Knowledge is power

That common saying may contain some truth though it can be qualified by use of philosophy-the origin of reasoning. Philosophy is linked to origin of many subjects taught today because of its reflection nature which leads to viable conclusions and principles. For example Plato used a step by step reflection process to explain the difference between appearance and reality, while Aristotle described the source of knowledge from the natural intuition and interaction with physical things. This essay therefore, will discuss in depth analysis of allegory of cave (Plato), analysis of divided rule and relevant passages from Aristotle on sole as they relate to acquiring knowledge.

Platos allegory of the cave
In the allegory, people are likened to prisoners chained in a cave, with inability to move their heads. Plato says that they can only see burns from fire and the caves wall and not the original objects that move behind them. Therefore their knowledge is only limited to the belief developed by seeing shadows and the echo behind them.

People more often than not use the term knowledge in different ways, without defining what they exactly mean. Knowledge in philosophy refers to beliefs that are true, justified and actionable. Therefore using Platos allegory of the caves, prisoners represent the people trapped inside the matrix, with ignorance on the truth and are satisfied with life of illusions around them. As a result they lack true knowledge.

Through Platos point of argument there is a difference between appearance and reality. The prisoners would think that shadows seen on the wall were real and nothing on causes of the shadows, they would know. When the prisoners were released to the sun they could look at the sun and discover they were wrong. Indeed, people may get concepts by experiencing (perceptual) physical objects but it would be wrong if they likened the concepts grasped with the things perceived.

There is a difference between what we feel and what we think. This is what determines if the information we have is true and viable or not. Plato suggests two different forms of vision that exist, the bodily eye (senses) and the minds eye that is a high level of thinking. Until people are released to freedom that is (ignorance) and use the mind eye, they will continue having wrong information since perception can not be relied upon because the world is full of distorted massages.

In Platos Allegory of the Cave, he explains that people cannot gain knowledge and enlightenment until they come out of the ignorance that they were born into. In a metaphorical sense, Plato refers to ignorance as the dark prison cave, people as the prisoners, and Knowledge as the Sun, which gives light to the world for all to see.

The divided line
 Knowledge is acquired through some hierarchical steps.  A mans journey through education is mapped by a metaphorical line used by Plato. To gain knowledge, there are four stages (Plato, 501). Using divide line argument by Plato, a line is drawn and is initially divided to two-visible section and the intelligible section. The visible section presents two kinds of images, one section has shadows of images and the second one has real images. On the intelligible section the soul firstly, investigates using hypothesis and makes to a conclusion and secondly it comes up with a principle based on investigation using real images (Plato, 501)

In process of learning, there are such conditions that correspond to the lines four sub-sections. They include imaging, belief, thought and finally understanding. Therefore to learn, a person starts by having vague idea and which when real pictures are presented, a person develops a belief. At the second highest stage the person engages the mind through reasoning hence coming up with conclusions. Finally the person is able to achieve a great understanding just as coming up with a principle as explained on the divided line. This is the origin of great knowledge.

Aristotles on the Soul
All knowledge comes from our interaction and perception (Aristotle, 89). In reference to Aristotle on the soul, Knowledge pre-exists in our world through physical and concrete thing and it can be acquired by humans through interaction with the existing things in the physical world such as a particular tree, a particular animal and many more. This means that perception of the physical senses on the physical elements of our reality leads to learning. Therefore our ability to discern from our surrounding (sense perception) and everything in it represented by particular and tangible things, which lead to mathematical and scientific understanding of our existence. Aristotle believes that we remember what we perceive hence creating memory and from accumulated memory of something in particular a great understanding is achieved.

In conclusion from the above discussion, Plato strongly believe that there is a difference between perception and reality and we can only gain knowledge when we come out of our ignorance (perception) and see the reality by seeing the real things. On the other hand, Aristotle argues that we learn through perception of physical things existing around. However in the contemporary society, it is of great importance to integrate both arguments in order to achieve a great understanding and hence maximize on knowledge acquisition.

Philosophy of Knowledge Platos Apology and the Allegory of the Cave

Western philosophy has been from its outset a reflection on knowledge. Socrates in his Apology, Plato in his myths, analogies, and allegories and finally Aristotle in his book on the soul present us three first decisive steps of this reflection. However, nowhere else is the reflection of knowledge as truthful, as objective, and philosophically fascinating as in Platos works. Knowledge for Plato is distinctly different from an opinion. Plato views knowledge as the gradual movement to the realization of everything Good. In his writings, Plato tries to show that knowledge, contrary to previous beliefs, it not an abstract category but a universal form used to judge the quality and importance of objects and actions, as well as an effective means of improving human character.

    Apology and Republic are, probably, the two most important Platos works. Both works have already become a fundamental measure of philosophic knowledge and the basic source of truth about people and the world, in which we live. More importantly, however, is the role which Apology and Republic play in the development of our ideas about knowledge. Plato seeks to prove that knowledge is not an abstract category but a universal form, used to judge the quality and goodness of things and actions. It would be fair to assume that what Plato writes in the Allegory of the Cave is a new philosophy and a new idea about what knowledge is, what functions it fulfills in the physical world, and how individuals can achieve the highest level of being knowledgeable about life. The Allegory of the Cave is the best representation and explanation of knowledge as the highest goal of education, and as something that should serve the ultimate standard of judging the reality and its value

The ascent to see the things in the upper world you may take as standing for the upward journey of the soul into the region of the intelligible they you will be in possession of what I surmise, since that is what you wish to be told.  In the world of knowledge, the last thing to be perceived and only with great difficulty is the essential Form of Goodness. Once it is perceived, the conclusion must follow that, for all things, this is the cause of whatever is right and good in the visible world it gives birth to light and to the lord of light, while it is itself sovereign in the intelligible world and the parent of intelligence and truth (Republic 517c).

Knowledge for Plato is associated with the understanding and recognition of this Form of Goodness, without which knowledge and wisdom become obsolete. Knowledge is fairly regarded as the ultimate stage of ones moral and spiritual evolution. In order for a person to have access to knowledge and to become knowledgeable, this person has to go through several important stages of individual growth, none of which is easy.

Through the prism of the Allegory of the Cave, ones journey to knowledge begins with identifying and trying to interpret the meaning of shadows and other images  as such, imagination is the first step to knowledge (Republic 515b-c). In the process of individual evolution, or being released from chains, individuals acquire a unique opportunity to see physical objects and to perceive relationships between them (Republic 516 a-c). However, grasping the meaning of these objects is impossible without understanding, and the process of understanding should be systematic enough to become knowledge he would be able to look at the Sun and contemplate its nature, not as it appears when reflected in water or any alien medium, but as it is in itself in its own domain (Republic 516c). Finally, this understanding will be logically followed by the gradual apprehension of forms and meanings, which altogether constitute the general form of everything Good and which, in its turn, is used to judge the value and the order of everything in the world (Republic 516d). Only objects and phenomena that are included into the Form of Good are considered meaningful and valuable. Thus, knowledge is the ultimate product of ones long evolution, which begins with imagination and perceptions and ends where knowledge turns into the universal truth. It is obvious that in this state of mind, a person would hardly be willing to return to his (her) previous state, which for Plato is equal to imprisonment or, in simpler terms, is associated with absolute unawareness and mental darkness.

    Not only does knowledge serve to judge the quality and value of all objects in the world, but it should also work to improve human character. That a person was able to undergo dramatic cognitive changes and to arrive to the realization of the universal Form of Good already marks a positive change in ones character. Now, however, when a person is destined to get back to his fellow prisoners, he (she) is expected to utilize his (her) knowledge for the sake of enlightening others Men of Athens, I respect and love you, but I shall obey the god rather than you, and while I live and am able to continue, I shall never give up philosophy or stop exhorting you and pointing out the truth to any one of you whom I meet (Apology 29d). Thus, knowledge as the ultimate measure of everything good should also work for the benefit of others, who need this knowledge and enlightenment to move on to the next, more advanced, stage of individual growth.
    Western philosophy has been from its outset a reflection of knowledge. Dozens of philosophers sought to determine and define what knowledge is, how it works in the real world, and how individuals can achieve the ultimate stage of being knowledgeable. Knowledge for Plato is associated with the ultimate Form of Good not only is this form used to judge the quality and value of different objects, but only objects that are included into this Form of Good are considered valuable. To become knowledgeable, however, an individual is destined to go through several stages of individual evolution, from imagination to understanding the meaning of the permanent objects like Good. Knowledge is not simply valuable in itself, but it should also work for the benefit of others, to improve their characters. Knowledge should serve an effective driver of positive change in everyone, who seeks to become enlightened.

The Role and Goal of science

Science has been misunderstood since its inception. Initially, very few people believed what science was capable of doing. There was no practical utility derived from science. The world was so much immersed in superstition, religion and long time tradition (American Association for Advancement of Science, 1990). The emergence of science threatened a continued survival of these institutions. However, even after science survived long time persecution still there came another misunderstanding. People tended to believe science is infallible. The human progress and accumulation of knowledge through scientific discoveries and experimentation were perceived to bring about certain knowledge of reality. To most people this kind of knowledge was indisputable. However, the most renowned scientists have argued for the fallibility of science (Kourany, 1997). It is not all about accumulation of facts, data and creation of certain knowledge but a continued attempt to understand the world that we live in.

