Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Reconstructing Taoism’s Transformation in China

Today in class we read an article about how Taoism can help us to understand ancient Chinese history. Taoist texts can help us to deepen our understanding on ancient China because we can understand the political system and the controversy over it. In ancient China, there was one leader called an emperor that ruled over everyone. A group of people called confucianists believed in this political structure. However, taoists believed in everyone being equal and treated equally. This shows that there was some controversy in ancient China. Also, we know that Taoism reflects on how each person should follow there own path and do whatever they want to do in order to be truly successful and happy. This contradicts the ancient government because the government controlled everything and what people did, so people couldn't follow their own path.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Is life just a video game?

In class today Mr. Reiff had us read an article on whether our universe and all humankind is all one big computer simulation. It gives a detailed and logical description on why that statement is possible. The article talks about how there's a possibility that there is a universe above our universe with beings that are much smarter than our society. This is similar to how much smarter we are compared to the characters we create in our video games. To me, this statement seems logical, but I just don't believe in it. I can't imagine a living creature that is smart and creative enough to make our universe. It's too complicated. These "beings" would have to create, all the emotions we as humans feel, all of nature, everyone's future and what people will invent, outer space, and many other aspects of our universe. I don't believe in it. I can see how some people might believe in it because we as humans only know for sure that our own selves exist. We have no way of knowing for sure if anyone else exists because we aren't them. This might make others believe in this computer simulation theory because they have no way of thinking that anything or anyone exists.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Compare and constrasting the holocaust and the book of job

Today in class, we read an article about two people, Moshe Yosef Daum and Fela Nussbaum. Daum and Nussbaum are a married couple who survived the holocaust and had a son named Menachem Daum. This article is both similar and different to the Book of Job. This article is similar to the Book of Job because they both had God punishing and torturing innocent people. In this article, the Jews were being tortured and killed in the holocaust. The Jews were innocent people. They hadn't done anything horrible to make God punish them this severely. In fact, the Jews worshipped and were loyal to God. Same thing in the book of Job. Job didn't do anything bad at all to upset or anger God to make him be punished. Job worshipped God always and was loyal to him as well. Job was punished by being tortured as well. Both the was in the holocaust and Job were loyal people to God. One difference that I found between the two pieces of writing is their way of being tortured was differently. In the book of Job, Job was being tortured by God, Himself. God burned his sheep and cattle and slaughtered his family. This was all done directly from God. For the Jews, God wasn't the one that actually killed them directly or tortured them directly. It was the German nazis that inflicted this onto the jews. Even though God let the nazis and Hitler get away with slaughtering the Jews, he didn't actually kill them with his own hands. Another difference that I found between the two inches of writing is that some of the Jews lost faith in God while Job never stopped believing in God. For example, one of the Jewish survivors, Dora Lefkowitz says "I cannot see a God who will allow a little baby to be killed for no reason at all. And I really lost my belief then, right there and then." This shows that Lefkowitz lost faith in God. However, Job never lost faith and even shaved his head and took of his clothes to pray for God.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Book of Job part one

Hey guys so for tonight's homework, Mr. Reiff assigned us to read from Genesis, The Book of Job part one and compare and contrast this story to the other stories that we read in Genesis. When I read the Book of Job, I noticed a couple some differences and a similarity. One difference that I found in this story compared to the other stories that we read (like the Tower of Babel, Noah's arc, Adam and Eve, Abraham and Isaac, etc) was that this story used a different type of language in it. I noticed it used the words "thy" and "thou" and other words like that. The other Genesis stories didn't use older English like that. They used language that we speak today. A quote from this story that shows that it used different words for language is “Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse thee to thy face.” One similarity that I found between the all the stories is that it always involves God punishing people. In Adam and Eve, God banished Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. In Noah's arc, God killed all humans with an enormous flood. In the Tower of Babel, God scattered the people with different languages. In Abraham, God made Abraham live his life knowing that he almost killed his son Issac. In the book of job, God tortured job and ruined his life. Another difference between this story and all the other Genesis stories was that it used repetition. In the story, repeated times an angel would go up to Job and tell him something tragic that God inflicted on Job's life and ended with the the phrase, "and I alone have escaped to tell you."


Friday, September 30, 2016

Reflection of high school so far...

As of this point in time, I am about 1/8 through my freshman school year. I learned a lot in high school. So far, the best thing about high school is the freedom that I have. For instance, during my lunch period, nor,ally if I were in middle school I would have to stay in the cafeteria everyday and bring my own lunch from home. In high school, I could do whatever I want during my free period. I can go out to Pirendello's , or Village Pizza, I can stay in the library the whole period and study, or I can stay in the cafeteria. The decision is up to me. It makes me feel more grown up and independent. Also, if a teacher for a specific class that I have doesn't show up after 5 minutes after the second bell rings, I have a free period. That's awesome! However, the worst thing about high school so far is the workload. For me, I am in all honors classes so I get SOOOO much work. On top of that, the material and curriculum is also more challenging. To make things even worse, I play a fall sport, tennis, and most days I don't even get home until 7:00 pm!!!!! I get home and I have so much work to do and such little time to do it. I know eventually I will adapt to the workload but for now, that's the worst part of high school.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mind map of indirect characterization of God

I'm back with a new blog! I know u guys missed me lol. So yesterday and today in class we read a section of Genesis, the story of Noah's Arc. When we read this story, we tried to find indirect characterization of the one and only, God. In my mind map shown above, I included some of my details from the story and explained what this told me about God. When I found my quotes from the story and analyzed them, certain conclusions that I made about God were surprising to me and some where not. I was raised to believe that God knows best and that God is forgiving and kind to everyone. However, in my textual evidence about God in the green bubble, I made the conclusion that God is kind and forgiving ONLY to those who deserve it. In this case, God was kind to Noah and everyone else, he drowned in a huge flood. I had always thought that no matter who you are, God will always be kind and forgive you. This textual evidence proved me wrong. Also, in the textual evidence in the red bubble, it says that God was sorry that he created mankind. This shows that God made a mistake and that he did the wrong thing. I always thought that God always did the right thing and that he knew what was best. Apparently I was wrong because God regrets creating humanity.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Garden of Eden blog

Hey Guys! I’m back with a new blog because Mr. Reiff assigned it to us for homework. Today in class we read the beginning of Genisis and on the story of Adam and Eve. In the story, God forbids Adam and Eve from eating a fruit from the sacred tree in the middle of Eden. A cunning snake tricks Eve into eating the fruit and convincing Adam to eat one too. In my opinion, I think that God planned this to happen all along. I don’t mean this in a way to offend people. I think that God might have put this holy, sacred, mysterious tree right smack in the middle of the Garden of Eden purposely to test Adam and Eve whether they would obey him or not. I mean, what would be the point of putting a tree that was pleasing to the eye that is not allowed in such an obvious spot? I think that God was testing Adam and Eve. In the story, God says to Adam, “…but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” This quote that is said to Adam makes this tree of “good and evil” seem very mysterious. This probably triggered Adam and Eve to be curious. Even though it was an evil serpent that actually talked Eve into eating it, If it wasn’t for God putting that tree in the garden in the first place, there would be no serpent tricking Eve.