Final Project Part 4: Final Paper

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid is about a boy who moves to the city with his family and aspires to become rich. The book’s chapters are about different parts of his journey and each of them teaches some sort of life lesson. The main moral of the book is that happiness is not all about getting rich. The boy thought that becoming rich would make him happy but in the end, he realizes how alone he is after losing his entire fortune. He worked his whole life away for money that was taken from him in seconds. Fortunately, he is lucky enough to spend the end of his life with the pretty girl, who is his true love. Spending time with her is what made him truly happy in the end. Like Aristotle said, happiness is everyone’s ultimate goal.




final paper


Final Project Part 3

Out of all the concepts and ideas of morality we have learned, I believe that happiness is the main point of How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. The main characters, which are the man and the pretty girl, did what they thought would make them happy in the end. The two philosophers that have opinions on happiness are Aristotle and Kant. Aristotle believed that the everyone’s ultimate goal in life is happiness. Kant also believed that happiness is everyone’s main goal, but he believed that happiness came with also helping others achieve happiness.

The man’s main goal in the book was to become rich. I believe that become rich only made the man temporarily happy. When he became rich, he also helped his family out. In the end, I believe what made him truly happy was being with the pretty girl. At the end of the book, he lost all of his fortune, but was able to spend the end of his life with the pretty girl. The pretty girl’s main goal in the book was to become a successful fashion model, which she also achieved. In the end, she was also robbed, just like the man. I believe that what made the pretty girl and the man truly happy in the end was having each other. The book teaches us that having money and other things isn’t what makes us truly happy, it’s having someone special to share our lives with.

This book is unlike any other book I have read. I’ve never read a book where you don’t know any of the characters names. I believe the author did that so people could think of themselves as the characters in the book. The situations he uses in the book are relatable to a lot of people. The language of the book was very realistic. Pretty much every chapter was based upon some type of life lesson. The moral idea that I can connect to this book is that everyone has different ideas of happiness.

To me, the moral value of this book is that money, fame, and fortune don’t necessarily bring people happiness. There is no point on working your whole life away just for money, when in the end, it will be taken from you anyways.

Lesson 6 Assigntment 2

What is your culture?  What is your closets community?  How does your culture and community influence who you are?

I am American. My ancestors come from many other places but for the most part I have an italian background. I have a big loud italian family and I love it. The best part about it are the holidays and family get togethers. I would consider my closets community my family and friends. I think that my culture and community have a big influence on who I am, especially my family. My parents have given me such a great life and have taught me so much. They definitely helped shape who I am today.

What are the THREE most important values you hold?  How are they influenced by your culture or community?

The three most important values I hold are honesty, respect, and to not expect things.

First of all, even if I wanted to lie about something, I’m absolutely horrible at it. Everyone tells little lies here and there but I would say I am a very honest person. I would rather hear the truth than be lied to and I think everyone would agree. There are some situations where lying is better than telling the truth, but those situations are very rare. By respect, I mean treat others the way you would want to be treated. If a person is disrespectful, it is a huge turn off. Last, I try not to have too many expectations because expectations leads to disappointment. If you’re always expecting things and they end up not happening, it’s a lot more disappointing than if you weren’t even expecting it in the first place. It is hard to do that all the time but I try my best.

What’s your ethics?  Given what we’ve discussed this semester, and all these different situations, moral perspectives, and philosophers  — WHERE DO YOU STAND?

I mostly agree with Aristotle and the fact that everyone’s ultimate goal is happiness. No matter what we do in life, it either makes us happy or unhappy. I believe that being a good person and doing the best I can at everything makes me happy. I always try to do what is best. In the end, everyone wants to live their life to the fullest and be happy.

MULTI-MEDIA: Include a picture that represents YOUR cultural community or your overall MORAL viewpoint. Discuss briefly why you selected it.




I chose the picture of the American Flag because it is my country and culture, and I chose the family and friends image because they are what I consider my closets communities.

Lesson 6 Assignment 1- Who is to judge?

“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. Morality, then, is just the set of common rules, habits, and customs which have won social approval over time, so that they seem part of the nature of things, as facts. There is nothing mysterious or transcendent about these codes of behavior. They are the outcomes of our social history.”

