The Problem of Evil

Name:

Tutor:

Course:

Date:

The Problem of Evil

Responses applied in respect to the problem of evil generally attempt to argue against the relationship between God’s existence and the subsistence of evil. Apart from this, they also try to justify reasons for the presence of evil hence disinclining from the arguments based on evidence. One particular response to the problem of evil asserts that the notion of free will creates an environment that allows for the existence of evil in opposition to the existence of good. Apparently, God allows the occurrence of evil and tribulation due to the nature of human beings, especially in respect to the possession of free will. The creation of people with considerable free will by God is an aspect that possesses significant value in understanding the existence of evil. In terms of this response, the will to engage in acts of good and evil ironically provide a balance that would not be achieved if one of the facets under contention were eliminated. Simply, God cannot eradicate evil in the human world without expunging the aspect of free will, which is a greater good. Additionally, this utilitarianist view to the problem of evil alleges that God cannot eliminate evil since He may be capable of establishing relationships with persons that utilize their free will for the implementation of good actions and deeds. The view of free will clearly relies on the notion of moral significance. Accordingly, a person possesses morally considerable free will if he or she is capable of implementing actions that constitute moral significance. Hence, in a world whereby evil does not exist, a person may be incapable of engaging in free will especially when faced with morally incompatible courses of action.

Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. v. United States

Name:

Tutor:

Course:

Date:

Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. v. United States

Facts

            The plaintiff Jacob Engineering had inherited a construction and development contract from it predecessor. The contract was to develop and design a gasification facility for the defendant in a military facility. The contract was supposed to be a joint venture between the plaintiff and the defendant. The government was supposed to cover eighty percent of the cost and Jacob Engineering would cover the remaining twenty percent and also receive patent rights. The contract had a termination for convenience clause which stated that the government must reimburse all costs incurred before the termination. Later on, the government decided to terminate the contract because of a shortage in funds.

Issue

            Upon termination, Jacob engineering submitted that the government should reimburse 100 percent of the costs incurred. The government rejected the proposal and it offered to cater only for eighty percent of the cost. Therefore, Jacob engineering company proceeded to court to contest that decision by the contracting officer.

Rule

The court ruled that the termination clause did not in any way invalidate the cost sharing ration. Therefore the cost sharing provision was to be read together with the provision on termination for convenience. Consequently, the court held that only eighty percent of the reimbursable costs were to be paid to the contactor in the event of a termination for convenience. Plaintiff proceeded to apply for an appeal and it was ruled that the decision to pay eighty percent was not justified since the contract was not fully executed. The decision of the appeal directed that Jacob Engineering should be one hundred percent of the reimbursement cost.

Application

            The ruling by the appeal court relied on FAR 52.249-6 which provides a distinction between the cost and fee (Callahan 65). The ratio in the provision was for purposes of sharing the cost and not the fees.     

Conclusion

            In the case, the government lost money because the termination for convenience clause was not well thought out. The clause should have also exclusively stated the fee sharing ration in case of termination.

 

Works cited:

Callahan, Michael T. Termination of Construction and Design Contracts. Aspen Publishers Online, 2009.

Cunning Odysseus

Name:

Tutor:

Course:

Date:

Cunning Odysseus

            The Odyssey is pits the essence of strength over the virtue of cunning. Running parallel is the story of the perseverance and loyalty of odyssey’s wife, Penelope, amid suitors who are exploiting her hospitality. In the course of the former’s journey the reader concludes that wits are more effective than strength. The odyssey is centralized around Odysseus who strives to return home to his wife and son in Ithaca amid layers of impediments. In the rigors of odysseys travels he encounters multiple enemies, mostly mystical creatures that can not be challenged by brute strength (Kazantzakis 46). It follows that Odysseus leverages the strategic brilliance that made him a legend in Iliad. For instance, in the course of his travels he encounters Polyphemus, the one-eyed Cyclops, who he defeats it by using the creature’s stupidity to pierce his eye and break free. The act gives him reprieve but frustrates his later travels. As the Polyphemus is the son of Poseidon the act pits Odysseus against a god, a battle he cannot win. The intervention of Athena helps to save the protagonist from certain demise.

