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Kierkegaard’s theories of life


  • Explain Kierkegaard’s stages of life to three to five friends and colleagues.
  • Ask them what stage they think they are in at this time and note any insights they may have to offer about the stage they are in now.
  • Consider the ages of people who responded. Do you think age and life experience have anything to do with the responses and comments you heard?
  • What do you think influences life stages as Kierkegaard described?
  • Compare and contrast your friends’ responses to your own beliefs about the stage you are presently in; be sure to respond thoughtfully and refer to Kierkegaard’s theories.

Sample paper

Kierkegaard’s theories of life

Kierkegaard as a philosopher proposed and stated that an individual undergoes three stages before they become their true self. The stages he proposed include aesthetic stage, ethical stage and religious stage. The aesthetic stage is characterized by pleasures which one must yearn to optimize so as to live the aesthetic life maximally and also inconsistent decisions. In this stage, the individual never is concerned with the interest of someone else but eventually a desire to do good takes over and the individual starts to seek ethical pleasures (Collins). The ethical stage as a second life stage proposed by Kierkegaard involves an individual’s desire to satisfy the interests of others in the society. Since ethics are rules that govern the society, individuals are thus diverted from seeking self-enjoyment. The religious involves the individual seeking to have faith in God and leading a spiritual life and also Kierkegaard asserts that it is totally personal and the individual strives to maintain a relationship with God though there exists distractions towards that target (Dunning).

From the dialogue, the respondents believed they belong to one of the stages involved, and many are trapped in the aesthetic stage while others are yet to have their religious stage of life though ethical stage comes in their way in their conquest. From the ages of the respondents, it is clear and vital to note that age matters in life stages as those of a younger age are the most who are after aesthetic life and those after ethical life are ones that have just started to have much engagement in the society and are related to it as they are mostly young parents (Storsletten). Those seeking a religious life are majorly composed of the elderly who depends on faith in God and believe that God will protect and care for them. Personal pleasures, social requirements, and faith influence the three stages of life respectively (Kierkegaard). Relationally, the stage that I am in is the ethical stage as I seek to maximize societal needs.

Works Cited

Collins, James Daniel. The mind of Kierkegaard. Princeton University Press, , 2014.

Dunning, Stephen Northrup. Kierkegaard’s dialectic of inwardness: a structural analysis of the theory of stages. . Princeton University Press,, 2014.

Kierkegaard, Søren. Kierkegaard’s Journals and Notebooks, Volume 9: Journals NB26-NB30. Vol. 9. . Princeton University Press,, 2016.

Storsletten, Vivi ML, and Ove D. Jakobsen. ” “Development of leadership theory in the perspective of Kierkegaard’s philosophy.”.” Journal of Business Ethics 128.2 (2015): 337-349.


Theory and Research

Theory and Research

Theory and Research

Part 1

Theories are a critical aspect of scholarly research, providing guidance on the fundamental relationships among phenomena. Various scholars have attempted to define the term theory. Harlow (2010) asserts that theory lacks a universal or fixed meaning; reason being that definition of a theory depends on the discipline. In the natural sciences, scholars assert that a theory is a “system of laws” (p. 2). On the other hand, the term theory may also refer to a set of constructs that help people in the understanding of phenomena, and mainly in the life and social sciences. A close connection between theory and testing exists. This is because development of theory involves some degree of testing. Stam (2010) defines theory as “a systematic representation of a genuine problem” (p. 2). Further, a theory that articulates phenomena in the natural sciences should employ mathematical terms as much as possible, while a theory that develops a concept in life and social sciences should apply linguistic terms (Stam, 2010; Harlow, 2010).

Stam (2007) examines three popular views on theory common in the 20th century. These views are reductionism, instrumentalism, and realism. Reductionism holds that it is possible to break down theories into observables. Instrumentalism is the view that a theory can act as an instrument for accomplishing things in the world. Lastly, realism holds that theories are statements about things that exist or are real. According to Stam (2007), these are the fundamental aspects of a theory. Before the 19th century, scholars understood theory as a mere collection of sentences that relate in some way to observable variables. In the early 19th century, scholars developed other conceptualizations of theory. The common definition held during this period is that theory was a set of observations (Stam, 2007). Towards the turn of the 19th century, scholars explained theory as statements made to explain particular events or phenomena.

A theory aims at describing relationships; it provides an explanation of how or why particular relationships lead to certain outcomes or events. This leads to another definition of the term theory by Wacker (1999) that a theory represents statements that explain the association between units approximated using empirical means. The major goal of a theory is to respond to questions of how, when, where, and why. As such, theory does not solely rely on the descriptive aspects such as what or who. According to Wacker (1999), theory encompasses four major components. These include the definition of terms and concepts, domain, relationships with phenomena, and predictive claims that help in answering the questions about who, what, where, when, and others. Wacker (1999) further propounds the argument that a ‘good’ theory is one that explores the conceptual relationships in a way that allows empirical testing and one that includes the aforementioned four components.

In examining what holds as a ‘good’ theory, Wacker (1999) identifies several virtues that are characteristic of good theories. The first virtue is uniqueness, which states that one should be able to differentiate one theory from another. If two theories are similar, then they can form a single theoretical framework. This virtue relates closely with conservatism, fecundity, and generalizability (Wacker, 1999). These concepts relate to the theory’s uniqueness. Another virtue is the parsimony theory, which states that a theory should have few assumptions. Internal consistency is another key characteristic that a theory should have. This involves the ability of the theory to explain all relationships between variables and provide robust explanations. A theory should also have empirical riskiness, which the possibility of a refutation of the theory (Wacker, 1999). Lastly, the virtue of abstraction applies, which means being interdependent in terms of time or place.

Gelso (2006) introduces a similar conceptualization of the term theory to that of Wacker. The major proposition here is that a theory comprises of statements that define suspected relationships between or among various variables. In other words, a theory explains how variables in research relate to each other. This contrasts Stam’s (2007) view that a theory is “a systematic representation of a genuine problem” by asserting that a theory explains how variables in a research relate to one another (p, 2). A theory defines abstractions that are carefully thought and hypothesized as bearing a particular relationship. Researchers develop theoretical propositions to explain the relationship among the constructions. For a theory to hold a scientific backing, it should be able to go beyond the propositional level by examining constructs such as why, where, how and others. The theory should be able to describe how the various variables relate or influence one another (Van De Ven & Johnson, 2007).

Most individuals fail to understand what constitutes a theory; instead, most of these hold the perception that theories are only characteristic of the core theoretical frameworks that underpin psychology, such as humanism and behaviorism (Gelso, 2006). However, these are broad and often-untestable philosophies established in the past. In addition, it is difficult to disapprove these comprehensive theories. Another key point to note is that scientifically, they may not be much useful. This is because they do not contribute to testable findings. Gelso (2006) categorizes theories into formal and informal theories. Formal theories are those that are explicitly stated, while informal theories lack an explicit backing.

Corley and Gioia (2011) also contribute to the meaning of a theory. However, the authors note that there is a lack of a consensus as to what the term ‘theory’ actually means. The duo opines that a theory is “a statement of concepts and their interrelationships,” indicating how or why a particular phenomenon takes place (p. 2). This definition closely relates to Wacker’s definition of a theory, who state that theories show relationships among concepts. Corley and Gioia (2011) further examine the concept of theoretical contribution, noting that a theory should help in solving certain problems in the community. As such, a theoretical paper can only be useful if it includes original research and contains important reads. Failure to contribute original ideas means that the theory does not introduce anything new to the research field. So far, one can deduce that a theory should help in explaining the relationship among concepts or phenomena. In addition, theory aims at solving a particular problem.

Gay and Weaver (2011) provide a conceptual framework for distinguishing theory from related concepts such as hypothesis, paradigm, model, and concept. A hypothesis is a statement that expresses the relationship between variables. A hypothesis enables a researcher to test the variables using empirical methods. Hypotheses comprise of an independent variable and the dependent variable. The dependent and independent variable predict the association between variables. The hypothesis is drawn from a theory and must be empirically testable (Gay & Weaver, 2011). While studying a particular phenomenon, the researcher proposes relationships between various variables, which then undergo empirical tests to determine the nature of the relationships.

Paradigm refers to general ways in which scholars view the phenomenal world. According to Kuhn, paradigms represent an aggregation of shared beliefs as well as a defined framework for solving problems that could emerge (as cited in Gay & Weaver, 2011). A paradigm helps in guiding the research process. Morgan (2007) describes paradigms in four different perspectives. First, paradigm represents the worldviews that a scholar may harbor basing on one’s collective experiences, values, beliefs, and morals. The second perspective is that paradigms are epistemological stances such as constructivism and realism and within a domain of knowledge (Morgan, 2007). The third view is that paradigm represents shared beliefs in a community comprising of researchers. Lastly, Morgan (2007) considers a paradigm as a set of rules applicable in making generalizations, drawing values, establishing models, and providing solutions in a particular field.

