Course Reflection

course reflection

Image: I chose this image, because this class was really all about who you are as a person and your moral beliefs. Although in this class we learned about different philosophers and were able to read other classmate’s posts about what their moral beliefs are, we were also asked to explore our own moral beliefs. Before posting what I wrong I would sometimes look at other people’s posts and we would have completely different moral beliefs. But, as we continued throughout the semester I realized that this is what makes us all unique. Throughout the class I stuck to my moral beliefs and really shared what I think by staying true to myself.

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Reflection Questions 1:   

My favorite post I did was on Down Syndrome and whether or not it is okay to abort because a child is diagnosed with this. I think this is my favorite post because of how strongly I feel about it. I have worked throughout my life with those with special needs and think that this is a lot of the reason why I can have such a strong viewpoint on this. I think in this post more than others, I was able to really open up and express my beliefs. There were posts in this class where I had to think about my view on them, but for this one I already have had such a strong belief about abortion. Also since this is something I am focusing on in my area of study, I liked how I was able to read articles to include in my media. This helped me to be able to back up my views and also showed me why some people would disagree with my views. I also really liked my picture with the boy and his t-shirt which said “Keep calm it’s only an extra chromosome” because this is exactly the point I tried to get across in my post.

Link: https://katiemanley1.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/down-syndrome/

Looking back on my posts I would say my least favorite was “Who is to Judge?” As I look back on this post, I think the one thing I would want to improve would be to gather my thoughts better in order to get my point across. Although a lot of the comments made it seem like the post was understood, I think it would have been more effective to explain myself more when it comes to what is wrong and right. In the end, it might have come across as anything goes whether it is right or wrong because it is a person’s own culture. But, this is not what I believe so I think I should have explained this more and been clearer throughout this post. If I were able to improve it now, I would build off my ideas more and also make my ideas clear as to what is right and wrong.

Link: https://katiemanley1.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/who-is-to-judge/

The post I had the most trouble writing was my Introduction Part III. Beginning the course, I never thought I would have the most trouble writing about myself, because that is what I know most about is who I am. But, I had the most trouble writing this post because I am not used to opening up to people and that is what this posted asked of us. I think another main reason why I had the most trouble writing this post because I really contemplated whether or not to include my Dad’s experience in this post. Although I knew it would be a great example and I would be able to include all of the philosophers in this example, not many people know about my family and what my Mom is going through in dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. Diagnosed back in May, it still has not become easier to talk about with people and it was troubling to me to sit back and just take a minute to think about how far she has come and how much it has changed my family. I took the chance and put it in my post after really contemplating whether or not to, and after I was glad I did because I was finally able to open up about it. After posting this and reading the comments, I smiled because there was nothing but positivity from people which came out of it.

Link: https://katiemanley1.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/introduction-part-iii/

I think the post I learned from the most was my post on friendship. I think I learned from this post the most, because it really made me look at the friends I have had in the past and made me realize that quality is so much more important than quantity of friends. I think through this post I learned how much my view on friendship has really changed as I grew older. In high school I thought that it was so important to have a lot of friends, but now I see it from a whole new perspective. In my post I talked a lot about how important I think it is to have a give and take relationship with a friend. I have had one friend who has been my friend since middle school, but the rest of my close friends I have met in college. Coming out of this post, I realized that as I am growing older, I am beginning to look at the world differently. When it comes to friendship my view has changed so much and I think I learned so much in this post because I can look back at just a few years ago and see how far I have come in my views on friendship.

Link: https://katiemanley1.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/friendship/

Reflection Questions 2:  

I think the most interesting thing I learned in this course was the beliefs of the different philosophers. I think this stuck out to me as most interesting because some of the philosophers I had never heard of. What I found most interesting about this class was when I found philosophers who I seemed to have a lot of similarities with. In particular, I found Pojman to really stick out to me. He says; “In a sense, we all live in radically different worlds. Each person has a different set of beliefs and experiences, a particular perspective that colors all of his or her perceptions.” Not only is this how I view the world and all of the people in it, but I think it perfectly sums up our class because I do not even have to think of it from the perspective of the world but even from looking at our school. We are all taking the same course and have all different beliefs and experiences with life, but what makes us unique is that we can all have these beliefs which might make us look at the world differently.

I know that I learned it because I am able to look at my own life and agree or disagree with the different philosophers. Throughout the class we were able to bring our different opinions to the table. While sometimes I know I might have viewed a philosopher differently and agreed with them, others may have disagreed with the philosopher. But, I know that I learned it because I was able to incorporate the philosophers into my own beliefs and better understand their views and how they might be similar or different than mine.

