Final Paper

How to get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is a novel that follows one man’s journey through life and finding his own path to happiness through morality. Everyone wants to be happy and happiness means something different to everyone. Through the journey of life everyone will make their own decisions on their road to happiness and it is this that helps define morality on an individual level. Many different philosophers were covered this semester and each of them had their own take on happiness and morality and they can all be linked to the novel.

Throughout “How to get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” there were a lot of moral actions, both good and bad. Most of the actions were that of the man during his climb through the monetary hierarchy. While he mad both moral and immoral decisions throughout his life, he ultimately ended up being happy. Based on our most recent assignment regarding Pojman, the actions of the man cannot be judged for morality because the culture that the man was living in is different from my own. What is considered morally acceptable in Asia does not necessarily coincide with what is morally acceptable here in our culture. The man also seemed to change a lot throughout his life. When he was younger he was more apt to make decisions of poor moral standing but as he got older more of his actions became pure. I think that the lesson that I learned from this novel is that as people age, they become more in tune with their morality and mature enough to know what will really make them happy, whereas younger people are more concerned with materialistic things and instant gratification.

The assignment on Aristotle was also easily comparable to the novel. He said that everyone strives for happiness and that happiness is our ultimate destination in life. The man was constantly trying to be happy and thought that being rich would allow him to be at peace with his life. While he makes many questionable decisions in his younger years, he ultimately ends up happy in his old age. It takes him his whole life to get there but he eventually makes it. And it is not that he is rich that makes him happy because by the end of the book he is not rich at all. It is that he is able to be with the pretty girl and that he had made amends with his ex-wife that makes him happiest. The fact that his son is happy and thriving and that he is able to pass on some of his own wisdom to the younger generation probably also makes the man very happy and fulfilled in his old age.

Mills’ assignment about Utilitarianism can also be applied here. Mills believed that morality came with knowledge and that more the knowledgeable someone was the more apt they were to be of good moral standing. In the beginning of the novel the man was slightly naive and stole from his boss to impress the pretty girl and he made the bulk of his questionable actions in the first half of the novel. As he ages, the man starts acquire more worldly knowledge and his thoughts and actions begin to change. He becomes weary of the wealth he as acquired and begins to try to mend the relationship that he has with his ex-wife. Even still as he ages and he loses most of his money, the man is not upset. Through his life’s journey he has come to realize that happiness is not just about being rich it more about the people in your life and the relationships that you have with them that makes up one’s happiness. With the knowledge that his life has instilled upon him, the man finds the pretty girl, makes amends with his ex-wife, and chooses to pass on his knowledge to the younger generation. It is in his old age and wisdom that he realizes that happiness is not equated with monetary wealth, but with emotional wealth.

Even though each philosopher, and each person in general, sees happiness as something different, we still are all trying to achieve our happiness. Happiness is where we feel the most content with our lives. Morality is not something we necessarily seek, but learn and acquire throughout our lives on our journey to personal happiness.

Final Project Part III

Throughout “How to get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” had a lot of moral actions, both good and bad. Most of the actions were that of the man during his climb through the monetary hierarchy. While he mad both moral and immoral decisions throughout his life, he ultimately ended up being happy. Based on our most recent assignment regarding Pojman, the actions of the man cannot be judged for morality because the culture that the man was living in is different from my own. What is considered morally acceptable in Asia does not necessarily coincide with what is morally acceptable here in our culture. The man also seemed to change a lot throughout his life. When he was younger he was more apt to make decisions of poor moral standing but as he got older more of his actions became pure. I think that the lesson that I learned from this novel is that as people age, they become more in tune with their morality and mature enough to know what will really make them happy, whereas younger people are more concerned with materialistic things and instant gratification.

Another assignment that is easily relatable to the novel is the assignment that we did on Aristotle. He said that everyone strives for happiness and that happiness is our ultimate destination in life. The man was constantly trying to be happy and thought that being rich would allow him to be at peace with his life. While he makes many questionable decisions in his younger years, he ultimately ends up happy in his old age. It takes him his whole life to get there but he eventually makes it. And it is not that he is rich that makes him happy because by the end of the book he is not rich at all. It is that he is able to be with the pretty girl and that he had made amends with his ex-wife that makes him happiest. The fact that his son is happy and thriving and that he is able to pass on some of his own wisdom to the younger generation probably also makes the man very happy and fulfilled in his old age.

