History and maps of layouts and buildings

We, the global collective of the world’s population, often wonder about world events and history. While we may seem to be certain about events and their causes and resulting effects on the totality of the historical chain, we do not always have the correct perspective through which to view history.

History does not exist in a vacuum – only air and dirt should be in a vacuum, anyway. History and historical events exist in a framework and are connected to each other like a patchwork pattern to a quilt. Each event must be said to have happened and occurred exactly as it did or the final product of the quilt’s design will be displeasing to the sight.

Let us take for example food, which is surely part of the entire historical record, dating back to beginning of the world – or at least to the existence of humanity in the world. Foods that we eat today and which may be thought to be a staple product in the average human diet are not the same foods that were eaten by our ancestors and predecessors. Specifically, vegetables did not look then, the same way that they do today. Please review the photos on this link to see what commonly eaten vegetables looked like before they were domesticated: heres-what-fruits-and-vegetables-looked-like-before-we-domesticated-them.

I have often heard it said that animals were domesticated, but never before known that it was possible to domesticate and totally recondition vegetables to become new produce. Talk about real genetic engineering. Unreal.

If we cannot even be sure about the appearance and texture and constitution of the foods we consume, then how can we be sure about the history we did not see? Is history written by the victors? Perhaps. There is sometimes, but not always, evidence of historical events, such as buildings and other structures. In other cases there may be videos and documents that substantiate events. We can piece together various components and make a determination about what actually occurred. Can be ever be certain.

Let us look now at the animal kingdom and take one example of an oddity. Does this animal really exist: Images of Jacob’s Sheep. Certainly, go to your local farm and you can see one in person – so to speak. You can read up on it on this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_sheep.

Let us consider one example of a historical blunder: https://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-buzz/sword-discovered-off-nova-scotia. If the ancient Roman’s discovered Canada and North America centuries before Columbus, then is the history we knew, really true? From where did the original inhabitants of Canada arrive?

If we cannot be sure about major details in the historical record, then can we know anything to be certain without tangible evidence? If we rely solely on history books for details on history, then are we taking just taking someone’s word for it?

liberty statue displaying business

Did you ever hear the song: Man in the Mirror, sung by Michael Jackson? One of the lyrics is: “If you want to make the world a better place, then take look in the world and make a change. What, if anything does this phrase mean?

Perhaps Michael Jackson or whoever was the actual composer of the song lyrics for this ditty was trying to teach the world a philosophical truth. Whatever we see, hear, feel, think and experience in the world is somehow a reflection of oneself, albeit on a magnified scale.

To take another example, to demonstrate this point, let us consider the movie The Fifth Element. Near the beginning of the film the army or space army encounters some giant blob and is warned, by a spiritual leader Priest Vito Cornelius, to not attempt to destroy it: Because it is evil, absolutely evil.” What lesson can we draw from this eternal wisdom? Does this advice instruct us not to combat evil when we encounter it in the world?

We cannot, as a civilized society, allow evil to run rampant without restraint. According to the Introduction of John Stuart Mill’s treatise On Liberty: “All that makes existence valuable to any one, depends on the enforcement of restraints upon the actions of other people.” Based on this claim, everyone else can be said to free and permitted to live a valuable life due to the restrictions of the behaviors of some persons in the same society. Not everyone can be equally free to do as they wish, without infringing on the rights of others who aspire to life a full life without impediment.  “Viktor Frankl once recommended that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast of the United States be complemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.”[1]

Let us return to our initial claim, whereby to improve the world, one must likewise first improve oneself. One must vanquish the evil within oneself to remove any trace element of this evil from the world. The world is after all not only the location of many places, but is also place. To ensure the removal of evil everyone must strive conversely to instead be good. One must not speak, act or think evil of others and most importantly not believe such of oneself.

One must restrain oneself from being evil, in anyway, whether through thought speech or action. This endeavor will improve the state of the world and remove any trace elements of evil. If there is no evil within anyone, then perhaps there will not be any evil to affect everyone. Let us set the goal of speaking, thinking and acting positively. It is a challenging task to complete fully, due to life’s pressures. But we can certainly achieve this feat temporarily. Perhaps a temporary suspension of evil within each person can be enough to tip the scales for the ultimate eternal good in the world!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl

 

tips in a business restaurant

Did you ever ask yourself: Who am I? What if this experience of life is an acted role upon a stage? “All the world’s a stage“, writes Shakespeare in “As You Like It.  Jaques in Act II Scene VII, says:

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…”

Perhaps we are all here on this place called earth to perform a role. Do you know part to play in the grand production? Are you are villain, hero, champion, victim, leader, follower, celebrity, or otherwise? Possibly an actor, as we know them to be has self-identified with their true character. They have capitalized on their role in the real time movie of life.

How do we get assigned our role to play? Is there a lottery? Do we draw straws? Is the role we are assigned random? Maybe we create our part in the production by shaping our character throughout our life. By being scrupulous in business we may become honest businessman. This will be our role to set an example of how to behave in commerce.

To know one’s role and to utilize it to one’s benefit is a magnificent feat. More challenging, however, is to project our persona into the ether and make others believe that we are who we seem to be on the surface. We need to actualize out potential to magnify our positive traits and minimize our potential negative qualities.

Can one find out who oneself is by inquiring with one’s friends or family members? Is one’s role obvious when one contemplates one’s identity?

Isn’t the identity theft a strange term? While one can steal another’s identification, one cannot really become someone else. Perhaps the phrase should read as identification theft. No one can take your place in the living movie of life. You are unique, as evidenced by your fingerprint and DNA. Moreover, your character is absolutely impossible to duplicate. There may be look-alikes and imposters, but these fools are easy to spot.