I think that this knowledge in the future will help me in other courses, my job, and with life in general because it will help me be more open to new people and new beliefs. Although I will not always agree with certain beliefs, just like I did not agree with every belief in class, I will be open to hearing others beliefs and sharing my own beliefs. In doing so, I will be able to incorporate different philosophers and really have an educational conversation with someone if I am asked about my beliefs or if others share their beliefs with me.

Reflection Question 3: 

I do not think my moral viewpoint in any way has changed, but in a way I think I have become stronger in my viewpoints. I see myself as having very strong beliefs and when writing my posts this is something I realized. Sometimes although I feel like I have firm moral viewpoints, I am not always able to express them because they do not come up in conversation or in other classes a lot. But in this class, I was able to really talk more about my moral views and right them out in a way which made me think, but also expand on what I was thinking. If anything, I think my viewpoints have changed because I have been able to look more into them and relate them to other philosophers and other people who might have the same viewpoints. Even when others had different viewpoints, I respected them but in the back of my head I still knew what I believed and why I believed it.

Reflection Questions 4:

If I was teaching this course, I would honestly not teach it any differently or set up anything differently. I think that all of the topics were very well thought out and they made me think. I like the setup of the course and how the expectations were laid out from the first day. It was very organized and that is something I really like when taking a course because I know there will not be any curve balls thrown my way throughout the semester. I think it would be interesting if the topic of family were included in this course. Although I know we did talk about friendship, I think if family were somehow incorporated into the class we would be able to tie all of our introduction posts together because I know in a lot of them I talked about my family.

Out of any of the classes I have taken throughout college, this is the one I would most recommend. This course really made me think more than any of the other courses I have taken. I like how personal this course is and how we were all open to what everyone else had to say, despite having so many different opinions. This comfortable environment the class brought really made me feel like I could open up and would not be judged for my opinions. I think the reason I would recommend this class to everyone is because it is unlike any other courses offered and it really helps you to open up and explore more into your own beliefs while being able to compare them to other philosophers and others students in the class.

Thank you to everyone who commented on and read my posts throughout the semester with an open mind!

Final Project Part IV

ethics final paper

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid is a story of a boy who moves into the city in hopes of becoming rich. This book follows the boy through his journey by showing his life and all the lessons he learns along the way. After moving to the city to become rich, he thought he would be happy, but after he loses all his money he is left with nothing because his main motive the entire time was money. Being alone and working away his life for money the boy had lost everything in his life, because his life revolved around work and money. After meeting a pretty girl, he is able to find that love truly made him happy. Throughout our Ethics course we have talked about many philosophers. The philosopher we talked about who thought the main goal was to find happiness was Aristotle.

Final Project Part IV

Final Project Part III

happiness

 

There were many philosophers, ethical ideas, and moral situations we discussed in ethics which relate to the book How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid. Happiness, the way we live in the world, and how we view other people and their lives are all topics we have touched upon in this ethics class.

One idea we talked about in class is the idea of happiness, which I think is one of the most important topics in the book. Aristotle is the philosopher I believe goes along with many concepts in the book. He believed that the ultimate goal in life was to be happy and to strive to be happy. Throughout the entirety of the book, the main point which I found in my first reaction of this book was that money is not going to buy you happiness, and that it is very important to put your happiness over your desire for money. Aristotle would agree with this, because he thinks it is important to be happy with your life, and do what makes you happy. There can be some people who have all the money in the world, but are not happy while there are those who are poor and find true happiness.

Pojman’s beliefs about the way people live actually go along with some of the concepts in this book as well.  He says; “In a sense, we all live in radically different worlds. Each person has a different set of beliefs and experiences, a particular perspective that colors all of his or her perceptions” (Pojman). I live in such a different world than the author lived in, despite actually living in the same world. When I look at the characters in the book and what I think they did morally right and wrong, I base what they did off of what I think is right and what is wrong. It is so easy for me to look at this, because it is not the world I live in and some of the actions are the characters are not actions I consider moral. But, people might also look at some of my beliefs and disagree.

I think the author was very brave in posting his journey as he grew through life and as he went through different paths of life. We see the author in love, conflicted, and really searching for true happiness. Would you be willing to write about your journey growing up? Would you want to write about all of the good times but all of the not so good times in your life? It is so easy to look at someone else’s life such as the main characters and be quick to judge but then I think, would we be willing to lay our lives out in a book?