Intelligence in The Odyssey demands manipulating the characters’ natural tendencies. To this end, multiple characters both man and god employ disguises to elicit genuine reactions from their interactions. Athena visits Odysseus and his sin through a myriad of disguises from a young girl to seasoned woman. Similarly, upon returning to Ithaca Odysseus is disguised as an old beggar (Homer 199). The above helps him to maintain strategic advantage, the element of surprise, over the suitors. Odysseus acknowledged that despite his decorated resume as a warrior he could not single handedly overcome the vibrant male suitors that had camped in his halls. As such, he orchestrated a scheme that made him the only armed man in the house subsequently eliminating all of them.

 

 

Works Cited

Kazantzakis, Nikos. The Odyssey (A Modern Sequel). California Books Inc., 2014.

Homer. The Odyssey of Homer. Seattle, WA: Loki’s Publishing, 2014. Print

 

The Lesson

Name:

Tutor:

Course:

Date:

The Lesson

The Lesson, by Toni Cade Bambara, was published in 1972. The first person narrative is about Sylvia who is a young girl that is growing up in the streets of Harlem. The Lesson tells a tale of a trip that was taken by an educated woman called Miss Moore with the intention of exposing the children from the street to the world beyond the locality that they live in. The first destination for the group is an upend toy store in Manhattan where the target market is the White population because of the Black community cannot afford the toys. The prices of those items perturb the children because the cost of one item is enough to sustain some of their households for a whole year. Miss Moore uses the trip to open the perspective of the children on the reach of the gap between the black and the white community. The black community that they belong is completely marginalized by the unfair social and economic systems. The access to resources is not the same for all the races. The events of the day are very weighty for Sylvia, and she has to seek solitude to comprehend the unfolding reality. The young girl decides to excel in whatever she sets her mind to overcome the inequality.

In the short story, Miss Moore tells the Children that, “Where we are is who we are” (Bambara 95). Here, she is telling the children that they must understand their way of life and the challenges that they have. It is another way of telling the children that they should embrace the reality of things. Accepting the truth is the first step in devising ways to overcome the obstacles. Problems can only be addressed by standing up to them with the intention of becoming victorious. Turning a blind eye does not make the problem to go away. Miss Moore was telling the children that they should work harder than their white counterparts because of the inequality in the reach for resources.

Miss Moore goes ahead to tell the children to, “Imagine what kind of society it is in which people can spend on a toy what it would cost to feed a family of six or sixteen” (Bambara 95). In introspect it is very scaring. The levels of disparity are too high. The levels of poverty in the black community should be a cause for concern for the government and the white community (Carleton 24). High levels of disparity increase the rate of crime because of the desperation of lack of resources and employment opportunities. Therefore, the white communities are not also safe as they go on with their normal lives while the others are suffering.

In the end, Sylvia says that “ain’t nobody gonna beat me at nuthin” (Bambara 96). Here, she expresses anger on what she saw during the day. Quite rightly so, it pains her that the black community has to endure all kinds of suffering just to make end meet while their white counterparts are living so extravagantly. She promises herself she is going to work very hard in order the overcome the barrier of disparity. The attitude adopted by Silvia was the intention of Miss Moore. The children were supposed to turn the anger to aggression, hunger, and desire to achieve greatness.

The short story is an eye opener to the high levels of poverty that was among the black community then. The idea by Miss Moore to expose them to reality was a splendid idea. Judging by the words of Silvia the children are very surprised by the extravagant lifestyles of the white people. The perspective and outlook on life are transformed by having a look another point of view. Exposure creates discontentment, and the children are challenged to desire much more than they already have because it is very far from enough.

 

Works cited

Bambara, Toni Cade. “The lesson.” Gorilla, my love (1972): 85-96.

Carleton, D. “Analyzing the Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara.” Docs. School Publications (2013).

