26 Nov 2012

Sample Essay: Legal Prostitution as a Form of Unethical Business

Introduction

Prostitution is a controversial topic with a faction of the society arguing that the ancient trade should be legalized whereas the opponents insist that prostitution should be an illegal business because it is unethical. The commercial sex effects and its nature elicit divided opinion because legalizing prostitution as a trade affects its characteristic as a gendered institution and social nature. A section of the society perceives prostitution as an unequivocal exercise of patriarchal control over women. The opponents of legalized prostitution business argue that the business is intrinsically sexually violent, which implies that it is an avenue of exploiting women. On the other hand, the proponents of prostitution state that it is an inevitable market exchange; thus, a form of business. Notwithstanding, prostitution has also been perceived as an expression of own sexual agency of women in the society.

The varied ethical and unethical dimensions of legalizing prostitution have been the contributing factors to the passionate exchanges on the position of prostitution as a form of business. The challenge in prostitution is that it is not a unitary business with standardized social exchange, and it is also persistently a gendered institution in the society. The practice of prostitution has social, economic and cultural connotations that vary, depending on multiple factors such as culture. Consequently, the varied opinions and debates arising out of prostitution take the form of ethical and unethical underpinnings. Legalized prostitution as a form of unethical business is discussed critically and in detail, presenting both sides of the argument.

An Analysis of Legalizing Prostitution as an Ethical Business

All legal employments do not operate under similar work environments and conditions. Various workplaces have diverse environments, depending on the management, occupational regulations, business owners and informal culture among the employees. Similarly, prostitution is an ethical form of business with similar workplace challenges as other legal professions. Prostitutes, whether legal or illegal, do not operate their business services under similar work conditions. Moreover, their reasons to engage in this business are varied for each individual just like other individuals engaged in other business occupations. Different businesses and institutions interact and handle their customers in different ways. Handling of the effects of customer interactions in businesses cannot be same. As a result, prostitution is an ethical business practice with workplace challenges similar to other businesses and occupations (Brents and Hausbeck 7).

The dangers experienced by illegalized prostitutes in form of abuses and violence are reduced if the business is legalized. The business transactions between the stakeholders are often negotiated and offered within brothels. The prices are negotiated between customers and the sex workers in the rooms of the prostitutes. There is an organized management and rules of engagement, which help in curbing such vices portraying legalized prostitution as unethical. As such, the proponents of legalized prostitution business argue that research have indicated that prostitutes who work in the legalized brothels are much safer and experience  less instances of sexual and physical violence from their customers (Carver and Mottier 179).

The dangers and abuses touted to make legalized prostitution business unethical are handled effectively within brothels because the institutions have in place particular practices, which work to guarantee employee’s health and safety. The brothels have structured negotiation process and monitoring rooms to abate cases of sexual violence and physical abuses. Preventing services are enhanced in the business and customers’ behaviors are regulated (Brents and Hausbeck 11).

Legalized prostitution business cannot be regarded unethical because, like other business operations, prostitutes work as self-regulating contractors permitted to work only after satisfying the background checks approved by the state and counties. The business requires that participants pay for their license fees and pass health tests among other required regulations. Like other business occupations that are legalized, sex trade is ethical because the formal and informal rules subjected to the workers are different, the clients they deal with are different, their cultures and daily practices are also not similar. The business cannot, therefore, be balkanized to be unethical undertaking (Brents and Hausbeck 7).

It is ethical for prostitution to be legitimized because of the benefits and order that accompany such processes. According to Weitzer, legalization of business would offer the workers improved working conditions and employment satisfaction they may require. There would be less fear about the kind of business they engage in because of increased confidence. The regulations and structures governing the process would help in eliminating the challenges and problems that this business industry encounter. Police harassments of sex workers would decline. Legal businesses and occupations are safe and perceived to be ethical as opposed to illegalized operations and practices. Policing of customers in legalized prostitution would help protect the workers against violence and assaults, making the practice more ethical (Weitzer 92).

Legalized prostitution business would be considered ethical because the sex workers would not go through police harassments, possible sexual violence and injuries, fines as well as incarcerations. The sex workers in legitimate sex trade would experience stable social support networks and experience reduced cases of unethical acts like robbery, human trafficking and kidnappings. Legalized sex business would enhance the moral support in the commercial sex workers to identify with the business and reduce instances of reluctance to report illegal and unethical acts and practices within the business that brothel managers and owners expose these workers to. The unethical acts like hiring and manipulation of young girls and women to work in sex industry would decline. The reluctance to report the unethical acts and practices within sex business is partly of unwillingness by sex workers to identify publicly with the trade (Weitzer 92).

An Analysis of Legalized Prostitution as an Unethical Business

Danger and Violence

Legalized prostitution as a business takes place in legal brothels within the business industry. Legalized brothel business has certain indicators of exploitation that makes the business unethical to practice. Prostitution as a business is unethical because of the sexual violence and danger. According to the opponents of legalized prostitution business, the trade involves unfair and abusive labor conditions as well as continual social dishonor (Brents and Hausbeck 2).

Women working in the prostitution business are exposed to increased danger and injuries during their business engagements. The physical injuries and dangers in prostitution business include acts of sexual violence against the customers, which involve physical injuries. Furthermore, legalized prostitution as a business is an avenue to increased diseases among other crimes and abuses. The attitude towards the customers in legalized brothel by the involved stakeholders is often discriminatory based on psychological or physical abuse (Brents and Hausbeck 3).

The business of prostitution is unethical because it creates an environment where crime against the involved actors is commercialized. The sex workers are at times compelled to engage in sexual practices they do not approve for their payments to be executed. The commercial sex workers are forced to comply with these practices instead of consenting on the services offered or exchanged in business operations like other formal or legal operations. Exchange of services in sex business may be controlled by other third parties involved, such as the managers. The additional dynamics, which sex workers encounter in determining the services to offer to their clients, are forms of exploitations in these business engagements (Brents and Hausbeck 16). Despite the economic needs cited as the contributing factors to engage in this business, it can never be perceived to be legitimate because of the vices related to the business, including sexual exploitations and criminal acts.

The prostitution business is more inclined towards coercing the workers psychologically, unlike other forms of businesses because of the predominant position of the society on the practice. The sex workers in need of economic empowerment undergo psychological coercion when engaging in sexual acts. Further, they become more vulnerable to making genuine decisions and choices in life. The psychological coercions that this form of business exposes the vulnerable sex workers to make the rational interest of the prostitutes to comply with demands of the exploitative brothel owners (Roth 267).

Work Conditions and Control

In addition, the brothels where commercial sex work takes place have the authority to order the place and time of the service delivery in such businesses. The brothels could determine the clients that the sex workers carry out business with regardless of the position of the worker. The unethical aspects in this form of business are exemplified in controls and workplace settings in which clients who require business services can be turned down based on their race and the service preferences (Gleeson 12).

Prostitution business cannot be legitimized in any way because of the moral and ethical positions within the society that the trade goes against. The chances of women engaging in the business contracting venereal and sexually transmitted diseases are very high because the nature of the work conditions for the business entails sexual acts with several partners. Some commercial sex workers are infected with sexually transmitted diseases, and they may pass them easily to the clients they deal with. According to Murphy, 40% of sex workers in some regions in America are infected with AIDS virus (Murphy 33).

The business of prostitution is a continual explicit body-enslavement instance in which the workers are perceived generally as working animals. These commercial sex workers are reduced to needs of the body stringently. Legitimizing prostitution as a business does not eliminate the unethical practice in which the brothel owners are concerned more with the capacity of the sex workers to deliver more returns at the expense of their health. The practice of testing the sex workers regularly to determine their level of antibodies is for instance, carried out primarily for the brothels to ensure that their customers are safe. This exemplifies the practice of the business using the workers for financial gains. Infected sex workers may also be hindered from participating in the business on the grounds that they may drive away the customers (Murphy 33).

Women engaged in prostitution business have limited economic options to pursue. Prostitution in itself is associated with deeper social problems regarding marketing of human sexuality and bodies. The view of accepting prostitution as a legal business is challenging. It is unethical to expose humans to social ills and injustices because of payments or economic reasons. Procuring prostitutes is an act of exploitation and unethical for that matter. This form of labor to the society is unnecessary and inconsistent with the need to preserve human dignity. Legalized prostitution is absolutely unethical because it endorses all the ills, abuses and injustices perpetrated through prostitution (Murphy 34).

Solutions to the Prostitution Business

The most effective approach or strategy to end the business of legitimized or illegal prostitution is through instituting viable economic options, such as employment trainings for former and present sex workers who may have opted for this practice because of economic reasons (Murphy 34). Many sex workers engage in this unethical business because of the economic needs. Providing alternative viable economic options for these workers would help in cubing the rate of individuals involved in the business. Viable ethical businesses and legitimate occupations would serve in empowering the potential sex workers economically and deprive them of the need to engage in the illegitimate practice. The majority of the sex workers are not engaged in the practice because of the love of their occupation but because they needed to make ends meet and prostitution is the only easier option they could access.

The society should take upon itself to educate men and women of the right values, morals and dignity that make up respectable individuals within the society. The sex workers should be made to know that the society mainly decries the practice and business of sexual exchange for money such that women and men who engage in similar acts are deprived of the attention and ultimate love that morally upright people can get. The sex workers should be appealed to and convinced through constant interactions, explaining to them the dangers and problems that commercial sex work exposes them to. Through such actions, they would be taken in for reformation and rehabilitation programs and offered better alternative businesses to engage in (Nguyen).