Science and Knowledge of Reality
It is true that science has aided the interpretation of reality. Scientific theories and facts are therefore vital for a better understanding and interpretation of the world we live in. This interpretation is confined to only a portion of reality. There is no way science can be able to know everything about anything in reality (Carrol, 2009). In addition there is no scientific theory, no matter how grand, which can be proved with absolute certainty. Scientists are human beings and scientific knowledge is human knowledge (Carrol, 2009). The claims made by science are therefore not infallible as perceived by some people. The theories serve well for a period of time till some fault is found with the theory or a better one advanced. There are also possibilities of the said theory to be improved upon.

A theory is therefore rich and useful in a certain limited period of time. This is after it has been subjected and passed several tests. However, the same theory may fail the same tests that it successful passed earlier. This is referred to as falsifiability of scientific theories. Again, just like scientific theories, scientific facts are also fallible. This is because scientific facts too need interpretation. It is therefore accurate to say theories and knowledge of science are meant to explain specific phenomena. In brief scientific knowledge does not guarantee certain or exact knowledge of reality.

Despite uncertainty of scientific knowledge, science as a discipline is not delusional. There are certain scientific truths. The theories are considered to be either true or false after they are subjected to a number of empirical tests (Carrol, 2009). It is from these theories and further experimentation that discoveries are able to be made. In this way science has been able to drive off ignorance, delusions and superstitions that are predominant in human society (American Association for Advancement of Science, 1990). In addition it is for the same reason that most people have wrongly perceived science to bring about certain knowledge of reality.

Science and Facts or Data
As much as there are lots facts or data collected by scientific research, it is not the primary role of science. The theories advanced by scientists are meant to aid the understanding of the world. It is out of these theories that facts or data is derived. The goal of science is therefore to develop ideas by means of thought, observation, experimentation and validation (American Association for Advancement of Science, 1990). With this goal in mind it is inevitable for scientists to come up with certain facts useful to human beings. Theories that are able to prove facts are perceived practical in the scientific community. Despite apparent utility such theories are confined to a specific phenomenon. Nevertheless, the value of a particular theory does not hinder scientists from subjecting it to a number of tests. It is therefore the role of science to continue to advance more theories about the world. The theories are constantly subjected to tests in order to establish their practicability.
Since scientists have to constantly test theories in order to come up with the most accurate it has been mistake as the primary role of science. This is just a process of which the end is to derive most precise description of the world. There is no alternative perception of the world apart from the human perception. Scientists too are human beings. Their observation can only be true or false after approval from further experiments. For this reason scientist have to rely on a trial and error method.

According to science the world can be understood by human beings through careful study and the use of a number of instruments. The basic rules of the universe are applicable everywhere. This means the knowledge that has been gained in one part of the universe can be applied in other parts as well. Since it is a process of careful observation of phenomena then it is prune to change. As scientists continue to observe nature closely theories are constantly tested and subjected to proof. For this reason each and every scientific idea is subject to change. There is no certain knowledge of reality.
Nevertheless for knowledge to qualify as scientific it must be durable. Initially theories and ideas may arise as accidents or guesses but through empirical tests some of these ideas are established as scientific truths. Scientists try as much as possible to improve on existing ideas as opposed to absolute rejection. Most of the ideas in modern scientific community are an improvement of ideas from earlier scientists. It is this process of constant production of knowledge which is referred to as science.

Heideggers Argument on Death and Dying

The ideals of death and dying can be considered as two of the most dreadful and frightening thoughts people can ever encounter. Most people express such kind of fear toward these ideals since they hold some sense of uncertainty and ambiguity. These ideals have also been associated to pain and suffering, which may be one reason why most people tend to dread such concepts. However, the ideals of death and dying have apparently been common subject matters in literature. Since these concepts have the ability to stir peoples imaginations and emotions, they have been usual topics in literature and in the arts. These ideals have also penetrated academic research and discussions and had experts researching on these concepts realities. One popular argument given about the ideals of death and dying was that of Martin Heidegger. Over the years, a lot of experts have expressed their thoughts on the nature of death and dying as well as on the corresponding emotions and feeling associated to such ideals. However, Heideggers claim about the nature of death stood among the others due to the controversy it caused. Heideggers main argument stresses on the complete differentiation of humans from animals. He expressed his disagreement on any claim that says humans are the radical animals, as he argued that humans are not animals in any way. This went against Elizabeth Costellos view on humans and animals. For Costello, humans are higher forms of animals who are supposed to understand and empathize with other lower kinds of animals however, what appears is that humans eventually grew as relentless animal slaughterer. Hence, Costello also recognizes the thought that animals have an extensive thinking capacity just like what humans can do. This is where the great argument between Heidegger and Costello sparks. This discussion shall focus on presenting the possible exchange of thoughts if ever Heidegger and Costello were given the chance to discuss their individual points of view on the matter. And in this light, it will be significant to first understand the gist of their claims to further understand the substance of the debate that might have occurred between them.

Costello on Animals Ability to Perceive
Elizabeth Costello is one of the most renowned activists on animal rights. Just like all the other animal rights activist, Costello also think that humans, as higher forms of animals, are supposed to show mercy and empathy with the lower kinds of animals as a form of respect for their existence and respect for ecological balance. Over the years, experts have attempted to follow the lead of John Wesley in identifying the specific categories that identify human beings apart from animals. John Wesley became famous for his argument that human beings are higher forms of animals. He claimed that although humans are often dubbed as higher forms of animals, they hold some distinct qualities and traits such as having a soul, having the ability to reason, the ability to use tools as well as to make tools (Phelps 1). Costello follows the same line of thinking. For her, although human beings are higher forms of animals with higher forms of cognitive and physical abilities, they are nonetheless categorized as animals at least in the context of genetics and history. Because of this argument, Costello has become a strong believer of animals perceptions. She considered Aquinas and Augustines arguments when they claimed that human beings have no particular moral obligations to animals that are considered as creatures without rational souls (2). By rational soul, they meant a being which holds the characteristics of God in the sense of having been created in the image and likeness of Him. When enlightenment came, this issue was further taken to more serious platforms. Enlightenment did not just destabilized the spiritual norms and beliefs of people, but it also introduced the world to a more materialistic and atheist culture. Because of the many philosophical ideals that sprung around her, Costello came into a realization that she then understood the nature of animals perception then better than ever. She started to argue that the main issue of animal abuse and oppression starts from the ideal of reason. Because people have been used to considering reasoning as one of humans highest and most complex abilities, their intelligence and rationality have always been the bases of most seemingly unacceptable acts. And one of these most questioned acts includes animal abuse. This is where Costellos arguments center. She argues that philosophy is the main reason why people have so much confidence on human reason, that no matter how appalling their acts have been, they could still justify them as if they were not considerable. She pushes through the ideal that humans must never use reason and philosophy as a base of justification on moral issues. She claims that moral issues can never. She debunks the thoughts that say that animals do not have any cognitive ability which can be compared to what humans have. She claims that just like humans, animals perceive and understand the events that occur around them. She even thinks that animals can actually perceive when they are about to die  which is apparently something humans cannot do.

It is quite understandable that Costello has this line of argument since she is inclined toward the conventional and the traditional view of morality. Rather than letting herself be swayed by the surge rational thinking which has been brought by the enlightenment, Costello stayed by her own principles that have been guided by traditional moral standards. Considering this exposure, it appears inevitable that Costello will debunk and disagree with contemporary views that will point on the difference of human intelligence with that of what the animals have. Furthermore, her exposure also justifies her belief that humans actually have a moral obligation in preserving the existence of animals in every possible way.

Heideggers Argument against Costellos Claims
Heidegger has been very popular for his controversial and interesting views about death and dying. Due the perceived controversy in his views, his perceptions on existence as well as on death and dying have been common subject matters in debates and discussions on the nature of being and of dying. Going back to the earlier discussion on Costellos thoughts, it can be recalled the she specifically claimed that animals actually know when they are going to die. This was said in line with her belief that, just like human beings, animals also have the ability to perceive things, even the usually inexplicable perceptions. This also goes to show that Costello actually thinks that animals have some kind of ability which is higher than that of humans. This is where Heideggers argument enters. Heidegger puts more emphasis on the nature of existence. According to him, existence or being is greatly defined by the existence of ones rational soul. By the rational soul, he means the ability to perceive and process things through a higher level of cognitive ability. Having a rational soul, for Heidegger, is not just associated to spirituality as what most people would easily think of. Heidegger argues that ones being or existence is governed by his own perceptions or knowledge (Heidegger 215). And in line with this argument, he clearly mentions in his works that only humans have rational souls. This entails that, as per Heideggers arguments, only humans have the ability to perceive and reason in a high level of cognitive ability. This clearly debunks Costellos argument which says that animals, just like humans have the ability to perceive the seemingly complex thoughts. Thus, Heidegger evidently goes against Costellos claims that animals have the ability to actually predicts and perceive when they are about to die. According to Heidegger, animals actually lack the kind of thinking which will possibly enable them to perceive this kind of thought  which even humans with such a high of thinking could not do.

Heideggers philosophy is somewhat more complex and ambiguous than that of Costello. His works were products of the mixture of different philosophical views that hold different levels of complexity and ambiguity. However, although most of Heideggers arguments are somewhat incomprehensible in the laymans context, his argument regarding Costellos claims appear simple Heidegger points out that humans are not animals animals lack the world-constructing character of humans (Dusek 127). Although his explications evidently hold a certain level of incomprehensibility, the baseline of his claims appears simple nonetheless.

