Platos Journey to Knowledge Cave and Divided Line as Roadmap and Destination

A careful reading of Platos Allegory of the Cave and Analogy of the Divided Line demonstrates that his fundamental concern was the gap that existed between things that were visible or knowable through the senses and things that were intelligible or real as a consequence of an understanding of the fixed nature of the forms.  This gap, and how human beings might bridge the gap through the use of deliberate intellectual processes and reason, he illustrated in very structural and visual ways.  This paper will discuss and analyze the essential characteristics of this gap, how Plato believed the forms could be known through the proper use of the human mind, and the ways in which the cave and the divided line are complementary approaches toward a definition and approach to attaining an understanding of the forms which constitute the true nature or reality of things.

The cave represents a type of darkness and a constraint within which the human mind is simply incapable of employing reason or knowing the actuality of objects.  Reason cannot be employed because the prisoners cannot move their heads and the substantive reality of objects cannot be known because the prisoners are limited to the use of the senses without any corresponding use of the minds higher intellectual reasoning processes.  The shadows are merely visible representations perceived by sight.  Plato intends three main commentaries in this respect.  First, he intends to argue that there is an absolute difference between things perceived and things that are actually intelligible or knowable.  Second, he intends to show that the forms and knowledge cannot be obtained through the use of the senses.  The sensory world, in his view, is misleading and inaccurate.  Third, the reality of things and the forms can only be characterized as things that are intelligible.  This notion of intelligibility, in turn, implies a blind allegiance to the senses and demands a certain type of reasoning process signaled by the prisoners being allowed to walk out of the cave.  This reasoning process, the constituent components of Platos intelligibility concept, is detailed in more depth in the divided line analogy for purposes of understanding the cave allegory, however, the dominant theme is that human beings are cloaked in a darkness representing ignorance because it is the mind rather than the senses that ultimately leads to understanding and a clearer appreciation of the abstractly fixed nature of the forms.  Plato notes that the prisoners, when released from the cave, ascend to the sunlight and then realize that they have been deceived by their senses.  This reinforces the distinction drawn between things perceived visually and the contrary reality of things, but it does not answer how these realities can be known through the use of the minds powers of imagination, thought, belief, and understanding.  This process, very much akin to a mental journey from ignorance to understanding, is more precisely illustrated through Platos divided line.

The divided line, in a very real way, seems to function as Platos theoretical roadmap for escaping from the darkness and ignorance of the cave to the understanding of the forms symbolized by the sunlight.  This intellectual roadmap, in turn, is defined with reference to a series of intellectual capacities and steps through which understanding can be achieved.  Ascending to this type of understanding, the highest truth in Platos framework, is to understand the fixed ideas that are reality.  He refers to these fixed realities, the understandings of which are attained through a series of intellectual processes, as the forms.  The Theory of Forms is therefore the purest set of truths, understandable through the processes set forth on the divided line rather than through the misleading senses, and human knowledge of the real world demands a dedication and commitment to these intellectual processes and a transcendence of each intellectual level of the divided line until understanding is secured.  The visible section of the divided line represents only images of reality because what is visible or known is simply the product of the senses.

This part of the line has no true knowledge and it also describes the prisoners as they are sitting in the cave staring at the shadows.  Here, Plato basically equates sensory perception with imagination because only images are visible or known.  This is Platos purest state of ignorance.  The next step along the line is belief at this point, the human mind develops common identification patterns but is still lacking any intellectual reasons to legitimize the reality of these beliefs.  This legitimization process is furthered when the human mind engages in thought toward a type of understanding that transcends mere belief.  This intellectual state is similar to the use of logic, whether of an inductive or deductive nature, and resembles in certain ways what is today generally referred to as the scientific method.  He also used the concept of mathematical objects to reinforce this level of intellectual progression. Finally, Platos divided line culminates in what he refers to as knowledge.  This knowledge is what leads to an accurate understanding of the forms which constitute the real world.

In the final analysis, although the  two pieces of writing are comparatively short, Plato creates an extraordinarily nuanced and sophisticated approach to knowledge and reality.  More, by creating separate visual representations in the form of the cave and the divided line, he sets forth an extraordinarily useful and comprehensible framework within which to challenge his assumptions or agree with his assumptions.  The Allegory of the Cave would not be nearly as significant without Platos having contemplated and written the dialogue related to the divided line.  This is because the cave alone simply represents an unenlightened state of the human mind capable of becoming enlightened.   Nothing in the cave allegory suggests how this enlightenment might be attained specifically quite the contrary, at this point, Plato restricts himself to a descriptive release of the prisoners and a subsequent realization that the shadows were images rather than truths.  It is through the divided line that Plato sought to more carefully elaborate as to how understanding and a true knowledge of the forms could be achieved.  The cave and the divided line therefore function as harmonious and complementary dialogues designed to point out the nature of human ignorance and how this ignorance might be transcended in pursuit of true knowledge and intelligence.  Education is the key component to escaping this ignorance.

Reflection of Knowledge by the Greek Philosophers

Plato and Aristotle were the great philosophers of the era whose ideas we can still feel in our day-to-day lives. Their ideas bequeathed us with the thoughts enabling us to achieve great wisdom, deep insight of life and the way to true happiness. Platos greatest and ever lasting work was the dialogue The Republic. It has been deemed as the main prodigy for the future society for perfection expressing the clear thoughts of the theory of knowledge. Plato in The Republic, asks, What is knowledge What is illusion What is reality How do we know What makes a thing, a thing What can we know  He shows us the difference between what we really see and its real form and justifies the knowledge of the form we all try to gain yet at each individual level. His Divided Line and Allegory of Cave extrapolate the same concept of knowledge.

Allegory of Cave by Plato is a philosophical disposition of mans life and the knowledge in his Book Seven of The Republic and illustrates the degrees in which our nature may be enlightened or unenlightened. (Plato, 276) Divided into two parts, it is a theory of knowledge. As the man moves from darkness to light, it becomes difficult for him to extrapolate and acknowledge the objects in light as he had been deeply confided in darkness but slowly he would gain the reality and love this light in all its variedness. While the man moves towards his destination, he is confounded in the dialectical method enticing the person to analyze and grasp the intricacy of the process upwards. In each step, he is gaining knowledge which is very discrete in itself and yet complementary to each other. As it is not possible for the eyes to turn away from blindness to light and so is the knowledge that can be moved only from the darkness to light by passing through varying degrees of life and can take humans in the realm of the brightest and the best. This aspect Plato has given through the example of dark cave, where men bounded in chains are made to see illusions and visions. They see what they are shown to them. But in the outer world of light, people are able to see and visualize the things themselves. For Plato, human beings are in the domain of both the visible as well as our inner world. This aspect of our life, Plato emphasized in his Divided Line. He says visible world is what we see around, we feel and experience whereas our inner world is a world of our reasoning power and our inner consciousness.

Emphasizing more on the divided line, there always remains an uncertainty in the visible world, whereas the inner world is real and certain with great intellectual parts, thoughts and abstract ideas. These two worlds as Plato suggests are divided from the middle with the lower part of the line constituting the visible world while the upper part constituting the world of intelligence but in both the parts you are gaining some or the other kind of knowledge. In the first half, we develop our opinion and in the second part, we gain results. Yet again each part can be further divided into two. In the visible world, we can enter into the realm of illusion constituting poetry, paintings, reflections etc while on the other hand upper region is a belief when we feel associated with objects around us and gain knowledge about them. While in the world of intelligence, the lower half is reason, whereby you gain knowledge about various substances and aspects like Mathematics and other half is intelligence, where by you gain the knowledge of the high order and understanding of the good. Both the Allegory of Cave and the Divided Line conform to the Platos idea of the knowledge and the mans natural aptitude for it.

Aristotle too says the same thing but his thoughts are the slight variation to the thoughts of Plato when he says the inner world that constitutes the intellectual half has no relevance unless it is filled with knowledge. To rationalize something means to attain the knowledge of whatever you are concerned with as he explains, the aspect of the soul that is not actively any of the things that until it thinks (Aristotle, 139) For Aristotle, the soul is divided into two kinds of intellect as he says one sort is intellect by becoming all things, the other sort by forming all thingsand without this nothing thinks. (Aristotle, 142) In other words, Aristotle opines that one half of the intellectual soul can be called as a bank where the knowledge gets accumulated whereas other part acts upon this knowledge. The soul is not only your knowledge bank but also gives practical shape to it by stimulating the active intellect of your knowledge and potentiality.

The main function of the two intellects becomes much clearer if we consider it as way of perception. For e.g. suppose we perceive a book, we will sure to be affected by it but if this perception takes place in mind, we are being added with the new knowledge and new qualities of perception which makes our intellectual soul itself a book and this process is known as the active intellect. It means we have gained into our intellectual soul many aspects of knowledge of the book. Overall Aristotle says that the process in the soul that enables us to make our perception of the things we want to make aware of and the various processes that frame the characterization of it as universal are same.

