Social Hierarchy in India and Greece

Since Mesopotamian times, social hierarchy has influenced the role of individuals in society. In different civilizations throughout history, social groups were used to create a division of labor with hopes of increasing productivity. In Ancient India, the community was divided using a social caste system. This social caste system was very rigid and provided little room for movement. In Ancient Greece, however, a less rigid class system was used to divide the community. In both systems, position was determined by who your parents were; however, the class system did allow some upward mobility. Although they were from different time periods and geographic locations, the social structures of Ancient India and Ancient Greece were similar because they established a system of ranking people.

The earliest mention of the Indian caste system is found in the Vedic hymns, which are believed to be from around 6000 B.C.E.  In Ancient India, people were divided into four groups, or varnas: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and the Sudras.[1] The highest caste in the Indian society was the Brahmins, who were teachers and priests. After the Brahmins came the Kshatriyas, they were the warriors and rulers in Ancient India. While the Brahmins were technically the highest group in the hierarchy, the Kshatriyas were closer in status to the Brahmins than the Vaisyas. The Vaisyas, who were the middle class, were skilled traders, merchants, and farmers. Next in the hierarchy came  the Sudras, who were the unskilled workers. They were mostly laborers and craft workers. The formation of these groups was considered decreed by Brahma, the Creator of the universe. The civilization of Ancient India believed that if one did his duty (dharma) within the caste he was born in, he would be rewarded in subsequent lives by moving to a higher caste. These beliefs led the Indians to accept their role in society without questioning or wanting to change it. [2]  Later  as time went on, a fifth group emerged who were referred to as the Untouchables, or the Outcasts. These individuals usually were responsible for jobs others didn’t want to do; they were the closest to slaves.[3]

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Freedom of Speech

Think before you speak! Be careful with your words. Speak wisely! We have been told since we were kids to be aware of what we say. We have been taught how powerful words can be and how we ought to be careful when using them.Our founding fathers also placed a great deal of value on our right to speak. So much so that they made it the first part of our Bill of Rights: The Freedom of Speech. Over the years, speech has evolved to include not only the printed medium, but to also include anything that has been said on the Internet. In fact, our proclivity to blurt out our thoughts before we can digest them, often leads to us writing things in an emotional state on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. With this in mind,  many Americans wonder if the concept of freedom of speech should exist today. Our courts have be inundated with cases that address our right to free speech. So, how do the privileges guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – specifically the Freedom of Speech – apply to modern American Life? How do contemporary challenges to the Right to Free Speech affect the Constitution of the United States of America?

The first case I studied was the Lane v. Franks. This case involved a public employee’s fight for his freedom of speech in the context of revenge. Edward Lane was the director of the Community Intensive Training for Youth Program (CITY) at the Central Alabama Community College (CACC). In 2006, while auditing CITY’s finances, Lane found out that Suzanne Schmitz, a state representative who was on the CITY’s payroll, had never performed work for the program. Lane was told that, by contacting Schmitz and terminating her employment, he would bring negative attention to the CACC and himself. However, after Schmitz refused to work, Lane terminated her contract with CITY. In retaliation, Schmitz sue to get her job back. Steve Franks, president of CACC at the time, wanted to reduce the workforce because of budget cuts. In 2008, Franks sent termination letters to Lane and twenty-nine other CITY members who were under probation and served less than three years. However, a few days later, Franks rescinded all of the terminations except for Lane and one other employee because he claimed those employees were not under probation. Lane sued Franks because he argued that his termination was a result of his testifying against Schmitz during her trial. Therefore, his termination was a violation of his First Amendment rights.[1]

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Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation

This paper is going to talk about the dangers of cell phone and Bluetooth radiation. Cell phone radiation is a topic that most people overlook or switch to Bluetooth thinking that the Bluetooth emits less radiation. Well this is true but what about those people who are too lazy to take their Bluetooth out of their ears? Are they getting exposed to more radiation than others? When people start to talk about cell phone radiation, their audience gets really uncomfortable and eyes their cell phones warily. Then they end up either turning off their cell phones and its ends there. They never think about it ever again. But, using a cell phone does not mean death. However, using the cell phone a lot could result in brain tumor or blood cancer.

According to experts at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant, the human body itself is exposed to radiation levels every day. Even the food we eat, like bananas, are radioactive. So the average natural background radiation a human is exposed to 300 millirems of radiation per year.(A millirem is 1/1000th of a rem.)(Exelon, 2011) This doesn’t seem to bad, does it? So, why are we freaking out over this? Well, our generation tends to go over the  “average human radiation”. We use our devices more than the average human and we definitely watch more T.V than the average human. According to some experts from Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant you can either get an acute amount of radiation or the same amount over time. If you get an acute amount of radiation you can die or suffer death of cancer. So, by getting the amount of radiation over time, we do have to worry over that as much. (Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant)

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Should We Continue to Explore Space?

20080924_columbiaThe world would be a whole lot different if we didn’t explore outer space. In fact, a lot of the things we take for granted would not exist without the exploration of space. But, should we explore space?  The exploration of space is full of risks. An astronaut has a life of adventure and fun, but is it really necessary?  Do we really need to send people to outer space for the sake of our technology, or are we risking lives in the process of our gains?

So, why do we need to explore space? Some of the things like cellphones, power tools, digital imaging, weathering tracking, G.P.S, robotics and solar energy would not exist if we didn’t. Take the cell phone for an example. Towers send signals to your cell phone enabling you to be able to chat with your friends. New discoveries from the astronaut’s journey to space give us the chance to think about the fact that we are all together on this planet as one.

Now there are some negatives in the exploration of space. Take Apollo 1 for example. Apollo 1 never made it to space. While it was being tested, Apollo 1 broke out in a fire and killed all three crew-members  It was here that we saw the dangers of space exploration. We also spend millions of dollars on space exploration while risking the lives of our astronauts. Another thing, which is highly unlikely, is the chance of discovering other alien life forms. Are we ready for it?

It seems like there are good and bad reasons to go to space. We would love to know everything there is to outer space, but we can’t do that without risking lives. Astronauts know of the dangers, but their desire to learn more for us drives them. Plus, with the growth of technology, sending astronauts to space is a lot safer now thanks to a lot of testing. It seems like space exploration is the way to go.