Models help in illustrating relationships within a theory. In other words, models are graphical illustrations of various components within a theory. Models do not explain things in theory, but only provides a way of exploring the theory. Although models help in depicting the various relationships within a particular theory, they do not comprise part of the theory. Concepts refer to basic elements of a theory or phenomenon and which are observable. Concepts become the building blocks upon which the development of a theory occurs. In different terms, the concept refers to mental image summarizing a particular set of observations (Bachman & Schutt, 2007). Concepts have different values and each indicating a particular occurrence.

Part 2

There exists an inherent relationship between theory and research. As such, theory cannot have meaning without research and vice versa. According to Harlow (2009), a theory is an integral component of research. When conducting research projects, the investigator begins by reviewing the existing theoretical frameworks surrounding the topic of study. This enables the researcher to get a comprehensive overview of the subject even before going into the field. By studying the existing theories, the investigator can be able to identify the strengths and weakness of existing explanations about the particular phenomenon. The investigator can then be able to identify the best theoretical framework for testing. The theory identified for testing also enables the investigator to identify the case to study, details about data collection, and specific methods of data collection. The investigator can then compare the results of his/her investigation to the constructs of the theory.

During a research project, the researcher applies both inductive and deductive reasoning. These processes occur simultaneously. Further, the processes involving theory development and theory testing are inexplicably linked. The link between theory development and theory testing, also known as retroduction, is critical in developing new knowledge (Harlow, 2009). This is because it enables a researcher to test and reframe ideas until he/she develops logical conclusions. While delving into a research project, the investigator should carefully select the research problem. According to Ellis and Levy (2008), the ability of the researcher to develop an adequate statement about the research problem is critical in the entire research process. The problem statement of the research enables the investigator to show how the research contributes to the development of or improves an existing theory. Moreover, formulating a good statement of the problem while conducting research helps in developing a solution.

Theory and research address similar concerns. According to Ellis and Levy (2009), a research, through the formulation of a suitable problem statement, addresses various questions such as what, where, how, why, and when. It is worth noting that a theory seeks to answer similar questions about who, where, how, and others. Ellis and Levy (2009) further argue that while developing a research problem, the investigators must ensure that they integrate the theoretical perspective relating to the literature of the problem under scrutiny. Before conducting research, the investigator must first examine the research-worthiness of the problem under investigation. A consideration during this process relates to whether there exists a strong conceptual foundation for the research. This is because research is based on a particular theoretical basis as earlier mentioned.

Wacker (1999) argues that theory is a major component of research for three main reasons. First, theory provides a comprehensive view of the practical world. After theory development, it becomes possible to derive measurable aspects from the relevant data. The specific data that an investigator collects enables him/her to test a particular theory. Wacker (1999) emphasizes that quality theories can show the relationship between cause and outcomes of specific happenings. Secondly, theory provides researchers with the basic framework for analyzing problems. Theory helps answer common questions that arise in research work such as where, why, what, when and who. This is similar to Ellis and Levy’s (2009) postulation that theory helps in addressing a particular problem. Thirdly, theory provides researchers with a basis for developing further a particular field of knowledge. The academic field develops through the advancement of theories, which later undergo the process of verification. According to Wacker (1999), theory is abstract. Theory is something that arises from trial and error, rather than a systematic investigation.

Research can contribute to theory in various ways. There are two main categorizations of research: qualitative research and quantitative research. Yates and Leggett (2016) examine the main differences between qualitative and quantitative research. Quantitative research is appropriate when examining the relationship between variables, evaluating opinions, trends, or attitudes of people, and in analyzing the effect of a particular intervention such as treatment. In quantitative research, the investigator distances himself/herself entirely from what is under investigation (Yates & Leggett, 2016). Qualitative research, on the other hand, concentrates on the why and how of the problem under investigation. In addition, the researcher is engrossed deeply in the context of the study. In other words, the researcher has the power to influence the research setting, the nature of data collection, and participants.

Research enables investigators to validate theories. Research is useful in helping investigators test whether the claims made by a theory are relevant or true. Theory and research hold a dialect relationship, whereby theory guides the data collection process in research while the research findings help in challenging the generally accepted theories. When an investigator seeks to test a theory, the theory dictates what type of data to be collected. Conversely, when an investigator seeks to develop a theory, the particular phenomenon of interest guides the data collection method (Ellis & Levy, 2009). For instance, if a theory predicts that patients are more likely to adhere to a particular care plan when their spouses provide emotional support, then the investigator would collect data pertaining to patient adherence as well as the nature of support. This type of data would help in validating whether the statements made by the theory are true or not.

Investigators attribute quantitative research with hard or factual data, while qualitative research offers soft and more insightful findings. In the case of market research, the quantitative research examines such problems as product preferences, brand awareness, product penetration, and others (Barnham, 2015). This yields percentages and other numbers that count as facts. Qualitative research, on the other hand, seeks to understand consumer behavior, motivations, and attitudes. The dimension that quantitative research takes points to ‘what’ questions (Barnham, 2015). For instance, what number of people prefers a certain product to another substitute product? On the other hand, qualitative research attempts to answer ‘why’ questions. For instance, why do people prefer product X to Product Y? Both qualitative and quantitative types of research are important aspects of theory as discussed in the section below.

Qualitative research helps in pushing the boundaries reached by previous theories concerning quantitative empiricism. Qualitative research enables an investigator to acquire information through addressing complex items or situations (Nuttall, Shankar, & Beverland, 2011). For instance, a researcher can use qualitative research to explore why murders are likely to occur at a particular time or place. Qualitative research is key in understanding human behavior. It enables investigators to understand the various forces that affect human behavior. Qualitative research enables the investigator to gain a direct experience of a phenomenon under study (Nuttall, Shankar, & Beverland, 2011). In essence, qualitative research enables investigators to examine complex human interactions, which is not possible with quantitative methods. Qualitative research contributes to theory by providing rich descriptions of a particular phenomenon. This helps researchers to gain a deeper understanding of the particular phenomenon.

Quantitative research is useful in theory development since it enables investigators to view, assess, measure, and analyze data. This is critical in theory development since the analytical methods employed can help in identifying trends. Some scholars argue that multivariate quantitative approach is particularly useful in identifying trends in data (Du & Kamakura, 2012). This helps investigators in refining and developing new theories. In operation management research, quantitative approaches form the basis of research. Quantitative research focuses on collecting data and analyzing it using statistical methods. An investigator working with quantitative data is able to draw conclusions by analyzing complex data sets (Du & Kamakura, 2012). The use of quantitative research methods helps in enhancing the validity of the results.

A major role of research is in the development of new theories. According to Yates and Leggett (2016), grounded theory research helps in developing entirely new theories. While applying grounded theory research, investigators often employ an iterative process, which involves repetitive procedures or processes. The researcher collects data from the field or natural setting, with minimal distractions to the participants. The researcher can employ both qualitative as well as quantitative methods of data collection. The researcher collects data while conducting the analysis on numerous occasions. This ensures that the investigator collects all relevant data. Comparisons of data to emerging categories follow. The themes emerging from the subjects’ shared experiences helps the investigator in identifying patterns, causal factors, intervening conditions, and among other observations (Yates & Leggett, 2016). In this way, a new theory or hypothesis is born.

The other way that research contributes to theory is in refuting or supporting a theory. Research can also provide additional insight into a theory, or help in developing a particular area of knowledge further. Different research designs help in developing or validating theories. The general classification for the research designs falls under three categories namely correlational, descriptive, and experimental designs. Conversely, theories fall under three categories respectively. These include relational, descriptive, and explanatory research. The descriptive theories are the basic forms of theories. They help in answering the question of ‘what is.’ In other words, descriptive theories describe the characteristics or the dimensions of situations, events, or individuals by making comparisons to commonalities that are seen in discrete observations. Descriptive research helps in testing descriptive theories. Descriptive research is qualitative in nature, although there are special occasions when the investigator may use a quantitative approach.

Part 3

Wacker (1999) provides a robust view of what constitutes a theory. He asserts that a theory describes relationships by providing an explanation of how a particular relationship leads to particular events or outcomes. In other words, a theory explains the association between various elements or items through empirical analysis. While conducting research on a particular theory, the investigator should aim at drawing comparisons among different domains to increase the accuracy of the results. To develop a ‘good’ theory, the investigation should be able to define all variables, build internal consistency, establish the domain, and make certain predictions (Wacker, 1999). Thus, while exploring how organizations can improve job satisfaction in the workplace, it is imperative to take into consideration the critical points identified by Wacker.