One aspect of the book I really enjoyed is how the language and style of the book is so different than any other book I have read. I liked how the characters were not named because instead of focusing on the name of the person, we could then focus on what they do and who they are as a person through their actions. This really added to the book and I think this was a great way to go about writing the book. I cannot think of any other books I have read that do something like this. There were a few things I did not like about the book such as the organization or set up of the book. I felt like the book would go from one topic and then it would completely change topics in the next chapter. I think this really took away the flow from the book, but I still think it was a great book. I have read books which are in no type of order specifically, but I am the type of person who likes books to be in a sequence and to go from one topic and be able to transition easily into the next while still connecting the same ideas.

I think the moral value of the book is that money does not buy you happiness. The fame, the fortune, and the popularity are not always going to bring a person true happiness. Life is about living and going through the journey to find true happiness.

References

Hamid, M. (2013). How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. Penguin Group Incorporated.

Top picture retrieved from; https://www.google.com/search?q=happiness&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Do-aUv7vNYLloASK74LoCA&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=640&bih=553#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=iJscWxPunc0b4M%3A%3Bt7n0JYXNu0x8HM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.theminimalists.com%252Ffiles%252F2011%252F03%252FHappiness-Hands1.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.theminimalists.com%252Fscientific%252F%3B400%3B300

Introduction Part VI

life

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I am an American twenty year old small town girl living in Pepperell, MA. I have grown up surrounded by farms, small local stores, and in a town which is far from diverse. Living in such a small community has really impacted my life. I would say that I live in basically the middle of nowhere, but this makes me unique. In order to get anywhere (large grocery stores, shopping centers, restaurants) it is at lease a twenty minute drive. Instead of going to stores, we decide to support local farmers markets and try to buy everything we can locally to support our community whenever we can. I have no accent and was raised my whole life knowing only English.

Growing up, I was raised a Christian and have been practicing Christianity ever since I was a little girl. With my family, I attend church every week. Most of my morals and beliefs come from how I was raised, and my experiences growing up. I am thankful to have the two supportive parents I do and two sisters who would do anything for me. My culture and community influence who I am because they have made me very accepting of people who come from different cultures, have different beliefs, and also those who come from different social classes. Although I never lived in a diverse town, I came to Worcester two years ago and was shown a lot more diversity than I was used to. But, growing up I was always taught to accept everyone as they are, with their different cultures, different beliefs, and different social classes. I have always been a unique person, but when it comes to diversity I would say just two years ago was when I was really exposed to it.

I worked at a restaurant in Worcester where all of the workers were very diverse, and many of them came from other countries and were here to work for money to send their families back home. Not only did this give me an appreciation for what they are giving up in order to be able to support their families, but it also gave me a chance to talk to them and get to know them. Despite the language barrier, it is very interesting to hear their stores, their backgrounds, and their views in the world. Since I would say I am a very accepting person, I think this has really impacted this experience in a positive way. It helped me to reach out, learn about these different cultures and be more open to gaining knowledge about other people who are different than me, but in some ways the same.

I hold many important values close to my heart. Three of the most important values I hold are being honest, respectful, and loving. I think these three values I have held most important in my life have come from the way I was raised. I was raised in a house with a tight knit family, both immediate and extended. My life truly revolves around my family, and without them, I think these values would be things I would not have learned so well without them.

Honesty has always been so important to me, because I think it is one of the most important aspects of any relationship. Not only do I think it is important to be honest with yourself, but I think it is important to be honest with those around you. First, being honest with yourself is being able to realize that we are human, we are not all perfect. But, we can turn these imperfections into successes by working towards them. I have always been a firm believer in having goals set out for yourself. By being honest through goals, I think it is important to be realistic, be willing to go for it, and also knowing yourself and being honest with yourself about your ability to pursue them. It is also important to me to be honest with others, because it is the foundation of a relationship. If you are honest with a person, it opens up your relationship and creates a healthy relationship.

Another value I treasure is being respectful. To get respect, I truly think you need to also give respect. Not only do I think it is important to respect your elders, but I think it is important to respect everyone around you. Respect is such a positive build of character. If you show respect and respect yourself through your thoughts, the way you act, and the way you dress, people are more likely to take you seriously. When I see people being respectful in their different relationships, I have so much respect for them. Respect also shows a lot of welcoming to the people around you. People are more likely to come up to you and talk to you if they know you are a respectful person.

