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Course Reflection

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Reflection Part 1

Favorite Post

The post that I am the most proud of is the who I am. I really enjoyed all of the introduction sections of the assignments because it felt as if it were the time in which you were given the most opportunity to speak freely. I enjoyed this post so much because it allowed me to open up about a topic that is still really controversial. I think all individuals have the right to be respected and treated equally. Living in a town where there were rarely minorities allowed me to discover the importance of diversity. From this learning experience, I now will make sure that diversity is a part of my life in my career and community.

https://swesinger.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/introduction-p4/

Least Favorite Post

The least favorite post that I had to do was the one about Glofish. Now that I am even talking about it again I am getting frustrated. I can’t believe that this was even done. Whether the act of genetically modifying these animals was done for our amusement purpose or not, animals have rights. Although we lack communication, they still have the right to be treated equally. This goes against all of my morals, old and new. I think that more needs to be done for animals to attain equal rights with humans and this post made me want to make changes for them.

https://swesinger.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/we-need-to-do-more-to-protect-our-animals/

Most Trouble

I feel that I had the most trouble writing the assignment on Mills work of utilitarianism. I think it brought me the most trouble because I found that the wording was difficult to understand. From this, I wasn’t sure if I was properly answering the questions and understanding the message he was trying to relay. After I did some outside reading and checked out a few other student’s blogs, I had a better understanding of happiness and pleasure. Our pleasures are measured by our experiences, which gives you the greatest pleasure is the one you will choose. In addition, the ones that offer the minimal amount of suffering to others will be considered in making your decision.

https://swesinger.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/happiness-may-be-reached-through-understanding-your-pleasures/

Most Learned

I feel that I learned the most from Aristotle. Out of all the philosophers we learned about, I feel that he had the clearest philosophy. Everything we do is aimed towards happiness. Whether big or small, people want to be happy. I found that a lot of the other philosophers spoke by generalizing everybody into certain categories. (ie. All women, all men) I thought it was harder to relate to those philosophers because I didn’t necessarily agree or think that they were right. I do believe that Aristotle was right. All people have different perspectives as to what happiness is and everybody wants to achieve it.

https://swesinger.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/am-i-working-towards-happiness/

Reflection Part 2

Most interesting thing you learned

The most interesting thing I learned was from Aristotle and Pojman. I felt that both of them were able to explain the importance of their point of view. When it comes to Aristotle, ever since the first assignment early on in the course, I noticed that everything I do is aimed at happiness. Happiness is the underlying goal for many people and even in the book we were able to see that so much is based around it. I am much more aware of it now and I think it is interesting to see that a choice or decision is much more than that. It is based off of what will bring you happiness. When it comes to Pojman, I think the points that were relayed are of much importance. It is important for people to make sure that they do not judge others. People have different beliefs and morals and it is difficult for people to respect or even greater accept others beliefs. I have always been cautious of this, but the assignment reminded me of its importance. I am able to understand that I learned both of these things because of the fact I am more aware and understanding of my own morals and choices. With this knowledge in the future I will be able to know that everything I am doing is to attain happiness. As well, related to Pojman, other people are working towards their own happiness as well. I may not understand why something may make them happy, their morals or beliefs, but will not judge them for whom they are.

Reflection Part 3

Did your moral viewpoint change?

I would have to say that my moral viewpoint did not change. I believe that I am very strong-minded and very opinionated and it is clear I spoke my mind throughout the course. I do believe that some of the areas in which I already had my own point of view strengthened. In addition, I learned to become more accepting of the fact that people in the course will have different points of view. It was hard when you wanted to change somebody’s mindset to what you think was right (yours), but it was significant to myself and the course to respect my classmates and their opinion. Overall, I learned many things that I did not know before. You come to realize how in depth making a choice or decision actually is.

Reflection Part 4

How would you teach the course?