Hertzberg’s Two Factor Theory is a significant theory in the understanding of employee job satisfaction in modern day organizations characterized by generational differences. According to the theory, job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not opposites. In addition, they do not belong to the same dimension (Hur, 2017). The opposite of job satisfaction is no satisfaction, rather than dissatisfaction. On the other hand, the opposite of dissatisfaction is no dissatisfaction, rather than satisfaction. Hertzberg identifies factors known as motivators that lead to job satisfaction. The motivators are factors relating to the work itself and include responsibility, achievement, opportunities for self-development, recognition, meaningfulness of work, and others. On the other hand, the hygiene factors are those factors in the workplace whose absence may lead to dissatisfaction. The hygiene factors cannot lead to sustained positive satisfaction in the workplace. These factors include pay, fringe benefits, status, physical work conditions, organizational policies, job security, and interpersonal relations.

Job satisfaction is key to improving the employees’ motivation levels. Higher satisfaction levels among employees can lead to improve work performance. The employer must provide suitable working conditions to the employees in order to increase their motivation levels. If employees perceive need deficiencies in the organization, they may become less effective in performing their duties. This may lead to poor performance of the organization as well as high employee turnover rate. Hertzberg’s theory indicates that various factors contribute towards improving job satisfaction levels of employees. These factors include both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. However, the leadership must take into consideration the generational differences among employees when deciding on the appropriate factors or rewards to give employees.

Job satisfaction determines how happy the employees are and how satisfied they are with their job. Job satisfaction represents the overall positive feeling that employees may hold towards their work and the organization. In addition, job satisfaction is a key element in the accomplishment of organizational goals and objectives. According to Zaid and Lily (2017), job satisfaction leads to better service delivery and improved retention rates for employees. Employees can either develop negative or positive feelings towards their organization. This will depend on how the organization fulfills the particular needs of the employees. A major force influencing the needs and perceptions of employees in any particular organization is the generational differences. Employees who belong to different age groups have different expectations and needs from their employers. Hertzberg’s theory will help in expounding how leaders can meet some of their employee’s needs.

It is worth noting that the modern-day organization comprises of employees from three generational cohorts, mainly the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the Millennials (Generation Y). Each of these generational cohorts has different expectations concerning the organization (Stewart, Oliver, Cravens, & Oishi, 2017). Although all groups may have similar expectations from the management such as the need for higher salaries, they exhibit a different degree of expectations. In other words, each generational cohort holds stronger preferences compared to other groups for certain things. Ahmad and Ibrahim (2015) examine four generational cohorts that characterize the modern organizations. These include Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z (Ayudhya & Smithson, 2015). Each of the generational cohorts has certain unique characteristics that differentiate them from the rest. The unique characteristics are the result of an interplay of various factors such as cultural influence, technological advancement, political environment, social environment, demographic trends, and among other factors (Ahmad and Ibrahim, 2015).

By examining the generational differences in the workplace, leaders can be able to identify the challenges facing employees in an organization. Organizational differences look at organizational productivity, issues concerning employee motivation, organizational changes, and teamwork (Moore, Grunberg, & Krause, 2015). If managers in organizations could understand the interplay of these factors, they could be able to identify tools that can enable them to retain employees by improving their satisfaction levels. Organizational leaders face the challenge of how they can best understand the generational cohort. Leaders must use new approaches in handling employees rather than the traditional approaches. Baby Boomers have a low technology appreciation since they were born and brought up in a period when technology was not widespread (Becton, Walker, & Jones-Farmer, 2014). This information is important since it can enable one to understand why different generational cohorts react in unique ways towards technology adoption.

There are certain areas of controversy relating to the general differences in the workplace topic. One of the major controversies relates to the ambiguity of the topic in describing how the generational cohorts acquire the unique values and attitudes because of the influence of political and social factors (Yi, Ribbens, Fu, & Cheng, 2014; Moore, Grunberg, & Krause, 2015). The vast research available fails to address the specific ways in which generational cohorts adapt values and attitudes from the interplay of cultural, technological, political, social, and demographic factors. The result of this is a research vacuum that exists on how generational cohorts acquire their unique values and attitudes. A part of this problem is attributable to the use of cross-sectional study design in evaluating the various factors that influence generational cohort perceptions in the workplace (Yi, Ribbens, Fu, & Cheng, 2014; Moore, Grunberg, & Krause, 2015).

One of the unanswered questions pertaining to Hertzberg Two Factor Theory concerns its disregard of the concept of individual differences in the workplace. The theory assumes that there are general factors that cause employees to achieve satisfaction, and a set of other factors without which employees may experience dissatisfaction. The motivator factors and the hygiene factors apply to everyone within the organization. The theory fails to consider the fact that individual differences may play a vital role in the expectations of various employees. While some employees may put more value on extrinsic rewards such as gifts, higher pay, and better physical working conditions, others may value more the intrinsic rewards such as growth and development, meaningful work, and recognition. Thus, as much as the theory claims that these factors generally apply to everyone, this might not be true. Moreover, the needs of employees are not static but may change according to age, gender, occupational level, and other personal factors.

Controversy surrounds the way motivation factors influence the general job satisfaction among employees. Hertzberg Two Factor Theory does not provide a link of connection between different motivation factors and job satisfaction (Hyun & Oh, 2011). Furthermore, there is lack of qualitative research that can help leaders understand why certain motivational factors do not have close link with job satisfaction among employees. Some current research indicates that the motivational factors are important in both job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction, contrary to Hertzberg’s assertions. Some studies have also refuted Hertzberg’s assertion that hygiene factors do not contribute towards job satisfaction. Extrinsic factors such as salaries, fringe benefits, good working conditions and among others also contribute to job satisfaction.


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On Being an Atheist


Having completed the unit of philosophy of religion, you are now ready to respond to an article written by an actual atheist. This article titled “On Being an Atheist,” was written by H. J. McCloskey in 1968 for the journal Question. McCloskey is an Australian philosopher who wrote a number of atheistic works in the 1960s and 70s including the book God and Evil (Nijhoff, 1974). In this article, McCloskey is both critical of the classical arguments for God’s existence and offers the problem of evil as a reason why one should not believe in God.

Sample paper

On Being an Atheist

In his work, On Being an Atheist, McCloskey attempted to show that atheism to hold more sense and facts compared to Christian beliefs. The large part of his work focused on arguing against the three major proofs that exist among most individuals in the universe today. Through his argument against theistic proofs that include cosmological argument, the argument from design and the teleological argument, McCloskey stated that it is irrational for any human being to live by faith. He goes on to deduce that the three agreements cannot prove or cannot be the basis to show that God exists. Proof helps in establishing a fact or the truth of a statement but according to McCloskey there is no proof that God exists, and thus, it should not play a vital duty in the belief of God. According to the article, most polytheists do not consider God as the reason to why they have a religious belief, but they associate themselves with various religions for other accounts rather than God (Davies, 2011). However, by crediting the three proof arguments, McCloskey diverges from his earlier statements that the cosmological, teleological and designs arguments alone are not enough to establish that God exists despite offering justifications for the existence of God. On the other hand, foreman in his presentation “Approaching the Question of Gods Existence,” it is clear that McCloskey interprets the theistic proofs in a wrong way.

The first argument to be deduced and inferred by McCloskey is the cosmological agreement. According to McCloskey, this argument widely focuses on describing and justifying the universe as is known by all individuals today. According to the cosmological argument regarding the presence of God, there must exist a creator be it a being or a thing that made the world as we know it today. However, according to McCloskey there, the mere presence of the universe and everything in it is not reason enough to affirm that God exists. Despite the existence of a positive and strong correlation between the things that will come to be extant, things that live and exist and things that used to be extant, McCloskey does not believe that that something else like power, being or force plays any important part in their existence. On the contrary, Evans and Manis’ discussion, there are necessary beings and contingent beings that are responsible for setting forth in motion the ring of causality. Thus, the necessary beings must exist for the contingent beings to exist. As a result, God must exist for the world to exist concluding that he is the creator and the all-powerful, all-perfect and uncaused cause.

