Friday, January 31, 2020
The Meaning of Lives Essay In her article The Meaning of Lives, Susan Wolf, a moral philosopher and philosopher of action, investigates whether meaning can exist in lives without postulating the existance of God. Wolf establishes her position on this philosophical question from an agnostic perspective and rationally argues that such a question can in fact Ã¢â¬Å"fit within a negative or agnostic view about the meaning of lifeÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 63). With this paper, I will first summarize the prominent points of WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s article then highlight and expound upon areas of her argument that contradict her line of reason. Lastly, I will introduce the theistic perspective on meaningful lives along with presenting WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s reason and argument as supporting evidence for the theistic view. In the Meaning of Lives, Susan Wolf opens briefly with an evaluation of the philosophically ambiguous question, Ã¢â¬Å"What is the meaning of life? Ã¢â¬ She argues this particular question is impossible to rationalize because it dependents upon a postulation for the existence of God. Wolf claims it is necessary to postulate the existence of God in order to argue this original question because if God does exist, then He Ã¢â¬Å"may have created us for a reason, with a plan in mindÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 63). Thus, if God exists then there would be purpose and meaning to human existence dependent upon the creator God. Wolf does not deny the existence of God; she simply suggests that a divine existence is improvable. Therefore the question of a grand purpose and meaning in life is an unnecessary and an improvable argument to find an answer to, due to the improvable nature of God. However, she does believe that meaning in lives is not contingent upon the existence of God stating, Ã¢â¬Å"Meaningfulness is an intelligible feature to be sought in lifeÃ¢â¬ and that Ã¢â¬Å"a positive view about the possibility of meaning in lives can fit with a negative or agnostic view about the meaning of lifeÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 63). She expounds on this argument in three distinct sections. The first part of WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s argument observes three different examples of meaningless lifestyle. Wolf articulates that learning from three paradigms of meaningless lives, one can construct an understanding for meaningfulness. She begins with a lifestyle she labeled the Blob. The Blob is defined by a lifestyle that Ã¢â¬Å"is lived in hazy passivityÃ¢â¬ ¦ unconnected to anyone or anything, going nowhere, achieving nothingÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 64). Wolf deduces from the Blobs meaningless lifestyle, that in order to attain a meaningful life one must be engaged in a project, which can include relationships. The second meaningless lifestyle, in contrast to the BlobÃ¢â¬â¢s lifestyle of passivity, is regarded as the Useless life; Ã¢â¬Å"a life whose dominant activities seem pointless, useless or emptyÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 65). After reviewing the lifestyle of the Useless life, a life void of worth, to achieve meaning Ã¢â¬Å"one must be engaged in a project or projects that have some positive valueÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 65). The final category of a meaningless life would be the lifestyle of the Bankrupt, Ã¢â¬Å"someone who is engaged or even dedicated, to a project that is ultimately revealed as bankrupt, not because the personÃ¢â¬â¢s values are shallow or misguided, but because the project failsÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 65). Ultimately, Wolf concludes that in order to achieve meaningfulness one must not only be engaged in a project of positive value but that project must be in some way successful. After providing a working definition for a meaningful life, Wolf raises the question as to what constitutes Ã¢â¬Å"positive valueÃ¢â¬ and who has the right to objectively determine value. Similarly to WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s construction of meaningfulness, she argues reasons for why an individual is incapable of objectively determining positive value. This incapability for determining objective value is due to the individualÃ¢â¬â¢s subjectivity and Ã¢â¬Å"interest in living a life that feels or seems meaningfulÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 66). Therefore, because an individual is incapable of distinguishing objective positive value from interest, it is unlikely that the individual can distinguish what is required for a meaningful life. She argues that objective value is determined and achieved through observing value in other peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s lives. Wolf clarifies that the objective good she is referring to is not compared to moral goodness, Ã¢â¬Å"benefiting or honoring humanityÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 67). Wolf claims that meaningfulness is not contingent upon moral value. Instead, Wolf suggests that while there are examples of lives exhibiting great moral value, such as Mother Teresa and Gandhi, that are full of meaning; there are also examples of other lives, such as Ã¢â¬Å"artists, scholars, musicians and athletesÃ¢â¬ , that possess great meaning, not based upon their moral value. These lives are