Monday, October 16, 2006

Contemporary Values

Please respond on one of the following:

1. Do you see evidence of the world views of the Puritans and Rationalists around you today? Think especially of debates about government, social welfare, and self improvement. Write down a few of your observations about Puritanism and Raitonalism in Americsn public life today. Give examples.

2. Consider the Purtian values in light of what you see often as the materilaistc, celebrity-crazed culture of America.

How many Purtian beliefs are still valued in America? Do Americans admire self-made people people who have built careers through hard work or do they consider get-rich-quick schemes a better route to security? Is modesty still a virtue, or has self promotion knocked it off its pedastal? Be sure to back up opinions with logical arguments.

19 Comments:

Blogger Sheldon said...

I think that there are people who didplay each of these. Those who are puritanical would normally be religious. following everything the bible says literally. however, puritanical does not limit a group to just the puritans and religion. I think any one who studies or agrees with a subject 100% like voting for one political party over the other< without giving any second thought into< rationalizing the views of other peoples political parties or beliefs> could be easily classified as puritanical.
Because of peoples puritanical craze towards things, i think that could even be an essential cause of hate or greed. For instance believing your view is completely correct and disregaurding anyone elses view as remotely corre t. Could lead to hate and greed in being the only person who can be right.
I think it is important for a rationalists view to be present in every one, because it gives people open mindess to others ideas, and and does not insigate a hate, but more an expanding learning environment.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Eric S. said...

The value of education is a Puritain value that is still important in America today. Education is still highly valued whereas hard work is only valued by some. Hard work and thrift were very important to the Puritains and to some people today are just as important. The problem is, is that there are also many people in America who would love to have the riches without the hard work involved. The people who get rich quick and easy are admired by some out of pure jealousy, but the people who have worked to get to where they are are admired far more out of respect. I respect those people who have rolled up their sleeves and have overcome hard times to live the good life. The people who win the lottery I loathe because I wish that would happen to me.
I believe modesty is a virtue that all of us would enjoy having, but human nature is to point out your accomplishments to others. One saying that is tossed around at Arapahoe is, "Do what is right, even when no one is watching." This to me shows that modesty is still valued in our society, it is just human nature to desire acknowledgement for an accomplishment.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Christopher P. said...

I think rationalism is showing up more and more. in the area of religion vs. science i believe religion is a easy way out. I believe that one of the reasons religion exists is because its an easy way to explain anything: why does ____? religion can say because god made it that way. Those who use rationalism and therefore science, find a reason that doesn't require blind faith. You can prove it.
Rationalism is also showing up in goverments and how they interact with each other. It used to be a country would just do whatever it wanted, against another counrty. Now diplomats are looking at the immediate impact, but also long term impact.
The more we think rationly, the less mistakes we make, and the ones we do make don't have as big of an impact, usually.

I think people admire those who go from rags to riches through lots of hard work and sacrifice; but at the same time don't blame those who try the get rich quick schemes. I think modesty is dying with all the self promoting out there. The best example is celebraties. They are always self promoting; they cna do it by just showing they're faces.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Alison B said...

2. I think that today people are too caught up in what others are doing, and getting rich fast with doing little work. Many people are very lazy and don't want to work hard to make their living. Most people want an easy job that will get them rich. Back in Puritan times though, they believed in working hard to get where you are. Also they didn't worry as much about others and what was going on in their lives but to live simply accordingly to the Bible.
I think that today not many Puritan beliefs are valued today and if they are not as much as back then. People still value others who work hard to get where they are at. But most people would wish to get rich by not doing much work. Lots of people dont want to do something they are inerested in because it will take too much work, they would rather do something that is easy and get lots of money for it. People are always talking about the daily grind of work but hardly ever talk about what they got out of the day or how well it went. Modesty is not gone all together, lots of people still admire those who are modest about what they have accomplished, but people love to look at others and know all about their lives. For example magazines used to have models on the covers, but now they are covered with celebrities because people want to see who will show up there next or who is in the public eye the most at the moment.

3:32 PM  
Blogger james b. said...

I think that there are many puritan ideas in this world today still. But I dont really admire the people that get rich easily.I dont think thats fair because like people who gat rich because they inharited money from their grandparents are usually taking that for granted because they have probably been rich their whole lives and they dont know what its like to not have a lot of money in their pockets all the time. I think that if you want to get rich you should work to get it. Thats a very big privilage to be extremely wealthy. exept for the fact that most of the people that work hard and are rich seem to not like the job or career that they have. To the puritans hard work is very important. I agree with that.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Billy N. said...