Your constant contribution to the shaping of the fabric of the reality is certain. Your every word, thought and action is like a thread or fiber of a quilt. You create your own patch that is easily evident to all. Can you see it? Are you able to design the pattern you want to display?

 

person looking for information on computer

Why does it seem as though those with less are always expected to achieve more and those with more are required to do less? This theory of behaviour is known as inverted madness.

It is quite strange that throughout history those people who were members of the working class were kept so busy that they would not have time or clarity of mind to be able to think about their setting in life, as member of their community as part of the class structure. Those with wealth had the luxury of all things, especially of the benefit of books and the time and opportunity to read them and learn knowledge.

Now that information is everywhere and is most easily accessed, versus any other time in history, why does a class structure of have and have-nots still exist? This phenomenon is likely due to the requirement of balance in an economy? On a metaphysical level this may be related to the need for equality of equations in the construct of the world. In order for some people to be rich, others must be poor. Up can only exist relative to down and so on and so forth.

Even though information is everywhere and can seemingly be universally or at least globally accessed, many people are still poor. This phenomenon may be due to the reality that there are still many people throughout the world who do not have computers and / internet access. Even if some people have access to information via the Internet the economic conditions require one to work constantly – so that there is really not much, if any, time, for the working class population to read, learn and grow in their knowledge of subjects and in their understanding of the functionality of the world.

Due to the change the structure and principles of many of the world’s prominent religions, followers who were devout or non-practicing are now left in a state of confusion. Since many economic and societal structures were initially based on religious doctrines and variance in the religious construct will have residual effects.

Economic principles are constantly be reshaped, but is this a positive or negative change. Has the world really benefited from the change of methods of governance? When the rule of the King was supreme in many of the world’s empires people understood their role in society and class levels had a purpose, in relation to the King everyone else was further down the totem pole. Also, income tax was approximately 1% versus today’s rates, which can vary according to one’s income, from 30% to nearly 50%.

How can economic conditions be rightfully said to have improved, when a person is only entitled to keep a smaller / lesser percentage of their earning than ever before? Perhaps this is the answer to the quandary that perplexes economic theorists and the average person, equally. Even with so called greater freedoms through independence from monarchial rule a class system seems to have been carried over and class levels are continually maintained.

One can only wonder what life was really like under the rule of the King. Is society better off with independent rule?

 

woman sitting on the beach doing yoga

Andrea Ellsworth is a featured writer on LinkedIN having composed and published thirty seven posts. She has more than two thousand loyal followers. Her articles focus on beauty, fashion, health and well being. Some of her topics also encourage options for personal development.

Sleep Yoga

We can all have trouble sleeping from time to time and really need a little help easing in to our night time. With all the distractions now days it can really be hard to Turn Off and let yourself truly relax.

Here are just a few yoga poses that I use to help transition me from a hectic day to a restful night.

1) Sit in a comfortable position on your bed and take a few moments to MEDITATE: clear the mind, focus on the breath.

2) Take 10 deep BREATHs in and out through the nose-counting to 5 as you inhale and counting to 7 as you exhale, making the exhale a little longer than the inhale.

3) Recline onto your back and HUG YOURSELF: knees into the chest, rock and roll clockwise counter clockwise massaging the back.

4) Keeping knees into the chest, allow arms to come out into T position, on an exhale drop knees to the right side coming into a RECLINED SPINAL TWIST. Return your focus to your breath, stay here for 10 breaths. Repeat on other side.

5) Inhale knees back to centre of chest, raise feet to sky. Bring hands in between feet and grab a foot with each hand- coming into HAPPY BABY POSE. Holding for 10 breaths.

6) Begin to release arms to side in comfortable position and on your next inhale lengthen the LEGS UP THE WALL, exhale allowing them to relax on the wall, resting in this position. Hold for 10-20 breaths.

7) Let legs come off the wall and slowly and gently swivel around to a seated position, lengthening one leg at a time out in front of you. Take an inhale to lengthen spine, lift chest and on your exhale begin to fold forward coming in a SEATED FORWARD FOLD. Hold for 10 breaths.

8) After your 10th exhale, take an inhale to tuck the chin to the chest and as you exhale slowly roll up vertebrae by vertebrae letting the head surface last and slowly begin to roll all the way down onto your back.

9) Settle into SAVASANA. Taking your deepest most flowing breaths yet- take as many as you want or need.

10) RELAX into a restful sleep

Full Article: http://andreaashley.ca/blog/sleepy-time-yoga

people hanging out together as friends

Friends

Do you have one? Or many? How can you know if you really have a friend? To have a friend one must be a friend that others want to have as a friend. This is the basis of friendship; two people who are worthy of being friends and who want to have a relationship with one another.

Having friends on social media outlets is not really an accurate representation of true friendship. One can have many friends online, but this does not mean these connections on a social media platform are really one’s friends. One may have one hundred to one thousand plus connections, friends, likes, recommendations and / or endorsements. How accurate or heartfelt these expressions of personal or business references are remains to be seen, the true value of which is also unknown.

One can more accurately know how many friends one has by knowing with whom one regularly associates and with whom one gets together often. Albeit one may meet up with acquaintances, as well as friends.

To know that one is a friend and that one has friend one should consider what it means to be a friend. If one is need of advice, assistance or money, then one may turn to a friend for help. A real friend is their when one is need. If one cannot count on a friend when one is ‘down and out’, then one’s so-called friend is not a real friend. Likewise, is one available to help out another friend who calls upon them for advice, assistance or money? If so, then one can rightfully consider oneself a friend. There is an expression that comes to mind on this subject: “A friend in need is a friend in deed.”