considered valuable and meaningful due to their ability to Ã¢â¬Å"develop our skills and our understanding of the worldÃ¢â¬ which Ã¢â¬Å"give meaning to our lives- but they do not give moral value to them Ã¢â¬ (Wolf 67). A greater understanding of our own worth and the Universe is what Wolf constitutes for lives to have meaning. The final stage in WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s argument poses the question Ã¢â¬Å"what is the good, after all, of living a meaningful lifeÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 67)? Wolf does not wish to define goodness, but rather discusses the advantages for living a life full of meaning. Wolf makes the final stand, that in order to grasp meaningfulness and understand how one can achieve it in their life; an individual must become enlightened to their status in the world as Ã¢â¬Å"a tiny speck in a vast universeÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 69). This description of where an individual lies in relation to the vastness of the Universe, provides the reality that meaning in lives cannot logically be contingent upon the desires and benefits for the individual, due to humanities insignificance. It seems illogical to Wolf, that a person who seeks to find meaning in their life could conclude that is dependent upon their independent happiness claiming, Ã¢â¬Å"to devote oneself wholly to oneÃ¢â¬â¢s own satisfaction seems to me to fly in the face of truth, to act as if one is the only thing that matters, or perhaps, more, that oneÃ¢â¬â¢s own psychology is the only source of (determining) what mattersÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 70). The truth, to which Wolf refers, is the reality that individuals have very little significance in relation to the value of the vast Universe. It is because of this truth that a self-center and egocentric life goes against of logic after such a truth is realized. Wolf argues that instead of egocentric priorities to achieve meaning, an individual should alternatively be focused on the needs of the Universe and others. She understands that Ã¢â¬Å"you are just one person among others, equally real- is the source of practical reason-in this case, it gives you reason to take the pains of others to constitute reasons for actionÃ¢â¬ ¦reason to care about the pain of others that is grounded, not in our own psychologies, but a fact about the worldÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 70). In this section, I will address three areas of WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s reasoning I find to be inconsistent with her argument as a whole. A concern that I have regarding WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s argument is her use of the word Ã¢â¬Å"meaningÃ¢â¬ , in regards to the meaning of lives. A very different connotation of the word Ã¢â¬Å"meaningÃ¢â¬ suggested by the philosophical question, Ã¢â¬Å"What is the meaning of life? Ã¢â¬ Wolf states that the question, Ã¢â¬Å"What is the meaning of life? Ã¢â¬ requires an individual to postulate the existence of God because it implies their ultimate aim Ã¢â¬Å"to find a purpose or a point to human existenceÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 63). However, Wolf also argues, Ã¢â¬Å"whether or not God exists, the fact remains that some objects, activities and ideas are better than others. Whether or not God exists some ways of living are more worthwhile than othersÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 72). At the beginning of WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s argument about the meaning of lives, suggests that she neither denies nor rejects the existence of God. She argues this as true because she believes the question behind the meaning in lives can be answered as Ã¢â¬Å"an intelligible feature to be sought in life and that it is at least sometimes attainable but not everywhere assuredÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 63). Wolf reduces the meaning of lives to that which can be determined by human reasoning a finite measurement of this transitory world. Thus Wolf, who has neither denied nor rejected the existence of God has unreasonably eliminated the question of origin of lives, as irrelevant to meaning in lives. She focuses how certain types of lives merit significance in existence and consequently refers to the word Ã¢â¬Å"meaningÃ¢â¬ as synonymous with value. Finally, Wolf argues that there is value in human lives that Ã¢â¬Å"can fit with a negative or agnostic view about the meaning of lifeÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 66). This statement is far less controversial than her attempts to argue that meaning in lives is achievable without the postulation of God. Logically, to explore meaning in lives, one must consider the beginning of life, which must have been constructed either by accident or by a creator. Meaning cannot be cited as more or less significant at a particular point in an individualÃ¢â¬â¢s life. Thus, the point that one comes into existence must be regarded for defining meaning within an individualÃ¢â¬â¢s life. The second problem in WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s argument comes in her evaluation of what is considered a project of positive value. An individual who is engaged in a project of positive value is central to WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s definition of a meaningful life. Although, projects of positive value can add to meaning in an individualÃ¢â¬â¢s life, WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s reasoning as to Ã¢â¬Å"who is to decide which projects have positive valueÃ¢â¬ is vague and inconsistent with her earlier positions (Wolf 66). Wolf concludes that individuals are incapable of objectively deciding what has positive value, due to subjective interests, which skew their understanding of objective value. Wolf deduces that in order for an individual to understand projects of positive value, which will eventually adds meaning to heir lives, they must experience an Ã¢â¬Å"epiphanyÃ¢â¬ ¦ to the recognition that our life to date has been meaninglessÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 66). This comment is completely inconsistent with WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s fundamental goal to acquire an understanding of meaning in lives from an intelligible process of reason. The understanding for projects of positive value through an epiphany is inconsistent with her pervious arguments because it depends she suggests that understanding meaning comes from an unintelligible source of knowledge. Who is to say that that epiphany is not guided by a supreme higher being? The irony of WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s conclusion about the necessary epiphany, is that her statement Ã¢â¬Å"It is the sort of experience that one might describe in terms of scales falling from ones eyesÃ¢â¬ , compares closely to the allusion found in Acts 9:18 (Wolf 66). The verse reads Ã¢â¬Å"And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptizedÃ¢â¬ (NIV 1000). The language of scales falling from the eyes in order to gain true understanding is regarded in both versions as an act depended upon a supernatural entity enabling the change. This very interesting comment by Wolf, suggests that understanding how an individual recognizes truth through epiphany is beyond the capabilities of human control and intellect. Her attempted arguments about how a meaningful life is realized are sound up until the point about epiphany. Lastly, WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s argument for meaning in lives lacks any discussion of immortality as a necessary property for meaning. Wolf reasons that there are certain lifestyles that are more meaningful than others. This argument for certain lifestyle having greater meaning has limited relevance because as she rationalizes, lives are finite and temporary as are the lives of others whom we must focus in our acknowledgement of the truth that we are just a Ã¢â¬Å"speck in the vast UniverseÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 69). Wolf does a fine job at articulating the insignificance and temporary state of human life. However, she fails to recognize that in her attempts to construct a logical framework for meaning in finite lives she disregards the possibility for immortality to give further meaning to lives. Thus, she reduces the idea of meaning as an avoidance of an egocentric lifestyle and recognizes insignificance and meaning within an individualsÃ¢â¬â¢ life alone. WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s claim that meaning is attainable through certain actions only satisfies temporary lives for a finite amount of time. This argument surrounding meaning as dependent upon an inward realization of insignificance manifesting into outward actions, is simply a cycle of meaningless people helping other meaningless people, and causes only a temporary impact. In an argument for the importance of immortality to meaning in lives, Gianluca Di Muzio states, Ã¢â¬Å"If a human being dies and her actions have no lasting effect, because the world itself perished, then her life was meaningless. If, in the end, all comes to nothing, then it does not matter in the first place whether a particular person existed or notÃ¢â¬ (Di Muzio 2). In order for actions and lives to be meaningful, they must have a lasting impact or something to gain, and provide for others in a way that is not reducible to the finite and temporary world. Thus, achievable immortality must exist for meaning to be possible. Although she attempts to determine the meaning in lives for an agnostic world, I would argue that WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s argument actually supports many theistic views regarding the meaning of lives. Though many of WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s arguments do not adequately provide understanding for meaning in lives from an agnostic perspective, many of her points parallel to the theistic view of Ã¢â¬Å"purpose theory. Ã¢â¬ Before I expound on these similarities, an understanding of the theistic view regarding the meaning of must be addressed. According to Borchert, the theistic view argues that, Ã¢â¬Å"life is meaningful insofar as one fulfills a purpose that God has assignedÃ¢â¬ (Borchert 295). In Ã¢â¬Å"ConfessionÃ¢â¬ , Leo Tolstoy discusses meaning in life from the theistic perspective and claims Ã¢â¬Å"now I see clearly that my faith-my only real faith-that which apart from my animal instincts gave impulse to my life- was a belief in perfecting myselfÃ¢â¬ (Klemke 2). Tolstoy sought such perfection in artistic achievements and loving his family. In trying to find meaning in family and people, Tolstoy ultimately realizes that Ã¢â¬Å"My family Ã¢â¬â wife and children Ã¢â¬â are also human. They are placed just as I am: they must either live in a lie or see the terrible truthÃ¢â¬ (Klemke 10). In other words, Tolstoy realizes that if