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Tag Archives: people
Posted: July 25, 2016 at 3:51 pm
a’-i (`ay, written always with the definite article, ha-`ay, probably meaning “the ruin,” kindred root, `awah):
(1) A town of central Palestine, in the tribe of Benjamin, near and just east of Bethel (Genesis 12:8). It is identified with the modern Haiyan, just south of the village Der Diwan (Conder in HDB; Delitzsch in Commentary on Genesis 12:8) or with a mound, El-Tell, to the north of the modern village (Davis, Dict. Biblical). The name first appears in the earliest journey of Abraham through Palestine (Genesis 12:8), where its location is given as east of Bethel, and near the altar which Abraham built between the two places. It is given similar mention as he returns from his sojourn in Egypt (Genesis 13:3). In both of these occurrences the King James Version has the form Hai, including the article in transliterating. The most conspicuous mention of Ai is in the narrative of the Conquest. As a consequence of the sin of Achan in appropriating articles from the devoted spoil of Jericho, the Israelites were routed in the attack upon the town; but after confession and expiation, a second assault was successful, the city was taken and burned, and left a heap of ruins, the inhabitants, in number twelve thousand, were put to death, the king captured, hanged and buried under a heap of stones at the gate of the ruined city, only the cattle being kept as spoil by the people (Joshua 7; 8). The town had not been rebuilt when Jos was written (Joshua 8:28). The fall of Ai gave the Israelites entrance to the heart of Canaan, where at once they became established, Bethel and other towns in the vicinity seeming to have yielded without a struggle. Ai was rebuilt at some later period, and is mentioned by Isa (Isaiah 10:28) in his vivid description of the approach of the Assyrian army, the feminine form (`ayyath) being used. Its place in the order of march, as just beyond Michmash from Jerusalem, corresponds with the identification given above. It is mentioned also in post-exilic times by Ezra 2:28 and Nehemiah 7:32, (and in Nehemiah 11:31 as, `ayya’), identified in each case by the grouping with Bethel.
(2) The Ai of Jeremiah 49:3 is an Ammonite town, the text probably being a corruption of `ar; or ha-`ir, “the city” (BDB).
Posted: July 21, 2016 at 2:24 am
I want to say from the beginning that one does not need to agree with a philosophy to appreciate it. Obviously most of the critics and some of the supporters have never read this work. One need not approve of communism to give the Communist Manifesto a high rating but it is certainly a must read.
Ayn Rand’s philosophy is known as objectivism. It is essentially having a objective reason and purpose for every action you commit.
Atlas Shrugged is one of two major novels that outlines her entire philosophy while trying to show how it would be applied. That is why this book deserves a 5 star rating. Any philosopher can give generic ideas with no application. Rand puts it all on the line to show exactly how she means her philosophy to be interpreted.
The student of philosophy will be able to understand her philosophy quite clearly after reading this. If you agree with her philosophy you should encourage others to read this book. If this book is so clearly wrong then you should encourage others to read it so they will see how clearly wrong it is. Those that want it burned or object to others reading it know that she offers some very strong arguments for a position they clearly do not want to be true.
This book takes place probably around the 1950s. It is centered around the industrial sector of the U.S., the only government that has not become a People’s State. The main character in this book is Dagny Taggart. She is a no-nonsense VP of Operations for the largest railroad in the world. She is intelligent and is solely driven to keeping her RR as the best.
The times are dim and getting dimmer. In the beginning the country is in a recession of sorts and it is up to Taggart and others like her to save the country.
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Posted: July 18, 2016 at 3:39 pm
Libertarian Party of Alabama
4 hours ago
Libertarian Party mourns slain officers in Baton Rouge
ALEXANDRIA Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee, states, “The events in Baton Rouge are heartbreaking and we all mourn with the people of Baton Rouge as they grapple with the loss of innocent lives.”
“After every tragedy, people rightfully want to find the cause and prevent future tragedies. Many will use this event to call for gun control and more laws. However, the real solution here would be fewer laws.”
Sarwark continues, “If we truly want to reduce situations in which police are pitted against the people they are sworn to protect, we would end the war on drugs. The constant escalation of prohibitionist policies have increasingly pitted police and citizens against each other for decades and are largely responsible for the militarization of police forces across America.
“Ending the violence means ending the policies that lead to black and grey markets, the highest incarceration rate in the world, and reduced economic opportunities in the formal labor market for huge swaths of Americans. Ending the violence means ending the war on drugs.
“Ending the drug war will do more to heal the divide between police and citizens than any other measure. It is the best way to save lives: both those of innocent police officers and innocent citizens.”
The Libertarian Party is the only political party in America devoted to protecting all rights of all human beings all the time. As part of this mission, the Libertarian Party seeks a minimal set of just laws that defend the rights of individuals and are equally applied to all. … See MoreSee Less
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Posted: at 3:32 pm
by Adrian Calderone
Mr. Adrian Calderone provides a thorough explanation of transhumanism, which attempts to free mankind from its biological limitations by employing such methods as genetic engineering. Calderone traces its foundations back to secular humanism the modern religion of the Western world.
Homiletic & Pastoral Review
28 31 & 41 43
Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA, June 2008
The political philosopher Francis Fukuyama called it the world’s most dangerous idea.1 He was talking about transhumanism.
Just what is transhumanism and why is it so dangerous?
Like many other ideas, it can imply different things to different people. But generally, transhumanism refers to an attempt to free humanity from its biological limitations. Today, transhumanists advocate the use of various types of rapidly developing technology, especially bioengineering, to accomplish this purpose. Some transhumanists imagine the creation of a new type of human being. That is, a human being with biological features so far removed from natural human biology as to warrant classification as “post-human.”
Transhumanists hold firmly to Darwinian materialism. We know that Darwinian evolution is predicated upon the assumptions of random variation and natural selection. But suppose, through genetic engineering, we can create our own genetic variations perhaps with inheritable traits. The transhumanists hope to achieve an artificial, human-guided evolution, at least on the level of microevolution, as well as the creation of “post humans.”
Ask a person what he considers to be the most dangerous thing in the world and most probably the answer would be atomic weapons they can eradicate several hundred thousand human beings in a flash. But with transhumanism, you can displace nature with technology and subvert natural human biology.
Sir Julian Huxley is credited with coining the term transhumanism in 1957.2 He wrote:
As we shall see later, use of the term transhumanism predates Sir Julian Huxley by several centuries. Nevertheless, we can credit Sir Julian with putting the name to a modern movement that seeks to modify human beings through technological manipulation in order to transcend human biology. The technology can include genetic engineering and interfaces between the human body and machines.
One definition offered by the World Transhumanist Association3 is this:
Transhumanists see it as an ethical imperative to use technology to transcend physical barriers to human potentials, and to proceed with their project of humanly guided evolution.
What has happened in the past century is the development of science and technology at a pace so fast and in so many different specialties that one scarcely has the opportunity to understand one development before it is made obsolete by another development.
There are four areas especially in which we’ve seen such rapid advancement in the past twenty to thirty years: biotechnology, information technology, wireless technology and nanotechnology.
In biotechnology we see the genetic manipulation of life. In information technology we see the ever-expanding reach of digital information processing to the point where hardly any household in the developed world is without some type of personal computer. Artificial Intelligence (AI) enables computers to “learn” from experience and modify their own operational procedures without human intervention.
As for wireless, the Internet is accessible without land lines or physical hook-ups. Everywhere you turn there is someone talking on a cell phone. Nanotechnology deals with the manufacture and use of very small particles, which can include simple materials or even tiny machines with interacting parts machines, for example, that can be introduced into the human body to cut away arterial plaque or perform operations on a submicroscopic level. We still don’t know all of the potentials of nanotechnology. Keep in mind, also, that these technologies can be merged.
These technologies enable us to do things inconceivable even a few decades ago. These new potentials present new dimensions of ethical dilemmas.
Suppose you can insert portions of the genetic material of one type of being into the genetic material of another type of being. In fact, this has been done. Who would have thought to introduce the genes of fireflies into a tobacco plant to create a plant that glows in the dark? Yet this was done over twenty years ago. The cloning of animals, transgenic plants and a host of other developments are historical events, not futuristic speculations. A U.S. patent application is on file detailing the creation of an artificial life form.4
Genetic engineering enables us to use living organisms bacteria for example as miniature drug factories to manufacture pharmaceuticals that otherwise could not be produced. Genetically modified viruses can be used to introduce modified DNA into target organisms.
But suppose one merges portions of human genetic material with portions of the genetic material of an animal an animal, say, with the genetic instructions for growth of human organs, or humans with animal features. What have we produced? And suppose that the chimerical being we’ve created can reproduce itself. What is the moral status of such beings? What is one to think about the deliberate creation of “subhuman beings” or “superhuman beings” through genetic engineering? We believe that the human soul does not arise from matter but that God creates and infuses a rational soul into a human being at conception. This is clear enough from human procreation. But what of the prospect of artificially assembling DNA, inserting that DNA into a cell, and letting that cell grow into an organism? How close do we have to be to the DNA characteristic of human beings for the organism to be considered human? Suppose a gorilla body can be combined with a human brain. Does God implant a human soul into it? How do we know unless we let the organism grow and see if it matures into a rational being? Does the possibility of salvation apply to homo artificialis as it does to homo Sapiens?
Yet genetic engineering can have legitimate therapeutic purposes, for example, to overcome naturally occurring genetic abnormalities, or to provide new cancer therapies.5 Genetic engineering and other technologies also might be used to enhance the genetic potential of healthy people, for example, to increase lifespan.
There is also now the possibility of implanting computer chips in the human brain. Neural implants, human-computer interfaces these are concepts that just a few years ago were the subjects of science fiction. Today, they are the subjects of U.S. patents.6 One should also consider the possibility of wireless communication between a neural computer implant and some remote control center. How do Catholic moral principles apply to such things? Until now, we’ve not had to think about a coherent moral position in the face of such possibilities. That’s changed.
It’s not only personal morality that needs to be addressed. We also have to think about social and political effects. One of the criticisms of all this genetic enhancement is that it will be available only to the wealthy. Will we have society stratified into classes of the “genetically enhanced” and the “genetically deprived”? What new weapons will be unleashed upon us in future wars?
As I stated earlier, Sir Julian was not the first person to conceive of a process of transhumanization. Let’s go back several centuries. Before there was a Julian Huxley there was a Dante Alighieri. Dante expressed the idea of transhumanization in Canto I of Paradiso, written sometime in the early 1300s. Dante wrote, “Transhumanizing cannot be signified in words therefore let the example suffice him for whom grace reserves the experience.”