After going through the arguments of these two great thinkers, it appears clear that cognition is indeed a great category and distinction of being human. Associating this ability to animals definitely puts them on a higher level of being. Considering Costellos exposure, it is understandable that she shows a more traditional and a more conservative view about animals being and ability to perceive. On the other hand, since Heidegger was more of an experimental and daring philosopher, it is understandable that he goes for the more controversial area of the subject matter. It is quite predictable for Costello that she advocated animal rights since her views are more inclined towards morality and spirituality. Whereas Heidegger tends to focus on the more rational take on things. This exchange of views could have really occurred between Costello and Heidegger. And if it really occurred, a great and interesting exchange of philosophies and ideals might have a considerable impact in the philosophical society. Whether or not humans must be considered animals have become an eternal issue nowadays.  But despite these arguments on this issue, the cognitive capabilities of human beings have been proven to be the highest of all kinds in this world. Thus, an end to this discussion may not be perceivable anytime soon. Hence, it looks like the world is yet to venture in more extensive explorations on animals perception, being and rationality.

Technology, Machines, and the Future

One of the most remarkable things today is that technological advancement has become the dream not only of governments, but also of individuals. It is amazing that people do not, at any moment, pause to ask themselves what this really means for their individual rationality. The world as it is is consumed in the need to make itself more advanced, which eventually reduces the human beings to mere servants of the machines. All learning today is actually determined by the existing technology. In every way, the human person has learnt to abide by the dictates of the machines. In a word, the human person has become totally conditioned by the machine, and in just about every way depends on it for existence. This study aims at investigating why and how the human person ended up in this situation, considering that the situation in the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries was very different. Rationality as understood during these times largely revolved around the individual. However, rationality today revolves around technology. Marcuse offers a very concrete explanation of the evolution, so to say, of technological rationality. It is in the interest of this study, to look at this explanation, in order to understand some of the aspects of life in the contemporary times.

Marcuse and the Development of Technological Rationality
As already indicated, there is a paradigm shift, from the traditional understanding of rationality. For a long time, this concept was understood from the point of view of the individual. In other words, the in the understanding of rationality, the individual as such, was the point of departure. Rationality could not be understood in any other way. The features unique to this individual were fundamental values and standards, which ensued, or ought to, from the deepest convictions. These characteristics of the human person were conceived as the truth of human existence. Rational thought was encouraged to the extent that it made these truths possible. That is why so many thinkers came up at this time, with various schools of rationality.

The main tension, which perhaps served the technological rationality well, was the fact of a contradiction, between rational self-interest and the individual self-interest. In other words, the interests of the individual were guided by the social demands, rather than by reason. The consequence of this was that the individual took precedence over society. This already eliminated all what came with individual rationality, namely, values and fundamental standards. As would be expected, when a system is gotten rid of, a new one must be established. What this meant was that because truth, as understood, had to continue being sought, the new framework for this had to be social performance, hence the liberalist society with its emphasis on competition as well as individual achievements. These achievements tended to be technological, and this in turn meant that the human person was slowly becoming dependent on his own inventions. This was done by ensuring that these inventions were incorporated into societal needs, which eventually everyone had to do with. Rationalization and mechanization became the two concepts that would determine the height and intensity of competition because the one who had the advantage of giant machines and technology had it all. This eventually does not stop it becomes a chain in which the more you have, the more you are likely to get even much more. In this new setting, what had been an individual rationality, guided by values dissipates into a technological rationality, where the individual is determined by the level of technology heshe has. Under the impact of this apparatus, individualistic rationality has been transformed into technological rationality (Marcuse, 1998, p. 44). Speaking as a matter of fact, technology has in absolutely every way assumed command of every aspect of the lives of the human beings (Gurland, 1941). What has actually happened here is that what had once been a free economic subject has now become an object an object of large scale organization. Therefore unlike in the past, where the individuals were at the center of their own lives, one is now determined by a reality external to their own selves. One is considered efficient in this case, to the extent that heshe fulfils the goals that are externally set for them. In his new role, man became a helper of the machine in its performance of its duty. The human person became so dependent on the machine that somehow, rather than the human person making use of machines, machines tended to assume this role.

This understanding by Marcuse is very real because life as it is today totally requires technology to persist. As a matter of fact, the more human beings rush to advance technologically, the more they become enslaved by it, and the more they become dependent on it. As it were, no one can stand independent of technology, because that would mean standing alone in society. Therefore even if one made an attempt to react against this reality, they would be bound to fail. In order to function in harmony, the human person has now to function in tandem with the machine, and this is so true with the present existence. For instance, if there is a power failure at an air port, and by bad luck it happens that there is no sort of back up, all persons scheduled to travel must necessarily wait for the machines to be set right for their lives to get back to normal. In deed, even considering what a power failure would do to the lives of the human life, one realizes the extent of human dependence on the machines. When there was a massive power failure across the United States, economists were interpreting it in terms of losses. This means that in order to function, we must comply with the demands of the machines. This effectively eliminates individual rationality. More bluntly put, it does not matter what one thinks, as long as that thought does not go along with the demands of technology. Perhaps this could account for the sky rocketing growth in technology. This eventually leaves individuals without individuality, Individuals are stripped of their own individuality, not by external compulsion, but by the very rationality under which they live (Marcuse, 1998, p. 46)

As established earlier, the fast paced evolution of technology has overshadowed the rationality of the individual. Individuals no longer command the autonomy that was once enjoyed in the earlier centuries, when individual rationality was celebrated. The shift has been so radical and well orchestrated that individuals dont even seem to realize that they have long been stripped of their own unique identities. This study does not mean to argue that technology is a bad thing. It simply says that where the individual becomes the handmaid of technology, then technology oversteps its mandate. It is the human person who should be at the top of these innovations, but when technology becomes a form of human addiction, something ought to be done with great urgency. 

As already indicated, self interest is largely to blame for this state of affairs. When the human person discovered that they could place their interests above those of the society, and competition became constantly encouraged as the way to go, doors were opened to a world where machines were the dominating factors in the very existence of humanity. This is very real because life as it is today, totally requires technology to persist. As a matter of fact, the more human beings rush to advance technologically, the more they become enslaved by it, and the more they become dependent on it.

Of the Standard of Taste by David Hume

David Humes Of the Standard of Taste is a classic philosophical piece for understanding the art and the peoples perception about it. Hume was a Scottish philosopher who presented the idea about the taste and liking about art with much more depth and understanding. Before Hume, many thinkers had focused their attention about the way to judge the art not by its quality but how the viewers see, feel and read it making the way for the aesthetic experience and later on its aesthetic properties.

In his Of the Standard of Taste, Hume tries to merge the two opposite ideas with on one hand adopting the view that beauty lies in the eyes of beholder, in other words tastes of the people are different as their ways of perception about the art is also different. It means what appeals to someone may not be as appealing for the other. It also depends on the sentiment of the viewer and the way he or she associates and feels about the art. If for someone the piece of art is beautiful then it is beautiful and there is no second thought about it. But on the contrary, this is not the end of the discussion, because taste should not be considered as a matter to be completely relative as no one can deny the fact that Shakespeares works are better as compared to John Grisham and regarding this if someone would have ever tried to frame the opposite opinion, he wont be able to make anything of it.

Thousand people may have varying opinions but among all, only one of them may be true, and the only difficulty is finding out whose As there are so many different opinions, thoughts and ideas and in this case as nobody as yet has perceived what is object all about so all the sentiments emanating out of the ideas or thoughts are in themselves right. This occurs because there is a sense of conformity or relation between the object and the mind and this relation creates sentimentality. If there is no conformity then there is no sensitivity either. Beauty is not qualified in things but exists in mind which envisages it. If for someone a particular object is beautiful then for the other it may be ugly. Each person gives his opinion from the roots of his sentiments without trying to expose ones views on the others. Like a single object may taste sweet to someone and bitter to the other depending on their taste buds and it is pointless to dispute on it. In the same way is the sensing of the taste of art.

Hume mixed these two ideas by posing the fact that there are certain standards of taste and regarding this there is a consensus among all human minds which come with these sentiments. This is universal among all human beings. He said that the basic reason why everyone does not follow the common standard of appreciating the art is because of the emotional feelings man so tenderly follows. These emotions are very delicate in nature making it all the more necessary to learn the skills of appreciating the art on the grounds of established principles and any disturbance or outside interference may distort the emotional instincts of viewers. In Humes own words, Those finer emotions of the mind are of a very tender and delicate nature, and require the concurrence of many favorable circumstances to make them play with facility and exactness, according to their general and established principles. The least exterior hindrance to such small springs, or the least internal disorder, disturbs their motion, and confounds the operation of the whole machine.  However still there is a universal beauty because there is a sense of relationship between the sentiments and the natural form. We feel sentimentally close to the fragrance of rose as it brings us close to the culture and tradition. But what makes this form of relationship- it is the capacity to feel connected to the rose with its fragrance and in appreciating its color, setting and overall appearances.

There is also observation among the men about the delicacy of taste which mostly resembles the delicacy of passion. Hume defines delicacy of taste by assuming the fact that where the organs are so fine, as to allow nothing to escape them and at the same time so exact as to perceive every ingredient in the composition this we call delicacy of taste, where we employ these terms in the literal or metaphorical sense. There is a certain sense of sensitivity and observation on the part of men which are so delicate and passionate that every object seems fine and inescapable. It enables them to judge the piece of art minutely from various aspects enabling not to raise any contradictions. These men of delicate taste are very few, easily recognized and picked because their deep and sound understanding makes them abler than the rest of the society. Their approval on any work of art becomes a standard for everybody. Amidst all this, there ought to arise many prejudices and contradictory opinions yet these contradictions may themselves soon give space to the sentimental view and nature. Though any nation may be mistaken on the choice of a philosopher, yet they never mistake in their love for their favorite writer of tragedies or epics.  

