Syllogism is a deductive reasoning that has three elements 1) major premise, 2) minor premise and 3) conclusion. Each of these elements is made up of a sentence which has a subject and a predicate connected by a linking verb.  The major premise, written first, is the general statement. It includes the major term and the middle term. Next is the minor premise or the specific statement. It contains the minor and the middle term. The subject of the major premise becomes the predicate of the minor premise. Lastly, the conclusion is derived from the two premises. Its subject comes from the subject of the minor premise, and its predicate comes from the major premise. Only the middle term does not appear in the conclusion. Syllogism plays a role in persuasion by convincing people to believe weak or false statement to be true.

Truth and validity are usually interchanged, but they have a clear distinction from each other. Truth is dependent on ones judgement whether the idea reflects reality or not. Since judgment is expressed in propositions, it is assumed that truth (or falsity) applies only to the propositions or the sentences, and not to the argument itself. The premises or conclusion can be said to be true or false, but not the argument as a whole. On the other hand, validity (or invalidity) applies only to the argument, but not to each sentence or premises and conclusion. It refers to the interrelation among the sentences. Validity is concerned with the structure and not with the thought the sentences are referring to. It adheres to the rules of following the premises and the conclusions to show their relationship.

An argument can still be valid even though its premises or conclusion is not true. Example All wide-eyed creatures are monkeys. My friend is wide-eyed. Therefore, my friend is a monkey.  Here, the major premise and the conclusion are not true, yet the argument is still valid because it illustrates the logical relationship among the syllogistic elements.

Should zoos be abolished

Zoos are facilities where animals are restricted within enclosures so that they can be available for display to the public. The animals can also be bred easily within these facilities. Basically, zoos represent prisons in the case of human beings where the animals freedom is restricted and cannot live freely in a natural environment as it should be the case. The animals are imprisoned for the selfish gains of human beings so that they can visit the zoos as recreation places and therefore have fun. However, while putting animals in a zoo, people are less considerate about the well being of the animals since the best environment in which any animal can live in is its natural habitat and not in confined cages.

Arguments for zoos abolition
As mentioned in the introduction, zoos are prisons for the animals since they deny them the right to free movement and interaction with each other as it happens in the natural habitat. The confined animals never live a normal animal life since they are forced to live according to the prevailing conditions in a zoo. The natural environment of any living organism is the one that offers it with the best living conditions and thus denying the animals the right to live in a natural environment is a great injustice to the animals. It is also unethical for the human beings to confine animals in small cages so that they can get an opportunity of watching them at a close distance. Zoos should be abolished since one of the main reasons for their establishment has already been over taken by events. Zoos were initially established to make scientific research easier since by then, the level of technology was quite low and it was not possible to conduct any meaningful research on wild animals while in the wild and they therefore had to be confined in a zoo for research purposes. However, with modern technology, it is possible to conduct any type of research on the wild animals while they are in their natural habitats. This therefore implies that it is no longer necessary to enclose animals in zoos as it is possible to carryout research on animals while in their natural habits.

Most opponents of the abolition of zoos argue that it is easier for people to come close to wild animals especially the more dangerous ones such as predators. Apart from this view being selfish on the part of human beings, it also denies them an opportunity of watching the wild animals while in their natural habitats which is by far more enjoyable than watching them while in a  cage or other enclosed places. When the animals are in the wild, they usually portray their true characters and therefore when someone is watching such animals in the wild, he or she will have a much better opportunity of watching the true nature of wild animals as compared to an individual who watches them from a zoo. This therefore means that human beings confines animals in a zoo in order to derive less utility from watching them in such an artificial ecosystem, whereas they can free them watch them in a better manner while in their natural environment. Zoos should thus be abolished to make animal and bird watching more enjoyable and full of fun.

Just like humans, animals also have their favorite meals which they enjoy most and are thus more likely to feed on them whenever they are available. For the animals that are lucky enough for not being confined in a zoo, they spend much of their time looking for their favorite meals and this makes their lives more fulfilling and adventurous. However, for their counterparts who are very unfortunate and are enclosed in a zoo, getting such a chance is completely out of reach and they can therefore only feed on the food they are provided with in the zoos. Whether or not they dislike them, they have to feed on them as they have no alternative. They also form movement and migration patterns that are very natural as they search for food. The movement of the herbivores is controlled by the weather since they will move to the regions with more rainfall where they will get pastures in plenty.  The predators will follow them since they constitute their meals and so on. Some of these patterns are very unique and they can be studied to determine the movement of various movements of animals in the wild. In fact, the seventh wonder of the modern world was derived from the movement of wildebeests across Serengeti and Masai Mara national parks in East Africa. Confining animals in a zoo denies them the chance of forming such spectacular patterns and therefore the value they can add to tourism is much limited. By abolishing zoos, it will be much easier for animals to feed on their favorite meals and at the same time form some patterns that are very attractive.

The food chain and the food web are very essential aspects in the feeding habits of animals as well as controlling their populations. The animals form food chains and webs whereby some animals feed on the pastures and other plants available within their natural habitats, at the same time, those that feed on the plants are fed on by the predators that also have their enemies in the food chain. This therefore means that when the herbivores are many within an ecosystem, they will feed on more pastures and thereby reduce the amount of available pastures within their ecosystem. Since they will be fed on by the predators and they will have less food available for them, their populations will decrease significantly. As their populations reduce, the predators will also die due to starvation as their source of food decreases. Eventually, the pastures will increase since they are being fed on by fewer herbivores. Their increase will lead to an increase in the number of herbivores that will be followed by the carnivores. This is a good example of how a food chain or a food web within a natural ecosystem can control the population of various species that are found  within it and therefore ensure that the population does not grow beyond the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. By putting animals in a zoo, such control mechanisms are greatly distorted as the food chains are artificially controlled. It is therefore very easy to exceed the carrying capacity of an ecosystem and thus stretch the available food resources of maintaining it together with all its inhabitants.

Mating is a very important aspect of most animal species since it is through it they are able to reproduce and increase their populations. This process is usually much better for animals when it takes place naturally and not through some artificially induced means. For the animals that are lucky enough to live in their natural habitats, mating occurs naturally and they are not either forced into it or denied whenever they need it. However, the same case is not applicable when it comes to unfortunate animals that are usually enclosed in a zoo. Such natural processes are usually controlled by the zoo managements and they can therefore mate only when such management deems it fit. At times, the animals that are enclosed in a zoo are forced to reproduce more frequently than they could while in the natural set up and this might eventually have serious complications on the animals. It is therefore wise for the zoos to be abolished so as to give the animals living in them a chance of living a normal life that is free from human interference.

The process of animals getting adapted to a certain ecosystem as well as getting used to various changes that are taking place is very essential for the survival of their species in the long run. In fact, adaptability of a certain species in a given ecosystem is one of the greatest factors that determine whether it will survive or not. In a natural set up, animals adapt with much ease to the changing environmental conditions. Animals in a natural set up develop much faster, the required traits to survive in a certain environment as compared to the animals that are enclosed in a zoo. This makes it possible for such animals together with their generations to thrive in such ecosystems and do much better. Furthermore, only the animals that are strong enough and are much adapted to the ecosystem can survive from being eliminated naturally and therefore their generations that follow the ones that have already survived are usually much better and stronger. Such is not possible with the animals that are usually enclosed in a zoo since the care they are provided with makes it possible for even the weak ones to survive and thus pass on the weak traits that are not suitable for an ecosystem to their off springs. Such a process can easily lead to massive deaths of animals in future since there will come a time when the artificial efforts to support them will not be enough and thus they will not survive to the harsh environmental conditions. Since zoos give room for the propagation of undesired traits, then they should be abolished in order to allow the process of natural selection to determine the traits to enable a species of animals to survive or die.