Transhumanization is something ineffable, something beyond the ability of words to encompass. It can only be experienced, and that is a matter of grace. One can also refer to the Epistles, where St. Paul often talks about being a new creation in Christ and being sons of God through faith in Christ.7
Transhumanization is not a concept alien to Christianity. Quite the contrary, it is our Christian hope. But in Christianity transhumanization is a matter of God’s grace. Although we can begin the process of transhumanization in this life by living in the state of God’s grace, completion of the process is meant for a future life, an eternal life, of intimacy with God. In our present life in this world, grace does not destroy or change human nature, but works through human nature and perfects it. Through grace we are transformed into images of Christ. But we must await our resurrection for final transformation in the world to come. In the journey of our lives we must take as our companions the Christian virtues of patience and perseverance.
How, then, did we get from Christian transhumanization to biological transhumanism?
I want to offer a very cursory review of certain philosophical developments that have led up to secular humanism, which has become the de facto religion of the Western world. Transhumanism is an extension of secular humanism. If we use the image of a tree, secular humanism is the trunk, transhumanism one of the branches and the roots are planted in the soil of unbelief. This unbelief is not just ordinary atheist materialism. That’s been around for millennia. Rather, it is something just a few centuries old. It is not so much a non-God view as it is an anti-God view. More particularly, it is an anti-Christianity percolating through modern culture.
First, let’s turn to the Enlightenment, which is a foundation of modern secular humanism. The Enlightenment embraced a turning away from religion in general and Christianity in particular. The Enlightenment thinkers weren’t all atheists. Many were deists who believed in a creator, but one not personally involved with creation on an ongoing basis.
However, the question arises: if you don’t put your trust in a God who takes a personal interest in the world, then in what do you put your trust? Throughout history there runs the theme of salvation and the hope of it. In what do we place our trust? Where is our hope?
The Enlightenment thinker places his trust in the human potential to remake society by human reasoning and human will.8 The basis for hope is science and technology. Remember that the Enlightenment period of the 1700s was also a period of the rapid growth of scientific discovery. It must have been intoxicating. Here was the way to truth in the scientific method. One aspect, then, of the Enlightenment is positivism, a philosophy based upon sense experience and relying only on scientific observations for knowledge about the external world. Concomitantly, Enlightenment thought rejects tradition, the supernatural and revelation.
Now, social order cannot be achieved without values. So, where do values come from? The scientific method doesn’t provide values, only data. Also, for some time philosophy in Europe had been turning inward, away from the objectively knowable external world into the subjective operations of the mind. Eventually, there came from this a subjectivity with respect to values, or moral relativism.
A post-Enlightenment philosopher, Nietzsche, saw inherent weaknesses in Enlightenment liberalism. But, instead of turning back to the pre-modern, common sense philosophy of Aristotle and Aquinas, he followed the thread of modern philosophy to a logical end point. God is dead. What’s more, according to Nietzsche, we killed him. God and religion became our enemies by limiting our freedom. In the end there is nothing but will to power. We are what we will to be.
The twentieth century atheistic philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was very influential in promoting existentialism.9 He was not an optimistic person. The concluding observation in one of his plays was, “Hell is other people.” Sartre defined existentialism by asserting the principle that existence precedes essence. This was the reversal of centuries of philosophical understanding that held that essence was first. This may seem like an academic issue of concern only to ivory tower philosophers, perhaps arguing over the matter at two o’clock in the morning in some cafe. But ideas have consequences, and one of the consequences of this idea is the slaughter of millions of unborn children each year.
Pro-lifers, for example, argue that the fertilized human ovum is, from the moment of conception, in essence, a human being. The attributes and powers we normally associate with fully developed humans a nervous system, the ability to move and think, self awareness, etc. are present in the human embryo as potentialities that, in the course of natural development, unfold or outwardly express themselves. In an ontological ordering essence precedes existence.
The pro-choice position, at least among some, is that an unborn child does not have the attributes and powers of a human being and is therefore not morally equivalent to a human being. In other words, existence precedes essence.
The dictum that existence precedes essence means that there is no human nature. According to Sartre, we invent and make ourselves. Sartre, like Aquinas, held that there can be no human nature unless there is a God who designs it. But Sartre took his atheism to its logical conclusion and denied the objective existence of human nature. If we do not believe that there is a human nature created by God, there is no level of dehumanization to which we cannot fall in our headlong rush to engineer human evolution.
We are running up against a wall of misconceptions, prejudices, faulty valuations and linguistic confusions firmly cemented together by existentialism. It takes great ingenuity and effort to render a population oblivious to common sense and reality. But our educational institutions, mass media and public officials have proven up to the task.
Modern humanism, founded upon Enlightenment thought and modified by the influence of Nietzsche and Sartre, has several important features.
Add to these features of secularism the powers given to us by technology, and the result is transhumanism. Transhumanism is the new face of eugenics, with this difference: in the older conception of eugenics human biological reproduction is limited by law or social pressure to those deemed to have the physical and intellectual qualifications defined by the ruling elite. It is like breeding horses or dogs. But the biology of reproduction remains natural. With transhumanism the biology is engineered.
The Church has begun to deal with transhumanism. The 2002 document of the International Theological Commission entitled Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God addresses some of the issues I have mentioned. This document warns against mankind usurping the role of God. “Neither science nor technology are ends in themselves; what is technically possible is not necessarily also reasonable or ethical.”11 The document also deals with cloning, germ line genetic engineering, enhancement genetic engineering and therapeutic interventions.12
But there is an ethical labyrinth to journey through that becomes ever more complex. In trying to help students find their way through complex philosophical ideas, one philosophy teacher used the metaphor of the golden string given by Ariadne to Theseus to find his way through the labyrinth after killing the Minotaur.’13
What’s our golden thread? How do we find our way through the ethical labyrinth of transhumanism? It has to be the fundamental principles derived from our religion. What does it mean to be a human person? What is our mission and destiny as human beings? If you exclude God from consideration there is no way through the labyrinth, even for well-meaning secularist philosophers such as Fukuyama who do see the dangers ahead.
Through it all we have to remember that the world has lost sight of something precious a vision seen only through the eyes of faith the vision of something supernatural and eternal.14 There will always be a little flame of faith shining in the wilderness of this world. The spirits of darkness are afraid of it and try to snuff it out, because as long as it shines there is the potential for the world to catch fire and for the grace of God to illuminate everything. As Catholics we have to keep this vision always in sight for ourselves and continually present it to the world.
Mr. Adrian Calderone graduated from Manhatten College with B. Ch. E. and M. E. degrees in chemical engineering. He spent more than three years living and traveling in Asia. Having earned his Juris Doctorate from New York Law School, he now practices intellectual property law. He and his wife Jo live in Brooklyn, New York and have three daughters. His last article in HPR appeared in October 2007.
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Posted: at 3:31 pm
Question: “What is atheism?”
Why does atheism even exist? Why doesnt God simply reveal Himself to people, proving that He exists? Surely if God would just appear, the thinking goes, everyone would believe in Him! The problem here is that it is not Gods desire to just convince people that He exists. It is Gods desire for people to believe in Him by faith (2 Peter 3:9) and accept by faith His gift of salvation (John 3:16). God clearly demonstrated His existence many times in the Old Testament (Genesis 6-9; Exodus 14:21-22; 1 Kings 18:19-31). Did the people believe that God exists? Yes. Did they turn from their evil ways and obey God? No. If a person is not willing to accept Gods existence by faith, then he/she is definitely not ready to accept Jesus Christ as Savior by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Gods desire is for people to become Christians, not just theists (those who believe God exists).
The Bible tells us that Gods existence must be accepted by faith. Hebrews 11:6 declares, And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. The Bible reminds us that we are blessed when we believe and trust in God by faith: Then Jesus told him, Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (John 20:29).
The existence of God must be accepted by faith, but this does not mean belief in God is illogical. There are many good arguments for the existence of God. The Bible teaches that Gods existence is clearly seen in the universe (Psalm 19:1-4), in nature (Romans 1:18-22), and in our own hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). With all that said, the existence of God cannot be proven; it must be accepted by faith.
At the same time, it takes just as much faith to believe in atheism. To make the absolute statement God does not exist is to make a claim of knowing absolutely everything there is to know about everything and of having been everywhere in the universe and having witnessed everything there is to be seen. Of course, no atheist would make these claims. However, that is essentially what they are claiming when they state that God absolutely does not exist. Atheists cannot prove that God does not, for example, live in the center of the sun, or beneath the clouds of Jupiter, or in some distant nebula. Since those places are beyond our capacity to observe, it cannot be proven that God does not exist. It takes just as much faith to be an atheist as it does to be a theist.
Atheism cannot be proven, and Gods existence must be accepted by faith. Obviously, Christians believe strongly that God exists, and admit that Gods existence is a matter of faith. At the same time, we reject the idea that belief in God is illogical. We believe that Gods existence can be clearly seen, keenly sensed, and proven to be philosophically and scientifically necessary. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world (Psalm 19:1-4).
What is atheism?
Posted: at 3:30 pm
Supreme Court Declares That the Second AmendmentGuarantees an Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms — June 26, 2008
Fairfax, VA Leaders of the National Rifle Association (NRA) praised the Supreme Courts historic ruling overturning Washington, D.C.s ban on handguns and on self-defense in the home, in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller.
This is a great moment in American history. It vindicates individual Americans all over this country who have always known that this is their freedom worth protecting, declared NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. Our founding fathers wrote and intended the Second Amendment to be an individual right. The Supreme Court has now acknowledged it. The Second Amendment as an individual right now becomes a real permanent part of American Constitutional law.
Last year, the District of Columbia appealed a Court of Appeals ruling affirming that the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms, and that the Districts bans on handguns, carrying firearms within the home and possession of functional firearms for self-defense violate that fundamental right.
Anti-gun politicians can no longer deny that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right, said NRA chief lobbyist Chris W. Cox. All law-abiding Americans have a fundamental, God-given right to defend themselves in their homes. Washington, D.C. must now respect that right.
Read the opinion (1 MB)
Highlights From The Heller Decision
On March 18, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in District of Columbia v. Heller.
Listen to the audio recording of the oral arguments (RealPlayer required)
View the transcript
The Court announced its decision to take the case in which plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of the District’sgun ban last Fall. The District of Columbia appealed a lower courts ruling last year affirming that the Second Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and that the Districts bans on handguns, carrying firearms within the home, and possession of loaded or operable firearms for self-defense violate that right.
