Dr. Sutton's Philosophy Course Discussion Center

This semester I am not teaching any courses in philosophy. Several persons have e-mailed asking if I would, nonetheless, post a question for discussion. I do not know what they or anyone will say in response to the question but, it is found below. You can add your own comments by clicking on the "add" link below.

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QUESTION:
Often students and other people I meet complain about the way things are going in American--crime, corruption, lack of job security or job, etc--and, they also complain that there is nothing that they or any other average (not wealthy or politically connected) citizen can do change things for the better.  Do you think that this is true?
Robert Sutton 

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No, I do not think that is true. People can change things if they feel passionate about an issue and dedicate themselves to it. Many people who complain do not vote, much less try to talk to their representatives about it. If you feel crime is an issue for you organize Neighborhood Watches, be a mentor to troubled youth, get involved in your community. If we all wait for someone else to do it, it will never get done.
Tiffany Evans
- Thursday, November 12, 1998 at 22:00:25 (EST)
Dr. Sutton. Your ethics class has been an enlightening experience for me. I have always linked morality to religion.. I had decided since my beliefs were different from my family, I would probably go to hell! It is nice to see all the different theories and the different influences imposed by our cultural bias. The mind is a strange thing, and can be influenced by learning about everything. I have also sharpened my computer skills. This is a major feat for me, since I hate machinery! Have a wonderful Christmas!
Karen Slocum
- Wednesday, December 16, 1998 at 09:29:54 (EST)
The Buddha was kind enough to point out that life is unavoidably frought with suffering, and this was a sufficient thesis statement in his eastern culture. But in the West we harp on details, we seek out the nuances, we focus not on ideals but on practicalities. Our scientific theories and metaphysics aren't valid until materially demonstrated. What someone tells us we need in writing, what we have in writing we need in triplicate. We are a culture of reification and explication rather than intuition and implication. So it makes sense that we complain about the particular evils in our societies, that we try to analyze and investigate each ill to a source, and that we endlessly debate solutions without resolution. Suffering is unavoidable and there will always be something to complain about. And we westerners have been issuing the same complaint in ever-novel forms since the West distinguished itself from the east, elaborating on the self sufficient and suprisingly eastern lament of the Ancient Greeks --Utpoia (no place).
Jason Spratley <spratley@thecry.com>
- Monday, December 20, 1999 at 18:53:01 (EST)
I think that there is something we can do I believe the first thing is to release ourselves from ignorance on the subject. The world around us is going to hell in a handbasket and until we stop turning our heads and start facing the problem we can not collectively acheive anything. I think that drugs in america are a very big problem and I am not talking about marijuana as far as I am concerned that does not need to be in the same classification I am talking about cocaine heroine and other extremely harmful drugs not only to our selves but to our society as a whole. These drugs provide a market with people that shouldn't have a place in society like the Mafia and other sorts of organized crime which in turn leads down the ladder to younger and more impressionable people.
dewey Preast <surfbum8@hotmail>
- Friday, January 28, 2000 at 18:35:39 (EST)
Scripts by Matt Wright can be found at Matt's Script Archive