New York City College of Technology
Mistakes of Humans:
The higher animals
Mistakes of Humans: the higher animals
Humans have a tendency to be egocentric and put their needs in front of other people. However, how can you not be, especially when life is so short and fragile some might say? Morality and justification through human eyes show their true nature reveals along with their unpreventable mistakes. Social oppression in America is a serious issue, which excludes and makes it a social norm to believe people should be treated the way that the society treats them. Sadly, however, this includes a majority of the population; the only privileged beings, which seem to not have issues with this, are white males. Speaking historically white males excluded anyone who they felt does not fit in to their social group. Logically speaking, this happens all around the world, and always did. From world w and WW2 to other genocides and wars, humans like to be in control of people, situations and environments. However, this does not truly justify the social oppression, only explains how people think. If everyone worked as a whole to create a less violent world, everything would be different. The two big topics I want to discuss are sexism and racism. These are two of the most controversial topics in many classes from philosophy to psychology.
Starting on a happy note, one of the most beautiful philosophical idea of spirituality is transcendentalism. Through poetic and hypnotizing words, the father of transcendentalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke and described a breakthrough of the nineteenth century. This wasn’t just a spiritual view, it was a movement and a new way of explaining our beliefs especially for those whom are confused about where their faith lays. Its basic definition is that everything is inner connected. This philosophical idea, dismisses basic senses as a way to understand the world, however, I goes beyond that to exploit the true inner self. This idea goes beyond to explore the true potential and at the time to experience freedom of self through creativity of writing, art and nature. In the time of this philosophy, the members believed in feminism and equality, independence and potential. (I. Finseth). This knowledge made up the core being which has creative thoughts and its own genius. In my opinion I believe that I was moved. The overall idea of transcendentalism is beautiful. I would say it’s more than just a movement but it involved philosophy and some spirituality I read somewhere then, that you cannot look at the parts, when the parts are the whole. Another big part of transcendentalism is the truth, which they defined as being in their soul. With their senses they reached over to the truth, and everyone has a different truth due to the fact that it is subjective. (Lewis, Jone)It discussed how the truth is subjective because everyone has different feelings and emotions. Even with the five senses that everyone has, our mind interprets everything differently from one another because we aren’t the same person. Transcendentalism is a difficult concept to truly understand. It explains that the spiritual essence, has an interrelated complexity. All living things, are not just a body, however more than that. All combined together as a whole we form a divine entity. In their time, these individuals in this club were looked as rebels because they didn’t believe in the government and fitting in. This also included in being active in past time movements to help the human race. Movements like feminism and anti-slavery where just some of the important ones. (Transcendentalism, An American Philosophy).What I find sad is that slavery and sexism was a regular part of life, and these intellectuals were trying to change life. However it is rewarding to see that the transcendentalism had beautiful goals which went against the government. During this time I was a harder time to speak the mind. This is beautiful and I wish everyone thought like those which were transcendentalists. Maybe we would have less hate in the world. After reading Emerson’s writing on Self- Reliance I realized that t
Both sexism and racism are continually being acted out due to the fact that it has always been done. Also both of these parties do not occur that often among toward the one percent, which is the percent of the people which hold most of the money and get to decide what happens to the rest of the ninety-nine percent. I do believe that drastic change has been made and it is remarkable that slavery and sexism both ended almost a century ago, and we have made progress. Off course, it wasn’t going to be easy to change the minds of those living in times where this was taught in their schools and at home. Some might say we could have pushed it further, and we could have. There is no doubt about that, it took America a very long time to get use to the new ways, and a lot of people around the age of sexism and racism were completely brainwashed to the point where they got to decide who they taught was better, among those who lived. This actually portrays perfectly to the essay of Mark Twain titled “The lowest animal”, which specified that humans were the lowest animals to exist. This is due to reasons such as “indecency, vulgarity, obscenity” as Mark Twain writes. Then he goes on to explain how humans are selfish and greedy. This applies to this example perfectly because humans think they can take any life they want, and inflict pain upon those who shall come in their way. This pain which they cause is a conscious decision and for doing so it makes us cruel. Since we have moral sense we should be able to tell from right and wrong, however many do not know one from the other. This is why it makes humans at fault and especially those who don’t have enough morality to think for themselves. Some of the things that thankfully have changed are finally women and none-white people have a chance to go to the top. Both can be doctors and go to school, the government tries and set equal goals to make everyone happy.