Perhaps to be more true to oneself one should only be friends in reality and in the realm of cyberspace with one’s actual friends. Is this reasonable? If one does not expand one’s online circle or friends, then can one still increase one’s real friendship community? Possibly this is the heart of the matter.

Real friends seem to shine and to draw other people towards themselves. Eventually a community of friends develops and one’s friends meet and become friends to one’s friends. Finally there is a community of friends that has been built. A real community is one that is constituted by friends who care about each other. Do you live in such a community?

 

 

man standing on manhole deciding what to do

Finding You

Can you remember the last time you knew who you were or were presently aware of who you are? Is there are way to get back to the mindset of who you were before? Is it possible for you to begin finding you?

Recently I began reviewing and retyping my essay from University. It has been an amazing experience. I have been able to get into the headspace of my former self and it has been especially enlightening to discover my prior thoughts and thoughts processes. I have been able to discover my mind and really think like I had never thought before.

Reviewing one’s former essays and reports can help one to do more than just get in touch with oneself metaphysically. Rather one can be proud of one’s surprising growth in the development of language and the application of grammatical rules in one’s writing.

To realize where one was in terms of thought process and writing abilities and be immediately aware of one’s current capabilities and mindset is wonderfully creative process. At each stage of one’s writing career, paid or through educational requirement in school, one does progress to a noticeable degree of personal and intellectual development.

I am not sure how many people read their own essays, even once they have composed them, prior to submitting them to their professors for course work. But I would venture to assume that there are perhaps only a small percentage of people who actually review their writing before handing it in for consideration and grading. Very few people would likely then also hold onto their essays and review them many years later.

To realize who one is now, it is essential that one know who they were at a former time in one’s life and to be able to realize all intermediate stages of progression and intellectual advancement. One’s mind is shaped and one’s brain certainly grows and ‘reshapes’ throughout one’s life.

Being aware of one’s growth process is certainly important and worth reviewing. Every person has a unique writing style that can be easily noticed upon a glance at one’s own compositions. One needs to know what makes one’s writing unique and to know the specialized style of one’s scriptural output. This will help one to further enrich one’s literary capabilities and to work on the tools of writing, such as context, grammar, punctuation, syntax and stylistics. Even if one if not planning on becoming a professional Writer one should know how to write well to be sure that one can think great thoughts.

 

 

 

man staring with strong focus

Are you ready to enter into a new mind-space or state of mind? Here comes the phenomenology you have been eagerly anticipating.

The question was posed and rightly put in earlier writings in this series: Is it possible to think more than one thought at any one moment in time or in any instant of reality? It was decided, after a thorough exploration of the subject that it would be impossible for two thoughts to occur at the same moment in the same brain. Is this correct? Let us postulate that one is always thinking many thoughts, albeit on different levels of consciousness. But it is more than this and greater than that.

While one may actively processing a thought in one’s brain, other parts of the brain are functioning to ensure that one’s heart is beating and that blood is circulating and other areas of the brain are focused on the constant processes of the nervous system. Electrical impulses are constantly being sent from the brain through nerves to maintain cellular life. We will agree that it is certainly possible and in fact likely that at all times there are numerous thought processes continuously at work in any properly functioning brain.

Let us venture further into exploration of simultaneous occurrences. Is it possible for more than one event to happen at the same instant to the same person? While there may certainly be components of events that play out within a event setting and which are experienced by a person, only one event make take place at once to any one person in any instant in reality. We would not consider that a person could eat steak at their favorite restaurant in one part of the world and simultaneously be eating ice cream in another location. This would be an illogical assumption that would border on madness – not to mention the impossibility of such a situation from the realm of physics.

If any two events happened to the same person in two separate locations would this process not cause a paradigm shift of reality as we know it be? Moreover, a person cannot be said to exist in more than one moment in time. One may not be living in a future yet to be created or a past that has already existed. One must therefore, be only living in one’s mind and in reality in the current time, currently observable space and experiencing events that evidently present.

These claims do not purport to ignore mental illnesses; including depression or personality disorders, which may overcome one’s mind and one’s sense of self. One could reminisce, review the past and even live there in one’s thoughts. But is this a correct postulation? No. It is absurd and impossible. If one is physically present in the current time in the history or reality on the set day on the calendar that is before oneself, which is properly reflective of the right date, then one cannot in anyway be anywhere else in time or space. If one is imaging that one is able to live in a prior moment, then one is fooling oneself and not actually reliving or recalling that moment to one’s conscious awareness. Rather one is conjuring up in one’s mind a false construct of the past based on one’s current mindset, all the while incorporating into images and perspectives that are not real or true.

If one is here and now, then one cannot be there and then. Is this claim correct? Where is there and then? That’s right it does not exist anymore, if it ever really did as one remembers it to have been. Unless one took a picture or captured on video a scene or series of scenes, then solely from one’s memory one cannot know something to really have been as one now imagines it to be in the current reality of history.

It may seem that one’s recollection is accurate, even as one compares notes with someone else and reminisces about the joint experiences of the past. This recollection is a process of re-collecting thoughts that are bound up and connected with other emotions, experiences feelings and thoughts. When one reorders all of these components to seemingly recreate a memory, one is really recreating a history that likely never existed and is instead a conjuring of one’s imagination. There may be some accuracy when seeming to remember an event or experience, but the recollection process incorporates so many subcomponents that one not be sure that the thought is really a memory.