The conditions that are offered to animals in a zoo are basically ideal and do not assist the animal in coping with life outside the zoo which is very essential for their survival. They are denied the chance of developing various survival tactics that are very essential to each and every animal. The animals living outside zoos usually have a better chance of developing very crucial tactics and are therefore capable of surviving in any given environment. This is a natural process that is very important to all animals and denying some is a great injustice to them since they will one day require them. There is therefore no need of keeping animals in a zoo so that people can have a chance of seeing them when they wish while the animals are denied the chance of living a normal life to the fullest.

It is unethical for human beings to imprison innocent animals for their own selfish needs. Despite the fact that the animals cannot speak and defend themselves, no injustice should be perpetrated on them for any reason by anyone. Even though the animals constitute the natural resources that are found in a country, they should be exploited in a manner that their rights as animals are preserved and clearly this does not happen in a zoo where their freedom to movement and interaction is denied to them. People should as much as possible exploit this resource without perpetrating any form of injustice on the animals. In this case, both humans and animals will benefit. Since the zoos constitute oppression on the part of the animals leading to animal abuse, they should be done away with and all the animals given a chance of living a normal natural life.

Arguments against zoos abolition
There are no longer cases where animals are being obtained from the wild and taken into the zoos. This therefore means that all the animals that are found in zoos across the world were actually born in the zoos. Such animals are therefore only used to the zoo life and if for any reason they are taken away from the zoos into the wild, then they would have minimal chances of surviving. This is mainly because the zoo life is usually much simpler for the animals since they do not have to hunt and look for food as they are provided with enough food. Zoos should therefore not be abolished as abolishing them would basically mean that most of the animals previously used to the zoo life would eventually die as a result of the hardships that are found outside the zoos.

Animals living in the zoos are usually provided with a lot of care and security and they can therefore not be attacked easily by anyone. These conditions are particularly important for the endangered species that might eventually become extinct in the near future if proper care is not taken. The endangered species can only receive the much needed care and protection from the zoos. In fact, the zoos can be very essential for such animals when they are used as breeding grounds and thus reverse their dwindling populations. If the endangered species are left alone in the wild, they might become extinct and thus the benefits that are derived from them will not be realized in the future. Due to the fact that the zoos are the only places where such animals can receive the care and protection they need, then the zoos should not be abolished at all.

Zoos offer the best facilities from which people can be educated on various aspects of animals. The level of training that can take place in a zoo cannot be achieved in a natural habitat or if it has to be attained, a lot of resources would have to be employed. People are educated on the various aspects of the wildlife such as the need to conserve them and the numerous benefits that can only be obtained from the animals. Should all the zoos be closed, then it would be very difficult and in fact impossible for people to undergo such training. This would imply that the level of awareness of the importance of animals among the public would be very low and they could thus over exploit them in a manner that is not sustainable. There is therefore no need to abolish zoos since they are very crucial in creating awareness among people.

There are some animals that are maintained in the zoos because their natural habitats have already been fully destroyed as a result of the mans activities. The zoos that house such animals are usually tailored to meet conditions necessary to provide such animals with habitats that closely resemble their natural habitats. To such animals, the zoos are the only place they can call home and without the zoos, they are likely to become extinct. It is therefore not necessary to abolish zoos since such a move would greatly jeopardize the survival chances of such animals. While carrying out scientific research, there are some tests that cannot be carried on animals while in their natural habitats. Some of the tests demand that they be carried on a particular animal for a long period of time. Again, it is much easier for the behavior of animals to be monitored while in a zoo as opposed to when it is in a natural habitat. The zoos should therefore not be abolished so that they can be used for such purposes and therefore assist in understanding further their behaviors.

Zoos are a source of revenue to several governments people have to pay some money whenever they visit the zoos. Such revenues form a very important part of the income that is received by the government since they are used to provide various services to the people. Abolishing zoos would essentially mean that all the revenues that are received from them are lost and thus the governments would have to operate on reduced budgets or would have to look for other sources of revenue. The zoos should thus not be abolished so that the governments can be assured of more revenues.

As it is evident from the discussions provided in this paper, the zoos should be abolished since they deny the animals the freedom of movement and interact with each other. Animals living in zoos are denied the chance of living a normal life which is the best any animal can live in. The natural habitats of animals usually provide them with all their needs and no matter how good are the conditions provided for animals that are living in a zoo they can never match the ones that are offered for the animals in the natural environment. By abolishing the zoos, the wild animals that are currently confined in the zoos will finally find their way to freedom and they will be in a position of living their lives to the fullest just their counterparts currently living freely in the wild. There is therefore no need to continue having zoos and imprisoning innocent animals, they should all be abolished and all animals given back their freedom.

Persuasive case, a case of Autonomy

The world today is service centered. On the other end, the services offered should be geared towards satisfying the needs and the aspiration of the client. In view of this statement, the client has a final say on the product, and by this assertion, I strongly feel the doctor ought to have strictly followed Janes wish. Were it in a developed democracy as Lauren asserts, then she had her rights violated. In deed, the liberal individualism theory offers the best in as much as Janes case was concerned.

The assertion that under whatever circumstance, provided that the mental capability of the patient is proven fit, the patient should be given a chance to make a choice is good both in reason and in principle. Given that the two psychiatrists had diagnosed that the pains had not rendered her mentally incapable, the decision she was making was rational, if their analysis was anything to go by, doctors should put their patients interest first. Beauchamp L T and Childress F. J Pp 16.  In view of this, her request for euthanasia was dully justified. A patient who is not eating is not even getting the least in Maslows hierarchy of human needs wherein even the first level is not satisfied.

When it comes to individual decision as Dworkin puts it, then the individuals right and decision thereof supersedes the societal rights. While the doctor would have largely considered the institutional principles, I feel rights supersede principles. In view of the above, I feel the doctor was intervening in a private life, which is ultimately wrong. Every individual will yearn to be autonomous both in conscience and physique. And if autonomy is an individuals right, then I feel persons like Jane should be allowed to exercise their universal right. Is it not that the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches most it is Jane who was feeling the pains.

The assertion that patients are incompetent to make any decision, I feel, is outdated, dictatorial and draconian. A move away from this is worthwhile and is long overdue. The reason for bringing in a psychiatrist lacks if the statement is anything to go by.  In all strong terms, there are no consequences on the part of the doctor given that it is the decision of the patient-client. Beauchamp LT and Childress F J feel medics should be driven by consequence rather than reason and principle. The balancing principle and rule states always obtain oral or written consent for medical interventions with competent patients, except in emergencies, in forensic examinations, in low risk situations, or when patient have waived their right to adequate information. .

Beauchamp LT and Childress F J, Pp 19.
Though, Beauchamp T L adds caution that this needs interpretation, at face value, and by whatever interpretation, Jane has Justification in this assertion. He adds (Pp 19) that the moral principles are so prima facie and that they are not absolute. It is the impression that was being created by Jane, which should have dictated the doctors decision.

On the backdrop of this well-founded assertion, I feel logically convinced beyond any treasonable doubt that the doctors resistance and decision thereof was wrong, self-centered and autocratic. The service industry has to remain consumerclient-centered. Their will has to remains the corner pillar in business decisions. Janes decision should have carried the day be allowed to rest peacefully, willfully.

Autonomy and Informed Consent

In a situation wherein a patient with the capability to formulate rational and coherent decisions refuses to undergo treatment despite the health service professionals desire to do so, the doctor should adhere to the patients wishes. As such, an appropriate ending for the case presented in the study involves the doctors adherence to Janes desire to end her treatment. The reasons for this will be specified in this discussion as it initially outlines the role and importance of informed consent in the health care profession.