Humans should be reminded and taught to value their self-dignity and respect. These women and men should be made to understand that they can offer the society clean, ethical, moral and safer services in life through businesses. They must be made to understand that the society has moral standards that its members should participate in upholding, and that unethical business engagements, such as legalized prostitution, do not contribute to establishing these societal standards. Instead, prostitution business only succeeded in providing a wrong and misleading example to the society. These sex workers should be engaged in reaching out to other sex workers and highlighting the vices that sex business contributes in the society (Nichols 107).

The religious institutions within the society should come out strongly in impacting their teachings and doctrines to the faithful and followers. Churches and mosques should influence the society in the right direction in accordance to the Bible and Quran teachings. None of the religious teachings support the practice or business of prostitution. If the society or the community adheres to the religious teachings and beliefs, the rate of prostitution and sexual acts within sex industry will decline. The church leaders should carry out awareness campaigns and teachings to ensure that the community abides by some beliefs and standards. Further, the government should conduct crack down on brothels and sex business owners who engage or put their employees through unethical acts considered illegal by the business rules and state or county laws. This approach would help the sex industry eliminate the business practices that contribute to the criminal deviances in the society. Nevertheless, the moral aspect of legitimized prostitution and human dignity for those who engage in the business will not be addressed through this method (Nichols 107).

Conclusion

Despite the justifications provided that legalized prostitution help to eradicate the negative and unethical problems associated with the sex industry, the business still remains an unethical because of lack of human dignity, exploitative work conditions, trading human sexuality for money and the moral decadence associated with engaging in sexual acts with multiple partners. The societal standards disregard sex business as an immoral and unethical engagement, which should be avoided. The problems brought about by legalized sex trade can be resolved through economic empowerment of the sex workers and rehabilitation of those workers. Religious and government institutions should come together in enhancing awareness and empowerment of the society against the ills and injustices experienced in sex industry. These actions would help in eliminating the sex business through minimizing the population of sex workers in the society.

Works Cited

Brents, Barbara and Kate Hausbeck. “What is Wrong with Prostitution? Assessing Dimensions of Exploitation in Legal Brothels.” Conference Papers — American Sociological Association. Montreal,: University of Nevada, 2006 . 1-24.

Carver, Terrell and Veronique Mottier. Politics of Sexuality: Identity, Gender, Citizenship. New York: Routledge , 2005.

Gleeson, Kate. “Budging Sex – What’s Wrong with the Pimp?” Australasian Political Studies Association Conference. Adelaide: University of New South Wales, 2004. 1-25.

Murphy, Julien S. The Constructed Body: AIDS, Reproductive Technology, And Ethics. Albany, NY : State University of New York Press , 1995.

Nguyen, Linda. “Laws against prostitution ‘unethical,’ court told; Sex workers’ safety ‘jeopardized’ lawyer argues.” The Ottawa Citizen 16 June 2011.

Nichols, Jeffrey D. Prostitution, Polygamy, and Power: Salt Lake City, 1847-1918. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2008.

Roth, Venla. Defining human trafficking and identifying its victims : a study on the impact and future challenges of international, European and Finnish legal responses to prostitution-related trafficking in human beings. Boston : Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2012.

Weitzer, Ronald John. Legalizing Prostitution: From Illicit Vice to Lawful Business. New York : New York University Press, 2012.

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11 Nov 2012

Sample Essay: Affirmative Action: Ethics and Colleges

Introduction

The practices of different institutions for giving priority to the ethnic minorities, women, or students are known as Affirmative Action. This action can be related to the recruitment of employees in different organizations or admitting students in various colleges or universities (Daigle). The affirmative action was designed for providing benefits to those people that do not have the advantage to take admission in any specific college due to their background. Affirmative action works on the assumption that if minority applicants were striving to take admission in colleges, then there would be some limitations or constraints attached with the applicants. Therefore, a system in which an additional weight granted to applicants for their race or ethnicity was made. At the initial stage of this system, it only involved racial quotes but now it has been considering different factors such as gender, sexual status, and economic backgrounds (Moore).

The two US states that are considered as a pioneer for implementing affirmative actions are Texas and California, because they have forcefully implemented affirmative action in their system. The basic problem for affirmative action is that most of the people relate this system with individual’s color, despite the fact that admission granted to the applicant is based on other considerations. The people against and in favor of this system have valid reasons to support their arguments (Moore). Some people argue that this system is not fair for all the students, where other think that people having disadvantages for their race, color or gender should be provided certain advantage for taking admission in colleges. There is no proper measurement of evaluating and calculating opinions of the people regarding affirmative action, and this is the reason that there are issues and reservations for this system (Daigle).

Background and History

The affirmative action can be evaluated based on its wider context, but history of this system is only documented for education and academic terms. The President of USA signed an executive order in 1961, where affirmative action used as a term related to civil rights. The reference of affirmative action initially made for dealing with the contractors, but with the passage of time, this system further moved forward. US President signed another Act in which discrimination in education towards racism was strictly prohibited (Anderson).

The Supreme Court heard a case of “Odegaard and DeFunis” in 1974, but the timing of this case made it debatable, and this is the reason that no comment was given on racial preference in this case. Another case of “Bakke and Regents of the University of California” commenced in Supreme Court in which decision was given that no minority candidate can be judged separately. This ruling was not helpful to reach diversity for racism considerations, as this case carried for more than 20 years. An appeal court gave a decision for “Texas and Hopwood” case in 1996, where order was given that admission on racism cannot be granted at “Texas University Law School” (Sherpa).

Florida State in 2000 prohibits admissions in the state colleges based on racial preferences, and students were only allowed to take admission based on their percentages. Nevertheless, it was revealed that the intended outcomes of these programs were not according to expectations of the authorities. The Supreme Court heard another two cases related to affirmative action in 2003, where the first case was between “Bollinger and Gratz”, while other case was “Bollinger and Grutter”. For the first case, decision was made that policies of affirmative actions were not constitutional, and they must be abandoned, whereas other case gave judgment that minority students should be given preference for getting admission in law school (Sherpa).

People against Affirmative Actions

Thomas Sowell wrote the book “Affirmative Action around the World” in which he has criticized that affirmative action does not work according to the intention of authorities, and it causes harm to a society (Anderson). He further states that if one individual or group get benefits from this system, the other individual or group will be damaged, which means that this system is damaging for the society as a whole. Ward Connerly, founder of American Civil Rights Institute, wrote in his bio that affirmative action is responsible for increasing discrimination and racial disparity in US, no matter this system is made for helping those people who have faced racial discrimination in US. An associate justice named Clarence Thomas said that his law degree was not valuable in front of the employees, because he was black. According to a South African judge, significance of law degree from Yale was different for black people and different for white people. Carol Costello points out that there are many people thinking that this is the right time to end affirmative action because it is not suitable for the society (Dworkin).

People in Favor of Affirmative Actions

Deidre Bowen conducted a research in 2009 in which benefits of affirmative action are explained. He stated that this system is useful to eliminate discrimination for the admissions in colleges, as racism is prevailing in the education system, and students of color have to face difficulties for getting admission in colleges (Sherpa). Anthony Marx, president of Amherst College stated that high-class colleges are not superior nor terrible, because they do not admit lower income students. The co-director of Civil Rights Projects Gary Orfield argued that affirmative action is useful for the people, but policymakers need to listen to the court verdict. Gary found out that he is not a part of the region where racial problems are common, but he feels that this system has many strong benefits related to the education of students. Michael Martinson supported affirmative action that this system did not affect white students to get admission in colleges and universities, and it is useful for black students who have faced discrimination for getting admission in their desired colleges (Sherpa).

Attempts for addressing this Issue

This system is a continuous debate for policymaking decision regarding admission in the education system. The authorities and policymakers have previously used many approaches to increase the number of lawsuits and proposals that have been rejected for affirmative action (Moore). Some policymakers try to increase minority students in their colleges by applying different methods, in which the most common method is to guarantee a particular percentage of students to get admission in their colleges. In some colleges, students gaining top marks are guaranteed to get admission as they deserve to get admission in their desired colleges or universities. Many states such as Texas, California, and New York have tried to decrease racism in education, as many policies regarding black students have been made and implemented. In some states, this system has been successful, but there are many colleges in different states of US where many people have criticized affirmative action (Doverspike, Taylor and Arthur).

Conclusion

The discrimination in education is still a common issue in USA, and strong policies are required that would be helpful to eliminate discriminatory admission practices by different colleges. The best argument for the usage of affirmative action is to promote different students groups so that level of education can be increased (Daigle). The current way of practicing affirmative action is not suitable for many people, as racism cannot be eliminated by overlooking other students that deserve to get admission in colleges. Moreover, if one individual is admitted to the college by affirmative action, then it is evident that the student who has been ignored will suffer from this system. Therefore, the government should take serious measures to address this issue, because discrimination in education can damage future of the students.

Works Cited

Anderson, E. “Integration, affirmative action and strict scrutiny.” NYU Law Review 77 (2002): 1195-1271.

Daigle, S. Affirmative action legality, fairness, and ethical use in college admission in both the graduate and undergraduate levels of federally funded programs. Research Report. Florida: Florida Atlantic University, 2004.

Doverspike, P, M Taylor and W Arthur. Psychological Perspective on Affirmative Action . New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc., 2006.

Dworkin, R. Affirmative Action: Does it work? Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002.

Moore, J. Race And College Admissions: A Case For Affirmative Action. New York: McFarland, 2005.

Sherpa, T. Is Affirmative Action in College Admissions Ethical? Research Report. Miami: International Center of Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, 2011.

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02 Nov 2012

Sample Essay: Do We Need Proof of God Existence?