meaning resides in the finite and temporary nature of humanity, meaning too will die along with the life. Tolstoy further suggests that meaning cannot reside within artistic modes when he writes Art, poetry? Under the influence of success and the praise of men, I had long assured myself that this was a thing one could do though death was drawing near Ã¢â¬â death which destroys all things, including my work and its remembrance; but soon I saw that that too was a fraudÃ¢â¬ (Klemke 10). This declaration further supports TolstoyÃ¢â¬â¢s theistic belief that everything of and in this world cannot be the ultimate source of meaning in lives. Although, the substance of this world may increase value within life, it cannot supply ultimate, enduring meaning. Tolstoy finally declares, Ã¢â¬Å"To know God and to live is one and the same thing. God is life- Live seeking God, and then you will not live without GodÃ¢â¬ (Klemke 11). This passage concludes with his theistic assertion that without a Ã¢â¬Å"divine plan for the world, then all efforts come to nothing, because everything comes to nothing. Hence our lives are meaningless without GodÃ¢â¬ (Metz 293). Though Wolf attempts to support an agnostic view for the question, Ã¢â¬Å"is there meaning in lives? Ã¢â¬ her central points mirror those of the theistic view and supports many of its claims. This final section will concentrate on central points within WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s argument that support a theistic view for understanding meaning in lives. To begin, she claims that a life has meaning insofar as it is Ã¢â¬Å"engaged in a project or projects that have some positive valueÃ¢â¬ (Wolf 65). Although this statements seems logical, Wolf fails to provide an intelligible source for acquiring knowledge about whether or not a project has positive value and which projects do not. She betrays the agnostic attempt to provide an understanding of meaning in lives through reason, by suggesting that realization of projects with positive value relies upon an epiphany. The concept of an epiphany for realization is inconsistent with her attempts to rationalize. However, when WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s definition is placed against the theistic view, it is logically consistent with theological beliefs. Theists believe that an individual must be actively engaged in positively affecting peoples lives with in the world, while ultimately contributing to GodÃ¢â¬â¢s divine plan in order for their lives to have meaning. This concept is articulated beautifully in Gianluca Di MuzioÃ¢â¬â¢s argument: Theism and the Meaning of Life, in which he states, Ã¢â¬Å"In order to have meaning, our lives must make a difference to a higher scheme. And theism sees human action as doing a sort of double duty. On one hand, they affect other people and events in this world, on the other, they further or hinder GodÃ¢â¬â¢s ultimate planÃ¢â¬ (Di Muzio 2). This statement suggests that humanities actions in projects have the ability to have two different forms of significance, both relative and ultimate. Relative significance refers to the theistic perspective that, Ã¢â¬Å"actions and events have relative significance when they only influence other actions and eventsÃ¢â¬ (Di Muzio 3). Ultimate significance is when our actions and events Ã¢â¬Å"contribute to GodÃ¢â¬â¢s planÃ¢â¬ (Di Muzio 3). Both of these forms contribute to theistic view, however WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s argument focuses solely on relative significance. The theistic understanding of relative significance is paralleled to WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s understanding of meaning in lives. She believes that when individuals realize their insignificance and begin to seek beyond themselves for meaning by actively engaging in projects of positive value, they can acquire meaning. Though this insignificance is transient, it supports the theistic belief that, Ã¢â¬Å"human beings have access to valueÃ¢â¬ without having to postulate the existence of God, because Ã¢â¬Å"existence affords the opportunity to attain the kinds of goods that make a human life worthwhile and fulfillingÃ¢â¬ (Di Muzio 5-6). WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s profound point that human life is just a Ã¢â¬Å"speck in a vast universeÃ¢â¬ lays the foundation for the theistic belief in ultimate significance (Wolf 71). Theists believe that there is A fundamental disproportion between aspirations and reality is a powerful source of the idea that our lives are absurd and meaningless. We think we matter, and yet we donÃ¢â¬â¢t. The world is not intoned with our hope, desires and projects. The possibility of out destruction looms everywhere; and human suffering, however enormous, seems to be nothing but a passing accident, a byproduct of the presence of sentient creatures in a world that merely tolerates them for a short time. (Di Muzio 9) This understanding of human insignificance plays a vital role in the theistic belief that despite human fragility, purpose and significance are achievable within the most tragic circumstances. WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s recognition of our insignificance implies our need to look beyond our own lives for meaning. If a life of meaning depends upon recognizing the truth about our insignificance and continuing to be Ã¢â¬Å"actively engaged in a project of positive valueÃ¢â¬ , and one cannot perform these projects due to tragic