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What Is A Person: Another College Paper

What Is A Person: Another College Paper

Below is a paper I wrote for my college Philosophy class. Rather than teaching hard philosophy, I would probably describe the course as more of an ethics class than anything else. One of the topics we discussed was abortion. One of the articles we read was by Mary Ann Warren, a vocal abortion advocate. I wrote my paper in response to her article, opposing some of the arguments she made. One of the most frightening arguments she made–which I don’t address in this paper–is that there is nothing really wrong with infanticide. It’s just relatively wrong because we live in a culture that values newborns as a whole. Here is my attempt to combat some of her arguments.   In addressing the morality of abortion, Mary Ann Warren considers what sorts of traits an entity needs to have in order to be a person in the moral sense:  that is, something which has moral rights, and is entitled to the same level of moral regard that we give to average adult human beings.  She asserts that the three most significant characteristics to consider in evaluating whether something is a person are Consciousness, Reasoning, and Self-motivated activity. (DMI 433) Since an unborn child possesses none of these characteristics—according to Warren—it is not a person, and is human only in the genetic sense that it has human DNA. And since the unborn are not persons, it is therefore permissible to kill them. I believe that not only is Warren mistaken about what makes one a person, since her arguments implicitly demand that personhood comes in degrees, which is implausible, but she is... read more

University Unmasked: 08 – What’s Good About What’s Bad

There are a lot of bad things about college, however, there are actually some good things about what’s bad. The many challenges I’ve had to withstand have been very good for me. Getting up every morning at the same time and having to drive makes college feel a lot more like a job than school. Indeed, college has been like a job in many ways. I have a routine I have to follow, stakes are relatively high, and I have to consistently work hard every day in order to get good grades. I generally leave at 9:00 in the morning and don’t get home until around 9:00 at night, or later, which makes for rather exhausting days, but it’s also been exhilarating to know the challenge is building character and preparing me for later in life.    All totaled, I spend roughly an hour every day driving, and about 30-40 hours a week either in the classroom or studying. I have had to interact with many different people, and had my beliefs challenged, even mocked to my face. This has forced me to think harder about what I and others believe, and why. College has also forced me to consistently work hard for a long period of time, something I thought I would dread, but has actually become a source of fulfillment which has given me more confidence. Spending so much time in the worldly environment has also been interesting and educational. Most of it is nothing new from public high school, but as I’ve grown in knowledge, it’s even clearer now how weak the enemy really is. The... read more

University Unmasked: 05 – Yoga Pants

In case you haven’t noticed, exercise clothing has become the big fashion, especially for women. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t even exercising, or even about to go exercise, the “look” is in fashion. Sweatbands, exercise shorts, jogging shirts, and yoga pants. Woman are sporting this apparel even if they are not exercising or about to play a sport. What?   It seems pretty ridiculous to me, and doesn’t look very nice at all. It’s just another example of how being in fashion doesn’t correlate to beauty, which I mentioned in my series on modesty. Last week I was studying for my math exam when two girls sat down at a table next to me and started talking. I tried to ignore them, and concentrate on the math problem in front of me: how many bags of cat food did he need to sell for a profit? As you may have experienced yourself, it’s hard to focus when someone is talking right next to you, and I soon found myself struggling to concentrate as the girls chatted. “I could buy four shirts for the price of just one pair of yoga pants, but I’m like, I’m getting the yoga pants.” “Yeah, I know. Everyone is wearing those now. You have to get them.” I was both amused and surprised by what I had heard. These girls had actually admitted to wanting to buy something just because everyone else was wearing them. Now, of course, this is nothing new, but in our age of “individuality” I didn’t think anyone would actually realize or admit to how controlled they are by... read more

University Unmasked: 04 – Have A Good One

Post inspired by my New Testament class and textbook.  I have witnessed a phenomenon I cannot explain. Whether the gods are trying to send me a subliminal message or whether there is a scientific explanation, I know not. What I do know, is that this hidden code has been disguised in the words of common, everyday people, whom I have had interactions with, independent of each other. It has been repeated to me so frequently over the last couple weeks, it cannot be a coincidence. Something fantastic or paranormal is at work here. – Again and again, the words were spoken to me. I bought a text book, and the phrase was spoken: “Have a good one.” I bought a sandwich: “Have a good one.” I exchanged a laptop power adapter: “Have a good one.” – In multiple transactions, the same phrase was spoken to me by people who could not have possibly known each other. That this could potentially be a conspiracy, defies the imagination—indeed—something beyond the forces of mankind must be the cause. These messengers from the gods, or unknowing servants of science disguised as common cashiers, have been telling me the same thing, hidden as a fond farewell: “Have a good one.” – What is this “one”, and what distinguishes a good “one” from a bad “one”? How can one “have” a “good one”? What happens if I “have” a “good one”? Is the “one” I’m having now, a bad “one”? Or am I having a neutral “one”? Am I not even having a “one” at all, and if that’s the case, what am I having, or... read more