The practice of personal autonomy involves the ability to rule ones self in conditions without external restraints. In order to practice personal autonomy, it is thereby necessary for an individual to possess both liberty and agency. In the field of medicine, the recognition of the importance of autonomy is evident in the enforcement of the principle of informed consent. The principle posits that a persons autonomy ought to be respected either (1) through the tacit acquisition of his autonomous authorization in a medical intervention orparticipation in research or (2) through the recognition and practice of an institutionally or legally effective authorizationdetermined by prevailing rules.  In both the personal and institutional contextualization of informed consent ((1) and (2) above), the elements of informed consent include (1) competence, (2) voluntariness, (3) disclosure of material information, recommendation of a plan, (5) understanding of (3) and (4), (6) decision in favor of a plan, (and) (7) authorization of the chosen plan (Beauchamp and Childress 80).

In the case study, Jane was described to be competent and hence capable of voluntarily deciding whether she will undergo the treatment for her burns. In addition, the case also specified the she understood and hence authorized the plan of action for the treatment. A problem however occurred because of the doctors refusal to end her treatment despite Janes explicit desire to end it due to her unwillingness to subject herself to the amount of pain involved in the process. According to the study, the reason for the doctors refusal lies in his belief that Jane will appreciate the physical toll of her treatment as she recovers. The case thereby presents an instance wherein a doctor refuses to recognize his patients autonomy. This situation is problematic as it presents an instance of (1) the failure to respect a patients autonomy, which translates to the failure to respect the patients right to be left alone and (2) the doctors failure to practice his professional obligation towards his patient, which translates, to his failure to respect his patients negative right. It is important to note that the second problem is contingent on the initial problem since respect for personal autonomy is considered as a professional obligation in health care. The doctors failure to uphold his professional obligation is evident as he forwards his preferences over that of the patient. It is important to note that the minimum requirements for the practice of autonomy are the ability to reflect critically upon ones first-order preferences and desires, and the ability either to identify with these or to change them in light of higher-order preferences and values.

Since Jane was able to provide cogent and rational explanations for her preference to die rather than experience extreme pain in the treatment, it follows that she is in possession of her autonomy. Although one may argue that the doctor has higher order preferences and values in his decision to continue the treatment, that being the preference of the maintenance of life, this does not change the fact that his refusal to adhere to Janes wishes is an instance of his abject decision to violate her autonomy.

Within this context, the doctor ought to end Janes treatment since continuing her treatment violates both the ethical and procedural rules in the patient and physician relationship. Janes refusal to continue her treatment may not be ethically overridden based on the principle of beneficence since Jane has been confirmed to be competent to understand and decide on her case as was mentioned in the study. It is important to note that the principle of beneficence may be applied in the situation if the doctor provides Jane with an alternative treatment that addresses her concerns regarding the extent of pain she experiences in the process. Given the variables presented in the case however, the doctor ought to end Janes treatment doing so would be in accordance to the principles of biomedical ethics.

Ethical Views of Five Philosophers

Augustine was a Romanized Berber theologian and philosopher who lived around the middle of the 4th century. Augustine lived a hedonistic life when he was younger yet throughout the remainder of his life, he wrote several books glorifying the grace of Christ and clarified Christian issues and concepts like those of the Original Sin. His philosophy later on became one of the foundations of the Christian Church in the West.

Intentionalism and Just War. Augustines ethics mainly focuses on intention, which means that responsibility for a certain act rests upon whether a person has willed the act or not. It is the intention, suggestion or consent, and not the action or its consequences that Augustine considers sinful. In his De civitate Dei, Augustine argues that one who owes a duty of obedience to the giver of the command does not himself kill he is merely an instrument, a sword in its users hand (Augustine).  Augustine clearly points out here that people who are just made by others to commit violence and murder are themselves not responsible for it. Augustine maintains that anyone who kills a human being, whether himself or anyone else, is guilty of murder (Augustine) but he makes exceptions in cases of lawful executions and soldiers fighting just wars.

On the whole, Augustines intentionalist views on Just War are very sound in that they establish the idea of personal responsibility and the foundations of criminal law. Soldiers and executioners who kill others for a higher purpose of good are therefore spared from blame.

However, Augustines full exoneration of the person who has killed someone out of a mere obedience to someone elses order is quite unreasonable. In real life, accomplices and hired criminals, though may be blameless in the name of Augustinian morality, are still held answerable to the law.

Perspectives on Lust. Augustine admits in the Confessions that he personally struggled with lust throughout his entire life before his conversion. Augustine attributes sexual desire with the original sin of Adam and considers it sinful despite the fact that lust is a part of human nature. According to Augustine, the evil of lust is not in the sexual act itself but rather in the emotions that one has when under its spell. He also says that lust is the impulse of ones mind to enjoy oneself and ones neighbor and any corporeal thing not on account of God (Exploring the Middle Ages). Augustine asserts that the biggest difference between love and lust is that the former regards God as the object of his enjoyment while the latter excludes Him. With these views, Augustine considers lust to be one of the most grievous of sins and one of the most serious obstacles to a life of virtue.

Personally, I believe Augustines ideas on lust are quite impractical in that he defines the evil of lust not in the act itself but in the emotions behind it. This Augustinian doctrine on morality, I believe, gives a good excuse for criminals and anyone who commit lustful acts in the name of a higher purpose or intention. Although Augustine considers the emotions that accompany lust to be evil, I still believe that the sexual acts of lust, whether or not lustful emotions warrant their sinfulness, are still to be considered evil. In real life, sexual criminals should be apprehended not only on the basis of their emotions but especially on the basis of commission of the sexual act itself.

Descartes was a 17th century French philosopher and mathematician who championed and glorified the role of reason from metaphysics to politics to ethics. Cartesian ethics focuses mostly on how reason brings about happiness in the individual.

Moral Rationalism. Cartesian ethics is based on reason, for only reason makes man moral. Descartes starts by pointing out that every man has an intellect whose purpose is to direct the will in doing what should be done. What then should be done Or what are the requisites of being morally upright according to the ethics of Descartes

A good mental health comes first. This predicates freedom from doubt and deception, which are both considered mental diseases. A good mental health also means the proper use of reason in surviving all sorts of emotional pain. Aside form a good mental health, Descartes also emphasized the contemplation of the truth. Through this, we can preserve our health, conduct our acts, and achieve happiness (Discourse on the Method). The contemplation of the truth will forever free us from tendencies to live in emotional fantasy and to accept the hard facts of life such as death and not wasting our efforts to control it (Descartes Ethics).

The Provisional Moral Code. In Part Three of Descartes Discourse on the Method, he provided a clear fourfold method on how to go about his ethics in real life. The four maxims are the following (1) to obey the laws and customs of my country (2) to be as firm and decisive in my actions as much as I could (3) to try to master myself rather than the world and (4) to devote my whole life to cultivating reason and advancing my knowledge of the truth (Discourse on the Method). The discovery of such truths, Descartes claims, brings him extremely pure and sweet contentment.

Core Ideas of Cartesian Ethics. With reason as the backbone of Descartes moral philosophy, there are two core ideas in his ethics. The first one is the notion of virtue, which is the disposition of the will to choose in accordance with reasons judgments about the good (Discourse on the Method). The first core idea is synonymous to the cultivation and proper use of reason. The second core idea is the notion of happiness which is a state of mental well-being that is achieved through the practice of virtue (Discourse on the Method). This happiness, which is the result of virtuous acts or rational acts, is likened by Descartes to tranquility.