Could we not postulate that each time one seems to remember something that one is also altering the memory of it? Each time one recalls the thought it is somehow different. Components of the scene vary to increasing degrees and levels as one strives to focus the memory. To solidify this final part of the dialogue let us surmise by saying that any two people will not recall the exact same experience the same way and will not recollect the same details of the event. What is the reason for the certain discrepancy of each person’s seemingly clear memory? It may be like we considered earlier in this discussion – which feelings and emotions about the event will vary from person to person, therefore so will the recollection of the history or reality, which we term as memory.

To function at the maximum of your capacity, while utilizing the fullest of your capabilities to your ultimate potential, you need to think in the now and be present in the time wherein you believe you currently exist.  By thinking in the moment of now you will be able to live in the now and likewise act in the present. You are surely where your minds-eye is focused. Project it into the future and slide forth from the current into the reality of the future you want to create. If you can imagine your future goals, then perhaps your brain will fill in the gaps of the specifics to ensure you are able to achieve what you believe you already have accomplished. Perhaps it is just a matter of seeing what you know yourself to be and believing that you will become who know you are in a reality that in constantly be created.

question mark showing terms and conditions

Preface for the Conditions of Life

In the following essay there are three issues for the conditions of life that will be discussed. One of these issues is capital punishment, which will be the main focus of this paper. Two other issues that will be examined herein are euthanasia and the failure of the government to provide the necessities of subsistence. It is an obligation of the government to provide subsistence, not only morally, but also because the government has agreed to follow subsistence guidelines presented by the United Nations. The definitions herein provide the basis for the terms they represent in this essay.

In the following essay Subsistence shall mean: “The standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and of one’s family, including; food, clothing housing, medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood beyond his control,” as guaranteed as a right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25.

In the following essay Euthanasia shall mean: “The deliberate painless taking of life of person who suffer from a painful or incurable disease or condition, or who are age and helpless” as defined by New Lexicon Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language.

In the following essay Capital Punishment shall mean: The Penalty of death, which may be imposed a violator of the laws of a country. This penalty usually being imposed on criminal who has committed an indictable offence thought to be unpardonable and undeserving of rehabilitation privileges.

I shall argue that euthanasia, capital punishment and the rights to subsistence are interconnected issues. Where rights to subsistence are not protected, instances of euthanasia can certainly increase. As well, if the rights to subsistence were guaranteed by the state, then harsh penalties, such as capital punishment would not likely have popular support. These issues are very much related to each other. Therefore, they must be discussed in the same dialogue of review. For example, the results of crime and poor health bring to society the burden of dealing with punishment and suffering; such as the death penalty and euthanasia or random deaths.

I will formulate my main argument, by employing the use of other supporting clauses that sustain and reinforce it. This paper has three paper; three arguments that are directly related. These claims are that: the religious reasoning against capital punishment; an argument from the ethical and moral consequences that euthanasia will have on the community at large; an argument from the negative effects of the failure of a country’s government to fulfill its obligation to ensure subsistence by providing the necessities of existence. The one common thesis that binds these arguments together is that capital punishment, euthanasia and the failure to provide basic subsistence for citizens inevitably leads to an unnecessary increase in the rate of deaths.  Let us assume that society should strive to prolong the lives and life spans of its citizens. Therefore, any activity that leads to an earlier death must not be permitted. This essay will deal with each of these arguments in turn and attempt to establish their interconnection / interrelatedness.

Is indifference to people dying, as a result of starvation and the like, actually a form of acceptance? While asking this question and posing this query, it must be noted that “silence of most should not be taken as absence of opinion” (Melton, 1989; xiii). It must also be asked if one displays indifference or apathy in cases of where people are dying by whatsoever method, is not in fact the same as taking on the role of the aggressor and assistant of such deaths. What is the major difference between allowing someone to die by starvation or by execution, or suicide? The result is the same, even though the method or behavior of the actors may seem to vary. “Where the motive and intention is the same, the distinction between taking a life and letting one die is without moral significance” (Steinbock, 1994; 26). If we know something to be wrong, then we should not accept it in any form or allow it to occur in any way.

We should not rightly allow people to starve to death, by withholding available food, for the purpose of maintaining the current market price for staple foods / commodities; whether currently traded stuffs or options / futures. This argument is valid as it pertains to the moral basis of a state whereby we will not allow people to commit suicide. Justification of the former is consistent with the latter. An argument that would attempt to justify the first noted process of apathy, while condemning the second option, is contradictory and perhaps not worthy of consideration or exploration.  The result of either and / or both forms of indifference to the value of human life is shockingly the same, even though the methodology may seem to vary.

The basis for the argument against capital punishment in this essay is Judaeo-Christian doctrines. These guidelines will be used in the evaluation herein because they form the basis / building blocks for our legal system / laws in our society and for the majority of the world’s population. This set of principles seems to purport that it is wrong for one to take one’s own life and / or that of another person. The Judaeo-Christian religious principles instruct us that no person may take the life of another person. No one can, therefore, be allowed to commit suicide.

Let us examine the taking of life in accordance with the Bible (Old and New Testaments). It is clearly stated, Romans 12:19-21, “that the individual Christian has no right to punish violators of the judicial codes but is rather to repay evil with good” (Melton, 1989; 87). Though it says in Exodus 21:04 and in other places in the Old Testament, “An eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth”, it must not be taken or perceived to mean that if someone pokes out your eye that you should or must do the same to that person. Interpreting and acting upon a literal reading of the text would lead to absolute chaos and anarchy. If it is believed that the threat of punishment, such as corporal or capital punishment, is a deterrent to crime, then it must be noted that: “Throughout the ages, however, the death penalty had not been a deterrence to crime, even the crime of slaying” (Melton, 198: xiv). Moreover, “the commission of a homicide by the state merely increases the level of violence, rather than teaching citizens not to slay” (Melton: 1989; xv).