According to McCloskey, cosmological argument does not make us eligible to claim an all-powerful, all-perfect and uncaused cause. Although this is true to some extent, Evans and Mani differs with McCloskey as they believe that the presence of nature and its forces suggests the existence of a cause with a significant magnitude that can only be likened to God. The world and everything in it are dependent the creator who is God making him the all-powerful, all-perfect and uncaused cause. However, it is worth noting that cosmological argument alone is not factual enough to provide evidence that god exists (Davies, 2011). The argument contains a fraction of knowledge about God and thus can be deemed to be a wedge into the knowledge of the existence of God.

The teleological argument which is also widely referred to as the physic-theological argues that based on perceived probable cause of deliberate design in the natural and physical world is clear that an intelligent creator exists. Despite combining both the teleological argument and argument from design, McCloskey dismissed them stating that human beings do not yet have enough understanding of the creation and existence of the universe. The argument goes on to state that based on the appearance, organization, and order seen on Earth, there must be a presence of an intelligent designer who helps to keep all things in order and ticking. This demonstrates that God exists and works miraculously through forces of large magnitude to keep everything in order. As if this is not enough proof, McCloskey objects these theories stating that to get a proof going; there must be the presence of genuine indisputable paradigms of design and purpose. Notably, he gives an account of the evolution theory to explain creation but later discredits the theory stating that there is no existence of undisputed proof of the actual presence of first organism development or a real sequence and pattern of the way the organism evolved. Additionally, the teleological argument and argument from design are not an obsolete demonstration that exists, but rather they are justifications of creation which only suggests that God exists (McCloskey, 1968). Similarly, there are no foundations and undisputed proof of understanding where the diverse species come from in the evolution theory. As a result, McCloskey is right in his claims that there is no indisputable examples and purpose.

The Teleological arguments and the argument from design are based on the principle of the known order and movement of the earth and creation. The universe strictly operates and functions on the basis of strict set laws and patterns and continue to unfold in a subsist pattern. However, there is no one single individual who is known have set the laws and patterns that are followed by the universe thus showing the presence of an intelligent designer. A strong evidence of the presence of an intelligent designer would be the way human and animal body functions. Often, the brain is the most important part of a human body as well as that of the animals as it helps to coordinate and operate all other body parts. The brain usually sends messages to other parts of the body telling them what to do, when to do and how to do them. Additionally, it is to the brain that the body designs a defense mechanism from both internal and external attacks. As a matter of fact, without the brain, the human body cannot function normally.

Related: Crash of Alaska Airlines Flight

According to the mere existence of evil in the universe, today is a clear indication that the all-perfect being is not perfect after all. He goes on to say that if God really exist and he is perfect as most individuals think and feel there would be no flaws in his creation. Despite discrediting and dismissing the Teleological argument and the argument of design, he still uses the same argument that from the effects and outcome of something, it is easy to identify and determine the cause (McCloskey, 1968). Thus, I creation has flaws; this means that God is flawed. However, the presence of the evolution theory that states organisms evolve over time and adapt to their new environment, it is a clear indication that God exists as an intelligent designer who designed these patterns millions of years ago. Through creation, human beings can understand the designer God and realize his purpose.

McCloskey has the right to question the presence of imperfections n in a creation that was created by an all-perfect God. He goes on to say that the presence of imperfections negates the presence of a divine being. The decision to trust a theory or an argument is based on the consistency of previous standards and facts and the probability of the argument to hold the same standards and facts. As a result, if human beings understand God, there will be no need for trust since they would already know him. However, teleological argument is not meant to provide proof that God exists but rather to offer an opportunity and platform for further studies considering that this is a mere justification of the probability that God exists.

The presence of evil in the universe tends to contradict the belief that an omnipresent and all-powerful God really exists yet allowing all the imperfections and sufferings to trouble his creation. Although McCloskey does not define what is evil, he gives all kind of notion to explain what is evil. The theist explanation dies not prove why there is evil in the universe but rather offer possible justifications to account for all evil in the creation. From the arguments, it is easy to point out that the arguments they admit the presence of perfect God, but they cannot negate the possibility of all-perfect God allowing evil into the universe. The presences of evil help to magnify the good as well provide set standards to measure good. Thus, the presence of evil in the universe is the free will of human being.

The argument of free will gives a justification as to why there is so much evil in the world today. Considering that God gave humanity the right to choose the right and wrong, all the evil can be attributed to this freedom (McCloskey, 1968). If free will were not true, the laws, rewards, and punishments would eventually lose their purpose and meaning. Right and wrong create the necessity for an individual to understand the difference between them. Without the free will, people with good intentions would not have the freedom to choose what is best for them. Free will gives human being ultimate glory of making life choices.

According to McCloskey, atheism is more comforting as he feels that it is good to entirely believe that there is no God rather than suffer knowing that God allowed it happen. The laws of nature as we know them today make life worth living as life would be meaningless, with no purpose, no value, and quality without them and God. By giving human beings fee will and allowing some degree of evil to go their way, God ultimately gives human life value and purpose.


Davies, B. (2011). Aquinas, God, and Evil. Thomas Aquinas on God and Evil, 113-132. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790890.003.0010

McCloskey, H. J. (1968). Some Arguments for a Liberal Society. Philosophy, 43(166), 324. doi:10.1017/s0031819100062860


To torture or not to torture

To torture or not to torture


To Torture or Not to Torture

From your understanding of Holmes’ discussions, explain how each of the following theories might answer the question: utilitarianism, Kantian duty-based ethics, virtue ethics, and Christian-principle based ethics.Select the theory you think is the most appropriate to take in this case and explain why.For your reply, locate a member of your group with whom you disagree and tell him/her why you disagree with at least 200 words. The disagreement could be over which view he/she took or his/her understanding of the other views.

Sample paper

To torture or not to torture

Part 1

Despite torture being legally and morally wrong, there are some people and regions that still practice torture.  Torture can be described as any kind of action or practice of influencing pain on a person as a way or punishing them or forcing them to submit. Torture of any kind is always considered inhuman and unethical to some extent, but in other situations the application of torture becomes legal (Wisnewski & Emerick, 2009). Holmes gives four ways through which an individual can interpret torture to make them suit personal situations and needs.  These ways are as follows:

  1. Utilitarianism – the utilitarian thinks and believes that once torture has been used for a single person or a fraction of the whole population, it is better used for the whole population for equality and the greater good of the society. Moreover, this theory states that activities and actions of an individual are right as long as they promote happiness but are wrong in case they are promote reverse happiness. As a result, if torture is poised to bring happiness, then it is ethical to them, but if it will result in unhappiness, it is unethical.
  2. Kantian duty-based ethics – this theory proposes that individuals are only allowed to use torture as a last resort. If a person utilizes all other possible means with no positive response, then it is ethically right to use torture to gain what he or she is looking for. Notably, it is also correct to state that this theory is far much concerned with the rightness of the action carried out rather than the consequences of the actions and that is the reason why it the theory feels that it is ethical to use torture.

Related: Philosophy of Love and Sex

  1. Virtue ethics – this theory states that it all goes down to individual instincts, ethics, and moral principles. Thus, the actions of torture cannot be justified as right or wrong. In this theory, individual character is paramount to ethical and moral thinking rather than the rules and regulations put in place to govern individual actions and behavior. When a person feels it is ethical to torture another human being he or she can go on but if they feel it in unethical, they can put a stop to the torture, but in both cases, they will not be judged (Griffin, 2010).
  2. Christian-principle based ethics – this principle totally prohibits the use of torture despite the situation and circumstances o the moral and ethical background of individuals. Considering Christians uses the Bible as the basis of their behavior, there is nowhere in the bible that torture is given an option and thus, torture should never be used by Christians.

Part 2

Considering all perspective and matters, in this matter, I feel that Utilitarianism will be the right theory to employ and get the important information that can lead to saving of millions of lives. Ethically and morally, the lives of thousands and millions of people matter a lot compared to the well-being of a single individual who is willing to risk their lives. As a result, I feel that using all means possible to extract information even if it means torturing the terrorist will be accepted.  Torturing a person for the greater good should be ethically and morally accepted and not rebuked. By saving their lives, it means greater happiness for the majority rather than waiting for the attacks which would mean happiness in reverse for many.


Griffin, J. (2010). What Should We Do about Torture? Ethics and Humanity, 3-18. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195325195.003.0001

Wisnewski, J., & Emerick, R. D. (2009). The ethics of torture. London: Continuum.