circumstances, then within WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s reasoning their life can not have meaning. WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s understanding of meaning depends upon individual human performance. In trying times of suffering, whether great or small, this concept of looking outside of ones own circumstances is hard to accomplish and in some circumstances impossible, thus in such cases meaning cannot be unachieved. The theistic view of ultimate significance provides a hope that a life of suffering can have meaning and purpose too in that, Ã¢â¬Å"the idea of God and hope for immortality can help us look again at the world and our fragile lives as meaningfulÃ¢â¬ (Di Muzio 9). The project of participating in GodÃ¢â¬â¢s divine plan is the only project that has lasting and unwavering value for meaning in lives. WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s central argument concerning meaning in lives provides many logically convincing and sound points. However, WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s definition of a life of meaning is both disconnected from her original argument and lacks a consistent, authoritative source and process for achieving meaning. She attempts to suggest that meaning is an Ã¢â¬Å"intelligible feature to be sought in lifeÃ¢â¬ , then provides the solution for achieving this insight of through the unintelligible source of epiphany. Secondly, WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s argument for the realization of insignificance as the truth, unlocks the need for an individual to look beyond serving his or her own self-centered desires for meaning. However, though her point about insignificance seems valid, Wolf fails to provide examples or an understanding of how an individual can objectively determine how to look outside of themselves. In total, Wolf produces an understanding of meaning that depends upon an individuals abilities to undergo an epiphany and properly manifest their understanding of the need to look outside oneÃ¢â¬â¢s self and recognize Universal needs. The problem with this stance is that focusing on the Universe provides no lasting impact, or meaning to a particular life because the things of this Universe are finite and temporary. The individualÃ¢â¬â¢s life will eventually end along with the actions and events they affected. Though existence can provide an opportunity for value, as understood in WolfÃ¢â¬â¢s argument and the theistic view, meaning is dependent upon a infinite being whose performance can not be temporary. An individual must not be reliant on their personal performances and finite experiences to obtain meaning, but rather is actively engaged in an eternal project of positive value, determined by an infinite and constant authority, God. Works Cited Borchert, Donald M. Theism. Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2nd ed. 10. Detroit: Gale, 2006. Web. 25 Apr 2012. Di Muzio, Gianluca. Theism and the Meaning of Life lifeÃ¢â¬â¢s meaning? Ars Disputandi . 6. (2006): 1-12. Print. Klemke, E. D. Ã¢â¬Å"The Meaning of LifeÃ¢â¬ . 2nd. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print. Metz, Thaddeus. Ã¢â¬Å"Could GodÃ¢â¬â¢s purpose be the source of lifeÃ¢â¬â¢s meaning? Ã¢â¬ Cambridge Journals. (2000): 293-311. Print. Wolf, Susan. The Meaning Of Lives. 62-73. Print.
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Italian City The Renaissance was the period from 1350-1600. The Renaissance began first in the city-states of Italy for many reasons. Although most of Europe had become a big economic crisis during the late Middle Ages, Italy managed to avoid everything and their towns remained important centers of Mediterranean trade and boost their production of textiles and luxury goods. Town life was bigger in Italy than in other parts of Europe. Therefore, most Italians could easily discard feudalism and other medieval institutions. Because Italy was wealthy and successful, they became independent city-states, each of which included a walled urban center and the surrounding countryside. The Italian city-states started a new social order. It was that wealth and ability mattered more than aristocratic titles and ownership of land. Wealthy merchants and bankers replaced the nobles in the upper class. Shopkeepers and artisans ranked below the wealthy merchants, forming a moderately prosperous middle class that employed a lot of poor workers. Most of these workers came from the countryside. And at the very bottom of the social ladder, were the peasants who worked on the country estates for the wealthy classes. During the Renaissance, Italy was not under one government, but was divided into the city-states. Each of these were ruled by wealthy families whose fortunes came from commercial trading or banking. A lot of times, workers rebelled against the upper classes. Their demands for equal rights and lower taxes, however, remained unspoken. During the 1400s, social conflicts became so bad, that many city-states decided to turn over all political authority to one single powerful leader to restore peace. These leaders were known as signori. At times, city-states would have territorial disputes. Since military service would interfere with conducting business and trade, the signori chose to replace citizen-soldiers with hired soldiers known as condottieri. The major city-states were Florence, Venice, Rome and Milan. A banking family known as the Medici ruled Florence in the 1400s. The Medici rulers helped to keep the spirit of humanism alive in the city-stateÃ¢â¬â¢s scholars and artists. With the spirit alive, Florence became known as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Lorenzo deÃ¢â¬â¢ Medici (also known as Ã¢â¬Å"the MagnificentÃ¢â¬ as a result of the cityÃ¢â¬â¢s prosperity and fame) ruled Florence from 1469-1492. He used his wealth to support artists, philosophers, and writers, and to sponsor public festivals. During the 1490s, FlorenceÃ¢â¬â¢s economic prosperity began to decline due to increasing competition with English and Flemish cloth makers.