In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that [T]he phrase the right of the people, when read intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual. The D.C. Circuit also rejected the claim that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because D.C. is not a state.
The case marks the first time a Second Amendment challenge to a firearm law has reached the Supreme Court since 1939.
Briefs filed on behalf of Heller and Washington D.C.
Amicus brief filed by the United States
Amicus briefs filed in support of Heller
Click the links below to read recently filed amicus briefs in support of Dick Anthony Heller in the upcoming case District of Columbia v. Heller.
Click the links below to read recently filed amicus briefs in support of Washington D.C.
Posted: July 16, 2016 at 11:05 pm
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[tags: Scientific Research ] :: 15 Works Cited 1296 words (3.7 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Mortality and Immortality in Ode to a Nightingale – When talking about poetry and Romanticism, one of the most common names that come to mind is John Keats. Keats lifestyle was somewhat different from his contemporaries and did not fit the Romantic era framework, this is most likely the reason he stood out from the rest. Keats wrote many poems that are still relevant, amongst them Ode to a Nightingale, which was published for the very first time in July, 1819. The realistic depth and lyrical beauty that resonates in Ode to a Nightingale is astounding…. [tags: romantic poet, romantic era, john keats] :: 8 Works Cited 1445 words (4.1 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Theme of Immortality in Literature – For centuries people have desired to transcend the limits of a temporary life, yearning for the ultimately unattainable goal of immortality. Poets have also expressed in their works the desire to remain as they are with their beloved despite time and death. Although William Shakespeares Sonnet 55 and Edmund Spensers Sonnet 75 from Amoretti both offer immortality through verse, only Spenser combines this immortality with respect and partnership, while Shakespeare promises himself immortality as long as the sonnet continues to be read…. [tags: Literary Analysis ] 1122 words (3.2 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Evolution, Immortality, and Humanity – Our ancient ancestors in the Neolithic Era only lived for an average of 20 years, an age now considered to be only the beginning of adulthood. As human technology becomes more sophisticated and knowledge of the ourselves and of nature expands, humans develop longer lifespans and the general quality of life improves. In fact, we have more than tripled the lifespan of our ancestors while retaining much of the same biological fitness. Humans have withdrawn from natural selection because technologies (not the evolution of the body) allow humans to adapt to the ever-changing natural world…. [tags: Genomics, Genome] :: 10 Works Cited 2431 words (6.9 pages) Term Papers [preview] Infamy vs. Immortality: Beowulf and Gilgamesh – Immortality, monstrosity, infamy, catastrophe, might, and courage are all aspects of the epic legends of Beowulf and Gilgamesh. Though they subsisted in two utterly different historical eras, these epic heroes have numerous similarities and differences. For example, while they were booth deemed epic heroes, their mortalities were not equal. Beowulf had superhuman qualities such as having the strength of thirty men, but was born a mortal man. On the contrary, Gilgamesh was a demigod as he was born two-thirds god and one-third human by Ninsun, the goddess of dreams and cows…. [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon] 605 words (1.7 pages) Better Essays [preview] Homer and Immortality – Homer and Immortality Immortality is one the subject of much mythology and folklore. From the stories of the gods themselves, to Achilles and the Styx, to vampires and present day Christian beliefs in an afterlife, the concept of immortality has been with humanity since the beginning of humanity. The wise and ever edifying Homer leaves myths of the elusive ever-lasting life out of his works; did Homer’s Achilles not wear armor. The Odyssey is a story of mortality. Limitation and suffering are what define humanity, yet they are also what give life merit…. [tags: Papers] 540 words (1.5 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] The Immortality Pill – Originally when I was posed this question my immediate response was to return the Immortality pill (IP). The reason I initially responded this way, and still remain set on my belief had plenty to do with the factors involved. First, if I were to take the Immortality pill I would already know my horrific demise, such as an accident, war victim, or suicide. Secondly, just as suicide effects not only the person committing the act, but more so the family and friends in that individuals life, yet the same concept is present when making the decision to take this pill…. [tags: essays research papers] 598 words (1.7 pages) Better Essays [preview] Ozymandias and Immortality – Ozymandias and Immortality Ozymandias expresses to us that possessions do not mean immortality. Percy Shelley uses lots of imagery and irony to get his point across throughout the poem. In drawing these vivid and ironic pictures in our minds, Shelley explains that no one lives forever, and neither do their possessions. Shelley expresses this poems moral through a vivid and ironic picture: On the pedestal of the statue, there are these words, My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!(10-11)…. [tags: Papers] 427 words (1.2 pages) FREE Essays [view] The Allure of Vampires and Immortality – The Allure of Vampires and Immortality Humanity has always been fascinated with the allure of immortality and although in the beginning vampires were not a symbol of this, as time passed and society changed so did the ideas and perceptions surrounding them. The most important thing to ask yourself at this point is ‘What is immortality?’ Unfortunately this isn’t as easily answered as asked. The Merriam Webster Dictionary says immortality is ‘the quality or state of being immortal; esp : unending existence’ while The World Book Encyclopedia states it as ‘the continued and eternal life of a human being after the death of the body.’ A more humorous definition can be found in Th… [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Essays] 1033 words (3 pages) FREE Essays [view] Death and Immortality in The Epic of Gilgamesh – Death and Immortality in The Epic of Gilgamesh The search for immortality has been a major concern for many men and women all throughout history. True love and immortality in life would be a dream come true to many. To spend time with a special someone, the person one feels closest to, and never have to say good-bye would greatly appeal to most people. But when death steps into the picture, even with all the pain and devastation, one starts to re-evaluate themselves. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh explores the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend and brother, Enkidu…. [tags: The Epic of Gilgamesh] 1379 words (3.9 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Gilgamesh and the Quest for Immortality – Gilgamesh and the Quest for Immortality The stories of the hunt for immortality gathered in the Epic of Gilgamesh depict the conflict felt in ancient Sumer. As urbanization swept Mesopotamia, the social status shifted from a nomadic hunting society to that of a static agricultural gathering society. In the midst of this ancient “renaissance”, man found his relationship with the sacred uncertain and precarious. The Epic portrays the strife created between ontological nostalgia for a simpler time and the dawn of civilization breaking in the Near East…. [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 1044 words (3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Immortality and Myth in The Age of Innocence – Immortality and Myth in The Age of Innocence Edith Whartons books are considered, by some, merely popular fiction of her time. But we must be careful not to equate popularity with the value of the fiction; i.e., we must not assume that if her books are popular, they are also primitive. Compared to the works of her contemporary and friend, Henry James, whose books may seem complex and sometimes bewildering; Whartons The Age of Innocence appears to be a simplistic, gossipy commentary of New York society during the last decade of the 19th century*…. [tags: essays papers] 3237 words (9.2 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Search for Immortality Depicted in The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey – Through the many of mankinds tales of adventure the search for immortality is a very common theme. Many heroes have made it the objective of their travels and adventures. This is no different in The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey. The heroes in both are tempted by the offer of immortality, however each of them turns it down for their own reasons. In The Odyssey, Odysseus rejects the offer of immortality from the goddess Calypso long after he discovers the true nature of the afterlife after travelling to Hades…. [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey] :: 1 Works Cited 858 words (2.5 pages) Better Essays [preview] Kierkegaard and P.M. Moller on Immortality – Kierkegaard and P.M. Moller on Immortality P.M. Moller and His Relation to S.A. Kierkegaard Although virtually unknown today outside of Danish philosophical circles, Moller (1794-1838) was, during his lifetime, esteemed as one of Denmarks most loved poets, and beginning in 1831 he held the position of professor of philosophy at the University of Denmark. While at the university Moller taught Moral and Greek Philosophy, and his early philosophical position has been regarded as Hegelian. Kierkegaard began his university studies in 1830, and the young professor made a deep impression upon him…. [tags: Essays Papers] 2281 words (6.5 pages) FREE Essays [view] Man at the Brink of Immortality – Man at the Brink of Immortality From the earliest civilizations arose an innate desire to survive in any given environment. Those that chose to fight deaths henchmen, famine and war, developed more advanced agricultural techniques and created complex social structures. The primal instinct to exist drove humanity to proliferate across the world, as many populations boomed, seemingly without bound. Throughout history, this fervent yearning for life was shared by the predominant masses, but the inevitable befell every person on earth…. [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers] :: 5 Works Cited 1868 words (5.3 pages) Term Papers [preview] Search for Immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh – The Search for Immortality In The Epic of Gilgamesh the main character, Gilgamesh, is searching for immortality. This want is brought about by deep feelings held by Gilgamesh for his dead friend Enkidu. From this, Gilgamesh finds himself being scared of dying. This fear pushes Gilgamesh to search for the power of immortal life, which is believed to be held only by women because of the fact that they can reproduce. This takes him on a long and tiresome journey to a land where no mortal has gone before…. [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 725 words (2.1 pages) FREE Essays [view] Immortality and Symbolism in John Keat’s Nightingale Ode – The nightingale and the discussion about it are not simply about a bird or a song but about human experience in general. Nightingale is not an eternal entity. There are many images of death within the poem. The images are particular and sensuous, but not highly visual. Nightingale experiences a sort of death but actually it is not a real death nightingale is mysterious and even disappears at the end of the poem but nightingale itself is symbol of continuity or immortality and is universal and undying in contrast with the morality of human beings…. [tags: Poetry Analysis, Poem Analysis] 541 words (1.5 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] The Immortality and Blindness to a Dark Continent – The Immortality and Blindness to a Dark Continent Joseph Conrads s novel Heart of Darkness portrays an image of Africa that is dark and inhuman. Not only does he describe the actual, physical continent of Africa as so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness, (Conrad 2180) as though the continent could neither breed nor support any true human life. Conrad lived through a time when European colonies were scattered all over the world. This phenomenon and the doctrine of colonialism bought into at his time obviously influenced his views at the time of Heart of Darkness publication…. [tags: Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad Analysis] 1683 words (4.8 pages) FREE Essays [view] Immortality And Mortality In The Economic Sciences – Sam Vaknin’s Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites Roberto Calvo Macias, a young author and thinker from Spain, once wrote to me that it is impossible to design a coherent philosophy of Economy without accounting for the (sad?) fact that we are mortals. This insight is intriguing. It is not that we refrain from Death in dealing with matters economic. What are estate laws, annuities, life insurance policies – but ways to cope with the Great Harvester…. [tags: essays research papers] 1168 