Blog 16

I do not agree with his statement because there must be a balance. There cannot be too weak or strong of a government. Too strong means the people can be oppressed and silenced. Too weak means it can easily be manipulated and evaded. There are always corrupt people. The best way to deal with them is to enact a system that has checks and balances that is strong enough to keep them out and in line, but also balanced enough so those under the power of the system can have their freedoms protected and not oppressed. The government is meant to regulate and control what a person is allowed to do to a certain extent so as to also protect the next person. Without the rules and laws of the government, people can take advantage of this for personal gain and deprive others of their rights. The individual citizen should uphold and support the government as long as it is being used correctly and the government should provide the rights and protections to the individual citizen.

I respect a government that has been tried and true and made through logic rather than tradition. I admire our government because of the series of checks and balances and how it was thoughtfully designed not to imitate worn traditional monarchies, but to better the individual citizens. I admire democracies because it is the closest thing to a true government for the people as we have ever successfully come.

It is here to allow people to voice concerns and problems within the world today. To solve a problem, people need to be aware and informed of it and able to create an opinion on the matter. Protests have provided a means for the word to get out for the population to learn of the issue. Civil disobedience also promotes growth and change. It is because of it that we have the changes and amendments that we do. It is effective because it allows people to unite under one issue and give the issue strength in the number of voices that are calling for change.

Image from Common Dreams

Blog 15

One connection I found between the two was the idea that men should accept their life and the conditions surrounding it. Emerson states that we should “Accept the place the divine providence has found for you; the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events.” Thoreau offers up the belief that “However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names.” These both agree that people should take their individual lives as they are and not bemoan what they are given. They contend that each individual has been placed where they are by the greater being for a reason and therefore should be content.

The main idea from the first was that his reasoning for cutting himself off from society for some time and why he feels others would do well to follow the same pattern. He explains the different steps he took to achieve this, such as the refusal of farms. He also mentions that he went to see what he could learn from his experience. The conclusion is mainly his reasoning for leaving and what he gained in wisdom and experience.

One benefit with the lack of society would be not being afflicted with peer pressure, societal strife, and class of racial tensions, as well as other characteristics of society that are generally regarded in a negative light. I personally would miss some of my hobbies. I love drama and performing, so leaving society behind would mean giving that up. I would also miss the company of others. There are some things that society can do that an individual cannot, such as provide certain goods and jobs and comforts that come from industry.

I think a modern reader should take from Transcendentalism several different ideas. We should take the idea of being not too concerned with material possessions because that is what the world is focusing on now and I agree that it doesn’t do anything to truly better mankind. I also like the idea brought up in Thoreau’s conclusion in that we do not need to trouble ourselves with always keeping to the pace of others because people, especially students, are being pushed to a specific speed that is not helpful when they should go at their own speed.

Image from weebly.com

Debate

So my thoughts on arguing have changed from before this unit to now. I never realized how many fallacies are easily committed and equally easily avoided or exposed. I was grateful for the in-depth look at different fallacies that can be used to win an argument.

Arguments, in general, are frustrating and intimidating in real life. They seem to be won less on a position of skill and presentation and more to those in power. Adults have a terribly bad habit of using their old age to “win” an argument. If you don’t want to be reminded of your age any other time, don’t bring it up as if it is a respectable concluding sentence to an argument. Parents especially like to use this by using the “Because I said so” or “I’m the parent, I’m right, don’t talk back” route. I’m not saying parenthood is easy or that parents should be fond of answering every child’s argument with an in-depth analysis of the basis of opinion. But I do feel that it should be noted that simply putting forth one’s own position of power is not anywhere near a win for an argument. Is it too much to ask for a simple explanation or reason rather than a reminder that you are a few decades more ancient than us? In any case, it is quite infuriating outside a formal debate setting because the odds are stacked against those with the lesser influence.

I think it was pretty straightforward to me on how to prepare my argument. The most difficult part was finding credible research to base my argument on and organizing the information. I think I did fairly well on foreseeing which points my opponent was most likely to bring up and base their argument on. I think the way my peers formulate arguments in a formal setting is pretty simple. They take the points that are most popular and known. In this way, it is easier for an opponent to prepare because there are more articles on taking those popular points and arguing them than more obscure points.

Image from Pinterest