2. I think our culture worships celebrities and their family affairs way too much. I think the puritan belief of working hard is valued. Part of the american dream is being wealthy. Not very many people who are rich got there by get-rich-quick schemes. Hard work in school(high-school and college)is required to be recognized by a large corportation. In fact the value of a college degree has gone down because of the pursuit of this ruitine.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Adam S said...

Certainly there are a good amount of Puritan beliefs still valued in America today, such as towns working together to help each other. If a neighbor is sick people will generally pitch in to help with things such as cutting the grass or making dinner for the sick person. I think the idea of community is still held by many Americans, although this belief is dieing out based on there being larger communities and people that could not be bothered with one another. Essentially the American dream is to get rich quick, however, all Americans appreciate hard working individuals who have strived through many shortcomings to make their way to the top. Modesty has certainly been lost over the last two decades or so. Turn on anything on MTV and you cannot help but see immodesty running rampant. Personal connection is lost, and the word love is now synonomous with sex. The two are not the same thing. People are now willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top, even if it means giving up their dignity. It is very hard to find women who still want to have children and a family and more than just a good time. Modesty has definetly been lost.

9:28 PM  
Blogger chelby C. said...

I believe there are people in this world today that are Puritan . There are some people in this world who do everything and anything that the bible tells them what to do and what not to do.Purtains values have to do with Edcuation and toady in out society Edcuation is very important. Purtains believe in hard work , and when you work hard it pays off , and mostly in society today if you work hard then you can get futher in life.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Kellen G said...

The only example of true Puritanical views left in society today would be the amish. They take the Bible word for word. The most recent example would be the shootings at the amish school house in Pennsylvania. The family that lost their daughter immediately went to the family of the shooter and forgave him. In the Bible it says forgive those who trustpast against you. I'm not sure of many other people that would forgive a person/family that just took one of theirs out of this world. In general though there are'nt many others who take this puritanical view on life. On whether or not people admire those who live a nice life the blue collar way or the get rich quick way, I believe they are both admired, but only one is respected. I admire those who get it done right rather than take the easy way out becuase when you work for it, it only makes you stronger in the game of life. When someone wins the lottery, or goes big in Vegas thats all well and cool, but not respectful. Tiger Woods is a respectful figure beacuse he has had to work for everything he has, and has earned all his success. When he was young he was'nt aloud to play some courses because of his ethnical background. Now he is the face of the entire golf world. To quote Jack Nichelson "no one is going to give it to you in this world, you have to take it." I like this quote one, because it's in a great movie "The Departed," and two, because it speaks volume to the reality of todays society. Not many people are looking for ways to help each other out. So in that sense yes you do have to give some self promotion. Modesty is definately noticed though. If I knew anything about the "real world," which I dont becuase I'm just a teenager, I would assume that others notice modesty as a good characteristic to have. I know I do, in the "fake world," of course. This is my take on the second question to the blog response.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Stephanie S. said...

I still believe that there is still Puritian beleifs around. There are people show still interpet the bible exactly hopw it is written, which could be the amish. Their is still a craze towards perfection, look at the celebrities today and how they try to percect their bodies. The perfection these days might not be religous but more of appearance.
Rationalism is becoming more popular, it lets people interpet Gods word differently.I think Rationalism lets people have the freedoms they want. It lets them stand up for what they believe.

11:03 PM  
Blogger JackS said...

In this world today I think that puritan belifs are everywhere around us, they just arent taken as extreme as past puritans have. We still believe today that if you are a bad person in life you go to hell and if you're good you go to heaven. Rationalist beliefs are even more evident now than puritan belifs ever were because, of the increase in knowledge of his time period. We are taught to think for ourselves at a young age and this enables us to rationilize with ourselves. In public life and in the media you see almost no puritan values because, that is not what people want to see, they want to see spuratic behavior and values. When it comes to what the American people value now, we want to believe that the hard working man that works to the top should get more admiration, but on the inside all Americans truly admire the quick short cuts to success. Its hard to find a modest person now-a-days because what life really had become is a big compitition, everyone is trying to get every edge they can in the game of life.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Troy B said...

Today there are many paths to choose from in life and for the most part people don't believe that they were her for a reason. And most of us would probably choose the get rich quick method, because due to credit cards and other things people are sinking further and further into debt and want a quick way out of it rather then take the long sure way. And i think there is no real modesty anymore because people want it all right now and can't wait even the shortest amount of time to get it like the lottery or like you said the get rich quick schemes tjey now tend to get more peoples attention.

12:08 AM  
Blogger Soo K. said...