words (3.3 pages) FREE Essays [view] Reaction Paper On Immortality On Ice – Reaction Paper On Immortality On Ice The movie that we watched was about reviving a person from the dead. This is said to be done in the future but they had already started researching how to use ice as a power to revive a clinically dead person. They used ice as a method to preserve a body and now they are planning on how to revive a person through the use of nanotechnology that can repair all the cells that were ruptured n the freezing process…. [tags: Movie Film Reaction] 1539 words (4.4 pages) FREE Essays [view] Immortality And Resurrection: The Dichotomy Between Thought and Physicality. – In religion the concept of life after death is discussed in great detail. In monotheistic religions, in particular the Christian theology, death is a place where the soul, the eternal spirit that is part of you, transcends or descends to depending on if you go to heaven or hell. The argument calls for a form of immortality of the soul and a lack of immortality of the bodythe soul lives forever, the body perishes. John Hick in his excerpt from Immortality and Resurrection refutes the ideology that the spirit and body are dichotomous, one being everlasting and the other limited…. [tags: Spirituality] :: 1 Works Cited 1870 words (5.3 pages) Term Papers [preview] A Mortals Sense Of Immortality – A Mortal’s Sense of Immortality To fear death is to fear life itself. An overbearing concern for the end of life not only leads to much apprehension of the final moment but also allows that fear to occupy one’s whole life. The only answer that can possibly provide relief in the shadow of the awaited final absolution lies in another kind of absolution, one that brings a person to terms with their irrevocable mortality and squelches any futile desire for immortality. Myths are often the vehicles of this release, helping humanity to accept and handle their mortal and limited state…. [tags: essays research papers] 1788 words (5.1 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Courage, Virtue, and the Immortality of the Soul: According to Socrates – In the Laches and the Phaedo, courage and virtue are discussed in depth. Also, arguments for the possibility of the existence of the immorality of the soul are given in the Phaedo. In the Laches, Socrates and two generals, Nicias and Laches, wrestle with how exactly to define courage. After discussing and working their way through two definitions of courage, Nicias proposes a third definition of courage. However, this definition of courage that he proposes is actually the definition of virtue. When the dialogue comes to an end, no definition of courage has been reached…. [tags: Philosophy ] :: 3 Works Cited 1983 words (5.7 pages) Term Papers [preview] Above Tintern Abbey and Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth – The poems, Above Tintern Abbey and Intimations of Immortality written by the poet, William Wordsworth, pertain to a common theme of natural beauty. Relaying his history and inspirations within his works, Wordsworth reflects these events in each poem. The recurring theme of natural beauty is analogous to his experiences and travels. Wordsworth recognizes the connections nature enables humans to construct. The beauty of a wild secluded scene (Wordsworth, 1798, line 6) allows the mind to bypass clouded and obscured thinking accompanied with man made environments…. [tags: poetry, natural beauty] :: 3 Works Cited 982 words (2.8 pages) Better Essays [preview] Themes of Death and Immortality in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry – Throughout Emily Dickinsons poetry there is a reoccurring theme of death and immortality. The theme of death is further separated into two major categories including the curiosity Dickinson held of the process of dying and the feelings accompanied with it and the reaction to the death of a loved one. Two of Dickinsons many poems that contain a theme of death include: Because I Could Not Stop For Death, and After great pain, a formal feeling comes. In Dickinsons poem Because I Could Not Stop for Death, Dickinson portrays what it is like to go through the process of dying…. [tags: Literary Analysis ] :: 4 Works Cited 991 words (2.8 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] Egyptian Religion and Immortality – The most noticing aspect of Egyptian religion is its obsession with immortality and the belief of life after death. This sculpture can show you this on how mummification gave upbringing to complex arts in ancient Egypt. The sculpture is the Mummy Case of Paankhenamun. The artwork is currently viewed at The Art Institute of Chicago. The sculpture was from the third period, Dynasty 22, in ancient Egypt. However, the sculpture has many features to it that makes it so unique in ancient Egypt from any other time…. [tags: essays research papers] 1397 words (4 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Desire for Everlasting Life and Gilgamesh – The desire for everlasting life or immortality has been the first and the oldest quest of mankind. At the beginning of time, man was designed to live forever. When God created Adam, he created him to dwell on the earth and to fill it with his offsprings. At no time was he told that this was a temporary arrangement. He was to live forever unless he ate from one certain tree. If he ate from that tree, then he would die. We are then left with several questions, if he had not eaten from that tree, would he still be alive…. [tags: immortality, Epic of Gilgamesh, Foster] 1272 words (3.6 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Epic of Gilgamesh: The Ignorance of Gilgamesh – In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgameshs pursuit for immortality is marked by ignorance and selfish desire. Desire and ignorance, as The Buddha-karita of Asvaghosha suggests, pollutes mans judgment resulting in his inability to break the cycle of birth and death. At the core of Gilgameshs desire resides his inability to accept the inevitability of death, making his rationality behind the pursuit of immortality ignorant and selfish. Implicitly, Gilgameshs corrupt desire for immortality conveys that Gilgamesh does not mature as a character…. [tags: Gilgamesh, Desire, Immortality] :: 1 Works Cited 1013 words (2.9 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Who is this Death you Speak of?: Piers Anthony’s On A Pale Horse – Who is this Death You Speak Of. According to Alan Loy McGinnis, there is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being – to help someone succeed. Piers Anthony, the author of the book On a Pale Horse, seems to agree with that statement when he writes the book series called Incarnations of Immortality, of which On a Pale Horse is the first. This book is a fascinating work of fiction that relates science to magic and expresses that human beings might need a little more help than they expect…. [tags: Incarnations of Immortality, Mythology] :: 2 Works Cited 1327 words (3.8 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Meaning of The Mind and Soul – Death and immortality Since the times of Plato and before, humans have pondered the existence of a soul and the afterlife. I am going to present my argument for the existence of a soul and the potential for surviving one’s physical death. For the purpose of my argument I will define that the meaning of the mind and soul are one and the same. The two main accepted views of the human condition are that of the physicalist and that of the dualist. The physicalist views the human condition in a purely physical state…. [tags: death, immortality, plato] :: 3 Works Cited 860 words (2.5 pages) Better Essays [preview] Free Essays – Immortality and the Epic of Gilgamesh – Immortality and the Epic of Gilgamesh Immortality – (a) the quality or state of being immortal. (b) never ending existence. Although that is the Webster definition of immortality, what is never-ending existence. That question has a different answer for everyone. Some people believe that never-ending existence happens by never physically dying, and others believe that immortality can be obtained through your children. I personally feel that your children cannot give you immortality nowadays because of all the influences outside of the home…. [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 401 words (1.1 pages) FREE Essays [view] Discussion of D.Z. Phillips Conception of Immortality – Discussion of D.Z. Phillips Conception of Immortality In his book ‘Death and Immortality’, D Z Phillips starts by asking the question: does belief in immortality rest on a mistake. The first two chapters are negative in the sense that they examine traditional philosophical, as well as common sense, conceptions of what immortality means. Phillips argues that philosophical analyses centred on the notion of immortality have generally been constructed around certain essential presuppositions: presuppositions that assume some form of continuation of personal identity after death…. [tags: Papers] 1096 words (3.1 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Ode Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth – Ode Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth In Ode: Intimations of Immortality, William Wordsworth explores the moral development of man and the irreconcilable conflicts between innocence and experience, and youthfulness and maturity that develop. As the youth matures he moves farther away from the divinity of God and begins to be corruption by mankind. What Wordsworth wishes for is a return to his childhood innocence but with his new maturity and insight. This would allow him to experience divinity in its fullest sense: he would re-experience the celestial radiance of childhood as well as the reality of his present existence…. [tags: Papers] 832 words (2.4 pages) Better Essays [preview] The Immortality of the Soul – Plato has roused many readers with the work of a great philosopher by the name of Socrates. Through Plato, Socrates lived on generations after his time. A topic of Socrates that many will continue to discuss is the idea of an immortal soul. Although there are various works and dialogues about this topic it is found to be best explained in The Phaedo. It is fair to say that the mind may wonder when one dies what exactly happens to the beloved soul, the giver of life often thought of as the very essence of life does it live on beyond the body, or does it die with it…. [tags: Philosophy ] :: 3 Works Cited 1430 words (4.1 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Epic of Gilgamesh Essay – Desperate Search for Immortality – Desperate Search for Immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh The search for immortality seems to be an obsession for many men and women all throughout history. In the Epic of Gilgamesh a man investigates the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend, his brother Enkidu. That man, Gilgamesh, feeling the fear of the possibility of his own mortality which was before unrealized before the death of Enkidu, searches for a way to preserve himself. Is it truly that Gilgamesh searches for a physical immortality or more of a spiritual immortality…. [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 830 words (2.4 pages) FREE Essays [view] The Search for Immortality in On the Beach at Night and Sunday Morning – The Search for Immortality in On the Beach at Night and Sunday Morning The search for immortality is not an uncommon one in literature. Many authors and poets find contentment within the ideals of faith and divinity; others, such as Whitman and Stevens, achieve satisfaction with the concept of the immortality of mortality. This understanding of the cycle of death and rebirth dominates both Walt Whitman’s “On the Beach at Night” and Wallace Stevens’ “Sunday Morning” and demonstrates the poets’ philosophies of worldly immortality…. [tags: Papers] 698 words (2 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] Immortality in the Soul – Humanity is in a constant process to better themselves, as a result of their self-transcending nature. The purpose of this process is to achieve an immortal soul. In order for this to occur, according to Plato, the individual must first be engaged in his Theory of Education: beginning with the Allegory of the Cave, followed by the Metaphor of the Divided Line, and then completing with the Theory of Forms. To be fully immerse in this process, an understanding of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is necessary…. [tags: Literary Analysis ] :: 4 Works Cited 1797 words (5.1 pages) Term Papers [preview] Life after Death, Reincarnation, Resurrection and Immortality of the Soul – Life after Death, Reincarnation, Resurrection and Immortality of the Soul Belief in life after death has taken many forms, some which are unique in particular religious belief systems, though; others can be found in more than one religion. ‘For most religions, life after death is an article of faith. In Western religions, the belief is founded in scriptural evidence, but for all religions the belief in life after death is the same: life after death has been promised to humans by an all powerful' There are many views of life after death in particular which have been much adhered to and much discussed by philosophers…. [tags: Papers] 1730 words (4.9 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Human Cloning Can Make Immortality a Reality – Congress, the president, foreign countries, political