Introduction

Every person asks whether God exists or not. Philosophers, theologians and other thinkers have spent a lot of time trying to answer this question but they end up in contradicting answers. There are many questions and issues that are directly related to this question for example why are people believers? Does God exist? What is the essence of religion? There is no specific answer to any of these questions and therefore one would ask why are people asking these questions to begin with? There are two major groups of people in reference to this issue; the believers and atheists. The believers will always raise arguments that prove the existence of God while atheists will always prove that God does not exist. This is a clear implication that there can never be an answer to the question of whether God exists or not. It can neither be proved nor disapproved and therefore this question is futile. The side taken by the atheists and believers is based on faith in which a person believes in something that s/he has no proof of its existence. The argument whether God exists or not is therefore not necessary. This essay is a manifestation that we don’t need proof of God’s existence.

Discussion

Whether God exists or not depends on faith of a person. Believers will always be convinced that God exists and will always abide by the doctrines of their religions (Holley, 2011, p. 750). On the other hand, atheists will always argue that God does not exist and as such there is no need for religion. Faith is therefore the major aspect that determines the stand of an individual person on whether God exists or not. For example in 1943, Sartre in the analysis of Bataille’s L’Expérience intérieure known as, that even for Sartre, Bataille and many others “God is dead” (Hoven, 2010, p. 75). Sartre further asserts that people have not become atheists despite this. Sartre also says that it is not simple to become an atheist since it took him a lot of time to leave Christianity. This happens to many other people and therefore they are held up by the doctrines of their religion. If the religion advocates for people to believe in existence of God, this is what they take. Faith is therefore a strong virtue that determines the stand that one takes about the universe and existence of God. Faith develops gradually from childhood depending on the family and the community in which a person is brought up. A person grows with these virtues and believes in whatever the family and the society believes in, whether backed by evidence or not. In the arguments of Pascal that we all sail in the same boat, it is clear that the arguments of Sartre are based on a strong Christian tradition (Hoven, 2010, p. 76). It has previously been discussed in this essay that it was not simple for Sartre to leave Christianity. This is because he grew up in strong Christian faith that made him believe in God and doctrines of the Christian church. This is the same case with all people whether believers or atheists. Their faith is the major determining factor of whether they believe in existence of God or not. Any arguments by philosophers, theologians and other thinkers will therefore not have a significant impact in shaping the beliefs of people. This proves the thesis of this essay that we don’t need proof of God existence.

People are diverse and will therefore always have different opinions on whether God exists or not. As such, existence of God is not a matter of discussion. In the modern world, there is a de facto debate on religious issues ranging from pluralism, atheism and Islam (Peters, 2007, p. 84). Under Pluralism, the claim of any religion is respected (Siniscalchi, 2010, p. 51). This gives the freedom of worship and therefore any person is given the right to believe in what s/he thinks is the best. As such, there can be many religions and people can opt to believe in God or not. In atheism, the claim of no religion is respected and therefore people will simply say that God does not and have never existed and if he did, he is already dead (Hoven, 2010, p. 75). Islam respects the claims of its religion and that all other religions are not right. Despite these claims, the Christians still believe that their God is gracious and powerful. This means that people are diverse and will always have different views and beliefs about the existence of God. This is a matter that depends on the locations in which people are based and therefore arguments that try to proof whether God exists or not are not necessary. These arguments will always create conflicts and hatred among people since no specific group is ready to go against the beliefs of their religion to follow those of other people. God’s existence will always be a matter of discussion since people are diverse. It would therefore be best if people are allowed to believe in whatever they want since no single religion has been proved to be right or wrong and no thinker has proved the existence of God by facts. Everything discussed about the existence of God is phenomenal and only based on theories that have not been proved yet. The diversity of people and the existence of different religions increase confusion on whether Gods exist or not. Even the atheists have mixed reactions on whether God exists or not for instance religious atheists respect the beliefs of those attached to different religions (Peters, 2007, p. 88). This is clear illustration that people are diverse and will always have different views on religion and existence of God. Believers cannot explain succinctly why they believe and so do non-believers. This shows that matters or religion are phenomenal and no one can explain why some people believe in certain aspects while others do not. This is natural divergence and should be respected at any time. This proves the thesis that we don’t need proof of God’s existence.

Studies that have been conducted about existence of God have not defined one particular way of proving the existence. For instance in Proslogion, Anselm has presented a proof that God exists and this has attracted a lot of researchers since the late medieval period (Schumacher, 2011, p. 88). Anselm argued that it would be impossible to recount all the arguments that have been made on existence of God. Another person who has tried to proof the existence of God is Benedictine monk but his approach is very general and therefore it can be easily criticized. Different philosophers of religion assert that these proves can be accepted especially in cases of priori or ontological proofs. Thomas Aquinas has also attempted to prove existence of God through five ways that are based o the natural order. Different religion philosophers have argued that the statements of atheists are persuasive but there are those who have been opposed to this statement (Schumacher, 2011, p. 87). The different explanations that try to prove existence of God are questionable which implies that the attempt to prove God’s existence is not necessary at all. For instance, all the people who have been discussed in their attempts to prove God’s existence use different arguments which raises questions for example why do they use different explanations to prove the existence of one being? Which of the ways discussed to prove God’s existence should we believe? What is the rationale behind any explanation that attempts to explain God’s existence? The different numbers of explanations that attempt to explain God’s existence create room for criticism among the atheists. They will raise questions that oppose any attempted proof which increase confusion. People should respect that many philosophers and theologians have attempted to prove existence of God but they have always been criticized (Aijaz & Weidler, 2007, p. 7). The arguments of atheists always appear to be stronger than those of believers who always try to convince on issues that have not been proved yet and there are no signs of prove either. It would be to the best interest of human kind if arguments about existence of God do not continue. This is because every person believes in what s/he knows about God despite many explanations. God does not exist and if does, he do not want human beings to be aware of his existence otherwise he would have proved his existence. People should respect this and stop any arguments that try to prove the existence of God as this just increases confusion and hatred. The fact that no single study has absolutely proved the existence of God beyond doubt justifies the thesis of this essay that we don’t need proof of God’s existence.

Conclusion

The essay is based on a clear thesis that we don’t need proof of God’s existence. This has been discussed through three strong points in the essay. The first point states that people’s beliefs on existence or non-existence of God are based on faith and not theories or arguments that have been developed by philosophers and theologians. For instance Sartre asserts that it took him a lot of time to leave the Christian religion and become an atheist. This is because the doctrines of the Christian church and the belief that the God of Christians is gracious had dominated his mind and thoughts. In addition, it is stated in the essay that most of his arguments were based on the Christian faith. This means that faith plays significant role in determining the belief of a person about God’s existence and hence there is no need of proof.  The other major point that proves the thesis is the fact that people are diverse and will always have different views and opinions about existence of God. The essay has discussed atheists, Muslims, pluralists and Christians who have been found to have different arguments about God. These groups of people will always exist and therefore no need of trying to prove God’s existence. This is because each of the named groups will have its own views and opinions about this issue. The other point that proves the thesis is the fact that different studies have been conducted but no particular one has been able to prove the existence of God absolutely. All the studies are based on phenomenal theories which are always open to criticism. People should therefore be given freedom to believe in what they know about God.

References

Aijaz, I., & Weidler, M. (2007). Some critical reflections on the hiddenness argument. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion , 16 (7), 1-23.

Holley, D. M. (2011). How can a Believer Doubt that God Exists? Philosophical Quarterly , 61 (254), 746-761.

Hoven, A. V. (2010). Sartre and Atheism. Sartre Studies International , 16 (2), 75-84.

Peters, T. (2007). Christian God-Talk While Listening to Atheists, Pluralists, and Muslims. A Journal of Theology , 46 (2), 84-104.

Schumacher, L. (2011). The Lost Legacy of Anselm’s Argument: Re-Thinking the Purpose ff Proofs for the Existence of God. Modern Theology , 27 (1), 87-102.

Siniscalchi, G. B. (2010). Knowing that God Exists: Retrieving the Teaching of Dei Filius. American Theological Inquiry , 3 (2), 45-68.

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17 Oct 2012

Sample Essay: Hamlet’s Ophelia

Ophelia, simply known for being incapable of her own distress, has been known in the history for epitomizing the mystifying woman who is hard to grasp. For the critics of Shakespeare, she has always eluded as a character (Camden). She is depicted as a herione who meets a tragic end. Her character exudes the potential of becoming a tragically devastated woman who finallyloses er mind under the immense pressure by the social norms. Ophelis is a product of her environment, depicting the way a woman was supposed to be in the 16th and 17th century. She was an obedient child , a doting sister and a loyal wife. She played her duty unconditionally and blended into the roles of women of that time so finely that it was hard to find a more perfect woman in those times. The Hamlet’s Ophelia is one of the most distressed, one dimensional characters of its time. She acts out as a tragic herione who has the potential to overcome all the misfortunes wrecked on her, instead she dissolves into craziness, thus encompassing the true essence of tragedy. The character of Ophelia is important because of the dual nature of women that she represents. The purpose of the character is to display the viewpoint of hamlet about women. Hamlet’s twisted view about women as subjects of seduction only makes him hate Ophelia all the more. He takes Ophelia to be amongst all women who he thinks are insensitive sexual predators that lure men into their charms and sexuality and then trap them with their conniving manipulations. So Ophelia plays the role of Hamlet’s whore version of a woman while at the same time remaining a distinctive innocence and virtue that was the chastity of women at that time. Hamlet’s betrayal start with Gertrude and it moves along to Ophelia who becomes the predated under the obligation of being an obedient daughter and a loyal wife. Hamlet is enraged with his mother for being the woman of masked connivance and because of this hatred he projects his sarcasm and loath towards Ophelia.

