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A World of Ideas Essay

Lao-Tzu

1) According to Lao-tzu, what must the ruler provide the people with if they are happy? The ruler is entitled to provide the people with space, enough space for each individual person. Lao-Tzu is concerned for individual’s whole freedom, death included. And when the ruler dies it is the communities’ job to make sure that where the person is buried is nice.

2) To what extent does Lao-tzu concern himself with individual happiness? To the extent that one has lost him. It is the same extent as life does have relevance with logic. Lao Tzu suggests that the doctor should be paid for health, not for sickness. And if his patients are sick, then his salary should be cut. His interest should be in the health of the patient, not in his disease. And the patient has not to pay him, the patient has to pay to the government a certain fee to be kept healthy. The government pays the doctor to keep people healthy, and if they are not healthy, he misses his salary.

3) How would you describe Lao-tzu’s attitude towards the people? Lao Tzu is all about being committed with loyalty to the people.

4) Why does Lao- tzu think the world cannot be improved?

Because nature is perfect as it is. Lao Tzu says in his reading “This world is immeasurable.” And the person who knows himself becomes less wanting. Knowing yourself is such a great feeling because you feel a level of contentment inside and when you feel that, life becomes a lot easier,

5) which statements made in this selection do you feel support a materialist view of experience? A materialist would say that this is all, there is nothing else to life. A materialist says that all that you see its nothing but a reality. If that reality starts to become worthless, then there is no door open. A spiritualist on the other hand would say this, for sure, is not all. The visible things aren’t the last things. Never the less the touchable things are not all there is to life. When this life here is finished, a new beginning starts.

Those are the difference between both materialist and spiritualist. Their conception of life and their difference of worldviews are opposite. Lao-tzu had a spiritual worldviews. Lao Tzu realizes all the meaningless things we do in life because death is there and death will end everything eventually, so what is the point of doing something or not? You may not do or you may do but either way death is going to come to you and end everything. If you find great love, it ends eventually either by divorce of what I previously said by death. That love ends in skeletons in the ground, maybe the love finds one and other in the next life.

6) What’re the limits & benefits of the expression: “Practice not doing, and everything will fall into place”? Basically if you let life happen and not try to force things in ones life you will find a great happiness. More so, find the inner you—focus more on finding your inner self and once you find that you will find an inner peace and live a better more prosperous life.

7) To what extent is Lao-tzu in favor of military action?
He does not like war at all, being a spiritualist he finds mean in life and that no man should be in charge of taking another mans life. He finds no contentment with weapons and he also thinks weapons are a terrible thing. Lao-Tzu hates the concept of war, and feels that no man should find content in killing another man.

8) The term ‘Master’ is used frequently in the selection. What can you tell about he character of the Master? The Master is a man of tao and he knows what it takes to be one with tao. Machiavelli

1) The usual criticism of Machiavelli is that he advises his prince to be unscrupulous. Find examples for and against his claim. Machiavelli provides the ideal example for a ruler. He doesn’t state that a ruler should be unfair but that certain things must be done to get and keep power and peace. Like in the prince his job is to let conquered free states use their own laws. The prince has to be harsh but at the same time respected by his subjects while also being fair in his rulings. Machiavelli only promoted good leadership, not dishonest behavior to me at least.

2) Why do you agree or disagree with Machiavelli when he asserts that the great majority of people are not good? Does our government assume that to be true?

3) Politicians—especially head of state—are the contemporary counter-parts of the prince. To what extent should successful heads of modern states show skill in war? Is modern war similar to ware in Machiavelli’s era? If so in what ways?

4) Clarify the advice Machiavelli gives concerning liberality and stinginess. Is this still good advice?

5) Are modern politicians likely to succeed by following all or most of Machiavelli’s recommendations? Why or why not?

Thomas Jefferson

1) What laws of nature does Jefferson refer to in paragraph 1? 2) What do you think Jefferson feels is the function of government? 3) What does Jefferson say about women? IS there any way you can determine his views from reading this document? Does he appear to favor a patriarchal system? 4) Find at least one use of parallel structure in the Declaration. What key terms are repeated in identical or equivalent constructions and to what effect? 5) Which causes listed in paragraphs 3 through 29 are the most serious? Are any trivial? Which ones are serious enough to cause a revolution? 6) What do you consider to be the most graceful sentence in the entire Declaration? Where is it placed in the Declaration? Where is it placed in the Declaration? What purpose does it serve there? 7) In what ways does the king’s desire for stable government interfere with Jefferson’s sense of his own independence?


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