As well, the punishment for cursing parents must be closely examined; where it is written in Exodus 21:17, “And he that curseth his father or mother, shall surely be put to death (The Holy Scriptures, 1957: 59). If, however, any or all parents put their progeny to death when they were so cursed, then an extremely great amount of offspring would join the deceased. To put to death one’s own issues for disobedience to parents surely seems to be a greater crime, from an ethical perspective, then to curse someone, which seems to be somewhat fictitious from a modern perspective.

Nevertheless, it is believed that we must follow these commandments. It is interpreted to mean that failure to do so is a sin, which would likely result in some prescribed punishment. It is commonly believed, by many followers, of these doctrines that this punishment may be inflicted by G-d or by human beings.

The Bible is used in our discussion, as it has provided the foundation for most of our present day laws and formed the basis for the prevalent legal systems in modern democracies. It lends great defense against the taking of life for any reason, except in such a situation where one violates the laws stated therein, or in the case of zealotry to avoided capture by unworthy conquerors. This is again a contradiction in terms of logic. If we know something to be wrong among mortals, then how can we properly justify it in any circumstances, in a modern society?

In the case of capital punishment, we are not acting in concurrence with the seeming words of Jesus, (John 8:3-11) in the case of the woman who had been accused of committing adultery and was subsequently brought to be stoned and saved from punishment, when Jesus was said to have proclaimed, “He that is without sin among, let him cast the first stone” (Melton: 1989; xx). The reasoning utilized by the champion of the text is very logical. The woman was not stoned by her accusers. The people who were about to stone her may have suddenly realized that that they were not persons who were without sin who likewise could not rightly pass judgment upon the accused woman. Let us now assume that the accused woman was certainly guilty of the crime of adultery. If death was to be her punishment, then she certainly could not repent for her transgression or hope to prove herself as being worthy of being a good citizen. Even more, what if the woman was not guilty of the crime of which she was excitedly accused and it was later found out the unsubstantiated accusation was in fact false. If the woman was innocent of the crime, then her executioners would not only be guilty of taking her life, but would have no justification for their so-called carrying-out of justice. It should be noted that adultery / infidelity was still considered a crime in modern day democracies until recently.

We will now examine the Judaic view, as it seems to relate to capital punishment. It cannot be rightly used as an argument that contemporary Judaism agrees with capital punishment, when in 1959 the Union of American Hebrew Congregations officially opposed capital punishment. This opposition was rooted in the fact that “the resort to or continuation of capital punishment, either by a state, or by the national government, is no longer morally justifiable” (Melton, 1989; 143). When the Biblically depicted ‘Cain slew Abel’, as recorded in the Book of Genesis, G-d did not take the life of Cain nor order anyone to do so to punish his actions. Rather, ‘G-d calls upon calls out to Cain and inquires about whereabouts is his brother’, even though it is obvious to any reader of the text and certainly known to the Lord that Cain slew Abel. Cain curses himself and deems that ‘whoever shall find him should slay him’ (Genesis, 4:14). The Lord proclaims: “Therefore whoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold” (Genesis, 4:15).

Therefore, according to the Bible to administer capital punishment, even for capital offenders, is wrong. It cannot logically be argued that in reference to the Bible that one person should take the life of another, even when seemingly appointed to do so by the government. If one were to argue in favor of capital punishment, then one would need to fairly consider that its administration is contradictory in principle, because the effect of its execution degrades the morality and moral standards of the very society that it seemingly meant to protect.

It could, however, be persuasively argued that capital punishment is necessary as a threat of punishment for committing a capital crime. This attitude is often termed as being a deterrent or a warning against recidivism. This claim, however, is invalid as a practicality of social behavior in contemporary society. It was argued earlier in this paper that the death penalty has not been a successful deterrent to crime, even to capital crimes. It may confidently be argued that the death penalty is necessary to seemingly make the punishment fit the crime. One must consider that the laws in modern day democracies are based upon the Bible. We cannot, therefore, rightly say that humans have the authority to inflict everlasting punishments upon other human beings. This is because the only true sovereign in any dominion is the Lord. Society may choose to assume the role of the punisher in place of the Divine. It must then be pondered – at which point do humans beings decide that it is correspondingly the role of the Divine to intervene in human affairs to administer justice.

Throughout history humans have permitted capital punishment and ‘duels’ / ‘draws’ in the Old West. This behavior has been allowed, while relying on the justification / claim that a said person broke / contravened a religiously mandated law or ordinance. Members of the general population of humanity, however, are not capable of determining guilt or exonerating innocence; except according to a prescribed law. It is arguable that at some point and time that a certain law may cease to exist or not be enforceable. Moreover, the punishment for breaking it may change / vary. What if we impose a permanent penalty upon a person, whereupon shortly thereafter a determination is made that the law they broke is deemed to be unjust or the prescribed penalty is accorded as being too severe? Where in one case a life has permissibly been taken, how can we claim in a similar circumstance that we must surely take life the life of another person, as well? If the law is to be respected and observed, then it is reasonable to accept that it changed be changed to adapt to the majority opinion or to be in-line with the standards of contemporary society. The reasoning that the severity of a crime in one case is less than that which would be in another where the result is the same is superfluously inconsistent.  There then ceases to be a justification as to why this sort of arbitrary law must be obeyed or respected. This applies especially where the punishment will be of a permanent nature.