Inspite of all the efforts being made to establish a fixed standard of taste and to bring together the clashing views and perceptions of the people, still there are many aspects to beauty and ugliness and many boundaries which have not yet been able to get smudged. These differences are in the form of judging on the basis of temperaments or on the culture of the country or specific nature and aptitude pertaining to particular age. The difference in the taste may also occur when certain people look at the particular piece of art with prejudice. It implies there is some defect or problem in their way of thinking and perceiving the thing but the general principles on the basis of which art is judged or in other words general perception of taste is same among all.

Hume further elaborating on his idea says that if object of certain kind is first produced before the observer, the sentiment that occurs is very confusing and unclear and the mind is not able to see the excellence or any qualities intrinsic in the work of the art or any defects occurring to it. Our taste has incapability to assert any of the opinion whether good or bad about the certain piece of art. We are not capable to perceive excellence in work, or the extent of the degree of its quality and how good or beautiful this piece of art is but as soon as person gains the experience, he is able to give accurate judgment not only he is able to appreciate the beauty of the art finely and accurately but also can point out any draw backs if any. He is also able to compare it with the others and can make mark distinction. Here he is not making use of his sensibility but his intrinsic knowledge about the art and his experience with the same in words of Hume, practice in a particular art , in other words he has gained considerable experience in analyzing the particular piece of art.

If suppose a judge is qualified then he would also exert same sentiments as the other qualified judges but sentiments neither follow normative nor any standard weight but there is often similarity between the sentiments and opinion among the ones whose opinions are most valuable. Hereby Hume does not mean to say that they are only correct sentiments rather they may be incorrect ones too. In all through his perception of art, Hume is suggesting a middle path when he is facing a dilemma of choosing between relativism and objectivism.

Whether any person has been gifted with a good sense or not and is away from any prejudice is liable for discussion and their thoughts becomes disputable. Everyone should agree about this aspect because any disputable subject is a matter of discussion and inquiry and is valuable. When doubts occur then the men suggesting their own opinions must present their arguments, and on the other hand must also acknowledge the fact that there is certain standard according to which analysis should be based and an object or art should be appreciated, judged or criticized.

Hume accepts that there are many major differences in quality and rank but still stick to the belief that aesthetic judgment is only expression of what our sentiments say without generalizing on the rules. In short, the solution lies in forming of general rules which are experimental, generally constituting all the cultures and ages and relies on sentiments to the pleasure of all.

Plato and Aristotle Ancient Philosophy in Modern Times

Platos Theory of Ethics
    Platos theory of ethics is similar to other ancient philosophers in that he focuses on virtue based thought and conduct in support of human well being.  In describing his theory, Plato undermines the mainstream ways in which people behave towards one another as he makes known his own conception of how people should act.  Plato considers happiness to be a state of perfection through the solving of problems and difficulties.  In several regards, Platos idea of ethics is somewhat severe and self deprecating, as he believes that the soul is above the body and that the community is above the individual, lending to a hierarchical model of human interaction (Frede, 2009).  Although much of the philosophy of Plato is grounded in the human realm, in his later writings, he does branch into the idea of a transcendental good.  In this metaphysical philosophy, the true nature of all things, the form of the universal good, is the basis for moral values.  These moral values give rise to Platos belief that the most suitable political order can be maintained only by leaders with a thorough and accurate scientific training.

Aristotles Theory of Ethics
    Like other ancient philosophers, Aristotles theory of ethics is based in the idea of virtuous thought and conduct in support of human well being.  Aristotle believes that ethical virtues of the individual, such as justice, courage, and temperance, are necessary rational, emotional, and social skills (Kraut, 2007).  However, unlike Plato, Aristotle rejects the idea that training in science and metaphysics is absolutely necessary for a full understanding of what is good.  The basis of well being and good living, from Aristotles perspective, is fully appreciating the ways in which goods such as friendship, honor, and pleasure work together as part of a holistic system.  Based on a moral upbringing, the individual is then able to make clear judgments about the correct courses of action to take.  Mental, behavioral, and social skills are learned in a variety of ways so that the individual is able to make deliberate choices towards living a fully good and ethical life.

Elia Kazan
    Elia Kazan was one of the most significant American film directors of the 1950s and 60s and was also a member of the American Communist Party during the 1930s.  In the early 1950s, the US House of Representatives had a focused committee which was rooted in the desire to eliminate Communists from prominent positions in all industries.  Kazan made the decision to testify against other filmmakers, because people who had not cooperated with the House were being blacklisted from the film industry.  By offering the names of eight friends in the film industry, other writers and directors who had also been members of the American Communist Party, Kazan was able to save himself from political backlash.  Many people are torn about the ethical decision made by Kazan, as he contributed to the ruin of the careers of eight other people yet was strongly pressured to cooperate with the US authorities who suspected Communist infiltration.  Today, Kazan has yet to be honored for his fine work in the film industry.

Platos Evaluation of Kazan
    In considering the ethical perspective of Plato in regard to the case of Kazan, it is probable that Plato would not be supportive of the actions taken.  Plato made it clear that he believed in a hierarchical structure of the community over the individual, so believing in the ideology of Communism was probably not a remote notion for Plato.  Hierarchy in the sense that government has a more powerful and intelligent positioning over individuals was a part of Platos philosophy, therefore the actions taken by a supremely individualistic government would have been counter to his beliefs.  The fact that Kazan participated with the individualistic US government would have demonstrated to Plato that Kazan undermined the need for a certain amount of community and government control over individuals.  Although it is probable that Plato would have supported Kazan in his early years as a member of the Communist party, it is unlikely that he would have supported Kazans turn towards supporting the individualistic government.  Perhaps if Kazan had been informing on friends who had been a part of the Republican or Libertarian party, then Plato would have been more sympathetic.   

Aristotles Evaluation of Kazan
    In considering the ethical perspective of Aristotle in regard to the case of Kazan, it is probable that Aristotle would not be supportive of the actions taken.  Aristotle was a proponent of the individual making virtuous decisions based on the practice of moral behaviors.  When Kazan was placed under pressure by the authorities, it is probable that Aristotle would have been encouraging of Kazan doing what he thought was right in regard to which, if any, information was shared with the investigating committee.  However, the information shared by Kazan should have only been personal in nature and not casting blame on other people.  By deriding his friends, Kazan would have shown Aristotle that he was not brave enough to face the decision of the committee based on revealing solely his own personal actions.  Pointing the guilty finger at his friends would have seemed to Aristotle as if Kazan was not able to face his own personal decisions alone.  Aristotle believed that the individual himself was responsible for his own happiness and success, resulting from personal choices made and actions taken.  In dragging down his friends, Aristotle would have been offended by Kazans inability to face the outcomes of his own choices.

Interpretation of Platos Theory and Evaluation
    It is safe to say that I do agree with Platos theory of ethics to a certain extent, although not fully.  While I do believe that the community has a certain relationship with the individual and that the soul has a certain relationship with the body, I do not believe that these relationships are hierarchical, but rather horizontal.  The community or government body has a certain relationship with the individual, but this does not mean that the community or government is over the individual.  The community or government is responsible for serving the needs of the individual, and vice versa.  There is a cooperative and harmonious effort involved in this dynamic.  Where Plato would be willing for the community and government to assume an authoritative tone over individuals, I would not be willing for the government to completely take over, such as is displayed in Communism.  I believe that there has to be a certain balance between the needs of the community and the needs of the individual, so that both entities are served as best as possible in relation to one another.  While I would agree that Kazan had a certain responsibility to his government and community, I would not agree that he should have been involved in the extremist Communist party.

Interpretation of Aristotles Theory and Evaluation
    Aristotles theory of the well being of the individual resulting from the practice of virtuous thought and moral behavior is very much aligned with my own personal philosophy.  I truly believe that the actions an individual takes are able to have repercussions in the lives of other people, yet the individual remains solely responsible for the choices one makes.  It is not necessary for a person to be a government official or a highly educated scientist to know what is right from what is wrong.  I agree with Aristotle that correct moral formation which leads to good decision making is a skill which can be picked up by any person in any family.  The individual is naturally inclined to be kind, to serve the needs of oneself and others in a spirit of good will, yet is it possible for the individual to make mistakes which can negatively affect one and others.  While every person is responsible for ones own benevolent actions, every person is also responsible for ones own malevolent actions.  I would agree with Aristotle that Kazan did not fully honor the individuality and personal responsibility of his friends by informing on them to the authorities.

Moral Relativism

This paper explores and criticizes the moral relativism vs. moral absolutism debate with an emphasis on some real world cases. This paper does not explicitly state that one theory is right and the other is absolutely wrong, it advocates rational thinking above all and viewing the world and social interactions in the form of exchange of rights and obligations. Moral Relativism

It is a widely held fallacy that moral relativity teaches us that there are no morals, man is free to do what he pleases, and nobody is allowed to judge his decisions to do so. It is also a widely held fallacy that moral absolutism says that the rules are rigid and one must adhere to a strict ethical code no matter what the circumstances. When we view human interactions and behavior in complex environment of the world, we must not restrict ourselves to singular ideologies, we must not put curtain over half of the window and view the world in our own shade.