However this isn’t true in all cases, aspects which are still controversial are birth control, abortions, work pay for women, and for non-white peoples it is still systematic racism which causes larger economic, political and social problems. It is still sad to see cops singling out black kids on the street for frisking and for women to be looked down for abortion. Two of these are in completely different categories, however it still goes under a larger title: Discrimination. It is peculiar to find a human being tell others to live. And to also find what is wrong and right, what is the right way to dress and who should have more funding. It is depressing how schools single out kids, and put them in zones. If all schools got the same funding for their schools I believe that more kids would be allowed to prosper. As looking toward the answers, we see many families being all clumped in one area, and their kids grow up there too, not giving them a chance to truly think about the actions. Easier classes in these neighborhoods, and less funding is definitely a problem. However most of these schools are only in neighborhoods which are high in Hispanic and blacks. This is very somber when actually thinking about how our government does not help those in need.
There was a lot of discrimination which was available to public then than now. One truly terrifying case was the Mississippi Burning, which was written about in the book How to Kill a Mocking Bird. This book had the melancholy sound, which really showed how hatred was normal back then. It is just sad to think that people wanted to hurt one another because of skin color. Even though we have racists now, I have never came across someone who was blunt about it. In this movie, it almost seems unreal how people were treated and it seems like this is a great change, even though many people would disagree, however brainwashed people are every hard to deprogram. Culture and morals from one generation is passed to the other, and those families pass it on to another. I have not been alive for that long, to actually tell whether or not the time which we have spent trying to rebuild this country, is enough to restore it. Times after the Civil War have defined changed, and people and cities became more diverse and socially accepting.
After the civil war there was many matters which have not been resolved. Racism is something that people in the south were taught and would not just give up everything they believed in. The Jim Crow laws were there to separate the human race by two colors, colored and white. (Jim crow laws the basics) There were so many laws that separated us, that it was disgusting for us to know that now, they separated the bathrooms, restaurants and buses. Off course larger public places like schools even burial. (Jim Crow laws)I believe that now as I looking back at it, and for so many people to believe this was normal or appropriate makes me lose faith in the human race. Humans truly are the only beings on this planet to treat each other this way, and some to take pride. Reminds me of the quote “Kill one man you are a murderer, kill many a conquer, kill them all you are a god.” This shows how important authority is to humans, and to have control over social aspects because we can. As I was reading that parks, intermarriage and hospitals were segregated, I couldn’t believe that this truly happened. Sometimes it is hard to believe all of the things in history class are true because of how frightening they are. One of the worst parts of this whole thing is that the country try to back up that ‘god’ agreed or supported segregation. The bible was analyzed and then shown as proof. The bible and religion was supposed to be a peaceful representation of faith. However, people turned to it to explain this, only shown how much they wanted an explanation for what they were doing. Even though segregation was supposed to be separate but equal it was clear to see that the overall view was that whites were inferior to any other race. Morals were then created and migrated with the society to make this a custom belief.
Comparing To Kill a Mockingbird with Snow Falling on Cedars, both are focused on the trails throughout the book, off course having an additional side plots which are intertwined with the actual trails themselves. Both books are very beautiful and tell two different stories of racism in and around the court. Snow Falling on Cedars creates a rather struggle of the protagonist and his active decision and his struggles with his past. It is a very beautiful story about love and hatred, however at the turning point he finally gets to resolve his past issues, and actually in a way let go of them as he releases to the court the evidence. Ethnicity in these two books are a giant factor, which contributed in telling the story. When most people think of racism they believe that slavery might have been the only racism which occurred in this country, however, there were many cases which not many history classes focus on the time of the Japanese and American struggle within the country. This is however quite peculiar because the first time I even found out about the Japanese concentration camps during world war two, I thought it wasn’t real. I think it’s very strange how the government chooses what we have to learn for history courses.
Now a days, when we might come to a war, our government might do the same thing, and make a ethnicity suffer. I believe that one of the issues which we find struggling with, is the Middle Eastern racism. Many people after the nine eleven attacks have become hypersensitive to the countries from Middle East. Also high conviction rates of blacks and Spanish people is still one of the curious cases which still happen here and now in the 21st century. I have actually spoke to many people who believe that being more cautious of black and Spanish people because they seem to be more violent. I believe that if the government would make the communities more comfortable and give them better education, our whole crime rates would go down. Also portraying blacks and Hispanics in movies and crime shows as violent, it only predisposes people to believe that in the court as well. This isn’t easy to try and figure out why our government makes it unequal and/ or if it’s intentional. However if more people notice that we have to work together, no matter the color of our skin or sex, the government will slowly change. We need a community which grows together and tries to stick up for one another. Try and see the right and wrong in eyes of the other person, and try and understand the circumstances.