Cartesian ethics is largely a philosophy on the glorification of the role of reason in the attainment of the greatest happiness. Reason is indeed a very good and practical basis for morality for its main goal is not only happiness but also survival. The decision to run away from the object of ones fear is mostly due to reason. However, Descartes may have failed to consider the role of emotions, or passion, in cultivating virtues of equal importance to reason such as goodness and justice, which are essentials of all ethics. If reason alone should direct the passions, and considering that reason may primarily aim for ones survival, the ideas of true kindness and benevolence have no part in Descartes stoical ethics. For Descartes, it will seem that I am being kind for it is rational, and that I love someone based on the calculations of my reason, and not based on my mere passion.

Soren Kierkegaard was a 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian who put the individual and concrete human reality before abstract formalities of the philosophies of his predecessors. His practical philosophy also sought to humanize the doctrines of the Christian Church.

Individualism and Subjectivity of Truth. The entirety of Kierkegaards ethics is centered on the individual. He has repudiated Hegels ethics for the latters focus on the objective world. According to Kierkegaard, ethics should be directed upon the individual for he believes that the true purpose of ethics is to deal with man directly and not with the universals.

Kierkegaard also contends that truth is subjective and that the most important truths are personal. He also believes that these subjective truths are usually not fit for theoretical discussions but should be discussed with intense passion and sincerity. Kierkegaard argues that this subjective truth, like the truth of you drowning at the moment, is different from and certainly much more important than the reasoned truth of Descartes and Hegel, like the truth that five plus two equals seven or that the water you are in is actually composed of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. This is existential ethics.

Kierkegaard, therefore, emphasized the value of the individual before anything else. He even said that every man thought his happiness lay outside him only to realize in the end that the source was within him (Quid est Veritas).

The Three Different Stages of Life and the Leap of Faith. Kierkegaard believed that life existed in three different forms the aesthetic stage, the ethical stage, and the religious stage. The term stage, as used by Kierkegaard, implies that one can live in either of the two lower stages  aesthetic or ethical  and then make that leap of faith to the higher, or religious, stage.

The aesthetic stage is about living for the moment and grasping every single opportunity of enjoyment. This somehow corresponds to physical and emotional pleasure and satisfaction. The ethical stage, on the other hand, is characterized by seriousness and consistent moral choices. This stage, however, corresponds to austerity and duty, and requires that one should always choose a stand on whether one thing is precisely right or wrong. Both the aesthetic and the ethical stages are, according to Kierkegaard, unstable. Thus, in order to reach the highest stage in life, a leap of faith or a jump into the abyss of the seventy thousand fathoms of Faith is needed.

The Religious Stage. The religious stage, according to Kierkegaard, is the only path to redemption. Kierkegaards religious stage was Christianity. It is however different from the typical Christianity that most Christians know as Kierkegaard pointed out that what matters is not whether Christianity is true, but whether it is true for you. This religious stage is a stage where Kierkegaards ethics combines with religion  a stage where personal faith matters more than anything else.

Kierkegaards ethical ideas stripped philosophy to its bare essentials. Of what importance are the various abstractions if the life of the individual is reduced to mere theory Truly Kierkegaards ethics speak for its own practicality and usefulness. His leap of faith concept shows us one very important thing  that life is not to be lived passively and that every man should be responsible for his own existence. The religious stage never just follows the two other stages in the course of time. Man should responsible enough to make a choice to take that leap of faith with all his heart and mind.

David Hume was an 18th century Scottish philosopher, historian and economist who were one of the advocates of British Empiricism. Humes ethics speaks mostly of the vital role of passion or sentiment in the formulation of morals.

Moral Philosophy. Hume argued that reason was not enough to motivate the individual to action but rather passion, or sentiment. According to Hume, reason is only a slave of the passions (Hume Morality and Religion). True liberty, Hume said, was the power of acting or not acting according to the determinations of the will, and not of the reason. Hume even argued that it was not reason but our feelings that provide a natural guide to moral conduct and serve as the basis of moral judgment.

Benevolence and Justice. Hume also believed that our benevolent sentiments are not identical with self-enjoyment. According to Hume, benevolence is useful to the majority as it would make us feel good to do so and is useful especially in social welfare and in the cultivation of the social virtue called justice. However, Hume makes a distinction between the nature of benevolence and that of justice in that the former is an original and natural human principle but the latter is not a universal and exists only under conditions of relative scarcity, and is therefore not as important. (David Hume).

David Humes ethics sound sane and sensible in that it gives due credence to the role of passion in morality. If, for example, one gives alms to the poor, it means that it is his passion that drove him to do such a charitable act. Humes ethics also tried to emphasize the possibility of pure altruism by stating that we commit acts of benevolence not necessarily because it makes us happy but because we think it is important to the whole. Yet it can serve as a caveat in that one may do something good to you but not necessarily because he likes it.

The only weakness of Humes morals is that it is based on sentiment, which means that it would be moral to kill just because ones passion dictated so.

Martin Heidegger was a 19th century German philosopher who pioneered existentialism in his philosophy by echoing the tenets of Kierkegaard and by emphasizing self-responsibility when it comes to ones existential existence.

Dasein. Heideggers existentialist ethics is filled with several German terminologies, one of the most prominent of which is Dasein. Just like Kierkegaard, Heidegger focused on the individual, which he called human being and this human being is made up of four components, and Dasein, or existence, is being there in essence, or fully embodying these four components as well as the choices and resulting actions that further define the self.

The four components of the human being are Sorge, or concern, which is ones ability to care about the self in relation to phenomena. The second is Sein zum Tode, or Being-toward-death, which represents lifes finite nature. The third is Existenz, or Existence, which represents knowing one is and is changing. The fourth and last one is Stimmungen, or moods, which refer to reactions to other beings that allow one to further define himself (Martin Heidegger).

Dasein Sorge. Dasien Sorge is the term assigned by Heidegger to concern and caring about the self and its existence, or just simply, care. Anxiety and dread are but natural feelings in the individual when he is confronted with the world and other beings, thus the human being must care for himself as there is no one else who can or will. This is Dasein Sorge (Martin Heidegger).

When an individual takes care of his self, he recognizes the fact that there are dangers in the universe. This mere recognizing, which is another aspect of Dasein, demonstrates a human beings understanding of the physical self. This existence of a physical body, as what Heidegger contended, preceded the essence of the self (Martin Heidegger).

Heideggers ethics, like Kierkegaards, focuses solely on a human beings personal existence and on mans personal responsibility towards his own existence and essence. Heidegger, however, put a strong emphasis on the urgency of such responsibility, which means that one has to take care of oneself and protect oneself, first of all, against succumbing to societys pressures. For Heidegger, one has died if one has stopped caring about ones existence and making conscious choices about oneself. How many young people today have called themselves independent-minded but have decided to look all the same as each other If one stops making his own choices and decisions, then one has ceased existing. Heidegger taught responsibility at the purest level of being.

Business Ethics

An ethical argument
Fundamentally, an argument that is moral and ethical in nature is one that constitutes moral standards (Shaw and Barry). The moral standards in turn come together with the premises which results in the creation of a morally sound conclusion.

An ethical argument is one that is one in which the premises of the argument entail the conclusion of the argument (Shaw and Barry). Also, a valid ethical argument cannot have any counterexamples and does not violate the law in any manner. It is based on logic and facts as well as upon moral principles that are acceptable.

Ethics and its presence with law or religion
Ethics is not the same as law or religion because while religion influences us to perform a good deed for a person out of a desire for blessings and positive religious appraisal, ethics motivates us through a desire to assist the person in need(Shaw and Barry). A commonly made argument in this regard is that if ethics and religion were similar in their influences upon the good deeds performed by a person then atheists would not have any character and would be anything but their current generally moral and upright selves. Furthermore, it is the presence of the polarity of the nature of an evil deed which asserts the presence of what is ethical and what is not.

