Lesson 4 Assignment 2: GloFish

Do fish have rights? Do other animals have rights?  Give examples in your answer.

Fish and other animals obviously don’t have the same rights as human beings but they 100 % deserve the right to not be harmed for no reason or be treated cruelly. There are laws that protect fish and other animals for a reason. Animals, including fish, all feel pain just like human beings do. If humans can’t be genetically engineered then animals shouldn’t be either.

Is genetically altering an animal wrong?  How is it different from genetically altering a human being?

Genetically altering an animal is absurd, especially if it is for amusement purposes like the GloFish. The food industry has changed so much due to genetically modified foods and animals. There is a lot of controversy around GMOs, especially the fact that they are not labeled. Grocery stores in the U.S are filled with GMOs, which are banned in many other countries. They have not been proven safe for humans to consume. They say the purpose of GMOs are to feed our population at cheap prices, but why are they banned in other countries? I believe that genetically modifying anything for consumption or amusement purposes is wrong. Genetically modifying a human being would be a lot more extreme.  

Assess the ‘playing God’ argument.  Do you agree or disagree with it?

Everything on this planet was created for a reason. There is a complete natural cycle of life and the creation of genetically engineered animals disrupts that. I do not believe that anyone should have the right to create a genetically modified animal or plant. I think the saying ‘playing God’ means that something is being created that has never existed before. I strongly disagree with genetic engineering. No organism should be changed or created unnaturally. It’s just not right.

Does the fact the GloFish were designed for amusement not for some higher purpose, make a moral difference? What would constitute higher purposes?

I think that it does make a moral difference because they do not have a higher purpose. The higher purpose for genetically modifying food that we eat is to feed a large population at cheap prices. The purpose for GloFish are only for entertainment. The fact that they could be a danger to the environment makes it even worse. They should definitely stop making GloFish.

MULTI-MEDIA:  Include a picture of a creature that you do not think have any ‘rights’ and should not be included into our moral considerations.   Explain why you selected it.

ImageI chose a picture of dandilions because even though it is a living organism, it doesn’t have rights like humans and animals. Plants can’t feel pain even though they are living.

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Lesson 4 Assignment 1: Suffering

SELECTION:
“If I give a horse a hard slap across its rump with my open hand, the horse may start, but presumably feels little pain. Its skin is thick enough to protect it against a mere slap. If I slap a baby in the same way, however, the baby will cry and presumably does feel pain, for its skin is more sensitive. So it is worse to slap a baby than a horse, if both slaps are administered with equal force. But there must be some kind of blow – I don’t know exactly what it would be, but perhaps a blow with a heavy stick – that would cause the horse as much pain as we cause a baby by slapping it with our hand. That is what I mean by the same amount of pain; and if we consider it wrong to inflict that much pain on a baby for no good reason then we must, unless we are speciesists, consider it equally wrong to inflict the same amount of pain on a horse for no good reason.”

Singer, The Animal Liberation Movement, retrieved from:

http://www.utilitarian.org/texts/alm.html

IN YOUR OWN WORDS: 
The paragraph I selected is saying that if someone was to give a horse a little slap to get it going, it would feel little pain. If a baby was slapped the same way, it would cry and presumably feel pain. It would take more to cause the horse pain than it would to cause a baby pain, but even though there is a difference in how the pain is inflicted, they both are still capable of feeling pain. If we think it is wrong to cause a baby that much pain for no good reason, then we must think it is equally wrong to inflict the same amount of pain on a horse for no reason. People who are speciesists will disagree with that statement because they think humans are superior to animals no matter what.  

OPINION and INTERPRETATION: 
I think that the paragraph I chose is a good explanation of how animals can feel as much pain as a human being can. Both babies and animals are incapable of speaking so the way they show that their in pain is either crying or making a whimpering noise. Since they can’t speak, they have no way of telling us how they feel. No human being or animal should suffer from pain caused by another human being for no reason. I completely agree that it is equally wrong to inflict pain and suffering on both human beings and animals for no reason.