Louis Pojman, Who is to Judge

Every person is different. Everyone has their own beliefs due to their different experiences. All individuals see situations in different ways. Someone may see something that another person does not due to their values and expectations. Our individual experiences add on to the set of social values that everyone follows. Morality is something all everyone follows. They have won social approval in our communities over time. They come naturally and are the outcomes of history.

I love the paragraph I chose. It couldn’t be any more true. Every person has their own story, and our stories shape us. We learn from our mistakes and as we learn, we grow as a person. Everyone has different beliefs because of their experiences. We all have the same morals because morals are the set of common rules, habits and customs that everyone follows. Even though we all have the same morals, we all see things differently. That’s what makes us individuals. We are all unique in some type of way.

VIEWS on PLURALISM:  Next, think about pluralism and universal values. If haven’t already, answer the following questions:

‘As a universal value, members of one culture have no right to evaluate the moral values of another culture.‘ Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not.

I both agree and disagree with this statement, depending on the situation. Every culture is different because what is viewed as right in one culture, can be viewed as wrong in another culture. I disagree with the statement because there have been situations in other cultures that Americans would not agree with. For example, child labor laws. We have very strict labor laws and in other countries, young children work all day for very little money. I agree with the statement when it comes to morals that don’t put people in harm. Every country has morals that other countries might think are weird but we have no right to judge them.

Is the argument against subjectivism convincing to you?

I think that the argument against subjectivism was convincing. He stated that this would make morality a useless concept which I think is true. What would be the point of having universal moral values in a culture if everyone just did what they thought was good or bad? Everyone thinks differently when it comes to what is good and what is bad. I thought the point that he made about Hitler and Gandhi was a very good one.

Is the argument against conventional relativism strong and convincing?

I think the argument against conventional relativism was convincing. He stated that if conventional relativism was accepted, racism, genocide of unpopular minorities, slavery and advocacy of war are as equally moral than their opposites. He also says that the notion of a culture or society is difficult to define. You can belong in a group within a society that has different values than the society as a whole. An example he provided was with abortion.

Who are ‘we’ to make moral judgments?  Is it even possible? Under what circumstances?  Explain your thinking and refer to the reading.

I don’t think we can really make moral judgements. If it was possible, I think that we really can only make judgements within our own culture. Even though there are moral values in every culture, not everyone follows every single one of them.

 6.  MULTI-MEDIA:  Include a picture (or a music, a poem or a quote ) that represents your viewpoint on this issue.


Final Project Part II


First list:  Make a list of situations in the book that are morally considered right and those are considered wrong (according to you).

-It was morally wrong when the parents had sex in the room with their children there.
-It was morally wrong when the teacher punished the main character for correcting him at school.
-It was morally wrong when the ex wife’s brother ran away with the main character’s money from the company he established.
-It was morally wrong when the main character worked for the guy that took expired food, changed the label and resold it.
-It was morally wrong with the main character’s rival hired a guy to threaten him.
-It was morally wrong for the body guard to kill the guy that threatened the main character even though he was dangerous.
-It was morally wrong when someone robbed the pretty girl’s store and hit her assistant causing her to die.
-It was morally right when the father took his family to the city with them to give them a better life.
-It was morally right when the matriarch payed for the mother’s treatment when she got cancer.
-It was morally right when the main character let his dad live with him and took care of him.
-It was morally right when the main character’s ex-wife and son came to see him when he was sick in the hospital.

Second list:  Make a list of characters from the book you would consider virtuous, good characters and list those that are not.  And say why?

