Literary Commentary, Philosophy, Psychology

Human Virtues and the Meaning of Life: Rousseau vs. Frankl

I’ve had “Discourse on the Arts and Sciences” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau on my “currently reading” shelf for the longest time, and just a few weeks ago I had a little reading inspiration so I decided to finish it. Turns out I only had several pages to go anyway. Then, I was recommended “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl to read, and I did, and I loved it. Since I happened to read both these rather philosophical and psychological books (I label them as both because it seems that they have a bit of both in them) back-to-back, I noticed that they both discuss very similar topics: human virtue, the arts and sciences, and the purpose of life. However, interestingly, Rousseau and Frankl contradict on some concepts, which I want to discuss today, while also attempting to organize some of my thoughts about each. [Click to read more]

Philosophy, Religion

World Religions: Thoughts on the Course

Studying religion at a Catholic school has been fascinating, albeit rather challenging. Although I am a Christian, and still celebrate Christian holidays with my friends and family, my relationship to God, the universe, the energies and spirits or whatever is out there is my own, and I’ve never felt that any religion has done it justice in describing it. This is why I was very excited to learn World Religions, and get a glimpse at many different religions. Hopefully I’d come out with a few that I really liked, and I definitely did! [Click to read more]

Philosophy, Religion

The Case for Non-Theism: The Strengths of Buddhism

There are two things all religions seem to know for certain: 1. God is Good. 2. We are all a part of God’s masterfully orchestrated plan. Everything that happens is meant to happen. I’ve always puzzled over the idea of destiny. Everything that we are, or will be - has already been predetermined by a supreme being. God is all-knowing. God is good. God has plans for us. Even though this is what all religions teach, I didn’t like the sound of it. By this principle, we have no freedom of choice or free will, because our destiny is fixed. [Click to read more]

Literary Commentary

The Backbone of “Blue Bouquet”: An Analysis of Literary Style

We read "Blue Bouquet" by Octavio Paz a while ago in my English class, and I wrote a response to the following assignment: Respond to any specific aspect of the story that you feel is an important part of the story (Character, setting, symbol, central metaphor, conflict) or a central idea (theme) in the text. Identify and explain examples in your paper to help develop your ideas. Use a structured, paragraphed approach to your discussion. I decided to tackle a more unconventional topic: the stylistic components of the text and how they develop the story from a story-engineering perspective. [Click to read more]

History

Differences in Political Responses to the Great Depression and the Recession of 2008 in Canada

In the early 1900s, many governments believed in the classical theory that the economic system was self-balancing. As a result, when the Great Depression began in 1929, it was expected that the crisis would eventually end by itself and that there was little to be done by the government. Although the Provincial and Municipal governments were already in debt due to the many development projects undertaken during the 1920s, the federal government offered them minimal aid. Bennett’s conservative government also ignored a lot of the struggles that were going on in western Canada, instead focusing their political and diplomatic agendas towards satisfying its largest voter base, which was situated in eastern Canada and was primarily urban. There was a serious imbalance in conditions throughout Canada, with a shocking 2/3 of the rural and prairie farming population dependent on the meagre government assistance they were receiving, compared to the 1/5 of the population that was struggling in other areas of Canada. The government’s initial support for these issues was minimal, costing them valuable years at the onset of the Great Depression. [Click to read more]