If I were to teach the course, I honestly don’t think I would make any changes. The blog was definitely difficult to navigate at first (I still have no clue if I made enough comments! I hope so.) and hard to search for other students. After I got the hang of it, I felt that the course went very smoothly. There was an adequate amount of time to complete all assignments with clear expectations. I would keep all of the assignments because I felt that I learned from every one of them. I wouldn’t drop any because although they may be difficult to write about or controversial when it comes to expressing ones point of view, I think it played a role in the outcome of the course. Other topics that could potentially be incorporated into the course could be ones that greater involve students majors and future. I know in some of the blogs students touched on these topics, but maybe relating a philosopher to specific careers would be interesting. I would recommend this course to other students because I feel that you don’t just learn about philosophers and ethics, but you learn about yourself. Through each assignment you are able to express yourself and challenge yourself to remain open minded when reading other students posts. The information from this course will carry with me into my future in my decisions and ethical considerations.

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Final Project – P4

In the book, How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia, Hamid demonstrates the different morals and values to live a happy and virtuous life. Life isn’t about money and materialistic things, yet true happiness. Every experience, choice and action are based off of happiness. Aristotle believes everything we do is to reach happiness. In the book, that is exactly what you do. The misleading title isn’t actually about getting rich in Asia. The mocking self-help book demonstrates what is actually important in life. Happiness.

Ethics Final Project – P4

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Final Project Part 3

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I think many of the philosophers, ethical ideas and moral situations could relate to the book. In “How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia”, his main goal was to find happiness. You followed him through his life from young to old as he changed and grew. Going through different life pasts, he was constantly searching for what truly was going to bring him happiness. This makes me believe that out of all the philosophers we have learned about, the one he relates to most is Aristotle. Aristotle found that everything that everybody does is based off of happiness. Money and materialistic things don’t bring you happiness or necessarily make somebody happy. In the book, he learned that after all of his situations and experiences he encountered, the underlying goal wasn’t to be filthy rich, it was to be happy.

The style of the book was very different compared to many of the other books that I have read. I have never even read a self help book before, which this was suppose to mock. (I think!) I can’t recall a book that I have read in which characters didn’t have names. Maybe a single character would go unnamed, but not all characters. I find that this was down to allow you to be placed into the mans position and create the others as your own people. It was to have you go through the experience with him to truly grasp the emotions and scenarios. The author gave the man the title as “you.” The language that Mohsin spoke with was very realistic. He used different forms of dialect, jargon, slang and lingo in which created the environment and displayed the story the war it did. I think the style of writing was difficult to understand but allowed me to stay involved in the story.

“How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia” demonstates how to not live your life. It is necessary for one to live by good morals and values. Life isn’t about money and materialistic things, yet true happiness.

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Introduction P4

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I am identified as an American and I have lived in Massachusetts my whole life. I grew up in a small want to be utopia town called Hopkinton. I am sure if any of you know where it is, it is because you live in a surrounding town or you know thats where the marathon starts. It is a rich snotty town with high expectations as to how you are supposed to look and dress. The people focus on material items to show off their class. Ever since I was younger, I didn’t want to live there. I remember begging my parents to let us move because I wasn’t like that. That being materialistic. I hated going to school or going anywhere in the town because it is one of the places where everybody knows everybody. I wanted to leave because I felt like my family and I shared different beliefs and views on many things.

There was very little diversity (if any) in Hopkinton. My high school was over 99% white. I graduated with one of the only African Americans in the public school system and she was my friend. Growing up in the town, I watched people stare and almost question what she was doing there like she was out of place. I wondered why people were so judgmental and cared so much and to this day I still don’t know. After being criticized and being threatened with racial slurs, her family left and moved. It was extremely disheartening to see that the town pushed her out. In many expectations I would say that your community and your upbringing influences who you are. In my case, I learned from the people around me how I didn’t want to be. My house caught on fire on St. Patricks day in 2009. As devastating and as difficult as it was, I am so happy that I got out. Though it was awful to witness my friend going through this and seeing the town that I was identified to, I am glad I was able to experience all of this. Although at times you may not know what you want, it is almost better if you are able to know what you don’t want.