activists, companies, consumers, churches, ethicists, doctors, patients, and even scientists have entered the fervent debate on cloning. The March edition of the Life Extension Foundations (LEF) magazine vocally calls for American citizens to write to their Senators and stop an anti-cloning bill from passage through both Houses (See Figure 1.) While the public argues over short-term questions such as what is the definition of cloning, at what point does life begin, and is cloning bad we must examine the hidden future potential and consequences of therapeutic cloning…. [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers] :: 20 Works Cited 4046 words (11.6 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Immortality in “The Great Gatsby” – People say that “money makes the world go around.” It may, but in the novel The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald money is what causes greed and death. The novel is filled with multiple themes but one predominate theme that the author focuses on is immorality. The novel was written in the1920s which was a time that drew away from social and moral values and yearned for its greed and empty pursuit of pleasure. Gatsby, gains his wealth through bootlegging only because he wants to show Daisy his wealth…. [tags: American Literature] 800 words (2.3 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] How to Extend Human Life Span – In this day and age, humans have created the ability to manipulate a persons body and overall health to further extend their life. From simple things such as dietary changes or supplements, to life saving technology, medicine, and everything in between, the ability to make a life last longer than it would have otherwise is an amazing gift. While the future holds much opportunity for growth in the ability to extend humans lifespan, the medical abilities currently possessed offer human kind the ability to live longer than ever before…. [tags: Human Immortality] :: 4 Works Cited 952 words (2.7 pages) Better Essays [preview] Immortality Through Verse in Shakespeares Sonnet 18 and Spensers Sonnet 75 – Immortality Through Verse in Shakespeares Sonnet 18 and Spensers Sonnet 75 Desiring fame, celebrity, and importance, people for centuries have yearned for the ultimately unattainable goal of immortality. Poets, too, have expressed desires in verse that their lovers remain as they are for eternity, in efforts of praise. Though Shakespeares Sonnet 18 and Spensers Sonnet 75 from Amoretti both offer lovers this immortality through verse, only Spenser pairs this immortality with respect and partnership, while Shakespeare promises the subject of the sonnet immortality by unusual compliments and the assurance that she will live on as long as the sonnet continues to be read…. [tags: Sonnet essays] :: 8 Works Cited 1677 words (4.8 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Comparing Loss in Thomass Fern Hill and Wordsworths Ode: Intimations of Immortality – Loss of Childhood in Thomas Fern Hill and Wordsworths Ode: Intimations of Immortality Through the use of nature and time, Dylan Thomass “Fern Hill” and William Wordsworths Ode: Intimations of Immortality both address the agonizing loss of childhood. While Wordsworth recognizes that wisdom and experience recompense this loss(Poetry Criticism 370), Thomas views “life after childhood as bondage”(Viswanathan 286). As Fern Hill progresses, Thomass attitude towards childhood changes from one of happiness and fulfillment to sadness and loss…. [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays] 1796 words (5.1 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Nanotechnology: Immortality Or Total Annihilation? – Technology has evolved from ideals once seen as unbelievable to common everyday instruments. Computers that used to occupy an entire room are now the size of notebooks. The human race has always pushed for technological advances working at the most efficient level, perhaps, the molecular level. The developments and progress in artificial intelligence and molecular technology have spawned a new form of technology; Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology could give the human race eternal life, or it could cause total annihilation…. [tags: essays research papers] 2237 words (6.4 pages) FREE Essays [view] Infant Immortality – Infant Mortality in the United States Trends in infant mortality are considered to be a barometer of technology and an accurate indicator of the health of a society. Despite technological excellence and numerous social programs offered throughout the country, the infant mortality rate (IMR) in the United States continues to be a national concern. For many, infant mortality brings to mind the deprivation and poverty found in third world countries. Yet in the United States, nearly 40,000 children die every year for some of the same reasons that cause infant death in underdeveloped parts of the world (Anderson, 1987)…. [tags: essays research papers] 1521 words (4.3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Lust, Loss, and Immorality in the Little Mermaid – The Little Mermaid: Of Lust, Loss, and Immortality Under the sea, in an idyllic and beautiful garden, stands a statue of a young man cut out of cold stone for the Little Mermaid who knows nothing but the sea, the statue stands as an emblem of the mysterious over-world, a stimulus for imagination and sexual desire, an incentive for expansion of experience, and most predominately, an indication that something great and all-encompassing is missing from her existence. Traces of curiosity and a vague indication of the complexities of adult desires mark the child mermaid; in such a stage of development, the statue will suffice…. [tags: Fairy Tale Children Story] :: 3 Works Cited 1877 words (5.4 pages) Term Papers [preview] The Immorality of Cloning – The Immorality of Cloning The cloning of animals and humans disregards the common ethics of the creation of humanity. Three types of cloning currently exist. There is therapeutic cloning, DNA cloning and reproductive cloning. Therapeutic cloning does not actually make a clone, it just makes stem cells. Stem cells are capable of becoming any type of cell that they are introduced to. For example, when a stem cell is introduced to a damaged heart, it transforms itself into a healthy heart cell. Even though stem cells might be very good for helping alleviate the pain of some diseases, the best use of stem cells is making embryos…. [tags: ethics, controversy, stem cell, science] :: 5 Works Cited 1140 words (3.3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Consequences of Immorality on Students – One morning in April 1999, the calm was shattered in the town of Littleton, near Denver, Colorado. Two youths in black trench coats entered the local high school and began shooting at students and teachers. They also detonated bombs. The perpetrators, merely 17 and 18 years old ended the massacre by taking their own lives. Regrettably, only after the death of twelve students and a teacher, more than 20 wounded physically, and a nation filled with emotional devastation. This is but one incident fostered by the decline of morality as a whole in society today…. [tags: Ethics] :: 8 Works Cited 1187 words (3.4 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Immorality in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales – Immorality and moral ambiguity are two concepts that will ruin any relationship. In Geoffrey Chaucers The Canterbury Tales, he specifically illustrates through his pilgrims stories some comical and realistic events that display immorality in the Middle Ages. There are several characters whose stories are focused on presenting the immorality within their tales. Like that of The Millers Tale, and The Merchants Tale. Chaucer utilizes these tales to display one specific immoral act, which is sexual sin or lust…. [tags: Literature] :: 7 Works Cited 1648 words (4.7 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] The Immorality of Adultery – The Immorality of Adultery Sex is believed, by some, to be a universal language, one that is free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes; a language that can be spoken and understood by two complete strangers who may have nothing in common…. [tags: Papers] 1657 words (4.7 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Immorality and Danger of Human Cloning – The Immorality and Danger of Human Cloning The emergency room doors burst open. The doctor and nurses dart into the room. Linda, a twenty-four year old soon-to-be mother, lies on a gurney in the middle of the delivery room. Several hours later Linda and her husband hold Madison, the miracle that has just been born to them. They have shared the astonishing experience of having the first ever, cloned baby. Human cloning is very real and just around the corner. In the 1970’s, the process of cloning was first experimented…. [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Essays] :: 6 Works Cited 1044 words (3 pages) Better Essays [preview] Morality and Immorality in Othello – Morality and Immorality in Othello William Shakespeares tragic drama Othello presents to the audience a picture of many different shades of morality and immorality. It is the purpose of this essay to elaborate in detail on this thesis. Roderigos opening lines to Iago in Act 1 Scene 1 take us to the very root of the problem: Tush. never tell me; I take it much unkindly That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this…. [tags: Othello essays] :: 3 Works Cited 1245 words (3.6 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Immorality of Human Nature Depicted in Golding’s Lord of the Flies – In Lord of the Flies, William Golding expresses the idea that humans are naturally immoral, and that people are moral only because of the pressures of civilization. He does this by writing about a group of boys, and their story of survival on an island. The civilized society they form quickly deteriorates into a savage tribe, showing that away from civilization and adults, the boys quickly deteriorate into the state man was millions of years ago. This tendency is shown most in Jack, who has an animalistic love of power, and Roger, who loves to kill for pleasure…. [tags: literary analysis, analytical essay] 922 words (2.6 pages) Better Essays [preview] Innocence vs. Immorality in Othello – Innocence vs. Immorality in Othello In William Shakespeares tragic drama Othello we find a wide array of moral and immoral conduct, a full range of lifes goodness and badness. Let us in this paper examine the specific types of each, and how they affect the outcome. In Shakespeares Four Giants Blanche Coles comments on the lack of veracity in Iagos speech: The story that Iago tells Roderigo about the promotion of Cassio over him is not true, although it has been accepted by many discriminating scholars…. [tags: Othello essays] :: 2 Works Cited 1382 words (3.9 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] The Immorality of Child Labor – The Immorality of Child Labor Child labor is a serious moral issue. There have been many controversial debates over whether it should be legal or not. Two different viewpoints on the subject exist. Many argue that child labor is morally wrong and that the children should not work, no matter how poverty stricken their family might be. Advocates and major corporations that support child labor argue that it is good because it gives poverty-stricken families a source of income. Child labor first appeared with the development of domestic systems (when people became civilized)…. [tags: Papers Argumentative Children Work Essays] :: 4 Works Cited 1236 words (3.5 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Measure for Measure Essay: Immorality and Corruption – Immorality and Corruption in Measure for Measure In Measure for Measure, Shakespeare demonstrates that there is an innate immorality and corruption in the heart of man. Shakespeare illustrates that power does not cause corruption. 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Posted: July 14, 2016 at 4:35 pm
There is a smell of defeatism in the air, a widespread view that the people have spoken and that we must respect them and accept their verdict. What nonsense! There is nothing sacred about a referendum vote, any more than the result of a General Election. We Lib Dems cannot accept Brexit because it would be a calamity that would undo everything we have always fought for. Furthermore reversing Brexit is not a hopeless cause.
When the time is right, there is every justification for a new referendum. A referendum must offer a clear choice, which the last did not. When Theresa May says Brexit means Brexit, what does Brexit mean? Some Leavers want no more free movement of labour, which means no access to the single market. Others want access, which means the free movement of labour must stay. Indeed with only a very tiny margin in favour of Leave, far more votes were cast for Remain than for each of these two incompatible objectives of the Leave Camps.
A re-run is especially justified if there is a dramatic change in circumstances, such as a massive shift in public opinion. This is very likely. Most economists and every independent expert organization, the IMF, the IFS and the Bank of England, predict a serious recession. Leavers promised a future in the sunny uplands, and lots of new money for the NHS, not more austerity and severe cuts in spending. Now they may be ringing their bells, but soon they will be wringing their hands.