VIEWS on SUFFERING: 

What is the meaning of speciesism, the way it’s discussed in the reading? Do you agree with it? Why or why not?

Speciesism is the assumption of human superiority leading to the exploitation of animals. In the reading it says that speciesists allow the interests of their own species to override the greater interests of members of other species. Speciesism is compared to racism in the reading. It says that racists violate the principle of equality by giving greater weight to the interests of members of their own race, when there is a clash between their interests and the interests of those of another race. I do not agree with speciesism because animals do not deserve to be treated unfairly or to be put in unnecessary pain. Even though humans are the superior species because of the capabilities we have, doesn’t mean we have the right to treat animals poorly.

What gives humans the right for equality?  What is your view? Do you agree with Singer in how he addresses this question?

It is morally right for every human being to be treated the same, even though all human beings are different. Singer states that the case for upholding the equality of human beings does not depend on equality of intelligence, moral capacity, physical strength, or any other matters of fact of this kind. Even though humans may not technically be “equal,” the term equality means that all human beings should have the same rights. Singer says that “there is no logically compelling reason for assuming that a factual difference in ability between two people justifies any difference in the amount of consideration we give to satisfying their needs and interests.” I completely agree with him because a persons needs and interests should not be treated differently than another persons needs and interests. That would mean they are being treated unequally.

Do we have moral obligation to avoid inflicting needless pain on animals?  How should we treat animals? What are the implications of your answer to food, agriculture, hunting, animal rights?  What are the implications of your answer to larger global issues, poverty, hunger, global warming?

I do believe that we have a moral obligation to avoid inflicting needless pain on animals. Animal torture and harm is one of the most upsetting things to me. No animal deserves to be put in needless pain, especially because they are so helpless. They have no say in how they are treated and it makes me so upset when I hear about animals being treated poorly. Human beings have the capability to speak up against animal cruelty and that is why I believe we have a moral obligation to do so.

Every living species needs food to survive. Animals even kill other animals in order to eat. The part about humans killing animals for food that is cruel is the way the animals are treated before they are used for food. They are put in cramped environments and live under unsuitable conditions for the entire durations of their lives until they are used for food. Unfortunately, the food industry has to be the way that it is in order to feed our large and growing population at lower prices. If the way animals were treated in the meat industry changed for the better, more people would go hungry.  I believe hunting is okay if it’s for eating purposes, but not if it is just for the sport. Animals should definitely not be harmed just for the glory of killing that hunters think they get.

MULTI-MEDIA Include a picture of an endangered animal. Why should we  protect it?  Is it our moral obligation?  Why not protect other animals, then?

 

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This is a Bengal Tiger and I think it is one of the most beautiful animals. There are fewer than 2,500 left in the wild. The main reasons behind the species being endangered is loss of habitat, illegal wildlife trade, prey loss and conflict with humans. Humans are taking away their habbitat by cutting down forests and killing the deer and atelope they eat. Humans are also killing them for decorative items, even though it is illegal. By protecting these tigers, we also protect around 25,000 acres of forest. These ecosystems supply both nature and people with fresh water, food, and health. It is our moral obligation to help all endangered species on this planet because humans have the voice that animals do not. We need to protect other species for everyone to survive.

 

Lesson 3 Introduction

What do you like to do for fun? What are your hobbies?

For the most part, I love hanging out with my friends and family. I really enjoy spending time and having fun with the people that are important in my life. In the summer, I like to go to the lake in my hometown and go on my boat. I love spending time outside when it’s nice out. Some of my hobbies include listening to music, making earrings, cooking, watching the Patriots, reading and photography.

What is your major, what is your minor? Why did you choose it/them? What profession do you want, what do want to become and why?

My major is Communications and my minor is Business Administration (Marketing). I had no idea what I wanted to do my Freshman year and then I finally decided I wanted to do something I could be creative with. I am concentrating in Public Relations and I can definitely see myself getting a job in that area. My dream job is to work for a magazine company some day. I know that getting a job with a magazine is extremely competitive, but I plan on working my way up and getting as much experience as I can with other jobs. I also have interest in graphic design and digital imaging, which would be great experience to have in order to work for a magazine. I want a job where I can travel and do something new every day. I believe that PR companies and magazine companies will fulfill those wants.