Through their philosophical works both Aristotle and Plato say that knowledge is garnered into the inherent part of the soul through our physical forms and experiences with the same just like the men who are inside the darkest corners of the cave and the same men when they are exposed to light outside. The man that gains knowledge from the outside world gets inscribed in the soul which in turn gets accumulated for the man to use it and again to experience it with its physical world. Both Plato and Aristotle gave the concept of knowledge but just in different ways. Plato divided the intellectual as well as outside world into two halves by having a divided line between the two but having an influence on each other while Aristotle says intellectual soul can only be filled and has importance if knowledge is accumulated in it. By establishing the relationship between the soul and the outer visible world, both instilled in the human beings, the importance of knowledge and the way to garner it to embellish the soul.

American Dream

Jennifer L. Hochschilds Facing Up to the American Dream, together with her attribute intelligibility, investigates the fundamental tenets of the American Dream within the circumstances of the contemporary African American experience. She addresses  the modern overwrought and puzzles  concerning the discontent  stroked by theAfrican American median class and several poor blacks.  Hochschild convinced in American Dream is the the soul of the nation. Hochschild differentiate the aspiration, insights and agitations of white Americans and african Americans. By the information and data dissection and brilliant narrative, she  scrutinizes how they sight each others and their personal attainments, achievements and chances. The quick political and economic increase surrounded by the African American middle class and their incorporation in the white Americans median class may verify the American Dream in the sight of more and more blacks and whites.

The Negro in American Literature is a magnificent theme  not because there is any sharp emergence of character or incidents, but because of the immense paradox of racial life which came up thunderingly against the principles and doc- trines of democracy, and put them to the severest test that they had known.
William Stanley Braithwaite, 1925

Success according to Free dictionary by Farlex, means the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted. And by online Dictionary. com, success is a noun denotes, the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors, the attainment of wealth position, honors, or the like, a successful performance or achievement and is obsolete. For many people, success is often define as the achieving of a high-level earnings, a reputable and distinguished job, monetary and financial security.

For my personal point of view, success is the outcome, consequence or result of the intensified unifying effort and labour by group of people having one  aspiration, dream, goal and idea.

In the American Drem be composed of precept and principle concerning attaining and achieving success. Via my individual assessment, the ideology in the innermost of the context presents the real and unimaginary situation of todays American society where in prejudice and intolirance still exist.

The temparament that Hochschild precepting has a very powerful impact to me. I concur to the authors analysis and scrutinizing since her book article is  in accordance with the fact.

The principle of American Dream concerns the conviction that an individual can attain favourable outcome (success) and goodness (virtue) through arduous attempt, the greatest sprit of the American country.  As stated by Jennifer Hochschild, in her  Facing Up to the American Dream, we have been unsuccessful to face up to what that  vision (dream) needs of our community, and still we  own no other median opinion that can rescue the United States from disarray, chaos (Hochschild, 1995). In her sympathetic but terrifying book, Hochschild  ascribes Americans national anguish to the manner in which whites and African Americans have come to outlook their idiosyncratic and eah others chance and favourable time. Through scrutinizing the aspiration and fright, fearfulness of whites and most of all blacks of different social classes, Hochschild  showed beyond the doubt that the Americas only binding vision may soon disappear in the face of  cultural and ethnological conflict and dissatisfaction.Hochschild amalgamates survey data and information and  bright anecdote to shade the light on  several paradoxes.  In actual fact that since 1960s, white Americans have seen African Americans as having superior opportunities to achieve and attain the dream. At the same time median-class African American, by today, one-third of the blacks population, have become  more and more thwarted individually and worried concerning the progress of their race. Nearly all blacks, nevertheless, cling with astounding and amazig strength to the  conception that they and their families can  be victorious despite their dreadful and awful ,  for all you know  aggravating, living  state of existence.  For the moment, a small count of the  antagonized and alienate  poverty-stricken, who have totally given up on the American dream or any other credence, intimidate the communal fabric of the black society and the most lives of their fellow blacks.

Hochschil investigates these patterns and  presents them historical  deepness by contrasting the experience of todays African American to that of white racial newcomers at the revolve of the century. She finished by claiming that Americas only  different to the social catastrophe of escalated racial conflict lies in the hopefulness, control, inclusiveness, and high mindedness of the American dream at its best.

For all you know, just like all deams, the American Dream is not shut to many explanations and elucidators more than there are translators. The American dream is the whole of and still is more and more than a formless and amorphous confuse and disarrange. As a dogma and tenent, this execute and bring off virtuosoand masterly. This has  distinguishing  frontier and borderline notwithstanding commodious proportion. It furnishes and supplies a merging insights yet permits and lets boundless dissimilarity within that sight. The book article can be utilized to associate the necessitious into agreeing to receive their lot, nevertheless this can additionally be use to construct the wealthy and affluent wriggle and twist regarding their opulences. It hearten people not just even to discern those feature of society that assemble the aspiration anf goal not possible to attain for every Americans. This can transform foreigners into Americans whether they desire such a  alteration or not.

As guidance to application and exercise, its presentation is not effortlessly rhythmic. This has been dedicated and devouted in breaking down and resolving how well the dream a situation in exercise amongst African Americans.

The existence of African American mayors, black dons, professors at finest universities, and black colleague in the reputable law firms are manifestations and signs that the American Dream is widespread and penetrating. Hochschild summon it as benign picture.

Superior Legal Philosophy

The paper discusses the basic principles of Critical Racial Theory (CRT). The reasons, for which CRT is superior to other legal philosophies, are evaluated. Five reasons, for which CRT can be viewed as inferior to other legal philosophies are provided. The paper seeks to create an objective picture of what place CRT occupies in the current system of philosophic beliefs in the legal domain.

Legal philosophy treats Critical Race Theory (CRT) as one of the basic elements of philosophic analysis in legal studies. Because American society remains deeply racist and such racism is fundamentally a matter of the racial inequalities that result from the normal functioning of American institutions (Altman, 2001), CRT is often considered as a successful attempt to apply the principles of realism and rationalism to the evaluation of the current racial situation in society. CRT can be viewed as superior to other philosophies for five essential reasons (1) CRT recognizes the presence of racism in society (2) CRT uses this recognition of racism for the purposes of further philosophic legal analysis (3) affirmative action as another legal philosophy is impossible without CRT (4) CRT tries to balance racism with the striving of society to social equity and (5) CRT makes it possible to institutionalize the existing approaches to racial injustice. However, what looks like CRTs strengths readily turns into its weaknesses and turns CRT into a philosophy that is inferior to the rest of modern legal theories (1) CRT does not provide criteria, which society should meet to be considered non-racist (2) CRT promotes disobedience to law (3) CRT relies on narratives that border on subjectivity (4) CRT does not guarantee the effectiveness of the affirmative action procedures and approaches and (5) by recognizing the permanence of racism, CRT implies that the existing anti-racist approaches and institutions created by the state are never effective.

Critical Race Theory and Philosophic Superiority
CRT is based on the premise that racism is the critical component of social performance in America (Altman, 2001). That is why CRT can be viewed as a legal theory that is superior to other philosophies. The fact is in that CRT is the only legal philosophy that does not deny racism as such and can potentially become the starting point in the development of anti-racist approaches. Needless to say, the belief that the American society is colorblind cannot help create more effective pathways to racial equity nor can it lead to the development of more effective approaches to racial justice (Altman, 2001). However, CRT can become a good starting point in the analysis of the existing racial structures and the impact they produce on the quality of justice.

That CRT can become a good prism for the analysis of the present day racial structures and the impact which they produce on the quality of justice is the second reason, why CRT should be viewed as superior to other philosophies. CRT represents a form of legal realism, which can be used as a relevant philosophic criticism to the traditional legal science. The latter does not recognize the problems that currently exist in the system of impartial judging and the role of racial relationships in it (Mills, 1999).

CRT can be viewed as superior to other legal philosophies because CRT creates conditions necessary for the development of affirmative action approaches. It would be fair to assume that affirmative action is impossible without CRT, as well as without recognizing the existence of racism, which affirmative action is expected to combat (Altman, 2001). These, however, are not the only reasons of why CRT is superior to the rest of legal philosophies.

The fourth reason is in that CRT is the only legal theory that seeks to balance the permanence of racism with the philosophic striving to establish racial equity in society. CRT is beneficial in a sense that it not only recognizes the presence of racism, but also advocates for the development of various approaches against racism and racial inequality. Altman (2001) writes that CRT should improve the conditions of minorities through the combined use of social activity, political mobilization, creative legal interpretation, and disobedience to the rule of law. All these benefits and superior features are logically followed by the fact that CRT confirms the need to institutionalize the existing and new approaches to racial injustice.

CRT confirms the need for institutionalizing the existing approaches to racial injustice. The problem is in that theories that do not recognize racism and do not take is as an inseparable component of modern social structures naturally reflect the overall inflexibility of justice and the lack of responsiveness to the most controversial social issues, including racism. Mills (1999) is confident that such irresponsiveness to racial issues turns simple oppression into violence, because minimizing racism is impossible without recognizing its permanence and the need for developing more effective approaches to justice.

Critical Racial Theory and philosophic issues
What is considered as CRTs philosophic strengths can readily turn into its weaknesses, which will position CRT as inferior to other legal theories. To begin with, where CRT recognizes the existence of racism as the essential feature of the modern social structures in America, it, unfortunately, does not offer the criteria which society should meet to be considered as non-racist. Although Altman (2001) is confident that the aim of CR theorists is to uncover, analyze, and combat the racial subordination that they see throughout society, it is not clear how society should look like to be considered as non-racist.