Ophelia’s character helps us to experience the viewpoint of Hamlet and his gradual evolution into a loathsome man who believes that every woman is a whore. He believed that women who wear a cloak of purity and chastity of character are the ones who are laden with evil from inside. He also tool Ophelia’s father as a pimp who prostituted his daughter to spy on Hamlet and when the purpose was served told her to stop talking or meeting with him. Ophelia’s abject dismay in being torn between the obedience for her father and her love for Hamlet makes her decide to go for her father’s wishes and follow in suit. This is because she depicts a true example of a woman who is obsequious in nature and believes that her life is devoted to her father before marriage and to her husband after marriage. Therefore, Hamlet’s version of whore is a woman who is used not by one but many men. Ophelia is used by her father, brother and hamlet at various events throughout the play. However, what really instigated his view about Ophelia was the apparent innocence she wore in front and the way she presented herself to him in servitude, yet remained loyal to her treacherous father simultaneously. For Ophelia, she was just playing the part of being a daughter, when she decided to seduce Hamlet, she did it out of sheer love for her father and brother, and when she shunned Hamlet away, and she did it because her father told her so. Hamlet’s wrath was pointed towards Ophelia for choosing her father over Hamlet, this reminded Hamlet of Gertrude, his mother, who chose his new father over the old. So to Hamlet, both choices were increasingly “incestuous”.

From an audience point of view, Ophelia represents a quite distinctive character. She is the damsel in distress; a woman so wrought with the pain inflicted on her by her loved ones, that she is unable to take it through the end and loses her sanity. To us, Ophelia depicts the convoluted character of women that still resides in each of women. She is a daughter, a sister and a lover. And she is destined to play all those in the most perfect way possible. She has to be an obedient daughter, when unmarried she must obey her father, and she does not act because she is supposed. In fact, she does it out of the goodness of her character and the demands required by the social norms of that time. Likewise, when she becomes Hamlet’s wife, she does not relieve her loyalties from her father because she was supposed to, but because it was ingrained in her give herself up to her husband, in mind and body. So she strikes as a woman who is an emblem of goodness of heart and mind. She has her childlike loyalties towards her loved ones, clings to them for being hers and she is not aware of the darkness that her small acts could lead to (Mabillard).

Her whole character depicts simplicity and sheer loyalty towards those who care for her. She is an epitome of selfless affection. She is desperately in love with Hamlet but has to hold because of her father. So she stays away from him, but her heart stays pure. Once with Hamlet, she clings to the very memory of Hamlet when he was sweet to her and loves her till the end. She is there to defend him even when his whip like tongue tears her flesh apart. She seems incapable of her own distress and is not able to defend herself in front of hamlet. However, her immense suffering was obvious through her coy responses.

“Hamlet: …I did love you once.
Ophelia: Indeed, my, lord, you made me believe so.
Hamlet: You should not have believed me…I loved you not.
Ophelia: I was the more deceived”
(Mabillard).

A story written on Ophelia takes the play from the account of Ophelia. It divides the whole life of character into three parts and then highlights the key areas which lead to Ophelia’s gradual demise towards insanity. Part one of the book describes the early childhood of Ophelia and her transition towards womanhood and the love affair with Hamlet. The second part describes the sequence of the play as seen through the eyes of Ophelia. Finally the third part depicts the life of Ophelia after the play, thus giving readers food for thought about the escape of woman scorned from the shackles of dismay (Xirena). Ophelia’s slow descent to madness was directly related with the callous attitude of Hamlet and the death of her father took a final toll on her (Hamlet).

In conclusion, there were some very important aspects of Ophelia which need to be highlighted in this review. To start with, she was the archetypal obedient daughter that was the demand of the 16th and early 17th century role of a woman. This filial obedience makes Ophelia vulnerable to the abuse inflicted on her by Hamlet. He accuses her of being deceptive and disloyal towards him. He goes on to accusing her of “breeder of the sinner” and says that if she was to marry she would turn her husband into a monster. Finally, Ophelia gives in to the immense pressure given to her by those who loved her dearly. Her father’s death disturbs her greatly. Besides, given the harshness subjected to her by Hamlet she finally cracks in to the pressure. This comes as a tragic end to a woman who did everything out of purity of heart and selfless love for those she loved dearly. In the days of her insanity, she takes to singing brazen songs in which she described the tale of a woman who was tricked into losing her virginity by a monster. So Ophelia’s madness can be attributed to the immense patriarchal pressure of that time when men used to have the dominance and power on the society norm building. The character of Ophelia displays a woman torn between the love of her father and her lover. She is portrayed as an extremely compassionate woman and is subjected to unfair treatment at the hands of those who loved her dearly. This comes in contrast to the Hamlet’s version of her as someone who feigns insanity and madness. The death of Ophelia’s character is a mystery and many critics still regard as one of the most poorly understood act of the play. She drowns in an offstage sequence which leaves the audience perplexed and lets them ponder on the exact nature of death and its validity. She is taken as an erotic creature even at the time of her death. A mermaid-like woman who spent her like in quite grief and finally gave into insanity lies down with her clothes spread wide in waters which engulf her body in the waves of death and makes her a part of her own distress (Ophelia).

Works Cited

Camden, Carroll. “On Ophelia’s Madness.” Shakespeare Quarterly 15.2 (1964): 247-255.

Hamlet. “The Psychological Pain of Laertes and Ophelia.” 06 August 2011. tryshakespeare. 16 July 2012 <http://www.tryshakespeare.com/articles.php?article_id=29>.

Mabillard, Amanda. “Ophelia.” 20 August 2000. Shakespeare Online. 16 July 2012 << http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/hamlet/opheliacharacter.html >.>.

“Ophelia.” n.d. shmoop. 16 July 2012 <http://www.shmoop.com/hamlet/ophelia.html/>.

Xirena. “Book Review: Ophelia.” 25 November 2011. akralena. 16 July 2012 <http://akralena.blogspot.com/2011/11/book-review-ophelia.html#!/2011/11/book-review-ophelia.html>.

08 Sep 2012

Sample Essay: The Cask of Amontillado

Poe weaves a mood of gloom, despondency and grotesque into “The Cask of Amantillado” by using various literary devices such as plot, setting, theme, etc. The plot is diabolical and simple. Planning to take revenge on Fortunato, Montresor lures him to the deep family wine vault and buries him alive in the crypt. “Every action that Montresor takes in order to redress the wrongs he has suffered at the hand of Fortunato strengthens the tale’s tone of impending doom” (Smith 225). The story takes place at dusk in an unnamed European city. It opens at the time of the carnival season and soon shifts into “a deep crypt, in which the foulness of the air caused our flambeaux rather to glow than flame” – setting up the sinister atmosphere of the story.  “The Cask of Amontillado” is a first person narrative and Montresor is the narrator. This approach exposes the workings of a criminal mind and intensifies the sense of shock and horror (Garrity 117). The main theme of story is one of revenge. “I must not only punish but punish with impunity” says Montresor. There is also the theme of reverse psychology in the plot. Montresor says if Fortunato is too busy, he will take Luchesi instead to taste the wine knowing well that Fortunato does not like Luchesi and loves rare wine and these references will persuade him to follow Montresor.

In “The Cask of Amontillado” there is a fusion of a macabre sense of humor with deep irony. Montresor keeps toasting to the health of Fortunato whom he plans to murder, as they both descend to the catacombs.  “It reflects the humor of a mind tickled by its own perversity” (Magistrale 94).  Dramatic irony occurs when Fortunato goes into the cellar unaware that he is moving towards his end. Verbal irony is present when Montresor responds “True—true…” in response to Fortunato’s remark “I will not die of a cough”.  The ultimate irony is that Montresor who seeks peace by killing Fortunato finds himself entrapped in the memories of the crime even fifty years later.

Works Cited

Garrity, Roberts Nancy (2000). Classic Middle School Literature Mystery: Mystery. Good Year Books, 2000

Magistrale, Tony (2001). Student Companion to Edgar Allan Poe. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT

Smith, A. Patrick (2002). Thematic Guide to Popular Short Stories. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002

27 Jun 2012

Sample Essay: Children, Things We Throw Away

Rickie Solinger demonstrates in the article “Race and ‘Value’: Black and White Illegitimate Babies, in the U.S.A., 1945-1965”, which can be located online,  that abortion’s controversial status in society is also an issue which reflects the power of the state on women’s bodies. For example, white women were encouraged after the war to deliver a child instead of abort it and were thereby often pushed to give their child up for adoption, whether they desired this or not. On the other hand, African-American women were encouraged to keep their children and punished, instead of aided socially and economically, because Black illegitimate children were deemed less desirable, and hence a burden, because of their color. In this context, the reader, including me, cannot help but support abortion given how the deprivation of women of this choice undermines their power over their fate and underscores their submissiveness and existence at the mercy of the state’s preconception of what is right for them; a preconception that can be often shaped by external factors like taxes and race instead of what is actually in the best interest of the woman and child. The article by Solinger is thus extremely useful in providing a comprehensive historical review of the issue of abortion, which helps contextualize the current significance of the problem.

The source by Solinger is reliable because it is based on factual historical data. Each claim is supported by references to other researchers, making the source therefore very relevant in understanding the background of abortion in the U.S and its connection to other issues like race and class. For example, as Solinger makes clear in the article, abortion is an act that has been always sought by women. However, male doctors, politicians, policy makers, and legislatives have undermined females’ capacity to make this choice based on their own preconceptions of femininity and motherhood. For example, after the Second World War when adoption among white unmarried women became more common, male doctors generally refused to give permission to women to have an abortion, even when signs of psychological or emotional problems were evident, as they believed it undermined their femininity and future ability to be a good wife and mother. Certain doctors simply refused based on the principle that women should bear responsibility for their sexuality. This reason is in fact what motivated some doctors to deny women abortion unless they agreed also to sterilization. What is interesting and important to note is that this last scenario affected mostly the poor women of color who had no choice but to oblige and surrender to the fact that they had no power over their bodies or fate. It has become clear that Solinger relies on elaboration and detailed factual analysis to support her arguments which makes the article reliable and useful to back up a thesis regarding abortion.