Finally the report from The Committee of Climate Change on fracking has been released and produced some interesting results, raising concerns of the effect of fracking on the UKs climate change targets.
Shale gas production of the UK is not going to be the answer to our energy needs when it comes to meeting our climate change targets. It is now obvious the UK has missed the boat on this payday unless development is done on a huge scale, industrializing vast areas of rural England. The recommended regulations in the report to facilitate the size of expansion needed will never be in place.
The regulations needed to mitigate fugitive emissions are also not financially viable, making the cost of fracking even more expensive. There will always be methane leaks, the industry cannot stop it. The industrys own figures of 2% to 5% expected leakage of methane from exploration, production and the supporting infrastructure needed, will put the UKs climate change targets in jeopardy.
The report states that UK shale gas production must displace imported gas rather than increasing domestic consumption. Allowing unabated consumption above these levels would not be consistent with the decarbonisation required under the Climate Change Act. Each alternative has an almost identical climate change footprint and the imports are likely to be cheaper. If the government commits to use domestic fracked gas this will drive up energy prices and eventually hit the poorest families in the pocket!
The report does not consider the ongoing technical issues such waste disposal, water pollution, set back distances, community disruption, seismic concerns, industrialisation, etc. etc. etc! It is time for the government to stop bending over for the gas and oil lobbyists and realise they are backing the wrong horse.
A familiar face heads back to Lib Dem HQ. Phil Reilly, the man who wrote Nick Cleggs brilliant resignation speech which inspired 20,000 people to join the party, has been appointed interim Head of Communications following the departure of James Holt to pastures new. Phil has been working for Nick since then including helping Nick with his new book which is coming out in September.
Since the election, hes shared some funny stories on his blog, Blimey OReilly.
The most recent involves his old colleague Mr Holt, who had a bit of a brainwave at the Eastleigh by-election to get Nick Clegg out of the campaign HQ without being harassed by a throng of journalists. I wonder if Boris might consider using the same technique when he leaves home every day although I doubt the same personnel would be as willing to help him.
The entrance to the building was an enormous roll-up, corrugated metal affair, like a huge garage door or the sort of thing you would use to protect a massive off license after hours. The press pack were all expecting the DPM to come out through the smaller front door, built into the roll-up wall, into an open car park, where they could pounce on him like jaguars on a gazelle. So, Holty arranged dozens of activists, some gripping placards and bright orange diamonds, inside the building facing the entrance, like infantry preparing to march into battle.
Behind the advanced guard was Nick Clegg flanked by dozens more activists and, rather conspicuously, a couple of the Metropolitan Polices finest close protection officers.
Mark Easton presented some interesting Brexit expectations polling by ComRes for the BBC last night on the Ten Oclock News. Here are a couple of highlights:
Most Britons think that maintaining access to the single market should be the priority for the Government when negotiating the UKs withdrawal from the EU (66%), while just a third say this of restricting freedom of movement (31%).
The new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, has already helpfully set out his Brexit negotiating positions in a speech to the Institute of Chartered Engineers in March (carried in full on his website). He has also more recently written a detailed article on the subject on Conservative Home.
The Federal Policy Committee is traditionally very busy in the immediate run-up to the summer holiday. That is because of conference deadlines and the need to get everything concluded before August when a lot of people are away.
The most recent meeting of the committee, which came hot on the heels of the last one, was on 13th July 2016. It also happened to be the day that Labour plunged further into disarray following the revelation that Jeremy Corbyn will appear on the ballot paper in their leadership election and, of course, the country had a new Prime Minister foisted upon it.
As we were going through the meeting, government announcements were being about new Cabinet members. We paused several time for a collective intake of breath.
There was a lot to discuss. We did not finish until some time after 9pm.
Gareth Epps has resigned from the committee because he has taken a job that is politically restricted. Gareth has been a very active member of FPC for a long time and he will certainly be missed from the committee. We were, however, delighted to welcome Antony Hook as his replacement.
The committee agreed the chairs, membership, and remits of three new working groups. Each of those groups was recommended by the Agenda 2020 exercise.
The first of these was education. The remit requires the group to identify proposals for new policy in Education in England. The group is particularly to be directed to identify policies which could be strong campaigning issues within education, reinforcing our overall liberal vision of creating opportunity for everyone regardless of background. The group is also expected to consider and address Liberal Democrat principles on diversity and equalities in developing their proposals. It will deal with the overall principles of education, Early Years, funding, structures, academies, governors, standards and inspections, quality, teacher recruitment, closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students, school and the world of work, Further Education and adult education. It will not deal with Higher Education.
The chair is to be Lucy Nethsingha. The membership of the group was appointed. It is fair to say that there was very strong competition for places. In fact, we had over 830 applications for the working groups.
It does seem that the news over the past fortnight or so has been dominated by people saying goodbye to spend more time with their families or whatever. In some cases, they will be more missed than in others, and, on this occasion, it is time to mark the retirement from the House of Lords of our longtime spokesperson on Universities, Baroness (Margaret) Sharp of Guildford, who has decided to take up the option to retire at the still relatively spritely age of 77.
Margaret is another of those whose work over many years led to a triumph celebrated by others, in that it was her success in reducing the Conservative majority in Guildford from over 20,000 to a rather more slender 4,500 that helped Sue Doughty to her famous success in 2001.
An economist of some regard, Margaret taught at the London School of Economics, as well as working in the National Economic Development Office in the 1970s, before becoming politically active with the onset of the Social Democrats.
Originally posted here:
Posted: at 4:35 pm
I want to let you in on a dirty little secret about prepping: it aint cheap!
Once you get through your Oh, crap! moment, youre going to do the same thing I did. Youll realize that theres a whole lot of action you need to take and a fair amount of things you need to acquire. A lot of these actions and acquisitions require money money you might not have right now. So, what are you going to do to get started?
Go into debt?
Buy it on credit cards?
Youre going to do the first thing I did sit down and make a plan to get out of debt. If you do nothing else described in this series, youll benefit immensely just by getting out of debt and creating financial independence for your family. Not being handcuffed by the credit card companies and banks will make you breath easier and sleep sounder.
Your first thought might be why should I get my checkbook in shape before I stock up on beans, bullets or band-aids? The answer is simple: without a solid financial backing, you cant buy anything. Putting yourself into debt just to be prepared is detrimental to your cause. You can have all the food store, medical supplies and firearms you can handle, but youll be up a creek without a paddle if spend all your money on preps and cant afford to pay your mortgage or rent.
The first thing I recommend doing to start getting your finances in order is nothing.
Sound counter-intuitive? It is.
Youre not going to change your spending habits, youre not going to change your income, youre not going to change your monthly bills. Youre simply going to track your incomes and expenses for the next three months. Tracking this information lets you find out where your money is coming from and where its going.
There are a ton of different ways to track your money.
Some people like the old school method of pencil and paper. And that process works just fine. Write down dates and transactions incomes and outcomes. At the end of the month, add them up.
Other people, myself included, prefer a slightly more technologically advanced approach.There are many software applications (both freeware and paid) that allow you to track your expenses. We have been using the freeware software Microsoft Money Plus. Yes, its Microsoft, but it does a great job of providing a clean interface that allow us to easily track my money. In addition, it allows us to run monthly reports. Plus its free thats a bonus for this endeavor! You can find it, along with a handful of other free finance tracking software suites, on this site.
Now you need to take an honest look at the results of your financial tracking.Im going to warn you right now this next step isnt going to be comfortable.
We spent three months tracking my financial transactions every paycheck, Dunkin Donut stop and fill up at the gas station. After three months, we was able to generate three monthly reports and get a pretty good snapshot of how we spend our money.
At this point, we could see where we needed to tighten the belt a little. One of our big findings was that we were eating out ALOT! Those $5 breakfasts, lunch runs and were too tired to cook dinners were catching up to us. We had a couple of other areas we were unknowingly spending a lot of money.
The next step is to tighten up in your overspending areas. This step will be uncomfortable. Not going out to eat as much as we used to sucked. For instance, I personally felt like I was losing a social aspect of work. Likewise, we felt we worked hard during the week and deserved to go out to a nice dinner on the weekends. But you know what else we found out? We found out we were able to save some money in just a few months. After tightening the belt a bit for a few months, we were starting to see our income trump our expenses for the month (youre still tracking your finances, right?).
We made a list of our debts credit cards, loans, mortgages, etc. And we also stumbled upon Dave Ramseys Debt Snowball. Spend some time reading up about this approach on your own, but the premise is this:
Pay off the smallest debt first by adding additional monthly payments while still paying your regular monthly payments to all your bills. Then you take the money you were paying monthly on the first bill and tack it onto the payments for the next smallest bill. Once that loan is paid off, you take the money you were paying on the first two loans and attack the third smallest loan with that extra monthly money. And so on, and so on. Essentially youre paying the same amount every month, but your debt starts to disappear.
Download the Debt Snowball spreadsheet from Vertex42.com
Were in the middle of this process approaching some of our bigger loans and can honestly say it works. Dave Ramsey has a pretty good approach to financial security give him a chance.
So youve paid off everything with exception of maybe your mortgage. What do you do now? First give yourself a giant slap on the back. Youve done something that most folks dont think is possible. Youve used what you have to get out of debt. You can breath easy. You can sleep sound at night. Next make yourself a promise. Promise yourself that this will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN! Make smart decisions, dont finance your wants and live debt free. Now you can prep with an open mind.
Youre probably asking do I need to take care of my finances before I do any prepping?
The answer is YESand NO.
First, remember that building up your financial security is a big part of prepping, so dont overlook it. Second, realize that you can do small things on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to build up your preps. Well get into different ideas when we talk about water and food storage. Also, if you can find ways to augment your income, you can justify making a prepping fund where you can save money and put it towards prepping. This approach doesnt strictly follow Dave Ramsays advice, but I have found that allowing yourself an occasional reward does help you keep on the straight. At least for me, sometimes I need something more than seeing the monthly statements disintegrating before my eyes. Just be sure that your occasional treats dont overtake your debt reduction process.
I hope you enjoyed this first article on Prepping 101. I am happy to answer any questions in the comments section here or on Facebook. If you dont want to make your question public, you can always email me at dan AT suburbansteader.com. Keep an eye out for our next Prepping 101 article on identifying what youre doing thats working against self-sufficiency.
photo credit: psyberartist via photopin cc
A beginners guide to the prepping mindset
Posted: at 4:17 pm
Trevor Burrus: Welcome to Free Thoughts from Libertarianism.org and the Cato Institute. Im Trevor Burrus.