 

Geospatial Information Systems

Name:

Tutor:

Course:

Date:

Geospatial Information Systems

What major historical factors (ideas, technologies, etc) came together to allow the birth of GIS?
The birth of Geospatial Information Systems is traced back to the desperate attempts by French geographer, Charles Picquet to map the scope of cholera outbreak in the streets of Paris in 1832. However, it was a Briton, John Snow, in the same decade that utilized the points on the map to analyze the data on the map from a spatial perspective. He discovered that the proximity of the towns to water sources determined the intensity of the disease. Mapping was elevated from a description technique to an analysis tool. He established a link between human activities and location. The above major events laid a foundation for Dr. Roger Tomlinson, the undisputed father of GIS. John Snow’s Cholera map transcended spatial analysis implications by highlighting a connection between geography and public health safety founding an entirely new discipline, epidemiology.  The essence of GIS in mapping the spread of diseases illustrated its problem solving potentiality.

Roger Tomlinson leveraged the available computing technologies to aid decision making in regards to land planning. Under the guidance of this Scottish immigrant, Canadian Land Inventory collected data on the drainage, soil, and corresponding climate characteristics of the country’s vast terrain to determine their fertility and stability. The essence of the information was enhanced by the harsh climatic changes that compromised food sustainability. The accurate data produced by GIS proved critical for planning settlements. The importance of the spatial analysis grew parallel to technological evolution eventually gaining mainstream acceptance.

Discuss the major changes (ideas, technologies, social systems, etc.) have influenced GIS and geospatial technology in the ~50 years it has existed.
            Several developments in the 19th century solidified the importance of data collection with respect to location.  Cartography and mapmaking paradigms embraced the advent of the camera with its implications in facilitating aerial photography. Initially, the cameras were attached to balloons and birds subsequently giving way to airplanes and high-powered lens cameras. GIS was multidisciplinary from its inception drawing from the creative arts, pure sciences, technology, the humanities, and economics. While the historical origins of the GIS are inextricably intertwined to the advancement of computer technology, sociopolitical factors had equal impact on its development. The Cold war expedited the development of satellite imaging of the earth’s topography.  It built upon strides made in photographic interpretation as well as map making used to identify enemy positions during the Second World War. The limitations of these technologies were gradually eliminated. On the other hand, computers facilitated transfer and storage of the collected images subsequently developing digital software and corresponding spatial database on the environmental features and economic activities to optimize the GIS functioning.

Research in GIS was pioneered by different leading proponents who initially took divergent trajectories only uniting after the commercial viability of the application was ascertained. British, Canadian, and American researchers concerted effort towards optimizing the feasibility of the product in the international market. Given the diverse applications of the technology, GIS was no longer the reserve of academic institutions such as Harvard and Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) as the key business players took interest. However, ESRI’s head start solidified its place as a market leader in GIS. The competitive market led to an increase in the efficiency of the application. The nuclear arms program expedited mapping technologies that led to further advancement of Geospatial information systems. The ability of GIS to utilize datasets on landmass eventually trickled down from the governmental and industry level to municipality level. The above is attributed to its newfound compatibility to Windows in the form the Archview desktop application and the rise of the internet infrastructure. The internet and GIS have a symbiotic relationship. It was the Cold War that enabled the global position system to become accessible to the public to demarcate airplane flight plans. In contemporary society, the advancements in GIS have surpassed the comprehension of the average user incapable of leveraging the technology’s full utility. In its nascence, the information was secured as a way of maintaining strategic advantage contrary to the prevalent open sourcing techniques employed. Currently, GIS developers are not limited to lifelong scientists as every contribution counts. Users build their GIS software in collaborative manner utilizing common platform and their corresponding tools at no costs.

What is Special about Spatial Data?

Spatial data as opposed to other types of data is defined in relation to a geographical location. Some scientists prefer collecting spatial data without an overarching model or subscribing to a theory to guide it. They claim that the spatial data in its raw form embody the true relationships between topography and human activities. In order to eliminate inconsistencies from one perspective, contemporary users of GIS utilized multiple approaches to see if there is a confluence of the findings. If the quantitative results gathered from the different techniques have inconsistencies, the initial data collected is wrong. Meaningful insights are only attained when the different techniques deliver similar results.