Thinking about the above two questions, your personal and professional goals and fun (your ‘happiness’ or ‘pleasures’ in the utilitarian sense), what choices to you have to make to be able to achieve them? How do you negotiate your time, money and overall life choices with people around you?  Are you putting people into difficult situation, or causing them any ‘suffering’ in a utilitarian sense, by pursuing your goals? Do other people have to sacrifice something in order for you to be able to pursue your happiness?

The main choice I had to make in order to achieve my personal and professional goals was to decide to major in Communications. When I was little, I always wanted to be a Marine Biologist because dolphins are my favorite animal. As I got older, I realized being a Marine Biologist wasn’t very realistic, especially living in the Northeast. I knew I would have to move to somewhere like Florida, and I didn’t like the idea of moving that far away from my family. I decided that I would do something I could get a job with anywhere. I put as much time as I need to into my schoolwork and I also have a job in order to pay for the things I need. I’m not putting anyone into a difficult situation by pursuing my goals. My parents help me out a lot financially, but it is only while I’m in school. When I graduate, I will be responsible for everything. My parents obviously want me to succeed and want the best for me.

So far we’ve discussed the search for happiness in Lesson 1, and duties or principles in Lesson 2 and now ideas around maximizing utility and thinking about the happiness of other people around us as we make moral choices.  What are the major similarities and differences between these three theories on how they instruct us on morality?

I think that the first two lessons had a lot of similarities. Following you’re duties and principles will make a person happy in the end. I think a lot of people would agree that making other people happy also makes them happy. Utilitarianism is all about acting to promote the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest amount of people. I think that the main difference between the three lessons is that lessons 1 and 2 focus more on personal happiness, while lesson 3 also focuses on the happiness of a great amount of people.

MULTI-MEDIA:

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I chose these pictures because they are all of the lake I go to in my hometown. The name of the lake is Onota Lake and I spend a lot of time there. It’s always so beautiful. The pictures are of the lake in the summer, fall and winter. I’ve had a lot many memories with both my friends and family on this lake and going there is one of my favorite things to do.

Lesson 3 Assignment 2 “Chemical Castration”

Is chemical castration an appropriate ‘treatment’ for sex offenders? Why or why not?

At first, I believed that chemical castration was an appropriate treatment for sex offenders who committed the crime more than once, but then I read the USATODAY article and it changed my mind. I believe that sex offenders have psychological problems, especially if they can’t contain themselves and do it more than once. Chemical castration may help with part of the issue, but I agree that instead of jail time, they should go to a high security mental facility. You would think that sexual offenders would learn their lesson after spending a significant time in jail, but that is not the case. Many sexual offenders are repeat offenders.

Is it a treatment or a punishment? Explain your thinking.

I think that chemical castration is more of a treatment than a punishment. Chemical castration only reduces the criminals sex drive, and does not harm them in any other way. I think that jail time is more of a punishment than chemical castration.

Do convicted criminals have a right to privacy, or do they forfeit this right when they commit a crime?

I believe that convicted criminals, especially sex offenders, forfeit their right to privacy when they commit a crime. Opponents of chemical castration argue that the law is a serious infringement on the right to privacy, in particular the right to control one’s own body. The way I look at it is that the sex offender imposed on someone else’s privacy, and performed unwanted acts to another individual without their consent. So why do they deserve to keep their privacy when they can’t do that to others?

Should voluntary requests for castration be honored? In exchange for a lighter sentence?

If a sex offender voluntarily requests castration to be performed, I think that it should be honored because it is their choice. I don’t believe it should be honored in exchange for a lighter prison sentence. In the case of Ricardo Garcia, obviously he would choose to be castrated over going to prison for life. No one wants to spend the rest of their life in prison. Criminals who deserve life in prison for their crimes should never get the option to choose something else for a lighter sentence. That would be taking the “easy way out” and criminals do not deserve those kind of options.