A third value I think is very important in life is to love. I have grown up with such a caring and loving family and have held them close to my heart. When you love someone, and I mean truly love someone, their problems become your problems and you celebrate their successes like you would your own. I have been shown love throughout my life by my family, boyfriend, and friends. I know I have talked about this before, but in life it is truly hard to find good friends. But, once you find a friend who is truly good, I think it is important to treasure that, hold them close to your heart, and not forget to remind them you love them. Sometimes, that is exactly what people need to hear when they are going through something in their lives. Knowing that someone loves you and you love them in return is such an amazing feeling.

When it comes to the philosophers we learned about in class, I felt like I really connected with Pojman, and Aristotle. Pojman accepts that we are all live in the same world, but we still live differently in our world. I really enjoyed what Pojman brought to the table, because he seemed very real to me. We are all so different, and I think it is important to acknowledge that and just embrace it. We are all raised differently, have different experiences, and have different values in our lives. This I not only agree with, but have seen so much throughout our own class. We have all brought so many different opinions and experiences to the table throughout our posts. But, the great part about all of our posts is that they have all been so different, despite how we are all doing the same assignment. This in itself shows how we truly are such different people, and despite us living in the same world, it is truly “radically different worlds” (Pojman).

Another philosopher who I thought really stuck out to me was Aristotle. Aristotle basically said to liv your life with goals, and be passionate about them. He emphasized how important happiness is and how it is important to find a passion and pursue it. This is something I completely agree with and try to do in my own life. I found a passion in speech pathology, and am in school trying to learn more about it to continue on the path to becoming a speech pathologist. I find so much happiness in speech, and this is something that Aristotle stresses. In life, I also believe the ultimate goal in life is to be happy. This is my ultimate goal in life, and hope that I can find happiness in everything I pursue.

My ethics I feel as though make me the strong person I am. Through the three important values I hold close to me, I think it shows that I try to see the best in people, and when situations come about, I am always trying to do the right thing. After everything we’ve discussed this semester, it has showed me that I am strong in my beliefs, but most importantly, I am open to learning about other people’s beliefs, asking questions, and leaving judgment aside as I view other people’s ethics as a way to gain knowledge about people and their views on life.

It is important to not only have beliefs, but to show these beliefs through actions. I remember growing up and hearing “practice what you preach” and have tried to always do this in my own life. If I have certain beliefs and then do not show them through my actions, it is almost pointless to share these beliefs because I would then not practice them inside and out. I believe one of the most important part of ethics is being firm in your beliefs, being willing to share your beliefs with others, but still be willing to listen to others while staying confident in your own beliefs.

Multi-Media:  I selected this picture because life is complicated, and this shows the many characteristics which can make up someone’s life. The great part about life is that we get to choose the life we live and the path we want to take.

 

 

Who is to judge?

who are we to judge

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 “In a sense, we all live in radically different worlds. Each person has a different set of beliefs and experiences, a particular perspective that colors all of his or her perceptions. Do the farmer, the real estate dealer, and the artist, looking at the same spatio‑temporal field, see the same field? Not likely. Their different orientations, values, and expectations govern their perceptions, so that different aspects of the field are highlighted and some features are missed. Even as our indi­vidual values arise from personal experience, so social values are grounded in the peculiar history of the community” (Louis Pojman)

Pojman, Louis. “Who’s to judge?”

My own Words: This means that we all live differently despite living in the same world. We all have a different set of beliefs and we all have different experiences. Our different beliefs and different experiences are what guides us in making decisions and forming our beliefs. For example say you have a job on the farm and know exactly how to grow your plans. A real estate agent, an artist, they would not do this the same way as you because they have different experiences with growing crops than the farmer does. In life, sometimes we can highlight ourselves with the knowledge we have chosen to gain, and sometimes there are things we miss because we have different outlooks on that experience. What we values ultimately depends on our personal experience.

Opinion and Interpretation: I chose this paragraph because first it was easier to understand. But, the main reason in choosing this paragraph was because I completely agree with this outlook on how we live. The way I see it, just as Louis Pojman sees it, is that it is interesting how we all live in the same world, but can have such different outlooks on life. For example, in our ethics class, can you say that every time we have posted our beliefs on something that you have agreed with every single other person in our class on their beliefs? For me, it has been clear to me that although there are times where I agree with some of the class, there are also many differences. This is because we all have different values, and we have all had different experiences which we use to back up or decisions. When we first introduced ourselves, we all brought a lot of different majors into our class. This quote I took relates to us as a class, because we all are not going into the same field, so when it comes to certain decisions or experiences, we all have different outlooks. The main point of this all is that we are all different living in the same world, and this point really seems to go great for our class.