I know many times throughout the semester I have used the moral treat others the way you want to be treated and from this comes the value of respect. The situation with my friend clearly shows why I hold this near to my heart. As explained about, all the ridicule and racial slurs she experienced, she never yet said anything back. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. She took the pain and comments and felt that it wasn’t worth her time to say anything in response. This is an example of a situation I felt great empathy towards in which I evolved this as a very important value. If you think of experiences in which you go through as a community, like the Sandy Hook shooting, being empathetic and treating others the way you want to be treated reflect on you as a whole.

Another value I have is courtesy. I think courtesy has a relationship with respect and empathy. I find this to be an important part of community, yet it seems to be something that many people have lacked lately. It is important because if your values are revolved around this, I feel that one would have good morals. This is a necessary way for us to show respect to one another in our community. An act of courtesy will gain you more friends than an act of rudeness. You never know when you will need somebody.

Lastly, openness. Though this may not be one of the most important values to me, I chose it because I feel as if it is necessary for a community. If openness is a value in part of a community, you would be less resistant to knowledge and resources. You would be willing to listen to others ideas and from the accept and share values with others. If these values were in tact for the Hopkinton community, my friend would not have been judged just by her ethnicity.

I don’t think anybody is perfect. Everybody has flaws and imperfections and I find it to be okay. For the most part though, I would say that I have my morals in tact. I have been through many different situations in which my morals have evolved and shaped. Yet, some are still the same from what I was taught when I was younger. Out of all of the philosophers, I feel that I most directly relate to Pojman and Mills. I felt like the other philosophers had their views set to too broad and didn’t consider specific situations. They focused on things as a whole which to me made me disagree with their opinions of right and wrong and moral decisions. As you can see, I have a very strong opinion about judging others. I am not racist. I support gay marriage. Diversity is important part of our lives and community. You are not going to be able to run from it. I liked Pojman the most because he thought judging our cultures because they are different is wrong. We do not know or understand what others have been through. From this, we should be open to understanding and learning others opinions.

Although I wasn’t fully on board with Mills, I still believe that when our choices are made, we should do our best to bring minimal suffering to others. Yet, I don’t believe that making the most number of people happy is important as well. I find that people don’t make enough decisions on their own happiness. Worrying about others thoughts and opinions can sometimes cause you to make decisions that don’t make you happy. My older brothers mother forced him to go to school to be a business major at Bryant. He failed his first year because he wasn’t happy and didn’t want to go to school for business. My father accepted his opinion and wanted him to do what made him happy. He stuck it out, unhappy, for another year because he didn’t want to hear the wrath of his mother. There are too many situations, which I too have experienced, that you care about others. I think if we were all more free spirited, open, empathetic and caring communities would be better places. Everybody will have different values and different morals. Through this class and what I have learned from philosophers, I would still deem myself moral. If more people were to take this class and understand ethics in a deeper perspective, maybe people would have changing values.

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We shouldn’t evaluate others when we don’t know their experiences

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“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 indi¬vidual 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.”

Pojman, Louis. “Who’s to Judge?”

In my own words

We all come different places. We have different upbringings, have experienced different situations and have different views. All of this factors into how we consider different situations and the way we interpret them. We may view some things different while we view other things the same. It is rare that a group of a few individuals can all be given a scenario or a physical object and have the same interpretations. Our values will cause us to bold certain things while others go ignore and unnoticed. Although that is how it is perceived by one, all will not perceive it like that. Our experiences are what help shape ones values. Norms and customs define how morality is shaped. Not all of our experiences and norms are accepted by others and society. There are no secrets to all of the above – the past/history is how the outcomes are formed.