To claim in one instance that we will permit an action and in another instance to restrict or punish a different occurrence can only be deemed logical if the degree of harm caused by such an activity does certainly vary in fact. But if a capital crime is termed as such and society determines that the perpetrator receive capital punishment, society should proscribed the same punishment equally across the board without being selective of contributing factors of circumstances. Nonetheless, in contemporary democracies society evaluates capital crimes according to different / varying degrees. Where the result is the same how can the severity be itemized? It may seem odd that society has decided that the degree of the crime is dependent upon the intent to cause harm or the failure to intervene to prevent it. The penalty for committing a crime seems to depend on the severity of its impact on society and the perpetrators intentions to cause harm to the victim.

Capital punishment being final and everlasting is seemingly inconsistent the very purpose of core principles of punishment. If a punishment serves no end / goal but to take the life of a violator of a law, then that violator cannot prove themselves capable or worthy of being a respectable citizen and can never be rehabilitated. In modern democracies, where rehabilitation exists in some cases for some criminals it should fairly exist for all. To challenge this rationale would be to claim that we have no need for law, but only a requirement for warring against those who seem to act in opposition to it.

Let us now examine the issue of euthanasia as it relates to capital punishment. They are both different means to the same end. In this capacity of comparison and contrast they are relative. Euthanasia is the choice of one person to have some, usually a Doctor, take one’s life. This usually occurs in such a case where that person is suffering from a terrible illness or cannot bear to live; depending on one’s medical or physical condition. There are two types of euthanasia; active and passive. “Active euthanasia involves intentionally taking a patient’s life for the reasons of compassion. Passive euthanasia involves refraining from doing something that could prolong or save a human life, for reasons of human compassion” (Steinbock, 1994: 25).

Euthanasia at its effects must be carefully analyzed from the same perspective as capital punishment. It is believed – from the religious viewpoints expressed earlier on in this examination – that for anyone to take the life of another person is certainly wrong. Capital punishment was argued against on a religious basis. Euthanasia will argued against on a moral and ethical basis. This horrid act or lack of acting affects society by dehumanizing the moral structure of the community where it is happens. This reason enough why this act must not be permitted to occur. It should be noted that “there is no difference in principle in criminal liability between causing a death by a positive act and causing death by omission” (Steinbock, 1994: 29).

Let us now discuss the issue of euthanasia, as it relates to capital punishment. They are both different means to the same end. In this capacity they do relate. Euthanasia is the choice of one person to have someone, usually a doctor; take one’s life or help one end one’s life by the use of a so-called medicine or other medical means. This usually occurs in such cases where that person is suffering from a terrible illness and cannot bear to live, depending on one’s medical or physical condition. There are two types of euthanasia or rather two methods for administering it to a terminally ill patient who has requested it, directly or through an authorized representative, such as a Power of Attorney for Personal Care. “Active euthanasia involves intentionally ending a patients’ life for reasons of compassion. Passive euthanasia involves the refraining from doing something that could prolong or save a human life, for reasons of compassion” (Steinbock, 1994:25).

Euthanasia and its effects must be analyzed from the same perspective as capital punishment to determine their interrelatedness. A religious viewpoint, as demonstrated earlier on, claims that for anyone to take the life of another person is wrong. Capital punishment was argued against on this basis. Euthanasia will argued against from moral and ethical angles. This horrific action affects society, by dehumanizing the moral structure of the community where it occurs. This should be reason enough why it should be prohibited. It should be noted that “there is no difference in principle in criminal liability between causing a death by a positive act and causing death by omission” (Steinbock, 1994: 29).

Where one decides that one no longer wishes to continue living, one should likely consider by which means one would choose to instead die. If one chooses to die by refusing medicine that can most certainly save one’s life, then on would be foolish to refuse such remedy. If, however, we are to guarantee one the right to life and permit one the freedom to live one’s life in whatever manner one chooses, as long as one does not contravene the law in so doing, then can we rightly exercise any restriction upon one when one may choose not live anymore. If suicide is a crime and one attempts and possibly succeeds at suicide, then it could be argued that one has broken the law by committing this action. But if a person chooses to refuse medicine and medical treatment and let ‘nature take its course’ or requests assistance in ending one’s life by utilizing medicine in conjunction with a medical practitioner, then we cannot rightly exercise punishment on that person for exercising autonomy over one’s life.

We may permit that it is acceptable to let a person die who refuses medicine that may save them and prolong their life. It, however, cannot be guaranteed with certainty that medicine or medical treatment will surely prolong a person’s life. We must then pose the query: Can we rightly allow one to die based measurements of our own moral compass? To force upon a person the application of a scientific innovation, which cannot surely, beyond any doubt, save their life, is to take deny them their choice to live as they choose to live, while not contravening the law. But if such law were to exist, which would require a person to accept any medical innovation or medicinal technique that could possibly remedy their life, then such a law would be unjust.

It would be unjust to then impose a law upon a person that orders them to accept a treatment that cannot certainly ensure the continuance of one’s life. Moreover, this would be a way of deny one the right to sovereignty over their own soul. Where freedom of life is guaranteed, so long as one does infringe upon the rights of others, it is a correspondingly illogical claim to argue that one should be forced to accept the innovations of the medical community, in an effort to prolong one’s life.

If, however, we as a society are to uphold the moral structure of the community, as a whole, then can we rightly allow our fellow comrades to perish? If we now agree that it is wrong to administer capital punishment to an offender, based on religious doctrines, then we cannot correctly claim that we can let one take one’s own life. To permit either action would contradict our beliefs about both parts of the claim as just stated. It is surely illogical to refuse to put someone to death in one case, and then to permit one to take one’s own life in another situation. In either case one person will not remain alive. Is it I not the greatest good that society claims to hold dear that every person has the right to life? But is a right to life not also the right to decide if one should live or not live, based on one’s choice in the matter. Therefore, we cannot allow one to end one’s own life as such a choice would still be the taking of life; even it is one’s own.

