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Este Blog sirvió para unas asignaturas cuando estuve en la UNAV, curso 13-14. Ya no sirve, excepto de museo de dudoso valor.

ESSAY 5: Two Greeds:

            The speech made by Gordon in the film Wall Street 2 is at least controversial. It should be at least obvious that many people could take the meaning of the word ‘greed’ in a different way, and be even offended by what he says. Taking his words out of context is very easy. But the main sense of the word greed when he used it takes it away from a moral context and places it in the orbit of the subject of evolution and survival instinct.

            There are two greeds in human nature. The first one is dominated by the instinctive part of our self. Without it, we wouldn’t be here. It is necessary a priori to accept it, to follow it. If you want a promotion because you need more money to pay debts, you will not have contempt for some other contesters for that demanded workplace. You only care about yourself, and you have the right to do so, because for yourself you are more important than others.

            Not always, though. People throughout history have, in what many deemed as heroic acts, made sacrifices, even given their lives, for the benefits only of others. These actions in theory should go against everything that our principles of self-conservation represent, but not only they do exist, they moreover are regarded always and by everyone a most laudable kind of acts. They indeed do not go against nature principles; they surpass it.

            The second part of our nature is the conscious part. The part in which we humans transcend the even mathematical becoming of the universe and create chaos with our own decisions. The part of good and evil. The second class of greed is here. As conscious beings we are not obliged to follow strictly the causality of nature, and most of times it is better to benefit our human part than our reptilian part. For example: it is better to study all night for the most important exam of your life than sleeping another night as one normally does.

            So, greed is good. Normally. In the daily life basis, greed keeps us advancing and progressing both personally and collectively. But we always need to keep in mind that greed is selfish, and human nature is superior to it. When good, a person is generous. When good, a person forgets about itself and cares only about others. When guided only by its instincts, he looses his humanity. Gekko at the end the film indeed goes to jail because of his extreme greed.

            In conclusion, instinctive greed and moral generosity and detachment are not supplementary, they don’t exactly contradict each other, because they belong to different facets in life. One is qualitatively superior to the other, but that doesn’t make the second necessarily evil. As creatures in this world we shouldn’t forget about evolutionary greed, but we must know that we are more than animals, and whenever we have not acted as such, consequences have always been bad to say the least.

Apparently images are necessary, so I put one.

ESSAY 4: In the Search Of The Truth:

Having read both your essay and your directive that I should write something on that topic, I have mixed this knowledge newly acquired and personal meditation throughout the years.

The truth is a very mysterious concept, ironically if we take its literal meaning. The truth per se, that is, the most pure, abstract and sole concept of truth, without additions I think we can argue that it is a being, in the sense that it does not have any characteristics, and so it cannot be described in a determined, and thus finite way. So the conclusion is that it is an infinite concept, a Godlike concept to those who are theists (Abrahamic more precisely).

But although the notion of truth, the origin of every problem and the final question to everyone may be something that we won’t understand until we are face to face with God  (again, according to some, never), there are many things in this world that can be classified as a true thing. The truth as an adjective, not as a noun.

Science itself is full of true things. This is because it investigates the universe in the language of Mathematics, and Mathematics is to the universe like the soul is to our body: a representation, a proof that a first cause, a truth beyond anything material exists, or is. The imperfect nature of the human being doesn’t stop him from achieving a perfect result in something.

But maybe this truth found in Sciences, and to many, also philosophy and ethics, is believed to be true because it is a non-falsehood. Because it has been proved not to be nonsensical. The way of Socrates. The problem with arriving to true concepts in fields alien to the mathematical language is that we must use the human language, which is much more organic, inaccurate and fickle than the stringency of mathematics. The use of logic, however, evolved into an individual philosophical discipline, has helped a lot in that matter.

There are as many ways of arriving to some truth as the number of humans that have existed, exist, or will exist on our planet, because of I said earlier, truth is an infinite concept, and the life of any person is conditioned, made finite, by an enormous number of different factors, so points of view in life will likely be repeated by a second human that isn’t us. This fact makes a flaw in the weak thinking theory, because searching the truth navigating through cultures, although it is a most efficient way of adding knowledge and experience into a ‘truth-blob’, a mass of approaches to it, it will be never perfect.

An alternative is to try and find the truth or true things by a negative method, that is, discarding what is not true. It is a very secure way, but very slow too, because it would prevent us from doing direct positive assertions.

The most convincing definition of truth up to today has been the equalization, or even substitution of it, by the existence of an infinite God, the cause of everything. This was indeed the solution to this problem to Thomas Aquinas. But it is a solution taken from a field that is not philosophy, and thus not entirely valid for some.

The consequences of not having the perfect godlike standard of truth have caused some alternative views: There is no basis, no unit of measure, no final truth, and thus everything is relative. Also, a similar view to pragmatism would reflect its theories on the acts of nature: What is true is what it works. Millennia of natural selection, cold, cruel and rational to the extreme have ensured its continued existence. But there should a final truth, as nature works in an apparent perfect order. I would like to develop this last paragraph much more, but I have already gone past the word limit.

