Ancient liberty vs. Modern liberty, and the basic idea of Epicureanism.

1. What is the difference between the liberty of the ancients and the liberty of the moderns? What would moderns find lacking in ancient liberty?  The modern idea of liberty is based mainly on the right of the individual.  Every individual can make choices for themselves and on their own terms.  The ancients had a different idea of liberty, rather than individual rights, the city had rights.  The city made choices and acted on behalf of its citizens.  Many of the ancients were devoted to their cities, as if their city was a parent to them.  This is dramatically different from what we see today.

Modern individuals would find several things lacking in ancient liberty.  The main point they would find lacking is that individual rights were ignored. the cities were smaller, however they were deprived of freedom of speech, and freedom of religion, and many other rights that most modern day people associate with the idea of liberty.

2. Based on the Principal Doctrines, explain the basic ideas of Epicureanism.
The Epicureans were a group of philosophy founded by the Greek philosopher Epicurus.  These people sought after things in life that would give them lasting pleasure, and ultimate purpose.  They did not engage in gluttonous behaviors, that would give them pains the next day, they searched and engaged in the things that would bring them life-long pleasure.  The invested themselves in friendships, expansion of knowledge and sober-reasoning, things that would give them long-term fulfillment.

They believed that the universe was pointless and that there were no gods, and if there were, they didn’t care.  They believed that the universe was entirely material, and that there was no immaterial realm.  They did however, believe in free will and common sense.

What was Hesiod’s view of the mankind’s past and future?

Hesiod was a Greek poet assumed to have been active in 750-650 B.C..  Among his writings, he wrote a poem called “Works and days” in which he attempts to persuade his brother, Perses, to pay him his rightful share of the inheritance.  The poem is essentially divided into two sections, the first section provides ethical instruction in the way man should live.  The second section provides instruction for how men should live practically.  Hesiod tries to persuade Perses to listen to Zeus (the supreme god) rather than the courts, who may take bribes in making their decisions.  The persuasion of Perses was the purpose of this poem, but in persuading Perses, Hesiod shared his view of mankind’s past and future.

Hesios tells us that there were 5 ages in sequence of mankind.  We are the fifth race.  The first period, was the golden age.  Man lived luxuriously in a god-like lifestyle, men stayed young and healthy and saw no harm or despair.  The second period was the silver age.  These men, unlike the golden age, had to work, however, a child could play for up to 100 years before growing up.  The third period was the bronze age.  The people were made of bronze and lived in a bronze world.  The fourth period of mankind, were the demigods. The demigods were a god-like race of hero men, far more righteous and more noble than man.   Then, finally, there is the fifth period, the iron age.  The iron age is the era we live in now, and we are told by descriptions that this is the lowest of the 5 ages.

In terms of the future, we are told that we (the iron age) are ultimately doomed.  We are told that Zeus will destroy the Iron race, like he did all the others.  It is a pessimistic view, the iron race have nothing to hope for, because ultimately it will be destroyed.

While Hesiod provided this ultimate gloomy fate of men, he also said that men should have good ethic, and that men should pray to and rely on Zeus.  Hesiod gave reasons for short term optimism, but regarding the long term, he had only reasons for pessimism.  In this poem, he is telling mankind to live their lives in justice, and in hard work, but at death, it is over.  The only hope for mankind is death.

To live a prosperous life, according to Hesiod, man must pray to Zeus and live his life according to the will of Zeus.  If a person is unjust, Zeus will inflict sanctions accordingly.  To attain reward, humankind must live justly.  However, Zeus is inconsistent, he is not predictable.  If a supreme figure is not consistent in their laws of ethics, or in the sanctions inflicted based on those laws, then difficulty arises for the person trying to abide by said laws.  Man can attain short term reward, if he is able to please Zeus, but in the long term, there is only darkness and death to look forward to.

The Business Opportunity of SEO.

Over the past week of lessons (L36-L40) in the business 2 course of the Ron Paul curriculum, 4 different online business opportunities were presented.  Search engine optimization, Graphic design, website theme development, copy-writing.  Of these 4 options, I was intrigued most by the business opportunity of search engine optimization (SEO).

Search engine optimization is getting a website to the top of search engine results using natural techniques.  There are companies with websites that could vastly increase their revenue, with the help of someone who has experience in SEO.  The common person searching for a business does not go all the way to the 10th page of Google to find their results, it is rare for people to even make it to the 2nd page.  When  you make a Google search, the top few results are paid ads, then from there, the results are placed based on how the website is keyed and optimized.  It is crucial to apply SEO techniques to a website, and a specific article.  For a website to be successful, it must be visited, to ensure that a website is visited, SEO techniques must be applied.

SEO is getting ranked as high as possible through NATURAL tactics.  If you use “black hat” techniques rather than natural methods, you can be removed from Google, and lose time and money that you have invested. Essentially, avoid lying to people to get website views. It is crucial to only use natural techniques.

To become an SEO specialist, it is crucial to understand how to key and optimize a website.  it is important to know how to create a good SEO title, and how to insert the right, and effective keywords.  Good writing ability is basic to SEO, as it is basic to almost every field.  Luckily, SEO is based largely on logic, there is no confusing formulas, it is all very logical.  To attain the skills needed, you simply need good work ethic, and as much experience as you can get.

Cancer.

“Is cancer alive? Why aren’t doctors able to uncover a single cause or cure for it? Why isn’t cancer contagious?”

The human body is one big complicated system.  Many genes control different growth factors, and other purposes cells must carry out within this system.  A system this delicate and complicated, surfaces a lot of opportunity for things to go wrong.  Things go wrong when simple mutations occur in these genes, which prevent them from functioning properly.  Oncogenes are cancer causing genes, which are initially caused by simple mutations.

So, is cancer alive?  No, the cancer tumor itself is not alive apart from the living organism.  The tumor is made of abnormal tissues initially caused by mutations of genes that control essential functions of the cell.

Doctors are unable to develop a single cure, because they have not identified the single cause.  Doctors, scientists, and bio-technicians, are getting closer everyday to uncovering and understanding the single cause for cancer.  As of now, it is clear that it is the combination of many different mutations.

Why isn’t cancer contagious? A small percentage of cancers are actually hereditary, however, cancer is not contagious like a flu.  Cancer happens within the organism, caused by several different factors that produce excess proteins and tissues.  It is, in a sense, like a machine that develops minor issues that continue to build and expand and, over time, create a major, and possibly fatal, issue.  Cancer is not a virus that can be spread by contact, but rather, a disease caused by mutations in this complicated system.