What these two ideologies represent is two different academic philosophical theories about the world, effectively, these theories tend to negate each other with an emphasis on proving the other wrong a priest on one side and a professor on the other. The actual real world is so much more complex that each situation calls for a unique judgment, a different perspective and does not fit in a predefined pattern. What philosophers attempt is pre-designing a set pattern where all human behavior can be plugged in and a moral value would be written on the output screen in form of a number 45100 for helping an attractive girl cross the street.

Both of these ideologies are correct in their own bubbles. Moral absolutism rightly believes that there is a moral code which the whole humanity should believe in, do not kill, no not cheat, do not lie etc (Collins, 1998). These are the rules and even if whole societies or cultures dont follow them, the rules remain the rules. 2  2 is 4 that is all we know and all we need to know. On the other hand, moral relativism is not wrong in saying that one should lie to a person who is about to kill ones friend, like John Hamerlinck says in his article (Hamerlinck, 1996). So, if both these ideologies are correct, what should we do

Before going further into this discussion I would like to make an appeal to humanity in general The time has come to finally decide if man is a rational animal or not, so let us do that first. If man is a rational animal, then he has the power to make rational decisions by definition and does not need set patterns to operate. In every unique and different situation, man can make rational decisions. Each moral decision can be weighed against a synthesis of these two theories and if the decision maker is sincere, he will make the ethical decision.

An easier way to do this is to consider all human interactions as an exchange of rights and obligations. It is the right of little Jackies class fellows to sit un-harassed inside the class and learn from their teacher, furthermore, it is little Jackies obligation to follow the norms of the class to become the part of the class and gain friendliness and respect of the class fellows. These are the terms on which these people interact and if little Jackie does not fulfill her obligation of being a nice girl, the class fellows are not bound to return the same, no matter what moral absolutism or moral relativism says.

Similarly, every person has a right to live freely and I cannot take that right from him, also, it is my right to live freely and not be harmed. However, if I decide to kill that man and ask from his friend about his whereabouts, he has the right to not only lie to me, but try to stop me, because I did not fulfill my social obligation, I must give up a few of my rights. We can even explain capital punishment by this method.

However, if someone wants to cut down the rainforest just to see what it feels like a moral relativist can stop him by saying, You should be sent to a mental institution because relativist or absolutist, no theory condones harming a large number of people, environment and society permanently just for the (possible) pleasure and curiosity of one deranged sociopath. We must look at the circumstances in which the decision is being made and judge from all perspectives. Not all things are right, but not all things are wrong either.

Legal Philosophy

The author has done a commendable job trying to explain the origin of the Feminist movements in the United States coined within the political context. There is a lot of agreement on many issues as the author has tried to provide for a chronology of the events that were taking place in the US from the mid 20th century until the formation of feminists organizations that emerged to champion for the womens rights.

The emergence of the US feminist philosophy
The activities of Rosa Parks in 1955 though aimed at resisting racism can be argued out from the feminist point of view. Women held a very low position in the society as depicted in the infamous 1955 Adlai Stevenson address to Smith college graduates urging them not to define themselves as professionals but rather politically participate as mothers and wives. Coupled with the political activities of the time, the women who had realized the level of injustices that they were exposed to went on to form organizations to champion for their rights and were also engaged in protests fighting for equality. It is actually right to argue that the social and political events that were experienced in the United States formed the basis upon which feminist movements would emerge (Tuana, 2004).

Radical Feminism
Radical feminist philosophy views the males as privileged in the society at the expense of women based on patriarchy. The proponents are opposed to the existing social and political arrangement since they view them as tied to patriarchy. Radical feminism has been criticized for focusing on the societal arrangement which is patriarchy instead of addressing specific issues affecting the unequal relationship between the men and women. This perspective looks at patriarchy as the source of all evils bedeviling the women which is not the case (Lewis, 2010).

Feminism and War
    The war in Iraq has led to the increasing number of death among the military. It is not surprising that many of the military death are reportedly males when compared to the female cases. To feminists, this is a reflection of the imbalance in the military in which case more males are employed as compared to women. There could be another perspective to the issue for instance women are sidelined from taking part in combative action as this is thought to be a male domain. Going by the first argument, more males are encouraged to take military as a career option whereas the females are encouraged to influence the males to join the military. This is well depicted by Cynthia Enloe who established that military recruiters have engaged the advertising agencies services with the aim of encouraging young men to take military careers. Influencers are mothers and girlfriends and there are general militarized ideas about the heroic veteran, the sacrificing mother, and the loyal girlfriend (Mehr, 2009).

    To radical feminists, the military is a reflection of the patriarchic social dominance of the male gender (Lewis, 2010). To the equity feminists, the military composition in terms of gender is skewed in favor of the males. It is therefore logical to point out that military death in war countries like Iraq will always be skewed in favor of the domineering gender. Women military officials were not officially recognized as history depicts. During the Vietnam wars, those who served in the military action were referred to as volunteers whether they participated in the civilian capacity or military (, 2009).

It can therefore be argued by feminists that imbalances in the military have continued despite the efforts seeking equality of both genders in all spheres of life. Feminism movements have no time to rest and take count of their achievements as there is a lot remaining and waiting to be done.

Superiority of Legal Realism Benthams Insights

There has long been a tension between traditionalist and realist approaches to defining and interpreting the law indeed, as stated by Altman, There certainly are drawbacks to the rule of law, and they concern the relationship of the rule of law to substantive justice. (2001, p.18) Although no legal model is perfect, and although advocates of traditionalism, legal realism and hybrid approaches all raise certain persuasive points, a review of all of the arguments and the implications of different approaches demonstrates that the best legal paradigm is legal realism as advocated by Bentham. First, legal realism recognizes and accounts for the fact that all judges are fallible human beings.  The traditionalist assumption that judges are able to apply objective rules to a given set of facts dispassionately, thereby arriving at decisions that are both determinate and apolitical, is simply contrary to human nature. An additional feature of legal realism that is superior to traditionalism is its ability to account for social concerns and social welfare in ways that are simply beyond the scope of traditionalist philosophies.  If the law is meant to serve society, and to serve the greatest number of citizens as Bentham advocated, then traditionalism is a flawed legal philosophy.  A third argument in favor of legal-realism is mostly of a socioeconomic nature more particularly, recognizing that laws are often created by and implemented by those with more economic resources than the common citizen, legal realism creates a more democratic type of judicial branch.  The rich and the powerful seem to more frequently avail themselves of the judicial branch than do individuals or businesses with less economic clout.  There is thus a great potential for the judicial process to be abused by the rich and the powerful if a traditionalist approach is followed.  Legal realism also allows judges to resolve legal disputes in a practical way without being unduly constrained by technicalities that may lead to gross injustices. It allows judges to view the competing interests at stake, to consider the implications of a decision on behalf of either competing party, and to employ judicial judgment in such a way as to maintain the legitimacy of the laws being invoked without allowing for unintended results or gross miscarriages of justice.  Finally, the research demonstrates quite clearly that a purely traditional approach is not reflected in judicial decision making and pretending that judges either can or do operate as purely objective analysts is rather disingenuous. In the final analysis, legal realism is superior to traditionalism for several reasons generally speaking, it is a superior legal philosophy because it accounts for human fallibility, it treats society as an important consideration, and it maintains the integrity of the judicial branch.

Plato claims that until philosophers are kings and kings philosophers we will never have an end to our troubles. Is Plato right

In a static and unchanging condition, Plato is right in saying that the troubles of society and people would end when philosophers are kings and kings are philosophers. When individuals and classes play their roles well, this enables the existence of a philosopher king who focuses on the pursuit of knowledge to govern with justice. This form of governance then prevents and addresses social problems. However, in the physical and changing reality, his statement cannot stand because it is impossible for the philosopher king he envisions to exist in the physical reality. Without his idea of philosopher king, the role played by the guardian cannot work to end social troubles. Moreover, in the physical reality, just governance can be achieved without the philosopher king. It was Platos description of reality as the context of the philosopher king that raised criticisms. Politics is an existential or practical discourse to be relevant to addressing actual social problems. The discussion then adopts a critical perspective by explaining how Plato is right in his description of the philosopher king as the solution to societys troubles given his non-physical reality and how he is wrong when considering the physical reality.

Plato propounded a duality of reality. One reality constitutes what is observable to the senses but to Plato this comprises an appearance and filled with mere opinions. The other reality is not physical but rather an eternal and unchanging state where knowledge resides. By adhering to the duality of reality, philosophy then rests within the realm of the eternal and unchanging and not in the physical world. (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook 2005) Plato describes his philosopher king in the non-physical reality.

    The context of Platos claim about the philosopher-king lies in his vision of an ideal and just society. According to Plato a just society is one where there is hierarchical balance that addresses common needs. The society emerges because individuals are not self-sufficient. (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook 2005) Society functions to fulfil the needs of its members and the individuals comprising society play their roles in contributing to the fulfilment of individual and collective needs.
Human needs fall under three hierarchical classes. The achievement of each class of needs serve the purpose of sustaining society. At the base of the hierarchy are the nourishing needs to include food, clothing and shelter (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook 2005). These comprise the basic human needs, which measure well-being. A state of poverty reflects very low well-being because even the most basic need for food is not met. In the middle of the hierarchy are the protection needs (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook 2005). Soldiers and law enforcement authorities address this need by ensuring an orderly and secure environment. At the top of the hierarchy of needs are the ordering needs (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook 2005) that involve leadership role and governance.

