After reviewing all of the sections my understanding of the poem entirely became much clearer. I had skimmed through it and only picked up little pieces or parts of the work but after a line by line analysis it was much easier to understand. Actually almost impossible to not understand. Interpreting each line individually made the meaning much more clear, especially since each line built off of the last one. Instead of trying to build meaning from the entire work and getting confused, interpreting line by line made it like a children’s book. I think that the very last section we did, section 52, was the best because it kind of tied a lot of the details in and finished off the work. Even though you were able to follow along the rest of the lines, this section kind of topped it all off. It talked about death and what you leave behind when you die. I thought that this section tied in all the others and was the easiest to understand. I think this poem still relates to society because it talks about finding yourself and searching for what you want. “Song of Myself” literally meaning that trying to figure yourself out. I think that this is very relatable to society today because there are so many people who are making big decisions that are going to affect the rest of their lives. For example, finding an occupation that you would like or enjoy. You have to take a step back and reflect on self-values and what is important to you. That is a lot of what this poem is about like when he says about finding life’s purpose and that is why I think it relates to society today/ modern issues. A question I have about this work would be why did he change views so much from stanza to stanza? Was this because he wrote more as he changed himself? Most of the stanzas are related but the change from one to another seems a little abrupt. I would definitely rate this poem in the top three poems I have ever read because I have only ever fully understood 3 poems in my entire life, this being one of them. Out of all of the poems I can probably understand what is going on the most in this one.
I partially agree with the statement, “that government is best which governs least.” I do agree that in many cases the government is way too involved and makes a lot of matters way more complicated than they need to be. I believe that a lot of matters that the government gets involved in is not necessary and could be solved by itself. Another reason why I partially agree with the statement is because sometimes laws are preventing our country from growing, it makes some processes slower by having to follow tons of regulations, yes sometimes regulations are necessary for the safety of others but many times the rules are far too extreme to the point where it hurts some businesses. The reason why I only partially agree is because we still do need a government, it’s impossible to run the country without one, but they need to let the people have a chance and not get too involved in their lives. Who is the government to say what we can’t do? (Other than things that are extreme like murder, robbery, etc.). Why does the government regulate how much money we can make and force us to provide for someone else who isn’t as wealthy? People, especially business owners, work hard for their money. It is the government’s job to protect us and that’s what we pay our taxes for, but many think the government’s job is to provide for everyone who can’t help themselves. Governments that command your respect would be ones like a dictatorship government that regulates everything you do and makes you act in certain ways. Governments like these are the ones that are the least fair to its people. People can’t live their life doing what they want. They have to follow orders listening to some random person who is just given rule or power. These governments command respect because it is what makes them work, with people blindly following a leader even if they don’t completely agree with them. Civil disobedience is still extremely effective today. It plays an extreme role in how our country makes decisions. It affects these decisions because government try to appease everyone. By standing up and protesting, it reminds governments that they are only in power because of the obedience of its people. A government can’t be a government with no citizens, they are the backbone of it all. Sure they can punish people who disobey but that can just cause more hatred, and eventually (maybe a long shot) leading to an anarchy. This is why civil disobedience is still effective.