The practice of thieving out of the greed to acquire riches is one that comes forth as immoral and unethical without having to refer to any religious text or legal declaration (Shaw and Barry). Therefore, the practice of living without thieving becomes a morally sound act free of the scope of religion and the same. Another extremely important element is the fact that religion does not constitute the right to argue about principles while ethics entails the right to provide and debate upon explanations.

The Principle of Utility and the constituents of utilitarianism in an organization
The Principle of Utility holds that actions and decisions that are right and morally correct are ones that seek to increase happiness and decrease unhappiness. Utilitarianism is a doctrine under this theory through which all acts should produce reasons to be happy and decrease reasons to be unhappy. In the context of an organization, utilitarianism comes into play when policies have to be formed and conflicts have to be resolved (Shaw and Barry). Utilitarianism also entails the achievement of results through morally sound decision making. There are six different constituents of a decision that is made under this doctrine each of which shall be elaborated upon through individual examples.

Firstly, if a decision is being taken in an organization to take one fourth of the staff on vacation, then utilitarianism will require that the extra workload on the three fourths of the remaining staff is taken into consideration before doing so. Secondly, a decision taken to raise the height of the divider between two cubicles out of the intention of generating increased privacy for the two shall require that the other people in the office are taken into consideration for the sunlight that the raised divider will block out for them. Thirdly, giving an employee a promised raise will not be an action that submits to the principle of Utilitarianism if the maintenance of the promise comes at the cost of giving the employees subordinates pay cuts. Fourthly, Utilitarianism holds that a decision cannot be taken to temporarily increase happiness and promote unhappiness in the long run (Shaw and Barry). For instance, taking the employees on a picnic will not be justified if they are made to work extra hard for the rest of the month. The fifth element is that the decision should be taken with the best of intentions in cases where the future cannot be subjected to estimation or approximation. The sixth element of Utilitarianism can be observed through the example that a manager does not need to give the employees a raise if it means that the manager will be giving them their increased salaries out of his own salary. Utilitarianism therefore requires prevention from exercising biasness in the establishment of decisions (Shaw and Barry).

The First and Second Categorical Imperatives of Immanuel Kant
The first categorical imperative of Immanuel Kant holds that no good deed can be considered to be morally sound unless it is free of any prerequisites. It should not be in any way reliant on the variables that surround it. The first categorical imperative holds that the deed is one that would be performed without regard to the surroundings or the subject of the deed (Shaw and Barry). Should the circumstances differ from those at hand, a legitimate act of good is carried out in the same manner nonetheless.

The second categorical imperative holds that the act of goodness cannot be considered to be a legitimate and right act if it has been performed in lieu of a subsequent event that yields benefit. An action performed with the expectation of a return or with the consideration of a subsequent event taking place is not an act of good (Shaw and Barry). An act of good is limited to its performance.

An Evaluation of Compatibilism

Traditional compatibilism is the philosophical doctrine which states that free actions should meet two requirements first, they should be caused by ones will and second, they must not have any external constraints. Freedom then, according to the traditional compatibilists like Thomas Hobbes, is the doing of the action according to the persons will and the absence of coercion, thus always giving the person the chance to do otherwise. However, through the years, traditional compatibilism was criticized by a number of theories and arguments seeking to disprove it. Although most of these arguments are logical, I have personally argued that most of them are either logically incorrect or do not oppose at all the doctrine of traditional compatibilism, and that the latter remains correct and true.

A number of philosophical arguments in the form of thought experiments have been advanced by various individuals in order to disprove the traditional compatibilist doctrine. Yet the ones discussed below all fall short of logic or semantics making them unworthy of what they have sought to prove.
Thought Experiment Lockes Trapped Conversationalist. This philosophical argument seeks to prove that the first condition of a free action held by traditional compatibilism, namely that the action must be caused by the persons will, is indeed untrue. What this argument claims is that it is not a persons will, or volition, that determines freedom of action but his having the power of doing otherwise (Schick and Vaughn 205). Simply speaking, it is not that you want to do something that makes you free but that you can actually do it.

The example of the carried man in Lockes Trapped Conversationalist argument is illustrated in this way the sleeping man is carried into a room ( he was locked up in the room with someone he likes ( he wakes up inside the room ( he feels glad where he is ( he is not planning on going out.

According to Locke, the man above is not free at all for by virtue of being locked in, he definitely has no freedom to leave. Locke said that this argument primarily points to us the fact that freedom of action is based not on the mans will to go out or not, as proposed by the traditional compatibilists, but on the mans actual ability to go out or not. Locke therefore contends that traditional compatibilism is not true. The weakness of this argument, however, will be evaluated in the next section.

Thought Experiment Taylors Ingenious Physiologist. Taylor argues that the first condition of Hobbes traditional compatibilist doctrine is false or defective in that it does not consider actions that follow from artificially-induced volitions. According to Taylor, compatibilism does not distinguish between pure and artificial wills, and that whatever may have influenced the persons individual will, the action that arises from it is illogically expected to be free.

Taylor illustrates his argument in this way neurophysiologists machinations ( desiresvolitions of Taylor (influencedartificial) ( Taylors actions (not free despite the lack of constraints). Taylor contends that if ones desires are controlled by someone or something different from the person who owns these desires, then all the actions of his that arise from these desires are not free, whether or not the second condition, the absence of a constraint, is existent or not (Schick and Vaughn 207). In this argument, Taylor has sought to disprove traditional compatibilism. Yet an evaluation of this argument in the succeeding chapter will show us that, in fact, it does not oppose the compatibilism doctrine.

Thought Experiment Frankfurts Happy Addict. Frankfurt illustrated in his argument on the Happy Addict that the problem with traditional compatibilism is that it does not distinguish between the types of wills. According to Frankfurt, freedom is not achieved by someone who acts only on his first-order desires, or desires that are directed on objects (Schick and Vaughn 210), such as the desire to eat upon the sight of food. The one who achieves freedom, Frankfurt says, is the one who acts on his second-order desires or volitions, which are directed towards his first-order desires.

Frankfurts Happy Addict argument looks like this the person takes drugs ( he becomes an addict  he could not stop taking drugs YET he has a choice to struggle or not BUT he does not struggle to stop BECAUSE he does not want to stop  he is acting on his second-order volition ( his actions are free.
According to Frankfurt, the above situation illustrates a free man in the person of the happy addict. Though he could not stop taking drugs, he still had a choice during his conscious state whether to struggle against the addiction or not  but he freely chooses not to. Therefore his continuance of his addiction is a free act. This philosophical argument seems very logical and coherent at first sight, but not after it has been evaluated.

The argument on Lockes Trapped Conversationalist, in my opinion, appears very convincing  until you see its flaws. Locke has forgotten that in his illustration of the argument through the example of the carried man, he has unconsciously failed to consider the relation between volition and action. According to the first condition of Hobbes traditional compatibilism, the action must be caused by his will (Schick and Vaughn 204), which means that it is not only the will that determines whether an action is free but a will that results into action. Otherwise, the word action would not have been mentioned by the traditional compatibilists, and we should bear in mind that free action is predicated in the free will. Locke thought that it is only the will that compatibilism is holding as a basis but he does not realize that it is both action and will that compatibilism emphasizes. Therefore, in Lockes example, the man is not free  not because he cannot get out of the locked door though he may have the will to do so (a problem concerning the first condition of free action, as what Locke says), but because this locked door is an external constraint (a problem concerning the second condition of free actions, as what compatibilism holds).

