A Double-Edged Lord: Lies and Demise

Posted: December 16, 2010 by Ravi Amarawansa in Final Essays

From the moment we are all born, there is at least one person who is controlling our lives and keeping us in check, for better or for worse. As such, there is always a ruling class governing and controlling less powerful classes in order to make sure that the latter does not rise against them and threaten their status quo. On the contrary, as Feurbach asserts, “Man throws himself on his knees before his gods; but he does the same before his rulers and in general before those who hold life in their hands” (225). This social contract is a two-way street. Read the rest of this entry »

We start out empty.

Posted: December 14, 2010 by Christine Preziosi in Final Essays

Ernst Bloch begins his search for hope assuming that the foundation of human life is emptiness.  What is hope and where does it come from?   As Bloch approaches hope he initiates the search at the beginning of life, when we are empty vessels waiting to receive the glory of that this beautiful world has in store for us.

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Though Ernst Bloch believed that a Not-Yet-Conscious pull towards utopia shone like gold underneath the dreams and awareness of all persons, his time in the United States brought him to believe that a people least disposed to the pull of the Not-Yet-Conscious were Americans, who lived off rotten optimism, never daring nor finding it necessary to delve into genuine hope. In The Principle of Hope, Bloch writes that we “are taken in by glitter and it’s not even necessary for the glitter to promise gold; here it can be enough that it glitters” (441). Yet this is not simply an “American” attribute, but a growing pandemic: as capitalism takes root in more countries and as advertisement of the “good life” makes its way to homes previously untouched by Western ideals, encouraging individualistic pursuits, the disease spreads. Read the rest of this entry »

Born to Die: The desire for eternity

Posted: December 13, 2010 by Jennifer Sulyman in Final Essays

The question of death has been pondered and theorized for centuries. What is death? What happens after death? Is my soul immortal? Philosophers have come up with their own theories and different understandings. Ernst Bloch believed that we had hopeful and wishful images about death. Different religions, different peoples, different beliefs—but all hopeful. Read the rest of this entry »

The Reality of Religion: A Provider of Comfort, A Key to Hope

Posted: December 13, 2010 by Annie Burson-Ryan in Final Essays

Religion plays an influential role in today’s society. Many people live their lives in accordance to religious teachings; people fight wars over religious beliefs and major decisions are made based on religious values. Religion is present in society, yet what purpose does it serve? Does religion benefit people’s lives or does it prevent social change from happening? Read the rest of this entry »

Semi-Finalized Essay

Posted: December 12, 2010 by Kira Barros in Essay Drafts

The American Dream: Yesterday the Echo of the Not-Yet-Conscious, Today the Roadblock to Utopia

Though Ernst Bloch believed that a Not-Yet-Conscious pull towards utopia shone like gold underneath the dreams and awareness of all persons, his time in the United States brought him to believe that a people least disposed to the pull of the Not-Yet-Conscious were Americans, who lived off rotten optimism, never daring nor finding it necessary to delve into genuine hope. Yet this is not simply an “American” attribute, but a growing pandemic: as capitalism takes root in more countries and as advertisement of the “good life” makes its way to homes previously untouched by Western ideals, encouraging individualistic pursuits, the disease spreads. For all our technologies and higher standard of living, the real optimism of the Not-Yet-Conscious is only unearthed by few. What makes us different, that we cannot find hope in the right things, is the emphasis that this society places on material goods and the individual—and always in conjunction. Bloch’s utopia is a state in which all are, if not equally endowed with wealth or goods, are at least in a stable state of self-sufficiency. Combined with capitalism, which mandates that each person must work to his own advantage, a deep-rooted sense of individualism leads to a feeling of entitlement to the point of ignoring the needs of others. Individualism destroys the chance for social equity; capitalism destroys the chance for economic equality. Capitalism and individualism speak too loudly for the individual, that the Not-Yet-Conscious, the cry of the collective good, cannot be heard.

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Born to Die: The desire for eternity [take 2]

Posted: December 12, 2010 by Jennifer Sulyman in Essay Drafts

The question of death has been pondered and theorized for centuries. What is death? What happens after death? Is my soul immortal? Philosophers have come up with their own theories and different understandings. Ernst Bloch believed that we had hopeful and wishful images about death. Different religions, different peoples, different beliefs—but all hopeful. Bloch was a utopian philosopher. His philosophies revolved around primarily making things perfect and using different paradigms to reach a utopian theory. Bloch’s main philosophy is based upon wishful and hopeful images. These are images that keep us optimistic throughout such hard times—or they keep us in denial:

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Another Rough Draft

Posted: December 5, 2010 by Annie Burson-Ryan in Essay Drafts

OUTLINE:

Thesis: Although Bloch criticizes religion as a source of comfort, he realizes the redeeming aspects of religion which aid in the creation of a utopia.

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Born to Die: The Desire for Eternity

Posted: December 2, 2010 by Jennifer Sulyman in Essay Drafts

The question of death has been pondered and theorized for centuries. What is death? What happens after death? Is my soul immortal? Philosophers have come up with their own theories and different understandings. Ernst Bloch believed that we had hopeful and wishful images about death. Different religions, different peoples, different beliefs—but all hopeful. Bloch was a utopian philosopher. His philosophies revolved around primarily making things perfect and using different paradigms to reach a utopian theory. Bloch’s main philosophy is based upon wishful and hopeful images. These are images that keep us optimistic throughout such hard times—or they keep us in denial:

No thought must ever be given to the worst end which is yet to come. The wish is simply to hear and to see nothing of it, even when the end is here (VIII;1105).

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Very Rough Draft

Posted: November 19, 2010 by Annie Burson-Ryan in Essay Drafts

Religion plays an influential role in today’s society. Many people live their lives in accordance to religion teachings, people fight wars over religious beliefs and major decisions are made based on religious values. Clearly, religion is present in society yet what purpose does it serve? Does religion help people become the best they can be in this world? In his work, The Principle of Hope, Ernst Bloch articulates his opinion of religion and comments upon its purpose in the world. According to Bloch, religion exists to provide comfort to individuals in their daily lives and helps to diminish the fear of death as it creates wishful images of an afterlife.

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