Tom Clougherty: And Im Tom Clougherty.
Trevor Burrus: Joining us today is Randal OToole, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, specializing in urban growth, public land and transportation issues. Welcome to Free Thoughts, Randal.
Randal OToole: Hey, Im glad to be here.
Trevor Burrus: So the first question is the big one as we often do on Free Thoughts. How is transportation important to human freedom and flourishing?
Randal OToole: Well mobility is really important because mobility gives people access to more economic resources, more social resources, more recreation opportunities. Mobility of course has completely transformed in the 20th century. Before 1800, hardly anybody in the world had ever traveled faster than a horse could run and lived to tell about it. Although during the
Trevor Burrus: Lived to tell about it, its like people who fell out of hot air balloons and
Randal OToole: Or off a cliff.
Trevor Burrus: So they got a quick moment of OK.
Randal OToole: Yeah. So by 1900, we had developed steam trains and bicycles and streetcars and cable cars and those things accelerated the pace of life for many people and yet by 1910, most Americans were no more mobile than they had been in 1800 because frankly streetcars and steam trains and things like that were more expensive than the average American could afford.
Most Americans still lived in rural areas and they didnt have access to those, to streetcars or bicycles. Even Americans in urban areas, only middle class people could afford streetcars. Pretty much working class people had to walk to work. It was only when Henry Ford developed a moving assembly line that allowed him to both double worker pay and cut the cost of his cars in half, which made automobiles affordable to the working class that suddenly mobility was democratized and suddenly travel speed is accelerated from an average of 3 miles an hour to an average of 30 miles an hour or more.
That gave people access to far more jobs. If you were producing something, it gave you access to a far bigger consumer market. If you wanted to socialize with people who were like you, you didnt have to live right next door to them. You could get into your car and be near them. You have access to recreation opportunities. Things like national parks became popular only after the car became popular. Before cars the number of people visiting Yellowstone and people like places like that were numbered in the hundreds or low thousands each year. Now its the millions.
Trevor Burrus: Now you certainly have no Disneyland without people being able to drive to it and
Randal OToole: You dont have Costco. You dont have supermarkets. You dont have Wal-marts. You dont have a lot of things that we take for granted today. Shopping malls, a lot of things. So the auto mobility transform lives for many people. For example, the only way blacks were able to boycott buses in Montgomery, Alabama after Rosa Louise Parks refused to get walk to the back of the bus was because they had enough cars that they could transport each other to work.
So cars were called by Blacks freedom vehicles. Cars play a huge role in womens liberation. It was only when families became two-car families and both the husband and the wife could own it, could have a car and become wage or salary earners that womens liberation became truly an important change in our lives.
So cars have transformed everybodys lives. Cars have transformed farming for example. Before cars, at least a quarter, perhaps a third of all of our farmland was dedicated to pasture for the horses and other livestock needed to power the farms.
By releasing that land, we ended up getting 100 million acres of forest lands, 100 million acres of crop lands. We have far more lands available for growing crops than we had before because of the internal combustion engine, powering tractors and trucks and other farm vehicles.
Trevor Burrus: Well, if you talk to people now though, its kind of I mean it is this mind-blowing thing when you start thinking about the effect that the car had on American life. But now a lot of people want to say that cars are bad for a variety of reasons, not seeming to understand the effect on this and a lot of the kind of urban planning and ideas of what a city should look like, it seems to be kind of anti-car in some basic level.
Randal OToole: Thats absolutely right. Theres a huge anti-automobile mentality out there, especially among urban planners and curiously, every city in the country has urban planners on their staff because they think theyre the experts. But its actually because the Supreme Court has made decisions that have said that the property rights clause or the Fifth Amendment of the constitution can be amended if you have an urban can be ignored if you have an urban planner on your staff. Basically, you dont have to worry about that if you have an urban planner who has written an urban plan for your city.
Trevor Burrus: This is like Kelo pursuant
Randal OToole: Every single Supreme Court decision that has taken away peoples property rights has mentioned in that decision that the city or other entity that wanted to take away peoples property rights had written an urban plan. So if you have an urban planner on your staff, you can ignore property rights. You can take land by eminent domain. You can regulate land without compensation if you have an urban planner on your staff.
So they all have urban planners and urban planners all go to the same schools and most of these schools are architecture schools where they learn that we shape our buildings and our buildings shape up.
So if we want to shape society, we have to design our cities in a way to shape the way people live. Well, it has been proven over and over again that it doesnt work. It doesnt get people out of their cars, to force people to live in high densities.
San Francisco for example, the San Francisco Bay area increases population density by two-thirds between 1980 and 2010 and per capita driving increased. Per capita transit ridership declined by a third. It didnt change anything at all except for it made a lot more congestion.
So theres an anti-automobile mentality and the reality is most of the virtually all of the problems with automobiles can be solved by treating the problem, not by treating the automobile.
Trevor Burrus: Like congestion you mean.
Randal OToole: Well, congestion, air pollution, greenhouse gases, energy, traffic accidents, whatever. In 1970, people drove about 40 percent as much as they do today and we had 55,000 people killed per year. So today were driving 150 percent more and we only had 33,000 people killed last year. So fatalities are going down because they made both automobiles and highways safer. Thats only going to increase.
In 1970, many of our cities were polluted. You had a mile of visibility or less. In Portland, you couldnt see Mount Hood. In Seattle, you couldnt see Mount Rainier because the pollution is so bad. So we created the Environmental Protection Agency to solve the problem and they said lets do two things. Lets put pollution control requirements on new cars but lets also encourage cities to discourage driving by spending more on transit and increasing densities to encourage people to live closer to work.
Well, they did both things and today, pollution has gone down by more than 90 percent. Total pollution has decreased by more than 90 percent from what it was in 1970 and 105 percent of that decline is due to the pollution controls they put on cars. Negative 105 because
Trevor Burrus: More than 100 percent.
Randal OToole: Right, because the other thing they did that investing in transit and increasing densities to get people out of their cars failed. Instead what that did is it increased traffic congestion and cars pollute more in congested traffic than they do in free flowing traffic. So we ended up having more pollution thanks to the policy of trying to get people out of their cars. It failed miserably and yet were still pursuing that policy in many places supposedly to reduce greenhouse gases, to save energy and so on. It wont work but were doing it anyway.
Tom Clougherty: So I think one of the interesting, maybe disturbing things about transportation policy is that you have an obvious problem in congestion, a problem which is very costly. You also have a solution that virtually every economist is going to agree on and thats congestion pricing.
You also have on top of that a widespread perception that its politically impossible, that it will never happen. So therefore we have to go into a lot of these other things, which as youve pointed out may not be effective.
Do you see any future for congestion pricing? Could you maybe elaborate on that principle a little bit?
Randal OToole: Well, there are two things that are going to happen in the next 10 years. First of all, a lot of cars are going to become self-driving cars and thats going to be a very rapid transformation because starting in about 2020, you will be able to buy a car that will be able to drive itself on the vast majority of American streets and roads without your input at all.
Pretty soon you will be able to drive a car buy a car that will drive itself everywhere and they wont even have steering wheels. Well, a lot of congestion happens because of slow human reflexes and as soon as we get self-driving cars which have much faster reflexes, the capacity of roads is going to increase tremendously. Its typical that an urban freeway lane can move about 2000 vehicles an hour at speed.
With self-driving cars, we will be able to increase that to 6000 or more vehicles an hour. So thats going to take care a lot of the congestion problem right there. The other parallel development is that were moving away from gas guzzlers.
Cars that burn gas are burning less and less gas all the time and a lot of cars are not burning gasoline. That means that gas taxes which have paid for our roads have really paid for 80 percent of all the roads weve built and 100 percent of all the state highways that have been built in the country and interstate roads.
Those gas taxes arent going to be around anymore. So were going to have to find a new way of paying for roads. My home state of Oregon was the first state to have a gas tax to pay for roads in 1919 and today my home state of Oregon is experimenting with mileage-based user fees. Its the first state to experiment with them and what theyve done is theyve asked people to volunteer to pay a mileage-based user fee rather than a gas tax and I was one of the first people to volunteer.
They opened up volunteers at midnight on July 1st and at 12:01, I sent in my application and they sent me a little device that I plug into my car and now it keeps track of how many miles I drive and if I leave the state, I dont pay anything. In the state I pay a penny and a half per mile and they refund me all my gas taxes that I pay when I buy gas.
So the intention is to phase this in over time. So if you buy an electric car, you will have to get a mileage-based user fee device. If you buy a gasoline-powered car, you will be encouraged to do it and over time, we will transition from all gasoline or all gas taxes to all mileage-based user fees.
Well, with mileage-based user fees, it will be real, real easy to make a congestion fee, to make it a variable fee. Presumably the device you plug into your car when you say I want to go to work, you will tell your car take me on this to this address. The car will say, well, here are three different routes. If you go this way, youre going to have to pay this fee. If you go this way, you will have to pay this fee and it will take you five minutes longer. If you go this way, you will have to pay a lower fee and it will take you 10 minutes longer or whatever. You will have a choice of which route, which fee you pay and you will make that choice and that will encourage people to avoid congested routes and eventually solve that $200 billion congestion problem.
Trevor Burrus: This is interesting because you see all these technologies which werent even thought about a few years ago, whether its the device to measure how much your car is driving or a driverless car.
It kind of reminds me were talking about urban planners and who these people are and were and to sort of whether or not any urban planners in 1980 thought about driverless cars or the possibility of having something to measure how much youre driving and that and they probably did and so
Randal OToole: Well, the real question is are any urban planners in 2016 thinking about
Trevor Burrus: Yeah, so thats a better at the Car History Museum, I know you at one point were in Denver for the light rail fight. In the car museum, they have a Denver urban plan from 1955 or something like that. Its a 50-year urban plan. So this was what Denver looked like in 2005, which is just ludicrous. I mean it seems absolutely ludicrous.
Tom Clougherty: You mean they didnt get it right?
Randal OToole: In 1950, nobody had ever taken a commercial jet airline flight. Nobody had ever direct dialed a long distance phone call. To make a long distance call, you had to call the operator and have them dial it for you. Of course almost nobody had ever programmed a computer. There was certainly no internet. Nobody could predict in 1950 what was going to happen in 2000.
Well today we can see driverless cars on the horizon but nobody can predict what is going to happen. Is everybody going to use an Uber-like car or are we going to own our own cars? Is it going to make people drive more because more people are going to be driving? Because you can be nine years old and drive a driverless car. I can put my dogs in the car and send them to the vet. I dont need to go with them.
