In these final eight days, you will be presenting your author study work, wrapping up your term BLA, nervously awaiting your essay grade, nervously wondering what kinds of mischief the final exam will entail, and all kinds of other mentally-taxing, and emotionally-draining experiences. And then it will be over and you will move on to other, less important classes.
Today, we looked at these four prompts at the end of class. I asked you to jot down a few ideas about how you might respond to one of them and now, I'm asking to to go a little further. For your blog post this weekend, please respond to one of the prompts from class however you'd like to. If you want to use this as an opportunity to construct a solid exam-worthy response, go for it, but if you'd like to be a bit more casual or creative or interpretive in your response, that's a-ok, too.
1. Read and think carefully about the following quotation from Voltaire: “It is dangerous to be right in matters about which the established authorities are wrong.” Then write an essay in which you refute, support, or qualify Voltaire’s claim. Make sure to use appropriate evidence from literary, historical, or personal sources to develop your argument.
2. From talk radio to television shows, from popular magazines to Web blogs, ordinary citizens, political figures, and entertainers express their opinions on a wide range of topics. Are these opinions worthwhile? Does the expression of such opinions foster democratic values? Then write an essay in which you take a position on the value of such public statements of opinion, supporting your view with appropriate evidence.
3. Socrates is known to have said first said what is know known as the philosopher’s credo: “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Is he right? Use appropriate evidence from literature, history, or your own personal experience to support your claim.
4. In "The Singer Solution to World Poverty," an article that appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics, calls attention to the urgent need for food and medicine in many parts of the world. Singer argues that prosperous people should donate to overseas aid organizations such as UNICEF or Oxfam America all money not needed for the basic requirements of life. "The formula is simple: whatever money you're spending on luxuries, not necessities, should be given away." Write an essay in which you evaluate the pros and cons of Singer's argument. Use appropriate evidence as you examine each side, and indicate which position you find more persuasive.