Instructions : Now rewrite the paragraph maintaining formal tone in all places that you marked as having informal language.
Teachers Note: Bold is where student rewrote the informal parts of the essay in formal tone. Regular is the original Brain Quest book essay.
Many people believe that Socrates was the greatest philosopher who ever lived. In fact, some consider him the father of all philosophy. Philosophy is a word that originates from two Greek words, philo meaning love and Sophia meaning wisdom. Philosophy is the study of human thought and love of seeking wisdom. Socrates lived in Greece, in the fifth century BCE. There were others who studied philosophy before him, but Socrates brought philosophy to the lay-man.Prior to Socrates, philosophy was taught only in formal schools for the intellectuals and wealthy of Greece. But Socrates had a different way of teaching. He didn’t tell his students what to think. Instead he asked them questions about what they thought, and helped them arrive at the answers themselves. Socrates was also interested in the practical implications of philosophy: how it applied to regular people and in day-to-day life. That interest in the consequences of philosophy may have been Socrates downfall. Socrates was executed for corrupting the youth by teaching political philosophy and for denying the gods. His sentence was to drink a hemlock potion in a state sanctioned suicide. Even though Socrates never produced any writings his student, Plato, wrote several works about his life. Thanks to Plato and Aristotle our generation can learn about Socrates’ life and philosophy.
“Hypocrite, first remove the plank from your own eye.” Matthew 7:5
Respect is understanding other people have rights. It is following the golden rule and protecting those rights.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6: 31
This means to treat others how you wish to be treated. If you behave in a bossy manner do not be surprised that others assume you want to always be told what to do. Placing out disrespect into the universe may earn you the same. If you are respectful you show, no earn others respect.
“Do not judge and you will not be judged… … forgive and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37
Gossip and idle talk, “She is such and such a person,” these statements are judgement. They pay no heed to respect nor will the earn you respect. Reserve judgements and give forgiveness, this is the path of respect and happiness.
“You say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye.” Luke 6:42
For me to point out wrongs in others and ignore my own is disrespectful. It is hypocrisy and it does not lead to growth and light. It does not lead to earning respect. You have to respect others to be respected.
Is it honourable to follow tradition or is tradition a restriction of self? I am going to go over how the good life might not be honouring tradition. It is possible it is not the good life but a cannibalism of our self as depicted in the allegorical tale “Diary of a Madman.”
The Analects, a text that outlines Confucius thought, tells us to follow Li. It describes Li as being responsibility, tradition, and ritual. It is what one does to find their purpose in society. When Confucius is asked what Ren is, he mentions Li being the path to Ren. “Conquer yourself and return to Li: that is Ren,” (Analects, 12.1). For Confucius, the good moral person or Junzi followed Li. Li is learned and taught. In Diary of a Madman it hints at this in the paranoid hero’s mention of hatred of him in the eyes of the children. He states they must have learned their hate from their parents. Hate is the tradition, the ritual taught according to the madman.
I shall start with a quote from The Underground man himself. “Ha! Ha! Ha! But after all, if you like, in reality, there is such thing as choice.” (Dostoevsky, p.24), In the readings a major theme was free will and morals. Is the good life a free life or are we controlled by fate? To what limits are these freedoms?
In Fear and Trembling freedom is limited by morals or by faith. For Abraham he is both free and bound. He must, due to duty, serve God even if God orders his son’s death. Still this faith left him free. Free of ethics we become bound by faith. “A tragic hero can become a human being by his own strength, but not the knight of faith. When a person sets out on the tragic hero’s admittedly hard path, there are many who can lend him advice; but he who walks the narrow path of faith no one can advise, no one understands.” (K. p.95) This states how even Abraham who seeks freedom from ethics through the duty of faith is not free from being alone. Freedom is fickle.
To find peace in ash, I cannot sway in the wind, life is but one death.
Life is so complicated isn’t it? It can rush us by surprise like a mass eruption of things to do. These volcanos of expectations and ruined plans they come as if without warning. We ignore the tremors that warn us the eruption is pending and even as the ashes spew we oft turn away in denial. What do you fear? I wrote the poetic line above myself intent to turn it into a full poem, but it is a truth for me.
What do I fear? Why run from the ashes, the pyroclastic flows of doubt and expectations? No, we can face it by not allowing fear to sway us, remain fluid like the flowing molten rock, but steady like an unbowing mountain. It is now cliché but as the kids were fond of saying YOLO!
YOLO! Go climb that mountain! YOLO! Go read all those books! YOLO! Go take that crazy Pilates class! And YOLO stop eating tide pods ‘K or you won’t be living at all. We have but this one life and after it only one death. Leave no regrets!
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