What would someone who holds the Utilitarian position say about this?

I think that they would agree with chemical castration because it is promoting the least suffering for the greatest amount of people. There are more victims to sexual assault then their are sex offenders who will receive chemical castration.

MULTI-MEDIA:  
http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/05/health/chemical-castration-science/index.html

Lesson 3 Assignment 1 “Pleasures”

 

It may be objected, that many who are capable of the higher pleasures, occasionally, under the influence of temptation, postpone them to the lower. But this is quite compatible with a full appreciation of the intrinsic superiority of the higher. Men often, from infirmity of character, make their election for the nearer good, though they know it to be the less valuable; and this no less when the choice is between two bodily pleasures, than when it is between bodily and mental. They pursue sensual indulgences to the injury of health, though perfectly aware that health is the greater good.

Source: http://www.utilitarianism.com/mill2.htm (paragraph 7)

IN YOUR OWN WORDS: 
I believe that this paragraph is saying that people will sometimes choose the lower pleasure over a higher pleasure in certain situations due to temptation. The definition of temptation is the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise. Sometimes people make the choice for the nearer good, even though it is less valuable than the higher good and that is because it is the easiest way to experience pleasure. Even though a person knows there is a greater good, they will still choose what brings them the quickest and most pleasure in a small period of time.

OPINION and INTERPRETATION: 
I selected this paragraph because it is something that truly applies to every single person. At some point in their lives, people postpone higher pleasures for the lower pleasures due to temptation. When Mill states that people “pursue sensual indulgences to the injury of health, though perfectly aware that health is the greater good,” I think of temptations such as drinking, smoking, eating junk food, tanning, ect., which all have an effect on our health. Even though people know those things are bad for their health in the long run, they still choose to do it because it brings them pleasure for a short period of time each time they indulge in those lower pleasures. Clearly, being healthy is one of the higher pleasures in life because when we are healthy, we feel our best.

VIEWS on PLEASURE:
J.S. Mill defines happiness in terms of pleasure. What does he mean by the quality of pleasure?  Do you agree with his notion of morality?  Does it exclude or discriminate against any group or culture? Why or why not?

I believe Mill means that the quality of a pleasure is the difference between a high a low pleasure. Mill states that if we value one pleasure over another it is because the one we value brings more numerous and intense pleasure than the other. He also says that the higher pleasures produce a larger quantity of pleasure and are more valuable than lower pleasures. Everyone has different pleasures that make them happy. Mill believes that duty and the right actions, which is morality, are to be defined in terms of the promotion of happiness. I agree with his notion of morality and I don’t think it excludes or discriminates any group or culture because everyone is motivated by happiness and pleasures.

How do you understand higher and lower pleasures and their role in morality? Do you agree with Mill that higher pleasure has intrinsically greater value than lower pleasure?  Why or why not? Use an example from real life to support your viewpoint.

Higher pleasures are those pleasures that have more of an effect on us in the long-run and lower pleasures are short-term and quickly received. High pleasures are those that bring us knowledge and intellect. Low pleasures aren’t necessarily considered immoral but they have less value than higher pleasures. I agree with Mill that higher pleasure has intrinsically greater value than lower pleasures only because higher pleasures last longer than lower pleasures. Higher pleasures benefit us more, even though we believe lower pleasures are easier to obtain. An example from real life is that I used to go tanning in the winter. Even though tanning is horrible, I still did it because being tan brought me pleasure. I am trying my best not to do it anymore because in the long-run, I want to have healthy skin.  

One critique of utilitarianism is that it demands too much of people? Do you think this is justified?

I agree that in certain situations it demands too much of people. Acting to promote the greatest happiness and the least suffering for the greatest amount of people can be difficult sometimes. It can put too much pressure on a person when it comes to deciding what to do. You can never make everyone happy because everyone has their own opinions on what gives them the most pleasure/ happiness.