University Unmasked: 03 – Drums In The Deep

I mentioned in a previous post that the most eye-opening part of Convocation came as the first half drew to a close. – While attempting not to zone out, I overheard the conversation of the two girls sitting next to me. They were discussing their displeasure with the fact that we were all supposed to be piled onto buses and shipped downtown for more of the same: boring talks about what a great time we were going to have over the next four years. I had to agree with them. I was getting pretty tired of hearing about how much I was going to enjoy myself as well, and was thinking about skipping the second half of convocation. – “All they’re going to do is talk about what we can do downtown, but we’ll never have any time to go downtown anyway, so it’ll just be a waste,” one girl said. – “I wonder how hard it will be to sneak out of this place?” her friend replied, as if leaving was somehow a bad thing. I felt compelled to speak up, so I did. – “They can’t make you do anything. You don’t have to sneak out, you can just leave.” Little did I know leaving would not be as easy as I thought. – As we were dismissed from our seats, I was swept up in a flow of people while I tried to search for the nearest exit. I came upon one egress, and saw three student volunteers ushering the freshman away from the doors and back into the flow of people. I thought nothing of it, and... read more

University Unmasked: 02 – The Textbook Scam

College has many methods for stealing your money, but few are as blatantly ridiculous as the textbook scam. – To buy a new textbook, it can cost upwards of $125. Buying one used won’t be much less. Renting a used textbook will still cost you around $50, and for what? What value are you getting in return? – Well, I can’t speak for all textbooks, but my books looked like some you might pick up for $2 at a garage sale. They’re pretty small as far as textbooks go, and how accurate the material is…I can only guess. – My Astrobiology professor already acknowledged that the latest edition of our textbook was already outdated because the field is progressing so fast. Not only that, but the book takes an approach to life in the universe assuming Darwinian Evolution to be true. Since Astrobiology is known as the field searching for a subject, it’s mostly all speculative already, relying on Evolution and faith that there MUST be life out there, somewhere, and in some form. We just have to find it. – My Anthropology textbook is cover-to-cover Evolution. It’s mostly fiction, and yet they’re selling these books at insanely expensive prices. – Why? Why are they charging so much for books that clearly aren’t worth the price tag? Because students MUST buy them. Students are forced to get the books. This means the law of supply and demand has been suspended, granting colleges a monopoly, making inordinate textbook prices possible. It’s all a scam. – The knowledge possessed in these books is not secret. It’s not exclusive to college textbooks. Most... read more

Why I Don’t Comment On The Appearance Of Girls: Part 2 – Inside Is What Matters

Click here for part 1 Complimenting a girl on her physical attractiveness is not good for the girl: I know some argue that it IS good for me to compliment my female friends on their appearance “in order to help boost their self-confidence,” but I would argue that it would actually be harmful in the long run for me to remark on the physical attractiveness of a girl. It’s not the outside that matters: I know it is an oft-spoken cliché, but few actually believe it. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”(1 Samuel 16: 7.) The culture already puts so much emphasis on appearance. As I describe in my modesty series, “Turn on the television, open a magazine, surf the internet…what do you see? The culture telling women and girls how to dress. Hollywood says, ‘if you don’t look like these movie stars, you have no value.’ Magazines say, ‘If you don’t wear this outfit, you aren’t beautiful.’ And the internet says, ‘If you don’t look and act like these woman, no one will like you.’” In other words, the culture tells us we are only as valuable as our physical appearance. If you aren’t attractive according to some arbitrary standard, you should go do something to conform to that arbitrary standard. This usually means spending a lot of money on clothing, tanning salons, jewelry, body art and accessories, and... read more

I’m Still Alive! (A post about my personal life)

Contrary to the evidence my lack of posting may have provided you, I’M NOT DEAD YET!!! I have several posts and ideas for posts in the works and they shall be forthcoming relatively soon, hopefully. Also, It has come to my attention that my blog does not follow the format of typical teenager blogs. Specifically, I rarely talk and/or ramble about myself. I usually just talk about boring stuff like Predestination, stress, or modesty. Well, I hope to remedy that with this post. What’s new with me: Life is terrible! Everything was going well. I was just chilling out on the internet–lemonade in hand–when someone online said the most offensive thing imaginable! I was so mad I grabbed the nearest paper from my desk and set to tearing to shreds; however, the paper bit back, and I received the most nastiest paper cut the world has ever known. Luke Skywalker knows nothing about hand injuries compared to what I suffered. The pain was so shocking, that I spilled my lemonade…ALL OVER MY PROFUSELY BLEEDING HAND!!! Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, my girlfriend sent me an ecard saying that she had found someone better looking and was breaking up with me. Now, that wasn’t so bad. I didn’t like her anyway. But for her to say she found someone better looking? That’s just such a ridiculous lie, I didn’t know what to say. So I chucked my phone across my room and it hit my pet piranha tank, shattering my phone–and wouldn’t you know–the supposedly “unbreakable” glass shattered as well. So my hand is spurting blood like... read more