This online article is also useful because putting things in historical perspective, as Solinger does, helps underline the undeniable fact that women have both before and after the significant Roe v. Wade sought abortions and a way to deal with an unexpected and undesirable pregnancy. However, the state has always found a way to control the female body, either by limiting the opportunity for abortion and/or making it against the law and thereby endangering the lives of those who sought it illegally, or by pushing white women to give up their children while encouraging Black females to keep theirs, thereby determining the fate of child and mother based on the domineering ideas of race, femininity, and class. In other words, Solinger helps the reader understand through this article how abortion remains a significant and controversial issue in the U.S because it underlines the state’s tradition in undermining women’s power over their body. It is this point that re-affirmed my belief that no government should have a say in the choices and decisions that women can take regarding their bodies and fate as women and mothers. All these reasons and evidence within the article make it a relevant source.

“The Bible’s Teaching Against Abortion” by Frank A. Pavone examines, contrary to Solinger who is concerned with facts and historical data, the religious and spiritual background regarding the issue of abortion. This online resource is presented as reliable and relevant. It is supported by dozens of Biblical excerpts. The source clarifies how abortion is one of the issues that never fails to raise heated controversy between those who support freedom of choice and independent action including with regard to matters of life and death, and a second group that remains opposed to then notion due to its deprivation of a potential, helpless and innocent human being of the chance to grow and live. The website sheds also light on how controversy regarding the morality of abortion has existed since thousands of years, even before the arrival of Christianity. Issues that served to raise disagreement with regard to the lawfulness of abortion centered throughout this extended period of time around the questions of when a fetus can be official deemed to be formed, whether or not one can view a fetus to be an independent life on its own rather than merely a part of his mother’s body and hence her property, and the rights of the individual adult to the making of a choice alike; a choice that could alter one’s life beyond what was desirable or endurable on a personal and economic level. These arguments do also shape the debate and is also strengthened by what critics describe as Biblical ambiguity about the issue of abortion. The website affirms however that when an approach is adapted that includes the analysis of Biblical ethics regarding life’s sanctity in general and does therefore not just focus on the manner of presenting the subject in the Old Testament or the lack of available evidence about the beginning and end of life in the Bible as a whole, it can be concluded that God’s Word reveals his views regarding the sanctity of life, including that which is found in the womb.

The website is thus relevant to include in the discussion of abortion because it sheds light on the spiritual and religious context shaping the issue. The fact that it is well-researched and supported by historical references and Biblical passages makes it a reliable source to comprehend the spiritual angle shaping the issue. The website helps also clarify that while the debate about abortion might appear to be mostly inspired by the controversy between secularist individualists and Biblically inspired believers, it is interesting to note that the history of abortion goes back much further in time. For instance, before Christianity’s arrival, abortion existed in Greek and Roman society, which were both unconcerned with the rights of the unborn and did not regard the fetus’ right to life as valuable as its parents’ rights to choice. Even during this time, the question about the time when the fetus was officially formed dominated the debate. With the beginning of the Bible times after the Old Testament, the question of abortion was again introduced through several passages that left people however divided about the nature of divine will concerning the subject given how these particular texts approached abortion as a loss of property rather than a problem that provokes concerns about the sanctity of life. What highlights the status of the fetus as property in the Bible is for example the idea that if a person causes a miscarriage, he must pay a fine to the husband and woman, and is thus only to be trailed for the death of a human being and receive the punishment of execution if he causes also the death of the female.

Both sources by Solinger and Pavone are thus useful to include in a paper with a thesis about abortion. The sources can be located online but this does not meant that they are not reliable. Though they approach the subject each from a different angle and perspective, one historical and one that is mostly religious and spiritual, both do nevertheless shed light on the subject and help further an understanding of what defines the controversy today.

References

Pavone, F. F. (n.d.). The Bible’s Teaching Against Abortion. Pro Life – Anti Abortion Facts and Pro-Life Arguments. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from http://www.priestsforlife.org/brochures/thebible.html

Solinger, R. (2007). Race and ˜Value: Black and White Illegitimate Babies, in the U.S.A., 1945“1965. Wiley Online Library. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0424.1992.tb00154.x/abstract

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26 Jun 2012

Sample Essay: Recessions in the United States and the Great Moderation

Introduction

Recessions surge the degree of insecurity within a society and several provoke fears and speculations. Questions such as, why are recessions not thwarted by economists and policy regulators before they occur? Are they caused by defaulting financial intuitions? Why can countries not prevent recessions by strictly governing its potential perpetrators? The essence of all these questions is, why does a recession occur, and why can we not foresee and stop it? However, the answers are many. Intense speculations and fears can cause the stock market to crash. A change in a trading partner’s foreign policies can significantly affect a country’s economy and cause inflation. An economical crisis in an acknowledged economic power can cause a recession in many other countries. Recessions can also occur when the government in a country collapses, either due to a coup d’état or due to the sudden death of a prominent leader. Similarly, the natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or wars can also cause recessions. It can be concluded that the fear of recessions stems from the fact that they degrade the lives of the common people due to factors, such as, rising unemployment rates, national debts, and the plunging valuation of a country’s currency. This paper attempts to analyze the nature of recessions by studying three periods of economic recessions in the United States: 1980–1982, 1990–1991, and 2001. As has been mentioned before, covering all the aspects or reasons behind recessions is difficult, and thus, for the purpose of this paper, Ben Bernanke’s analysis of the Great Moderation will be employed. To begin with, the Keynesian policy of economics—that views changes in the collective demands and thus, increases in spending habits as the powerhouse that propels economic growth—is considered.

Keynesian Policies and Recessions

As its name suggests, the Keynesian policy was developed or propounded by British economist John Keynes, whose work, The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money at the turn of the nineteenth century changed the way economic policies were viewed until then (Boyes and Melvin, 2010, p 218). Keynes pointed out that an economy could be in a state of equilibrium with a GDP that is less than its potential, and that in times of a recession, governments should change their economic policies in order to curb the recession (Boyes and Melvin, 2010, p 218). At a time when people believed that the government should not be directly involved in the macroeconomic policies of a country, Keynes showed that an economy cannot simply subsist on private expenditures—especially during a recession (Boyes and Melvin, 2010, p 218; Buchanan, 1977, p. 10). He imparted the knowledge that the governments should start spending more to initiate monetary outputs and incomes (Boyes and Melvin, 2010, p. 218; Buchanan, 1977, p. 10). In other words, he believed that the fear of a recession makes people want to hoard their money without trusting the banks to keep it safe for them, and this only further destabilizes the economy. Thus, to instigate people to spend and invest, the government should make changes in its policies, such as decreasing interest rates.

Research analyst, Laura Summers (2009) echoes these facts in her article on the subject. She states that the Keynesian theory views recessions as being engendered from disorders—such variability in oil prices, wars, or natural disasters—within the economic system, which affects the aggregate demands, especially in terms of investments (2009). Consequently, the situation becomes compounded by the reactions of the investors, the public, and the government. Saving within households, which is generally regarded as an indication of a healthy economy, only further worsens the recessions. Thus, a “negative feed-back loop” is created and the situation develops into a “paradox thrift” (Summers, 2009). With less money circulation, unemployment rates increase as companies have less money to spend due to decreasing consumption levels and investments. In 1977, Buchanan (p. 129) presented his proposal based on the Keynesian policy that for maintaining stability in an economy, the government should present budgets that transparently show the national targets against the expenditures, which should be followed to the tee unless there is a national emergency.

The Recession of 1980–1982

The recession of the early 1980s actually began in the 1970s and affected most of the globe in its onslaught. In the United States, the economic downfall was caused by more than a single factor. Among the many factors that contributed to this recession, the Iranian Revolution that surged up the oil prices is the most well known (Meltzer, 2010). The energy and oil crises in the 1970s accrued to bring in the inflation in 1980–1982 (Meltzer, 2010). This is direct opposition of the less number of shocks in the following period of the Great Moderation, when there were relatively lesser shocks (Bernanke, 2004). It should also be remembered that the United States was involved in an intense cold war with the communist world in this period, and that tensions were compounded by the increasing threat as both sides gained access to nuclear power—another shock. It is thus possible that the greater number of economic shocks caused this recession—in contrast to the lesser economic shocks during the Great Moderation (Bernanke, 2004). This recession thus became a double dip recession, possibly due to the mistakes made in deciding the monetary policies in this period. The W-shaped curve of the GDP in this period as shown in figure 1. represents this fact (The ABC’s of Recessions).

In 1979, the then newly appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve System, Paul Volcker[Editor1] , propounded a strict monetary policy that he believed would significantly aid in reviving the country from the recession (Meltzer, 2010). In between 1980 and 1982, inflation reached a high of 17 percent and a low of 5 percent as the monetary policies were being amended in the middle of the year (Meltzer, 2010). However, the high interest rates and employment rates continued until 1983 and 1985, respectively (Meltzer, 2010). Volcker because believed that inflation at 11 percent was getting out of hand, and its curbing should be the main goal of the government (Meltzer, 2010). The price inflation was indeed out of control as economists struggled to understand the difference between the projected and real inflation and juggled with various economic theories (Meltzer, 2010). The change of the gold standard into the floating form in reserves only aided in adjusting the exchange rate policies, but challenges on the domestic inflation rate front could not be met (Meltzer, 2010). Moreover, the Volker attempts to control the monetary policy during this recession actually instigated another recession. The strict monetary policies, which had been amended based on the Kyenesian theories, were brought in the middle of the financial year, and strategically poised to make their entrance during the elections. The banks had been asked to reduce their reserves a discount rated were brought down to 10 percent in 1980. Thus, there was a considerable increase in monetary aggregates for about five months in 1980, but once the effects of the disinflation began to be felt, the cracks of the recession began appearing again. From all these factors, it would seem that Bernanke’s (2004) observation that a recession can be caused by economists who have defaulted because they were unable to understand the economy well could be true for the 1980s recession.