Considerations post-discussion:

I had been told to me that the truth is not a being. I arrived to my conclusion following this thought pattern. I would like to see where I’m wrong, where an apparently logical step is not true:

The truth exists. There are truths but there exists also an absolute idea of truth that acts as paradigm for all the truths. This also applies to the notion of idea,or the notion of color, etc. For example: An idea to build a house, and the meaning of “idea”. So, if the notion of truth cannot be described with examples, it cannot have any characteristics. As the exemplification with a characteristic makes something finite, because if something is A it cannot be B, if it acts as a paradigm of A, B and all other examples, it is infinite. An infinite thing which cannot described with anything, which cannot do anything because it would being not doing anything else and thus loosing its infiniteness, can only be portrayed verbally as being. This also applies to God. I had also been told that God cannot be equated with the truth being a being, etc., but in infinity all what is infinite becomes the same thing. Indeed, in the Gospel it says clearly, “I’m the way, the Truth, and the life”.

ESSAY 3: About Forgiveness:

The concept of forgiveness is a curious one in human cultures, maybe even a contradictory one. Because in a world where natural selection, psychological battles of supremacy in the group, tribe or whatever is it, have always taken place for everyone, the humility (in both senses) of forgiveness has embedded with it the notion of weakness. This is especially true in Arabic cultures, for example. But there are some exceptions; mainly in the Western civilization our catholic roots have given us some respect or admiration to this feeling.

To forgive and forget is indeed considered sometimes subconsciously maybe like a form of moral superiority. Oscar Wilde said once ‘Forgive your enemies, there is nothing that annoys them so much’. You can see in this way, but also there exists the forgiveness simply because of moral ideology. A, for some strange, completely disinterested decision that would contradict the principles of nature itself. In theory, in the natural world there is no pardon. The winner gets bigger, the looser disappears. And the world progresses.

Why forgive? Why act apparently weak? In this apparent contradiction we can see that there is something that explains it. It is called Human nature, which is different from all other nature in the universe.

We are subject, because the existence of our consciences allows it, to the choosing of good and evil. And many people realize that everybody does things wrong sometimes, and themselves too, and they choose to act integrally. They forgive other people because they know that they could do whatever the other one did too, and they want to be just, and not ‘see the speck in your neighbor’s eye and not the beam in their own’.

This tendency, however, to forgive, but not forget, is plainly immaturity, and shows that pardon has not really been given. Pardon consists on what I explained above. If one forgives, but doesn’t forget, it is merely more like a ‘truce’, more like a ‘I won’t do you wrong, but only because it interests me, or even a ‘I genuinely pardon you, but only by now, because I might change opinion if it suits me. This is nothing less than not pardoning in the sentimental feeling, only a rational strategy, and thus false.

ESSAY 2: On women and business, on women in business:

           It is known the one of the major changes on the society of the last century and a half has been the radical transformation women have been subject to in their social role and position. Arising from a patriarchal society, where they were confined to the domestic terrain, incapable of acting in political life and under an inferiority complex, full of prejudices and misconceptions about them, they are now in most cases treated equally as man at home, at work, at all places, normally. The society of today has finally, the first time in history, with exceptions, placed men and women in most cases.

            But the thing is, many feminist organizations, studies, facts, and from what plain observation of today’s society can be observed, there are still things, grounds, situations where women are still in an inferior position. These are mainly the high ranks, the elites. Woman in their work it is true that they are a bit underpaid in relation to men and have their problems to harmonize their work, especially if they are well placed with high responsibilities, with their life at home, where it is known that the fact they work more than men in domestic chores and the caring of children. Not to mention that the hiatus that pregnancy causes in their professional career hinders them.

            But if these so called injustices are constant since always, if objectives of natural parity are not even in serious progress of been achieved, after trying always, one might and should not stop to think that is not only the fault of men and social prejudices the fact that woman are not up there. Maybe, surely, it is the woman, the nature of woman itself, even, a fact that prevents them from escalating positions. With this I am implying that women are inferior? In some senses, yes. Because women are inferior in some things to men and men are inferior to women in others. Trying to argue that men and women are equal is nonsense. Biology tells us that male and female genders are specialized in the same in thousands of different species, and man is no different.

            If, like the TED talk woman says, women auto-undervalue themselves, are shyer and are less willing to prove themselves, it is that they and only they are achieving what they want to achieve. In the end, it is not social misconceptions but more like natural selection and balance of probabilities that creates those results and those statistics. Everyone is most pleased with the evolution of the woman in society, but in this last step no man can help significantly to bring women high. Only women can make possible the realization of the conquest of equality between both genders.