 

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I chose this picture because this was one of my lower pleasures. Tanning is becoming a bigger issue because more and more people are getting skin cancer. People know the risks of tanning but still choose to do it because being tan brings them pleasure. Young people don’t think about what their skin is going to look like when their older or about getting skin cancer, so they continue to go tanning. I recently decided to stop tanning because I want to have healthy looking skin through out my whole life, not just when I’m young. Having healthy skin is the higher pleasure.

Lesson 2 Assignment 3

 What rules and principles do you live by?  And why?  (Why those and not others?  Where did you get those principles from?  Why do you agree with them?  Have you ever been challenged about your principles? Would you consider changing them?  Adopting new ones?  Dropping them completely?)

The main rules and principles I live by are to be respectful, honest, treat others the way I want to be treated, keep quiet when I should, follow my instincts, forgive often, and to try to make the best out of situations. I think that the things I just listed are so important in life. I learned these principles from my parents, friends and experience. I believe that I have been challenged by most of those principles at some point in my life. Part of figuring out principles to live by is through making mistakes and learning from them. One of the principles that I struggle with the most often is making the best out of situations. Sometimes when you’re having a bad day, it is really tough to make it good again. I would not consider changing any of those principles but I am always open to adopt new ones.

 What are your obligations in life? What are your duties? What are your MORAL duties?  To whom or what?

My obligations in life are to graduate, get a job, and take care of my family. Right now I am mostly concentrating on school and I plan to graduate in May. The next step is to get a job and work my way up as much as possible. I know that after I graduate, I’m not going to get my dream job right away but I will continue working towards that goal. I want to get married and have children, so when that happens I will have obligations as a wife and mother. I also want to take care and always look out for my parents and younger siblings.

 What is the “good” for you?  What do you consider good?  What is your definition of ‘good’?

I consider good as doing the “right” thing. Good is making decisions that will better your life. If you make poor decisions, there will not be good outcomes. I believe that if you act morally right, good things will follow. Good is always striving to better yourself.

We’ve discussed the search for happiness as a guide for moral actions in Lesson 1, and duties or principles as guide to moral actions in Lesson 2.  Do you prefer one to the other? Can it be both? How?

I don’t prefer Lesson 1 over Lesson 2 because I think they both go hand in hand. I believe if you follow your principles and duties and also act morally, happiness will just follow naturally. If you don’t make good decisions, don’t try your best to follow your principles and don’t act morally, I don’t believe you would be truly happy.

Include (if you have) one moral rule or principle that you think should be universally accepted (with or without qualifications).   Then discuss briefly why you selected it. Make your moral rule stand out by changing font size and color.  (And an image is always welcome, too!)

I think that one more rule that should be universally accepted is respect for yourself and others. Respect is one of the best qualities someone can have. I can’t stand when people disrespect others. I think it is one of the rudest things a person can do. I am a waitress in a busy restaurant and sometimes it completely shocks me how disrespectful some people can be. Respecting yourself and others is so important to do.

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Assignment 2: Elder Suicide

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Dear Anonymous Man,

After reading your letter, it is very upsetting to hear how unhappy you are. It makes me think of all the other elders that are in the same position as you. I completely understand where you’re coming from, but you have to stay strong. Life is a beautiful thing, no matter what age you are. The way you have to look at it is that getting old is a privilege that many others don’t get the chance to have. Too many people’s lives get cut short and getting old is sort of a blessing. Even though you may feel lonely, you said that you have the option to go live with your children. Even though you’ve lived in the same place for many years, moving closer to your children and grandchildren would be a new adventure. You’ll get to spend more time with them during your final years, and I think you would be very grateful for that in the end. You said that you have cancer but you also said that it is treatable. I think it is worth it to spend the money for treatments. That money spent can give you an extra couple of years to spend time with your family. You also mention that you lost your wife. I know you miss her so much but you will be reunited with her eventually. Don’t rush to end your life.