Locke also fails to notice that the mere act of carrying the man while asleep and without his knowledge already violates the first condition of traditional compatibilism because it was not his will that caused the action, and the second condition as well because while asleep he had no choice to do otherwise. Thus, with only this as a basis (without considering the locked door anymore), the man is already not free even before he had entered the room. Moreover, the person that the man saw upon waking up may not be the only or the best person he would love to be with, therefore the predetermined presence of this desirable company also violates both conditions of free action  it was not the persons own choosing and he could not have done otherwise.

After evaluating Lockes philosophical argument, we can see that it never opposes traditional compatibilism at all.

Taylors Ingenious Physiologist argument is similar in scenario with Lockes. Instead of opposing traditional compatibilism, it rather supports it. The neurophysiologists machinations, aside from the fact that it directs the persons actions through his volitions, and whether known or unknown by the person, are a clear example of an external constraint, or something that prevents doing otherwise. This alone implies that the action is not free, whether or not the volitions behind the actions are pure. Thus, the presence of the neurophysiologist as a director of the persons will violates both conditions of a free action, without any opposition to the compatibilists idea of a free action. One insight that I have personally gotten from Taylors Ingenious Physiologist is that any external constraint may have a twofold purpose  to limit choice of action (Hobbes view) and to direct a persons desires (Taylors argument).

Lastly, Frankfurts Happy Addict argument fails to consider various external constraints in the circumstances surrounding the happy addict. Firstly, the idea that the happy addict cannot stop taking drugs brings us to the concept of helplessness and getting used to it, or liking it mentally. This helplessness, although an abstract idea, is clearly an external constraint in the situation as it is something that limits choice of action. Secondly, the picture of a happy addict shows us the possibility of a chemically-induced happiness. The chemical is another external constraint. Thirdly, lack of knowledge or lack of options is evident in the happy addict. These are also abstract external constraints. All these external constraints tell us that the happy addict is not at all free, no matter how much he seems to like his situation. More importantly, this evaluation tells us that traditional compatibilism is not at all disproved. Frankfurts happy addict is like a happy child who was truly happy with a slice of pizza given to him but he doesnt know that all the rest were given a plate each. The compatibilists are now asking  if the child truly knew about the situation he is in, do you think he would still be as happy Ignorance could indeed be bliss but based on traditional compatibilism, anything that limits choice of action is not free.

Traditional compatibilism is the true basis of freedom of action. No matter how many arguments claim that it lacks logical sense, I personally believe that this theory remains sound not only because it cannot be proven otherwise but that it can be proven by itself. The various philosophical arguments, I believe, have focused too much on the nature of the will that caused the action rather than on the presence or absence of external constraints surrounding this action. They have failed to recognize the fact that anything that may influence or volition to cause a particular action is a possible external constraint, thus making all their claims go back to the two original conditions of the compatibilists idea of a free action. Based on my own evaluation, most of these arguments have not been successful in disproving traditional compatibilism.

The Bondage of the Will

Its considered necessary and healthy for a person (Christian for that matter) to know if his will has or does not have any influence to salvation matters. There is a need to find out the capacity that free-will has in its association with the subject of divine action together with its relation to Gods grace. According to Luther, if a person lacks the slightest knowledge of these perspectives, he then cannot be able to comprehend anything in Christianity and could probably be worse off as compared to the heathen. Luther notes that there are two parts of Christianity the idea of ones contribution to salvation and the question regarding the presence of uncertainty in Gods foreknowledge and if what people do could be done in a different way. There is  concern thus as to whether by contingency, God has foreknowledge on events and if a persons will has any relation to the things associated with eternal salvation or if its just passive occurrence under the influence of grace. It also is a question of concern as to whether people do what they do evil or good as a result of necessity or passiveness.

According to Luther, God is immutably kind and just and that just like His nature, His kindness and justice remains unchanged. It thus follows that what is considered of this justice and kindness should also be considered for his wisdom, knowledge, divine attributes and will. This implies that God foreknows everything by necessity. There exist a connection between Gods both immutable will and foreknowledge and thus according to Luther, God wills what he foreknows such that his will is eternal as His nature is changeless.

It follows that what people do is undeniably with respect to Gods necessity and immutable will. God cannot therefore be blamed for Pharaohs actions since Gods will does not involve doing what people do optionally and freely (Luther 58). Gods will was to deliver the Israelites from the Egyptians hand under Pharaoh and though he foreknew this, he did not wish that pharaoh act resistively to his will. From the Bondage of the Will, Gods will is beyond any ones power to impend and is effective since power belongs to Him. His wisdom is beyond deception (Hall 71). With this respect God is not liable for the actions of Pharaoh in that during the process of delivering the Israelites, Pharaoh deceived Moses a number of times that he would let go the Israelites  only to fail these promises later. Gods wisdom is beyond such kind of mind games that Pharaoh played and basing on the knowledge that God knows about the future, his will could not allow evil to prevail. It is important to note that God necessitates all things as he foresees them as Louis (63) notes that an ignorance of this knowledge implies that Pharaoh was ignorant of God and lacked faith and worship of God. Pride as depicted by Pharaoh to acknowledge Gods foreknowledge and will as immutable and necessary in everything rather than being contingent, means God had no part in Pharaohs work. Pharaohs will occurred freely without any power from Gods grace. In psalms 135 6, free will is only ascribed to people, with no much propriety than how divinity would be with no account of blasphemy exceeding it (Luther 73). God knew beforehand about the pervasiveness and evil nature of Pharaoh that would challenge his work to deliver His people. He cannot take Pharaohs blame as His work was to fulfill His will by defeating the free will power of Pharaoh and manifest his divine power to the world.        

Despite being driven by natural necessity to perish and the fact that man is basically sinful in nature, God has his way of justifying people. This can only be explained through Gods incomprehensible divine nature. God knew of that Pharaoh free will acting through his own power would persist basing on his pervasive and evil nature. The extent of blasphemy and evilness that pharaoh practiced did not warrant Gods justification and hence the reason why he remained to oppose God. Pharaoh lacked the understanding that salvation does not come from free will and that he committed none of his efforts to seek Gods justification (Luther 87). The phrase as the lord has spoken as used in exodus 912, 815 and 713 implies that God foreknew what would be the turn of events during the time when the Israelites would be delivered. From Luthers argument that God has foreknowledge and will of every occurrence it thus means He knew what kind of hesitation and resistance would be exercised by pharaoh. Pharaohs actions qualify him to be condemned (Woodbridge 93). According to Luther, a persons actions are the function of deliberations. The biblical example of the two builders depicts this concept of deliberation in that one has to have a deliberate idea to do something. Pharaoh thus was conversant with his actions and thus stands to be condemned for these actions.

Luther puts it that if people do  not know what they have ability to do, they have no idea of what to do and they have no time for repentance whenever they sin as they do not know what they ought to do. It is thus not superfluous or irreligious but rather necessary and essential to for individuals to know the relation between the will and salvation (Luther, 104). This calls for an enquiry into what the free-will can potentially do in terms of passiveness and with respect to the grace of God. This understanding implies that people should understand the foreknowledge and will of God to be able to know God and understand how much one ought to ascribe to themselves and how much to ascribe to God. This helps in understanding the nature of sin as people try to justify sin or blame God due to their misunderstanding of these principles. Its clear that God cannot lie particularly to himself since he is the one who promises. This means that a persons evil actions cannot be justified by such acts as free will. God cannot be obstructed in his predestination and foreknowledge and that all happens at his will such as to disqualify the issue of free will and manifest his power and not to justify sin in man.