My Opinion/Interpretation

I find this to be true and not true. I have never thought very in depth in regards to our choices, actions and morality much before this class. Everybody does have completely different outlooks and perspectives on many different things. It is right. We all have different experiences and have witnessed different scenarios. The way we would handle or view something is different from one another. We are all our own individuals. As we grow and have different opinions these are shaped greater. I think it is important that we all have different beliefs and views. As well, I think it is necessary to be able to state your opinion and morals. Even throughout the course I have many disagreements or have alternate points of view compared to other individuals. How ridiculous would it be for us to state our thoughts and opinions about a reading if we all thought the exact same thing. I don’t necessarily believe that all norms and customs define how morality is shaped. Yes, not all experiences and norms are accepted by society and others but who cares? I don’t think you beliefs and morals need anybody’s stamp of approval. I’m not 100% sure what it means when it says that these codes of behavior are the outcomes of our social history. I find that it is saying that our morals/experiences are formed by acceptance from society. I think society as a whole puts so much pressure and emphasis on us as to what is expected when it actuality there is too much structure.

Views on Pluralism

‘As a universal value, members of one culture have no right to evaluate the moral values of another culture.‘
I agree with the statement listed above. As I stated previously, you can see that I made it clear that it shouldn’t matter whom does or doesn’t accept your moral values. There is too much emphasis by others and society that things need to be a certain way. Life isn’t a one way straight shot as to what is expected. I think there are too many expectations and so much structure that you feel obligated to think and act a certain way. I almost look at the statement in a judging situation. Who are we to judge? We really aren’t anybody. Who is society to judge? Who makes the final say as to what is right and what is wrong. I think that judging another culture and stating how or why things should be a certain way is not right. I feel that there would be very few circumstances as to when moral judgment would be consider okay. This would involve physical pain or murder. Other than that, I specifically cannot think of any other scenarios as to when evaluating another cultures moral values would be okay.

I find that the argument in regards to subjectivism is convincing and not convincing due to the fact everybody is their own individual. We are not going to view everything the same (like stated in the selected paragraph.) We all will have different mindsets as to what is morally right and wrong and this is not going to be held the same by everybody. I don’t think their needs to be a standard set for what is right and what is wrong. When it come to the argument against conventional relativism, I think my point has been made clear. Judging and evaluating others moral values are not considered okay in my opinion. We all have different experiences and this allows us to have a stronger ground for why our morals and beliefs are the way that they are.

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Final Project II

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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 right for the father to move the family into the city. Doing this was his attempt to provide a better life for everyone.
– It was morally right for the man to be constantly striving to better his financial state for his wife and son.
– It was morally right for the matriarch to financially help the mans mother when she was ill.
– It was morally right for all situations in which one cared for another when one was ill. This happened multiple times within the story in which a character would strike ill and they were supported either emotionally or financially by another character.
– It was morally wrong for all the sexual acts to happen in the circumstances that they did.
– It was morally wrong for the man to steal the DVD’s to give to the pretty girl.
– It was morally wrong for the brother in law to steal from the man.
– All the situations in which people were judged were morally wrong. This happened in regards to appearance, in terms of education and at specific locations.
– It was morally wrong for the man to be selling expired foods when he knew they were expired.
– It was morally wrong when people would pay to cheat their way through University.

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?
– The father was good and virtuous in the book. He was searching for a better life for him and his family
– The mans brother was virtuous. He spent a lot of time working hard and trying to support his family and bring everybody happiness.
– The mans son was good. Although he left for the United States for a better life, it was still important that he showed his true character when his father was sick.
– The wife/ex-wife was good and virtuous. She did her best to make the marriage work. She was working to better her life by getting her education and even after separated from the man, she was still there for him when he was ill.
– The man I would consider both good and bad. He went through different stages in the book which place him into both categories. The choices that he makes from beginning to end allow you to see his character realize what happiness truly is.
– The pretty girl I would consider both good and bad. She, like the man, experienced different stages throughout the book. In the beginning I would place her as not good because of her character and she came off as trashy, but at the end she comes back to be a good character.
– The pretty girls father is not good. He gambles away all the money she and his wife makes while being a drunken mess.
– The brother in law is not virtuous. He was a trader and ran away with the mans money when he was ill. It shows how selfish he was.