-When it comes to the main character, it is hard to decide what he would be considered. I would say that he was both good and bad. He didn’t make the best decisions while he was trying to become rich. He also married a women and didn’t pay any attention to her because he couldn’t get the pretty girl out of his mind. At the same time, he cared for his family tremendously.
-I don’t think the pretty girl was very good. She wasn’t good when it came to being with men just to get the things she wanted and to get rich. I think she was pretty selfish.
-The father was good because he moved his family to the city so they could have a better life. He did his best to take care of them.
-The pretty girls father was not good. He was an alcoholic and did not do anything to help or support his family. Instead he just took from them and used all his money towards gambling.
-The main character’s wife/ ex-wife was a good character because she tried her best to make the marriage better. Even though her husband didn’t want anything to do with her, she didn’t give other guys attention until after they split up. She also went to visit the main character in the hospital when he was sick.
-The ex-wife’s brother was not a good character because he ran away with the main character’s money from the company and left him to deal with the police.

Third list:  Make a list of events or occasions from the book that you believe would cause pleasure and those that you think would cause suffering for some or many people.

-When the main characters wife tries to make their marriage better but he pays very little attention to her.
-When the main character’s family members passed away.
-The fact that the main character clearly loved the pretty girl but she never wanted to settle down.
When the main character was punished for correcting the teacher and being smart.
The fact that the pretty girls father didn’t care about his family and was an alcoholic.

-When the main character and the pretty girl had sex for the first time on the roof.
-When the main character was able to go to school.
-When the main character stole the pretty girl DVD’s because she loved watching them.
Whenever the pretty girl would call the main character.
When the main character spent time with his son.
When the pretty girl became a successful model.
When the main character was able to get his own house.
When the main character and the pretty girl spent the end of their lives together.

Lesson 5 Assignment 3

What is your gender? How do you feel about being a female/male? What does it mean to you in terms of your identity? ‘Do you think that your ethical view conforms to ethics of care/ethics of justice? Why or why not?

I am a female. I think that being a female has its pros and cons but so does being a male. I actually love being a female. We may have to work harder for some things, especially careers, but woman now a days are more independent, successful and stronger than ever. It crazy to think about how much has changed over the years when it comes to being a female. I couldn’t image what it was like back when females weren’t considered equal to men and our only purpose was to cook, clean and take care of children. Woman still do those things but we are able to have a life outside of just being a house wife. I personally can’t wait to have a family, but I want to start my career first. My ethical views are more on the caring side. That doesn’t mean I don’t have any ethical views on justice because I do, I just think that I care more about personal relationships.

Who do you consider your best friend and why?  Describe your relationship to him/her in terms of trust, equality, fairness, love, caring, empathy and responsibility.  Discuss how easy or difficult is it to keep these qualities in your friendship?  Can you have more than one best friend?  Can you have many best friends?  Why or why not?

Over the years, I have lost some friends and gained some friends. I think as you get older, you realize who the important people in your life are. I always say that it is quality over quantity. There are a few girls that I consider my best friends. First, would be my cousin Lindsay and my sister Alex. They are two people that will always be there for me no matter what for the rest of my life, because they are also family. My other best friend is Colleen, who lives in the same town as me. I didn’t become close to her until we both came to Worcester for school, and now she is like a sister to me. I also met Mackenzie and Amy, my other two best friends at school as well. I have been best friends with these girls since freshman year and have become so close to them. I trust them completely and can share everything with them. We have a lot in common, but are all pretty different at the same time. I have so much fun with all of my best friends and I don’t know what I would do without them.


MULTI-MEDIA:  Include a picture of you and your best friend (if you have one, and willing to share), or another picture that represents why you value your relationship with your best friend.



Lesson 5 Assignment 2

Would it be wrong for parents to abort a fetus with trisomy 21?  What moral responsibility, if any, does a pregnant woman have for the fetus discussed in this article?

I don’t think it is right for parents to abort a fetus just because it has trisomy 21. Even though it may not be right, it is ultimately up to the parents to make that decision. If the parents don’t believe they can give the extra time, money and care to a child born with trisomy 21, then they might decide to abort it. Every parent wishes for a perfectly healthy child and a child born with down syndrome is not perfectly healthy, but deserves as much of a right to be born. I think this is true, especially because medical treatments for down syndrome are improving. I personally have a infant cousin that was born with down syndrome and he is one of the cutest, loving, and best behaving babies I have been around. The moral responsibility a pregnant woman has for a fetus with trisomy 21 is giving the fetus a chance at life.

