As stressed students go into finals week,

           As stressed students go into finals week, many of them will ponder questions of: “What is my purpose?” and “Why am I here?” To answer these troubling questions society will make you feel as if you were labeled, stereotyped, and forced to live a certain way that society chooses. However, in order to get a more enlightening answer we look to Sartre, who said: “What all existentialists have in common is the fundamental doctrine that existence precedes essence.” (Sartre readings, pg. 348-349) What he is saying is that we are all born as independent individuals, without any collective purpose or “guidelines” if you will.         Our purpose, or essence as Sartre describes, is not what others expect from us, but instead letting our consciousness have control over ourselves. We must proceed with caution, as some may think they can define themselves and become whatever they want. While, believing that you are of a certain essence, you will also be defined by our actions, which requires responsibility. You must be obedient and follow and live by your own actions or “standards.” Sartre stated, “Man first of all exists, encounters himself. Surges in the world, and defines himself afterwards.” (Sartre readings, p. 349) If you believe you are a good person, but your actions towards people are negative, the existentialist will then define you as not being a good person.         Looking at life, you have to realize there’s no ultimate source of authority. Existentialists do not believe in this “rule book” that’s handed down from generation to generation telling you exactly what to do. For example, you have this empty notebook, there’s no story inside, no instructions, but you have to write the story. You have to approach this book and be able to figure out what to write as you go. This explains the essence of essential moral choice.  We each need to take responsibility. Your parents, government, and religion may play a big part in your life, but only you are in charge of your own actions. Our existence can be best described as one big project that leads to our purpose. You have to take into account that society will copy your decisions. Sartre stated that, “Everything happens to every man as though the whole human race had its eyes fixed upon what he is doing and regulated it conducts accordingly.” (Sartre readings, p. 352) Therefore, you must take noble moral action when choosing your purpose. When you have that much responsibility, that society is doing everything you do, in order to create anguish. You might pretend you don’t have the responsibility but the anguish you create does not go away. There remains a gap between what you are capable of expressing and what you actually express and in that gap is anguish. Our soul wants us to do more and we must strive to live by the level of Arete. If we can live by the true level of Arete will can experience the idea of eudaimonia of everything being good and feeling good.         The biblical story of Abraham and Isaac deal with the idea of a higher power in charge of all decisions. Abraham was visited by an angel that sent a message. The angel told him he must sacrifice his own son to prove his love for God. Abraham had two options; kill his son for God, or let his son live and disobey God. One might say that he would be crazy to kill his own son, and very hard to do nonetheless. But, God holds such a great responsibility that Abraham must follow Him. God saw that Abraham was indeed faithful to him that he allowed Isaac to live. This goes to show that people in high positions hold a great responsibility to show people below them how they should treat one another.         Now being a stressed college student during finals myself, I can breathe easy knowing all the power is in my hands and I’m able to make my own decisions. There is no guidebook to assist me. My choices will determine how I go about life. I will be held responsible for all my actions of making myself who I am.What is truth? Truth is the correspondence between mind and reality. We tend to think of truth when you get rid of all the bias and you’re left with your own interpretation. The truth has been conceptualized by the remains itself that can be justified and explained. It’s a sense of pride that is a progression of more knowledge. We must present ourselves with a drive for truth. We all carry ideas that truth tends to stand for the way things are.         When Nietzsche said: “Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions; they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force.” (Nietzsche readings, p. 84) An example of this would be the word mouse. Most of today’s generation would define the word mouse as a controlling device used for your computer rather than the old notion of an small animal with a tail and squeaks. Another example would be the word apple. Most of today’s generation would define apple as a brand before the old notion of being fruit. What Nietzsche is trying to explain is that ideas or forms hold a purpose or a defined definition and all due time those definitions get changed or lost in translation and become something more relevant to today’s society.         Nietzsche considers concepts and ideas goes through a process. The first step is taking the things themselves, which we called it the mysterious X. When you encounter some X, it gets translated by your iris and is stimulated by light and your lens widens. This involves the brain and other senses being alerted to use nerve stimulation. Our sense receptors affect other parts of our body and mind to be alert. The light is then refracted and flipped through lens and lands on your retinal wall, you have an image in your mind of what is being seen. This get translated and you use a word as a name to describe what you have seemed to see in your mind. Then two things happen, part one, an image in our head appears, our mind translates the reception into the mental image into a name/word. Then part two, a sound-image of the head-image along with language, we can then translate the reception into the mental image into a name/word. This makes sense because we are social beings. Then the final product you are left with is the “truth” or the thing itself of the concept or idea. We tend to think “truth,” reality, and what things really are is constituted by the things in themselves in perceiving the world involves encountering those things. Let’s take a chair for example. Our brain is using past experience to identify the mysterious x to us. Our nerves are stimulated, we interpret what has happened is a particular shape, color, mass in front of us. We name that image “chair.” Later, we find somethings that are similar in many experiences or head-images, forget what is different, and use the same name to apply them. Forgetting the differences, we now use the name as a concept, and say it caused the images. We think there special features that define a chair, that makes us call it a “chair,”  Therefor, the original form that every chair is just a copy of itself and this is what causes chairs to be chairs.     For the most part it’s good that society has common conception. Common conception makes living in a society bearable. But it’s also good to have different viewpoints and opinions with others. Life would be more difficult if someone called a cat a fish and someone else called it a bird, nothing would get accomplished. Even Though, we do have some opposing views as a society, we can agree that we perceive most things the same. But we can’t really know the truth of what things really are, because we are only allowed to see things as humans do.    Dear concerned parents,         I’m writing to you regarding to explaining Mills’ explanation on race. To start off,  Mills’ explanation of race is considered a constructive objectivity, meaning it is historically and socially created and formed. Constructivism is very real, it is considered real because everyone is categorized and identified as a certain race, then placed into a particular place in the racial system. There are two racial systems, horizontal and vertical. The horizontal racial system probably has never existed, considering historical patterns of political, economic, and social power was never equally balanced or distributed between races. The vertical racial system has been relevantly present. At birth, you are defined into a particular slot at birth which deals with connection to historical patterns of exploitation and discrimination.         With regard to disagreeing with your point. Mills wants you to have the independence of beliefs and opinions on race. Someone who thinks objectively believes natural human races are determined by nature, not by society, but races are natural kinds of humans. Meaning that there are racial essence to humans and that race is part of what we are.  We know from biology and anthropology that racial realism is false. Humans do not actually break into natural kinds. Genetic information can tell us there is no “kinds” within human.         Racism has always been an issue. Some would suggest we are better not talking about race issues. There’s our first problem, our generation isn’t confident to take a stand and educating themselves on the race issue. By educating our students to see different viewpoints from race will allow them to be more accepting of race. The hope it that someday we can change from a vertical system of race and balance the power in a horizontal system.Sincerely, Sara Brown