Let us assume that because one has the right to life, one is sovereign over one’s own physical being. In a society that functions based on Judaeo-Christian doctrines and morals, it is wrong to say that taking a life is unacceptable if one person does it to another, and then to contradictorily claim that if one wishes to take one’s own life or request the assistance of another in so doing that it would be morally justifiable.

It may be claimed that the justifications for a doctor to assist a patient in committing suicide include consideration of the intensity of suffering that a patient who wishes to die is experiencing. It must, however, be pondered as to whether the patient is in a proper mental state of mind to make such a determination or permanent decision. We should not allow a doctor to assist will a suicide or to refrain from saving a patient’s life. This is an especially correct assertion, when we consider that a doctor has sworn an oath to always strive to preserve life. If we permit a doctor to act contradictorily then the noted oath would seem to serve no purpose. Any oath that a professional make accept to adhere to and then lackadaisically not obey it, would seem to have no basis for being initially sworn. Rather that professional who fails to honour their professional pledge would not deserve to maintain their professional status.
We need to consider whether it would be fair to deny one the right to decide if one will live or die if one made this conscious decision at an earlier time when one was well, both mentally and physically. If one was fully cognizant of one’s choice and not biased by one’s physical predicament, then would be fair or just to deny one the right to autonomy over one’s life. We do permit one to have autonomy over one’s physical being. Should we not likewise grant one the right to autonomy over one’s life that sustains the physical being?

If we allow a person to take a life in the realm of capital punishment, then do we not protect the moral stature of society from random acts of death, by way of a clearly proscribed deterrent? It cannot be logically claimed that in one case it is permitted and justifiable for one to take the life of another person and to also claim that it is crime to take a life. We have, for the most part, decided that the act of taking another person’s life, at least in relation to the Bible and legal systems in modern democracies, is a sever crime. This is logical reasoning and is consistent with why we should not allow people to take the lives of others or their own.

Contemporary society may seem to permit people to die in another manner than what has been contemplated. Governments spend millions of dollar annually to conduct and evaluate studies to research poverty conditions within their own country and in some cases on global comparisons. This same money, which is allocated to the so-called studies, could likely be used to provide employment training and to create jobs for those who the ‘demographic subjects’ of the research initiatives. Nevertheless, on a daily basis the government and citizens likewise pay greater attention to incidental matters, such as: interest rate and political matters that relate to business interests. While politicians live in luxurious accommodations and are continuously paid outrageously high salaries, which are accompanied by generous retirement packages, homeless people routinely die of hypothermia and starvation.

It is necessary to conjure up an image of the horrific realities of daily life, which are encountered by citizens who are without: a home, house, food, clothes and will likely not live out the week. It has been argued that “A death is usually more certain if one is trying to take one’s life than if one is merely refraining from preventing a death” (Steinbock, 1994; 25). The result, however, in either case is the same. We are concerned with the outcome in this evaluation of society’ ills.

While the result is the same, we cannot therefore properly justify it by arguing that in order to maintain the current economic structure of society that we must let some people die, in order to preserve the status quo that allows others to live and to live well. Let us now venture into the economics of this seemingly politically charged matter. Studies on poverty, which cost millions of dollars, are consistently undertaken. Many experts provide opinions on the causal factors that the studies strive to evaluate. One may therefore find it illogical why it was not decided that it would be better to use the research money to solve the poverty problem, rather than to scrupulously examine it. Furthermore, it does not take an expert economist to understand that the government must reduce spending. When referendums occur every few years, which costs in excess of millions upon millions of dollars to conduct, then one must inquire as to whether money is being spent properly. Are funds being correctly allocated to assist those people who would most greatly derive benefit?

Spending is being cut in a few ways by contemporary governments. The areas of funding that will be reviewed herein are funding to universities and colleges. As well, less money is being allocated to hospital and municipalities. Politicians, who are seemingly representative of the people, live a life of luxury, while thousands of their constituents live in a state of poverty. When this situation exists it is surely problematic. It was discussed by Mill in his masterpiece On Liberty that the citizens exercised the right to not be oppressed by the upper classes, namely the monarchy, and that this was what was meant by liberty (Mill, 1947:2). We can now realize that liberty is not being properly exercised in the current structure of society. The majority of the population does not speak out on this endemic of injustice. Rather they just chew the fat and are satiated.

It seems clear that the right to subsistence, according to the definition used in this essay, is being challenged. This menacing can be easily seen when one examines the way that citizens are regularly deprived of the otherwise guaranteed right to social services and security of employment. Students are also feeling the financial pinch. This is said with special reference to ever increasing tuition fees, which restrict access to education for students who would otherwise being to study and graduate and find jobs by which they contribute to the economical development of the society. It is a moral obligation of the government to provide citizens with equal opportunity to improve themselves and jointly enrich their community.

Citizens, however, must realize that the government has become indifferent to the needs of its citizens. This matter must be examined more closely. Let us suppose that it is the duty of politicians to adequately represent constituents. These representatives are expected to do so at all levels of governance. Having made this assumptive claim the meaning of the word citizen must be reconsidered. If a citizen is only understood to be those persons who pay income and property tax, then people who live on the street would not reasonably qualify for consideration as citizens. But if it meant by the term citizen one who was born into a country and resided therein for the greater part of one’s life – and one considers oneself to be a citizen – then we must question which citizen they are representing. Each of the qualifications for citizen-ship seems to be at odds with the other explanation, in so far as the requirement of definable worth and value of the citizen to the country.