Views on Pluralism:

I agree with the statement that “As a universal value, members of one culture have no right to evaluate the moral values of another culture”. We are all brought up differently, with different morals, experiences, and in different cultures. As an outsider looking in on another culture, who is to say what is wrong and right in their culture? Just because we were not raised in the culture of everyone around us does not mean we have the right to judge. There is nothing set in stone as to what is right and what is wrong. By being brought up, by our morals, our experiences, all of these factors influence the way we view ourselves and others view us. We all bring different cultures and beliefs into the world, and just because ours is not like everyone else’s around us, there is never a right to judge. We are all different.

I was convinced by the argument on subjectivism. There is no way in the world we live in that everyone is going to have the same opinions as to what is moral. There will never be just one belief as to what is normal, and that is why it is so unique. The main reason I think that subjectivism was so convincing is because if subjectivism was used in order to make a behavior just, then there would not be morals because there would be nothing morally wrong in the world.

I think the argument against conventional relativism was really strong. Actions are always perceived as right or wrong depending on our personal views on society. For example, while some people might say there are conventional wrongs, there are also always ways of viewing them differently. For example it might seem like it does not have to be said that it is wrong to steal. But, for example, say a man was poor and his wife was going to die because he could not afford their medication, is it then okay for him to steal?

We as humans are the ones to make moral judgments according to Pojman. But, who are we to make moral judgments? We all have different morals, so when we make moral judgments there are going to be people who disagree with us and also people who agree with us. Everyone is entitled to think what they want, because we all have different morals.

Multi-Media:“There’s so many different worlds, so many different suns. And we have just one world, but we live in different ones.” –Mark Knopfler

I chose this quote, because it fits perfectly into what Louis Pojman was saying in the first quote I took. Both of these are saying how we are  all living in the same world, but we are all living so differently in the world we live in.

 

Final Project Part II

right and wrong

First list:

Morally Right

~ It was morally right for the father to take his family to the city so he could give them a better life.

~ It was morally right for the man to leave and take care of his mother who was sick.

~ It was morally right for the ex-wife to help pay his medical expenses so he could continue to be treated.

~ It was morally right when he was sick in the hospital for his ex-wife to visit him.

~ It was morally right for him to be able to go to school and receive a better education.

Morally Wrong

~ It was morally wrong for the parents to have sex when they knew their kids were in the next room.

~ It was morally wrong for the main character to work for someone who sold expired food after relabeling it.

~It was morally wrong for someone to not only rob the pretty girl’s store but to also kill her assistant by hitting her.

~ It was morally wrong for the teacher to punish him for being smart.

~ It was morally wrong for the man to steal from his employer.

~ It was morally wrong for the man to marry his wife with another woman constantly on his mind.

Second list:

~ I think the main character has shown himself to be mostly virtuous. He always seemed to try to do good for others, such as how he would give his brother and sister money whenever he was able to. But, in some ways I felt like he was not virtuous because he made some bad decisions.

~ I think the pretty girl was far from virtuous. She used men to get what she wanted such as money and fame. She was basically the opposite of virtuous.

~ The father was virtuous because he made the choice to move his family to the city for a better life and he did his best to support his family.

~ The father of the pretty girl was the opposite from the father because he did not do anything to help his family. He was not virtuous because he was an alcoholic and used all of his money to gamble instead of to better his family.

~ The teacher was not virtuous. He took out his anger on his students when they were just going to school to finally get an education.

Third list:

Pleasure:

~ When the man spent time with his son.

~When the man decided to help people without any help in return.

~ When the man bought his own house.

~ When the main character got to go to school.

~ The father being able to provide a better life for his family.

Suffering:                 

~ When the main character finally got to go to school but was punished for being smart.

~ Arranged marriages, because the people are not able to always truly find love.

~ When the pretty girl’s father was careless by using all of their money on alcohol.

~ When the pretty girl lost her job.

Introduction Part V

IPhone Photos 1369

I am a female, and honestly I love it! I mean there are a few difficulties when it comes to being a female, but I think they are well worth it. I am very girly, but there is also a very adventurous side of me. Although I love to do my hair, makeup, and really do a lot of girly things, a lot of my time is spent taking sports, hiking, and camping. I am glad I am a girl, and I really embrace it. I love the many things I get to look forward to as a woman. I am so excited to be a wife one day, and to one day be able to have children. I have seen the women in my life have children, and it truly seems like there is no bond between a mother and her baby. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no rush! But I am excited for the day where I can look my husband in the eyes and look down at a baby I can call my son or daughter. I have always dreamed of being married and having children, and this day I know will be one of the best of my life.