I believe that some Puritan values are still valued, but not many. I think that self-made people make up the American society. I believe that hard work has created admirers. People like Bill Gates has worked hard to build a company like Microsoft and people admire him for his success. This is an example of America. The get-rich scheme is criticized in the U.S. though. People that have inherited money are largely criticized, especially celebrities such as Paris Hilton. But yet she is now making money for herself with a music, fashion, and movie career. Although she does work for herself now, I do not think she should be admired for getting the jobs just because her father was rich. I believe that modesty is a virtue, but people like celebrities have taken self-promotion too far. I know I am sick of looking at tabloids showing what Paris Hilton has put out to the world for others to buy, such as her cd. Because she does absurd things, she is promoting herself more and more, which makes people buy her items that she has put out on the market. Today, self-promotion has been taken too far and I believe that if a part of Puritan values was adapted to the self-promotion of celebrities, there wouldn't be so much pointless news about what other people did.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Andrew M said...

I believe that both rationalism and puritanism exist in society today. Puritan values exist in society as virtues that people strive for such as celibacy and although not all people live by these virtues it is often looked down upon and kept a secret when that person does not. People also have turned to rationalism and viewed these celebrities immortal to the point that people will pay thousands of dollars just for thier signature. We need to respect the hard working person more and stop fixating ourselves on people who didn't even become rich the right way. People have many rationalist and puritan values in society today and i believe that a balance is necessary for a well rounded individual.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Janessa S. said...

I think that a lot of the origional Puritian values have gone away in our culture because of how dirty and sex crazed our society has become. I think that the only real values that are left are the values of a good education and common sense. I mean look at the world around us, hardly anyone anymore dresses modestly or respects the values of the Christian faith. The few that do that are the ones that value it. I'm not saying that everyone is influenced by out smut-covered world I'm just saying that more and more people tend to follow the stream of the social circle rather then go against the grain and do something that they think is best for them.

2:47 PM  
Blogger nicolec said...

1. There are definatly still evidence of Puritian views around today. For instance the seperation of church and state I believe came largely from the Puritians because of the mistakes that were made. It is important to have personal religious beliefs put aside for logical governmental rule.
However, our country is primarily a Christian country and that mirrors the great impact that the Puritians had on our society. Puritians valued education, morals, hard work, and religion. Those things are still admired and reveired today.
Although more emphasis is generally put on success and not the steps to get there, it is hard to be successful without morals, and hard work. Throughout Americas history Puritians have made a large impact on the very word success in an American mind.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Roxy S. said...

2. I think that, of the purtian beliefs, in America we still value group congregation. It is common for us to do things in groups: such as sporting events, political events, and even personal enjoyment, like taste of colorado and peoples fair. I think that Americans admire self-made people much more deep down, but that it is those who "get rich quick" that recieve the physical admiration. In my own personal opinion, I would like to believe that modesty is a key virtue, but I cannot help but think that self promotion has knocked it off its pedestal in todays society. It is much more often those people that win the lottery that we hear about on the news instead of those hard workers that finally make it. You can tell modesty is dwindling when you see election advertisement everywhere, and personal recognition on every business and even simple home adress signs.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Michael M said...

In my views we are QUICKLEY moving away from Puritan ideas and some of the Rationalist ideas. However we are stressing the ability to think for your self in today’s society. I think America loves both types of people the get-rich quick and the hard workers. Again security is how you define it a lot like the American Dream. I will say that I absolutely love that we are going away from these terrible racist views from the Puritan era and moving actually to what will create peace in today’s world. With each day passing we are getting rid of more and more Puritan values. The difference between them and us is that we think for ourselves and do not let some book (Bible) tell us how we are going to live our lives. A great example is modesty, look at people today and people back then. I mean look at the way people dress back then, I’m sure you would be put in prison for dressing the way we do today. We are pushing the limits with what we can get away with in terms of clothes. They are becoming more risqué everyday. We are falling away from clothes or even looking proper. Another example is the way people use the language. We don’t like writing words out so we abbreviate or create words to have more than one meaning. For example, the word two is spelled like that but today we like writing 2. We also use curse words more like everyday language. I myself do not agree with such words because they do not exist. The idea that a word makes you feel bad is so primitive and stupid I would hope that we have evolved a little more from the apes. To sum all of this up I believe that we adopt things that work for the human race, obviously racism and other ideas from the Puritans didn’t work for us so we are getting rid of the old ideas and in with the new, more improved ideas!

10:21 AM  
Blogger DanielB said...

I think that puritan valuesw are still here bacause yoou see hard working people everywhere. There are a small majority that doesnt have to work hard to get money but most of the country is working hard. But then there are other things that show that those values are slipping away. For instance the morals of our country are going away more and more things are being made ok to do and its not helping our country.

11:44 AM  

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