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Common Humanity is a book about how the kindness of fellow human beings is all the time not fully apparent to other people. The author obtains his examples from the case of Mary Bell, Holocaust and the taking of children of varying blood from Aboriginal parents in Australia. From these examples, the author examines the reasons as to why the understanding of fellow human beings is not visible to others. In this paper, we will focus the discussion on chapter two of the book- Goodness beyond Virtue.
In this second chapter of the book A Common Humanity, we find the idea of how each human being is infinitely precious. The author expresses this clearly by using the holocaust and other horrific events as examples of denial of the full understanding of people. The use of the author’s opinion about just preciousness is another way in which the subject of how every human life is infinitely useful is described. The Holocaust is a distressing event in history in which over eleven million lives were lost because of unkind racial discrimination. During the World War 2, the Nazis came up with a final solution in which they set up camps to annihilate the Jews. The camps meant that the Jews stayed in ghetto areas that had terrible conditions. Their children did not go to school their business had to shut down, and their temples were burned and sabotaged.
In the other chapters, the author goes ahead to explain how all human beings are infinitely precious by the use of other horrific occurrences. The book is about understanding, and the following section builds this idea for the other chapters. Humanity refers to the distinction of being human, that is, the unique kind of man by which he is peculiar from other beings. The peculiar nature is the ability to handle all creatures with compassion and affection. This is what the author tries to convey throughout the chapters and brings out the fact that we are all precious in different ways. The preciousness of human beings develops the platform on which the author uses to build the other themes of moral judgment and compassion and between heart and head.
This chapter has several strengths in relation to the concept of preciousness of human beings. The most notable strength is the ability of the author to relate the concept with horrific events. For example during the Holocaust, the Nazis intended to finish the Jews thinking that they were inferior to them. This is not true as all human are indispensable and no life should be lost through cruel means like in the World War 2. The next strength is of how most of the events the author makes use of are real events, which most people can relate to as they are part of history. What has strengths does not lack weaknesses and so does the chapter of Goodness beyond Virtue. One of the notable weaknesses of this concept is that the author portrays human beings as perfect beings who are to do righteous deeds only, but it is evident that this is not true. Human beings even in the current worlds can be cruel and act in an ungodly way.
There are few contradictions in Gaita’s writings especially in this chapter. His concept of preciousness of human beings contradicts some of the moral judgments he talks about in his later chapters. The preciousness of man is relatively a subject close to God’s creation, and he mixes with some scientific findings he uses. For instance, he says that he cannot dismiss the scientists who claim that the earth is flat at some point. For any of the other topics to hold water, the preciousness of human beings must be present. The theme of moral judgment cannot work if human beings do not have the vision that other beings are infinitely precious. Most ethics in the relations of human beings starts with them respecting each other and considering each other as an important component of life. It is, therefore, evident that the concept of preciousness of human beings is the basis of Gaita’s book A Common Humanity.