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.
– Being with family/having a family brings pleasure to some or all of the characters.
– Money in the middle of the book brought the man pleasure. In the end he realized money doesn’t bring happiness.
– All of the sexual acts brought pleasure to those involved.
– Getting educated and learning brought pleasure to the man and the wife.
– When the man would get to see or speak with the pretty girl he experienced pleasure.
– When the man got to spend time with his son.
– The water facility was going strong the man experienced pleasure.
– When the man was able to give the girls DVDs he experienced pleasure.
– When the pretty girl was a model she experienced pleasure.
– When the man had any money he was happy.
– Any time a character were to pass away, suffering was experienced by one or many characters.
– When the man was punished for being smart he suffered.
– When the pretty girl loses her job she suffers.
– When the pretty girls employee was killed she suffered.
– Those in unhappy marriages suffered.

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Sometimes rules are meant to be broken

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Before you actually meet somebody, by viewing ones name you are able to determine whether or not somebody is a male or female. I haven’t met any guys named Samantha. Have you? I am a female. I think being a female is extremely difficult. I know in many of my posts I have mentioned society. The way that society expects women to look and act makes me want to rebel completely. Although I am thin and in decent shape, the way women are photo shopped with flawless skin and perfect hair isn’t close to a reality. The way we perceive these individuals causes us to question our own self. The expectations that are given to us causes us stress and can play a role on our self esteem. In addition, since I am a business major, I think about the roles that women are expected to have in a career. They are expected to be inferior to men. This makes me want to strive to prove them wrong. Women are still paid less than men although women currently have a greater amount of degrees than men do. A big question that comes up with women is when is the right time to have children? How is it going to effect your career? Some people still view women as if they are meant to be a house wife. Men are expected to be the providers (financially) while women are expected to take care of the home and of their partner (emotionally). I have just recently found out that men are given maternity leave at some companies. I think it is an awesome idea for men to break the typical scenario of women after giving birth taking maternity leave. Although a women could be out for a short period of time, the women could actually return to work before the man. I don’t want to be identified as a women that is expected to be what is considered a norm in our society. I think in this situation, sometimes rules are meant to be broken. I do not want to identify myself as another expectation. I find that my ethical views conform to both (if this is possible). It is like ethics of justice for the fact that I believe that there should be fair treatment for all people. ie. women in the workforce. Yet, for the ethics of caring because I think that we are all interdependent when it comes time for us to achieving our personal goals and self interests.

I think that when you’re younger, you have one best friend. You buy those necklaces with the broken heart that you wear one and your best friend wears the other. Now that I’m older, I think you learn that you can have more than one best friend. I have met a lot of people in my short life so far and realize that you may have a lot of friends, but it is best to have a few best friends. I know I have stated this in my previous assignments, but finding balance is an important thing in life. When it comes to having best friends, I feel as if only a few best friends are necessary. With each person you can do different things. By having a few best friends you find different qualities and interests shared with one another to bring them to that position. The reason why I think it is important to have just a few best friends is you can make sure that you are true to them. You’re there for a best friend differently than you would maybe to just a friend. It is a two way street. Maybe if it is just a friend, you wouldn’t answer their phone call at 2 am. If it was your best friend, wouldn’t you answer? I would. I think if you have too many best friends you aren’t able to distribute and provide all the qualities that go along with it. I have a few best friends. My friend Christina, Jess, Nick and my boyfriend Billy. Instead of speaking about all these individuals separately, I am going to generalize why they are my best friends. All of these people fit my expectations (haha that sounds so snoby!) as to what qualities a best friend should have. My best friends are my biggest fans, my supporters. They motivate me to be a better person and to pursue my goals and aspirations. I can be myself around them. I am such a goofball and all of these people don’t judge me for being who I am. They are trustworthy. I am able to tell them my problems or secrets knowing that they will keep them. I can ask for advice and know that they are able to guide me into the right direction. We share empathy for one another. The way we feel towards one another shows how much they care. In these situations we are able to be a support system for one another. I think when you have best friends, as time goes on these qualities grow and evolve. The situations in which you encounter with others provides an understanding of the strength of friendship. When you stand ground with your morals and beliefs, their should be no difficulty in being a great friend.