The most commonly presented argument, which is often used, in the case of the failure of a country to provide subsistent is that any effort to do so will lead to a definite bend towards a state of dependency. This is a logical justification why a modern democracy would fail to provide more than a minimum standard of welfare or other financial assistance to those in need. It is mistakenly believed that all citizens who are in need actually receive the minimum standard of payable welfare benefits. It is incorrectly believed as well that one person, who may be termed a tramp is of no value to the society. If this person should choose to live without the help and / or assistance of the community, then it is solely their own choice to do so. Let us analyze this argument for a moment. It is outlawed in many modern democracies for a person to commit suicide and / or to assist another in so doing, but it is not a crime to allow or cause people to live without the basic necessities of life, whereby one who does not have these necessities will surely perish. It is this matter of hypocrisy that one must consider when evaluating the matter of subsistence and the obligation of a country to provide necessary financial stabilizers to the needy.

It could be argued that it is not the duty of a country’s government to provide subsistence to its citizens, but what about signatory nations who have promised to comply with basic standards, as set out by the United Nations. Many modern democratic states signed covenants whereby they agreed to abide by the guidelines of the United Nations and the declarations it presented, after 1948 (the year that the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). All first-world nations have an obligation to provide subsistence in whole or in part for their citizens.

Points to ponder

“We could not knowingly subject one person to deadly fumes in the process of manufacturing some substance that would save many, even if the poising were a mere a side effect of the process that saved many lives” (Steinbock, 1994; 283).

“How can a consideration be a reason for saying that an action is bad in one place, without at least being a reason for saying the same elsewhere?” (Steinbock, 1994; 284).

Bibliography

Canada. Research Branch. McKenzie, Helen. Capital Punishment in Canada, Political Science
     and Social Affairs Division – Research Branch, 1979.  

Garland, David and Peter Young. The Power to Punish. London: Heinman Educational Press,
1983.

The Holy Scriptures according to the Masoretic Text. USA: Delair Publishing Company, 1987.

Jadhav, U.K. Is Capital Punishment Necessary? Bombay: Anad Publications, 1973.

Melton, Gordon J. The Churches Speak on Capital Punishment. USA: Gale Research Inc., 1989.

Mill, John Stuart. On Liberty. Illinois: Harlan Division, Inc. 1947.

The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language. Canadian Edition. USA:
Lexicon Publications Inc., 1988.

Radelet, Michael L. Facing the Death Penalty. Philadelphia Temple University Press, 1989.

Rosenblatt, Stanley M. …Of Mercy. USA: Promethus Books, 1992.

Steinbock, Bonnie and Allastair Norcross. …and Letting Die. New York: Fordham University
Press, 1994.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

man thinking about next decision

To Think More Than One Thought At A Time

Is it possible for mind to process more than one thought at any one instant? Can you do it? Can you think multiple thoughts? There is an idea of multitasking. Is this really possible? To do more than one task at any one time in the space of the world is not possible. That is it is not seemingly possible for people, but could be for a machine. Walking and chewing a candy at the same time are not really simultaneous activities, even though they may seem that way.

Can you conceive of a thought when you are not physically focused? If you are not without any distractions of sight or sound or touch would you really be able to think a clear thought. By touch is meant your grasping or connecting with the world by means of using one’s physical being. Is this possible? One who is sitting or who is standing or lying down is surely doing so somewhere in the construct of reality and within the physical world. Whether it is only one’s feet, or hands, et cetera, one is at all times interacting in a visceral way with the physical world. How can, one have a pure, or clear thought?

Let us take for example that one is reading a book. Does it matter if one is reading it aloud for one to be able to focus on the content and context of the written text? Is one able to better read the words on the page if one actually holds the book in one’s hands, rather than reads from the book while it is placed upon a table or desk? Does the position or the angle at which one holds the book determine one’s eye level and at all affect the speed and intensity of one’s ability to perceive and input the information from the book into one’s brain? What about how close or far one holds the book from one’s face? Could the placement in terms of spatial distance determine the vibration of one’s words back from page, and simultaneously affect one’s ability to process the information being conveyed from the words upon the page?

When one is reading, quietly / silently or out loud, either way, is one not hearing one’s thoughts being processed with each word one’s scans by the process of reading? Thoughts have sounds? Is that right? Is there a measurable device to monitor ones individual thoughts being processed? If there is way to know that one is thinking a thought, then could it be determined whether or not is able to think more than one thought at any one instant in time?

When one reads it seems that one could be distracted by other wandering or roaming thoughts and then one will need to refocus. What happened? Where did one’s mind go? There are words upon the page that one is reading and upon which one surely focused. Where are these other thoughts coming from? More importantly why is one’s brain being distracted? During this seemingly simple process of reading one can potentially have numerous thoughts at what seems like the same time. Is this correct? Or is this just how it seems?

Are the thoughts part of a process that is really occurring at a different time, in actuality and it just seems as though there are multiple thoughts being processed. But could it be more correct to realize that these simultaneous thoughts may have occurred at a prior time and we are just now catching up on the reality, which seems to presently occur? Our ideas are passing through a filter that has cleared them for entry into the existence of the actuality of reality. Now they emerge. When do these thoughts burst forth to the surface of reality? When we do not want or need them to clutter one’s mind. One is now reading. It is only important that one has thoughts about the words one is now reading. Eating pizza tomorrow is not relevant to the matter at hand? Or is it? Where are your thoughts now? How many did you just have? Were they all at the same instant or moment in the world as you know it to be?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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