Tuesday, May 1, 2018

“The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility.”

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Knowledge is important to the world and how we understand it. Knowledge leads to groundbreaking discoveries and can affect the future of the world we live in. With the possession of knowledge you have a choice of how you will handle the knowledge. There is the choice to use it for good or for bad, but it is more than that. There are ethical decisions that have to be made with the possession of knowledge like what to do with the knowledge, who do you share the knowledge with, and how do you want to affect the world with this knowledge.
Knowledge holders are responsible for what they do with the knowledge that they have or gain. The possession of knowledge is the same in human sciences. Human sciences include sociology, anthropology, psychology,etc. Psychologists possess knowledge about people's lives and personality. Do they sell it for their own personal gain or do they respect their clients privacy and keep their information to themselves? This is the ethical responsibility that psychologist have. Another area of knowledge that ethical responsibility applies to is natural sciences, which include biology, chemistry, physics, etc. Whenever scientist make a discovery about something, they have an ethical choice of what to do with the knowledge. They have to decide whether to keep the knowledge to themselves, give it to others for free, or to sell it for profit. In natural science an example of this would be health studies. Most health knowledge has to be paid for or most knowledge about health is put into some product that claims to solve a health problem. The ethical dilemma here is the profit gained off of people’s health problems.
Who I share the knowledge with is also an ethical responsibility that comes with the possession of knowledge. There is the choice of sharing the knowledge with someone I trust that is going to use it for good and to help people or to keep it to myself. For example, in the human sciences, psychologists have found in a experiment that teacher’s expectations affected how well a student did. The psychologists experiment showed this by labeling one group of children “bright” and another group of children “less bright”. The two groups of children are not different academically. The children in the group labeled “bright” had a greater academic process than the children in the group labeled “less bright”. Psychologists have a sort of ethical responsibility to give this new knowledge to teachers so that it can be applied to the education of children. In natural science an example of this would be the discovery of pesticides in the romaine lettuce supply. Even though profits would lower, there is an ethical responsibility to share the knowledge about the pesticides to the consumers.
The effect that my knowledge will have on the world and how it will impact it is another ethical factor with the possession of knowledge. How will this knowledge impact society? Is it good or bad? In human sciences, the experimentation on human is an ethical factor that human scientist have to consider. The experiment conducted could hurt or traumatize the test subjects. An example of this is a well known study named The Milgram Experiment. This experiment made the test subjects think that they were shocking a person, but the person was actually an actor who was not really being shocked. The test subject, whom knew nothing about it being fake, left the experiment traumatized. This shows the ethical consequences that come with the experimentation to prove the knowledge of something. In natural sciences an example of this is the prolonged ethical controversy over stem cells being derived from embryos. Scientist knowledge of knowing that the destruction of embryos is morally wrong effects the research of stem cells derived from embryos. If scientist decide to release the information about how stem cells are derived, then people can decide if they want to use this kind of medical treatment or not. As an alternative, scientist could choose to keep the information about where the stem cells are derived to themselves to increase the use of the medical treatment. It would be there ethical responsibility to choose. The knowledge of stem cells also carry the ethical responsibility with the experimentation on embryos. This is, because you must consider human life and if the embryo has the same status as a person.
The possession of knowledge carries an ethical consideration when life is used for experimentation. It also has an ethical responsibility when it will affect the world around you or someone other than yourself. Ethical responsibility is within human science and natural science. The ethical responsibility in each are very similar. They both have an ethical responsibility in what you do with the knowledge, who to share it with, and how it will affect people.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Are soft sciences harder that hard sciences?