Are there any circumstances that would justify aborting a child with Down syndrome? Does it make a difference if the pregnancy is wanted?  Imposed?

I believe that the only circumstances that would justify aborting a child with Down syndrome is if the mother’s life is at risk, or the parents truly don’t believe they can give extra care to a child with down syndrome. I don’t think it makes a difference if the pregnancy is wanted or imposed. I don’t think that a pregnancy should ever be aborted if the reason behind it is simply that the mother does not want a child. If a mother doesn’t want a child, then they should definitely consider adoption before abortion.

What are the strengths of the argument that any kind of prenatal testing is wrong?

Strengths of the argument that any kind of prenatal testing is wrong are that some testing can be wrong and it has a risk of miscarriage. Also, some woman would prefer to not have advanced knowledge of a disorder. Having advanced knowledge could live them with one of the biggest and most stressful choices of their life, which is whether or not to abort it.

What are some moral theories that might bear on these issues?

One moral theory on this issue is that every fetus deserves the chance to live. On the other hand, the parents should have the right to make their own decision on whether or not they can take care of a child with Down syndrome.

MULTI-MEDIA:  Include an article that is related to this topic to your post.

Lesson 5: Friendship

“Different kinds of relationships have been differently distributed among women and men in patriarchal society: a larger share of the responsibilities of certain personal and informal relationships to women, a larger share of the responsibilities of formal and impersonal relationships defined by social institutions to men. It is plausible that a result has been the creation of a significant difference in ethical orientation. Putting it this way opens better to philosophical inquiry the questions of how good these relationships have been, what their virtues and vices are, their major values, their roles in good life, in a good society. It allows us for example to explore the place of fairness in friendship and to note its absence as a flaw.”

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

Men and women form relationships differently in society. Women tend to have a larger role in close relationships where personal feelings are dominant, and men tend to have a larger role in relationships that don’t involve personal feelings. A result of these different relationships formed between men and women are a difference in ethics, which results in their behavior. We are able to look at the differences in these relationships and how they effect roles in society.

The definition of patriarchy is a social system in which males are the primary authority figures central to social organization, occupying roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property, and where fathers hold authority over women and children. I believe that the paragraph I chose is somewhat true, but times have definitely changed when it comes to males being the primary authority figures. Women have become more independent and career driven. I do believe that women have more personal relationships than men do. I think that women are more known for showing and sharing their feelings. I’m not saying that men don’t show feelings but women are more emotional and sympathetic than men usually are.

1. What is your understanding of ethics of justice and ethics of care?   Are they opposite or complementary?  Are they useful in understanding what we (should) believe and how we (should) act?

In the reading, it is said that boys and men come to respect law more than girls and women do. Laws are what the ethics of justice are made of. The way it is written makes me think that men show more ethics of justice and women show more ethics of care. The ethics of justice are more associated with a persons moral duty and ethics of care are more associated with feelings and emotions. I believe that they are complementary because in order to perform a moral duty to the fullest extent, a person should have positive emotions and feelings about the duty. I think they are both very useful in how we should act and behave.

2.  What are qualities of friendship that might help us formulate more general ethical considerations?

Fairness and caring are two very important qualities of friendship that were discussed in the reading. Fairness means that both people in the friendship should put forth an equal amount of effort in the relationship. That means being there for each other and supporting one another no matter what. If one person in a friendship makes more effort to be there than the other person, it is not fair. I think fairness goes hand-in-hand with caring. I believe that being fair and caring for other people also means having respect for others, which is a huge ethical principle.

3. What is your definition of empathy and can you think of a situation in which you felt empathy towards someone else?  What can we learn from it and how could it apply to other, more general ethical situations?

My definition of empathy is caring about and understanding other peoples feelings. Whenever my close friends tell me about a hard situation they’re in or when their feelings are hurt, I try my best to give them advise and/or cheer them up. The most important part of empathy is being able to really listen to someone when they’re talking to you.

4.  Do you believe that too much emphasis on personal caring relationships will encourage many people to become morally apathetic towards larger ethical issues? Why or why not?

