Monday, October 17, 2005

Internal Struggles

I got back one of my papers. I will admit that I'm a little pissed. I got an "A-/A".

What the F&*^?

I had a feeling I would screw this paper up. The professor wanted it in the first person. I never do that in a paper. I'm an English Literature major...YOU NEVER USE THE FIRST PERSON!

I wanted to say to the professor... "Just give me the damn A....I did the extra credit question! F&*%er!" The extra question that nobody else even tried!

I had an Internal Struggle not to smack his ass...

Here's the question and the paper...oh..and it's in Philosophy...

Tomorrow? Monologue from the "Taming of the Shrew".

Question: Out of all the definitions of piety discussed in the Euthypro, pick out the one you think best. Out of all the definitions discussed in the Meno, pick the one you think best. Can you hold them consistently? or would living by them at the same time lead to contradictions in your actions? Explain, keeping in mind Socrates' criticism of your chosen actions.

Internal Struggles with Piety and Virtue

I chose definitions of piety and virtue that are not perfect. Socrates was able to question them so thoroughly that the original experts (Euthyphro and Meno) were unable to stand by their own descriptions. I also have my own dilemmas with confirming them as absolute truths within my own religion: the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). I do believe in the possibility that these definitions that I chose as the best ones, have clarity and can be found within the Bible, which I hold as the absolute truth. I also believe that within the Bible I may find a way to live a pious and virtuous lifestyle.

One of the definitions for piety that I found in the Euthyphro is “something which the Gods love”. This definition applies to my life because in my religion (COGIC), we are taught numerous behavior traits which our God prefers. My religion is a monotheistic one and presents less of a problem than the polytheistic beliefs held by Socrates during his time. In my religion we are also taught to believe that the Bible is the Word of God and contains one harmonious and sufficiently complete system of doctrine. We also hold the Word of God to be the only authority in all matters and assert that no doctrine can be true or essential, if it does not find a place in this Word. Through the Bible we are taught the specific items that God shows approval of. In Philippians 4:8 tells us that in our daily lives we should think about “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” By following this admonishment by the Apostle Paul, we should be able to live pious lives as COGIC Christians.

At different times in my life, I have found it impossible to think of things lovely or pure. There are times when life seems so bleak, that thinking of a nice day or how someone received justice does not cross my mind at all. Another classic example of my failing to live up to the Holy instructions of the Bible is found in 1st Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” I am a smoker. I have been smoking for years. I know that this habit is an affront to my God and the religion I believe in, yet I still indulge in this horrible pastime. As a result, I am living in opposition against that which I believe in so strongly. As with Socrates, I am unable to confirm concretely that this is an action specifically banned by God because it isn’t written in the Bible and wasn’t told to someone that I know personally directly from God. I have to believe by faith that this act is harmful to my attempt to live a pious life. Faith is not easy, so like Socrates, I continue to question my doctrine to get a concrete answer to the question of piety and what would be actually pleasing to my God.

A characterization of virtue given to Socrates by Meno is “the desire for things honorable and good”. I believe that this classification best describes virtue in my religion. The Bible tells us in Romans 14:19 “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” By continuously seeking tranquility and uplifting one another, we can avoid the pitfalls that accompany evil thoughts and desires. By wishing good for my fellow man and following a path of righteousness, my desires will be praiseworthy and suitable to the God I serve. Another way of obtaining virtue in my religion is the receiving of the Holy Ghost within your personal self and The Holy Ghost will provide you with virtuousness and incorruptibility.
I have been known to make trouble occasionally. I know that I don’t always have my fellow man’s best interests at heart and sometimes I will ignore them in order to gain personal achievements. I try to believe in the scripture that says in John 14:26 “ But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” At this point in my life, I am still awaiting the arrival of said Holy Ghost. I cannot say that I ever received the Holy Ghost, but I have seen its presence dwelling in others. I can also say that these Holy Ghost filled persons are very holy and virtuous. I have to continue to have faith that the Holy Ghost will fill me at some point and enable me to desire all things designated as virtuous. Socrates believed that no man would ever truly desire to do evil instead of good. I actually disagree with this principle. I have encountered some truly evil people in my life and I know that they really had no intention of doing good things. Therefore I cannot agree with Socrates’ dissention with the above definition of virtue by Meno.

The definitions I chose of piety and virtue are not perfect. Socrates found a way to poke holes in them and I also have my own problems confirming them as absolute truths. However, I still believe in the possibility that they are true and that within the COGIC doctrine; I may find a way to live a pious and virtuous lifestyle. In order to do so, I must receive the Holy Ghost to fight the internal struggles that lie within every human being and adhere to the scriptures in the Bible that detail the correct path to follow.

-Literary Diva

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