CRT is inferior to other theories because it promotes disobedience to law (Altman, 2001). This is one of the major problems and the main sources of CRT criticism. What CRT offers to anti-racists is deflating the importance, which is attached to the rule of law (Altman, 1991), and it is natural to assume that the deflation of laws can become a serious obstacle on the minorities way to establishing equity and justice. The deflation of laws can become the driving force of turning oppression into violence, because CRT neither directly advocates for violence, nor directly opposes to it what CRT expresses and promotes is a pragmatic view that justifies every action possible to make equity real (Altman, 2001). A legal theory that defends the need for deflating law and does not openly prohibit violence cannot be superior to other legal theories, including affirmative action and Dworkins Interpretive Theory.

CRT is inferior to other legal philosophies because it relies on narratives, which border on subjectivity. Narratives can be a potentially useful instrument of encapsulating and expressing different views on racial inequality and racism (Altman, 2001), but it is clear that these views are difficult to systematize, and in no way can they promote the objectivity of different legal approaches to justice.

The fourth major problem with CRT is in that although it creates conditions necessary for the development and use of affirmative action approaches, it cannot confirm the effectiveness of these approaches against racism. CRT is inferior to other legal theories on the premise that it does not guarantee that political activism and disobedience of law, as well as affirmative action, can work for the benefit of racial equity in society nor does CRT affirm the relevance of affirmative action as the driver of legal impartiality in justice. Affirmative action claims to take race into account and to seek greater inclusion in the mainstream institutions of our society for racial minorities who had been historically excluded from them (Altman, 2001), but it often results in unreasonable benefits given to racial minorities only on the basis that they are minor as such CRT and its recognition of racism can hardly help in resolving contemporary racial issues.

Finally, CRT is inferior to other legal theories because by emphasizing the permanence of racism in society, CRT actually implies that everything the state does to combat racism is either ineffective or irrelevant. In other words, CRT denies the states ability to combat racism as such. However, CRT does not also justify the effectiveness of legal steps which it proposes, including political activism and law disobedience. As a result, CRT neither gives the state a chance to eliminate racial inequality nor does it offer relevant instruments of maintaining racial equity in society, thus creating a vicious circle of issues without any single chance to resolve them.

Whether CRT is superior or inferior to other legal philosophies depends on the number of factors. CRT can be viewed as superior to other legal theories on the premise that (1) it recognizes racism (2) it uses this recognition as the starting point of philosophic analysis (3) it makes affirmative action theory possible (4) it tries to balance racism with the striving to social equity and (5) it confirms the need to institutionalize the existing and new approaches to racial justice. However, CRT can also be considered as inferior to other philosophies because it (1) does not provide criteria which society should meet to become non-racist (2) promotes disobedience to law (3) relies on subjective narratives (4) does not guarantee the effectiveness of affirmative action approaches and (5) implies that everything states do to combat racism is either irrelevant or ineffective. As such, CRT actually creates a vicious circle of issues in need for effective resolution.

Corporate Social Responsibility The Stakeholder Theory Vs. The Shareholder Theory

The question of whether corporations have a social responsibility has occupied to a large extent debates on corporate management. While there are those who may argue in favor or against this notion, it is clearly evident that the matter is indeed of a complex nature. For who is to say that company owners are obligated to serve the society or even claim otherwise. However, for this discussion, the paper will focus on the stakeholder and shareholder theories of corporate management in a bid to evaluate the extent of corporate social responsibility. From a general perspective it is logical to claim that the stakeholder theory attracts the prospects of corporate social responsibility and provides a sound management framework as opposed to the shareholder theory.

The shareholder theory posits a model which puts shareholders at the center of corporations (Friedman, 57). This model generally places the interests of shareholders at the forefront with disregard to stakeholders within the organizations. This factor of stakeholder insignificance is often to the extent that change within the organization can only be implemented if it benefits the shareholders. Any cries from stakeholders are only passively considered and not included in the model for change.  As such, managers direct their efforts towards ensuring that shareholders remain pleased and satisfied with their investment returns. In practicality any decisions made in regard to the organization must be of utmost benefit to the shareholder.

Furthermore as owners of the organization, shareholders are entitled to any profits accrued and this also gives them the mandate to decide on the forms of expenditure. It is in this sense that the shareholder theory implies the inexistence of corporate social responsibility. Mostly because shareholders are not willing to make social investments from their profits and are instead preoccupied with increased profit making. This theory further authenticates the profit entitlement of shareholders using the contractual agreements among executive stakeholders. This contract sees to the agreements for remuneration and this creates more authority for shareholders who expect the executive stakeholders to comply with their demands.

The theory of shareholders is not compliant with the law. This emphasis on shareholders interests defies corporate law which requires the claims and concerns of all stakeholders to be considered. Moreover, it has become clear that companies must take into consideration stakeholders interests as the law requires them to provide them with necessary information in regard to the products. Labor laws have also been influential in delegating corporations to account for stakeholders interests. This model is further from how real businesses are run and it can only be supported by normative views which depict ideal businesses (Friedman, 59).

On the other hand, the stakeholder theory of corporate management focuses on the interests of stakeholders within a business entity. With respect to this theory shareholders are considered as part of the stakeholders and both groups are mandated to demand for any action from the executive management. This theory emphasizes that both factions have vested stakes in the organization. For shareholders, they have their stakes in form of stocks or even bonds. Other stakeholders who may include customers, suppliers, employees and the local community possess various interests in the company. Both customers and suppliers accrue benefits from the exchange of goods and services while employees are entitled to wages which support their livelihoods. Employees also gain other benefits like retirement packages, security and insurance benefits among others. Finally, there is the aspect of the community which accommodates companies within their localities. These communities benefit from economic and social involvements of the organization. In comparison with executive managers in the shareholder theory, executives in the stakeholder theory work towards to satisfaction of the overall organization. Since all stakeholders interests are inherently linked, executives ensure that organizational endeavors aim at the positive benefits of all.

The stakeholder theory possesses normative core elements such as the doctrine of fair contracts. Organizations are meant to be governed under the guidelines of various principles like those of governance, externalities, contracting costs, limited immortality, entry and exist and the agency principle. These principles also work with respect to stakeholders interests within and outside the organization.

It is accurate to claim that the stakeholder theory promotes corporate social responsibility. In addition, it is a more realistic approach for corporate management. This theory is built under the recognition constraints of businesses as humanity and societal constructs. Within organizations stakeholders are treated with respect to their overall roles as human beings as opposed to being a means to an end. This is further illustrated in the ethical guidelines incorporated in the relationships which exist amongst stakeholders. Executives in their agenda to further the objectives of all stakeholders are expected to recognize any ethical implications which may end up harming the stakeholders. Therefore, this theory separates individual selfish interests from the overall satisfaction of stakeholders. A view which favors the dominance of a particular controlling group over others like in the shareholder theory does not befit the agenda for common interests. In essence, the arguments for the shareholder theory are not realistic in the modern world. Such views claim that the goodness of shareholder models emanates from their abilities to accrue better consequences for the entire organization. However, this view fails to incorporate the self interest component which drives most shareholders at the helm of organizations (Freeman 63). The previously experienced financial crisis is testament to how shareholders can make decisions geared towards their own profit making endeavors without considering the consequences to other stakeholders. Credit banks at this time gave consumers loans even when they knew that the consumers were in no capacity to repay. Despite this, they still expected to get the loans back together with interest. Eventually, most of these banks ended up in bankruptcy suits and closures. This also indicates how the shareholder theory increases the vulnerability for the collapse of corporations.

Another factor which advances the stakeholder theory is its consideration for individual and group rights of all the stakeholders. It is vital to create equality within organizations especially in regard to property rights. Giving exclusive property rights to shareholders undermines the rights of other stakeholders who may be affected by these rights. Furthermore, such a mindset is bound to instigate and aggravate conflicts within the organizations. Alternatively, it is better to serve all stakeholders under the umbrella of equality where conflict resolution and management is best understood and implemented.

Character is a virtue often embraced by the stakeholder theory. Corporations are run on the basis of building businesses which are bound by such virtues like efficiency, respect, fairness and integrity (Freeman 66). These virtues are inexistent in the shareholder theory which aims at satisfying personal interests. Moreover, these virtues allow stakeholders to decide on what benefits them the most. This ideology promotes corporate social responsibilities as the management is expected to ensure that all stakeholders are fairly treated. It is also in this light that corporations extend charity to the community by building facilities like schools, hospitals and others which enhance the wellbeing of their employees and consumers who are also part of this community.

A pragmatic approach is depicted in the stakeholder theory which views the general desire for all human beings to live better and fruitful lives together. There is the emphasis put on the well being of the society, an element which has been marked by the emergence of business concepts over the years. It is only when we can have fairness, equality, character and other societal virtues that stakeholders are able to develop valuable concepts. Without collaboration, corporations are rid of the very principles meant to govern fair governance and equity. It is also in line to support the stakeholder theory based on the fact that stakeholder management is in tandem with favorable performance. This is mainly credited to the inclusion of all stakeholders within the corporations managerial framework which motivates most of them into better performance. Usually the outcome is increased product output which generates profits and benefits for all stakeholders.

