Blog Reflection

The blog was really good for me to put my thoughts down and work through them. The peer response with the comments was also really helpful. I liked this as an organizational tool. My blog posts were a basis for my writing. Although it was still a process to bring the information I put in my blog to the classroom or to my writing, it was nice to be able to have a space to organize my thoughts while my peers have the opportunity to respond. I'm not a huge fan of blogging but for this class it was a good tool. I really tried to apply the comments given to me during the mid-term evaluation. I tried to make my posts more thought-provoking while still thoroughly answering the assignment.

Violence in Schools: Brainstorming

I decided to do violence in schools. I'm not sure I can write a whole six pages...but I'm planning on doing some more research to get some background information. Violence in schools is prevalent in today's society. Deadly violence within schools struck fear in the public and particularly school-age youth across the nation. Starting in 1989, there has been an increase in school violence, ranging from verbal harassment, threats of harm, and violent crime. Public opinion is one of concern, especially over the recent school shootings in the past several years. A proposed solution to this could be increased education about bullying and school violence, touring speakers whose hardships have been the result of school violence, and so on. I think if school violence education is more prevalent, then it will raise awareness amongst all school levels and decline.

Hardest of the Hardcore

We read an essay called "The Hardest of the Hardcore". It was an interesting and insightful article, but heavy with facts and not a lot of solutions. The author didn't specifically state this as an issue in the beginning, either. He writes it out like a list..."using mercenaries in war is problematic for six major reasons". It is slightly boring by the end of the piece, and I was left thinking "okay, enough already". Again, he didn't put enough solutions in the piece to make it worth reading it, in my mind. I was also left with the so what? kind of mindset. However, he did laden his argument with ample background information, sources, and statistics. He provides good claims and evidence for the claims, but does not provide the solutions. It comes across as more of an informative essay then a persuasive, solution-proposing speech or piece of writing.

Brainstorming: Euthanasia


Many definitions:
-The Pro-Life Alliance defines it as: 'Any action or omission intended to end the life of a patient on the grounds that his or her life is not worth living.'
-The Voluntary Euthanasia Society looks to the word's Greek origins - 'eu' and 'thanatos', which together mean 'a good death' - and say a modern definition is: 'A good death brought about by a doctor providing drugs or an injection to bring a peaceful end to the dying process.'
-Three classes of euthanasia can be identified - passive euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide and active euthanasia - although not all groups would acknowledge them.

-Legalizing euthanasia would help stop suffering of terminally ill patients. It would be inhuman and unfair to make them go through the unbearable pain.
-People with incurable diseases or the one’s where effective cure wouldn’t do enough good to their quality of life should be given the option of induced death.
-Though killing in an attempt to defend oneself is far different than mercy killing, law does find it approvable. Similarly, the motive of euthanasia is to "aid-in-dying" painlessly and thus should be considered and accepted by law.
-In an attempt to provide medical and emotional care to the patient, a doctor should prescribe medicines that will relieve his or her suffering even if the medications cause gross side effects. This means that dealing with agony and distress should be the priority even if it affects the life expectancy. Euthanasia follows the same theory of dealing with torment in a way to help one die peacefully out of the compromising situation.
-Euthanasia should be a natural extension of patients’ rights allowing him to decide the value of life and death for him. Maintaining life support systems against patients’ wish is considered unethical by legal and medical law.
-The pain of waiting for death is frightening and traumatic.

-Mercy killing is morally incorrect and should be forbidden by law. It’s a homicide and murdering another human.
-Human life deserves exceptional security and protection. Advanced medical technology has made it possible to enhance human life span and quality of life. Rehabilitation centers are better alternatives to help disabled or patients approaching death live a pain-free life.
-Even doctors cannot predict about period of death and whether there is a possibility of remission or recovery with the aid of other advanced treatments. So, implementing euthanasia would mean many unlawful deaths that could have survived later. Legalizing euthanasia would be like empowering law abusers and increasing distrustfulness of patients towards doctors.
-Mercy killing would cause decline in medical care and cause victimization of the most vulnerable society. Would mercy killing transform itself from the "right to die" to "right to kill"?
-There is a possibility of euthanasia being mishandled.
-Legalizing euthanasia could create a 'slippery slope' to involuntary euthanasia.

