Thursday, November 17, 2016

Why Do Moms Kill Their Children?

In the article, Why Do Moms Kill Their Children? from the Washington Post, maternal filicide is discussed. When I first started to read this, it didn't make sense to me how any mother could perform this terrible action. However, throughout the article I got some answers. It has been concluded that “Mothers don’t kill their children unless they are seriously disturbed,” said Lanny Berman, executive director of the American Association of Suicidology in Washington, D.C." A mother who decides to kill her child could easily be depressed, just like mother Ashley Newton was after she had stabbed her 7 month old boy. According to the article studies have shown one main conclusion that explains this crime, "Studies and experts agree on one common factor when mothers commit such an unthinkable crime: extreme mental illness". This is very rare and usually wouldn't occur unless the specific mother had serious issues. “Unless there’s a really unusual circumstance, a mother doesn’t kill her children,” Caffese said of the Newton case. “I bet there were signs all along that were just missed.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

How can Taoist texts help deepen our understanding of early Chinese history?

    The article, Reconstructing Taoism’s Transformation in China from The New York Times discusses the philosophy called Taoism and how help us deepen our understanding of early Chinese history. Taoism is a Chinese philosophy based on the writings of Lao-Tzu. It's central idea or message is to just go with the flow of things in life. Many people follow and believe in this philosophy while others are more skeptical of it and how it works. In early China, Taoism was viewed in two different ways. "Daojiao” is the religion Taoism, while “daojia” refers to philosophical works associated with Laozi and Zhuangzi, such as the Daodejing. The Taoist canon holds all the religious texts of Taoism. It gives us multiple pieces of information which make it easier to put together the aspects of early Chinese history. For example, we know that China never had an alternative political model other than their emperor, and it stayed that way for a great number of years. However, the early history of Taoism contradicts that. It shows a system of government that is surrounded around "tianshi", celestial masters. The new political structure,  "Great Peace" was brought up by the celestial matter in order to create equal treatment for all individuals. We can also conclude that there are no physical traces of the founding period of religious Taoism, most likely because they did not use physical objects for worship, they just used their own minds. Another piece of information that helps us deeper understand early Chinese history is that Taoism today is descended from the second century religious movement. We can conclude that many modern rituals of today stem from this, priests still use many of the same terms and practices.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Is Our World Real?

Scientific American published an article introducing the theory that we are all part of a programmer's computer simulation. It seems highly unlikely and unreasonable to me. Many skeptical people just like me won't even consider it. However, I understand how some of the ideas presented in this article lead others to become less skeptic on the topic. Most of us humans on earth were taught some form of religion or beliefs. Each person chooses what they want to think or believe. Is it possible that we all just don't really exist? Is the world we have been living in and everything we know just a complete lie?  I don't think so. This is because we are human beings and carry out the characteristics of a living thing each and every day. I don't see how it could be possible that everything in my reality isn't real. If we were really fake then I think more people would know this by now. What else could possibly be out there, a whole other universe? There has been too much information, evidence, and studies on the world and what it consists of for that to be true. Although, going back to what I mentioned earlier about religion, I think it's acceptable for different people to believe different things.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Holocaust Survivors: The Search for Faith & The Book of Job

The story of Moshe Yosef Daum and Fela Nussbaum is similar to that of Job. This is because in the story of Job, he had views on God that many other people did not. He feared God and looked  at his actions in a bad way, rather than looking up to God constantly and viewing him as a wonderful figure. In Holocaust Survivors: The Search for Faith, Menachem Daum describes how he cannot believe that a God who allowed the tragedy of the Holocaust to occur cannot possibly be God, “A God who limits himself to actions that we humans can understand couldn’t possibly be God.” Daum's mother, Fela approached this by questioning why God stood silently while the Holocaust was taking place and her family was in the midst of destruction. God was supposed to be someone who made the world better and did not let things such as the Holocaust happen. However, people like Menachem and his parents found it hard to believe that, just like Job. Although these two stories share the same ideas they also are different. On one hand, Job fears God because he is very powerful and can punish anyone he wants very easily. Job is intimidated by God and was never able to see God as perfect. On the other hand Menachem and his parents had higher expectations. In their religion it is believed that God is the most fantastic and he is capable of all great things. Their expectations changed after God basically betrayed them.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Book of Job Part 1 & other stories in the old testament

The Book of Job includes a man who was fearful of God and his actions, he didn't have that much respect for God. However, that is changed when God has Satan test Job with many different challenges that causes him to suffer. The Book of Job Part 1 can be compared to other stories we have explored in class in the Old Testament in multiple ways. For example, it shows similarities to Abraham and Isac. This is because in both stories God tests Abraham and Job in a harsh manner, just to prove to himself that he loved. He shows that he is very insecure and doesn't necessarily care how bad Abraham or Job would suffer. The Book of Job Part 1 is also similar to the Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh and Job are both described as perfect, they both rarely had to face suffrage in their everyday lives. That is until each of them is put through states of suffering by God. Gilgamesh suffers from loneliness and emptiness after his companion Enkidu is killed. Job suffers from pain and insecurity, and begins to question why he didn't die at birth. This story can also be compared to other stories in the Old Testament, regarding differences. When I read this I realized that Job was one of the first people in these stories that didn't always fully look up to God as such an amazing, superior, wonderful, powerful figure. Job feared him and wasn't too fond of his actions, so he complained.

Friday, September 30, 2016

First Month Into High School

It has been a month since I started high school. It feels as if it was just yesterday that I was entering the school on the first day with so many mixed emotions. I adjusted pretty quickly and it honestly is not as bad as I thought it would be. In this past month, I've learned that the best thing about high school is the freedom. This was a big part of the transition from middle school to high school. I was so used to being watched over and given specific instructions on what to do and what not to do in middle school. However, I now realized that there is a lot more independence and less rules. For example, we have the option to go out for lunch now because it is an open campus. We also have the opportunity to use our phones without getting in trouble. Another aspect of high school which I really have been enjoying is how work became more digital, due to the fact we were given IPads. I think it allows me to work faster and find information more easily. Everything has been going smoothly and I actually like high school a lot better. Although there are a few things that I did not wish changed from when I was in middle school. Lunch for the last 3 years was with all my friends, the whole grade level. In high school we are split up into different lunch periods and I don't love the fact that I am unable to see all my friends during the day and catch up with them. The high school also happens to be very big and I don't like that I'll have one class on one side of the school and the next one on the opposite side. Overall, it has been a really different and cool change and I'm looking forward to the rest of my high school career.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

God Mind Map

In class we were assigned to Genesis 6-9 for homework. These sections discussed the story of Noah's ark. We were instructed to find examples of God's indirect characterization. S.T.E.A.L is something that helps to describe the qualities of indirect characterization. Speech, thoughts, effect on others, actions, and looks of the character. As I was reading, I came across a number of things which all helped me to understand God's character. For example, God says "I have determined to
make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them; behold, I will destroy them with the earth" on page 8 of Genesis 6. This shows that God is powerful and superior, he has authority. Before analyzing this into deeper thought I initially pictured God to be selfish in a way, he wanted the world exactly how he saw it, even if it involved wiping out all living things which is sort of cruel. However, I realized that he regret what he had did and realized that living things are important so he admit his mistake and said he would never do it again. Because of indirect characterization, I now better understand what characters in stories are truly like. I enjoyed this lesson and found it to be easy, I'd like to work with indirect characterization again.