The failure for the shareholder theory to integrate ethical considerations it its framework robs it the very essence of effective business relations. Without respect for stakeholders, ethical standards are compromised when executives embark on strategies which favor the interests of shareholders. Indeed an aim to increase the value of profits for the shareholders may include the use of unethical means such as disloyal behaviors, breach of contracts, discriminatory practices and disrespect. These unethical standards also make the shareholder theory morally untenable and undermine the values in which most societies are founded on. When community members become aware of the negative implications of having such organizations around, they are bound to withdraw their support. For instance, in a situation where workers of a manufacturing industry are engaged in the sale of drugs to young adults in the neighborhood, community members will lobby against the industrys operations. It is possible for shareholders to fault the implementation of any measures to alleviate the situation.  However, under a stakeholders theory perception, the industrys management would be interested in doing what is best for the community and other stakeholders. As such it becomes imperative to provide funds for the rehabilitative costs of the communitys youths and to do the same for the employees together with incentives for preventing the repetition of such negative trends.

Friedman (51) argues that the only social responsibility of businesses is to create more profits. This perspective hits a familiar mark with the shareholder theory whose sole target is the increment of profits. Under such circumstances, executive mangers are given the responsibility of advancing the corporation owners needs which makes it impossible for other stakeholders to take up social responsibilities. Moreover, this claim further limits the plausible incorporation of the shareholder theory into corporate management because most institutions want to be grounded on societal and moral values which do not permit such vices as greed and corruption.

In spite of the argument in favor of the stakeholder theory, it is important to point out various limitations which emerge in regard to implementation and potential capacities. There is likelihood for the emergence of individualized interests within the stakeholder framework. For instance, managers may develop vested interests and in a bid to meet them comply with shareholders demands for favoritism. Furthermore, instances where employees use unions for the demand of better wages may directly implicate factors of profitability. Another illustration involves cases where organizations seek to expand their premises at the expense of the degradation of the environment. Having managers responsible for all stakeholders is also likely to cause the development of multiple principles. Problems of accountability emanate from this and there may end up being double standard measures enacted in the corporation. If managers choose to support employees agenda for wage increment, they may get applauded by the unions and other stakeholders but get punished by the shareholders.

The problem of disorganization is also prominent among stakeholder based corporations. It can be impossible for the many groups to achieve order and create effective management systems which are able to avert conflicts within the organization. Without the inclusion of all stakeholders in the board of directors it can be indeed hefty to implement a system which is meant to represent the interests of all stakeholders. A deeper organizational problem can also emerge especially when stakeholders are unable to collectively select a representative. However, the role of supporters of this theory is to ensure that there are no divisions formed on the basis of poorly and efficiently managed organizations.

The stakeholder theory is justified in sidelining the shareholders interests because within the theorys guidelines both shareholders and stakeholders must be treated with equal measures. While this may emerge as beneficial to other stakeholders there are reasons behind the prioritizing of shareholders. The argument should not be based on the fact that share holders are more valuable or their interests more important but on factual evidence which supports this claim.  Shareholders may be the principle owners of the company and this allows them to be treated as such. However, it does not mean that they should be in control of the organization. Other stakeholders can perform this duty just as well.

This discussion has argued in favor of the stakeholder theory. This managerial framework constitutes structures, values, attitudes and practices which are aimed at enabling the wellbeing of all stakeholders. This theory distances itself from the basic view that organizations are inclusive of stakeholders but advances its managerial implications. The normative arguments of ethical considerations, fairness and equity and social responsibilities offer substantial justification for this theory. It is also important to note that shareholders are also regarded as equal stakeholders within this framework leaving no room for unfairness. Despite that the shareholder theory argues the possibility of profit enhancement for the overall organization it does not account for the motivational element depicted the stakeholder theory. The stakeholder theory is often associated with high performance which is attributed to increased product output and indirectly to the collaborative measure of motivation.

The alternative to the stakeholder theory is highly ethical and also morally tenable within todays society. In essence, property rights are central to this theory just as much as it is to the shareholder theory. It is these rights that are crucial to the furthering for the search of equality and fairness fostered by the stakeholder theory. A fundamentally well structured organization based on the stakeholder theory has potential for overall success. It is also right to affirm the fact that this theory presents a sound framework for the modern corporation.

Death Penalty

The execution of an individual by the state as a punishment for a crime committed is referred to as capital punishment or death penalty. All crimes that are punished by death penalty are called capital crimes. This form of punishment has been in existence throughout history. Some of the capital crimes that are punished through death penalty include  intended murder, espionage and treason. Some countries also punish corruption cases and human trafficking with death penalty. In the recent times, the issue of death penalty has become an issue that is debated both in private and public settings. Many governments are also faced by the challenge of whether to abolish the penalty or leave it in place. Several countries have abandoned the punishment. These include the European countries as well as many pacific countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Latin American states have completely abolished the penalty. Others allow it for exceptional cases. The United States, Africa and Asia however retain the penalty.

Countries that have abolished death penalty as well as individuals who oppose it give various reasons to support their argument. One of them is that, it as an immoral act that goes contrary to human values. Critics argue that executing a criminal makes no difference between the criminal and the person who executes that him. If a person is being punished for killing another person, the person who commits the execution is seen to act in a similar manner as the criminal and therefore deserves to be punished also. It is not right for a person to be charged and severely punished for killing another person while on the other hand another person is legally permitted to kill. There is no difference between those who commit murder and those who execute death penalties. Opponents argue that life is life it does not matter whether it is the life of a criminal or an innocent person. According to critics, anyone who takes the life of another person should be taken as murderer.

Death penalties are not at all times just and suitable. They act as a means of oppression for the poor who do not have the resources required to hire a competent lawyer to defend their case. It is very rare for a wealthy person to be subjected to death as a means of punishment. Poor people are often victimized during judgment of severe cases. They do not have the voice of authority due to their state of poverty. Wealthy people on the other hand have a very strong voice during judgment of such cases. They hire the most competent lawyers in the nation who seriously defends their cases. A person may be charged of murder, but a competent lawyer defends hisher case and sees it reduced to a less serious charge of manslaughter. Poor people on the other hand, have no power to hire lawyers of such esteem and therefore their cases cannot be defended effectively. Death penalty also acts as oppressive ways to minority and marginalized groups (Hinton, 2009).

Considering the fact that every person has the right to life according to Hinton (2009), it is very wrong for somebody to be sentenced to death. Sentencing a person to death violates the bill of rights. If moral ethics were to be considered, only God has the right to take away the life of a person. Murderers as well as executers of death penalties have no right in taking a life they did not give. All life should be respected it does not matter whether it is the life of a criminal or an innocent person. Taking the life of another person leaves one with guilt concerning the act heshe has done. A person who hangs criminals lives with guilt for all his life. It is wrong for the states to allow for the killing of criminals as this psychologically affects those who execute the punishment. Such a person is haunted for life by the images of those he has hanged throughout his career.

Every person should be given a second chance in life for a crime committed. It is a reasonable decision to put convicts in jail without killing them as they may change their character rather than killing them. This gives them a second chance to change and improve on their behavior. There are very many cases of criminals who have been put in jail and after a certain period of rehabilitation they change their character for the better. These criminals may become strict followers of a certain religion while in jail. A person may become a Christian or a Muslim both of which discourages evil deeds. It would have been very wrong therefore if such persons were hanged without considering the fact that they can change their behaviors. This has been displayed by people who were initially sentenced to life imprisonment, but later pardoned. Some of them make commendable contributions to the society. Even if such a person was not released, there are numerous tasks heshe can undertake while still in prison.

The government does not have the right to allow for the killing of criminals claiming that they act as a liability. There are very few people who are charged with crimes of such intensity in the nation. These people during their life in prison can only consume a very small amount of national resources. If the government still insists that they are a liability, it should allocate them tasks while still in prison that will generate some cash to maintain them.

    Chances are also there that a person can be charged for a crime heshe never committed. Sentencing such a person to capital punishment will be going against the rules of justice. It may be realized later that a person was charged wrongly after heshe has been killed. There are several cases whereby innocent people have been charged and hanged for crimes they knew nothing about. Truth about a certain crime may come to light after a person has been hanged and buried. Even after the truth has been discovered the situation cannot be changed. The innocent person is dead and nothing can be done to bring him back to life. This would greatly destroy the reputation of the criminal justice system of the nation. To avoid such cases from happening, capital punishment should be abolished.
Hinton (2009) notes that reports have shown that there is no association between capital punishment and the rate of crime. Sentencing convicts to death does very little if any in reducing the rate of crime in the society. Implementing or abolishing capital punishment does not alter the crimes committed in any way. Capital crimes are still being committed despite the death penalty being in place. Criminals do not worry about what will happen to them in case they are caught by the law enforcement agencies and charged in court. They concentrate more on the ways to avoid being caught by police rather than stopping crimes for fear of being hanged. Most of the criminals also regard those who undergo execution as heroes. They say that it is better to die in the process of looking for wealth than die a poor person. With such a conviction, death penalties can do very little in minimizing the rate of crimes in the society. Fear of death as well as death penalties have never reduced crime. Criminals claim that everybody will finally have to die what differ are the modes in which different people die with. It would be good for these people to be imprisoned for life awaiting their death which will finally come.

