Sunday, September 28, 2008

Act of Kindness #2

Act of Kindness #2
A person I see, but don’t know

5 months ago, a new family moved into my neighborhood and as usual it takes time get to know them. It wasn’t long before everyone got know them and welcome them to our neighborhood. My family has already had the honor of introducing themselves to them; however I never had a chance or the courage to properly introduce myself to them. But, they know who I am and I know who they are; and even to this day that’s how we know each. My sisters are already friends with new neighbor’s daughter named Marilan. My sisters and Marilan go to the same high school and almost everyday they ride or walk together to school.

However, my family planned a two week trip to Mexico and my mother, two sisters, and two brothers all went, expect for my father and me. ToT (I had go to my classes). They leave on Thursday and in the next morning; I woke up, got ready to go to class and walked out of the door; only to see Marilan walking to school alone. She took a quick glance at me, and then continued to walk to school while using her phone. At the moment, I felt sad and terrible that she had to walk to school alone, despite the fact that she has a lot of friends at school. So, I turned on my car and offer her a ride to school.

I did this for two weeks. Even though, my classes started at 9:00 am, I woke up at 6:00 am to get ready and to offer Marilan a ride to school at 7:00 am. We barely talked to each other during the car rides. However, during those two weeks, I felt like it was my responsible to offer Marilan a ride, even though Marilan never asked for a ride to school. Even now, when my family returned from their trip, Marilan and I don’t talk or see each other very often. I hardly know anything about her, and she hardly knows anything about me. However, at less she knows that I was nice enough to offer her a ride to school for two weeks. And I can’t help but wonder if she thinks I have a crush on her after offering her a ride to school.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hume's method

Hume's method

Hume could’ve use the simple method of Observation to come up with his theories. It is reasonable to believe that Hume could’ve just simply observed people in the daily lives. However, at the same time, Hume had to be careful not to interfere with people’s natural reactions to dozens of different situations. Hume also had to be neutral of every issue that people deal with in their daily lives, such as stereotyping, politics, grief, happiness, and any other emotions and thinking that people usually have. In other words, he had to detract himself from society to observe people without bias. And Hume must’ve taken days to observe people, looking for specific details and reactions. It’s obviously, that if Hume had asked questions and had conversations with people, that he would’ve received bias answers and false statements about people actions and emotions in different situations. This method of observing is great way to learn people in different situations and this is what Hume might have used to come up with his three psychological tendencies.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Practical Wisdom


The difference between practical wisdom and intellectual virtues is that it takes time to gain practical wisdom or phronesis. Phronesis is often used to deliberate or choose the most accurate solution in any situation. In a way, this is a sign of maturity within individuals, while intellectual virtues are characteristics that individuals’ expertise, who are interested in themselves.

From my experience, there is a perfect person that I think that display practical wisdom. That is my Japanese Language teacher, Mrs. Sachiko Murphy. For three years, she had to make dozens of difficult decisions dealing with high school students, foreign exchanges students, and city officials. Not only is she a teacher, but also the official Japanese translator in Des Moines to form relations with sister city in Japan. Not to mention, that is plans and makes decisions for exchange student to visit Des Moines. And with all of that, she is also a great role model. She is nice, but at the same strict in her agenda. Especially, it comes to planning her two week to Japan for her students. However, the decisions to control and keep her students safe and already planned several of other trip successful are enough to display practical wisdom.

And when it comes to Hursthouse’s discussion about abortion, it is clear to see how phronesis is used. Since practical wisdom is the concept of making the most accurate choice, the topic here is to critically think about an abortion. Abortion is a serious action that can determine the existence of a new life. Such decision is not merely decided a quick and selfish decision. It takes time and a lot of consideration to have an abortion. There is no right choice, but it is the thought and time taken to come to an understanding.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Random act of Kindness #1

Act of kindness #1 (Friends, not anonymous)

I am a transfer student from DMACC (Des Moines Area Community College) and regardless of the fact that I no longer attend classes there. I still have strong bonds with friends that I made at DMACC. I also use to belong to small and new club that DMACC organized, The Ecology Club, for two years. I had a great time getting involving with environmental activities, such as invasion species removal, park clean ups, and prairie planting. However, my time at DMACC was over and now I am a student at Drake University. But even though, I am attending at Drake University; I feel like I’ve just been uprooted and place in a bigger and harder environment and I am struggling to plant my roots. At any case, I do often go back to DMACC just to see my friends that I made there.

One day, I attended a meeting for the Ecology Club; even though I was forced or obligated to attend the meeting. And I felt like I never really left DMACC for good. During the meeting, they were talking about having a fund riser selling food during DMACC’s activity fair. The two advisers asked everyone in the meeting if they were willing to help out, however they did not ask me. At that point, I thought that they weren’t obligated to tell me to do anything, since I no longer attended DMACC and I understood that.