In order to identify the errors that comprise the spatial data, a specialized methodology is necessitated.  The artificial nature of the prevalent data often complicates the simplistic implications of the geography-human relations. The visual representation of GIS has a handicap in illustrating the time dimension as the past and future characteristics of the spatial data are absorbed into a picture of the present. Future developments should strive to return to its realistic origins. The danger is confounded by the access of GIS by the mainstream. It puts the technology into the hands of unprofessional users. Therefore, spatial statistics that does not observe scientific collection principles will be embraced as the standard.

Discussion Board Style

Name:

Tutor:

Course:

Date:

Discussion Board Style

  1. Yes
  2. 3. Andy Warhol’s artwork is a form of art because it is a form of expression. The form was used by artists as a response to show the return of representational art and hard-edged composition. Pop emerged as a form of art in the 1950s. Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi were one of the early artists to use the form of art. However, Andy Warhol adopted pop, and he took it to the next level by commercialization when he used it as a product label of Campbell soup cans. Pop art is very impersonal because parody, reality, and mundane reality are used to defuse the aspect of personal symbolism. Andy Warhol loved celebrities and painted them very often. He developed his signature style by eliminating handmade processes in his works slowly. The works of Warhol were a display of his personality. Therefore, it can be said his love for celebrities had a great contribution to the development his form of art.
  3. His work has also influenced the greater expression and appreciation of art in the society. Pop art illustrates that the same piece of art can be done in different colors with each color expressing a different thought or feeling.
  4. The Warhol of Marylyn Munroe shows that art can be very expressive. The relevance to the society is that art color presents an unlimited means of expression. Different colors can be used to explain varied emotions and opinions. The art form also shows that art cannot be restrained. All means and avenues can be used to express one’s perspective or outlook on things. Many people had different perceptions on Monroe, and the piece allows them to identify in their unique way.

Journal Entry 1

Name:

Tutor:

Course:

Date:

Journal Entry 1

  1. http://www.expressnews.com

3. http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/What-a-Trump-win-might-mean-for-Texas-10614423.php

4. “What a Trump win might mean for Texas’ environment,” November 14, 2016

  1. Summary of the journal

The election of Donald Trump as a president may be an advantage or disadvantage to the people in the United States. Trump’s ways of doing things and thoughts are seen to be different compared to the other presidents who have ruled America. His leadership may alter different things, among them the environmental issues. From his campaign trail, Trump has made conflicting statements about his plans for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is a federal government Agency, created to protect human health and the environment. Environmentalists and Business and Energy advocates are looking for clues from his social media platforms to get clues on how he is going to refocus the EPA.

The Americans will experience climatic change, as Trump is out to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and the clean power plan as well. Good news it is for the Texas government as the state will remain to operate its electrical grid. Texas, being the leading generators of energy and producers of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, shall maintain a clean record with the scrapping of the plants. Under his ruling, White House will not have sued to protect the rights of Texans. Instead, the EPA will “settle in Texas’ favor if they can,” said Eric Schaeffer (Gibbons par. 16). The force for having clean energy, wind, and solar compared to the renewable energy is too strong and will be implemented by Trumps Administration.

Trump’s transition page will open onshore and offshore (energy) lease on federal lands and waters. The federal government will have a role for migratory species that cross state boundaries. He would protect the habitats. Hence, the Endangered Species Act shall be restored. He will not make the national parks private but will ensure there is proper stewardship of our National Parks. In his federal government lands in Texas will be limited, developed and have the same types of environmental safeguards that have always been there. Increasingly, the state will be productive economically.

About political science, the course provides a comprehensive understanding of politics in the region, paying attention to the exchange between politics and the economy and the powers the president has, over the implementation of the law. There will be a review of the problems facing the Texans and development of public policy implemented. Previously, the oil production in Texas became weak after the antitrust suits that were brought about against the local companies affiliated with the standard of oil (Gibbons). From the implemented rules by the new elect president, there will be a rise in the oil industry that will favor the Texans. This course has addressed the effect the mass media and public opinion has had on the presidency and the response to it.