One of the difficulties I have discussed in the past is how I think media puts a lot more pressure on women than men. I know that in my life, I see these flawless girls and I used to always find myself looking at magazines.  I know that this is not what I should have ever been doing, because it is important to form your own sense of self, but it is something I think a lot of us females do. It is so easy to pick out our own flaws, and when we see these perfect looking women in the media, it can be very hard to be confident. I have felt the pressure of media, but I think as college came around I grew confident in myself and have focused less on the media and more on myself and what I want in life. Instead of focusing on the media, I have focused more on what makes me happy, and it has made me a much better person.

A lot of the difficulty which goes along with being a female is the constant pressure and judgment of society. We might act a certain way, look a certain way, and dress a certain way which is not considered a “norm” in society. We are constantly being judged by others around us because of the way we present ourselves, and this is a lot of pressure to have to worry about every day. At events we might go to, we worry “What will other people be wearing?” or “Is that what is in style?”. I think being a female does come with a lot of pressure, and for those women who are not confident in who they are or how they look/dress, it can be a very negative impact on their lives.

I see myself as a very positive and caring woman. I think my strongest and yet weakest aspect of my life is that I try to see the good in people. I am all about the power of positivity. But, this has brought me to very high places in my life and very low. When I first met my boyfriend, we were both in college. I saw from the second I met him how caring and good of a person he was, and after meeting his family, I knew exactly where he got his genuine heart from. But, there have been other people in my life who I have tried to see the good in, but have truly been let down and disappointed me, even after I have considered them to be a best friend. I have been friends with people who in the end, showed their true colors and although it did make me sad in the moment, I now realized it is for the better. I once heard that the friends you make in college are most likely going to be your lifelong friends. Although I feel like this has not happened for me yet, I hope that I come out of college with not just friends, but instead lifelong friends.

My best friend is hands down my boyfriend. I think the reason why we are best friends is simple, we love each other, and we have a relationship where we truly value and trust each other each other. My boyfriend and I are very honest with each other, we love each other, and we are willing to help each other no matter what the circumstance. We are so open about our lives to each other, that we are willing to talk to one another and listen to one another about anything and everything. I have never opened up to anyone like I have opened up to him, and I think this is why our friendship is so strong. We are ourselves around each other, and this is truly one of the most important qualities of a friendship. If anything is to ever come up in our relationship, we decide to talk it out instead of arguing. This has grown us stronger and has taught us to work out whatever comes our way. Ryan is really the most caring person I have ever met in my life, and I am so thankful to have a boyfriend that is also my best friend.

A lot of my relationship with my boyfriend revolves around some of the same values we share. My family means the world to me, just as his means the world to him. We are very family oriented people, which I think is a great quality we both possess. Knowing that my family loves my boyfriend and that his family loves me is so important to both of us. After dating for almost two years now, we have learned to grow close to not only each other, but also our families which has really been a mutual quality we both love about each other. Both of us were raised by our families to be honest, caring, and to put one hundred percent into relationships we care about. With this as a foundation given to us by our families, it has done nothing but make us stronger.

I do think you can have more than one best friend. From my personal experience, my boyfriend is not only my best friend, but I have one close friend who I also consider to be a best friend. Most importantly though, I think my Mom has been my longest and best friend I could ever ask for. She is the one I can count on for anything and I love how she has made such a positive impact on my life. She raised me to be who I am today, and I think by seeing how strong of a woman she is, it has helped me to grow into the women I want to become. I think friends are really hard to come by. When you find people who possess important qualities of friendship, I think it is important to hold on tight, because this is truly rare these days. Although we might think someone is our friend, this might not always be the case. Sometimes I think we are blinded by the desire to want friends so badly that we believe people are out best friends, when in reality, they are not. But, I think that if you find people who are genuine and possess qualities which you admire and seek in a friendship, then there is no reason why you should not be able to have more than one best friend!

Down Syndrome

down syndrome

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First, I want to say, this is a very controversial and hard thing to talk about. All throughout high school and college, the main debate which always comes up is pro-life vs. pro-choice. We all have different opinions and different experiences, which is why I am not saying what is right or wrong, just my opinion!