Mills’ assignment about Utilitarianism can also be applied here. Mills believed that morality came with knowledge and that more the knowledgeable someone was the more apt they were to be of good moral standing. In the beginning of the novel the man was slightly naive and stole from his boss to impress the pretty girl and he made the bulk of his questionable actions in the first half of the novel. As he ages, the man starts acquire more worldly knowledge and his thoughts and actions begin to change. He becomes weary of the wealth he as acquired and begins to try to mend the relationship that he has with his ex-wife. Even still as he ages and he loses most of his money, the man is not upset. Through his life’s journey he has come to realize that happiness is not just about being rich it more about the people in your life and the relationships that you have with them that makes up one’s happiness. With the knowledge that his life has instilled upon him, the man finds the pretty girl, makes amends with his ex-wife, and chooses to pass on his knowledge to the younger generation. It is in his old age and wisdom that he realizes that happiness is not equated with monetary wealth, but with emotional wealth.

I really enjoyed the way that the book was written. I though it was very refreshing. While it was confusing at times because of the lack of proper names, the fact that the writer was actually writing to the reader was enjoyable. I also think that the way the writer wrote the book as if it was actually a self-help book allowed the reader to be more cognizant of the lessons they were taking away from reading the book and following the man on his life journey.

 

Thesis: Everyone wants to be happy and happiness means something different to everyone. Through the journey of life everyone will make their own decisions on their road to happiness and it is this that helps define morality on an individual level.

 

life

Get Fresh with your Local Farmer

My culture would be that of the Western Culture. This is because I have been born and raised in the United States, which follows the Western Culture. My closest community would be that of the agricultural community. I have always lived on a farm and been actively involved with the Farmer’s Association and 4-H and various other agricultural groups. This has shaped who I am because I have always been around other farmers. We have our own way of living and are a generally close knit and giving community. We are always willing to help people when they are in need even if they aren’t from within our community. We have a strong sense of comradery. We greatly depend on each other for support and to get by in life and this teaches us to be thankful for what we have and to be eternally giving to others.

The three most important values that I hold are honesty, trust, and caring.

Honesty is a very important value to hold and it tends to go hand in hand with trust. Without honesty you will be unable to effectively communicate with the people around you openly. If you are dishonest you will not have the trust of the people around you and will have few friends and there will be no one there to help you when you need it. Where I am from we take people’s word with trust. When you need to borrow hay from someone in a pinch in the dead of winter but you don’t have the money at the time to purchase it, it will be given to you on your word that you will pay him or her back in some way. When animals are lent out to other people for fairs or breeding purposes it is the trust in that other person to take care of your animals that defines the transaction. Without honesty and trust such transactions would not occur and our community would suffer as a whole.

Caring is also an incredibly important value to uphold. You should care for the people and animals around you and treat them well because they are there to help you through life. If you are not a caring person then you will not be able to form true relationships with people because caring is a basis of friendship. If you turn people away in their time of need then you will most likely be without assistance when you need it.

I feel as though I am an ethically sound person. I always try to do the right thing in every situation even if it will be hard for me. I believe in the ethics of Pojman and Mills. Everyone should be confident in their own moral standing and should use their experiences to create valid opinions on what is right and wrong and then do their best to honor these opinions through their actions. Moral decisions so be ones that do the most good for the most amount of people and should not be done to make yourself seem better or for any other selfish reason. Without morality you will not be able to function in society and will have very conflicting views on life.

get_fresh_with_your_farmers_bumper_sticker-rb2f726a9bb864f7eab775a00e596dd9d_v9wht_8byvr_512I chose this picture because it encourages people to support their farming communities.