Amendments to the constitution will bring about changes that will help in the development of the state. The federal government will exercise the powers given to them by the constitution will help where national policy is required. The federal government will reshape itself in the new term with the new president. The government will increase its role in domestic and foreign affairs from the study and the Texans will understand the political culture, the state’s diversity, and their attitude towards the new governing under the new elect President.

 

Work cited

Gibbons, Brendan. “What a Trump win might mean for Texas’ environment: Environmental issues include climate change, EPA actions.” San Antonio Express-News. 14 Nov. 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works cited:

Watson, Douglas J., and Wendy L. Hassett. Local government management. ME Sharpe, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Effect of Religion on Morality

 

The Effect of Religion on Morality

Name:

Institution:

 

The Effect of Religion on Morality

The essence of religion in the determination of morality is founded on the superiority of belief on human action relative to reason. Religion helps guide man when faced with religious difficulties that logic cannot resolve. Religion is innately a social institution. As such, the subscribers of a particular religion are socialized using the respective values of the institution. Many religions are epitomized in social gatherings. Religion is fundamental in promoting social cohesion. Morality is defined in terms of one’s ability to sacrifice personal gratification for the benefit of the greater good. Religion creates a framework for social interactions to subdue innate human tendencies that are skewed toward self-preservation. The proponents that deviate from religious frameworks become susceptible to divine wrath rather than formal sanctions. Their morals are influenced by their desire to please their respective divine authority rather than the fear of human retribution. The ability of religion to subdue the self-interest is informed by the promise of a greater purpose beyond the present life. The spiritual aspect of life broadens the subscribers’ perspectives.

Morality in the Caribbean is based on the religious definition the adherents support. The subscribers of the Rastafarian faith have beliefs that contradict the popular definition of morality. For instance, smoking marijuana is spiritual directive albeit it being an illegal drug in the rest of society (Pulis, 2014).  Morality in religious terms is often insulated from outside social norms. Other Caribbean religions that have African, predominantly from the Yoruba culture, often have differing approaches to sexuality. Their morals in regard sexuality can be perceived to be deviant using the standards of other religions. Polygamy is an accepted practice a lifestyle that is discouraged in mainstream religions like Christianity. Religion and morality in the Caribbean have political implications, as the former was a coping mechanism of the prevalent racial discrimination in society.  Morality is an ambiguous concept given its varying definitions. As such, the morality of Caribbean people is relative to their definitions. Religion was an attempt to understand their social realities. There is a tendency of the Caribbean to be tolerant of moral controversies such as homosexuality. Having endured the racial discrimination majority of the religious traditions espouses equality.

Religious people tend to value the essence of social relations such as family as opposed autonomy. The decline of family values and corresponding moral decadence is attributed to the rise of secularity. It follows that religious individuals tend to be altruistic striving to relieve the suffering of people they encounter with no apparent material benefit. Nonetheless, they anticipate rewards of a spiritual nature (Argyle & Beit-Hallahmi, 2014).  Guidance on the particulars of their code of conduct is provided by the humans whose authority is bestowed by divine beings. The canons from which principles of morality are derived vary in relation to the religion. When a person defines morality in terms of religion, his morals are dependent on their level of obedience to its statutes. Religion demands respect for other members of the institution with varying perspectives on the members of other religions. For instance, Christians believe that they are identified by their love for each other. On the other hand, Islam perceives murder of heathen, non-believers, in the process of conversion as a moral even a righteous act. The diversity of religions in contemporary society presents a challenge to morality as it undermines social coexistence.

 

 

 

 

References

Argyle, M., & Beit-Hallahmi, B. (2014). The psychology of religious behaviour, belief and experience. Routledge.

Pulis, J. W. (2014). Religion, diaspora and cultural identity: a reader in the Anglophone Caribbean. Routledge.