It still does not make sense for the state to allow people to be killed on the ground that they have committed a crime. It is of no benefit to kill someone because he killed, it will not bring the victim back to life. Execution should not be taken as a form of punishment. It is not logical. A person who is supposed to be punished should be alive to feel the effect of the punishment. If a criminal is hanged as a punishment, he will not feel it. This is like freeing the person of all forms of punishment that might be subjected to him if he was alive. There is no way a person who is dead can be punished. The person should be allowed to live so that he can be punished through other means thereby making him realize the seriousness of the crime he committed.

    Though one may support the abolition of capital punishment, there are several factors that one can look into and think otherwise. Supporters of execution consider it a necessary punishment for those who have committed serious crimes. Crimes such as raping and killing deserve the penalty. It is a severe punishment, but has almost an equal intensity as the criminal act. Death penalty is an equal revenge for pain and suffering inflicted on the victim by the criminal.

    There are millions of criminals who have escaped the long arm of the law yet there is no one victim who has escaped the wrath of criminals. I would say that it is not right to reduce the punishment of a person who has been convicted without doubt of a certain murder. Criminals do not allow their victims to make a will and their last statement whereas they are given that chance by the state. Criminals completely destroy the rights of a person. Though they may be charged and apprehended the law still protects their rights. Criminals are also under the sympathy of humanitarian organizations that fight for their rights. The same is not provided to the victim who by this time may be long dead and buried. It is not right for a person who has killed to be protected from severe punishment on the basis of humanitarian rights. People who have committed murders have also no right to continue living. One cannot terminate the life of another person and still expect to enjoy life as if heshe has done nothing. All serious crimes deserve severe punishment.

 Hinton, (2009) states that, people who take the life of others have no right to live. To support his statement, I would say that it is of great relief to the family of the victim when a criminal is sentenced to death. They consider it justice. It would be very distressing for a family to hear that, the person who killed one of their members has been released from jail. It is good for criminals to be given capital punishment because it will dissuade others in the community from committing such acts. On realizing that punishment for a certain crime is losing someones life, a potential criminal would be greatly discouraged from committing a crime. This would really reduce the rate of crime in the society. Capital punishment is good as it would save the lives of millions of potential victims who are at risk. Death penalty is therefore a very good measure of reducing the rate of crime in the society. It is true that if someone knows the consequences of a certain crime, heshe will not commit that crime. If strict rules have not been put in place to restrict what a person does, the world would be full of crimes.

    Capital punishment plays a great role in eliminating criminals from the society. If a person is convicted for a serious charge and then released, that person might end up committing a crime whose magnitude is greater than the former. Capital punishment keeps the society free from attack by criminals. It is a suitable punishment for those who commit serious crimes regularly as well as those who commit crimes after being released from jail. It is argued that a person may change his behavior for the better while in prison. I would say that if such a person is pardoned and released to the community, he may return to his old ways and commit crimes that are even hard to express. To avoid such cases, it would be good for criminals to be executed.

It has been argued that innocent persons may be convicted and sentenced to murder. To nullify this belief, I would say that, there has never been any proof of an innocent person being executed. Forensic researches come in handy to ensure that the right person who committed a crime is executed.

Instead of announcing life imprisonment for criminals thus subjecting them to a futile life behind bars, it is better to execute them. It is more costly to imprison criminals than to execute them. It is of no benefit for the taxpayers money to be spent on a person who if released from prison might end up committing the same crime or a bigger one. Death penalty is also beneficial for the safety of other prisoners. These criminals tend to attack other prisoners and might even kill them. Executing them will make sure that other prisoners are staying in safety. Crimes are increasing in the society day by day. This requires for stern measures to curb them. Leniency in the department of criminal justice will increase the level of crime in the society (Hinton, 2009). These are some of the reasons that stress on the benefit of implementing capital punishment in contrary to banning it.

Transcending the Bodys Limitations Mind, Cave and Divided Line

Although a philosopher, the best way to characterize Platos analytical approach in the Allegory of the Cave and the Divided Line is as a medical doctor diagnosing an illness, identifying the causes of that illness, and prescribing a suitable treatment in order to alleviate or otherwise eradicate that illness.  The illness is ignorant state of the human mind when it relies on nothing more than the senses to make judgments about the external environment.  The causes are misperceptions caused by a false belief in images that do not, in fact, constitute actual reality and a lack of proper education through which those false perceptions might be remedies.  The illness and the causes are most clearly illustrated by Plato in the Allegory of the Cave whereas the prescribed treatment is more specifically set forth in the Divided Line dialogue.  This treatment envisions a type of mental therapy in which the higher intellectual capacities of the human mind can be employed in order to be cured of the state of ignorance and to reach a healthy state of understanding and enlightenment.  In order to demonstrate this thesis, that Plato is essentially proposing a solution for a problem in these two dialogues, this paper will examine the nature of human ignorance, its consequences, and how understanding and enlightenment can be obtained by transcending the physical constraints of the bodys reliance of sensory perceptions through intellectual means and intellectual development.

    As an initial matter, Plato defines the problem as one of ignorance or an unenlightened state in the human mind.  He represents this ignorance in the form of the caves darkness.  The prisoners are portrayed as physical beings wholly reliant upon their senses for stimulation and perception.  Thus, they believe that what they can hear or see is an accurate representing of physical things and the world in which they exist.  The reader knows, however, what is unknown to the prisoners.  Specifically, the prisoners are looking at shadows rather than the real objects.  Plato characterizes these shadows as images or representations of reality.  The implication is that human beings, through the physical senses, cannot ever escape this state of ignorance.  Plato is thereby suggesting that distinctions be made between the physical body and the mental abilities of the human mind.  The illness, to be sure, is an inability to grasp or to understand the real world.  This disease, however, is not fatal.  Indeed, Plato states that ignorance can be cured if they are allowed to escape from a dependence on the senses and the consequent shadows.  He does this by having the prisoners leave the cave and walk up to the caves entrance.  Outside, in the sunlight, the prisoners recognize that they have been misled and that their external world was far different than they had ever imagined when trapped in the bowels of the cave.  The Allegory of the Cave, in effect, serves several purposes for Plato in terms of creating an analytical framework for understanding and pursuing knowledge through understanding.  The first purpose is to demonstrate the knowledge transcends sensory perceptions.  There must therefore be higher cognitive powers needed to understand the world accurately.  A dependence on the senses dooms the human being to a constant state of ignorance.  The second purpose is to argue that it is possible for the human mind to identify these false images, to reject them as being misleading, and to find a road to real understanding and verifiable types of knowledge.  These highest truths, also referred to as the forms by Plato, are fixed and permanent laws or facts of the external world.  It is hear, the disease of ignorance having been identified along with its main causes, that it is necessary to examine how the divided line functions as a type of prescribed treatment to lift the human being out of the state of ignorance.

    Plato describes through the divided line a series of different types of intellectual activity.  More particularly, these different types of intellectual activity co-exist along a continuum ranging from ignorance to enlightenment and knowledge.  By educating people about these different steps, not directly but by helping them to progress mentally, the ignorance of the cave can be escaped and human beings can transcend the limits of their physical bodies.  The first type of intellectual state on the divided line is an imagining state.  This state is informed by the senses and perceives images rather than reality.  The caves prisoners were in this state while watching the shadows.  The second type of intellectual state is belief.  This is where ideas become conceptualized and adhered to without subsequent analysis or testing.  Human beings may therefore belief without any evidence or any verifiable reasons.  This type of verification and testing arises in the third mental state.  This third state is a critical thinking process and it is here that ignorance can be most clearly revealed.  Thought is about testing theories in a methodical way and even about creating models for testing purposes.  Mathematics, for instance, can be created and tested as a potential truth in and of itself or in order to test the veracity of other beliefs.  The fourth state is what Plato views as understanding. 
Understanding is a true vision and knowledge about the outside world and the things being viewed or considered.  Plato envisions absolute truths and the human mind is capable of discerning these truths only through higher mental processes.  Gaining this knowledge is not inevitable, as the prisoners in the cave attest, but Plato argues that enlightenment and the escape of ignorance are possible.

    In conclusion, Plato uses the Allegory of the Cave to present the problem of ignorance among human beings and to show how that ignorance is caused.  He then addresses this problem by proposing a solution.  The Divided line is then cleverly used to present the potential of the human mind and how it might be used in a progressively sophisticated manner in order to find the true nature and knowledge of the world.