Discuss why sociologists do so much of their research outside the laboratory

Crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261

Crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261

On 31 January 2000, The Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crew, miles above the Pacific, alone with a mechanical hitch, tried doing everything to save their plane as it rolled back and forth to a crash. The pilots of the flight were veterans and both had accumulated thousands of hours flying MD-80’s. Neither of them was involved in an accident before. Departing from Mexico heading to San Francisco International Airport, the flight crew radioed the control facilities to report a jammed horizontal stabilizer and diversion. This stabilizer affected the Trim system, which keeps the plane stable in flight. Neither of them could determine the cause of the jam and repeated attempts to overcome it were unsuccessful (NTSB 2001).  Its Captain, Ted Thompson, last words were recorded for nineteen seconds on the Cockpit voice recorder saying, “ Got to get it over again- at least upside down we’re flying”. As he spoke, the mighty plane with 88 occupants was rolling and accelerating downwards very fast that all of them were pressed upwards. In this essay, I will specifically explore and discuss issues related to factors besides technical failures, which all combined to bring about the crash. The CVR transcript reveals that the pilots continuously attempted to control the aircraft. However, the aircraft was far beyond and impacted the pacific at high speed about 14 miles offshore (NTSB 2001).

The National Transportation and Safety Board wrote a report on the accident revealing multiple of maintenance problems even prior to the Crash of Plane Flight 261. Often, an analysis of such accidents revolves on mechanics, final operators, or point failure. In any organizational system, underlying dangerous conditions, if left unmonitored, are capable of becoming a culture.  However, it is often these organizational conditions are the most responsible for allowing a gap for creation of a disastrous environment.

Applying this logic to the crash of Flight 261, we ought to believe that such pervading conditions, precisely, led to its horrific end. In general, the dynamic relationship between internal and external pressures and effect can be seen as a continuum between safety and performance (FAA 58). For lower management, increased emphasis on higher performance is always found in the resources allocation, away from security, maintenance, as well as other safety measures. Once a accident occurs, policies will be put in place, defenses put up, and personnel hired (NTSB 2001). However, in time, this emphasis on safety will give way to performance and the chain will continue. Flight 261, both in terms of ultimate outcome and systemic issues, stands out to these accidents effecting from organization system failures (NTSB 2001).

While placing blame of the crash on technical malfunction- according to NTSB report- it is much easier understanding that it does not address the root cause in the System’s defenses breakdown. Due to a number of human errors spanning all of the organization echelons, by the time of the crash of Flight 261, these defenses were unmonitored , stretched and circumvented too thin to be effective (NTSB 2001). In order to determine the main cause of the crash of Flight 261, one has to consider also the environment that the plane operated in. The airline industry is watched by the Federal Aviation Administration, which acts as its own system of checks and balances. They always act as watchdogs over the airline industry. The airlines themselves, with the fundamental basis of success, are always under pressure from time and money management to capitalistic market forces.  With the expansion of Alaska just prior to Flight 261 crash, these pressures were compounded aggressively.

Just to keep up with the market the Alaska airlines had to have more airplanes as possible operational at a given time (FAA 58). This constant pressure for performance together with the lack of tangible results provided by the safety measures, created a focal point of pressure to AMS (Aviation Management systems) to work for Alaska as well as other airlines. The highest level in the aviation industry is the FAA, which is responsible for oversight of all United States public airport, airlines, and airplane and airplane parts manufacturers. They provide this oversight by means of providing stringent manuals for maintenance, operations, and other protocols. However, their power is limited since they are responsible for providing oversight but without the power to implement their decisions. This is lack of explicit authority results to airlines and airlines manufacturers to incorporate the FAA policies themselves into their separate maintenance manuals.

A systemic problem that occurred in Flight 261 is clearly seen resulting from the FAA lax oversight, evident in the conversations with other parties involved with Aviation Management systems and the Alaska Airlines. Due to this highly publicized Flight 261 crash, the FAA did an audit of Alaska Airlines exposing serious deficiencies existing for months within the Alaska Maintenance program (FAA 58). These deficiencies existed but were undetected by the FAA. This is probably from the fact that their technicians had no authority under the regulations to check on completed work with the inspectors and mechanics from AMS. An increase in FAA presence was requested by the Alaska Airlines, to meet the increasingly inspection numbers from the growing operations (FAA 58).

Flight 261 inspections revealed that one reason why they were unable to recognize the damage to the Jackscrew assembly is that it was manufactured in-house and was not as accurate as models from the manufacturers themselves. The FAA, when questioned regarding this, responded that such equipment equivalency determination is the responsibility of the air carrier or the repair station and not the FAA (NTSB 2002). When dealing with regulations, it is also evident that the FAA’s lack of oversight led to complacency.

Even though, we cannot blame the fate of Flight 261, on the FAA’s oversight failures as much as they contributed to it. Latent conditions contributing to the crash, for instance, can be traced back to the original Jackscrew manufacturer (Peacock Engineering- acquired by Trig Aerospace). The jackscrew assembly had been installed years before the crash – same economic forces underlying affected this manufacturer too.  The manufacturers of jackscrew assemblies, just like the FAA, placed the safety and maintenance onus on the airlines rather than themselves.  The investigation by the NTSB that followed the crash resulted to twenty-seven of Alaska Airlines planes to be grounded due to potential Jackscrew mechanism problems. Placing the responsibility to these airlines, clearly, is not adequate solution for safety (Conrad 49).

The systemic issues within the airline that led to the crash was as a result of a culture adopted to centre operational performance at the expense of safety, due to the long periods of safe operations. All necessary defensive barriers, as noted by analysts, were established in Alaska’s system. Over time, however, this focus on safety deteriorated giving way to the performance need, diffusing safety elements (FAA 58).    Much as with the airline themselves, the FAA, the jackscrew assembly manufactures, and the economic pressures in the Airline industry combined leading to safety for performance sacrifice within the Alaska Airlines. The NTSB, during its analysis of practices that the Alaska Airline maintenance staff employed, starling discrepancies were found between the Boeing manufacturer data, FAA regulations and even the airline’s own General Maintenance Manual. The NTSB also found that the facilities for maintenance used shop-made tools, relative to the jackscrew assembly, to undertake the invasive play check scrutiny to determine thread wear (FAA 58). This is relative to the nut’s design wear limit. Alaska Maintenance crew, when questioned, told the board that they will continually measure the jackscrew till the required answer was found and produced. As described, they made their own tools to enable them perform and play checks instead of purchasing more expensive, but accurate Boeing-manufactured tools (FAA 58).

To be able to overcome the dangers in the airline industry the focus of the NTSB should be implementing safety management systems, to ensure recognition, confrontation and repair of holes that develop in the defensive layers (Conrad 96). Safety should be seen a value that is core-productive and as such a value that will bring about good reputation and benefit both all the stakeholders involved(FAA 58).

Herein, lies the lesson learnt from the Alaska Airplane Flight 261 crash. As long as accidents and risks are perceived as events that are singular and needs correction, the pervasive conditions underlying which facilitated the organizations defenses breach will remain unchanged.  Only after a comprehensive perspective is put in place and adopted can the true problem be discovered. These risks can be overcome by techniques on standard mitigation (FAA 58).

Works Cited

Federal Aviation Administration. “Federal Aviation Administration.” May 2006. Airports . 11 11             2018 <>.

Ayer, Bill. “Airline Mechanic Admits Falsfying Work Records.” Alaska’s World (2001): 01 – 45.

National Transportation Safety Board., “American Airlines Inc.” 2006. uni-bielefeld. 11   11 2018 <>.

Conrad, Don. “Metal of honor: Flight 261 Pilots Earn Rare Commendation From ALPA.” People             (2001): 4 -96.

(FAA 58)




Question 1

Diotima’s idea of love is similar to platonic love. This kind of love was echoed and supported by Socrates. This is the kind of love that is not conveyed through sexual intercourse or relationship. The ladder has six stages that include a specific beautiful body, all beautiful bodies, beautiful souls, beautiful laws and institutions, the beauty of knowledge, and beauty itself. Those who look at the beauty itself helps uphold virtues and help them not to be seduced by any form of physical attraction.

Love today does not progress the way Diotima suggested. In fact, the ladder has been overturned. Most people view love in the form of beautiful bodies that can be able to offer them sexual satisfaction. Hedges, C. (2015), suggest that women are exploited by men through prostitution and then abandoned after they have been used. Further, most of the people have no love for the beauty itself but for the money that comes with it. Some have joined pornography industry to be wealthy, affluent, powerful and renowned as celebrities.

I disagree. The highest form of love is not the love of truth. Most people are blinded to the worldly pleasure and have no respect for the truth. There are various types of sexual sins including masturbation, prostitution, same-sex marriages that have been prohibited in religious books such as the Bible but continue to be widely practiced.

Question 2

Aristotle was correct in recognizing the highest form of love friendship as that of self-sacrificing. This love is also known as agape love in Greek. The love friendship that is sacrificing transcends all other types of love. This kind of love is not just a response to affection and it does not require the other individual to love you in return. The self-sacrifice demands that a person assist the other individual to be the best of they can ever be.