The Recession of 1990–1991

Bernanke (2004) states that the three reasons for the Great Moderation that followed the 1980–1982 recession are favorable changes in the monetary policies of the country, structural changes in the economy, and good luck. The factors mentioned above show that Bernanke’s (2004) observation that the output volatility and inflation volatility increases in the 1970s and early 1980s corresponded to the poor monetary policies. Only once the macroeconomic volatility was reduced at around 1984, did the Great Moderation begin to spread roots (Bernanke, 2004). Thus, the global recession of the early 1980s ended fairly early in the United States, but it severed the power of the communists by bringing an end to the Soviet regime. The United States thus thrived in a long period of peace in the later part of the 1990s. Good monetary policies, the factor Bernanke (2004) seems to favour the most, were perhaps the most significant contributing factor for the Great Moderation. Nevertheless, the ability of a good economic structure to prosper without any economic shocks cannot be ruled out as reason for the low macroeconomic volatility of the Great Moderation (Bernanke, 2004). Thus, at the beginning of the 1990s, the United States’ economy was at its peak, but by July 1990, the country went into an eight-month long recession, and it emerged from it in March 1991 (Stock and Watson, 2002, p. 159).

The[Editor2] actual commencement of this recession can be traced back to 1987, when stock markets across the world crashed miserably (Browning, 2007). In the United States, this impact was felt relatively low, as with the elections around the corner, the reactions to this recession were almost missed. Browning (2007) states that no one remembers this recession because it did not “seriously hamper economic growth.” Thus, as Bernanke (2004) would state, the lesser number of shocks buffered the economy from a complete downfall. However, while the impact of the recession was not felt at the beginning by mid-1990, as the Gulf War gained momentum and oil prices increased, there were a few months of recession (Browning, 2007).

While the shocks were, however, felt gradually, the consumer buying behavior saved the country from suffering excessively in this period. Bernanke (2004) mentions that after the 1981–1982 fiasco, the methods by which central banks should charge interest rate became an important matter. Economist John B. Taylor developed a model based on the price and wage of the time using the Keynesian models. Bernanke (2004) believes that the employment of this model for deciding nominal interest rates could also be a significant reason behind the Great Moderation. It can also be viewed that the low impact of the 1990–1991 recession (and even the 2001 recession, as has been mentioned ahead) was due to the effectiveness of the Taylor curve model.

Stock and Watson [Editor3] (2002, p. 199–200) believe that while there were strong indications of decline in the volatility of economic activity, the real GDP had significantly decreased in the middle of 1980s. This, they state, was apparent in the difference in the rate of consumption, production of durable goods, residential fixed investment, and in the production of structures across all quarters. Thus, it can be seen that this recession did not actually affect all sectors. They too are in agreement with Bernanke (2004), who was the chairperson of the Federal System of Reserves in this period, that there is no clarity about the reasons behind the Great Moderation. They believe that it could be the improved monetary policy or Federal System changed response to the inflation from the mid-1980s onward that might be some of the reasons. They also agree with Bernanke (2004) on the point that whatever the reasons behind the Great Moderation, it did help in reducing the output volatility, which is known to edge an economy towards a healthier path.

The Recession of 2001

The recession of 2001 has been called a “short” and “shallow” recession like the 1990–1991 recession (Kliesen, 2003, p. 23). Like the 1990–1991 recession discussed above, it was occurred after a period of economic expansion and ended in November 2001, before its actual impact could be felt with full force (Kliesen, 2003, p. 23). Figure 2 shows a U-shaped GPD in the 1990–1991and 2001 recessions, an indication of typical recessions that are preceded by a period of economic expansion followed by a downfall and recovery (The ABC’s of Recessions). In fact, this does give rise to the question if every period of expansion should be carefully regulated because of the recession that can potentially follow in its aftermath (Kliesen, 2003, pp. 23–24). As the National Bureau of Economic Research states that to be called a recession, a economic downturn should last for at least nine months on an average, this “recession” falls short by this benchmark (Kliesen, 2003, p. 23). It is found that this recession was somewhat a shock to the economists (Kliesen, 2003, p. 27). Thus, economic forecasters had had overestimated the ability of the economy in this period (Kliesen, 2003, p. 27). Moreover, it was wrongly estimated that the economical growth after September 2001 was expected to decline (Kliesen, 2003, p. 27). Like the recession of 1990–1991, varied consumer spending resulted in some sectors getting affected by the recession more than the others (Kliesen, 2003, p. 28). An unexpected decline in the net exports due to the appreciation of the USD and a worldwide decline in slowdown in economic activity also contributed to this recession (Kliesen, 2003, p. 27).

Toward the end of his speech Bernanke reinstates his faith in the ability of the good monetary policies to thwart of buffer the impact of a recession by stating that even the favorable shifts in the Taylor curve in the Great Moderation period could have been instigated by good monetary policies. He makes four statements that stand by his opinion on this: (1) The monetary policies could have stabilized inflation, which in turn stabilized the structure of the economy. (2) Although shocks are thought to be exogenous events, many-a-times, these shocks are actually instigated by expansionary monetary policies. (3) A good monetary policy can also safeguard the economy against shocks by being sensitive to the distribution of the shocks. (4) Finally, alterations in the inflation expectations are actually perpetrated by monetary policies and often mistaken to be exogenous shocks, and so, a good monetary policy will negate this effect. In the 2001 as well as in the 1990–1991 recessions, the low impacts on the economy were owing to the same policies that were being followed in the wake of the 1980–1981 recessions, that is, in the Great Moderation period. Thus, the four points stated by Bernanke above could very well be the reason behind these low-impact recessions.

Conclusion

Using Bernanke’s analysis, it can be observed that in the recession of 1980–1982, the economists were probably unable to understand the economy well enough to take appropriate steps to safeguard it. It can also be concluded that the increased inconsistency in the economy, that is, more economic shocks could have furthered the decline of the economy in this period. The exact contrasting factors were found to be the reasons behind the Great Moderation in the following period. The next recession, that is, the one between 1990 and 1991, was a short one and almost neglected by the people of the country. However, economic volatility has been said to be the contributing factor behind this recession. It is also found that Bernanke’s (2004) concepts regarding the Great Moderation—that the improved monetary policies were crucial to the growth in this period—are in coherence with the findings of other researchers. The 2001 recession is comparable to the 1990–1991 one in that it resembles the short duration for which it lasted and the fact that it was followed by an period of economic expansion. It can, however, be concluded that finding the causes behind recessions is extremely difficult, and while improved monetary policies are an potential cause behind an expanding economy and vice versa, this fact cannot be marked on stone. Moreover, it can also be seen from the 1980–1982 recession that Keynesian theories, while relevant even today, should not be adhered to blindly. The Taylor curve, a important model based on the Keynesian theories has been known to be helpful in deciding the nominal interest rates of central banks. It is possible that this model was responsible for buffering the United States from the recessions of 1990–1991 and 2001 as well as for aiding the prosperity of the country’s economy during the Great Moderation—although Bernanke favors monetary policies as the major contributing factor.

References

Browning, E.S. “Exorcising Ghosts of Octobers Past: Despite Housing Slump, Crashes Such as in 1987 Likely to Stay Memories,” (October 19, 2007), The Wall Street Journal. Accessed on April 30, 2012 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119239926667758592.html

Bernanke, Ben S. Remarks by Governor Ben S. Bernanke At the meetings of the Eastern Economic Association, Washington, DC (February 20, 2004). The Great Moderation Accessed on April 30, 2012 http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/speeches/2004/20040220/default.htm.

Boyes, William and Melvin, Michael. Economics. Eagan: Cengage Learning, 2010.

Buchanan, James M. Democracy in Deficit: The Political Legacy of Lord Keynes, Online Library of Liberty, 1977.

Kliesen, Kevin L. The 2001 Recession: How Was It Different and What Developments May Have Caused It? The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (September–October, 2003), pp. 23–37.

Meltzer, Allan H. A History of the Federal Reserve—Part VIII: Volcker Imposes Monetary Austerity (1979–1986),  Futurecasts Online Magazine, 12(8) (August 1, 2010). Accessed on April 30, 2012 http://www.futurecasts.com/Meltzer,%20History%20of%20Federal%20Reserve,%20v.%202%20%28VIII%29.htm#Recession%20of%201980-1982.

Summers, Laura. Thoughts on the Current Recession: Keynesian Economics (May 1, 2009), Utah Foundation Research Brief. Accessed on April 30, 2012 http://www.utahfoundation.org/reports/?page_id=437.

Stock, James H. and Watson, Mark W. Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why? Ed. Mark Gertler and Kenneth Rogoff (April 5–6, 2002), NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, 17. Accessed on April 30, 2012
http://www.nber.org/chapters/c11075.

The ABC’s Of Recessions (August 15, 2009). Accessed on April 30, 2012 http://www.targoz.com/blog/the-abcs-of-recessions.html.