Aristotle and Descartes

Philosophy uses the human faculties of observation, analysis, interpolation and criticism to help us understand the mystery of our existence.  It does not claim to have all the answers, or all the right answers for that matters, but attempts to provide us with a better understanding of our relationship with society and other individuals.  It establishes and tests our standards of justice and inequity, and determines the scope and direction of most of our social activities.  But above all things, it tries to unravel the relationship between our thoughts and our actions. (Santas, 2001)

Aristotle (384 BC  322 BC), Platos student and Alexanders teacher, was one of the Greek worlds eminent philosophers, whose writings covered subjects as diverse as philosophy, arts, rhetoric, natural sciences, and politics et cetera.  Aristotle was one of the ancient worlds earliest philosophers to undertake an extensive study of logic, resulting in his writings on analytics  commonly referred to as Aristotelian logic.  It was based on Aristotles concept of syllogism, combining empirical observation and the application of logic to determine the relationship between any two objects or ideas. (Rorty  Williams, 2008)

Basing his study of logic on his famous four causes, Aristotle sought to establish the criteria for observing an object and analyzing it.  The four causes were material cause (what is an object made of), formal cause (its form), efficient cause (its origin) and final cause (its purpose).  While realizing the dichotomy of the first two causes  matter and form  in his concept of hylomorphorpism, Aristotle also conceded that a state of interdependence could exist between any of his four causes with one or more being the result of the other.  He also mentioned that such a relationship could either be proper or accidental in nature, and could be spoken of in terms of existing or having the potential to exist. (Rorty  Williams, 2008)

Furthermore, while Platos concept of reality was represented by dualism of the world of ideas, based on Socratic concept of eternal and immutable, and the world of sensible things, signified by Heraclitean concept of fluent reality, both living in isolation of each other, Aristotle could not conceive it so.  He felt that if the world of ideas was the substance and the world of sensible things its ever-changing outward form and shape, then they could not exist on two separate plains and surely the direction and flow of one was guided by the other.

The greatest advantages of Aristotles philosophy were the importance it attached to observation and analysis on the basis of logic, and its ability to bridge the gap between Platos two separate worlds of ideas and sensible things.  Unfortunately, his philosophy was not without its disadvantages.  Firstly, he placed too much emphasis on observation with application of logic  a failing signified by his geocentric conception of the universe.  Secondly, his method of deductive reasoning from the general to the specific was not without its share of failings, and more or less scuttled the progress of scientific logical reasoning for ages to come.  (Gaukroger, 2002)

Despite all this, Aristotle is still considered one of the worlds greatest philosophers for his contributions to the study of logic, medicine, arts and sciences.  Interestingly, his most outstanding contribution was his studies in the field of marine biology that he conducted near the Greek island of Lesbos with his writings on aquatic mammals, Torpedo fish, angler-fish and cephalopods having stood the test of time till today.

Rene Descartes (1596-1650), French mathematician and philosopher, based his theory of philosophy on the concept of doubt.  Unlike his predecessors and contemporaries, he did not seek to rehabilitate Aristotles ideas in his theoretical framework.  He instead sought to destroy the very importance that Aristotle had attached to the faculty of observation.  Noting that our sensory faculties are very much capable of misleading us, as exemplified by illusions, mirages and hallucinations, he felt that reason alone should be used to judge the nature of things.  In doing so, Descartes felt that there was nothing that he could not doubt, except that he is able to doubt and so he certainly must exist. (Cottingham, 1986)

Descartes philosophy of doubt and reason is based on accepting nothing as true, except certain immutable ideas.  He believes that if even a shred of doubt exists about something then we should treat it as false, dividing it in smaller parts to comprehensively test each component individually until its true nature has been established.  Fascinated by the world of mathematics, he felt a degree of certainty could also be achieved in the world of philosophy by application of pure reasoning.  This was to usher in the era of rationalism one day.

The greatest advantages of Descartes philosophy were his emphasis on doubting anything which could be doubted, and his emphasis on reason and not sensory perceptions to arrive at a solution.  This profoundly affected the development of scientific thought, and this is certainly his greatest contribution to humanity.  Paradoxically, the biggest disadvantage of his philosophy was his over-emphasis on reason and reason alone, robbing philosophy of its soul and beholding it to the world of mathematical certainties.  The second biggest drawback of his philosophy was his belief that while our knowledge of our own existence was a gift by God, the perfect being, the deception of our senses was the work of a powerful and evil demon  something that modern-day rationalists still find hard to explain in his otherwise rational discourse.  (Gaukroger, 2002)

Through their extensive works, both Aristotle and Descartes have made significant contributions to the study of philosophy.  While their theoretical frameworks are not without their share of individual failings, the importance that they attached to observation and reason had a profound bearing on the study of philosophy and natural sciences.  And even today, we continue to view the world around us through the lens of their thoughts and in the light of their teachings.

Philosophy Readings

Philosophy rests on a multifaceted foundation. Indeed, in the history of the West, philosophy is often viewed as an appendage of wisdom. However, it should be noted that philosophy developed out of speculations to which we today refer as irrationalities. What is the connection of philosophy to rationality (Questions of Epistemology).

    The truth is often associated with the moral or the rational. Christianity defined truth as absolute divine existence. In epistemological sense, the definition of truth varies from one perspective to another. What is then the meaning of truth (Do you swear to tell the truth)

    The primary difference between truth and beauty is that the former rests on rationality while the latter rests on aesthetic judgment. However, in many instance, beauty is associated with rationality  rationality being treated as a manifestation of aesthetic judgment What is then the difference between truth and beauty (Is Truth Beauty and Beauty Truth)

    Moral secularism seemed to be a driving force of human development. This is in contrast with religious secularism which retards growth and innovation. In western axiology, the test of moral ascendancy is dependent on outcome rather than cause. Can religious secularism a force for development (Historical Interlude)

    In its pure sense, materialism holds that the only thing which exists is matter. The extreme view of materialism states that the existence of man is determined by material factuality. If this is the case, what is then the purpose of materialism

    If something works, then it is true. If an entity affects another entity, then it is real. Regardless of materiality, an object or entity can be real or true. Apparently, however, there are material objects which do not meet these criteria. To what extent truth can be known

    The ontology of being is something which the philosophical mind finds trouble for over two thousand years. Indeed, according to some, being real is being manifested. Other philosophers argued that the essence of reality lies in the nature itself. Can a compromise be reached between these two views

Platos Theory of Reality The Forms

Platos theory of reality or theory of Forms or ideals stresses that non-material conceptual forms or ideas rather than the material world of change we know through sensation have the highest and most basic kind of reality. According to Plato, the study of these Forms is the only way we can get genuine knowledge as they are the only true objects that can be studied. Plato used the theory of the Forms in order to solve the problem of Universals. The theory starts from a very simple and irrefutable truth which is that any class of objects has its definition. Plato refers to this definition as the Form of those objects. The most fundamental and straightforward ideas of Forms is that it is what defines an object such that without it, the object would not be an example of the type it is (it is definition) (Lecture on Plato 3).

    In order to further explain what Forms are, Plato differentiated forms from particulars by explaining that particulars are members of a specific class that is defined by forms (Lecture on Plato 7).  There can be variety of particulars for any Form. For example, my fathers automobile or my mobile phone are each a particular. To further differentiate forms from particulars, Plato argued that Forms have six main characteristics that distinguish them from particulars. Forms are aspatial in that they possess no spatial properties (they have no location, orientation or spatial dimensions) ((Lecture on Plato 7). They are outside the normal world as we know it. Forms are also atemporal (Lecture on Plato 8). Forms do not exist within any specific time period. That is to say that a Form is not a thing that temporarily exists. It did not start at a certain time and will not end. It however is not eternal in that it can exist forever (Watt, 14-16). Forms exist outside time. As aspatial and atemporal things, Forms have their location no-where as well as no when hence are non-physical as it is with particulars. Forms are also objective and extramental (Lecture on Plato 9).  This implies that our minds understand them but they are not themselves inside our minds. Forms are objects of our thinking but do not exist in our minds. That is why it is possible for people to think about or look at the same thingsobjects such as triangles, or odd numbers, talk about them, understand each other and all agree. Forms are intelligible (Lecture on Plato 15). This is based on the fact that they are the basis of definition of classes of objects. Definitions (Forms) tell us what things are, or rather what their fundamental characteristics are.  The definition must therefore be meaningful (intelligible) for one to understand what the thing is. As such, Forms are intrinsically intelligible constructs of meaning. The other characteristic of Forms is that they are perfect (Watt, 14-16). When defining a triangle for example, we say that it is a plane figure that is closed consisting of three sides of which each is a straight line. This definition is perfect as it uniquely and completely defines a triangle. If any part of the definition is taken away, the defined object seizes to be a triangle. There is no imperfect definition of a class as this implies that it would not be defining that class at all (Fine 14-21). This is unlike particulars which are all imperfect and only approximates of the forms themselves. This includes humans who are particulars of the Form humanity. Forms are also the archetypes of the real world as well as the particulars that make them up. Forms are ideal, genuine and the perfection of a specific class (Lecture on Plato 16).

    After defining forms, Plato goes on to describe reality in which he uses hierarchical dualism in which he argues that there exist two levels of reality where one level is a higher level while the other is a lower level of reality. According to Plato, the Forms are a higher level of reality than particulars (Lecture on Plato 21). They enable particulars to be though they do not really bring them into existence as it only is the interaction of particulars among themselves that causes them to come onto existence. According to this metaphysical dualism, particulars are real but less real than the Forms which are the higher reality. Forms are therefore more real than particulars.