This type of love friendship is not possible for most people today. It is self-demanding as it requires the individual to understand the needs of their loved ones. Further, it necessitates the person to set aside their personal needs and instead bring joy to those who they commit their life and heart.

Aristotle key concept in his daily life was eudaimonia that meant living in accord with the virtues. He placed friendship as the core virtue of living well. Aristotle considered friends as a critical element for the attainment of a virtuous life, morality, and happiness. The understanding of this concept helped him promote friendly love by supporting unity and ensuring that the social fabric is enhanced.

Question 3

The corporations are established to make cash regardless of the outcome and how they affect the globe socially and politically. In the milieu of love, sexuality, and friendship, the relationship is greatly impacted. Pornography is an example of corporations that are out to make cash. There is neither love nor friendship as women are violently penetrated in their private parts. This causes them to suffer from sexual ailments and they are faced with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Marx opposed the commodity fetishism. This involved emphasis on money and commodities as opposed to the social relationship between people. This in the context of our study is attributed by prostitution where people have a sexual relationship because of money without having a friendship bond. There is corporate abuse of human health where people without their consent are paid so that the sexual offenders can abuse them sexually. Chris Hedges says that there are women who are penetrated by several men leading to health ailments that necessitate them to have a vagina or anal surgery to reconstruct the destroyed parts.

The three points include industrialized culture, social prestige, and social alienation. I agree with Marx on industrialized culture where the consumer has little control over the product they produce. In the porn industry, the players have less control of what will happen to them. I disagree with Marx on social prestige. Most people are not forced into prostitution or pornography for wanting to belong to the social class but due to poverty and other factors. I agree on social alienation. The television, internet, and technology is making the social vices to get its way in the fabrics of the society.


Hedges, C. (Feb 15, 2015). Pornography Is What The End of the World Looks Like. Retrieved from.

Philosophy of Love and Sex-Kristen Hatch

Philosophy of Love and Sex

Philosophy of Love and Sex

In the article “The Whoredom of the Left”, Chris Hedges argues that legalizing prostitution as some countries have done takes the world a step closer to global capitalism or neoliberalism. Chris Hedges’ assertion is right basing on a number of reasons. Prostitution does not entail freedom to do what one wishes with her body, but it is a form of economic slavery. This is because as Chris Hedges argues, those who engage in prostitution do so not by choice, but out of desperation and coercion. Laite (2015) argues there exists an inherent link between prostitution and modern capitalism. This link can be established by the development of prostitution around mining regions. Another reason for supporting Hedges’ assertion is that prostitution leads to severe physical and emotional consequences for those involved. This is a point that Hedges makes quite clear. Holmstrom (2014) argues that in the capitalist and patriarchal society, women’s bodies are often “objectified and commodified” (p. 1). Holmstrom (2014) further asserts that global capitalism contributes to great inequalities, with women on the marginal end of the inequality, and part of the reason they enter prostitution.

Chris Hedges’ article “Pornography Is What the End of the World Looks Like” expounds the idea that pornography is an extension of the global capitalistic ideas. Pornography promotes abuse of women, and propounds the notion of hyper-masculine power. Chris Hedges highlight credible points concerning pornography and dehumanization of women. Pornography promotes dehumanization of women and propagates the idea that women are just but objects of pleasure, as Chris Hedges asserts. In an interview with Rachel Moran, is clear that women who engage in prostitution undergo physical and emotional abuse. Men who buy sexual favors hold the notion that it is right to abuse women. Majority obtain these notions from watching pornography where women experience physical abuse. For example, Moran (2015) talks about a “client” who would insist on biting her nipples until blood gushed came out. According to Calfas (2015), pornography acts as a “slippery slope to take to the next step to abuse and exploitation” (p. 1). Pornography influences the minds of children and adults, and increases their propensity to abuse of women, rape, and other sexual maladjustments.

The article “Amnesty International ….” by Chris Hedges highlights the notion that those women who engage in prostitution are victims rather than criminals. This is true in light of the fact that those who benefit from prostitution are the traffickers and pimps involved in the trade. Moreover, majority of women are forced by circumstances to engage in the illicit trade. In the interview, Rachel Moran reveals that majority of sex workers are disproportionately black. These women are unable to endure racial marginalization, and the only alternative available for them is prostitution. For example, in Minnesota where 10 percent of the population is black, it is surprising to find that a prostitution facility may be having up to 70% as black young women. Majority of people may be surprised to learn that slavery still exists in the 21st century. But how? Kristof (2015) examines the case of Poonam Thapa, a teenage girl forced into prostitution at age 12. Thapa is from Nepal, and had to contemplate with the impacts of working in a brothel. Thapa is just one of the 20.9 million people into forced labor worldwide, and most of them children.

Chris Hedges also espouses the idea that prostitution denies women their basic rights. This is true because a big fraction of women in prostitution is forced into the illicit trade. Worse still, majority those engaging in prostitution are minors who do not understand their basic human rights, and whom the government ought to protect. Moreover, the pimps and traffickers benefit the most from the trade. In the U.S., there have been international criminal organizations involved in trafficking women, and including underage women. Rosenberg (2016) explores the sex trafficking groups operating in Mexico and the United States. The offenders would seize their victims in Mexico, isolate them from their families, and physically and sexually abuse them. They would also force their victims into prostitution. These are the worst forms of abuse that women may go through. It is also a case of denying such women their basic human rights.

Question 2

Brian Faucette cites a number of theorists in the “Breaking Bad” series season 1, episode 1. One of the theorists is Judith Butler. The series draws from Butler’s gender performativity theory in the first episode. This theory holds that gender is socially constructed through one’s own repetitive performance as per his/gender. Butler’s view is that there is no stable gender identity – gender identity tends to be dynamic, and changes with time. As such, gender identity is formed through “stylized repetition of acts” (sss.n). Judith Butler’s theory clearly expounds a number of scenes in the “Breaking Bad” series. The “acts”, in the context of Butler’s theory, represents Walt’s (main actor) speech acts as well his behavior or physical acts. Walt’s language as he interacts with others develops his unique identity and also highlights his masculinity. Walt’s interactions with his competitors depict a complicated man, one with a peculiar masculinity that he wishes to protect. Walt is depicted as an anti-hero, with sympathetic shows of masculinity, even when he is angry or violent.

In the opening scene, Walter is seen as commanding. He meets an adversary in the drug business, Declan, where he boasts that he is the finest “cook”. Walter insists that Declan must know his name: “That’s right. Now, say my name.” This scene depicts Walter as commanding, a true show of his masculinity. Again from the opening scene, Walter is depicted as a family man, and a breadwinner to be precise. Walter works as a chemistry teacher in one of the schools, but due to low pay, he works at a local car wash where students demean him. Walter performs masculinity by working hard to fed for his family, since he believes it is his sole responsibility. Throughout season 1, Walter struggles to increase his masculinity. This he achieves by undergoing a transformation of character, whereby he shifts from a chemistry teacher to a renowned drug maker.

Brian Faucette draws from J.L. Austin who developed the theory of speech act. This theory can be traced to Austin’s performance utterances views. According to the theory, the speech act is merely a replication of a number of acts conducted at once. The only distinguishing factor is what the speaker actually intends. For instance, the speaker may say something but in saying it, he is actually trying to affect the listener in a particular way. Austin’s theory clearly demonstrates the re-emergence of hegemonic masculinity. In the first episode, Walt appears with a gasmask, frantically trying to escape the police but unfortunately lands in a ditch. As the sirens draw near, he records a goodbye message meant for his family. The message helps in establishing the who, when, and what of the whole series. A good example of speech act theory in the pilot series is the utterances between Declan and Walt. Walt insists to Declan: “say my name”, and repeats this phrase one more time. This statement that Walt repeats is only an imperative form of statement. Walt, on the other hand, performs a type of illocutionary act, which seems to fit the speech act theory.

Another theorist that Brian Faucett is citing is Heinrich Popitz, by examining the role of Walter as a man, and the idealized masculinity in the society. Popitz’s theory on institutionalization of political power argues that power maybe in some ways become depersonalized. Power is inherently connected with the positions and functions that oversteps the individual. In “Breaking Bad”, masculinity is depicted as undergoing a crisis, which helps in elaborating the relationship between the role a man plays in the family. While Walt engages in the pursuit of his role in the family, the basic tenets about the role of the man are disregarded (Poggi, 2014).