Appendix

Figure 1. The W-shaped GPD of the 1980–1982 recession shows that this was a double-dip recession

1980–1982 W Recessions

Source: The ABC’s Of Recessions (August 15, 2009). Accessed on April 30, 2012 http://www.targoz.com/blog/the-abcs-of-recessions.html.

Figure 2. The U-shaped GPD of the 1990–1991and 2001 recessions shows that they were typical recessions with a period of economic expansion followed by a downfall and recovery

1990–1991 & 2001 U Recessions

Source: The ABC’s Of Recessions (August 15, 2009). Accessed on April 30, 2012 http://www.targoz.com/blog/the-abcs-of-recessions.html.


[Editor1]YOU CAN DELETE THE COMMENT BOXES BY RIGHT CLICKING AND CHOSING DELETE COMMMENT BOX

Bernanke mentions him as well.

[Editor2]I have followed the pattern of mentioning the major attributes of each of the recessions and comparing them to Bernanke’s observations. So, the 3 basic reasons (2 if you look at the good luck factor as a consequence of the lesser number of shocks) for the Great Moderation have been mentioned for all the recessions. So Bernanke is present everywhere!

[Editor3]This is a study that agrees with Bernanke’s observations.

30 Apr 2012

Sample Essay: SocioCultural Values of Green Sea Turtle, Chelonia Mydas

Throughout the history, human beings have struggled to find a satisfactory answer to the question of identity. Some of the prehistoric philosophers made a clear distinction between body and the soul and they were known as dualists, while others considered a human body to be the active as well as passive construct in itself. The modern philosophy has been concerned more about the role of consciousness as it makes the identity of self. It is believed that a self without consciousness is nothing but a floating existence that does not have an ability to sense anything and build perception. Self that can build perception is the one that can be taken into consideration. Self-concept refers to the capability of a self to perceive its own existence through different domains like gender, sex, society, environment and race. Self-concept is not an easily comprehensible phenomenon because it differs from self-awareness in a sense that it discovers the characteristics of self through a multidimensional analysis.

Self-concept refers to phenomenon that has a broader scope for the analysis of an individual. It is more like self-assessment but is not confined to the physical characteristics of the self. According to Jopling (2000), “When applied to the question “Who am I?” the intellectualist approach would hold that it is both rational and self-evidently desirable for persons to maximize their self-awareness and their self-knowledge, with a view to rendering the self, and the conditions under which the self develops and flourishes, as transparent as possible”, (p. 59). Self-concept deals not with the temporary state of existence but it is more concerned with universal judgment of one’s capabilities.

The statement “I am bored” exemplifies the temporary state of a self because this state lasts only for a few moments of time, while the statement “I am punctual” refers to a permanent state of self. Self-concept refers to the self-assessment, self-discovery and the esteem of the concerned existence and it may change with time because of a number of factors. A negative trend in self-assessment may lead to an identity crisis as the self finds its capacities to be diminishing with time.

Erik Erikson, a famous Freudian psychoanalyst, suggests that there are eight stages of development that may shape the identity of an individual (Sharkey, 1997). It is important to be noted here that he believes that it is the childhood years that are vital to an individual’s development as the stimulus, during those years, will eventually help him in the process of self-actualization. According to him, it is the very first year of birth that helps a child to build trust in the world and that is the first phase, where the self struggles to recognize its own existence. Erikson is of the belief that an individual seeks independence at the age of 3 years and that is where the teachers can determine the level to which an individual is independent to act. If a child does not experience independence in that particular time then it develops mixed feelings of shame and doubt. An individual that has experienced this kind of treatment in childhood is going to be dependent on others as he grows up (Sharkey, 1997).

The age between 3 to 6 years is an important one to deal with because in that stage the child develops an internal stimulus to take initiatives. The one, who is ignored by his guardians in this stage, is going to suffer from a mixed feeling of anger and sadness. If the child, at this stage, is not encouraged by parents then he is going to develop an aggressive behavior. An individual, who develops this kind of feelings, can later on become a sadist and may start discouraging others (Boeree, 2006). Just because he was not given a chance to rise up, he seizes to believe that others are to be given a chance in their lifetime. The feelings like “I can’t do it” may disturb the individual psychologically.

The fourth stage of development at the age of 5 to 12, according to Erikson, determines the level of self-confidence that is to be achieved by the child. In this age, a child is ready to take up challenges and has developed sense of time and space that he lives in. It is the time, when a child is eager to develop his capabilities by getting involved in productive activities. The interaction with other individuals helps him in developing moral values that are in harmony with the society. If a child is teased or discouraged at this time then he is likely to develop a sense of inferiority, which may prove detrimental in the later stages of development because he loses confidence. The next stage of development occurs from the age of 13 to 19 years. This is where the real crisis of identity starts to emerge as the individual seeks a purpose of his existence (Boeree, 2006).

Some individuals may find themselves in the trap because of getting confused about their role in life. This confusion eventually leads to an isolated behavior as the individual experiences a continuous struggle to recognize his real role. The sixth stage of development is an emotional one because it brings confusing questions for an individual. An individual might feel afraid of getting rejected by his friends and parents and might end up in isolation. In this stage, an individual may struggle to find love for him and end up in believing that he is not loved by anyone. The sixth stage of development is the one that happens to mature individuals. An individual, in this stage of development, is more concerned about health, married life, leisure, aged parents and his own children. A person in this stage of life follows a status quo to earn a specious life for his family (Sharkey, 1997).

The eighth stage is the one that happens to an individual, who is about to die. It is where an individual seeks accountability from himself. This is where the recognition of life is made possible. Some may look into their past and feel comfortable about the way they lived, while others might feel miserable about their lives and become sad. By explaining the 8 stages of development, Erikson believes that the perception about self is formed through a set of influential stimuli that are received by an individual through societal interaction. He takes an account of two kinds of feelings that an individual may experience throughout his lifetime; one might develop a sense of success, while the other one may highlight the failures. These feelings would easily make a person or break him because they help in forming negative and positive perception about self. They really help a person in the pathway to self-discovery.

Abraham Maslow, a famous psychologist, proposed theories about motivation. His work is concerned with the factors that may help a person to solve identity crisis. Maslow believes that self-actualization is the real discovery of one’s self. He links self-actualization with the fulfillment of psychological, self-esteem and safety needs. He is of the belief that self-actualization can only be attained if a person’s needs are fulfilled. Maslow is concerned with the individuality of a person because he believes that the external environment has a negligible impact over the self as the integrity, unity and consciousness are internal capacities (Sivers, 2008). It is the external environment that brings distress and restlessness to an individual because it won’t let an individual do what he is best at.

Maslow is of the belief that a person should not let the external stimulus overpower him because it is the inner-self that provides the clues about how exactly one should act. The external stimulus brings discontent with it because it is quite different than the choices that are made by an individual. Maslow deems it important for an individual to realize his self-worth before taking guidance from an influential external stimulus. Self can only emerge if an individual provides it the way to do so (Sivers, 2008). Self-actualization is all about discovering the principles of nature that are inculcated in your moral system.

Self-actualization starts when an individual recognizes the difference between what he wants to do and what he ought to do. If he chooses to be honest then he is taking up the responsibility, which, according to Maslow, is self-actualization. People that listen to others would end up doing nothing because no one is there to help you out in difficult situations because of their selfish capacity. An individual that listens to his inner voice is the one that discovers his self (Sivers, 2008).

According to Maslow, you do not need to be concerned about what others think of what you do. The way you act can become unpopular and you may be criticized for doing it your way but it is all about how you carry yourself in that situation. You do not have to worry about how insignificant your act may look but the real worth of your act can only be realized, when you do it yourself. It is important to recognize the good and the bad so that you can act accordingly (Sivers, 2008). Finding what you are and what you are not may help you disocver your true self. This way, you can also discover the things that may be essential to consider before grooming yourself.

Maslow argues that acceptance is the key to a successful self-discovery. You need to be the one, who accepts his surroundings the way they are because it helps in cherishing relationship with nature and people. Maslow believes that human beings can discover themselves by relying heavily on their inner impulses that may help them in choosing the realistic way. The inner-self must be autonomous to make decision. For Maslow, transcending is better than coping (Sivers, 2008).

Karen Horney, a renewable thinker, would support Maslow’s theory because she believed that the drive, to identify self, originates from one’s inner self. Self-identity, for Horney, is the struggle to identify the potential of one’s own self. She believes that self-discovery helps an individual to recognize the purpose of life. Horney divides self into two parts; real and ideal self. Real self pertains to the person who you actually are, whereas the ideal self is an imaginary existence that a person wants to imitate. She presents ideal self to be the role model for an individual because it is an imaginary reflection of what a person wants to become (Solomon, 2006). Horney, like Maslow, thinks that being honest is the first step in the process of self-actualization because it helps in realizing the true potential of self. Horney believes that change is inevitable and a person needs not to be resistant to change because it makes you the person that you want to be (Dewey, 2007).

Harry Stack Sullivan, a notable psychiatrist, would develop six stages of development that, according to him, would systematically shape the behavior of an individual. Sullivan believes that people discover themselves as a component of external environment because they form their perception through the feedback that they receive from people in their surroundings. Sullivan believes that people have a “good me” and “bad me” philosophy of self, which is formed through a positive and negative feedback respectively. An individual distinguishes himself from others by affiliating the notion of “I and you” with the society. Self-system is built in a way that an individual draws security measures to handle any situation that may pop up (Nursing theories, 2011).

The negative feedback from the society develops an egoistic self. Individuals tend to show aggressiveness because of being ridiculed by the society. According to Sullivan, an individual may create self-defense techniques to avoid conflict with other individuals. The security measures may be taken by his self-system in order to avoid anxiety and frustration. The “I and you” concept dominates the thought process of these individuals and may create situations, where the individual finds himself to be the only fighter in the battle against the “bad world” (Nursing theories, 2011). Sullivan’s concept of self is similar to that of Maslow because he thinks that individual forms a perception about himself by interacting with the members of the society.