The individuals forming part of this utopian society are also organised into a hierarchy to serve these needs. Nourishing needs are addressed by the largest group of production workers (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook 2005) including farmers and other producers to address basic needs. In the modern sense the bulk of the labour pool constitute white and blue collar workers who create goods and services consumed by society. Protection needs are addressed by the group Plato calls auxiliary (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook 2005), which is comprised of military and law enforcement personnel comprised of the local or state police to national and international investigation and intelligence officers. This group is fewer in number because of the requirement of specialised training. Ordering needs are addressed by a small group of learned individuals, which Plato calls guardians (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook 2005). The guardians are the leaders of the country who are given titles such as prime minister or president. This group is comprised of a select few.

    To maintain balance and justice, the classes should focus on fulfilling their roles. This comes from the recognition and acceptance of the key roles played by the classes and the individual members of each class (Duncan and Steinberger 1990). The production workers accept their role in nourishing society. Farmers diligently work knowing they provide food to the rest of society and workers in clothing and shoe manufacturers also take pride in their contribution of keeping society warm and dry. Production workers also recognise that the auxiliary cannot help in production because they need to focus on securing society and ensuring order and that the guardians cannot also contribute to production because they need to continue honing knowledge for good governance.

The auxiliary class focuses on its role of protecting society from internal and external threats that could adversely affect social balance. Apart from a few members of the auxiliary who advance to become guardians, the rest of the protection forces keep to their role and continue to improve their capability through physical training and skills building. The selection of those who advance to become guardians is based on philosophical prowess. There is recognition among the auxiliary class that only those who are keen on philosophy would advance to become guardians. The auxiliary also recognise that they cannot contribute to production and have to depend on the producers for their needs in order for them to develop excellent skills necessary in maintaining peace, order and security.

The guardians are a select few who focus their effort and time to education, learning and knowledge building so they could govern society justly. They do not participate in production or protection. While they understand production, they do not participate in the activities because of the time and diligence required by a life of philosophy. Former auxiliary members cease to exercise the protective role to focus on studying. While they depend on the producers for their nourishment and other basic needs and on the protectors for their security, they contribute by using their knowledge to govern society in a manner that fosters balance and needs fulfilment to achieve a just society benefitting all its members.

    Societys troubles emerge when the classes neglect their roles or subsume the roles of the other classes. Some production workers could prefer the life of an auxiliary or guardian and abandon production to train and learn other roles. Some members of the auxiliary could prefer production or aim for guardianship. Guardians could abandon philosophy to pursue production by engaging in business or become remiss in their role as governors. These and similar situations that muddle inter-class relations and roles do no good to society. 

    The solution, according to Plato, rests on the guardians assuming the role of philosopher-kings. As rulers, the guardians exercise political power to influence order in society based on their philosophical ascendancy. As a small group who achieved high level of learning, wide knowledge, and experience about the affairs of the state, this group holds the highest qualifications to lead and influence social dynamics (Duncan and Steinberger 1990). By using their knowledge, the guardians can determine how best to achieve a balanced and just society. The guardians make decisions on strategic production shifts, security issues, and other affairs of society. No other group can provide the best governance for a just society other than the guardians. A rule by philosopher kings creates a just, functional and orderly society.

Philosophy merged with political power is then the key to a just society (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook 2005). Platos consideration of the rule of philosopher kings as the solution to human troubles is founded on the special characteristics of philosophers that set them apart from the other classes and makes them fit to become leaders who espouse justice. Just governance would address societys problems. The concept of good governance explains the important role of the type or form of leadership in achieving a good society. Good governance refers to the competence of leaders to wield power, make sound decision over a wide range of issues encompassing economic, socio-cultural and environmental dimensions (Smith 2000). The ability to exercise good governance depends on the extent of knowledge of leaders as well as skills in resource allocation, consensus building, development of key relations, and implementation. The exercise of political power has an encompassing impact on society. Lack of good governance can create social problems. At the same time, good governance can also prevent and address social problems. This concept could explain why Plato placed high premium on the role of the guardians.

Plato identifies a number of characteristics of philosophers, which if exercised in governance or developed by kings make them the best political leaders who can put an end to societys troubles.
One characteristic is education and a certain level of maturity. Education refers to formal learning to develop not only knowledge but also the mental discipline and passion for learning to foster continuous philosophical study. Maturity refers to the achievement of the capability to discern appropriate attitudes and beliefs as well as the ability to behave accordingly. Plato considered age as a determinant of maturity but only within the limits of prime age, after which guardians should retire. Education and maturity of philosopher kings make them just leaders because they are able to discern what is good for society even if the other classes may not be able to do so. Their wide range of knowledge enables them to know about production and auxiliary work and use their knowledge and experience to establish policies on production and protection in a manner that addresses the basic needs of society. (Philosophy Internet Resources 2005) In this way, needs achievement creates balance and order.

An implication of this characteristic is that education and age are important qualifications of a good leader. During the time of Plato, education was a determinant of competence for leadership. This was the case since only a few people with the financial capability to do so were able to pursue formal education, gain insight into the political affairs of the state, and develop the qualifications for leadership. This could explain Platos stress on formal education.

However, in the existential context, education has become a fundamental right. This means that anybody holds the right to become educated, albeit not everybody opt to pursue higher or continuing formal education. Excellence in education and mature attitude or perspective makes good leaders, with education taken to mean learning and knowledge inside and outside of the formal school system. Not all good leaders achieved high levels of education. Although there are no past or existing leaders who can be considered as philosopher kings, there are those who came close. Abraham Lincoln had only eighteen months of formal education but had passion for learning. Winston Churchill went to a private school and the military academy but praised more his education outside of the school. Nelson Mandela was expelled from university for activism. The philosopher is no longer constrained by formal education.     

Another characteristic of philosopher kings is their rarity based on unique characteristics and undeniable pedigree in philosophy. In this sense, Plato clarifies education as a qualification by considering education together with excellent philosophical prowess as the qualification for philosopher kings. This makes philosopher kings knowledgeable about state affairs, good governance, and leadership above ordinary individuals. This distinction enables philosopher kings not only to make the right decisions and actions over political matters but also exact compliance through their qualifications. (Philosophy Internet Resources 2005)

The implication of this qualification is only a few can become philosopher kings. Guardians cannot then come from the production class. The impossibility rests on their lack of uniqueness as commoners. Moreover, access to education and using time only for learning is a privilege that not many can afford. This context creates a situation where unique individuals with high levels of learning and passion for education are easily distinguishable.

However, Plato was unable to provide a clear-cut way of distinguishing individuals with unique characteristics to make them philosophers to be applied in the modern context. Variances in unique individual characteristics and the wide range of knowledge specialisation would likely create unique characteristics of philosophers in different ways. Perhaps this is settled based on the outcomes of governance but this still does not provide a means of distinguishing philosophers among leaders or leaders with philosophical prowess. Uniqueness of philosophers may not be as strong as justification for the ability to end social ills.

Still another characteristic of philosopher kings is superior professional skills, philosophical training, and disposition towards knowledge. Professionalism refers to the ability to grasp issues with precise and in-depth understanding. Guardians are able to discern issues with speed and address these issues with strength based on confidence or certainty towards decisions that are based on their specialised knowledge. A good track record of governance is an expression of professionalism. Philosophical training means excellence in intellectual exercise by engaging in debates or discourse with oneself and with other guardians over a wide range of topics. Disposition refers to the passion for learning and knowledge building. (Philosophy Internet Resources 2005) When these are put to use in governance, political decisions would likely yield just results.

The implication is on the merging of philosophy and political power when philosophical prowess is applied to the exercise of political power (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook 2005). This addresses the troubles of society that emerges from ill-governance. The problems could be expressed as incompetent leadership, irresponsible or faulty decision making, and poor judgment. When philosophers are made as political leaders and when leaders pursue a philosophical path, they are likely to exercise their roles and exert power in a manner that employs good judgment and competence. Political governance then ushers good results instead of problems.

This characteristic of philosophers applies even in the modern concept. Professionalism and informed decision-making are two characteristics expected from effective leaders. The great leaders had impeccable records of professionalism by making rational and responsive decisions, exercising discipline and self-control, and using information to understand issues before making responses. Lack of good judgment creates problems. The global economic recession can be attributed to poor regulation that created the sub-prime market bubble. Ineffective regulation is a result of leaders that do not depend on in-depth understanding of conditions or inability to translate information on situations into effective solutions. In this sense, the governance of a philosopher could have created effective regulations to prevent the string of events that created the recession.

The last characteristics of philosopher kings are excellent personality and a philosophers lifestyle. Guardians should exhibit the personality of a philosopher that reflects competency for good governance. These personal traits include excellent memory, perceptiveness, strength, courage, gentleness, truthfulness or reliability, self-control and other similar characteristics. These factors not only ensure good governance but also the acceptability of political decisions and actions by developing a good reputation with the populace. This maintains balance. A philosophers lifestyle means absorption in the pleasure of knowledge and learning to an extent that there is lack of concern for bodily pleasure. This lifestyle requires a high level of mental discipline, which philosophers have developed. (Philosophy Internet Resources 2005) Guardians with a philosophers lifestyle also ensure good governance by preventing corruption and abuse of power. These problems cause great trouble to society by upsetting the balance of resource use to the detriment of some sectors of society. By having a philosopher as leader or leaders who pursue philosophy, leadership is strengthened and the problems caused by poor governance are prevented or eliminated.

The implication of these personal traits and philosophers lifestyle is the justification of why philosophers make the best leaders and leaders should become philosophers. Pursuing a philosophical direction develops good leadership traits to establish a positive impact on society. This also prevents problems in governance that cause trouble to society. Good leadership traits are also needed in addressing social problems.