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The other day, the theory of knowledge class that I am in discussed the characteristics of the soft versus the characteristics of the hard sciences. Soft sciences include sciences such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, and economics. Hard sciences include biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics. We realized at first that the soft sciences maybe harder than hard sciences, but some swayed more to hard sciences being the hardest.
In hard sciences, there are formulas and equations that aid in you finding an answer. Hard sciences have rulers and the metric system to allow the measurements of things. For example, the equation for the gravitational force between two objects allows for calculation in physics, chemical equations allows chemists and biologists to describe the chemical reactions that happen around us, and mathematical equations are used by mathematicians to come to a solution.
In soft sciences, there are no definite or strict formulas and equations. It is hard to quantify or measure someone's emotions or pain. This is, because someone's perception of a feeling my be different from someone else's perception of that same pain. For example, a doctor uses a 1 to 10 pain scale and asks a patient with a broke arm to quantify his pain on this scale. The patient says his pain is a 8. The the doctor asks another patient with a cut the same question and the patient says 8 as well. Neither patient is wrong, because the scale is defiant. Each person's perception of pain and where it would be on a scale is different. Therefore there aren't rules or formulas for a a quality of a person's emotions.
So which science is harder?
Much of the world's opinion is that hard sciences are harder. However, I argue that soft sciences are harder. Unlike hard sciences, you can't use an equation or algorithms to solve or come to a solution in soft sciences such as psychology and sociology. In hard sciences, you have variables that you identify and can control. In soft sciences, there are countless variables and none of which you can control.
So what does this say about the world?
The world views soft sciences as easier, because it doesn't involve calculations, numbers, and doesn't involve controlled variables. However, soft sciences' lack of numbers, quantities, and controlled variables is what makes it difficult to solve problems in human sciences such as the debate of 'Nurture vs Nature'.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Balance in the Human Sciences and the Natural Sciences

Human sciences and Natural Sciences are different in the studies and ideas that they address. However, many of their concepts overlap. The concept of pressure was discussed in my class. There was atmospheric pressure and then there was peer pressure. These involve two very different fields, but the idea is somewhat all the same. There is pressure weighing down on the body, which is atmospheric pressure. Then there is psychological pressure weighing down on you, which is peer pressure.
In the human sciences, there is the concept of Balance Theory. It is an idea in psychology that we want to maintain psychological stability, so we form relationships that balance our likes and dislikes. If there are three friends and they all have positive relationships with each other, they are considered to be in a balanced state. If two of the friends start to dislike one another, then that leaves that one friend in an unbalanced state, because the one friend is still in a positive relationship with the other two friends. In an unbalanced state, the person is psychologically uncomfortable.
In the natural sciences, the concept of balance also exists. In Biology it it better known as Homeostasis, which is the process by which the body maintains normal conditions for things like temperature, grow rate, and heart rate. When the process of homeostasis in a human is working as normal, then that human is "comfortable", because the body is reacting and adjusting to its conditions.
The concept of balance in the two sciences are similar. Human sciences is just psychological balance and natural sciences is homeostasis. Both are in a comfortable and functional state when balanced.

Sources: https://study.com/academy/lesson/balance-theory-in-psychology-definition-examples.html

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Reflection on Proposal

This new grading proposal has the advantage of having a say on how I think I did. This will change the effort that I put into the work in the course by forcing me to predict the grade I should get. What I mean is that I feel like I will put more into my work, because I have to reflect on what I did and how is goes with the IB Learner Profile in front of the teacher.
The culture of the class might change by that it is less stress of just getting the grade and more importance of discussing and get ideas out. The class will be more focused on the concepts and not just getting the work done.
This grading proposal also has drawbacks, like, with my previous experiences with teachers that practiced proposals similar to this one. In the moment of the grade conference, I tend to put my work on a low scale, even when I previously thought that it was amazing. Consequently, when I get asked the grade I think I should get on my work, I will say a grade lower than what I really think to avoid being let down or corrected. However, I think I can get over this by being more assertive in what I think about my work.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Plato's Cave Essay Reflection