Question 3

Kristen Hatch’s main argument is that true happiness can only be attained in the pursuit of love, that is, individuals must learn to balance career and family to find ultimate happiness and meaning in life.

In the “Breaking Bad” series, masculinity is highly criticized. Walter learns that he has an incurable form of lung cancer and can only expect a few years to live. Walter descends from the popular anti-hero character to a distasteful villain on learning that he has a few years to live. Walter suddenly transforms from a protagonist to an antagonist. As a protagonist, Walter has lived a humble life as a chemistry teacher. He has limited power and Skyler, his wife, controls most aspects of the family and his life. Hank, Walter’s brother-in-law, presents an overhyped masculinity, which diminishes that of Walter even further. Soon, Walter finds an area he can assert his influence and power. This makes his ego grow tremendously as he becomes the best drug maker in the region. For instance, Walter boasts that he is “the man who killed Gus Fring”, meaning he chased him out of business.

Walter now works in an industry where violence is the order of the day. As a result, the audiences’ empathy towards Walter is diminished as he descends in character to a disdainful villain. As his ego grows, he becomes increasingly preoccupied with manhood. For example, Walt and Skyler purchase the car wash from Walt’s former boss at $800,000. The car wash is used as a money laundering facility. Another reason Walt decides to purchase this particular car wash is to spite his former boss. The transformation into drug business is the best indication that Walter has changed in character from the timid chemistry teacher to an arrogant and ruthless drug dealer.

It is clear that Walter can do anything to earn money to support his family. It is even surprising that he opts to team up with Jesse Pinkman, a former student, to conduct the drug business. The drug business is a tricky one, and a show of masculinity is evident throughout season 1. The drug business is mainly conducted by men, and is full of risks. As Jesse sells Meth to some dealers, they take him hostage and force him to reveal the lab where they make the meth. Walter uses his ingenuity to make a poisonous substance that he uses to knock out the dealers. As they try to hide the two bodies, they realize that one of them is actually not dead. The soft side of Walt is seen as he struggles with the idea of whether to kill him or not. Eventually, they decide to lock him up in the basement. Walt’s masculinity is evident when he refuses money for his cancer treatment, which is seen in season 1 episode 5.

Question 4

Licensing in general

Hugh Lafollette first makes the claim that there in need to license a number of things in everyday living. For instance, one is required to have a license before being allowed to drive. This is because the act of driving may cause harm to others. Requiring that a person must hold a license in order to drive simply means that a large number of bad drivers are removed from the roads. This reduces the incidences of harm or accidents. In areas such as medicine, professional therapy, gun ownership, childcare and others licensing is still required. The main reason for licensing these activities is that if anyone could practice them, it could lead to massive harm. Unqualified people may bring more harm. Thus, in order to ensure that only professionals engage in these practices, licensing is required.

The reason for licensing parents

Hugh Lafollette argues that there is a great need to license parents. It is worth noting that licenses are issued for serious activities, which may lead to harm if conducted by unqualified persons. In order to obtain a license, one is required to undergo formal training and qualify for the license. Lafollette argues that parenting too requires a license, since, if not done properly it might lead to harm. Bad parents can abuse their children both physically and emotionally. Bad parents can also bring up a child in an unsafe environment. As such, it is clear that parenting meets the standard criteria for requiring licensing. In line with the standards of licensing, some people could be denied the chance for parenting due to failure in meeting the minimum requirements. The parenting license can significantly improve the way children are brought up. This may reduce crime and other forms of delinquent behavior in the society.

There could be objections to licensing

Hugh Lafollette also makes the claim that various objections to licensing may emerge. There are individuals who may emerge seeking for the rights unlicensed individuals. The first main objection raised is that there is no standard criterion established for distinguishing the adequate and inadequate parents. For example, majority of people lack knowledge on child development and psychology. Another key objection is that there is no way to tell a potentially bad parent. For instance, parents may be good at the beginning but then begin mistreating their children in future. Since there exists no predictor, licensing parenting remains a dream. The last objection relates to misuse of a test, if at all it could be discovered. Administrators may likely misuse the test, thus reducing its efficacy.


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Philosophy of Love and Sex-Kristen Hatch

Philosophy of Love and Sex-Kristen Hatch

Philosophy of Love and Sex


Kristen Hatch provides a critical insight into feminism in her article “Girl meets Boy”. This paper examines women’s need for career and family, the work & family balance, and the role of changing attitudes. My point of view supports Kristen Hatch’s ideas concerning the need for women’s participation in the workplace rather than embracing domesticity.

The Need for Career and Family

In the early 19th century, there was a general view that women should only participate in domestic chores, while men were the breadwinners for their families. This view continued well into the turn of the 20th century. Single women would participate in the labor market but could only venture to specific careers for women. Motherhood was the most important role for women in the early period. In addition, there were limited educational opportunities for women, with education being a reserve for men. In the early period, women were considered inferior to men in terms of their intellectual capabilities. As such, they could not engage in forms of work that require intellectual or muscular development. While the societal norms in the earlier period restricted women to household chores, contemporary research indicates that women lead happier lives when they engage in productive activities (Hoffning & Williams, 2013). Participation of women in the labor force gives women’s lives value or meaning beyond childbearing and rearing.

Some of the past researchers aim at establishing the motherhood, career, and marriage expectations for women. In a study conducted between 1993 and 2009, and involving a sample of 200 women, the findings indicates that majority of women would prefer to pursue a career, enter in marriage, and have kids. By 2009, 91% of the respondents had entered in marriage. Another 75 percent had entered motherhood while 57% were mothers and had full time employment (Hoffning & Williams, 2013). The study indicates that majority of women want to achieve all, that is, they want to get pursue a career, get married, and enter motherhood. The findings also indicate that mothers had a higher satisfaction rates compared to women who were still childfree. Majority of women who had quit their jobs to become homemakers expressed a great desire to return to active employment. This research indicates that women can achieve success in the boardroom as well as in the bedroom.

Women who have it all (career, marriage, parenthood) stand a better chance of acquiring more social opportunities and social capital, which ultimately improves their satisfaction levels. As the women acquire more roles, they are able to improve individual skills, develop additional social support, and increase self-worth. Women engaging in the three are able to gain and transfer or share knowledge and apply it in a different area. For instant, management skills learned at work can enhance family life. Women are able to use their income to improve the living standards for their family. Self-esteem gained from either employment or being married can enhance family life by nurturing positivity. Thus, it is important that women pursue careers and enter into motherhood as this increase their satisfaction levels. Women are also develop high esteem levels from achieving the three items in life.

Available literature indicates that both men and women benefit from acquiring multiple roles in the society. Women engaging in full-time employment and parenthood are able to gain various financial, social, and emotional benefits. In a study to establish the impact of engaging in multiple roles among men and women, Hyde (2001) concludes that both men and women can gain enormous benefits (as cited in Hoffning & Williams, 2013). These benefits range from improved physical health, better emotional health or stability, and quality relationship between spouses. The study further asserts that involvement of men in family affairs significantly improves their overall wellbeing, while involvement of women in employment improves their overall wellbeing. These findings support Hatch’s assertions that women are happier when they are engaged in employment.

There are other benefits associated with acquiring multiple roles. A major benefit is the added income that greatly enhances the quality of life. Women who participate in the labor force are able to earn an income, which supplements the family income. Women engaged in employment have an added advantage of social support. Women who achieve success in the workplace are able to exploit fully their potential talents. The consensus is that participation of women in the labor industry generally improves their livelihoods as well as the wellbeing of their families. This is contrary to some earlier studies, which according to Hatch suggest that women receive more satisfaction when primarily performing household duties such as child rearing. Thus, the need for women’s participation in the labor market cannot be downplayed.

Involvement in multiple roles may on the other hand, lead to development of increased stress levels among individuals. Nonetheless, particular factors reduce stress levels. Being in a relationship is one of the factors that reduce stress levels resulting from multiple roles. Another important factor is presence of children, which also contributes lower stress levels. The study findings indicate that those who do not have children had higher episodes of strain symptoms compared with those who had children. The study echoes the late 20th century view on marriage and career where men and women were expected to find happiness from their personal lives (Hoffning & Williams, 2013). Raising children is a noble task that greatly enriches the lives of parents. However, child rearing requires commitment and resources. Child rearing may take too much time for career women and in such cases acting as a barrier to success.