 

Judgment

We could, of course, distinguish a weak and a strong thesis of dependency. The nonrelativist can accept a certain relativity in the way moral principles are applied in various cultures, depending on beliefs, history, and environment. For example, Orientals show re­spect [244] by covering the head and uncovering the feet, whereas Occi­dentals do the opposite, but both adhere to a principle of respect for deserving people. They just apply the principle of respect differently. Drivers in Great Britain drive on the left side of the road, while those in the rest of Europe and the United States drive on the right side, but both adhere to a principle of orderly progression of traffic. The application of the rule is different but the principle in question is the same principle in both cases. But the ethical relativist must maintain a stronger thesis, one that insists that the very validity of the principles is a product of the culture and that different cultures will invent dif­ferent valid principles. The ethical relativist maintains that even be­yond the environmental factors and differences in beliefs, there is a fundamental disagreement between societies (Pojamn).

 

This paragraph basically states how morals are innate and apart of human nature and that depending on your background you will have differing morals. Everyone creates morals regardless of where they are from and how different their cultures are but the way the morals are shown and carried out are different. All cultures have rules regarding respect for elders or the various people that deserve respect but the way that respect is shown differs throughout each culture. I choose this paragraph because of how it states that morality is innate but every culture handles it differently. I think that it does a good job of bringing together all of the different philosophies that we have discussed this semester and showing how people can believe different things but the basis of the belief is uniform throughout the world.

  1. As a universal value, members of one culture have no right to evaluate the moral values of another culture.

I believe that this is true in that each culture handles morals differently. Morals come from social behavior and history and reflect the culture in which they are based. This causes morals to be effectively different for each culture. Objectively judging the morals of another culture would be impossible because the culture from which you come from is different and therefore you wouldn’t be able to be unbiased in your judgment because you were raised differently.

 

  1. I think that the argument against subjectivism is strong and valid. If everyone has their own individual set of morals and they live by their morals and feel good about them then there is no room to argue it. Just because you think that their morals are wrong does not make them think that they are being immoral. This makes it impossible to argue and judge because no matter what you think they won’t change their views because they feel good within their own decisions and you wouldn’t let them change your views if the situation was reversed.
  2. The argument against conventional relativism is also strong because is shows that just because the morality of a situation is decided on by the people within the community does not mean that it is indeed a good moral stance. The fact that people like Hitler and the KKK had followers would make their actions moral based on conventional morality when in fact they were not in good moral standing. Yet, no one can judge their actions because an entire community agreed them upon.
  3. I think that making moral judgments of others in a part of human nature. It allows us to question our own morals and stand up for our own viewpoints. While it may not be appropriate to judge others harshly, it is necessary and is the only way certain things can be resolved. If Lincoln had not judged the south on the position of slavery than he would not have come up with the Emancipation Proclamation and there would still probably be slavery in the United States. Judging is an important part of self expression and can do some good for many people. If subjectivism and conventional relativism were strong holding principles and without flaws then no one would be able to judge anyone else based on their morality. Without passing judgment there would be no way to chastise wrong doers. Crimes would go unpunished if there were enough supporters of a specific crime. If a murder had a band of followers that believed the murder to be just then no one would be able to judge them based on conventional relativism and that murderer would be able to go on killing more people just because he had enough supporters.

judgment

Final Part 2

The novel was filled with many characters that could be assumed both virtuous and non-virtuous. Depending on the situations taking place in the book and where the characters where financially and age-wise seemed to change the chances of whether or not they would act virtuously. The characters that I thought were virtuous throughout a majority of the novel are

  1. The man’s parents. They sacrificed a lot for their children to have better opportunities in their lives and while they were not particularly affectionate, they always did what they could for their children.
  2. The matriarch that the man’s father worked for went and paid for the majority of the mother’s care while she was suffering from cancer.
  3. The ex-wife was virtuous in the fact that she came and looked after the man after he had a heart attack and she did her best to support him. She also had an honorable occupation in creating those charities and doing a lot of donating.
  4. The son, I feel was both virtuous and not virtuous. Nearing the end of the novel he certainly became more virtuous. He stayed with the pretty girl and worked hard to keep her comfortable after she got sick and he made an effort to help other young men make it in rising Asia.

