Monday, December 15, 2014

English essay week 6

The Biblical View on Ethics and the Development of History

                The Bible has long been seen as the standard for ethics and morality, even by carnal men. In today’s age, we have many commonly used phrases such as “Do unto others as you would have done to yourself” and “The love of money is the root of all evil”. While just about everyone knows these sayings, or something like them, not everyone knows that they are quotes from the Bible, or what they mean in context with the rest of the scriptures.
                This is evidence of the fact that the moral law put forth in the Bible has been a cornerstone of mainstream ethics in western history. This was most likely facilitated by the spread of the Gospel in the Roman Empire and the growth of the Christian church.
                For many people, even if they do not believe in God or follow the Christian faith, they do know and follow many of the ethical codes that are from the Bible. Thus has a biblical view of ethics been a standard in the development of history.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

History Essay week 5

Why was Aristotle important?
                Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher and a student of Plato. He is best known today for his involvement in ancient science, and for his views in politics. He contributed to science in ancient Greece by developing a scientific method, the basic principal of which is still used today.

What was society like in ancient Sparta?
                Ancient Sparta was a city-state like the other city-states in Greece at the time, but the people there kept slaves of other peoples. Fearing that the slaves would desire to break free from their bondage, the Spartans decided to impose strict, militaristic regimes on them, requiring every boy to be separated from his family at a young age and trained in combat. Sparta became a very unpleasant place after that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

English Essay week four

    In the Psalms we see many times where God provides for His people, either by showing them mercy or by destroying His enemies. This offers us in the modern age reasons to have long term optimism that He will continue to do this in the future.
    Throughout the Psalms, the authors have faith in God, and it is because of this faith that we can remain hopeful of God's providence in the future, as it has been in the past.

(Ehhh this essay is terrible but I've been working on it for days and this is the best I could come up with I'm sorry)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

History essay week four

    What was the disagreement Socrates had with the Sophists?

    Socrates, who is famous for being one of the wisest men is his day, disagreed significantly with some of the other philosophers, namely the Sophists. They believed in 'relativism', which is the idea that there is no 'absolute truth', and everyone's own idea of truth is valid.
    Socrates dismissed this idea with the argument that if there was someone whose own personal truth was that relativism was not true, then who were the Sophists to tell him that relativism was true? If everyone's own view of reality is different and valid, then there could be someone who holds that not everyone's view on reality is valid, and the Sophists would not be able to argue, simply based on their own argument.

    What was Plato's point in his allegory of the cave?

    Plato postulated that everything here on earth, in the physical world, is a reflection of eternal forms that are outside of the physical and the mental. He sought to illustrate this with his allegory of the cave, which has a group of people living in a cave that has very little light shining into it. Outside the cave, there are objects and a great source of light that is shining upon the objects, casting their shadows into the cave. The people in the cave see these shadows and take them for reality, and that is their entire world.
    The philosopher, then, is the one who leaves the cave and sees that there is more to life than the pale shadows cast into the cave, and tries to convince the people of the cave of this.
    Plato's point is that what we have here on earth is all just shadows, pointing to real, eternal forms and that the true purpose of mankind is to find the forms.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

English Essay week 3

Historical Sanctions in the book of Psalms

    The largest book in the Bible, numbering one hundred fifty chapters, the book of Psalms is a very important resource in this day and age. Not only does it provide a wealth of spiritual texts for meditation, teaching, and also signing (the psalms have been translated into English rhymes for signing and chanting), but they provide a view into the mind of King David and other authors of the psalms.
    One topic that is repeated often in the psalms is God's use of sanctions, both positive and negative. He provides for His people, gives them mercy when they follow His commandments, and He strikes down His enemies and those who would do ill to His people.
    The psalms speak of these sanctions often, and we see them reenforced in the rest of the scriptures. God provides positive sanctions for His followers, and He gives negative sanctions to His enemies.