I believe under certain circumstances such as having a terminal illness and being in pain that can’t be cured, then ending your life can be justified. I think that if someone who is perfectly healthy commits suicide, its selfish in a way. Their loved ones would be devastated and feel as if they were just left behind. Another reason why it can be considered selfish is because other people are fighting so hard to stay alive. On the other hand, if someone is really unhappy and miserable, and they feel like they have no reason to live, what is there to keep them from committing suicide? This subject is really complicated and there are so many different views. If someone is depressed, they should try everything they can do to get better before thinking about ending their lives. It is definitely more understandable for elders to want to end their lives, rather than younger people. Young people still have so many things to experience, while elders have already had many many years to experience things. I think that the only people who have the right to give assistance in dying are immediate family members, and only if the person who wants assistance dying is already terminally ill and wants to end their pain.

I don’t think Kant would believe suicide was morally right. I think that the categorical imperative  would be to not commit suicide or get assisted suicide unless you are already dying and are in pain with no cure. If the categorical imperative was that suicide was ok, everyone would be able to do it whether they were old or young, sick or poor. Even though people still do it, it is not considered a normal act.

Lesson 2 Assignment 1

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SELECTION: 
“Fourthly, as regards meritorious duties towards others: The
natural end which all men have is their own happiness. Now humanity
might indeed subsist, although no one should contribute anything to
the happiness of others, provided he did not intentionally withdraw
anything from it; but after all this would only harmonize negatively
not positively with humanity as an end in itself, if every one does
not also endeavor, as far as in him lies, to forward the ends of
others. For the ends of any subject which is an end in himself ought
as far as possible to be my ends also, if that conception is to have
its full effect with me.”

Immanuel Kant’s  Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals

(page 32; second section) http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile?pageno=32&fk_files=3275637

IN YOUR OWN WORDS: 
We all have duties towards others. It is natural for all human beings to want happiness in the end. Humanity would still exist if no one contributed to the happiness of others, as long as no one intentionally took away from one’s happiness. Even though humanity would still exist, it would be negative for humanity as a whole if people didn’t help others towards achieving happiness in the end.

OPINION and INTERPRETATION:  Then tell us briefly why you selected this paragraph, what do you like or dislike about it, what’s your interpretation of its meaning?  If you have questions about it, ask them now.  If you have opinions about it, state them here.
Personally, I think that most of the paragraphs in this reading were a little difficult to interpret. I believe that the paragraph I chose is saying that it is a natural thing for all people to want their own happiness in the end. It also says that even though everyone wants to achieve their own happiness, people should also help others achieve happiness. It is basically saying that if everyone was selfish and only cared about themselves and their happiness, it would have a negative effect on humanity. One of our moral duties is to help others out.
I chose this paragraph because I 100% agree with it. I can’t image a world where no one helped each other out. I believe we have a duty as human beings to help others who need it. Not only is it a duty, but helping others out can bring us our own happiness. Knowing that you helped someone out and made them happy is such a great feeling. In certain situations we may have to be selfish, but only to a certain extent.

VIEWS on RULES: 

What is the difference between the categorical and hypothetical imperative? Do you agree with Kant that we must follow the categorical imperative when making moral choices? Why or why not?

Categorical imperative’s are universal laws and tell us what not to do. It commands us to not perform a certain action and it applies to everyone. Categorical imperative’s are actions that are moral. An example of a categorical imperative is to not steal from other people.

Hypothetical imperative’s only apply to people who want to achieve a goal of their choice. They tell us what to do in order to achieve that goal. It is a command that applies to us in virtue of our having a rational will and requires us to exercise our wills in a certain way in order to achieve an end. Hypothetical imperative’s are commands that we can choose to follow or not to follow.

I agree with Kant that we must follow the categorical imperative when making moral choices because the categorical imperative is always the right thing to do. Categorical imperative tells us to ask the question: Would all people in all comparable circumstances do the same thing? I believe it’s sort of like the saying “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Most people have the same morals as others.

What does Kant mean by dignity, intrinsic worth, and autonomy? How are these concepts related?  How are they different from your own understanding of these concepts?