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Essay Topic: Ã¢â¬Å"The global reach of liberalism will inevitably lead to peace and security for allÃ¢â¬ what are the grounds for this argument? Answer: Liberalism is a theory of international relations with a view point that human is born good and free. In this question will require a discussion on the Democratic Peace Theory which was emphasised after the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union. The main argument was that democratic states tend not to fight other democratic states. This theory has been associated largely with writings of Michael Doyle and Bruce Russet.Early authors like Immanuel Kant also foreshadowed the theory of peace between liberal democracies in his essay Ã¢â¬Å"Perpetual PeaceÃ¢â¬ written in 1795. The idea that Liberalism will inevitably lead to peace and security was based on the ground that Liberal democracies naturally seek for peace, the spirit of free commerce, the interdependence among states and the principle of Human rights. Liberalism by de finition sees human beings as non- violent, born good and seeking to develop ties and as such naturally they are not interested in waging wars. In KantÃ¢â¬â¢s words, peace can be perpetual. War is therefore both unnatural and irrational.According to Doyle wars were created by militaristic and undemocratic government for their own interests. Paine also in his work Ã¢â¬Å"The right of ManÃ¢â¬ said the war system was contrived to preserve the power. War provides governments with the excuses to raise taxes and expand bureaucratic apparatus and increase their control over the citizens. However according Liberals Democracy will create a zone of peace. If we defined democracy as the government of the people for the people by the people then it will be impossible for citizens who bear the burdens of war to elect a government who will take them to war (Doyle 1967: 1151).Nations like France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and Austria are less likely to fight any war among them since they have memories of the damages and massive destructions of the world war one and world war two. Democratic states have much respect for civil rights. If it is wrong for an individual within a state to commit a crime against another individual so does it applies to democratic nations. It is wrong for one democratic nation to wage war against another democratic nation. This idea was also developed in KantÃ¢â¬â¢s rgument about the league of peace or pacific federation (Foedus Pacificum) This idea of peace is based on all human beings which stand in an ethical relationship to one another. For KantÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"this league of does not seek any power of sort possessed by any nation, but only the maintenance and security of each nationÃ¢â¬â¢s own freedom Ã¢â¬Å". Doyle will later expand on this proposition that liberal states have a unique ability and willingness to establish peaceful relations among themselves. The second key assumption of liberalism on which peace and security can be achieved is the practice of free trade among nations.The mercantilist period of history is linked to the rise of the modern nations in Europe. This period could be described as the time which nations were focused narrowly on gaining wealth and discouraging imports. The mercantilist policies included restrictions on import and development of colonial empires. Mercantilist view was that of the Louis XIVÃ¢â¬â¢s finance Minister, Jean Baptist Colbert who said Ã¢â¬Å"trade is a source of finance and finance is the vital nerve of warÃ¢â¬ According Carr Ã¢â¬Å"the aim of mercantilism was not to promote the welfare of the community and its members but to augment the power of the stateÃ¢â¬ .In process of promoting export mercantile nations setup barriers to discourage import and conflicts were often caused. However Kant said unhindered commerce between the people of the world unite them in a common and peaceful enterprise. Later view by Joseph Schumpeter also supports the claim of Kant. According to Schumpeter, capitalism produces an unwarlike disposition; its populace is Ã¢â¬Å"democratised individualised and rationalisedÃ¢â¬ therefore democratic capitalism leads to peace.Over the last 15 years regional trade agreements have become defining features of the modern economy and a powerful force for globalisation. As of July 2007 more than 380 regional trade agreements had been notified to the World Trade Organisation (Crawford and Fiorentino). As the French philosopher Baron of Montesquieu said in 1748 Ã¢â¬Å"peace is a natural effect of commerceÃ¢â¬ (HumpheryÃ¢â¬â¢s 2004) increasingly many countries are realising that their interest may best be served by integration with like-minded countries that have similar economies.Regional trade integration can support peace. The believe that trade can foster peace among nations have been seen