Important Dates

1950- The World Medical Association votes to recommend to all national medical associations that euthanasia be condemned "under any circumstances." In the same year, the World Medical Association issues a statement that the majority of doctors do not believe in euthanasia.
1990- Jack Kevorkian, MD, assists Janet Adkins, a Hemlock Society member, in committing suicide in Michigan. Adkins death is the first of many suicides in which Dr. Kevorkian assists.
1994- The Oregon Death with Dignity Act is passed, becoming the first law in American history permitting physician-assisted suicide.
1997- The Supreme Court rules in Washington v. Glucksburg and Vacco v. Quill that there is not a constitutional right to die.

Response to Chapter 14

In Chapter 14, it discusses writing a classical argument. It describes the two components: truth seeking and persuasion. It's interesting how they explain these two components as a paradox. Also, I really like how they explained how argument in our society has been cast as such a negative it misrepresents argument because it makes people fight and grow apart. I think the general idea of a classical argument is an interesting one, but one that has been beaten in to my head since I was in middle school. We've always been taught to make an argument, provide examples, and then tell how the examples provide evidence of the argument. I think it's important for the claim that you are arguing be one you really feel strongly about, otherwise, how do you expect to persuade others of your idea? I also think the ability to link your ideas to the ideas and beliefs of the argument is one of the most important in arguing a point. If an audience doesn't think it applies to them, they're going to turn off of the subject and not want to hear anything you say. But one thing, like explained in this chapter, that you have to be careful of is logical fallacies. These create untrue statements and will alot of times also turn the audience off to what your arguing because they believe your creating a generalization about them. In the end, understanding a classical argument is all about creating an argument and relating that argument to your audience so they'll see your side of view about it.

Formal Response to Mark Edmundon's Essay

I wanted to post some of the issues I had with writing my formal response to Mark Edmundson's essay...just a response and hoping I can sort them out before the next formal response (: In the beginning, it was definately obvious to me that I agreed with what he was saying. It's apparent around JMU, seeing the brochures and website as a senior in high school that it was very aimed towards a consumerist culture. I couldn't quite grasp the actual assignment until halfway through my first was hard for me to consider both the rhetorical aspects and Edmundson's views at the same time. I ended up having to separate them and approach them separately then combine them for the final product. Another big problem I had was providing enough examples to support my claims, which ironically was what I was arguing Edmundson does very well throughout his essay. Overall, I felt like drafting and redrafting, as well as making outlines and webs helped me organize my thoughts, because there was so much in this essay and assignment to consider.

Chapter 14 & Classical Argument

The sample argument I chose was gay marriage should be legalized because doing so will promote faithful, monogamous relationships among lesbians and gay men. The appeal to ethos in this argument is based on the credibility. You could say they have done extensive research, or simply demonstrate how much they know about gay and lesbian marriage, causing the readers to trust you. In addition, briefly acknowledging the opposing side to gay marriage would show the readers that they are aware there is another side, but your side is better. Also, if you relate to your readers and to a feeling or a belief you already know they share will demonstrate your trustworthiness and show the readers you care about their beliefs. Appealing to logos would require you to show your readers that the logical, simple answer is to legalize gay marriage. Stating facts and statistics to show why it is a good idea and how it would be beneficial to them and to society would help tremendously with the appeal to logos. Appealing to pathos with this argument would be touching on the emotions of the readers. Evoking sympathy, such as making them think about if they couldn't marry the person they love, would accomplish this. Although the audience could be of mixed beliefs (both for and against gay marriage), you could appeal to the audience's emotions by telling them it would create more faithful, monogomous relationships. Not many logical fallacies could be used in this argument, but possibly either/or reasoning. Overall, this argument would be most effective when appeals to ethos and pathos were used, as this is a touchy subject in our society today.