a way that would make everyone equal to one another in class,school, height etc except for facial features. There would be no advantage in this world which would be good because you would there would be no jealousy unless one gets jealous over how pretty someone is. In this perfect world everyone would have the advantage of knowing basic living, and working only for self. This world could benefit the economy because then you have no supply demand, or lack of resources seeming that everything is the same all the way around. I imagine this world to be so perfect because I believe if everyone had equal skill the goal in life wouldn't be to get better at or get paid more for something, but instead the focus would be how to keep benefiting the community/family. On the other hand I could be wrong and since facial features are one of the things that differentiate everyone that could be the main focus of this world in which everyone would forget their natural skills and only think about beauty. In this book I read the world is similar with division between ugly people and pretties. In this world pretty people live on one side of the world and ugly people live on the other. When reading the book I noticed that the focus of the two worlds were simple because everyone was content with being so alike. In the end pretties always partied and worried about being pretty, while uglies worried about working and ways to get pretty. Also now that I think of it this type of world would still have much inequality, but in different ways. How pretty you are would become a ranking or class along with all the other things that would stand out.

  16. If there is one thing that i could eliminate from this world to make it better, it would without a doubt be judging books by their covers, and all the stereotypes that come with that. I feel like in  this world, people don’t always give a person the chance to show their true colors due to the way other people in their race/religion/culture paint them. For example, I feel like an African-American might be judged before he even speaks just by the color of their skin, because of those who believe in the “angry black girl” or “obnoxious black guy” stereotype. This mindset can prevent a lot of people from getting anywhere in life. Another common stereotype is the strict Christians that feel the need to damn everyone to hell that does not believe what they do. Donald Trump and his hardcore supporters are a great example of a group of “Christians” that are not representative of the entire religion. Christians are not quick to anger like them and eager to start battles and fight and be unaccepting of anyone else’s views or unable to hear them out. In the same way, white people could face stereotypes from black people due to their encounters with white people. I think if we didn’t live in a world where we based new encounters on past ones, we would live in a much more peaceful and harmonic society.  People often say when addressing race, “I don’t see color.” I want to live in a world where we do see color. I want to live in a world where we acknowledge our differences and are well aware of our different upbringings and experiences, and love each other for them regardless.

  17. If I could remove anything from the world, I would remove class struggles. The struggle of discrimination based on class has existed since the dawn of time, and has since evolved to include division of class based on things such as race, sex, country of origin, etc. In my opinion, the existence of classes (social and economic) is the origin of everything that is troubling in the world. From class struggle originated racism, sexism, and the majority of discrimination; the removal of the caste system would help a multitude of people around the world. While we tend to look at the world in a very American-centric way, other countries have battled with the oppression of classes for centuries. In America, classes impose systematic oppression based on race and country of origin, but other countries desert their poor, despite the majority of the population being the same race; class struggle is ridiculously all-encompassing and traditional. With the existence of a caste system, those on the top will always control the individuals forced into the lowest positions and exploit them. Unfortunately, wealth and greed have a tendency to corrupt and have been known to strip one of their humanity. Even worse, despite the horrific results of the caste system, it seems to be the natural state of humanity, as it has existed for hundreds of years. Nor is the neglect of the poor a new phenomenon, as evidenced by places like ancient Rome, with the dehumanization of the poor to the point where they were forced into life-or-death gladiator games. However, with the mistreatment of the poor comes retaliation, as demonstrated by the great Spartacus revolt. One might argue that classes bring about the greatest stories of history, like the aforementioned revolt; however, classes have caused the need for a form of pessimistic literature to arise in order to consolidate those who struggle with it. One might also argue that the existence of classes are necessary, that otherwise humans can’t find fulfillment in their lives; however, in many ancient Native American tribes, happiness has existed without the abuse of lower classes and the battle to climb the social ladder. While many tribes did have positions of power and moderate classes, tribes also lacked things like hunger and oppression of entire groups. The removal of the extreme caste system would also likely bring about the need for humans to form smaller communities similar to Native American tribes. I think that connection and companionship between people would increase with the removal of excessive classes.

  18. In my parallel world I would remove jealousy. A world without jealousy would not be perfect, but people would be much more at peace with themselves than they are now. In my opinion, envying others is a major cause of unhappiness. If one is jealous of what another has, then they feel inadequate. For example, when I walk past the Victoria’s Secret store in the mall and I see the photoshopped models on the wall I feel unhappy because I am jealous of their “perfect” bodies. Unconsciously, most humans compare themselves to people that have something that they want. This feeling of being insufficient creates jealousy and opens a culture of always trying to be better someone else. Jealousy is also an easy way to ruin relationships. Trying to obtain what others have makes life feel like a competition. It is common for one to forget about the feelings of those they care about when trying to get ahead. When one becomes too engulfed in “keeping up with the Joneses” they lose sight of what is really important in life such as the relationships with others and oneself. In my parallel world, misery would be significantly reduced as well. One will never be able to finish getting ahead of others. There will always be someone that has an aspect of life that they want and that will leave the person miserable. Even though it feels as if they are making their lives fulfilled, they will never be able to reach true happiness through jealousy. Without jealousy, people will finally be happy with their own lives and make the most out of what they have. People would not step on other’s toes in order to be better than them and I think the world would be much less self centered. A negative to my parallel world could be lack of motivation. Some may not feel a need to be better in what they do because they don’t covet what others have. However, I still think it would be a better world because that means people would need intrinsic motivation to be a better person. If someone makes their way to being the CEO of a company it is because that is what they truly wanted and not because they felt it would make them better than someone else.

  19. I really like this hypothetical world. It is borderline perfect. I feel that lying is mostly harmful to society, and this movie proves this true. In the movie there was little crime, and there was even a humorous scene where the robber unwittingly gave his name to the person whose house he was attempting to steal from. Furthermore, there are many more negative things that lying causes. There would be no manipulation or coercion. Crimes would be much easier to solve, as interrogations would be simple. “Did you do it?” “Yes. I did.” The only thing I would remove is Mark. Mark is not a hero. He is not a good person. He causes way more problems and is extremely selfish. He acts only in his own interest. The one time he helped a homeless person, he literally used somebody else’s money. He actively does harm to society and to other people. He literally robs a bank and steals money from a casino. There was also a very subtle thing in the movie: Mark invented the notion of playing hard to get and abstinence until marriage, in addition to religion. Every single one of his actions has far-reaching implications, as they are treated as gospel. In my hypothetical world, there is no Mark Bellison. He doesn’t really do much except make a couple people feel more comfortable dying, which I’m sure has its own downsides. I am 100% certain that hundreds of people killed themselves because of Mark’s promise, as his two friends even say that they’re going to stay home and have alcohol, simply because it decreases their life expectancy. There is a societal phenomenon that states that if a celebrity kills himself or is found dead, the suicide rate will spike in the same manner. The perfect example of this is the song “Gloomy Sunday” released in 1933. At any rate, Mark’s promises must have caused widespread mass suicide all across the globe, especially if they know for certain that their life will be significantly better once they are dead.


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