I somewhat agree with this and somewhat do not agree with this “Civil Obedience” excerpt by Thoreau. I think that the government should have control but not so much that it should affect the lives of the people, so much that they have to change to listen to what the government says. That would be out of hand. The role of the government is to maintain society and keep control over the people. They also have a role to help people as a whole. I think that this would be a good thing to be put in place instead of total control. As of individual citizens, I do not think they should be able to control us and our lives as individual citizens. I think the kind of government that would command respect would be a government that listens to people’s beliefs and values. It should not inflict people lives and what they are able to do with it. If the government is harming people rather than helping people, would not be the kind of government that we should have. Civil disobedience allows modern protest movements and people in those protests to exercise their right to freedom of speech and speak up about what they think is right. I do think civil disobedience is still effective today. It is completely okay for people to argue with what they want in the world. There are many movements that have happened across the world because of the people who stand up for what they want and what they believe. Ever since the beginning of time people have always argued about things. I’m sure the cavemen even did it. I think civil disobedience was more noticeable what it first came about. People share common things and when the first person came out saying that they were against something, I am sure that other people agreed with them and that is how we got to protest. I think civil disobedience is very important for people to know. People should know that they have the right to say what they want and protest what they want because it is what they believe.
Thoreau’s thoughts and Emerson’s thoughts are very similar. Emerson thought that you could connect with nature. He believed that nature could help you see clearly and live up to your greatest potential. Thoreau too his beliefs and spent two years in the woods. They both believe that there can be a connection between man and nature. They both also hate society and the way it portrays how people should be. Emerson believes in being yourself no matter what society tells you. The main idea of Thoreau’s “Where I Lived, What I Lived For,” is that we should live our lives how we want to. In “The Conclusion,” he believes that being honest and poor is better than being a cheating rich person. He describes how being rich is not a bad thing. As long as you are happy. The benefits of leaving society would be that one would not have to deal with people who look at them differently or people that think they are different because of the way they act. In the woods, that person can express themselves in whichever way they want to. They can be who they want. Also, they could see if society is the real problem of why they feel the way that they do. On the other hand, I do not think I could live in the woods even if someone paid me a million dollars. I guess it would depend on how long I would be staying there. If it was anywhere longer than a week, I do not think I would survive. I think I could at least maybe give it a try. I feel like most people do not think that transcendentalism relates to today’s modern world. The idea of basically detoxing our life is important. You should get rid of all the negative things in your life and focus on the things that make you happy and make you who you are. Keeping nature clean and taking care of it are big parts of today’s world. There are very important things and lessons that we can learn about transcendentalism.
I do not really know what my opinion is on debating. I like to do it, but at the same time, I don’t. I guess it might depend on what I am writing or debating. At the start of this unit, I really did not care for the articles or whatever we read and had to highlight the logical, emotional, and ethical appeal in them. It just was not fun for me. I am sure it wasn’t supposed to be “fun”, but I always hope that I would not mind the class work we did. I just felt like it was pointless not gonna lie. I understand why we did it though. In the long run, it helped us realized the parts of arguments that were meant for certain feelings like emotional appeal. The arguer wants us to agree with them, obviously. When I think about why we did all this stuff before debating, it makes sense. I am sure that if we wrote a debate before we did all the practice, they would be much worse from the ones that we just wrote. I think a lot of people have poor arguments. Adults are pretty bad at arguing in my opinion. That might just be me though. I listen in on some adults arguments and I can think of many things to tell them and come at them with, but I just stay quiet. Overall, I think that teenagers are the worst arguers. We kind of, well I guess we just do, say whatever comes to our mind in the midst of an argument and do not think about what we are about to say. I listen to people conversations around school and when anyone is arguing, they mostly just say things that are completely irrelevant. I am sure everyone can relate to this, with all the conversations that are said through a single school day. Anyway, back to my debate. I didn’t think that this debate was “easy”, but it wasn’t completely difficult. I had fun learning and researching my topic which was gun control. It wasn’t that easy coming up with questions, but other than that it wasn’t too bad. Now I think that debating isn’t as bad as I used to think it was. I think everyone should learn how to debate and argue.