However, everything changed, when I attended the activity fair at DMACC to see how well the Ecology Club was doing. I went up to the booth that the Ecology Club, only to find that the two advisers were the only ones at the booth. I asked them, “Is there anyone else working today?” and one of the adviser smiled and said, “Yeah, you.” At that point, I giggled and decided to help out. Minutes later, two of my DMACC friends help too. And even though, I wasn’t asked to help with the fund riser nor had any right to participated in DMACC activities, I still helped rises money for the Ecology Club for four hours. At the end of the fair, the club made a small profit from the fund riser with a lot of help from me. The two advisers and my two friend really appreciated the time I spend to help them, even though; they knew I was busy studying for my major at Drake.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Power – Everyone’s Goal

Power is the number one thing human beings are interested in. George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty Four gave a clear definition of what power is, “Power is power over human beings,” physically and mentally; this includes persuasion. Everyone single one of us aims to gain it. With power, we, as human beings, can fulfill every desire we want. This can explain we people go to college and to be educated. So no one can overpower with the law or knowledge that overcomes an individual. Now, seeing it in a perspective of our society, does a poor income employee have anything in common with a CEO President of a big company? Who has the power here? Who is capable in fulfilling the desires? What would happen to these two individuals if they switch places; wouldn’t one be happier than another?

Let’s take for example, Socrates and Gorgias; even though, Socrates had the intention of being moral and being true to himself. What good did that do to him, when he was sentence to death? Gorgias, of course, knew that to become a great person, you had to use rhetoric. In a sense, that is power.

There are always people who already have power of people, such as presidents, managers, teachers, and even parents. A president has the power to define what’s right and wrong in a certain organization. A manager has the power to employ, pay, and define the standards of the company. A teacher has the power to explain and teach on certain subjects. And parents have the power to shape their children’s’ lives. Power is absolute. With power, an individual can define the truth. With power, an individual can control the individual, from doing any harm to a person or people you choose. In a sense, that is helping people.

This theory can be seen everywhere, take for an example, a father and a son. It is clear to see that the father has complete control over his son, at an early age. The son, with a curious mind, points to a car and asks “What’s that, daddy?” At this point, the father, who has power over his son, to say whatever he wants his son to believe, that what he is point at, is. And he said, “It’s a plane.” From then on, the son is going to believe that a “car” is a called a “plane.” And if the son refuses or thinks otherwise that a “car” is not a “plane.” Then the father has the power to force the son to accept his ideals, depending on how the father’s matters of beliefs of what’s right and wrong. This method also applies to teachers. Thus, this is an example of how power is exercised in a small perspective in our society.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Moral and Immoral

Socrates verse Gorgias and Polus

During a conversion between Socrates and Gorgias, Socrates begins question about Gorgias’ area of expertise. Gorgias strong believes that his ability to rhetoric is the best area of expertise needed to be successful in our society. “I’m talking about the ability to use the spoken word to persuade… to win over any and every form of public meeting of the citizen body. Armed with this ability, in fact, the doctor would be your slave, the trainer would be yours to command, and the businessman would turn out to be making money not for himself, but someone else – for you with your ability to speak and to persuade the masses.” (Plato: Gorgias, 13). Gorgias’ theory explains the facts that rhetoric can persuade anyone to anything, therefore controlling the masses into anything you want to believe. This is his strong point in his conversion with Socrates.

Yet, Socrates questions Gorgias’ method, arguing when is rhetoric it be considered moral or immortal to society. “Is the rhetorician’s situation actually the same with respect to right and wrong, morality and immorality, and good and bad…despite lacking expect knowledge of good or bad, morality or immorality, or right or wrong has he equipped himself with a persuasive ploy which enables him to make non-experts think that he’s more of an expert than an expert.” (Plato: Gorgias, 24). Thus, Socrates points out that making people convinced that a fact is true, but really isn’t, is a false belief that is considered immoral. Therefore, Socrates stands firm about the ideals of what is moral and immoral.

Polus, Gorgias’ pupil, joins in the conversion between Socrates and Gorgias. However, Polus asked a question of what is the worst thing to do, harming others or being harmed? Clearly, Polus chooses the being harmed is the worst thing to be done. “Imagine some who’s been caught in a criminal conspiracy against a dictatorship…he watches his wife and children being tortured as well; finally he’s crucified or covered with boiling pitch. Is this a happier state for him to be in than if he’d avoided being caught, had become dictator, and spend the rest of his life ruling over his community and doing whatever he wanted…” (Plato: Gorgias, 47). Polus uses an example of a crime to example his theory that being harmed is the worst thing to happen to a person. That it is a good thing not to get caught and being punished (harmed) for a crime. No one likes to suffer for any action done for the greater good or bad of the cause.

Yet again, Socrates counters Polus’ claim, that it is the act of doing harming that is the worst thing for a person to do. “People who evade punishment…can see that punishment is painful, but they have a blind spot about how beneficial it is and they fail to appreciate that life with an unhealthy mind—a mind which is unsound, immoral, and unjust—is infinitely more wretched than life with an unhealthy body.” (Plato: Gorgias, 59). In other words, Socrates talks about how people understand that being punished is bad, however fail to understand that eventually people will feel guilty about doing harm to others. Thus, they will understand the immoral and unjust act that they have committed to another. He also accepts the idea that being punish is a cure for the wrongful acts done to others. Once again, Socrates stands behind the belief of what’s moral and immoral.