 

The people that I believed not to be virtuous were:

  1. The pretty girl was not a virtuous character until the very end of the novel where she requested that her staff stay with the man. She spent her life chasing fame and fortune and made a habit of using people to get what she wanted.
  2. The teacher in the beginning of the book was not virtuous because he took out his anger at his past and his current job out on the man and probably many other students.
  3. Pretty much every businessman and politician, as well as the group the man was a part of in was not virtuous. They were all skewing the laws based on bribes and favors. The competing water company that wanted to kill the man was not virtuous. The various people that were contributing the riots, bombings, and robberies were also not virtuous.
  4. I also felt as though the man was not virtuous for a majority of the novel. While he did do good things for his family, like taking care of his mother and father as well as sending his brother money were all good things, his methods for attaining wealth were not virtuous at all. He paid a lot of bribes and took from a lot of people in order to become wealthy and seemed to not have much of a guilty conscious about all of it.
  5. The brother-in-law was also not virtuous in that he took most of the man’s money away and disappeared and ruined the business after the man had a heart attack.

 

 

Some morally wrong actions that took place were

  1. The man stealing movies for the pretty girl
  2. The fact that the man was pretty much scamming the public with his “purified” water that was not actually purified.
  3. The many bribes that took place in order for the man to get the appropriate permits and visas for his machinery.
  4. The water company sending people out to attack the man for moving into their territory.
  5. The fact that the group the man belonged to in college provided certain levels of protection and would make it possible to get test answers or have other people take tests for someone.
  6. When the brother-in-law took off with the man’s money and ruined the business.

 

Some morally acceptable situations include

  1. The parents moving their family to the city in order to provide them with more opportunities.
  2. The matriarch helping the man’s family pay for the mother’s medical care.
  3. The man going home to help take care of his parents when they were sick
  4. The man supplying his brother with money in his time of need.
  5. The man helping young men make it in the world of rising Asia.
  6. The ex-wife’s donations to various charities.
  7. The man taking care of the pretty girl when she is ridden with cancer.
  8. The pretty girl requesting that her staff stays with the man so that he is not alone after her death.

 

There were quite a few situations that increased one’s pleasure such as:

  1. Moving the family into the city
  2. Falling in love with the pretty girl, this situation can go both ways though, but towards the end of the book it the source of much comfort to both the man and the pretty girl.
  3. The birth of the son.
  4. The man providing money for his brother.

 

There were also situations that increased one’s suffering.

  1. The deaths of the man’s mother, sister, and father.
  2. The son’s moving away to North America
  3. The fact that the man did not pay much attention to his wife for most of their relationship.
  4. The fact that because of the many threats from other businesses, the man had to live with around-the-clock security for quite some time.
  5. The death of the pretty girl
  6. The betrayal of the brother-in-law
  7. The various heart attacks that the man suffered.
  8. The way that the pretty girl treated the man for most of their lives.

You’re my best friend

ASHLEY

 

 

I am a female, or at least was the last time I checked. On the whole, I enjoy being female. There are obviously those occasional times where I wish I were a male so I wouldn’t have to suffer through childbirth and raging emotions, but I find being a female empowering on the whole. Whenever I tell someone I plan on being a neurosurgeon I am always told that that is a very male dominated field and I feel inspired even more to continue on my journey to become, just so I can said I did and be one more female voice in the field. I occasionally feel as though my gender effects my ethical views in that I am always slightly more concerned with other people’s feelings and how my actions will affect the people around me. I find I am much more sensitive to the needs of children and other women and am always trying to help them in any way that I can. More so than my boyfriend who is less concerned with caring for other people and much more concerned with the care of animals. I am also the one that takes care of the animals and our friends when they are sick, whereas my boyfriend is more along the lines of “They’ll get over it.” I find that when one of our animals is sick I’m out sleeping in the barn with it all night whereas he just makes sure it has food and water and leaves it to its own devices.