I don’t believe that emphasis on personal caring relationships will encourage people to become morally apathetic towards larger ethical issues. Just because a person has multiple caring relationships that they put a lot of effort into, doesn’t mean that person will not care about large ethical issues. I think that the more personal caring relationships a person has, the more likely they will engage in other ethical issues. If a person isn’t caring, they won’t worry about helping others. They will only worry about themselves.

MULTI-MEDIA:  Include a song or video (from YouTube) that represents values of friendship and love.

I chose the song ‘I’ll Stand By You’ by The Pretenders because it’s about being there no matter what, through the good and bad, which friendship is all about.

Final Project Part I: First Reaction

At first, I though How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia was going to be absolutely boring. As I started reading, I realized it wasn’t going to be so horrible. I actually ended up enjoying the book. They way it was written was very interesting and to the point. I like how it didn’t drag on, even though some parts jumped to the future quite rapidly which kind of threw me off at some points.

Even though the book takes place in a different culture, anyone can relate to it in some way. In the beginning, the character lived in poverty and througout the book, his quality of life got better and better. His goal was to be rich and he achieved that goal. I think the point of the book is to prove that a person can come from nothing and work their way up to the top. The other main point I believe the book makes is that getting rich isn’t all it’s made to be. The main character became rich, which he worked his whole life for, but ended up losing it in the end. He didn’t have a wife and he had a son that moved far away from him. I thought that he was going to end up completely alone, but I was happy when he ended up spending the end of his life with the “pretty girl.” No one wants to die lonely.

Lesson 4 Assignment 3: Introduction

Do you own a pet?  If so, tell us about your pet.  If not, why not?
I have two pets, a cat and a dog. I’ve had my cat Max for 12 years and my dog Rocco for 5 years. Max is an orange tabby cat and Rocco is an australian shepherd. When I was younger, I asked for a kitten for Christmas. My parents gave my a stuffed animal cat and told me that was the best they could do. When I was done opening my presents, my Mom told me to go into the basement to get something for her. When I opened the door, a little orange kitten (Max) was sitting there in a box. I was so happy. He is an awesome cat and loves attention. My parents got Rocco when I was in 8th grade. We had no idea that they were getting a puppy. When they came home with Rocco, they rang the doorbell and put him on the front step. My siblings and I were so excited. I absolutely love animals.

What restrictions do you have on your diet?  What kinds of animals do you eat, and what kinds of animals would you NEVER consider eating? Why not?
I don’t have many restrictions on my diet when it comes to meat. The only thing I don’t eat very often is beef. I only eat steak and hamburgers once in a while. I eat chicken and turkey the most. I also like some seafood like light fish, shrimp, lobster, and crab. Meats that I would never consider eating are deer, veal, or any other uncommon meats. It’s crazy to think about the kinds of meats and foods people in other countries eat. I would never eat anything besides the usual chicken, turkey, pork and beef.

What are some other relationships you have to animals around you?
I don’t really have any relationships to animals besides the pets I have. At some point in my life I want to volunteer at an animal shelter. My favorite animal besides cats and dogs are dolphins. I’ve loved them ever since I was little. One year as a Christmas present, my grandpa brought me to Discovery Cove to go swimming with dolphins. If I could be a dolphin trainer, I would in a heartbeat. Now that I am older, I don’t really agree with places like Discovery Cove because the dolphins there have to swim with people all day. I don’t believe that is a good way for them to live. If I was to get a job working with dolphins, I would go to an aquarium. Last year I went to Florida to visit my grandparents and we went to the Clearwater Aquarium where the dolphin Winter lives from the movie DolphinTale. The story of Winter is amazing. I could have sat at the aquarium all day and watched the dolphins.

Considering your answers to above three questions, what  do they say about you as a person? How would you formulate your moral viewpoint towards other creatures in a sentence or two?
I believe I’m a very caring person and I love animals. I don’t know how anyone could ever abuse or hurt an animal. I’ve always cared about animals and I always will.

MULTI-MEDIA:  Include a picture that shows or represents your pet or your views on animal rights.  Discuss briefly why you selected it.




I chose these picture because they are picture of my two pets Max and Rocco. They are two really amazing animals.