Dignity is the quality of being worthy of honor or respect. Kant talks about how everything has either value or dignity. He states that whatever has a value can be replaced by something else which is equivalent. But, whatever has something about a value that can’t be replaced by something equivalent, has a dignity. Kant places dignity above all value. In the reading he states that an example of intrinsic worth is fidelity to promises. Therefore, I believe intrinsic worth are things such as trust and loyalty. Autonomy is the right or condition of self-government. It is the fact that we all have universal laws to follow.

One criticism of Kant’s ethical position is that it overemphasizes abstract principles and rules of justice and rationality over subjective emotions like empathy and love. Do you feel that this criticism is justified? Why or why not?

I think that this criticism is justified because I believe that most of our actions come from emotions such as empathy and love. Not all of our decisions are based on emotions, but they usually play an important part in most of them. In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, I read “moral worth appears to require not only that one’s actions be motivated by duty, but also that no other motives, even love or friendship, cooperate.” I strongly disagree with that because both love and friendship can play a huge role on some of the decisions we make. Having a certain “duty” to perform is not the only reasoning behind making moral decisions.

MULTI-MEDIA:

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I chose this to photos of quotes because I thought they go very well with this section. The first is saying that true morality is doing what is right even if there is no reward in the end. I love this because people shouldn’t always do the right thing expecting something in return. The second one is saying that if you can’t decide whether or not a certain act is moral, ask yourself what the world would be like if everyone did it. I love this because it really puts morality into perspective. Imagine if everyone in the world thought it was OK to steal from others, lie all the time, or never help anyone out. It makes you wonder what things would be like if there was no such thing as laws or morality.

Who Am I?

ImageWho Am I?

As of right now, I feel like I only know part of who I am. I am still figuring myself out and growing as a person. In the past few years, I feel like I’ve changed a little. As we grow up, experience new things and make mistakes, some of those experiences have the power to change us. In this moment, I am a college student who is about to turn 21 and graduate in May. My family is one of the most important things in my life and that will never change. I also have a few very close friends who I can share pretty much anything with. I always find it hard to write about myself but I would say that some of my good qualities are that I am creative, easy-going, down to try new things, caring, and reliable. Some of my bad qualities are that I can be very indecisive and I over-think way too much. The other bad quality that I’ve started to overcome is sharing my feelings and speaking out. I’ve learned that bottling up emotions and feelings is one of the worst things you can ever do, and I’ve definitely gotten better at saying exactly how I feel. I also believe that I’ve become more outgoing than I used to be. I am shy at first, but once I really get to know someone that completely changes.

 

Goals & Happiness

My ultimate goal in life is to feel accomplished and happy. I really want to travel at some point in my life. The world is beautiful and there is so much to see. I also want to have a career that I really enjoy. Like I said in my first blog post, my dream job is to work for a magazine (not positive which one yet). When I’m home, I go to Barns&Noble every time new magazines come out and read a bunch of them. I also want to get married and have a family. I hope to be as great of a parent as mine are someday. Another goal of mine is to make a difference in the world somehow, even if its as small as volunteering at an animal shelter. Happiness is my ultimate goal.  In the end, all anyone wants is to be happy. To me happiness means appreciating and being grateful for what you already have, making others happy, achieving life goals, creating good memories with loved ones, and living life to the fullest you possibly can. Life is too short to not do what you love, go on adventures, and try new things. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that have the power to make me happy. I also love being around happy people because it makes me happy too.

 

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I added these three quotes because they are some of my favorite. I absolutely love looking at quotes and finding ones I like because there are so many that I can relate to. The quote “One day your life is going to flash before your eyes; Make sure it’s worth watching” is my all time favorite quote. Life is too short to not work hard towards your goals and do what makes you happy.

 

ImageI added this photo because it is my family. This is only my family on my Dad’s side. Both my Mom and Dad come from huge families and I love it. Spending time with family is one of the most important things to me. 