Although I have always been willing to hear others opinions, I have formed a firm belief when it comes to abortion. I am almost all about pro-life, except in very few circumstances. I believe it is wrong for parents to abort a fetus with trisomy 21. When a man and women decide to take part in sexual intercourse and have a baby, then they should not be able to decide to get rid of a baby just because it has trisomy 21. They made the choice to have a baby, and therefore, I believe they do not have a choice to get rid of it, trisomy 21 or not.

If you made the choice to have a baby you should not be able to get rid of it just because it is not what you expected. Don’t get me wrong, I am very sympathetic towards the family and understand it is going to be a lot more challenging than expected. But the way I see it is when you decide to have a child you need to accept them throughout their whole life for who they are, Down syndrome or no Down syndrome. The way I see it is a child is a blessing, and whether they grow up with a genetic disorder or not, giving them the chance at even living is the best choice anyone can make for their baby.

The very few circumstances where I understand pro-choice is in cases such as rape. In these cases, the women did not ask for a baby, or want to participate in sexual intercourse. But, here is where I have very strong opinions. Say a women who was a victim of rape decided that they were going to keep the baby, I do not think it is okay to change their mind if they find out they have a fetus with trisomy 21 or a child with down syndrome.

Some moral issues which might bear on these issues is that by choosing to not carry through with a pregnancy because they have down syndrome or because they are not wanted, you are taking away the life of a child. Another important moral issue which comes about is asking the question; when does a human life begin? While some people believe it begins as soon as the baby is conceived while others believe it is as soon as the baby is delivered.

There are many strengths to the argument that any kind of prenatal testing is wrong. One of the most important arguments to why it is wrong is that it risks causing a miscarriage. For just a test, this is a very serious and sad price to pay just to find out if your child does or does not have a genetic disorder. There are many strengths to prenatal testing. After being tested and coming out positive for down syndrome, the parents then have the chance to learn and be proactive. They have a longer period of time to become informed on having a child with Down syndrome so when the baby is born, they will have had the time to learn how to take care of their child and how to adjust to their new life journey.

This all being said, I have never had to make this type of decision, and none of my friends have, so I cannot bring any personal experiences or stores to the table. Although I do have these views on pro-life, I have never been there, and I have never had to experience the decision many women have to make. I don’t know how it feels to have to care for a child with Down syndrome, or to even a child for that matter. This is completely from my opinions, and not my experiences. I am far from judgmental, and although I might not have gone through these experiences, I do feel for those who have had a child with Down syndrome and think it is important to support Down syndrome.

Multi-Media: http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2013/10/selfish-convenience-why-people-abort-children-with-down-syndrome/#.UoGXFeKqtc5

I chose this as an article related to my topic, because it has many of the same views as I do. This article goes a lot into the excuses those make when deciding to abort a child with Down syndrome. Also, it brings interesting information which I think is important for us all to know in order to be more informed about Down syndrome. For example, “down syndrome is one of the most common birth defects, and among women who receive a prenatal diagnosis, 9 out of 10 choose abortion – solely because their babies have an extra chromosome” (Fiano). I think it is sad to justify an abortion because of an extra chromosome, and this is why this article goes perfectly with my beliefs. Like the picture I posted says “Keep calm, it’s only an extra chromosome!”

Fiano. (2013). Selfish Convenience: Why people abort children with Down syndrome. NRL News Today. http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2013/10/selfish-      convenience-why-people-abort-children-with-down-syndrome/#.UoGWneKqtc4

Friendship

IPhone Photos 756

“In friendship both fairness and caring are valuable. Although friendship does not usually center on formulating rules and applying them to cases, it typically does involve, as Marilyn Friedman has pointed out, a division of responsibilities in a more or less extensive mutual support system. A good friendship is fair about such divisions. Such fairness may even be requirement of caring. Fairness in friendship also requires responsiveness to personal deserts or worthiness” (Card 551).

In my own words, this paragraph means that to be a friend, you must be fair and be caring. To be a friend, you have to take responsibility in your friendship and support them through good times and through bad times. Being there for a friend should be fair, so if you go to them about something, it is important that you are open and let them come to you about things as well.  You need to not just be the one speaking, but it is important to remember how to just listen as well. This shows that you care for the person just as they cared for you.

I selected this paragraph, because I honestly love everything about it. This is something I think I do in my own life, because I really value my friends in my life. But, I have also had people in my life that were my friends are some point, and then we are not anymore because this is something that was not important to them. I like how it basically says that friendship needs both people to be putting in the same amount of effort as the other person. Friendship is one of the most valuable relationships in your life, and I think it is important to always be caring. I think the most important part of a friendship is to be open with your friend when you need someone to talk to, but to also know when to listen and to able to give your friend an equal opportunity to talk.