It is very clear in the fact that both Thoreau and Emerson have similar views on how you should live your life. In both cases, they state that you, yourself should control how you live your life. They think that the influence of others is important but you should not let others control what you think or how you make decisions. The main point of “Where I Lived and What I Lived For?” is that you should live your life as simple as possible. When he says to live it as simple as possible he means that people spend too much time focusing on unimportant things. He also talks about that even though you are poor you can still find happiness. This is similar to what is in “the conclusion,” the author talks about how poor people should not get so down on themselves about being poor or less successful but instead be thankful that they were given the opportunity of life. It also says that you need to live your life on your own terms and how you want to live it, not like what others think is good or how others think you should. In this way, the passage is similar to “Where I lived and what for.” In the woods experiment, its main purpose was to show how simple life can be, it shows how much society can really affect a person, especially in judgement and decision making. In the woods experiment one would not have to worry about pleasing others and could focus on their own goals and in my opinion, be much further ahead than others appeasing society. Living in the woods would be a good way to benefit yourself, but we are supposed to help each other, by living in the woods it would be kind of selfish. I definitely could live in the woods and probably be able to stay sane, but I wouldn’t want to. I would miss actually conversing and being around others, although sometimes it isn’t always a good thing. In the end, it is your decision to follow in the footsteps of society or take your own path. Society can influence you but you have the choice of what to actually listen to. I think that a modern reader should take out the fact of trying to live your own life, don’t follow what society is telling you to do. It is not always done as easily as said but unless you want to be like everyone else and be judged, take your own path.
Independent reading is very helpful in furthering your education. It is a proven fact that reading can improve test scores and make you smarter. However I personally hate reading books. I don’t mind reading in general but I hate investing so much time into one single book. I read articles online all day long in school just because I’m bored, but I’ve never just picked up a book because I was bored. I don’t mind reading articles as much because you still are reading and getting smarter but you don’t have that much time invested into one thing. By reading these articles, I am also learning about what is going on in the world and kept up to date on current issues, unlike most books.
The book I selected was “Looking for Alaska.” I selected this book because I am forced to read books. There are very few books that I’ve ever enjoyed reading to what book I pick doesn’t really matter. In the first chapter of the book this kid named Miles left his family in Florida to go to a boarding school in Alabama. I think that he will never return to his home.
I think that making a movie trailer could make reading a little better because you don’t just have to read to make a boring AR test that makes reading come across like studying rather than something that you enjoy. Having a motivation to read for the purpose of creating something unique or fun for the time you put into the book.
After a rough start in attempting to read the two excerpts from “nature” and “Self Reliance” I vaguely understood what the word even meant. After some explanation, I grasped the basic concept of what this was. Still a little rough but I have a general idea of what this topic is going to be about. My initial thoughts on transcendentalism is the belief of change or moving on.
As far as I understand, after reading through the notes, transcendentalism is just another term for an atheist or some one who doesn’t have a religion. I believe that people use this as a an explanation or a logical argument against religions themselves. People need a way of explaining their beliefs and this is a more “logical” way of understanding the start of the world. The transcendentalists believed that everyone is born a good person but it is through experiences that they become bad or lesser than others. They believe that everyone has the birth right to be a good human being.
I do believe that everyone is born a good person but is through one’s own personal experiences in which one can become evil. I do believe that some are more insensitive than others which can lead to a higher chance of becoming evil, but I do think that everyone can potentially become a good person. I believe that one builds the quality of evil through one’s own personal experiences. It is hard to believe that one can be born to hate other people and want to cause harm to another. With this being said, society still impacts a person from being good or bad. If everyone is born good, the influence of society can work both ways because obviously there are both good and evil people in the world. If everyone is born good, the affect others had on these people made them the person that they are today, weather it is good or bad. If one person is constantly being picked on or made fun of they would be, in my opinion, more apt to be an evil person as opposed to another person who isn’t. So even though I believe that everyone is born a good person society plays a role on the person that you turn out to be.
Over the course of this debate I have learned a lot. My opinion on the topic I was arguing for didn’t particularly change, but the way I debate will change forever. I’ve been in very few heated debates but every one was based on opinion and I had left out a lot of facts. There are also certain issues that I feel will lose a debate that I agree with because they are soley based on opinion. It would be smart to stay away from debating about these things even though it may be morally right, there are facts to disprove the argument. In general, the arguments that I have daily seem very petty and compared to some major arguments it makes you question the point behind the arguments. Really, these arguments are beneficial because it develops some basic arguing skills and gives you a chance to use new ones.