    Plato uses time as well change to defend this argument. He argues that Forms are more real as they do not change (are atemporal). Particulars are ever changing, a feature that makes them less perfect hence less real (Lecture Notes 21)

    Based on the theory of forms, and using the myth of reincarnation Plato argues that all knowledge is a recollection of what was already known in the Forms (Lecture on Plato 25). He explains that it usually is buried in ones soul and as one lives on and learns, what they actually are doing is recalling what they already knew but had been buried. 

    Plato concludes by arguing that above the Forms is the Good which is the Form of Forms just like a set is a collection of objects. He explains The Good in the Myth of the Cave in which the sun is the Good while the trees, bushes and rocks are forms which are made visible by the sun. The shadows are the particulars which resemble forms but are imperfect epitomes of the Forms as only the Forms, which are the original, are perfect. According to Plato, particulars are inferior to Forms hence less real than Forms.

Cloning Ethical and Social Problems

To clone an organism is to make an exact copy of its DNA. This is commonly done in minute organisms (mostly on plants and animals). One of the most controversial features of cloning is whether or not it should be applied on humans. It is a given fact, that there are numerous things to consider in cloning a human. Copying generally weakens the genes. Many scientists have proven the validity of this statement - since adaptation in genes permit human to strengthen themselves against disease and the environment. Thus, all cloned animals die early due to diseases and genetic mutations.

    Cloning of human genes also involve several ethical issues. This includes perplexing moral questions 1) is the money used in cloning is worth the final result 2) 2) who will own the tissue to be clone the scientist who creates it or the carrier of the DNA 3) do humans have a right to manipulate the image of other humans Thus, this would create a lot of ethical deliberations that would force people to doubt the whole process itself (Appel, 2005). Clones are likely not to be accepted into the society since their existence is questionable  or more accurately their existence is an artificial form of human malice.

    There are several ethical debates which discuss the issue of cloning. The basis of our lives is dependent on a number of ethical, social, legal and religious parameters. In most cases, most people do not have the vocabulary to deal with the potential implications of cloning. Thus, whatever conclusions (in fact numerous scientist have any) scientific community have, the ethical issues surrounding cloning will be a well-known feature and would be fundamentally challenge in the coming years to come. Perhaps this is the hardest thing to understand and accept especially to most scientists engaged in this practice.

Is God Real

There are those people in the world who even given sufficient evidence will never agree to a lot of proven truths like man visited the moon, the holocaust did actually took place or God in reality does exist. Such are those who hit their blind spot and negate the truth that God does exist. God exists because He is the one who flawlessly designed and created this universe. He is the one who makes this universe function perfectly every single moment. And He is the one who instilled rules of science, mathematics and morality in our lives. So there can be three ways from which can prove about Gods existence priori approach, posteriori approach and existential approach.  (Arguments for Gods existence, 2004)

If I look at the Priori approach which was an ontological argument by Anselm of Canterbury. Here we assume that the origin of God is so ideal that it is absurd to assume about his nonexistence. Here we say that there is no other being as perfect as God. And this perfect being does not exist only in thought. For the reason that if it existed only in thought subsequently then it cant be an ideal being as the being that exists in reality is the perfect one. Hence Anselm says that any one who fails to understand God actually is the one who says that God does not exist.

Because such a person does not think that any thing so perfect can exist in reality.
Another argument I favor of Gods existence is that comes from the Posteriori approach. At this point the ontological case can be prepared specially to engage senses. But the cosmological and teleological points of view call for a wary gaze at the humankind. The earlier one emphasizes on the reason, whereas the later one stresses on the design and creation of this world, humankind and universe.

One argument by early cosmologists was based on motion. Everything which is moving has to be moved by a different force. However this series of movers cannot as far as infinity, a principle statement, for the reason that then there shall be no first mover. Motion is the transition that is resulting from the influence to take action. As motion takes place in the cosmos it implies about the existence of a first unmoved Mover.  (Zentrum Publishing)

For similar basis efficient causes when seen working in this planet, entail the realities of a first cause that is uncaused. A first cause that comprises of in its own being the ample rationale in favor of its existence and that is none other than God. The verity that dependent beings subsist, that is beings whose absence is acknowledged as possible, means the survival of an indispensable deity God.

Epicurus affirmed this by saying that something apparently exists at the moment, and that something on no account sprang from nothing. For this reason, for there to be something to be dependent in this cosmos there has to be something that is independent, a being which is essential through every change and is time-honored.

Next argument that comes in favor of God is the teleological one. The great philosopher Voltaire explains it in quite crude words If a watch proves the existence of a watchmaker but the universe does not prove the existence of a great Architect, then I consent to be called a fool. Not a single person will ever refute that this universe appears to be flawlessly planned there are occurrences of intended order. Just about anyplace, one can find traces of being. This shows that the universe is meant to be essentially open to life, intelligence, behavior, and principles.  (Caputo, 2000) Existence itself has a vast meaning it is an extremely intricate collection of things which is both earthly and extraterrestrial.

A look at the creations around us can help us understand this point of view. See the Earth which happens to have a perfect size. Around 50 miles the Earths surface we see that there exists an atmosphere. Which is having the perfect composition of the gases that enables sustenance of life form on this planet. If this planet was any smaller than having an atmosphere would have been impractical like Mercury. And if the plant would have been any larger in size like Jupiter then this atmosphere would have had more gases like Hydrogen which would have created an imbalance on life at Earth.

Next give a look at the distance between the earth and the sun. If the planet goes any far away from the current location then everything would simply freeze and if it got any closer towards the sun then everything can just melt down. Yet a slight difference in the worlds location to the sun could create existence on world impracticable. And furthermore the world rotates on its axis at a constant speed every single moment and this allows every part of the world to witness a day and night every 24 hours.  (Dembski, 2004)

Further, the moon serves as the perfect satellite for our planet. It also has a perfect size and location from earth. And this size and distance helps the moons control the movement of the waters and oceans on earth. Neither has it let the water stay still and not does it let the onerous oceans flood over our land. Not just this if one sees at some more interesting realities of life, and then it would not leave any doubt in mind about the existence of some supreme deity which is running all this system smoothly.

Look at water. Its a liquid that has no color or odor or taste. And yet our survival without it is impossible. And even the composition of life be it human, plant or animal is not complete without water. Water has got the most interesting characteristics. Some one who created water knew is usage for the human life. And so it made water a universal solvent. This allows numerous nutrients, minerals and chemicals to be dissolved in it and be carried in our body and blood vessels.

Further, water is neutral in chemical nature. It enables minerals, nutrients and medicines to be absorbed and used by body without even disturbing the composition of those substances. Water has unique boiling and freezing points. It freezes from the top towards the bottom and floats at the same time. This allows the aquatic life to survive in water in winters. Hence if we look at it most of our life seems chaotic and uncertain. But if we look at the laws of nature we see that they are so orderly and never seem to change.  (Jacoby, 2004) These things remain the same every single moment the earth rotates at the same speed, the force of gravity remains constant, the speed of light is the same a hot cup of tea if left for sometime will definitely get cold.

If one looks at the way the human brain and cell behaves this will further explain the reality of the fact that someone has very intricately designed its functions. The human brain is the fastest processor there. It simultaneously processes in millions of messages colors, objects, shapes, temperature, sound, touch and also emotions, memories and thoughts. Then the brain also keeps control over involuntary functions like our breathing, digestion, secretion, muscle movement and coordination.

The brain is able to screen out all the important data from this information overload it is exposed to it allows the individual to focus and operate with efficiency and effectiveness. Hence, the brain makes us think, reason, believe, dream, plan, execute and relate to everything around us. And even the greatest scientists have failed to replicate any thing even a slightest fraction similar in nature.

Gods existence can be seen from the fact that how amazingly programmed is the information manual in our human DNA. The DNA is found in every single human cell. It acts like an instruction, teaching and training manual for the cell. But the incredible part is the complexity and detail with which it is written. Each DNA code is made of letters A, C, G and T which in actual are abbreviation for four chemicals found in DNA. These letters are arranged like a computer program in a cell like CTATGGTTCGAAT and so on. Moreover there are about three billion such instructions programmed in each human beings cell.

Whats leads us to think about God existence here is that how did such information enter each cell. As these are not only chemicals but they are chemicals which actually instruct and guide with utmost accuracy how each humans body should behave. And the scientists fail to give an explanation for the natural and biological reasons behind these instructions. And one cannot ignore that such accurate and precise information actually exists because some being had intended to purposely create them.

So even the greatest mathematicians, theologians and scientists fail to understand that why is there such order and uniformity in the laws of universe. There is no rational obligation for a universe that acts upon a set of laws, let alone one to facilitate and comply by the set of laws of science and mathematics. And it is much simple to envision a world in which circumstances transform erratically from minute to minute.

The last approach that propagates in favor of Gods existence is the most recent existential approach. This approach says that an individual is able to experience the presence of God by their own personal and direct experience of life. Here one is not actually arguing or debating with some facts as you cannot argue or debate for some thing that you can actually personally experience.

This moral argument is based on the plain truth of ethical and moral familiarity. These demands to perform ones responsibility at times are sensed as powerfully as the force of a realistic entity. But the question is that what or who actually the cause behind this is pressure and demand. It is not sufficient to pronounce that individuals are habituated by culture to sense these pressures. Quite a few of the best moralists in the past have attained reputation specifically for the reason that they disapproved of the ethical flaws of their crowd, clan, group, family, or people.