it real world practice when in December 2004 Israel and Egypt signed a trade protocol with the US designed to accelerate the rapprochement between the two countries. This deal allowed the Egyptian to export freely the US. Another examples of this agreement which seeks promote peace through trade is the regional agreement signed by the Tunisian and the Morocco Governments with the EU this in order to curtail the rise and spread fundamentalism in these two countries.These examples justify the claim by the American radical democrat Paine when he announced that Ã¢â¬Å"if commerce were permitted to act to the universal extent it is capable, it would extirpate the system of war. Closely linked to the idea of Free Trade and commerce as means of achieving peace and security among Liberal nations is the notion of interdependence and liberal institutionalism, no nation in the world can claim absolute independence or dependence. All nations are closely linked to each other and have become interdependent on each other.The evolution of communication, transportation, the invention of deadly weapons such as the nucl ear bomb, the contagious nature of economy and the growing demographic pressure on the planets are just few of the factors that explain this interdependence. The formation of regional economic groups such as the European Union, the North American Free Trade Agreement in the Latin America, the ASEAN, in Asia and the African Union were inspired the belief that the likelihood of conflict between states would be reduced by creating a common interest in trade and economic collaboration.Liberal Institutionalism also agrees the interdependence of nations can create a zone of peace which Kant called the Pacific Federation of which is made of more than sixty countries. War according to Kant is less probable to occur between any two nations of this federation this does not mean that pacific nations do not go to war. In the nineteenth century countries like the United States and the Great Britain have continually had misunderstanding and wars but after the reformation of the British Parliament in 1832, Britain and the United States were able to negotiate their disputes without resorting to conflict.Britain and France who were rivals in colonial front were able to form an entente against the illiberal Germany before the World War I. President Woodrow Wilson will late proclaim the reigning peace in message of April 2, 1917: Ã¢â¬Å" Our object now as then, is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against selfish and autocratic power and to set up amongst the really free and self-governed people of the world such a concert of purpose and as will henceforth ensure the observance of those principles. Ã¢â¬
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Outline and assess one of the main approaches to the study of religions. Religion and Ã¢â¬ËThe Study of ReligionsÃ¢â¬â¢ has many approaches which try to investigate the core of what religion is and what it means to the people who practice it. Sociology is one such approach that this essay will be looking at through its founding fathers Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Karl Marx. Sociology in general looks at peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s dynamics and explains a groupÃ¢â¬â¢s influence. It demonstrates how religious belief and practices have become so important over time and emphasises their role and significance throughout. Each of these three sociologists has a link to these ideas which will be the main thesis in this essay. Emile Durkheim looks at religion from aÃ¢â¬ ¦show more contentÃ¢â¬ ¦Marxism disagrees that religion can bring about social change, this, however can be disputed. This is mainly due to the fact religious leaders have challenged the status quo in order to bring about change in their societies. Two main examples being Father Camillo Torres Restre po and Martin Luther King whose works brought about a vast amount of change to Colombia and America respectively. Evidently this contrasts to the Marxists view as it shows that religion can in fact bring about social change and consequently allow for equality. Personally, I feel that the Marxists view limits human nature as it assumes they will simply follow rather than stand up to injustice. More importantly sociology in general claims to work in an objective and scientific way but I cannot see how it is possible with Marxists ideas such as on the religion being a drug and comforting as these ideas are impossible to measure. Max Weber is regarded as a social action theorist due to his claim that religion can shape and define society. He argues that religion can indeed bring about social change; he bases his argument on a Christian group named the Calvinists whom according to him brought about a form of western capitalism. This form of Ã¢â¬Å"ascetic ProtestantismÃ¢â¬ (Johnstone, Ronald L. 2004:196) allows for the growth of capitalism because of their belief on disciplined hard work which to them emphasised the Glory of God. This Ã¢â¬Å"spirit of capitalismÃ¢â¬ (Furseth, Inger and Pal Repstad 2006:36) did notShow MoreRelatedSociological Approach to the Study of Religion689 Words Ã |Ã 3 PagesThe Sociological Approach to the Study of Religion Various methods are utilized in the study of religion and they are employed for a multitude of reasons. The method chosen to study religions is determined by the information being sought. 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