Book Report on Philosophy

This essay has a total of 2622 words and 12 pages.


Wilson uses the word “consilience” in regards to various academic disciplines
by stating that thinking clear thoughts about specific fields can only be done through the
use of the coherence (consilience) between them. Wilson describes the importance of
integrating what we know from natural science with our knowledge of social science and the
humanities in order to tackle many of society’s daily concerns. (ie poverty,
overpopulation, abortion.) An example of a “consilience” explanation to a
given phenomenon is claustrophobia.

- Sociological – Claustrophobia can be intensified, if not caused by experiencing
first hand a bomb exploding inside a building and then begin trapped inside for a certain
period of time.

- Psychological – People like to know they can always go outside if and when they
please. This makes people feel free and uninhibited. An explosion inside a building
creating entrapment causes the mind to panic. People’s psychological makeup enables
them to stay calm for only a short

period of time.
- Biological – Biologically speaking, the body’s composition of nerves will
cause a person’s blood pressure to rise as well as more blood pumping to the heart
causing it to beat faster.

- Physics – Because no one can predict how much time on has before a building would
crumble had it been bombed, the law of physics would discuss the description and
prediction of the heat and the atoms in order to say when and if the building would fall
to the ground.

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The MEME theory can be compared to an idea behavior that causes people to use the same
pattern. Some examples are catch phrases, slogans, chain letters or fashions. Memes are a
contagious information pattern that replicates by making the human mind alter it’s
behavior so it uses the same simple pattern. Memes are different than genes because we are
genetically predisposed to adopt our parents genetic make up. Memes on the other hand are
not genetically predisposed, they are created and exchanged through society. Genes are not
necessarily a tangible object where as a meme can be. For example chain letters. The
reason certain religions are more successful than others in terms of popularity is the US
is because of the desire to achieve happiness and inner peace. Take for example the (meme)
slogan, “Jesus loves you,” or “if you believe in Jesus, you will go to
heaven, if you don’t you will burn in hell.” Both of these slogans are slogans
in society created and replicated by the Christian faith to promote their religion. People
in today’s society read something to believe in whether it’s real or not. If
millions of people can believe that Jesus, a Jew, rose from the cross and is the Messiah,
then the above slogans must be doing the trick because Christian make up the religious
majority in the US. Many people want a fairy tale “like” religion to believe
in, not necessarily a realistic, factual religion like Judaism. Christians use the meme
theory quite often when promoting their religion door to door. They missionaries use roman
slogans such as “come and be saved” to promote the theory that Jesus died for
people’s sins, so come and join in the worship of him. The Jewish religion on the
other hand will always be the minority which is a credible characteristic because common
phrases and slogans to promote what is supposed to be a sacred and personal journey will
never be used.

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The evolutionary theory helps in understanding human migration, cultural development and
social identity because in many ways all of these three aforementioned concepts are
somewhat interlinked. For example, the world was not always such an organized system of
countries and states. The world was once a mass of land sectors with different people
inhabiting them. As times begun to get hard in one place, people would migrate to other
places seeking happiness or freedom. As people move from one place to another, they tend
to pick up the different cultural traits (characteristics) and slowly adapt to them. The
evolutionary theory helps in understanding this human migration because as people evolve
and babies are born, they must adapt to their environment. For example, a Chinese born
baby is transported to the middle of South Africa. This Chinese born baby will eventually
grow up in a completely different environment than which it was made to originally survive
in, but because humans are made to adapt to change and so is the human body, that Chinese
baby will accept it's new environment. This is how human migration is made possible.
Cultural development then follows. The Chinese born baby will grow up in South Africa and
become part of this new culture which will eventually become very familiar to him/her.
There are basic instincts which humans tend to follow regardless of where they are. So,
although the people may be different from what a Chinese baby would expect to grow up
with, the Chinese baby will be culturally accepted because at such an early age, he/she
would not know any better than to just follow the South African cultural norms. As the
Chinese baby grows up, he/she will gain a social identity of his/her own. He/She will
either like the environment he is in or he will migrate somewhere else, become part of a
new culture and find himself/herself a new social identity. Therefore one can see how
human migration, cultural development, and social identity interlink one another, and can
also see why there are so many different people that make up the world we live in today.

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- Muslims fast for one month during Ramadan
- Judaism - Jewish people fast once a year on Yom Kippur
- Islam scripture is the Quran
- Judaism’s scripture is the Torah
- Muslims pray at a mosque, Jewish people pray in a synagogue
- Muslims practice G-d’s law through people called Ulama
- Jewish people are taught by Rabbis
- Muslims worship G-d five times a day. Jewish people do not have a set number of times to
worship, but generally pray three times a day, morning, noon, and night.

- Muslims celebrate the Sabbath on Friday, Jewish people celebrate on Saturday.
- Islam follows the teachings of Mohammad, Jewish people follow the teachings of Moses.
- In Islam, G-d's law is through the "shariah". In Judaism it is in the Ten Commandments.

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The notion of race is biologically obsolete yet culturally viable because as accurate as
the notion is about humans deriving from Africa, every culture has adopted the fact that
among the people in society there are different races that exist . Many people compare one
place to another using memes like, “in their culture” to actually describe a
different race. It is not so much that race is biologically obsolete, it is that people
have accepted the idea that if people look differently than themselves, they must belong
to a different culture. For example, people from an Asian descent have very narrow shaped
eyes because the winters are very harsh and to adapt to their environment they were
created that way. People from Africa have dark skin, not necessarily because race is
biologically obsolete, but to protect their skin from the sun. G-d made us all look
different and also created us with the intention of us all being physically compatible
with our society and environment. And this makes us able to adapt to the culture we all
live in.

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The common ground Bellah and his co-authors discovered among religious believes of
different faiths in America was the ideal of the pursuit of freedom which encompasses
happiness and striving to be an individual. During the 1980’s because families are
very important part of peoples lives, they become very influential in the actions we take
and the decisions we make. One of the major difficulties religious believers face is on
postmodern world is that in the post religion it was very familiar, and that was due to a
life less complicated. People’s lives were much more simple yet today and going
forward one difficulty religious believers must deal with is uncertainty about what is in
store for the future. The fact that the world is constantly changing at a rapid pace and
no one can tell where it is headed, only that we must all accept change. Science is also
another concern because in the past people turned to religion to answer questions about
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