Competing Conceptions of the State in Brave New World

Aldous Huxley in Brave New World presents two diametrically opposed philosophical conceptions of the state in the form of Mustapha Mond and John the Savage.  Mustapha Mond considers a vibrant economy to be the fundamental pillar of a successful state, he considers social stability to be the fundamental pillar of a vibrant economy, and he considers a peculiar notion of happiness to be the fundamental pillar of social stability.  The philosophical conception that Mond advocates in his debate with John is therefore premised on political institutions and policies that he believes advance these fundamental pillars of a healthy state.  Positive influences are to be wholeheartedly embraced and negative influences are to be completely eliminated or, as in the case of exiling nonconformist individuals such as Bernard, removed in order to preserve social stability.  John the Savage, deeply influenced by his experience as a human product of the reservations and by the ideas and passions transmitted through Shakespeare, finds Monds conception of the state to be contrary to  human nature and to human dignity.  Although his argument is quite nuanced, Johns main conception of the state is premised on the individual rather than a collective economy, on a conviction that human existence should be more dignified and inquisitive, and that nonconformity is a natural state of human existence rather than an evil influence to be cured or eliminated in the name of social stability.  A careful examination of the arguments proffered by Mond and John indicates that each philosophical conception of the ideal state possesses certain benefits and certain costs.  It is how these two characters measure these costs and benefits that Huxley employs in order to structure the novels fundamental philosophical themes.  

Mustapha Monds World View and Ideal Conception of the State
As an initial matter, Monds world view is clearly structured around his belief that a healthy economy is the pinnacal of human existence.  A healthy economy he defines as constant production and constant consumerism by the inhabitants of his ideal state.  This constant economic activity is not to be interrupted and Mond goes so far as to argue that people should forget about fixing things that are broken because it is better to replace the broken things.  It is better, in his view, because a robust economy needs a constant demand for goods and services and fixing things or attaching sentimental value to old things inhibits a robust economy.  Nothing in the text suggests that Mond has been unable to achieve this type of robust economy in the territory under his authority, a point that John never contests though he certainly sees a higher purpose for human existence, and the real debates involve Monds views regarding social stability.

Social stability, in Monds world view, is an essential facet of a robust economy.  This type of stability demands that people are peaceful, that they are singular in purpose, and that neither individualistic impulses nor competitive urges are allowed to negatively impact social stability.  In terms of the debate between Mond and John in Chapter 16, for example, Monds belief in the need for an extraordinarily pure type of social stability arises with reference to William Shakespeare.  Mond is completely convinced that works like those produced by Shakespeare should be banned.  Art and beauty are irrelevant to a healthy consumer society and they function as infectious agents that can negatively influence or contaminate the people.  Reinforcing how he views the health of the economy as the ultimate goal of an ideal state, Mond argues that such things as artistic creations and beautiful things are harmful because we dont want people attracted by old things. We want them to like the new ones (Huxley, 1996, p. 168).  Old things that are considered harmful include old ideas, old values, and old objects.  Everything of value is therefore of a recent origin.  This premise functions to preclude questioning authority and also sustains an economy dependent on constant consumer demand.  In sum, generally speaking, Monds overarching world view is based on his belief that a vibrant economy is the apex of human civilization and that such a vibrant economy requires a very strict and pure for of social stability.

The manner in which Mond pursues and seeks to maintain social stability provides depth to his world view and provides sharp contrasts with Johns world view.  Personal choice, in effect, is irrelevant and to be treated as an undesirable and harmful personal characteristic.  As a consequence, Mond argues that individuality and personal choice should be eliminated.   This is accomplished both through affirmative policies associated with conditioning and oppressive policies such as banning art or killing and exiling individuals with outcast characteristics.  An integral feature of Monds conception of social stability is his notion of happiness.  Rather than being an innate emotional condition, as John believes, happiness is imposed by the state starting even before birth.  Happiness is genetically engineered to some extant, it is reinforced through comprehensive conditioning institutions, and it is a matter of proper political administration rather than a matter of human free will.  Diversions, such as the soma holidays, reinforce this sort of artificially-induced state of happiness.  Interestingly, Mond is quite familiar with Shakespeare and he anticipates many of Johns objections.  Unlike the people he administers, Mond is very aware of the temptations of art and beauty and clearly chooses his notion of the state.  He exercises free will in this way in a manner that he fails to offer his subjects.  Ultimately, this seems to be because Mond engages in a cost-benefit analysis in which he views the benefits associated with his state more favorably than any other option.  To be sure, the text does suggest that people are peaceful and that they do not become engaged in petty disputes.
Competition it would appear is non-existent and all people have homes and enough food to eat.  The standard of living is quite high and inequalities are irrelevant because Mond has eliminated such emotions as jealousy and competitive urges.  In his world view, he administers a completely harmonious state in which his subjects have no fear of losing what is important.

John the Savages World View and Ideal Conception of the State
Johns world view seems less well-defined than Monds and his rationale more scattered.  Despite these constraints, he represents and argues in favor of an entirely different sort of state.  He offers a number of objections to the arguments made by Mond.  His objections are centered on a deep respect for the dignity of the individual, his belief that the meaning of human life transcends vibrant economies and an imposed happiness, and that human beings will betray their ethical and spiritual purposes if they engage in the type of immoral and hedonistic lifestyle that Mond advocates and defends.  These objections derive from his personal experiences on the reservation, from his exposure to Shakespeare, and from his experiences in Monds version of civilization.

One of his main objections is to Monds characterization of happiness.  John argues that happiness depends on the exercise of free will and that free will derives from individual choice rather than a deceptive and imposed administrative sleight of hand.  Whereas Mond sees happiness in ignorance, John sees a violation of human dignity in this type of imposed ignorance.  This is interesting because the conflict essentially concerns how happiness is to be defined.  Happiness is a philosophical imperative for Mond in order to sustain stability and the economy, however achieved for John, on the other hand, happiness cannot exist in ignorance.  Happiness can only arise from an enlightened mind.  Enlightenment, in turn, comes from understanding old ideas such as Shakespeares, the distinctions to be drawn between the beautiful and the ugly, and from divining a more meaningful religious purpose which emphasize an intellectual type of morality and individual decorum and restraint.  John also objects to Monds belief that the extraordinary benefits outweigh the irrelevant costs.  For John, the costs are clearly more substantial.  Monds civilization degrades human beings physically, intellectually, and spiritually.  Human beings become very similar to lower animal forms.  He refuses, in short, to concede to Monds fundamental premises.  For him, individual choice is more important than an artificial type of happiness.  Human dignity is more important than material comfort.  The tension between the two views is quite extreme.

Personal Thoughts and Conclusion
In the final analysis, this is a novel than cannot be easily analyzed.  There seems an easy temptation to choose either Monds conception of the ideal state or Johns conception of the individuals predominant role within an ideal state.  Absolute conclusions, however, are extraordinarily difficult because both views illustrate important philosophical concerns about the meaning of human existence and how to best provide comfort for human beings in a world ravaged by competition and strife.  It would not be surprising, therefore, that Monds state would be preferable to individuals living in corrupt countries where poverty is rife and happiness is neither imposed nor present through free will.  Individuals in wealthier countries, on the other hand, might believe their comparative wealth and happiness is of their own doing or the will of some God rather than a result of deceptive political decisions to which they are not privy.  The comfort offered by Monds world view, though illusory in many respects, is enticing in certain respects.  The troubling question is whether human beings will fail to improve or adapt and therefore offend and defeat the underlying purpose of human existence.  The novel thus leaves the reader with the same types of questions that obviously plagued Huxley.  Do human beings have a purpose  If so, what is this purpose  The novel raises these issues and illustrates the costs and benefits in a comparative fashion without offering firm answers.  Perhaps there are no firm answers.