 

 

 

Confidence Levels

Name:

Tutor:

Course:

Date:

Confidence Levels

Confidence is a critical aspect of performance. An artist should feel that he or she is completely capable of entertaining the audience. In that regard, the confidence levels of an artist do not just spring up. A process has to take place as a build up to the self-belief. I started the course because I wanted to learn more about music which is my passion since I was very young. However, I knew that talent alone cannot make me reach the levels of success which I intended. The only way to get there is by understanding the concepts of music properly and that will refine the raw talent that I have. So far, the experience has yielded better results than I could have imagined. The course work is tailor made to make the student understand music in detail.

All the books covered in the course have been very helpful. Particularly, The Listening Book by W.A Mathieu. The book exposed me a perspective of music that I had never thought about before. The point of view is that the art of listening is as imperative to an artist as is to sing. I also learnt how the sound produced by an artist is affected by the method used to pronounce words. The book has some exercises that I use in to practice my vocal skills (Mathieu 137). The simulations performed in the class have also built my vocal strength and range. The breathing exercises have helped to learn how to control how I inhale and exhale when handling the microphone. Confidence is built by practicing over and over again and the learning process is there to help the students to do so.

 

Work cited:

Mathieu, W. A. The Listening Book Discovering Your Own Music. Shambhala Publications, 1991.

Citizens United v EFC

Citizens United v EFC

Name:

Institution:

 

 

Citizens United v EFC

Introduction

Citizens United v Federal Election Commission is a case that dealt with the measure to regulate campaign spending in organizations in the country. The Supreme Court through a decision by the majority ruled that the freedom of speech restricted the government from regulating the political expenditures by nonprofit corporations. The principles pronounced in the ruling were also extended to labor unions, associations and profit corporations. Campaign finances are funds that are raised for the purposes of promoting policies, political parties, candidates and other aspects of the political process. Private entities should not be regulated in their contributions to campaign funds. By participating in the process the private entities are exercising their freedom of expression because they are demonstrating their political choice. The law grants individuals and even corporations the freedom to act as they wish as long as they are not infringing on the personal right of other individuals. The private entities are not infringing on any rights by actively participating in the political process.

Private Interest and the Rule of the Majority

Democracy is established on the tenets of the rule by the majority. People are given the options deciding the candidate or policy that can serve them best (La Raja, 2008). Consequently, candidates seeking public office are required to do all they can with the intention of appealing to as many people as possible. Additionally, people who believe in a particular policy or candidate are supposed to help him or her to rally more support. Therefore, a corporate entity should not be restricted from doing what it can to lobby supporters to a certain direction. Seeking the approval of the public is not subverting the will of the majority. Funding is very important for a healthy democracy. The advertising costs are paid to media houses therefore they are a source of income.

Funding and the Violation of the First Amendment

The argument that restricting campaign funds is an affront to the freedom of speech might also be considered to be true in some circumstances. The perception can be qualified by acts of excessive spending by one candidate while the other candidate does not have the ability to spend as much (La Raja, 2008). As a result, the endowed candidate is able to get all the airtime and billboards while the other does not have comparable access. In that situation, it can be concluded that the less endowed candidate’s right to be heard is being muzzled by the heavy funding. Unfortunately, there are no grounds for recourse in the law in such situations. However, the spirit of the law envisages a situation where all the candidates have an equal platform to compete and solicit for support.

Money as a Form of Free Speech

The Supreme Court of the United States ruling asserted that private entities also have a right to support whoever or whichever policies that they wish. The funding that follows the support is part of expressing their approval. The corporate entities exercise their freedom of speech by the funding. Freedom of speech can take three forms. The first form is the pure speech that is the verbal expression of opinions and thoughts. The second form is actions and it includes acts such as demonstrations and protests. The third form is the symbolic nature of the freedom that is non verbal such as wearing armbands. Funding can be presumed to be the second form of the freedom of expression. Therefore, the institutions of government should find ways of protecting the freedom rather than clamping it down.

 

References:

La Raja, R. J. (2008). Small Change: money, political parties, and campaign finance reform. University of Michigan Press.