Personal traits are recognised to be qualifications for good leadership. Charismatic leaders and leaders with good reputations have a strong influence on the public in implementing solutions or directing society towards well-being. However, practicing a philosophical lifestyle is an entirely different factor. Living a philosophers lifestyles of shunning away from bodily pleasure in order to focus on learning and knowledge building in support of the fulfilment of governance goals does not find strong support in the physical reality or existentialist context. The concept of addressing basic needs of philosophers so they can concentrate on their role takes a different meaning in the lavish lifestyle of state leaders around the world. Many leaders tend to relish the material privileges of their positions. Personal interests are sometimes placed ahead of societys best interests. A number of leaders have been tried and found guilty of corruption and plunder, especially in developing countries. When this happens, the pursuit of a philosophical lifestyle weakens and the traits of philosophers may be neglected in governance. There are also leaders exhibiting a lifestyle closer to a philosophers mode of living. Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela are both known for retaining a simple lifestyle in terms of material embellishments amid the abundance of resources available to them.

The difficulty in having a philosophers lifestyle creates a rift between philosophers and kings in the real life context. On one hand, philosophers focus on the pursuit of knowledge across the economic, socio-cultural, political, religious and environmental dimensions of social life. By focusing on knowledge building, philosophers de-prioritise material things apart from their basic needs. On the other hand, the exercise of political power requires the development of a good public reputation, which involves concern over material things such as appearances in public and towards other states. In inter-state relations, the heads of states represent the citizens to other countries. As representatives, leaders should have certain material amenities to reinforce the position as state leaders. The philosophers lifestyle does not really fit in the exercise of political power in the real life context. The exercise of political power also involves the pursuit of knowledge but not necessarily through a philosophers lifestyle. To have philosopher kings or to make kings philosophers, philosophy as envisioned by Plato needs to be reconciled with politics.

This can only be done by deviating from Platos utopian and purist idea of the philosopher king. Philosophy as the pursuit of knowledge is necessary to effective governance. However, there are certain things to be compromised including the strict adherence to a philosophers lifestyle in order to accommodate certain political realities such as the establishment of appearances and reputation in national and international politics supported by material things. A shabby looking leader would not receive much support from the people. As the representation of the peoples aspirations, the leader should exhibit an example of a good life, which in real life standards involves more than just meeting basic needs. In the modern context, technology and developments have heightened the standards of living. A state leader also needs to be concerned with physical appearances as representative of the state to other states.

Another perspective towards the Platos philosopher king deviates from philosophy in a contemplative state. Excellence in learning and knowledge building are needed for effective governance. According to Aristotle, the philosopher as king and the king as philosopher constitutes a disadvantage in governance not only because of the conflicts in the nature and expectations from both but also the impracticability of being both philosopher and king (Chroust 1968). An implication is that philosophy is not necessarily the only forte of the leader. Political power can be exercised by tapping into specialised or in-depth knowledge and continuous learning but not necessarily done solely by the leader. A state leader can still pursue knowledge through the advice of a group of philosophers. In this way, the leader can still provide good governance without sacrificing the positive contributions of philosophy to political power.

Platos concept of philosopher king becomes a challenge and even problematic in the existential reality. Philosophers should recognise their role as leaders and leaders should become philosophers. However, there are those pursuing the life of a philosopher who opt not to take leadership roles or are blocked from becoming leaders because of differences in the expectations from philosophers and as political leaders. There are also leaders who do not care about pursuing a philosophers life. While philosophical perspectives, qualities and skills usher good governance, it is difficult or even impossible to have a philosopher king in the physical reality or existential reality.

Whether Plato was correct in expressing that only when philosophers are kings and kings are philosophers that the troubles of society ends depends on the perspective of reality taken. In Platos dual reality and within the non-physical reality, the philosopher king exists and governs with justice to achieve a good society. The greatest criticism of Platos philosopher king is its limitations in the existential context. Society and its troubles exist in a changing physical reality so that the contemplative philosopher king cannot exist or sustained. Just leadership can also exist even without the philosopher king.

Individual Rationalism and Technological Rationalism

In many researches done in recent decades, theorists and other scholars have tried to demonstrate that human responses tend to deviate from the performance deemed normative according to various models of rational judgment and decision making. Individual rationality is therefore ways by which individual persons are able to analyze different situations and be able to make their own decisions and Judgments without any external influence. It can be compared to the type of lives people used to live during the pre-industrialization era. In this era, the main means of production was home based and in small scales where people were used to manufacture their food, clothes among other utilities.
 Technological rationalism is a mechanism that is usually associated with the industrial revolution where technology and new machines replaced the home based industries. Some theorists have argued that it the one which promoted modern development though it has weakened the human capacity over time which is quite critical.

Comparison and contrast between Marcues article and Forsters book
In the book The machine Stops Forster tries to describe a world in which almost all the society has lost the ability to survive on the earths surface and hence decided to live below the ground. Each person therefore decides to live alone and in isolation with all their spiritual and bodily needs met by the omnipotent universal Machine. Travel is allowed but its quite unpopular since its not necessary. The book dwells on two main characters namely Vashti and her son Kuno. The two live on the opposite sides of the world. Kuno tries to persuade his mother to endure a journey to his cell. He pleads with Vashti to stop being disappointed with the sensitized mechanical world. All the humans in the book come up with a kind of religion in which the machine is worshipped and they forget that it was them who invented the same machine. (Forster 321) The machine finally collapses and its civilization ends. The book tries to raise a concern that in the 20th Century man was in peril since he was depending more and more on technology for his survival without realizing that it was himself who created it. Its similarity with the article by Marcues is that they both dislike the effects that modern technology has befallen upon mankind. Marcues on the other hand tries to explain how the advent of technology has managed to destroy the previous and old-fashioned social structures of individual rationality and replaced it with technological rationality. (Forster 330)

On the other hand, the two books differ in that, in The machine Stops Forster tries to depict humanity as total dependants and worshipers of technology which is not the case as in Some Social Implications of Modern Technology which say that though is dependant on modern technology, he can still be able to find ways of including these modern technologies and come up with better ways liberating himself and ensuring that he lives in peace and harmony.

Summary of Some Social Implications of Modern Technology by Herbert Marcues

Herbert Marcues in his article titled Some Social Implications of Modern Technology tries to argue on the role of technology in modern industrial societies. In this article, he describes the historical decline of individualism from the bourgeois revolution times to the rise modern technological advancements. He claims that individual rationality was won in the struggle against regnant superstitions and also irrationality.

    According to the critical social theory developed by him, science and technology can be viewed as instruments of political and social domination. He also spoke of the technological a priori of the scientific and technical rationality that tend to project nature as potential instrumentality. Technological rationality homogenizes and harmonizes people and nature into neutral and inert objects that are subject to manipulation.

    Rationality is without difficulty co-opted by political and economic power. Science and technology however merely function in the service of social control. They could also be transformed to serve different ends, such as freedom, individuality and creativity. In the article, Marcues argues that technological rationality tend to undermine traditional individual rationality which stands for autonomy. It does this by employing efficiency as a lone standard of the efficiency notion to induce people to accept standardization, mass production, mechanization and bureaucracy. Marcues consequently argues that, appeals to enlighten and inform self interest and autonomy is viewed as progressively appealing, old fashioned and irrational in the face of technological rationality which makes compliance to seem quite reasonable and protest on the other hand seem unreasonable. (Mercuse 43)

    At around the mid 20th Century, political powers like fascism, state capitalism, and state socialism developed ostensibly rational and even pleasurable means of social control which integrated persons into a homogenous society. This resulted in the formation of a one dimensional society. Such a society is what eroded the capacity for individuality, practical resistance and critical thinking. Marcues however maintains that the same impersonal rationality which made individualism to become unnecessary could be collected to achieve positive results rather than repress human capacities.

    Technological rationality could also be used as an instrument to promote democracy, individuality and autonomy. Marcues is however pessimistic about the prospects and prediction for that transformation since the technological apparatus tends to include all opposition, he also maintained that it was principally possible. (Mercuse 57)

    Marcues continues to argue that the advanced and progressed industrialized societies are fond of employing science and technology to serve the existing systems of production and consumption and claimed that the technological reality required transformation itself if it were to lead to real human liberation, it could remain value neutral. His analysis of the role of science and technology in the manipulation of human needs through marketing, advertising and mass media was also extended. In order to increase productivity and dominate human and nature, the scientific and technical aspects of the society must be used. This will aid in creating a one dimensional individual who is readily conformed to a society that contributes in limiting freedom, stifles creativity, imposes false needs and co-opts all resistances. (Mercuse 63)

    Finally Marcues expresses hope that the society will one day develop technologies meant for the pacification of the struggle for existence. This will aid in reducing suffering and promoting peace and happiness. To develop these technologies he adds will require a political reversal.  In addition to that, a far-reaching and major shift from existing capitalistic mode of production is required to generate a new science and technology that would become the instruments of liberation and not domination. The new technologies will also bring new modes of energy sources, cooperative production, management and societies. On the other hand, the new science of liberation would serve the interests of freedom and will also help in satisfying the genuine and legitimate human needs.

