“The Allegory of the Cave” and “Qualities of the Prince” (Authored by Plato and Machiavelli, respectively) have different viewpoints in contrast to one another. Looking at the texts, it seems that Machiavelli would be critical of the views Plato expressed in The Allegory of the Cave for a number of reasons. Plato states that people are inherently good, although good can be “seen only with an effort” (35). Machiavelli, on the flipped side, states that “for a man who strives after goodness in all his acts is sure to come to ruin, since there are so many men who are not good” (7), suggesting that most people are by nature not good, and that pursuing the act of being good, will only lead to disaster. Therefore, he would likely think that Plato’s ideology is too optimistic, if not ignorant, and that one must have a realist viewpoint to survive this world.
Common lovers are focused more on the physical experience than the intellectual contact in a relationship. Celestial love correlates with a forever kind of connection that is more than a physical relationship. Sappho’s view represents Common Love and the broader view of Symposium represents Celestial Love. While Sappho’s work is grounded in the physical realm, Plato emphasizes that love is centralized in the mind, or in other words, love is purely an intellectual and philosophical phenomenon. Pausanias, who delivers Symposium’s second speech, explains some of the societal norms governing male homoerotic affairs.
Philip Larkin and Dannie Abse have very different and contrasting attitudes to relationships. On the whole, Larkin presents the concepts of love and marriage as very superficial and meaningless, whereas Abse appears to be less such nihilistic and more open and positive about such topics. Throughout Wild Oats, Philip Larkin uses various literary techniques, such as imagery, structure and symbolism to convey certain aspects of love and the passing of time. Larkin's poetry often relates to the social and cultural views upon love and marriage in his time. In Wild Oats It explains that a person, over the course of time, comes to realise that his greatest desires of love, are unattainable, and second best things will have to suffice.
Plato: The Republic and Euthyphro Dilemma These three past weeks I have learned about Plato and his dialogues, one of them is the Euthyphro dilemma. In his dilemma he tries to discover the nature piety. The answer that Euthyphro gives is that what is good is what is loved by the gods. Here we can see a contradiction that Socrates points out which is that some gods love and hate the same things at the same time. This would turn morality into something subjective.
In the essay, “In Defense of Prejudice”, by Jonathan Rauch, he defines the position opposite to his own as “purism”. He states that the public does not know enough about the term and it has yet to be properly identified. Rauch states that “purism” cannot be justified without the traces of prejudice to be completely removed from society, but that prejudice will never be removed from society due to continuous perceptions that people have. Throughout the essay Rauch defines purism, and it can be attained that the public does not know what pluralism is, what it means to be politically correct, and what society really is without constant prejudice. In this essay, those concepts will be explored with Rauch’s position on them, and what he believes.
Cultural Relativism, a term used to describe individual’s beliefs that should be accepted in one’s cultural but also can be denied in society. In James Rachels’ essay, “The Challenge of Cultural Relativism”, she brings up varies examples that contradicts with one society’s beliefs to another society. She uses this term and analyzes it different situations proving that it can be controversial at times since no one should have the same thinking process as another person. For example, if you were to take to civilizations of the past and tell them to trade beliefs. They would find it outrages since it would be unorthodox to their teachings.
McCloskey attempts to make an argument for the non-existence of God and to give reasons why atheism is more comforting than theism. This paper is a response to that article which will address certain ideas raised by Mr. McCloskey. This author is a theist and will present arguments to show the reasoning for the existence and necessity of God. To begin with, McCloskey suggests in his article that the theist’s arguments are “proofs” which do not provide definitive evidence for the existence of God, so therefore, they should be discarded. This is not a justified argument due to the fact that theists do not try to definitely prove the existence of God.
Socrates uses a rather elaborate argument to show this definition is also insufficient. If the gods approve of something because it is holy, their approval cannot be what makes it holy, he says. If an act is holy because the gods approve of it, we still do not know what makes it holy or why the gods approve. It seems that any attempt to define holiness by the will or approval of the gods is bound to fail. Even in contemporary society, we tend to associate morality with some kind of divine will, but through the Euthyphro, Socrates seems to suggesting we think along another line altogether.
A Critique of William Bennett’s “Against Gay Marriage” The issue of homosexuals in our society is becoming more of a debate. The debate is no longer whether we should accept them, but rather, should they be legally recognized. Gay marriage should not be legalized because of its effect it would have on society. William Bennett’s article “Against Gay Marriage” was originally published in the Washington Post and highlights the negative effects of gay marriage on our society. Bennett wrongfully believes that homosexual and heterosexual unions are not comparable; however, if we change the definition of marriage, our society’s understanding of marriage would be irreconcilably ruined.
Of the remaining criteria we might consider, only sentience―the capacity of a being to experience things like pleasure and pain―is a plausible criterion of moral importance. Singer argues for this in two ways. First, he argues, by example, that the other criteria are bad, because (again) they will exclude people who we think ought not be excluded. For instance, we don't really think that it would be permissible to disregard the well-being of someone who has much lower intelligence than average, so we can't possibly think that intelligence is a suitable criterion for moral consideration. Second, he argues that it is only by virtue of something being sentient that it can be said to have interests at all, so this places sentience in a different category than the other criteria: "The capacity for suffering and enjoying things is a prerequisite for having interests at all, a condition that must be satisfied before we can speak of interests in any meaningful way" (175).