This class has explored both the importance of factual reasoning and logic as well as the importance of grounding ourselves in emotion and our inner feelings. We as humans can try our hardest to be as logical as possible and follow strict guidelines that we place on our morals and actions, but anyone knows that real life is about integrating the human emotion and the unpredictable things that happen to us with the use of reason and logic. Both of these ideas contribute to our human nature which is why I don’t favor either but recognize the importance of both.
It’s easy to see how these ideals are implemented into current Western society. For example, one of the things that the Enlightenment era focused on was religious ideals and being able to establish a personal relationship with God and not just follow the sayings of the Bible. The way that our morals and actions are formed come from an inner understanding of what’s right and wrong and not just rules that tell us what to do, and the condemnation of devout blind religious devotion is something that has seeped into our society today. Today, most religious relationships with God focus on a deeper set of understanding as opposed to just doing something because the Bible says so. Focusing on the intent behind one’s actions and not just the consequence relates to moral principles that were discussed by Kant, Rousseau and other Enlightenment writers. Romanticism also seeps it’s way into our current society by having us focus on the individualism and uniqueness of each person. Our art, our music and our literature are affected by romanticism ideals of focusing on the human experience and reflecting on the emotions that we face. Through our art and sharing our experiences we can empathize with others and coexist. Without the integration of those two ideals, it would be very hard to go through day to day life without rationality and self-reflection of the emotions and feelings we have.
As for the past 3 HUM classes and now this one, I think my main takeaway is being able to see how the human experience develops. We are a product of the people and ideas that come before us whether or not we choose to reject or continue traditions and ways of thinking. How we choose what is right and wrong, how we choose to treat others, how we choose to make decisions has been evaluated through so many different author’s perspectives and being able to see how they are influenced by the society and events around them helps us to better understand why different perspectives flourished the way that they did.
Music, in general, has a way of being able to merge the sensual and intellectual because it allows us to communicate our feelings and understand our emotions through artistic expression. Through the sensational experience of hearing, we can experience feelings such as sadness, happiness, anger just from a single chord of music. The sensory experience offers as a foundation to then influence our perception of what we are hearing in the intellectual sense and thus allows the sensual and intellectual to merge together to be able to give rise to creativity, emotion and coming to terms with truths within ourselves.
Music and music videos in our day and age, have a way of being able to show the artist’s creative vision and emotions behind the songs they sing. For example, Harry Styles in his music video for “Falling” visualizes the pain and heartbreak of a break up he went through and how it affected him. This song has lyrics that are extremely personal to him and his experience but even for someone who has never been through heartbreak before, the song has a way of making you feel the sadness and see from his perspective the emotions he’s going through. Most can still relate to the feelings of not being good enough, or relate to the feeling of drowning in your own emotions, as seen in the music video by the water slowly flooding the room. Art, such as music, acts as a method of self-reflection and helps you recognize emotions in yourself, as well as understand the experiences of other people.
The First Amendment of the Constitution describes that citizens have rights to their own freedom of expression and their own religion. This most likely stems from the fact that original settlers of the United States were trying to escape religious persecution and wanted the right to be able to express their thoughts and practice their own religion. There are religious ideologies and sayings embedded all throughout our society, and it serves as a foundation of the beliefs of the government and the decisions that our government makes. “In God, We Trust” is on the back of our currency, we say God’s name in the Pledge of Allegiance, we recognize Christian holidays, and many politicians appeal to Christian religious beliefs as a basis of their campaigns. Despite the impression that there is a separation between church and state in the American government, the superiority of the Christian religion and ideals is evident within every aspect of our society. My question is, is does this undermine the statute of equality that is implied within the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” if religious superiority is embedded within our own Constitution? Doesn’t this alter the view of citizens and create prejudices against those who are not Christian? Can we truly be equal if there is no separation of church and state?
Immanuel Kant has a widely debated notion of ethics and morality that is rooted in the idea that intent is more important than consequences when it comes to what defines a morally good deed. Actions that stem from a rational and autonomous duty holds more worth because it weighs more importance on our ability to do something because it is right not because we will get something out of it or do it out of ulterior motive.
This philosophical/ ethical concept has always been something that I’ve questioned because someone’s actions may have good intentions but still end up hurting others or cause more harm than what was intended. If that happens then why is that action/person still considered morally good? Consequences to Kant may not be important but in a greater perspective, there may be something more important than respect to a subjective idea of a universal moral law. He assumes that we as humans all have the ability to characterize what is good and what is evil.
For example, microaggressions might come from a place of “good Intention” but may result in being something extremely offensive and harmful. When my Muslim father goes on airplanes, it might seem like someone’s good intention to be suspicious and ask the flight attendant to double-check his bags. What it’s really is, is a racially motivated microaggression that perpetuates harmful stereotypes and humiliates people just based off of their race. In this situation, Kant may justify a person’s actions because it seems like they had good will but what it is really doing is negating the feelings and harm done to the people involved. Just because the intent was there, the impact was still negative, and there should be an acknowledgment of the wrongdoing of their actions. Personally, I believe how you impact others should be a considering factor in what determines the morality of someone’s actions.
Hey everyone, my name is Leyly (lay-lee) and I’m a 2nd year human biology major. I’m on the UCSD Figure Skating Team, and I work for the UCSD Pediatrics Department as a video editor and graphic designer and am a proud single mother to two cats. In my free time I like to scroll on Twitter, listen to Beyoncé, and be an active energy drink connoisseur.
My favorite book that I’ve read in HUM so far has been the “Lais of Marie de France,” because I liked the themes of love, and courtship and the whimsical aspects of each story. My favorite story specifically, was “Guigemar” because of the happy ending which is oftentimes a rare occurrence when reading HUM books.