Monday, October 6, 2014

History Essay week three

Pre-Socratic Philosophy
    In the earlier days of Greece, due to the way their society was structured, certain people had time on their hands and could focus on more than just working to make a living. These men were early philosophers, called pre-Socratic philosophers because they cam before Socrates.
    While much of what they speculated was absurd, they asked some thought-provoking questions that would occupy the time of many philosophers to come. Some of them speculated that 'change' didn't actually exist, and if you percieved that it did, then your perceptions cannot be trusted. Another postulated that change was the only thing that was true, and nothing was consant.
    Very few of these philosophers agreed on anything, but thier speculations and postulations would later be adressed by philosophers such as Socrates and Plato, and as such the pre-Socratic philosophers were significant.

    The Cyclopes
    In Homer's book The Odessey, Odesseus encounters a race of creatures called Cyclopes. Did these Cyclopes have any kind of civiliation? In book 9 of The Odessey, it says: "Now the Cyclopes neither plant nor plough, but trust in providence, and live on such wheat, barley, and grapes as grow wild without any kind of tillage, and their wild grapes yield them wine as the sun and the rain may grow them. They have no laws nor assemblies of the people, but live in caves on the tops of high mountains; each is lord and master in his family, and they take no account of their neighbours."
    Is there any kind of civilization today, or in history, that does not work the ground to grow food? There is not. These Cyclopes simply live off the wild foods such as they found.
    It also says that they did not have any laws or stucture, beyond families. This does not bespeak a civilization of intelligent creatures. It is clear, then, that the Cyclopes had no civilization.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

History Essay week two

A brief history of Minoan Crete and key points of Mycenean Greece

    Minoan Crete began in 3000 BC and went until about 1400BC. It is divided into four periods, Prepalatian, Protopalatian, Neopalatian, and Postpalatian.
    In Prepalatial Crete, there were no palaces or any sort of centralized government. It was just several large towns where the inhabitants of Crete lived, traded and produced goods.
    There came kings and heirarchy to Crete in the Protopalatial period, and the first palaces were built. The people of Crete started expanding their trade networks into other lands, like Egypt. Here also is where thier writing system was found. Toward the end of the Protopalatial period, disaster struck Crete and destroyed their towns and palaces.
    The poeple began rebuilding their palaces andthus began the Neopalatian period. These new palaces were much bigger, grander, and more advanced than the old ones. The towns of Crete grew around these palaces and so did the trade networks. There is, however, no evidence of any military activity in Crete, although their influence spread quite far.
    After the golden age of Neopalatial Crete, there was a rapid downfall of Minoan Crete and after 1425 BC, Minoan Crete was no more.

    Mycenean Greece

    Mycenean Greece was a culture that arose around 1600 BC, under the influence of Minoan Crete, and later evolved into classical Greece. Mycenea advanced through the conquering of other lands,  including Minoan Crete and Troy, according to legend. Mycenea was ruled by a warrior class.
    Mycenean society was divided into two groups: the king's entourage, and the people. The people were bound to perform social duties as directed by the king's entourage.
    The people grew grapes, grain, and olives, and they made pottery and bronze tools and weapons. These they traded with neighboring nations, such as Sicily and Asia Minor.

LIterature Essay Week two

    In the popular Bible story of Noah and the Flood, the concepts of ethics and sanctions are important details.
    In terms of Ethics, we see that the reason God sends the flood to destroy the earth is that Mankind was terribly wicked, and God saw the only way to fix it was to destroy everything. But we then see that there is one man whom God favors, and so He instructs Noah to build an Ark so he lives through the flood.
    God then destroys the earth, with only Noah, his family, and some of every animal remaining. . This is an illustration of sanctions; mankind was wicked so its negative sanction was to be destroyed, but Noah was good so his sanction was to be saved from the flood.
    After the flood passed and the Ark landed upon dry ground, he built an altar to the Lord and the Lord made a covenant with him to never again destroy the earth. This is another instance of a positive sanction from God.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Literature week one essay

    Hierarchy in Genesis
    In the first three chapters of Genesis, the author of the book describes God's creation of the universe. He created light, matter, day and night, plants and animals, and lastly man.
    Since He created the universe, it would follow that He is in command of all He created, including mankind, Adam and Eve. He then gave dominion over the earth to Adam, and told him to name all the animals. After he had done this, God made Eve as a helper and a companion to Adam.
    Genesis then describes how the serpent tempts Eve and Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit. Now, even thought the serpent persuades Adam and Eve, it does not truly have power over them, and it ultimately answers to God.
    So in terms of hierarchy, God is in charge of everything that exists, Adam and Eve, or humankind, has charge of the whole earth and answer to God, and the serpent has no power over anything but tempts the hearts of man to do ill, yet it answers to God all the same.