Should Abortions be legal

Abortion remains one of the most emotional and divisive issues facing worlds policymakers today. This nature of abortions debate is however not surprising, bearing in mind that the attitudes and perceptions people have concerning abortion are largely shaped by their strong convictions regarding morality, religion, public health, human rights and women status in the society. Abortion has raised a lot of controversy in many nations, and several countries around the world are constantly faced with tough questions regarding the legality of abortion, especially in circumstances when pregnancy is not intended. A close look at the issue of abortion especially in the legal and societal perspectives, legalizing it is the best way of dealing with it together with the menace that result from children who are born out of unintended pregnancies (Hershenov, 2001).

Rape is one of the most horrible experiences any woman can go through and without proper counseling it can remain in a womans mind for the rest of her life. The matter can however become much more complicated if a woman conceives out of such devastating experience and even worse when compelled by the laws of the land to give birth to the product of such an awful experience. A child born to such a mother would act like a constant reminder of what the mother went through during rape period. Even if the law governing the country does not legalize abortion, they should at least permit it in some circumstances such as conceiving through rape. This would act as a great relief to the women who become victims of rape and conceive through it. Their healing process would be much faster enabling them to overcome the grief and sorrow that accompanies virtually all rape victims (Hershenov, 2001). 

Women do not always experience safe pregnancy there are some instances when pregnancy puts the life of both the mother and the unborn baby in danger. In such a case, if the pregnancy is not terminated, then it is possible for both the mother and the unborn baby to die. Law is meant to protect the citizens of the jurisdiction in which it is applicable. If then it cannot be applicable in saving the life of the unborn baby, it should at least be useful in protecting that of the mother. Just like in the previous case, it is completely irrational for the law and policymakers to stipulate and enact laws that illegalize abortion and thus risk the lives of both the mother and her unborn baby if the pregnancy is not a normal one. Women with such pregnancies should be legally allowed to abort and thus at least save their lives since it is not possible to save both lives (Griner, 1991).

The women have their human rights and the laws of a country should not be discriminative and oppressive by forcing women to give birth to children they do not want. Women have the right of giving birth to the number of children they want and compelling them through oppressive laws to give birth to more children would in fact amount to violation of their rights. If for example a woman does not want to give birth to more children because her financial status does not allow her to, then it will imply the children who are born out because the laws compelled their mothers not to abort them will together with their mothers and other family members live on over stretched financial resources. This might mean that they will not be in a position to receive good education, shelter, food and clothing and hence will live a miserable life. This is a scenario that is avoidable by enacting the right laws legalizing abortion (Dormady, 1997).

By making abortion illegal in a country does not mean that women who are determined to do so will not. For those women who can afford to move to countries like the US where abortion is legal, they will go there and have their abortion carried out and thus the law will not have served its purpose of deterring such women from terminating their pregnancies. By making abortion illegal, it can actually compel those women who are determined to terminate their pregnancies but do not have the financial ability to have it done in nations where it is legalized to use crude methods. They can opt to seek such services from unqualified medical practitioners since those who are qualified and are operating in the main stream medical facilities cannot offer them with such services. This therefore implies that these women will become vulnerable to various risks associated with terminating pregnancy through such methods. Some of them might end up dying while others may suffer from several complications, which will eventually have to be treated in the health care facilities and thus increasing the health care financial burden (Kreimer, 1993).

Children who are born out of unintended pregnancies simply because the laws are oppressive and they compelled their mothers to give birth instead of aborting them are likely to lack several essential requirements they need in their lives. Their mothers might have had very good reasons for getting rid of them before they were born. But because the law denied them that chance and were therefore forced to give birth to them, there are very high chances of such children being hated by their mothers. While at the look of it this might appear simple, the truth is that every child needs parental love in order to grow and develop properly. Without the love of the mother, a child will most probably only grow physically, while his or her social and emotional development is greatly hindered and impaired. This might have a lot of consequences not only to the child but also to the society as a whole. Most of such children who are forced by circumstances to grow without their mothers love end being a nuisance to the community as most of them develop criminal behaviors. In order to prevent such scenarios, the law should allow women to get rid of the fetus they do not want to carry since by being forced to continue with such pregnancies will only complicate the life of the child, the mother and the society (Wanderer, 1999). 

Despite the fact that rape is a traumatizing incident to its victim, by simply terminating the pregnancy does not imply that the mother will get over it. In fact, it would be a double tragedy for the mother who would have to live with both consequences of killing the innocent unborn child as well as the rape experience. Aborting a fetus conceived out of rape is not the best way of assisting a woman who has gone through such an awful experience get over it. Instead of the law giving such a woman the freedom to terminate the pregnancy, it should compel the government to provide facilities to assist such women to undergo the necessary counseling process and thus get the chance of recovering fully from the ordeal of rape (Hershenov, 2001). 

When the life of both the mother and the child are at risk if the pregnancy is not terminated, then the law should contain a special clause, whereby in such extreme and extraordinary cases, the mother is allowed to terminate the pregnancy. However, this would be a special clause whose main intention is not to kill either the mother or the unborn baby, but to save the life of the person who among the two that is, the mother and the child has higher chances of surviving (Griner, 1991).

It is irrational to argue that the womens rights are violated when they are denied a chance of carrying out an abortion. In virtually all cases, there is no law that should allow an individual to enjoy his or her rights at the expense of another individual. If women are allowed to terminate pregnancies on the grounds that by denying such rights would amount to violation of their rights, then the rights of the unborn children to life would be even more violated. The law should be fair and equitable to all, it should not be biased against the unborn children simply because they cannot speak for themselves and favor adult women most of who conceived while enjoying themselves. Every individual should take responsibility for his or her actions and pregnant women are no exception (Dormady, 1997). 
Law should not be enacted in a manner that it allows termination of pregnancies simply because by denying women that right, they will take off to countries where it is legal and carry out their abortions. It should also not be allowed because women who want to carry out abortion will seek the services of the less qualified medical practitioners. By allowing abortion because of such reasons would be similar to allowing people to commit murders or rob others simply because the law is not well enforced to make it effective in dealing with all crimes of such nature that are taking place in the country. Instead of the law allowing women to terminate pregnancies because they will either seek substandard services or will move to countries where it is legal, the law should be well enforced to ensure that women are deterred as much as possible from taking such steps (Kreimer, 1993). 

There is no logic in arguing that by terminating some pregnancies, the society will be saved from the various crimes that are committed by people who are born to parents who did not want them in the first place. It is not in order to commit a crime so as to prevent another crime, which after all might just be an illusion and never founded. Just like we have criminals who were born to mothers who had planned for them and provided them with every thing including love, but later turns to be criminals terrorizing their own families and society, is in the same way in which we can have criminals born to parents who did not want them in the first place. Furthermore, just as it is possible to have good people born to parents who wanted them, it is also possible to have very good people born to parents who given a chance would have aborted them. Abortion should therefore not be legalized on the grounds that the society is being spared from the possible criminals who are likely to be born to parents who did not want them (Wanderer, 1999).  

Rape being possibly one of the great ordeals that a woman can ever go through should not be allowed to torment a woman for the rest of her life when there is a way out. Even though there are people who feel that abortion is not the perfect means through which a woman can overcome the horrible experience of rape, the truth is that through abortion, a woman would be in a position to get rid of a substantial burden resulting from the ordeal. Abortion should therefore be legalized so that women who are victims of such an experience can get a great opportunity of getting on with their lives without extra financial and emotional burdens brought about by rape (Hershenov, 2001). 

When the pregnancy of a woman puts her own life and the unborn child in danger, then it is only rational to save the life of the mother. In most of such cases, the unborn baby has minimal or no chances at all of surviving. It would therefore not be prudent for any law to force a woman to go on carrying such pregnancy and thus risk her own life for a child with limited chances of surviving. In this case, abortion should be legalized since such a move would greatly relieve women with such pregnancies (Griner, 1991). 

In virtually all constitutions, women have a right of getting the number of children they feel they can be able to adequately take care of. By denying them such a right would amount to violating their rights. In most constitutions, life begins at birth and hence such constitutions do not provide any rights to the unborn children. Therefore, by making abortion illegal, the only people whose rights are violated are those of the mothers, while those of the child who does not exist as far as the constitution is concerned are protected. Abortion should thus be made legal so that most constitutions cease contradicting themselves (Dormady, 1997). 

In order to prevent pregnant women from moving to countries in which abortion is legalized for them to carry out their intended abortions, then it is only rational to enact laws that will make them to satisfy their needs locally instead of looking for them in other countries and thus make their countries to unnecessarily lose on the balance of payment. Again, it is quite evident that some women in countries where abortion is illegal usually seek for abortion services from unqualified medical practitioners. This has several consequences both to such mothers and to the countrys economy. Such women become more vulnerable to various complications that are associated with carrying out abortion unprofessionally and times they even die from such complications. In such a case, the law which was claiming to protect both the mother and unborn child and thus made illegal for an abortion to be carried out is at the end of the day unable to protect the lives of both the mother and the unborn child. In order to avoid such scenarios, it is only fair to allow women to abort and hence have a chance of aborting in a safe manner (Kreimer, 1993). 

Forcing women to give birth to children they do not want will only complicate things for the child, the mother and the entire society. The law can force the mothers to give birth to children against their wishes, but it cannot force them to love them and thus provide them with the much needed love to enable them grow not only physically but to also develop socially and emotionally and thus become important people to their societies instead of becoming liabilities to them (Wanderer, 1999).  

Despite the fact that legalizing abortion is one of the hotly debated issues in the world today, it should be legalized as it is a necessary social evil. People who abort do not just do it because it is a hobby to do so. They usually have sufficient reasons for taking such serious decisions and hence they should not be barred by law. By making abortion legal, mothers would be able to get rid of emotional and financial burdens they cannot bear.