In my opinion the best debate so far was the one about abortion. I think this was a good debate because both sides were well prepared and had valid arguments against the other and information to back up why they were right. I felt that there was a lot of back and forth and there was no clear upper – hand to the argument. It was also a topic that could easily go both ways. There are other arguments that one side has more factual evidence and the other side is based more on emotions. These arguments are pretty much set up for failure in a debate environment like this one.
Prior to this debate I was in the middle or undecided for the majority of these topics, mostly because I didn’t care enough to take the time to see what they were about. Being forced to hear the debates and do research was a good thing. It helped me develop an opinion for myself, and decide what I want to do.
Developing a speech after being educated on the topic was much easier than expected. Going into it unprepared would have been a completely different story and likely a disaster, especially since the topic I had I was not very educated about prior to research. It was pretty easy developing the speech because all I did was pull information off of my outline that consisted of evidence.
Over the course of the debate and through some thorough research I have still do not agree with people being allowed to use any bathroom that they please. Even though I argued against what I just stated in the debate, I am more educated on the topic and still believe that it is morally wrong. So my opinion has not changed even though I argued for the other side.
The most interesting fact that I discovered is that there has never been one report of misconduct or abuse by a transgender in a bathroom. A lot of people are worried for their safety but it is amazing how there has never even been one report of a transgender abusing another person in the restroom. Out of the 1.4 million in the U.S. and not a single case. I did not know this prior to research and this fact came from: Reasons Why Bathroom Laws Matter. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2016/05/31/3-reasons-why-bathroom-laws-matter
Some people say that it is morally wrong to have people, especially children forced to share a bathroom who is of the opposing gender. I can agree with this, many would feel uncomfortable. Another way this appeals to one’s emotions is people who identify as transgender themselves, they already are singled out and treated wrong, so they have strong feelings/emotions on the topic.
There are very few ethical arguments for this topic. Most arguments are over what is morally right and wrong. The only way ethics really enters the argument is through the fairness of a transgender citizen, because he/she cannot use the bathroom that they identify as and everyone else can. It kind of touches on the fairness role. An ethical argument against it would be that people’s children are forced to use the bathroom next to someone of the opposite gender.
For this topic logic and emotion are by far the most important. It is the main reason why the problem has not been resolved, because there is no real ethical approach to the argument. The problem is based solely on people’s feelings and discrimination. How the law can be resolved has some logic behind it and how it wouldn’t work but the main point is emotional appeal. The most common argument for transgender rights is that people are discriminated against and there is no logical way that a law can be enforced to prevent people from using the bathrooms that they want. The most common argument opposed to the matter is that one’s children could be forced to use the restroom next to someone of the opposing gender.
I have learned that every argument can go both ways, it just matters who is more prepared for answers. This is why they are argument and are not resolved, because they can go both ways and make sense. It all comes down to opinion in what someone thinks is right. There is a counter to every argument, it is up to the people listening to develop an opinion on the topic. Like I said, arguments stay arguments because they can go either way.This will affect future arguments I will have because I realize that to win you have to be well prepared and have facts, because the judges cannot be biased and that is the only thing that they can go by, other than a vote to see who’s in favor of what.
For the debate I received the topic of bathroom laws. I am also assigned to argue for them (pro). This is not my personal opinion on the issue. I truly don’t believe this should be a big issue, so I don’t think there should be laws, let people do what they want and don’t make a big deal about it. However, I will be arguing for the opposite side of what I just stated. Prior to researching this topic, I didn’t know a whole lot about it other than that people have had a gender change wish to use bathrooms of their changed gender and places like schools are fighting it and not allowing it. The people then begin to argue with the schools and other places and continue to make a big deal of it. As the result of a basic google search, I have discovered that a big reason for these laws it to prevent discrimination and protecting gender identity. Another reason for having this laws is to prevent sexual predators from taking advantage of these people who have changed gender identity.