Assignment #2: Extreme Makeover

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OPINION:

Going back to my first blog about happiness, I believe that different things make different people happy. When it comes to looks, some people are not confident with their appearance.The thing that everyone has to remember is that NO ONE is perfect. Everyone has their own flaws and most of the time, other people don’t even notice those flaws. If you were to ask someone if there was something they would change about themselves, most people would say yes. Some people will want to change something about their appearance, while others would want to change something about their life. I believe that people who think they need a bunch of plastic surgery are just insecure with themselves, and they truly believe that looking better will make them have a better life. The society we live in now definitely doesn’t help. We always hear of celebrities getting plastic surgery, and models in magazines always look perfect.

Some moral considerations around face lift surgery is that people are not accepting the fact that they are aging, which is part of life. People are obsessed with youth. There are so many products and surgeries to make people “look younger.” Sometimes it can be hard to accept the fact that our looks are going to change when we get older, but it is a natural thing for everyone. Using wrinkle cream or dying your gray hairs is one thing, but going to the level of plastic surgery is another.

I believe it is in our nature to improve ourselves. Improvement brings us a feeling of accomplishment. I don’t believe that plastic surgery is a good or very acceptable way to improve ourselves. The kind of improvement we should strive for is the type of improvement that takes hard work. Changing our physical appearance by eating healthy and working out is an example of improvement that takes time and hard work.

I don’t think that Extreme Makeover exploits its participants because they chose to be on the show. Personally, if I was to get some sort of plastic surgery to improve my appearance, I would want it to be discrete. I wouldn’t want anyone to know that I got plastic surgery. After getting plastic surgery, you are no longer considered naturally beautiful. The term “fake” is usually used to describe someone who has had plastic surgery. The people who go on that show get multiple operations done to change their appearance and broadcast it on television. I think that the only reason people agree to have it put on television is because everything is paid for by the show. If they had the option to make it private, I think that many people would choose to do so.

I think that if an individual has the money to get plastic surgery, then that’s their decision. Paying for plastic surgery is no different then spending $50,000 on cars, going on vacations, and buying other things that we don’t really need. Hunger and poverty are huge problems in this world. Unfortunately, a lot of people would rather spend their money on themselves for needless things such as plastic surgery, than donate money to a charity for hungry and homeless people. ABC also had an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, in which people volunteered to rebuild houses. They rebuilt houses that were too small or falling apart for many families. To me, the idea of this show is much more appealing because it helped people out that were truly in need.

WHAT WOULD ARISTOTLE SAY? 

In part of the first reading, Aristotle states that certain things such as good birth, goodly children, and beauty can cause someone to be more happy. He also says that the man who is very ugly in appearance is not very likely to be happy. Even though Aristotle makes that statement, good looks are not really part of being virtuous. Virtues are more about our actions and knowledge, and becoming and overall “good person.” Extreme Makeover is all about making someone look more attractive, but nothing about the show improves people’s souls and personality. I think that Aristotle would agree that in order to be truly happy, you need to accept yourself completely. I don’t think that Aristotle would say that Extreme Makeover exploits its participants because it is their decision. Aristotle would understand the relationship between wanting to improve ourselves and happiness because as we get older, we get wiser with experience. Improving ourselves is also a learning experience, because we learn from mistakes.

MULTI-MEDIA: 

http://www.garthfisher.com/extreme-makeover/extreme-makeover-before-after-photo-gallery/dr-fisher-patients/#a14
I chose to post this website link because it shows some of the before and after photos of people who were on Extreme Makeover. Some of the before and after photos are so dramatic. If those people were to go out in public after getting the makeover, they wouldn’t even be recognizable. It’s almost as if they are a completely different person.

http://teenink.com/opinion/all/article/65000/Plastic-Surgery-An-Ugly-Trend/
I chose to post this article because it has very interesting views towards plastic surgery and our culture. It talks about how plastic surgery usually only brings temporary happiness and confidence. It also says that the temporary confidence from plastic surgery is nothing compared to the confidence an individual will experience in sports, academics, or a hobby.  Sports, academics and hobbies are great examples of activities individuals can improve themselves with.