Balancing Career and Family

With an increasing number of women participating in the workforce, majority are facing new form of challenges, mainly balancing their career and family demands. In the 1980s, women began increasingly participating in the labor force. The expectations were that women should not only enter marriage but also pursue successful careers and contribute to the financial stability of the family. As Hatch contends, women were increasingly facing challenges common among working-class women in the 1900s. Due to challenges of achieving a suitable work/family balance, majority of women felt strained. Some women opted in pursuing careers and in delaying marriage or parenthood. The struggle to balance family and career led to increased stress and emotional fatigue among the working women. In contrast, men have a relatively easier time balancing career and family since they are much absolved from most of the household chores.

Balancing career and family has been common among men since the earlier period. However, in women, it was a new phenomenon at the turn of the 20th century. Prior to 1960s, women aspired to work in “female occupations” that were family friendly. Some of these careers include nursing, hairdressing, teaching, laundry, and other professions mainly in the service industry. These occupations had lower mean average wages compared to occupations regarded suitable for men. Women in the traditional occupations or the so-called family friendly occupations report less conflict in their work/family balance. In the 1980s, a fundamental shift occurred in the nature of occupational interest among young people. An increasing number of women began enrolling in male dominated career fields such as medicine, law, engineering, and other careers. This gave rise to conflicts in maintaining a balance between family and career.

In a study by Gerson (2010) to determine the career and family expectations for college seniors, the findings indicate that women placed little emphasis on family compared to careers (as cited in Hoffning & Williams, 2013). College seniors thus place more importance on developing their careers compared to family. However, the study findings may have been skewed since the focus of this category of students is growing their careers. Another study conducted by Deutsch, Kokot, and Binder (2007) among a socioeconomically diverse group of respondents provides contradicting results of the earlier study involving college seniors. The findings indicate that majority of respondents emphasized on career and family as key to achieving satisfaction in life. Most of the respondents desire to enter in relationships that can also enable them maintain gender-role flexibility. Both men and women perceive various challenges to achieving work/family balance, given the nature of the current corporate environment that emphasizes competition.

Although pursuing a career may pose challenges to marriage life, the benefits derived far outweigh the costs. Moreover, family size has declined considerably over the last half century. Reduced family size increases the ability of individuals to balance career and family. This is because parents have fewer children to look after compared to the earlier period. Smaller families also enable parents to provide higher standards of living among the few children. In addition, women pursuing careers are able to contribute to the gross earnings of the entire family. This increases the living standards. However, early marriage may undermine a woman’s educational attainment and hence the likelihood of obtaining employment. Early marriage leads to early childbearing, which interferes with women’s education and career plans. Younger women are more susceptible to strain and may not be able to cope with the additional workload of child rearing while continuing with their education.

In the modern world, women can comfortably pursue higher education and still support families. In the early 1990s, a large number of well-educated women (those holding graduate and professional degrees) opted to remain childless. According to Hoffning & Williams (2013), about 31 percent of well-educated women in 1994 were highly likely to remain childless. This number has significantly declined over the last two decades. Currently, more women having higher education status are getting into marriage and still pursuing a career. The study indicates that only 24 percent of the women in 2008 with higher educational status were likely to remain childless. This indicates that there is increased willingness to have children among women having higher education status. The research also indicates that these women are more likely to have smaller families. This enables them to balance work and family responsibilities. This is in line with Hatch’s assertion that modern women should participate in productive activities to earn a living.

The changing attitudes

Attitudes regarding feminism have changed over time. The attitudes held towards gender concerning work greatly determine the nature and type of work that women may engage. Individuals holding a traditionalist perspective towards work hold the view that men are the sole providers to their family while women are involved in child rearing. In the contemporary society, egalitarian values have emerged and become more acceptable across various societies. The egalitarian perspective is in favor of enhancing social equality (Deutsch, Kokot, & Binder, 2007). As such, men and women hold an equal place in the society. Both should work to contribute towards income development of the family. The egalitarian perspective asserts that women should not quit their jobs especially when their children are at a tender age. This helps ensure that women remain financially independent and contribute towards the growth of the family.

The egalitarian values require men to be active participants in the child rearing process. This ensures that mothers do not bear the total weight of the child rearing process (Deutsch, Kokot, & Binder, 2007). The fathers are expected to take leave or to decrease their total working hours in order to assist with child rearing. This is contrary to the earlier period where fathers would increase the number of hours they worked in order to cater for the entire family. Participation of fathers in the child rearing process ensures that women can handle multiple roles. Women benefit more when they are in employment, especially in situations where they enjoy the type of work they do. Mothers and fathers who embrace egalitarian principles are more likely to receive benefits of multiple roles. The changing attitudes reflect the need for women’s participation in the workplace as Hatch highlights. Currently, men are in favor of women participating in the labor force, which reflects a change of attitude from the traditionalist perspective.

The type of care a mother may wish to accord the child also determine women’s participation in the workforce. Attitudes determine the type of care a mother provides for the child. For instance, traditional women are likely to the put the needs of the child first before career (Deutsch, Kokot, & Binder, 2007). As such, they are likely to prefer quitting jobs in order to provide the best possible care to their kids. An egalitarian mother who greatly values her career may prefer having some form of arrangement for taking care of the child. Such mothers may place their children in daycare centers to enable them continue with their careers. Women who prefer taking care of their children have similar attitudes with traditional women who prefer personally taking care of their children. On the other hand, women who take their children to daycare centers have reduced anxiety levels regarding the physical separation from their children.

Over the recent past, there has been a change in attitude by men towards marrying career women who could be earning equal or higher amount. In the modern world, women are achieving high educational status in various professions previously dominated by men. The critical question is how do such changes affect marriage? Contrary to expectations, recent studies indicate that financially independent women are more likely to stay in marriage. This indicates that career women are not a threat to the married institution and neither to their husbands. Recent statistics show that about 33 percent of marriages, women are better educated comparing to their partner (Parker-Pope, 2010). Nonetheless, men on average still earn more compared to women. In 2010, 22 percent of women were the primary breadwinners to their families compared to 7% who were breadwinners in 1970. This shows the great change in attitude towards women and pursuit of higher education and careers.

The dynamic change in socioeconomic role of mothers and fathers may take some time to adapt. Nevertheless, the change surprisingly results to more sustained marital stability. Current research indicates that the dynamic shifts – women denouncing domesticity and men embracing house chores – have on average contributed to more stable marriage unions, resulting to lower rates of divorce. In the modern courtship scene, women are likely to hook up with partners who embrace egalitarian values. These are fathers ready to spend more time with their family and to encourage their wives to seek employment. According to Parker-Pope (2010), the shifts in economic roles of men and women are partly driven by the financial pressures of the 20th and 21st century. The rising cost of living has made it impossible for majority of men to cater fully towards their families’ income needs. Women supplement the family income through employment. In some cases, women are the breadwinner in their family. This is likely especially when the husband loses his job.

Kristen Hatch examines the impact of the power imbalance that exists when the wives earn more than their husbands do. The research indicates that some men are skeptical about marrying women with higher incomes than they actually make. These men argue that such women are more likely to cheat on them. Current research disputes these myths about career women being more likely to cheat on their husbands. The overall impact of women engaging in careers is that it leads to a fair or equitable union where both partners exercise some degree of freedom in decision-making. However, as Parker-Pope (2010) contends, it is not easy to adapt to the new changes in both men and women. For instance, men find it hard adjusting to their wives’ equal influence at home. On the other hand, women also find it hard to forego exclusive decision-making in matters involving domestic chores such as dressing the kids.


In the article, Kristen Hatch disputes myths that career women are more likely to cheat on their husbands. She argues that in the contemporary world where financial challenges have become a reality in most homes, men can no longer afford to be the sole breadwinners. In line with my point of view, she argues that women should refute domesticity and embrace seeking of employment opportunities. Vast volumes of literature available suggest that contrary to expectations, career women are less likely to cheat in their relationship. When both partners are earning, there is enhanced stability in the marriage. Research indicates that majority of women value careers and marriage. Achieving the two increases a woman’s satisfaction levels or happiness. The key to successful marriage and career is learning how to balance the two. The research notes that owing to a considerable reduction in family size over time, women are now better equipped to balance family and career. The study also shows that the changing economic role among men and women is not without challenges, as men and women find it difficult to adapt to the new dynamics of marriage.


Deutsch, F. M., Kokot, A. P., & Binder, K. S. (2007). College women’s plans for different types of egalitarian marriages. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 916–929. doi:10.1111/            j.1741-3737.2007.00421.x.

Hatch, K. (n.d). Girl meets boy: romantic comedies after feminism.

Hoffnung, M., & Williams, M. A. (2013). Balancing act: career and family during college-           educated women’s 30s. Sex Roles, 68: 321-334. doi:10.1007/s11199-012-0248-x

Parker-Pope, T. (2010, Jan. 22). She works. They’re happy. The New York Times.