It is not that sense of right and wrong, as such, comprises of a direct experience or gut feeling of deity as the writer of the ethical rule. But with the aim of, captivating mans logic of ethical accountability as an experience to be enlightened, no eventual justification can be known apart from by assuming the continuation of a greater and better being that man is bound to conform to.  (DSouza, 2007) Hence, as the concept of design exposes significantly the characteristic of intellect, similarly the case from science exposes the characteristic of sanctity in the former reason and self sustainable individual through whom humans have to at last recognize as the Creator, Ruler, Designer and the Lawmaker.

Hence this reason who is the Supreme deity is not beyond understanding. But this is identified with conviction not merely to continue living. But to own in that being at a superior level whatsoever magnificence, power, or additional flawlessness are recognized in that beings workings. To facilitate this reason is achievable by an accurate implementation of individual rationale, devoid of allusion to paranormal disclosure. (Collins, 2006) And those theorists consequently who are capable enough to understand the humanity theologically, are unforgivable for their lack of knowledge of God their loss is actually due to somewhat to short of good spirit than to the incapability of their minds.

Once again I go back to the case of design. Look at the human eye, for example, as an organ of vision is an obvious personification of intellectual reason.  (Davson) So if we view it as the creation of progression and evolution rather than the direct achievement of the maker. Here is no alternative in such situations and the irrationality of guesswork that our eye was created unexpectedly by a lone blind likelihood is amplified a hundred times by signifying that it may be the produce of a continual succession of such odds.

The terms like survival of the fittest, natural selection and other similar terms just are actually describing some stage in the assumed process of evolution. And it does so without serving the least to clarify it. In contrast to teleology it means nothing other than a simple occurrence or probability.  Hence, the eye is just a single example of the myriad instances of alteration to meticulous objects apparent in each division of the cosmos, lifeless as well as natural.

For the tiniest form of particle which is the atom as well as the smallest form of life the cell adds in to the confirmation offered. Nor is the debate destabilized by incapability of the human reason in many scenarios to make clear the particular reason of particular structures or creatures. The humans understanding of environment is too narrow even measure the perfection of entire plan made by the nature.  (Samples, 2004) While as opposed to our lack of knowledge of a few particular purposes we are at liberty to uphold the assumption that if aptitude is anyplace obvious it is prevailing universally.

Furthermore, in our hunt for meticulous occurrences of design one should not neglect the proof given by the unanimity of life. The cosmos is actually an immensely multifaceted scheme of connected and mutually dependent parts.  Each is subjected to thorough regulations and all collectively subject to a universal rule or an amalgamation of rulings. And it is plainly beyond belief that this huge unison ought to be the creation of probability or chance.

Hence to prove the perpetuity of this universes creator it is essential to go down back to the universal case already made. For the reason to be clarified, underneath which perpetuity is incidental from self sustenance. Lastly by means of straight answer to the dilemma recommended by the opposition. It is to be practical that one makes an effort to understand fully the proof for design. Think about the past stability of nature all through indefinite times in the history and indefinite times yet to come.

So one cannot understand the complete capacity of the plan made by nature, as it isnt a stationary universe one has to learn off but it is a cosmos which is increasingly describing itself. Plus is heading forth the accomplishment of a definitive point under the control of a supreme being. In addition to that goal the flawed as well as the ideal the evident sin and disagreement as well as understandable superior order may give in ways which one can but indistinctly discriminate. For that reason, to envisage God as being present only in the human mind and not in actuality escorts to a reasonable incongruity this proves the reality of God equally in the individuals mind and in certainty.

Racial Classifications, Other Factors, and the Equal Protection Clause

Strictly speaking, racial classifications to extend preferences or to impose burdens would seem to offend both the spirit of the American constitution and the literal meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.  Problems have arisen, however, because the United States Supreme Court has interpreted the Equal Protection Clause in such a way as to allow preferences based on racial classifications when the government can establish that there is a compelling state interest. (Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co., 1989, pp. 469-470)  Specifically, as is the case in some affirmative action cases when states present diverse campuses and the remedying of historical injustices as compelling state interests, the United States Supreme Court has strangely upheld preferences based mostly on race. Although The Equal Protection Clause renders all racial discrimination presumptively invalid, including discrimination in favor of minorities (Mellott, 2006, p. 54) this presumption can be overcome with a showing of a compelling state interest.

  Race, however, can no longer be the sole basis for granting preferences and other factors must be considered in the admissions process.  This provides an interesting parallel for racial profiling cases.  More specifically, a profiling procedure or practice based solely on race would seem to offend both the spirit of the American constitution and the specific intent of the language contained in the Equal Protection Clause.

  A profiling procedure or practice, on the other hand, which lists race simply as one factor among many such as age, location, and time might better harmonize the burdens imposed by racial classifications in the racial profiling context with the preferences extended  by racial classifications in the affirmative action context.

  The practical problem, in both contexts, is whether fallible human beings of whatever political persuasion are capable of viewing race as one of many factors rather than being a dispositive factor.  The United States Supreme Court, to be sure, cannot create overarching legal and ethical standards that account for personal prejudices and individual bias.

  Racial classification schemes will therefore always be substantially weakened by the fact that people can abuse what might otherwise be a superficially reasonable framework in which race is one of many considered factors.

  The only real way to eliminate these particular problems is to resort to a more literal interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause in which all people are equally entitled to the protection of the laws and in which neither preferences nor burdens should ever be predicated on racial classifications. 

Critical Review of the Cosmological Argument

This post tackles the validity of the First-Cause Argument for the existence of God, specifically its premises and its conclusion, using logical reasoning and analysis. Several ideas like causality tend to prove the validity of the argument. On the other hand, fallacies like the fallacy of composition, the argument of Hume and many others tend to disprove it. This paper discusses how these various arguments help support or negate the First-Cause Argument.

The First-Cause or Cosmological Argument states that every event has a cause and that there cannot be an infinite series of events so there must therefore be a first cause to which God is attributed (Sisson, n.d.). The First-Cause Argument states that there must be a first cause or a beginning of the universe. Although this argument has been championed by a number of philosophers and scientists, it still lends itself to several criticisms.

The First-Cause Argument of Thomas Aquinas, in some ways, is a plausible statement. The first premise which states that every event has a cause (Sisson, n.d.) is based on the universal idea of causality which was elaborated on by Aristotle in his Metaphysics, and especially in science, causes are necessary (Causality in Science, n.d.).  The second premise which states that there cannot be an infinite series of events (Sisson, n.d.) is claimed to be valid because of the mere impossibility of counting from infinity, or infinity minus zero, to zero, or infinity minus infinity (The First Cause Argument, 2004). The conclusion of the First-Cause Argument which states that there must be a first cause, which is God (Sisson, n.d) is even backed by findings in the field of astronomy and astrophysics (Craig, 1995).

However, despite the aforementioned claims for its validity, the First-Cause Argument has several weaknesses. Sisson (n.d.) presents Atheistic arguments against it, the most prominent of which is the inconsistency of the first and second premises. Atheists argue that if the first premise Every event has a cause is true in all cases, then it is impossible to state the second premise There cannot be an infinite series of events for this second premise assumes a first event which is causeless, and this clearly contradicts the first premise.

Sisson (n.d.) further presented the argument against the belief of Rationalists that it is impossible to have infinities in nature. Atheists argue that expressions of infinities in nature such as the idea of causeless events and the idea of events stretching back in time are not really unthinkable and are even quantified by reputable scientists in their theories. The atheists are also implying in their arguments that perhaps there is no first cause and that everything goes back on into infinity.

The First-Cause Argument is said to be a Birthday Fallacy (Notes, n.d.). This means that it is very much logically possible that there is more than one first cause that led to an event, or perhaps even an infinite number of causes. This further implies that there can also be an infinite number of conclusions for such infinite number of causal chains.

Personally I think that another weakness of the First-Cause Argument is in its very definition of a cause. David Hume, in his An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding stated that something is inherently missing in our judgment about cause and effect. Hume (1969) argues that just because two events happen one after another in close succession, we tend to believe that the first event is the cause of the second, but what we do not perhaps realize is that what we have witnessed is nothing but a mere sequence of events independent of each other. This argument will instantly negate the validity of the first premise of the First-Cause Argument, hence the negation of the whole argument.

I would also like to personally think that the First-Cause Argument somehow commits the fallacy of composition. Just because one event has a cause does not necessarily mean that there is a first cause of all events. Another thing I would like to point out is that even if there were really a first cause, it does not necessarily follow that this first cause is God or a supernatural being of whatever sort. Lastly, I believe that human logic and reasoning can only determine a cause-and-effect relationship but not a God, or any supernatural idea which is supposed to be beyond human comprehension. With these reasons, I believe that the First-Cause Argument is largely a mere assumption.

The First-Cause or Cosmological Argument for Gods existence seems to be backed by scientific proof and its premises and conclusion all appear to possess individual validity. However, there are several criticisms against its validity including the incongruousness of the first two premises, the logical possibility of infinity, the fallacy of composition and many others. All these imply that the Cosmological Argument is not as sound as it seems.