The other person may also be a significant other, or someone who is of the opposite sex. I will focus more so on the female inequality and sexism. Crimes such as sexual assault, and unequal pay, among with victimization and dehumanization of women throughout all these years has been open for all eyes to see. However with my understanding, it has decreased and women are not treated as bad as they were before. However, men will believe that their innate idea of women being lower than males does cause issues. In the movie The Accused, a woman is raped and later to only be laughed at. Only it is very difficult to watch the scene where rape occurs but it is true to see that she was raped. Men encouraging it and no one stopping it, and later mocking her, shows us how men see women as objects. Rape is very common all around the world, however the majority of the rape victims are women. One of the changed which occurred is that now women can actually accuse their husbands of rape, and that was never allowed before. There is not much that is done now a days to protect women. However I do value some males for try and comfort and try and take care of them. That might be the only way women now are protected. I would like to take a second and thank a cab driver who dropped me off next to my house when I told him I didn’t have the money to pay for the remaining of the cab ride. Also all my close male friends who walk me home, and try and make me safe. This is one of the only ways which I think that women are protected. Maybe besides from the fact some carry pepper spray or any other weapon. However, this still shows that women are prey. Depending on males close to us to keep us safe doesn’t make us independent it only shows that we need males to protect us now just like times in the past. This shows that women are just objects, in the paper, on TV to show off to men. To attract more males. There is nothing we can truly do about it, only perhaps teach our kids right.
In another essay which also discussed the issues of the woman imagine and how judgmental everyone is toward woman, Wolf’s Making of a Slut is a disturbing slap in the face which shows the readers that we learn to judge women. Depending on what they wear and how they speak about their sexuality. All of us are guilty of looking at a female wrong because she did something that wasn’t lady like, or was too honest for a lady. A conditioning of how women should act and dress, and which women are mothers and which will be the mistresses. However in the 21st century everything has changed. However I still get judged based on what I wear. As a female I think that women should be able to feel comfortable in any role, and dressing in any way makes her comfortable. Although when I spoke to my teacher he told me that being comfortable wearing feminine clothing empowers me, I disagree. I don’t have to show off my breasts or my legs to be a female, nor do I have to look like a female be one. Some feminist might disagree some might agree, however in the Making of Slut and The Accused, both are trying to empower women. Feminism is actually not as big as it used to be before, because everyone started to get use to more rights for women but there is a constant struggle of women in the society.
Another very familiar way to say feminism is the feminist movement. The whole point of the feminist movement is to improve the qualities of the female life, such issues involve reproductive rights and equal pay. However in our society which we all live in, feminism is described as women getting out of hand, some might even say over reacting. These are obvious, and might even seem like it is quite revolting when actually thinking about how women use to get treated and what was to be the norm a hundred years ago. The basic term which could have described women a hundred years ago was a slave. It is hard to talk to some people about feminism because they disregard anything about this. Many men as well as females, believe that today’s society is good enough and are too lazy to look in-between the lines to understand that, we only disregard it, and do not want to talk about it, it is because it is true. The other day after class I spoke to my boyfriend about all the interesting things I have heard about in class, and his reaction was negative. Even though I continued to talk, I saw his disinterest in his facial features. (Feminist Movement)
In one article I read that femininity is ‘ritualized suppression’, which is actually true. If we took certain phrases like ‘you are being a girl’ it literally shows us that males subconsciously and maybe even consciously, are describing certain feminine actions as negative. Ritualized gender categories, also make it difficult for females to truly be themselves, because as soon as they are born males and females are treated differently. (M. Goldberg)
As I was reading another article about the recently chimpanzee experiment, it talked about how there was never a same sex done for females. Researchers have been fascinated with gay chimpanzees however this was the first research study which completely focused on females and their sexual orientation. The result was that female’s chimpanzees often when being with another female do not focus on sex, however they focus more on pair bonding, and a relationship between them two. This could also relate back today’s society as well, many females do try and keep things together, and because of that they are looked at as weak. (S. Radtke) this could also relate back today’s society as well, many females do try and keep things together, and because of that they are looked at as weak.