Rationalizing What Makes the Best Life

According to Derek Parfit, what makes a good lifeor perhaps, the best lifeis a composite however he first discusses theories about self-interest. He states that there are three different kinds of theories Hedonistic theories, Desire-fulfillment theories and the Objective List theories. Each of these theories has its own interpretation regarding what makes a good life and what makes a bad life.

According to one of the hedonistic theories, Preference-Hedonism, a good or a best life would be one wherein the individual is able to choose and have what makes him and his life the happiest. Sometimes, the choice is between pleasure and pain, but according to the theory, what really matters is an individuals choiceand these choices are not necessarily between pleasure and pain. For example, if one is given two choices that may have pleasurable benefit to him or her, it is assumed that what would make him or her happiest would be the one which he or she chose. In a manner of speaking, pleasures are better experienced when they are preferred, and when they are preferred, they contribute to a good life.

Another of the three kinds of theories is the desire-fulfillment theories, and an example of this is the Success Theory, which states that all of an individuals preferences in his or her life, indeed, would make him or her happy. However, a good life is not merely made up of these. Ones desires, with or without his or her knowledge, must be met to be able to say that his or her life is a good one.
For example, if an individual desires to be able to ensure a good future for his or her children and is able to do so, then it can be said that he or she has a good life. If, for some reason, the childrens future turns out bad and the individual has no knowledge of the said failure, it does not make his or her life bad. However, success theory argues that even if the said event does not affect the individuals life directly in any way, his or her life is bad since his or her desires, unknown to the individual, have not been met at all.

In fact, it can be said that the theory claims that desires are everlasting since according to Parfit, even if an individual has already died and for some reason, his or her desires when he or she was alive were eventually not met (e.g., lives of ones children go astray after his or her death), it still can be said this his or her life had been bad. The success theory also claims that death does not make a difference on the non-fulfillment of ones desires. A good life consists of fulfilled desires, whether one knows of them or not, or whether one is alive or dead.

One distinction which applies to both success theory and preference-hedonism would be the Summative Theory which asserts that both theories are summative if they appeal to someones desires, actual and hypothetical, about either his or her state of mind or his or her life. In its global version, this theory claims that desire is not desire if one wishes not to have such desire. For example, if one is in pain, and one desires for a cure and at the same time desires that he or she does not need the cure in the first place, then the desire for the cure is canceled out. With that, it can be said that if one prefers to not have a certain desire, then it would be logical to state that one prefers that state that he or she is in. This reasoning is of course absurd, since it will then follow that since one desires to not be cured, then it can be said that the pain is not bad for him or her.

However, the desire-fulfillment theory and its global version seem to be amiss, since life is not entirely about ones desires. According to Jean Kazez, there is some importance in getting what we want. However, fulfilling ones desires are not the only basis of a good life. It does not matter how many wants a person is able to accumulate in his or her life, for a lot of great lives seem to be able to encompass great disappointments. Disappointments provide individuals with turning points in order to reassess their lives, and they most certainly do not amount to nothing.

The third kind of theory is the Objective list theory. This theory states that there are good and bad things for people regardless of what people desire to have. The good things for people are composed of the development of ones skills and abilities, moral goodness, knowledge, rational activity, having sons and daughters while being a good parent, and the awareness of true beauty. If there are good things, then it is necessary that there are also bad things for people, such as betrayal, manipulation, deception, being slandered and deprived of ones dignity and freedom, and having pleasure in what is ugly.

However, in the latter part of Parfits discussion, he poses a question which of these different theories should we accept. It is stated that it is not possible to answer that questionbut to answer the previous question regarding how to determine the best life, there must be an integration of the plausible and logical aspects of the aforementioned theories. Parfit claims that what is best for people is a compositewherein composite means that it has to be made up of distinct components therefore it cannot be said that the only true definition of a good life would be that of the aforementioned theories. It is not merely being a in a conscious state, or having knowledge or being aware of what true beauty is as claimed by hedonists or the objective list theorists. A combination of the components would be more beneficial and logical compared to when the theories are looked at independently.

Hedonism states that a good life is determined by the fulfillment of desires. However, it does not take into account what kind of desires those should be or should be not, while the objective list theory tells the individual a definite list of what is good and bad. Yet, it fails to address the fact that individuals have emotions and desires as well (Seligman and Royzman). As Parfit puts it, what is of value, or is good for someone, is to have both to be engaged in these activities, and to be strongly wanting to be so engaged. In interpretation, this means that being engaged in an activity with the desire to be engaged in it determines a good life. A presence of one without the other is not compositeand is ultimately not best for an individual. The notion is that happiness is not merely about desiring something or merely doing an activity it is about doing both.


In Meno, one of the dialogues of Plato, the issue of the definition of virtue is discussed. Socrates and Meno are involved in a rational discourse, with Socrates seeking enlightenment from Meno regarding its definition. The basis for Menos claim to his knowledge of the meaning of virtue was Gorgias visit to Athens. Whereas Meno claims knowledge, Socrates says that he had no idea what the definition of virtue was. In this case, three definitions are offered.

After Meno proposed the question, Socrates sought clarification of the meaning of that question. Socrates does this in what is considered his unique style, that of question and answers. When Gorgias visited Athens, he had offered what he considered to be the correct definition of virtue. Apparently, both Socrates and Meno met him. However, Socrates has no recollection of what Gorgias had to say regarding this definition. Meno on the other hand felt that he still had a clear mind regarding the meaning of virtue according to Gorgias (Plato, 380 B.C.E.). In his argument, Meno equates virtue to actions that were considered virtuous. He comes up with examples of virtues considered for men, women, boys and girls, old, young, slaves, free men, as well as states. Socrates does not agree with this argument because, it does not provide for any universality. In other words, if health was to be considered, it ought to apply and be understood in the same way, regardless of whether it is the health of a free man or that of a slave.

After discovering that his definition falls short, Meno sought to redefine it. He argues that virtue would rightly be considered as a ruling ability. However, Socrates counters this argument with another one. He argues that if such a definition was to be admitted as being truthful, then it would be necessary to explain the virtue of children as well as that of slaves (Plato, 380 B.C.E.). This is because according to the first definition, particular virtues proper to children and slaves were proposed. It was hard to see how children and slaves would be considered virtuous with this new meaning. After realizing that Meno had no understanding regarding the rules of definition, Socrates sought to enlighten him. Meno had a problem understanding the relation between parts and wholes, which played a big part in making concrete definitions. By helping him define shapes and colors, Socrates succeeds in making Meno see the role of definitions in as far as explanations was concerned.

In his third attempt to define virtue, Meno asserts that virtue was a desire for good things. He gives examples of things like honor, money, and political influence (Plato, 380 B.C.E.). The ability to acquire these things was also considered part of that definition. Socrates remarks that based on this definition, it would be impossible for the existence of bad people. The wisdom behind this Socratic argument was that no person would desire in knowledge, anything that would reduce them into misery. This meant that all persons yearned for good things. However, it was common knowledge that not all persons were considered virtuous. Therefore, this definition was also dismantled. Socrates further argues that the ability to acquire good things can be both virtuous and vicious, depending on the means. To this argument Meno agrees that the acquisition would be virtuous if it was done with justice. What becomes apparent is that in this discourse, the main difficulty arises when an attempt is made, to explain virtue as a whole on account of its parts.

In conclusion, Socrates exposes the inherent challenge with regard to proper definition. Meno had considered this a very easy task but soon understood its immensity. It is always a difficult task to explain the meaning of something on the basis of its parts. This is because in order to properly understand each part, one has to understand the whole, and vice versa.