History week one essay

    In the Old Testament, or the Hebrew Bible, it talks of a man named Abraham who was very important. Abraham was tested by God many times and proved faithful to Him, and God promised that Abraham would be a father of great nations.
    Now Abraham had a son named Isaac. Isaac lived a rather peaceful and uneventful life and had two sons, named Esau and Jacob. Jacob tricked Esau out of his birthright and out of their father's blessing, and Esau hated him for this so Jacob ran away to his uncle Labon. Labon had two daughters, and Jacob worked for him for fourteen years and ended up marrying them both; however, it was the younger daughter Rachel whom Jacob loved.
    Jacob eventually was renamed by God to be Israel. He had twelve sons, but only two sons from Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. Joseph he loved the best, and his other sons hated him for this. They sold him into slavery in Egypt. However, he did very well in Egypt, and God was with him. He rose to be the right hand man of the Pharaoh and he helped Egypt prepare for a long famine.
    Now his brothers went to Egypt to buy food during the famine, and there Joseph revealed himself. The Pharaoh welcomed the Hebrews into Egypt and all was well. When Joseph and the Pharaoh died, however, the new Pharaoh did not like all the Hebrews in his land and enslaved them, and killed their male children so that they would not rise up against him.'
    At this time, Moses was born, and his mother hid him from the Pharaoh's men so that he would not die. He was found by the Pharaoh's daughter and adopted into the Pharaoh's family and grew up as an Egyptian prince.
    But one day Moses found an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave and killed the Egyptian. He ran then, and this was when he found the burning bush, God spoke to him through the bush. God told him to free the Hebrews from slavery and take them to the promised land. Moses, with the help of his brother Aaron, tried to convince the Pharaoh to let his people go, but the Pharaoh would not. God sent ten plagues upon Egypt, and on the tenth plague the Pharaoh's first born son died, so he let the Hebrews go.
    Moses was supposed to lead the Israelites to the promised land then, but they sinned against God and so He made them wander for forty years in the wilderness. Moses led them this whole time, but he eventually died before they found the promised land and he passed command to Joshua.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Governmant Lesson 80 essay

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms

      Franklin D. Roosevelt's four freedoms from his speech that he made on January 6 in 1941 covered a very basic foundation for individual rights and liberties of the American people, beyond that which the Bill of Rights already put down. His speech was aimed at the American people, but he claimed these rights were for people everywhere in the world.
      He added to these rights three years later in his State of the Union address.
      Most of what he spoke of seems to be simple decency from one man to another,
and what Franklin wanted was to have Congress implement this second Bill of Rights, with an eye toward moving ahead after World War two with greater security at home for American citizens.

Monday, March 24, 2014

English Lesson 50 essay

Effective Literature
If I were to pick one piece of literature that has affected me deeply, it would be The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.
Now, I don't read very much in my free time, and what I read might not be considered actual literature, being mostly fictional novels for young adults. But one week I was stuck in a auto body shop with my father and I had aught else to do, and I picked up The Hobbit to pass the time, and all I wanted to do while I was reading it was to keep reading it, even up until it was time to leave and continue our business. But all I wanted to do was stay in Tolkien's fantastic world for a little while longer.
That is the only time I would say that a piece of literature has affected me so much.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

English lesson 40 Essay

          Writing dialogue from memory

          When writing dialogue from memory, is it best to write with accuracy of what was actually said, liveliness to make the narrative interesting, or with succinctness?
           I do not think succinctness is very important, as dialogue that is too concise is not very interesting, or realistic.
            Some degree of accuracy must be retained, or else your recollection will be untrue, but it is difficult to remember what exactly was said, so too strong a focus on accuracy would be unrealistic and tiring.
            Liveliness, however, is quite important for a good narrative that one enjoys reading. Though too much would certainly be unbelievable, the dialogue would be boring without it.
            In conclusion, I would say I believe that a good amount of both accuracy and succinctness are necessary, but liveliness is the most important for dialogue.