I once heard the quote “There’s a lot of stress and strife in this world. The people you surround yourself with intentionally, that you care about and share things with, shouldn’t be part of that stress” by Erin Nicholas which I think relates great to this. People you surround yourself with should be loving and caring, and should not put a negative stress on your life. Friendship is all about the equal give and take and without this equality in a friendship, a lot of problems can be created.

My views on friendship are that ethics of justice is for men while ethics of care is for women. Ethics of justice which is said to be the ethics of men is doing what is right morally, or what is right by the law. Ethics of care which is said to be the ethics of woman is treating someone with sympathy, love, and compassion. I think a lot of this has to do with woman and their motherese nature. Woman are said to be more caring and have more sympathy for people than men.

I truthfully think justice and ethics can be both opposite and complementary. I think they can be complementary, because when men are friends with men, and women with women, they have many of the same ethics and have a lot more in common because they are more likely to go about their friendship the same way. But, for those who are friends with the opposite sex, they can go about situations in different ways, and even in relationships, it can be very opposite in the way people go about friendships. People who have different ethical views can either get along well, or might be polar opposites when it comes to handling a friendship.

I think there are a lot of qualities of friendship that might help us formulate more general ethical considerations. One, which the article states, is fairness. We need to be willing to open up to the person we are talking to, but we also need to know when it is time to listen. We need to be fair to our friends by having a give and take relationship. If something is wrong, we need to work it out and if something is going on, we need to be open in order to grow our friendships.

Another quality of friendship we need to consider is to be caring. We need to be kind and helpful to our friends, and be able to be their support system. Friendship is not always going to be easy, but by being caring, it can make it so much more worth it. Being caring also in the article is said to be being respectful and being loving. Instead of just caring about our needs, friendship is about caring about the needs of our friends and being able to be there for them like we hope they would be there for us.

I define empathy is having emotion towards another persons’ feelings, whether you can or cannot relate to how they feel. There are points in our lives where we talk to someone who comes to us for advice, and we are there for them, because we know how they feel, because we have been there before. But, there are also times where we have never felt how they feel, because our experiences are different, but we can still sympathize with them and be there for them because we care. This is empathy to me.

I do believe that too much emphasis on personal caring relationships will encourage many people to become morally apathetic towards larger ethical issues. If people are too focused on what they are going through on a personal basis, then they are going to be more likely to use their personal views when looking at larger ethical issues. I think that this takes away the ability of a person to look at larger ethical issues, because it blinds their vision in a way of the issue since they will incorporate their own personal problems into their viewpoint. Once we have very strong feelings on something because a personal situation has given us those feelings, it can be hard to change our outlook, because we attach our personal feelings to the issue at hand.

Multi-Media: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vk1mxUKiTN8

I chose this song because it really portrays the message that came across in the passage I chose. I love this song, and I think it is perfect for what I went into in my post. I know some of you might not click the link, so here is a little preview to the words which really stick out to me:
“You find out who your friends are
Somebody’s gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas, get there fast
Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far’
They just show on up with their big old heart”

I love how this song says a friend is someone who will go help you without thinking about themselves, just like how I talked about friendship is a two way street, and how to have a friend, you also have to be one.

 

References:

Card, Claudia, “A Feminist View of Ethics” from Identity, Character and Morality by Owen   Flanagan and Amelie Rorty (MIT Press, 1990).

First Reaction

asia

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Truthfully, I had no interest in reading this book and thought it would be a boring, but I was pleasantly surprised. I like the main points of this book. The main point that came across to me in this book is that money is not going to buy you happiness, and that you need to put your happiness over your desire for money. Someone might have all the money in the world, all the fame, and the close to the whole package, but without happiness, it is nothing. I think the author really brought the point home. I like that this is the point the book brings across because this is something I completely agree with.

I liked how I could understand this book, although I thought the setup of the book was a little different. The one aspect of the book I did not like was that it would go from one topic and then completely switch over to something different. I think this really took away from the flow a book should have, and although I did enjoy reading the book, I think that if it flowed better it would all around enhance the book.  While I did find a few of the chapters to be a little boring, most of the chapters I thought were great.

Another interesting but different part of the book was that at some points it was mysterious, while at others I felt like it was way too descriptive. For example, I thought it was weird how they did not give the man who is the main character a name. On the other hand, when they describe sexual scenes, I thought they were way too descriptive. It is very interesting how the author chooses to omit certain aspects while going in depth about others.