About two months ago, I wrote an essay over Plato's Cave. The requirements of the essay was to connect Plato's Allegory of the Cave to real world or personal examples. I also had to include some ways of knowing that are in play in the allegory.
I decided to approach Plato's allegory of the Cave by relating it the media and its influence on me. I decided to include was faith and reason. I compared the faith of the people in the cave to my faith in the news and media I was watching. I also compared the the cave people's reasoning of their reality to the reasoning of my reality. I decide to take this approach to my essay, because at the time I could closely relate it to my experience and it made sense to me.
However, as I look back at the essay I see some things that I would change. For example, I see that I need to transition my paragraphs better. I also need to elaborate on my ideas a little more. One of my paragraphs need more clarity and needs to be cleaned up. If I were to write the essay again, I would change a couple of my ideas. For example, I would change faith in my essay to sense perception. I would do this, because I can better explain sense perceptions presence in Plato's Cave and in my real world example. Which is that like the people in the cave, I believed in my reality because I could see it with my own eyes. The news, like the shadows in the cave, show you pictures that further believe that what you are seeing is the truth.
There are also a lot of things in my essay that I would keep that I like and still hold true to this day. Like my real world example is good and I like it. Also, my details of my experience in relation to the details in the Plato's cave, such as the truth-bringer in the cave and in my experience, is good. I would keep my other way of knowing which is reason, but I would just better explain it.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cultural Feast

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The food that I chose which is important to me is baked blueberry muffins. I did this not because it's necessarily cultural to my background, but is a big part of my family. Even though I haven't had one of these tasty muffins for at least two years now, I still find the smell and the thought of them warming and comforting.
I know I could've just made vegan muffins, but vegan muffins don't replace the memory of those little muffins. In those small tasteful muffins are a life full of memories with family and friends. We use to make them throughout the year. Most of the time it was just during the fall and winter holidays though. Therefore now is coincidently a good time for them.
On Christmas Eve when I was little my aunt used to slave over the kitchen to make enough muffins for the whole family. We would sit around, eat, and play games. There are a variety of foods we used to eat on Christmas Eve that I could of chose from, but the blueberry muffins was the only one that was able to warm a cold heart after coming into the house on a freezing winter day.
This food was also my favorite, because on Christmas Eve we also did a contest with the muffins. My aunt would fill the middle with either M&Ms or a piece of a chocolate bar. Then the person who ended up with the muffin with M&Ms inside won the prize. The prize was most of the time a gift bag with candy. Because this went along with my favorite tradition with these muffins, I decided to do the tradition with the class. Whoever wins gets the muffin with the M&Ms inside wins.

To conclude, the muffins comfortable feeling reminds me of the comfort and warmth I feel with my family. When I smell blueberry muffins, I can't help but to think of home. This family food favorite of mine might not be much, but the memories I share with this food is many.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


I watched this podcast on bubble-hopping. In the podcast it starts off with this story of a woman who wanted to study the reality of a dog. To do so, she used what dogs use most which is smell. By doing this, she was able to experience the world of dogs. The podcast then gets to this man who realized his daily routine and the limitation of it. He then decided to experience other realities by using an app that he created that helped him to bubble-hop. He attended events that were out of his comfort zone and that differed from his daily routine. This podcast takes you through the world of bubble-hopping and shows the different ways to experience a reality other than your own.
The podcast gave me the idea that to experience a bubble different from our own we must find the important factor that makes the two bubbles different. For example, the lady in the podcast searched for a way to experience a dog's reality and to see what a dog sees. She came to the conclusion that to do this she must use the factor that is important to their bubble and their way of life. That factor is smell.
Another idea I got from the podcast was that personal bubbles are conformed to your ideas. I thought about this idea that was expressed in the podcast and thought about how it relates to me. It made me think about the ideas that I believe in and what I do based on them. For example, my idea on religion shapes my routine in that I go to church every Sunday and my idea on the importance of cheerleading is why I show up to every practice on schedule. My ideas are somewhat my motivation for my daily routine.
From the man's experience I got an idea that I found interesting from the podcast which is that computers, unlike humans, don't have a preference or a bubble. This idea is what helped me get why the man in the podcast programmed an app and allowed the app to choose the events he went to, so that he could step out his own bubble and into to someone else's bubble.
The podcast as a whole raised the question: How are we as whole stuck in the our own bubbles and not noticing it? It reminds of the fish in the bowl video where where the fish realizes this is water which is metaphoric for their reality. However, it's not everyone's reality. People's realities differ from each other. Realities even differ from species to species. We go on about our day to day schedule and don't sit back and realize that we are stuck in our own bubble and to get out of that bubble, we need to experience someone else's bubble and do something different.