 

I have two best friends. My first is my best friend, Ashley, and my second would be my boyfriend. Both of these relationships differ slightly from one another. Ashley knows everything there is to know about me, I tell her everything, literally, everything. We entirely trust each other and always go to one another when we need a voice of reason or an outsider’s opinion. We care for each other deeply are always there in the other’s time of need. We each have our own role in our relationship, she is much more soft and kind and gentle and is good for when you need to be coddled. I, on the other hand, am much more harsh and will tell you how it is and won’t sugar coat anything. In this way we compliment each other really well and are able to take on certain responsibilities. I tell her when she’s being to soft and getting walked all over and she tells me when I’m being too harsh on someone and helps me be more understanding. The relationship I have with my boyfriend is slightly different because we are partners. We run a business together and we compliment each other quite well. We pick up the slack that other one leaves behind and share certain responsibilities. He tends to all of the “behind the scenes” stuff; he makes sure everything gets done, while I deal with the people. He has a tendency to be very harsh and cut and dry, and not very accommodating, so I step in when necessary as a type of peacekeeper. On the whole we are incredibly honest with one another and we have no problem calling each other out when the other is being stubborn or inconsiderate. We have a very open line of communication; which is incredibly important to maintaining our relationship. I think you can have many best friends because everyone can provide you with a different type of relationship and can give you a different outlook on certain situations. It is important to surround yourself with many differing, but positive views on life in order to help keep you open-minded.

 

mygirl

Trisomy 21

I do not feel as though it would be wrong for parents to abort a fetus that has Trisomy 21. It is ultimately their choice whether or not they want to raise a child with Down’s syndrome. Every family is different and has their own unique outlook on life and are in their own unique circumstances. If they feel as though they cannot mentally or financially handle raising a child with mental retardation then that is their own decision and it is one that should not be made for them. If they are forced to raise a child with Down’s then that can lead to emotional damage to themselves and the child, which is not fair to either party. The moral responsibilities that a mother has towards her fetus are that she needs to ensure that she will be able to provide the fetus with the best life possible. If she feels as though she will be unable to provide for this fetus both emotionally and financially, then she should have the right to either terminate the pregnancy or put the child up for adoption based on her own views of adoption and abortion.

                  I am firmly pro-choice and therefore feel that as long as the parents have strong reasoning as to why it will be best to have an abortion, then it is morally acceptable. If they are forced to raise a child with Down’s then they can harbor resentment for the child which can be emotionally damaging to the child and to the parents. Also, if the parents are unable to financially support a child with Down’s then they should be able to have the choice to abort. Financial burdens can be incredibly stressful on a family and can lead to divorce, which would be detrimental to the child in question. I have a brother with Fragile X, which is a form of mental retardation and even though my parents were financially capable and emotionally prepared to raise him, it was still incredibly stressful at times. Not all people are capable of handling such stress, which can create dangerous situations for both the child and the parents. I also feel that whether or not the pregnancy was wanted could have a large effect on whether or not abortion is justifiable. Again, it is already stressful to raise a child with mental retardation, if you throw in the fact that the woman didn’t want the pregnancy to begin with, you are sure to find that the mother will probably harbor some sort of resentment towards the child or the father of the child.

                  The strengths behind the argument that any kind of prenatal testing is wrong is that there are potential risks to the fetus. CVS can have harmful effects on the fetus but at very small rates. This can certainly deter people from having the tests done. Another point could be that, based on some people’s moral standards, the results of the test should not have an impact on whether or not the pregnancy is carried to term. The only problem with this is that people have varying views on life and different moral standards. Some moral theories that might bear on these issues is that a person is a person no matter what and that even if they are mentally deficient, they should still be treated the same. This is a very valid point but it also runs into the controversial argument of when is a fetus actually considered a person. Another moral point would be that it would be in good moral faith that the fetus should be provided just as many opportunities as its healthy counterpart. Yet, another moral issue would be that it is the ultimately the woman’s body that all of this is happening in, therefore it should be her choice as to what happens to her body and thus her fetus.

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/could-it-be-cure-breakthrough-prompts-down-syndrome-soul-searching-6C10879213

 

This article highlights the possibility of a cure for Down’s Syndrome that the University of Massachusetts Medical School has discovered.