ESSAY 1: In which I say hi: Hi:

To describe myself can be complicated, I think. I suppose I can begin with my name: I am called Eduardo Collin Hernández. In my Spanish ID Card it is indeed Eduardo, but in my Belgian ID my baptismal name is the one written: Edouard André and four other names. You can glimpse in this introduction a few keys about myself: I am indeed half Belgian and half Spanish, from father and mother respectively. I lived and went to nursery school in Brussels until I was five, and my family moved then to Spain and I have lived near Barcelona, the city of my mother until now.

From my father, I gained this phrase: ‘The ignorant says, the wise doubts and ponders’. In facts, passion for knowledge. In opinion, openness. In beliefs, firmness. High thinking, profound reflection, objective judgment, and intellectual mind. From my mother, care and appreciation. Love for things and people. Uncommon common sense. From both, sensibility for arts, benevolence and humility. And a lot of culture.

From all above else, maybe passion for knowledge has been the most important trait that has conditioned my life, and made me who I am, and specially, who I am not. Behind me I have thousands of hours reading, or watching whatever I could learn from. In the artistic field I have also submerged myself, in what I consider to be my three legs: Writing, having won a story contest for example; drawing, dozens of works of all styles, and specially music, playing the flute and the piano, and composing also dozens of pieces in a computer program. I am also a lover of videogames and I defend them whenever oblivious people full of prejudices and misconceptions bash them. Video games are truly one of the taboos of today’s society and truly a superior form of art that can amaze sometimes.

As an international type of person who isn’t fully nationalistic I’ve always loved to learn about all the places. I travel whenever I can to wherever I can, and always strive to know about every country I am, its geography, its history, its culture, etc. So far I’ve been to many places inside Europe, not many outside it. Something that should change soon enough.

It can be curious to realize that someone with my profile has gone studying this course of Economics etc. far from Barcelona. Indeed, had I not gone to study this career I would have probably studied music or something of that kind. But my ambition is to be an important person, as high as I can be, and serve society in the most influential way I can, so this is why I’m here, and not elsewhere.

Essay 5: What is right to do:

From the perspective of the global ONG’s, we respect the labor of the politicians and we agree on that it is not our business to intervene too much in their work to say what we think they should do or not. But as representatives of the most human organizations we do want to say a few words. To begin, we say that many of us like to think about what really is humankind. We like to see it as a community of equals, with no restriction of race, age, gender, culture and even states. In order to help achieve justice and harmony amongst all peoples, and eliminate the old barriers and differences, in order to fight for a brave new world, a better world, politicians should get aside their main differences. A way to begin the pursuit of this better future, leaders should focus their actions into accomplishing, as soon as possible, the so-called ‘Objectives of the Millennium’, which are the following:

1: The complete eradication of extreme poverty and hunger:

Social differences are a reality that many people who are on the top try to hide, or at least, don’t care of. It is extremely cynical to let 10 million people die in no less time than each year. More than a billions humans go to sleep today with hunger, and in most cases it is not their fault, but the fault of the macroeconomic system that governs the world in a a selfish and unjust way.

2: Achieve universal primary education:

In the world of today it is not conceivable that are not only adult illiterate people, but children, as many as 75 million today, being born and raised without a minimal education. It is extremely necessary that they learn to read, write, calculate and learn in order to enable them the prospects of a better future in their lives.

3: Promote gender equality and the autonomy of women:

Long have suffered many women by their husbands or men in general. Girls need to have education, as in poor countries their situation is much more dire than the one of the boys their age. Women need to be educated about their rights, laws need to be promoted in favor of them and they must have the same opportunities as men in their same situation.

4: Reducing infant mortality:

Reducing the number of children dead before the age of 5 is also an important endeavor. Many die from diseases their bodies are not prepared to reject, such as the malaria, pneumonia, measles, diarrhea, etc.

5: Bettering maternal health:

The number exact is unknown, but what it is known is that many women die while giving birth to their son, before, or after. While this was inevitable during history, in the world of today the humankind has the means to guarantee this type of health security and it is time people reacted to this great problem.

6: Combat VIH, malaria and other diseases:

Spreading diseases as VIH, malaria and other continue to wreak havoc in many parts of the world, and especially in the poorest, where medicine is not reached easily. Although cures are being found and in the case of the VIH the number of affected is being stabilized, these epidemics continue to grow in victims.

7: Guarantee the sustainment of the environment:

The compromise with the environment must not consist only of the reduction of the contamination, but also, in the future, an effort to revert the situation, a process of cleaning the environment. This is vital not only for the sustainment of nature but also to the facility of access to potable water to the poorest people in the third world.

8: Foster a worldwide association for development:

Create an organization that deals with special situations, like the development of island countries, the creation of a more opened international financial system, just and foreseeable. It should be an organization that acts as a base for cooperation between the poorest countries.

A political leader that leads his nation to advance humankind, without restrictions, to a better future would be, to us, a perfect leader of today, a leader worthy to vote and follow.

Main Source:

http://www.oxfam.org/es/campaigns/health-education/objetivos-desarrollo-milenio