Karl Jung, an imminent psychologist, believes that self is much more than what we think of it. According to Ewen (2003), “Carl Jung At first a supporter of psychoanalysis, then broke with Freud to establish his own theory. Believed that the unconscious is extremely important but disagreed with Freud in many respects: Human nature is both good and bad. There are important instincts in addition to sexuality and aggressiveness (including individuation, the forerunner of the humanistic concept of self-actualization)”, (p. 1). He believes that culture has something to do with who we are because it makes up the identity of individuals.

Jung was of the belief that self is something more than ego and it should be analyzed through a broader perspective. It is not what we think it is. Self is what it really should be. There is some power that makes the self what it is. According to Huskinson (2004), “It is generally thought that Jung primarily developed his concept of the Self primarily from his own concept of the ‘transcendent function’, and from Eastern Mysticism, which frequently refers to notions of totality”, (p. 56).

Religion, according to Jung, is the binding factor because it gives meaning to all that you experience. Jung believes that the ones that suffer from neurosis are those that do not believe in religion. Jung put an emphasis over the fact that it is the true self of an individual that is important to be explored. The self, according to Jung, has infinite opportunities to explore in this world and it should not be confined with the domains that physique is acquainted with (Creative personal growth, 2006).

In the concluding lines it can be said that most of the philosophers consider self to be a product of societal stimulus. Many think that we are what we think we should be. The notion, that self is a product of experience, would suppress the stance of Maslow and Horney, who believe that self-actualization is what constructs the dimensions of self, while Carl Jung puts an emphasis over the fact that it is the religion that makes the true self. Whatever could be said, the ambiguity about the question of identity continues to prevail.

References

Ewen, R B. (2003), An Introduction to Theories of Personality, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ

Jopling, D A. (2000), Self-Knowledge and the Self, Routledge, New York

Huskinson, L. (2004), Nietzsche and Jung: The Whole Self in the Union of Opposites, Brunner-Routledge, New York

Solomon, I. (2006), Karen Horney and Character Disorder, Springer, New York

Boeree, G. (2006), Erik Erikson, retrieved on Apr 12, 2012, from http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/erikson.html

Sharkey, W. (1997), Erik Erikson, retrieved on Apr 12, 2012, from http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/erikson.htm

Dewey, R. (2007), Karen Horney and Self Analysis, retrieved on Apr 12, 2012, from http://www.intropsych.com/ch13_therapies/karen_horney_and_self-analysis.html

Sivers, D. (2008), Maslow’s 8 ways to self-actualize, retrieved on Apr 12, 2012, from http://sivers.org/maslow

Creative personal growth, 2006, Carl Jung and his ideas on self, retrieved on Apr 12, 2012, from http://www.creative-personal-growth.com/carl-jung.html

Nursing theories, (2011), Sullivan’s interpersonal theory, retrieved on Apr 12, 2012, from http://nursingplanet.com/theory/Sullivan’s_interpersonal_theory_of_personality.html

13 Mar 2012

Sample Essay: Work Ethic

There are many aspects in the society and individuals that have shaped the economy since the years of communism to the current times of capitalism. These factors are responsible for the former and current work ethics amongst people. In addition, the generational and cultural trends in the world have become distinct and this is a matter of concern as some of the trends are profitable while others lead to economic losses. The discussion in this paper examines the changes in cultural trends, economic situations and employee-employer relations.

What cultural/generational trends can you identify in employee relations and work ethics discussed in the two articles?

In the two articles, the matter of unemployment stands out. It is evident that the relations between employers and employees are not very profound and the Japanese case is used as a referral point. Between the two generations, it is evident that the way individuals relate to their employers is not usually appropriate. A case example is Masao Ohashi who after being jobless for over 15 years still cannot apply work ethics when applying for unemployment benefits. It is evident that the way individuals relate is astounding and this has led to the fall of many people thus leading to the probable unemployment rates in Japan (Thomton, 1998, p. 2). It is evident that there is a difference in generations because the way people relate is usually changing with times. The other matter that is of concern is the freeters. These are people who do not have a stationary workplace but are constantly changing jobs (Takashi, 2006, para. 9). These people pose a risk as they eventually make the economy to collapse since their productivity levels cannot be measured. In a survey carried out in Japan, people tend to switch from one job to the other and this leads to the overall decline of the work balance. In the long run, they may end up jobless, which may lead to an overall decline in the economic activities in the country.  Employees related poorly with their employers, but there has been a positive gradual change in recent years.

What aspects of this social, cultural, and economic situations described in the two articles would you attribute to communitarian and/or individualistic cultural tendencies?

There are many aspects of the community that have been changing and are perceived to go through constant changes, and the most notable is the way in which people relate. In earlier generations, people related with each other on the basis of communism. In the past communism world, people were forced to dress and think in the same way. This collectiveness meant that individuals had to develop unilateral ideas, which meant that they were subjected to the same treatment in the society. This led to stagnation in economic and social growth. This was a negative issue since it stood in the way of progress (John, 2000, p. 1). It is important to encourage individualistic ideas and this means that the communist ideologies were not favorable to the overall growth of the economy and individual strengths. The changing world has changed communist ideologies since people are becoming open minded and moving away from the unity of thoughts and ideas.

Difference in Japan and U.S in regards to employee-employer relations, unemployment, and work ethics

There is a great difference in the two countries in regard to these factors. This is because in Japan, the relations between the employer and the employee have not yet been fully realized and this has led to overall strain in the workplace. In the United States, the relations between the employers and employees are more profound in comparison with Japan. In addition to this, the unemployment rates in the two countries are high. However, the rates of unemployment in Japan continue to rise as more companies lay off workers. This negatively affects the economy and the country (Yūji, 2007, p. 29).

Conclusion

It is evident in the researched articles and reports that there is a significant change in terms of the social and economic structure. These trends have led to the distinct characteristics that are meant to dictate the way in which human beings relate with each other. Overall, culture has shaped the economic situations in many countries. In conclusion, therefore, there is no ultimate economic approach that could be termed as the best, but there are ways and means of getting the best out of all the approaches.

References

John, W. (2000). Individualism vs. Communitarianism. Journal of Social ethics , 1.

Takashi, K. (2006). Weak work ethic is holding back generation of ‘freeters’ and drifters. Japan: Japan Times.

Thomton, E. (1998). Japan Hidden jobless. Japan: Academic Search Elite.

Yūji, G. (2007). Jobless Youths and the NEET Problem in Japan. Social Science Japan Journal , 23-40.

21 Dec 2011

Sample Essay: The Blade Runner

Having heard about Blade Runner as a classic in it own right, I had high expectation from the science fiction/dystopian film featuring Harrison Ford directed by celebrated director Ridley Scott. It promised to be action packed, visually stunning and adventurous in terms of plot, narrative structure and animation effects. A good movie, for me, means integrity of vision, empathetic narration, and realism within the plot’s determining genre, i.e. the story must be believable within the definition of the genre it belongs to. I will analyze my experiences with this movie based on the above mentioned criteria.

Blade Runner, 1982, directed by Ridley Scott, is based on the Philip K. Dick science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The dystopian theme played out in the movie, set in a futuristic Los Angeles, makes the location apt because the complexity and interpenetration of living surfaces, work spaces and general infrastructure present a complex setting suited to the idea of the plot (Bukatman, S., 2008).

The moral dilemma which is central to the dystopian post human epoch visualized in the movie allows for the actors to bring a range of human emotions through suggestive placement, timing, behavioral traits and locale in the film (Bukatman, S., 2008). Jordan Cronenweth does a spectacular job with the cinematography given that the topography and the method used to unravel the plot is one rife with visual challenges. The way a futuristic dislocation is established in a book may be a matter of verbal descriptions, but to signify this information visually is a matter of using the appropriate symbols in the right combinations of action.

The background shots shows a futurist Los Angeles landscape further nuanced by sets which create two parallel levels of urban existence; the lower part of the city is dangerous, and is occupied by the poor, the underprivileged and the replicants who are mere slaves to the rich class, who live above (Bukatman, S., 2008). The placement of the higher classes above the lower classes is stratified, and made more diverse by establishing a variety of heterogeneous cityscapes. This lack of centralization, seeming to rejecting cinematically the idea of location by creating diverse spots of action which are all part of a conceptual unity delivered on the promise for visual and narrative brilliance.

The film succeeds spectacularly within the coordinates of film noir for its path breaking visual and auditory effects. The thematic integrity of dystopia is maintained to great effect and director’s vision stands vindicated by its cult status. With literary fidelity in mind however we will have to concede with calling it a considerably successful adaptation. The integration of necessary elements from the book, by way of futuristic sets, and great editing and visual effects made the story come alive.

Harrison Ford as Decard does a commendable job, displaying a range of emotional expressivity; from the tender suggestion romance with his robot colleague to the final dilemma trying to confront his own existential dilemma. The layers of meaning are further developed by showing how the upper class is subjecting humanoids to slavery and hints at the question of race, identity and human dignity by suggesting that man is defined by the role he plays in society (Bukatman, S., 2008). Consequently, can someone who is fixed to the performance of his duty with no scope for his personal emotional development be called human?

Thus this film delivers on all my criteria, and I am at liberty to say this film worked for me. Because it satisfied my experience with the things I was looking for, namely action, integrity and visual effects way ahead of its time.

Works Cited

Bukatman, S., Blade Runner; BFI Modern Classics. British Film Institute, 2008.

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