In a book where everything is to question has to be The Pact by Jodi Picoult. The questionable reality of right and wrong, and whether or not helping a loved one die, when they want to can be comparable a bit to death in elderly in a hospital. When a sick person wants to die in a hospital and not struggle anymore with slowly dying, from any side it maybe or may not be reasonable to help them die right there and then… Even though I was never put in a situation like Christopher and Emily, I can say that mental issues are able to be treated and help is available. Since Emily was depressed, her love would do anything to help her no matter what. However, this seems wrong because she wasn’t mentally old enough to even understand this decision. Depression is a scary mental illness however it may be treated. Unlike dying slowly because of cancer or anything which slowly eats you up, (like the example in the hospital) this young lady was still able to get out of this situation and I feel like it was wrong for this pact to happen. However, I am not to judge whether or not the judge would find him guilty, she helped to pull the trigger which only shows that she truly did it. Justification in this book explained may be enough to try and switch people to the side toward Christopher however, it is difficult to actually justify something so brutal and somber. There isn’t enough moral justice or social justice in this situation.
The beauty of trying to justify something, meaning most of the time that that reason needs to justify which already sounds wrong. In the writing of Ralph Emerson Self-Reliance, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” It is deep rooted to actually believe what you did was for the right reason, the guilt was there while Christian was in prison. However putting him in prison with killers who wanted to do what they did, is still a breach of the government. This was not intended for pleasure, just to help a loved one, however, justified or not, he will have to live with this is enough.
Anything from any point may be justified. In World War 2, Nazi’s when interviewed and asked the question of “Why did they do it?” Their answer was that it was a given order. This goes beyond our true nature of judging those who simply were taught in this way, or trying with their belief to make this world into a better place. With personal to more political and social justifications for the law to step in and try and tell right from wrong, in its self is in a way fearsome. Not everyone has the capacity to understand the truth behind a human being, however what I do know is that we are all human, no matter what the race, the sex or the crime. With our conscious decisions and our growth of the prefrontal cortex we have somehow advanced to believe we are superior and to believe we can do the heinous crimes we do. That is why I will end with not trying to explain why people do the things they do, however they grow into the society, to grow among us and learn to be this way. Maybe it is human nature to become this way, no safe way to find out. However with this essay I will state that it brings me to disgust that racism and sexism happens and many people don’t think twice about it. In other countries our distant brother and sister, get killed, and raped and we sit here in our beds and complain about our food. This whole species is selfish yet we have made it that way. Lust and greed, has us brainwashed, believing what is right and wrong, we do not even try and have the apathy and sympathy to try and put ourselves in their place. And help one another survive in this world were money is more important than our own and love. And status now means more than ever, that’s why doctors no longer use natural methods to help someone, just feed them chemicals, to make more money. This status explains what inferior people look like, and sound like, and that it puts them higher than any living soul, because they aren’t worth it. Nevertheless, people who are racist and sexist were made to be that way, taught by people. I have trust that maybe one day we work together to see that we are equal. Through these books, authors told life lessons, but not enough people read them. In these books, you see how to some crimes against humans are justifiable in their minds. We have made them that way…
“Feminist Movement.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Nov. 2014. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
Finseth, Ian F. “American Transcendentalism.” American Transcendentalism. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.
Goldberg, Michelle. “The Dispute Between Radical Feminism and Transgenderism.” The New Yorker. .p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.
Guterson, David.Snow Falling on Cedars. New York: Vintage, 1995. Print.
Lee, Harper.To Kill a Mockingbird. London: Vintage Classics, 2007. Print.
Lewis, Jone J. “What Is Transcendentalism?” What Is Transcendentalism? N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.
Picoult, Jodi.The Pact: A Love Story. New York: W. Morrow, 1998. Print.
Radtke, Sarah. “Sexual Fluidity in Women: How Feminist Research Influenced Evolutionary
Studies of Same-sex Behavior.” Archives of General Psychiatry. EBSCO, 2013. Web.
<http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=6&sid=5fa52314-7554-45df-b76f 1bc01bb01714%40sessionmgr4002&hid=4203&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZ Y29wZT1zaXRl#db=pdh&AN=2014-01529-009>.
“Self-Reliance.”Self-Reliance. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.
“The Jim Crow Laws – a Brief Summary – History in an Hour.” History in an Hour. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.
“Transcendentalism, An American Philosophy.” Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2014.
United States. National Park Service. “Jim Crow Laws.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.
Wolf, Naomi. “Making of a slut.” Print.