For an ethical approach for my argument, I intend to point out that these people who demand bathroom laws come about, feel very threatened and in a hostile environment and no one should have to deal with that. A simple bathroom law can change the attitude and comfortability of thousands of people. A more logical approach for my argument would be that if we have this law, there will be almost no chance of a sexual predator taking advantage of these people. Emotions that come into play while discussing this topic can be extreme. There are many people who have a very strong opinion on this topic and feel as if they are being constantly judged every time they walk into a restroom. They feel this way because they are different from these people and others don’t understand their situation.
The article I chose to argue with was an argument based on athletes protesting the pledge and national anthem before games. This article argues both for and against it but I chose to argue for the athletes kneeling and pick apart the one that is against the protesters. I personally do not agree with the athletes protesting the pledge, as I think there are better things to protest that will get the same point across, but for an arguments sake I am arguing against my opinion to prevent bias. These people protesting have the right to do so and they are not being violent in any way at all. The main points stated in the argument that is against the protesters is that the people who sit down to watch the game just want to enjoy it and relax, but the protesters are causing drama and making it less pleasurable. They don’t need to stand during the anthem, they have the right not to. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. However, this is what raises the problem, the reason why it is a big deal is because less people will watch the game and the owners will make less money. The only reason why it is a big deal is because the owners are just worried about their bank accounts. There are people all over protesting at their high schools before athletic events, but it isn’t a big deal because there isn’t any money involved. Why is Kaepernick the most hated player when he is only one of the thousands of people who take the knee during the anthem?
The main reason these people protest is to get the word out about police brutality and other political matters. The players believe that subjects such as this do not get enough attention on the news media, and if you think about it this way, it doesn’t seem so bad. These people are encouraging others to join the protest to help get the point across.
These people are being pre judged and treated as a minority and it is unfair, with these people protesting they will hopefully get the point across to enough people to make a difference. Kaepernick and the 49ers are also raising money and donating it to charities to help the cause.
Overall, this seems to be a very controversial topic with both sides having some good points. However, these people have the right to protest, they are joining our nation together and having people stand up for something they believe in and they are raising money to donate to charities for a good cause. There is a lot of good that comes out of this dispute, so what is the big problem?
Over the course of just the past few days, I have found myself breaking many of the fifteen virtues. I knew that I would undoubtedly fail and not be perfect, but it did surprise me on how many I actually did break. Within the first few minutes I had broken the industry virtue. It is all about using your time wisely and that is definitely not something I do in school, especially in the morning when I have no motivation to do anything. I don’t completely understand how doing all of these things make you a better person, but if this is the case, I theoretically should be a terrible person. Another virtue that I failed to follow is temperance because every time I eat I break this virtue. Again, this was broken extremely quickly and I had broken it without even realizing it until after the fact. Most of these things I do without even thinking about. Another virtue that I had broken would be sincerity and it is rude to say but I will be honest, there are definitely times where I see something and rush to a judgement before knowing the full situation, and yes they aren’t always positive things. The next virtue that I have broken and will likely continue to break for the rest of my life is frugality. I make purchases all the time that I could likely save the money and put towards something that would better myself or others, but it never works out that way. I hate giving away money and although I do realize others need it as much or more than I do, I think I worked harder for my money and don’t like to give it away. A very good example of a senseless purchase would be the car I bought. I could have bought something much more efficient and even though I did not buy this within the last few days, I continue to spend 3 times the gas money as the average person would. So I could consider this as a virtue broken, since I just spent more money for gas on Saturday. The final virtue I had broken is order because I do not do things when I should (time wise). I procrastinate and never do anything until the last possible minute. I know I do this and am perfectly okay with it because I believe that this helps me work faster because I have no other choice. Although it sure would be nice to be able to not have to worry about work on a Sunday night, there is no one to blame but myself. This experiment was interesting and although I never realized these the things I did until after that fact, I still thought it was interesting how there are so many things that every person does everyday, to make themselves not morally perfect.