Trevor Burrus: Thats going to be a service. It could be like Bark Car and they just put them in there and it drives them to the vet, yeah.
Randal OToole: Or is it going to lead to less driving because everybody is going to be not owning a car but Uber-ing their car? The thing about that is when if you own a car, when you say Im going to go to the store now, you figure Im going to pay the marginal cost to driving, the cost of gasoline. But if youre renting a car, you have to pay the average cost which is a much higher per mile cost. So thats going to change the calculus. Those people who decide not to own a car will probably travel less themselves than they would have traveled if they had owned a car because of that.
So is it going to lead to more or less driving? Nobody knows the answers to these questions. Urban planners, they know they dont know the answers to these questions. So their solution is to ignore the problem, to ignore the issue, design for the past because they know the past. So they design for streetcars. They design for light rail because those are the past forms of travel. They know how people lived when those were the forms of travel that people used.
So they designed cities to be streetcar cities. Thats really the urban planning fad today is to design cities to be like they were in the 1920s when the people who got around not on foot took streetcars.
Of course there were still a lot of people who got around on foot because they couldnt afford the streetcars and that of course is going to be a complete failure. Its not going to work. Its going to impose huge costs on those cities because theyre going to be designing for the wrong thing. Its going to put a huge cost on the people in those cities but theyre doing it anyway because thats the urban planning fad.
Trevor Burrus: So theyre thinking of sort of high density urban development with a lot of public transportation like streetcars and light rail and things like this, which is odd but it kind of makes you wonder if the entire concept of urban planning is just kind of silly. Are you kind of saying that?
Randal OToole: It doesnt make me wonder that. Its not kind of saying. Urban planning is a profession that doesnt deserve to exist. Thats why I call myself the antiplanner and I have a blog called The Antiplanner. Look up antiplanner and Im the first thing on the list. I write about this every day.
Urban planning always fails. They cant predict the future. So instead of predicting it, they try to envision it and they envision a past that they understand. Then they try to impose that on the future by passing all kinds of regulations and all kinds of laws.
Trevor Burrus: As I went to Tom being British, a town called Milton Keynes in or Keynes I think is how they say it.
Tom Clougherty: Milton Keynes. Its a must-see.
Trevor Burrus: In England, which is one of these post-war, fully-planned towns. I mean down to especially in England. They were really big on this. Have urban planners become less hubristic? I mean in England, they were just planning entire towns, entire blocks, trying to figure out everything that people wanted. Have they become less hubristic and a little bit more respectful of human freedom or are they just as planning as ever?
Randal OToole: Absolutely not. They have not become less hubristic and a lot of places a lot of private developers have built what are called master plan communities. The private developers did the planning and they were planning for the market. They were trying to figure out what do people want to live in and will build them a community like they want to live in.
They figure out, well, they want to be somewhat close to stores. So they have to have as many enough people in their community to convince a supermarket to open up a store, to come into Costco or something like that, to open up a store. They like to be near some nice restaurants. But they also like to have a yard. They also like to have wide streets to drive on.
So they plan for what people want. The urban planners that Im talking about are government planners and they plan for what they think people should have. They plan for what they think people should want, not what they do want. They think people should want to live in higher densities, that they should want to get around on transit, rather than driving, and so thats what they planned for even though nationwide only about two percent of travel is by well, one percent of travel and about two percent of commuting is by mass transit. Its insignificant outside of New York City, Washington and about four other urban areas. Transit is irrelevant really.
Tom Clougherty: Yeah. I mean its interesting that youre talking a lot about how contemporary urban planning is certainly anti-car, anti-automobility and yet I wonder whether the darkest era of urban planning was excessively pro-car. If you think of a lot of post-war development, the interstate highway system often driving major roads through established neighborhoods. Really trying to change peoples lives and the whole way they lived in the opposite direction of what theyre trying to do now. Is what we have now in urban planning almost a reaction to some of the mistakes of the past?
Randal OToole: No. I think what you have to whats consistent about urban planning is that its pro-middle class and anti-working class, anti-low income people. They call working class neighborhoods slums. This has been the trend for 125 years. Working class neighborhoods are slums. So we have to clear out those slums as if if we move the people out so that we dont have to look at them, they dont exist anymore.
Urban renewal in the 1950s was called by some negro removal because a million people were displaced by the urban renewal movement and most of them were Blacks, so 80 percent of them were Blacks.
They had to move from places that they could afford to places that were less affordable because they werent slums anymore. So the problem that urban that cities had in the 1940s and 50s that they saw they had is that the middle class people had moved to the suburbs and the people who were left were had lower incomes and they said, OK, these are slums. We have to get them out of here. You get the middle class people back into the cities and they looked at the interstates as a way of doing it.
The original interstate highway system as planned by the transportation engineers was going to bypass all the cities, was not going to enter the cities. They brought this proposal before congress and the cities went to congress and said, No, we want our share of the interstate money.
So they rewrote the system. They added 10 percent more miles all of which were in the inner cities and came back to congress in 56 and congress passed it with the endorsement of the urban mayors because the mayors wanted to use interstate highways as a vehicle for slum clearance.
They were to clear out the slums that the highways were built on. They would clear out the neighborhoods around those highways with eminent domain. That was all approved by the Supreme Court in the famous 1952 case here in Washington DC. Yeah.
And forced the people out and then build nice middle class neighborhoods. Today its the same thing. The whole complaint about urban sprawl is not a complaint about wealthy people moving in suburbs. Wealthy people started moving to the suburbs in the 1830s and nobody complained about urban sprawl then.
Middle class people started moving to the suburbs in the 1890s and nobody complained about it then. Weve had suburban sprawl for almost 200 years.
It was only when middle class people or simply when working class people started moving to the suburbs in the 1920s because they were able to buy Henry Fords affordable cars that people started complaining about urban sprawl.
The early complaints about urban sprawl were very class-oriented. You have these inelegant people out there in all stages of dress playing this ridiculous music on their Victor-Victrolaphones and dancing wildly and gesticulating and eating weird food.
Trevor Burrus: Showing their ankles.
Randal OToole: Doing all kinds of things that were horrible and it was very class-oriented and their prescription Im reading to you from a book called the Town and Country Plan. It was written by a British author and the prescription was we will pen all those people up in high-rises in the cities and in 1947, Britain passed the parliament passed a Town and Country Planning Act that put greenbelts around the cities for bidding development and then put high-rises in the cities that people lived in for a few years but was really only acceptable because a lot of housing had been palmed out. But as soon as people lived in it for more than 10 years, they realized we dont want to live like this. These are awful places to live in. So they revolted but
Trevor Burrus: This racial class part of the story seems to be I mean its you cannot separate it from the whole history of urban planning. Its about class and race and we have red lining. We have zoning. We have all these different things and its about the powerful who happen to be politically powerful in a given time trying to impose their view upon their fellow citizens and what the kind of city that they would like to live in which may not include you and your kind at least in my neighborhood.
Randal OToole: Well, I have a friend in California named Joseph Perkins whos a black radio talk show host and he says that he looks at urban planning smart growth as the new Jim Crow. He says the Sierra Club is the new KKK because theyre promoting these ideas and he goes to some place like Marin County, California which is just north of San Francisco and has very strict urban growth boundaries and low density zoning and he says he goes there and they he goes to these hearings and people are saying, We want to keep those people out.
He said, Well those people are people like me. But it isnt just people of color. Its a class thing. They want to keep the working class out. We dont like to talk about class in this country much but there definitely is a class structure.
You look at the progressives. They say, Well, we care about the working class. Well you might care about the working class but you dont like their values. They play country Western music which you hate. They drive around in big pick-ups.
Trevor Burrus: They drink soda.
Randal OToole: Yeah, they drink soda.
Trevor Burrus: They smoke cigarettes.
Randal OToole: They smoke cigarettes. They drink beer, not wine.
Trevor Burrus: Budweiser
Randal OToole: And they support Donald Trump and they oppose abortion and they do all the things that you say you care about them and yet your actual attitude is one of seething contempt.
Really zoning has always been about keeping working class people out of middle class neighborhoods and the whole planning today is about OK, were going to design transportation systems for the working class that will take them to work so that they can serve us and then take them home to places different from where we live and they can live a nice lifestyle in their high density apartment and walk down the stairs and go shopping so they dont have to shop in the same stores that we drive to. It sounds very idyllic if you
Trevor Burrus: Can afford it.
Randal OToole: No. If you can afford to not live that way, if youre a middle class person. But its not idyllic for the working class.
Trevor Burrus: So lets talk about some of these public transportation issues because I have this great classic Onion article because its tied in with all these ideas that public transportation is something that well, the headline is Report: 98 Percent Of US Commuters Favor Public Transportation for Others and weve had a spate of light rail, weve had streetcars and all these things have come up which it seems like the people who make them are not really theyre not using them. I expected them to probably not use them. They think other people should be using them. That seems to be a big story of public transportation.
Randal OToole: Well, theres a recent story that unfortunately it wasnt in the Onion but it was an authentic story in the Los Angeles Times that said despite the fact that were spending billions of dollars on transit, transit ridership is declining and thats true here in Washington DC as well. Transit ridership seems to have peaked about just before the financial crash and its not really recovering since the financial crash.
Really transit has been on a downhill since 1960 or 1950, the end of World War Two. What were seeing is people plowing more and more money into it and productivity is going down. The number of transit riders carried per transit worker is steadily declining.
The amount of money we spend to get one person out of their car has gone from a dollar in 1960 to $25 or more today just to get one person out of their car for one trip. We build transit lines that are so expensive that it would have been cheaper to give every single daily round trip rider on that transit line a new Toyota Prius every single year for the rest of their lives than to keep running that
Trevor Burrus: Im laughing and crying at the same time.
Randal OToole: And there are a lot of forces at work here. It started out in the 1970s. Congress had given cities the incentive to take over private transit. In 1965, almost all transit in America was private. By 1975, it was almost all public. Congress had said to cities you take over transit. We will pay for your new buses. We will pay for your capital costs. You just have to pay the operating costs.
So cities took them over and then in 1973, congress said, Oh by the way, if you have an interstate freeway thats planned in your city and you decide to cancel it, you can take the capital cost of that freeway and use it for transit capital investments. Well, cities thought that was great except for buses are so cheap that they couldnt afford to operate all the buses that you could buy for the cost of an interstate freeway.