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RSS EsterK1E

Reward Points:9
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9 most recent arguments.
1 point

Due to my moral principles, I do not approve prostitution in any sense; I think it is a harmful habit which does not contribute with anything good to society. Moreover, speaking in practical and ethical terms, there are other arguments which defends why prostitution should not be legalized. All my arguments presented were based on the information provided by the website "Prostitution: Research & Education".

First, legalization of prostitution will sanction all aspects of the sex industry, such as brothels, sex clubs, massage parlors and other sites of prostitution activities, often connected to the illegal sector. It will not help take the criminal elements out of sex businesses, since legalized prostitution industries are deeply related to sex trafficking. In the Netherlands, where prostitution was legalized, this measure did not help end the exploitation of immigrant women trafficked for prostitution, but rather helped to maintain and even to expand it.

We have to clarify that legalizing prostitution does not dignify the women in prostitution; it simply “dignifies” the sex industry. Actually, it will make women even more vulnerable to abuse, since they will be obliged to register and lose anonymity.

Moreover, legalizing prostitution will not help end child prostitution. For example, child prostitution increased dramatically in the Netherlands during the 1990s, as well in Victoria, compared to other Australian states where prostitution has not been legalized.

Another argument is that legalizing prostitution will help society to achieve equality of rights between men and women. But actually, the legalization will stimulate men who would not risk paying for sex to see this as acceptable. Instead of being seen as equals, women will be treated rather as sexual commodities.

Of course there are some women who say they choose to be in prostitution; however, most of them did not make a rational choice to enter prostitution; rather, according to studies conducted by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International (CATW), most of the women interviewed reported that they chose this path due to lack of other options, and would try other alternatives if they could get out of it.

Legalization of prostitution will not help to maintain control over the market neither will help to prevent diseases such as HIV/AIDS or STDs since are the male clients the ones who can and do originally transmit disease to the women.

In short, the income brought by the sex industry does not compensate in any rate all the harm and social problems which prostitution carries on, whether legalized or not. Instead of arguing how to make life of women in prostitution better and more dignified, I think it would be more relevant to discuss how to help women get out of prostitution. As the site said, rather than sanctioning prostitution, the State should support the development of real alternatives for women in prostitution.


2 points

I do agree with the proposal of using reusable bags in order to reduce the amount of garbage produced in the world. Plastic bags are responsible for at least 18% of the garbage produced, and contribute to the greenhouse effect, since plastic is produced from petroleum.

At first, I have to admit, I thought this measure was quite a nuisance, as we used to (as most of Brazilian people) to “reuse” the plastic bags to wrap the garbage; now we are trying to reuse packages of other products (such as plastic bags of beans, rice, etc.). It is still not the best solution, since it is still plastic going to the garbage, but at least it considerably reduces the amount of plastic produced and discarded. Also, when my mom goes to the supermarket, she uses reusable bags or cardboard boxes, which revealed to be way more practical to carry the shopping.

I must say, however, that I am not satisfied with the way this measure is being applied, because it is being aimed more to an economic sense rather than an ecological itself. One of my principal complains is that the prince of the new reusable bags was not reverted on the lowering of prices at markets. Supermarkets are not only saving money, but now are profiting from it.

Also, as Bruna1E said, oxybiodegradable plastic bags are not the best type of biodegradable plastic bags, since they become fragmented into small pieces, which difficulties their gathering and so contaminates the environment the same way. The professor Haroldo Mattos de Lemos, who teaches environmental engineering at UFRJ, said that using this type of bag means basically to substitute a visible kind of pollution for another which is invisible, but also very damaging to the environment, such as the liberation of carbonic gas during its decomposing, which contrasted with the traditional plastic bags, occurs quickly and thus it is more impacting to the environment. Also, people might be not as careful as they should about the destination of these bags, due to their quick decomposing (see references for the link).

Of course, any change of habits provokes initially some discomfort and even indignation, but in this case this will be benefical to the environment and to the future generations.


1 point

I believe there must be censorship in the media, in the sense that there “should have a better program planning adapting its content to the age of the viewers and better divided channels.” What I liked in Bruna1E and Patricia1E’s argument was their point of view defending censorship “to prevent vested interests from being surreptitiously imposed on kids”. I also agree with Hana1E; of course people should have the right to choose what they want to hear or watch, and to be their own judges. The problem is that children still don´t know what is the best for them, so they shouldn´t be exposed to so many violent or immoral content in television programs or internet.

I think we´re creating a dichotomy – absolute censorship in one side and absolute exposure to any kind of material – when there is actually a continuum with many nuances. Freedom of expression and democracy do not mean that people are allowed to do whatever they want to, but rather that people do share equality of rights and privileges. We have no doubt the censorship was excessively severe during the dictatorship period in Brazil. However, what we face today is that we are overexposed to many things that we do not want to see: “porn, racism, discrimination, violence, private matters publicly discussed, mistreated parents, false or doubtful information (…),the same bad jokes, violence and explicit sex at prime time”, and so forth.

My mom said that when she was young, pornographic magazines used to be wrapped in an opaque plastic, so just the people who were interested to buy these products would actually see them. No one had to be exposed to that, and this did not speak against the freedom of expression.

If democracy was really applied on the media, then, as Bruna1E said, the television programs would be more organized and we didn´t have to see so many programs of poor quality without having the option to watch another thing.

2 points

I think compulsory voting should be maintained. I disagree with the argument that “this fact [compulsory voting] goes against the principles of democracy and freedom of expression”, because democracy and freedom of expression does not mean exactly the liberty to do everything we want to. Democracy, as defined in the Dictionary. Com has these meanings:

1. Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

2. A state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.

3. A state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.

4. Political or social equality; democratic spirit.

5. The common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.

In other words, a true and legitimate democracy can only be exercised if the people fully participate in matters concerning society. For this, voting is an essential element of democracy because it is the fairest and easiest way to count people’s opinion about political and economic issues. Besides, voting does not go against the freedom of expression, but rather helps to legitimate it, when this “freedom” does not interfere in other people’s rights; also , people are not obliged to vote exactly, since they can vote blank or null in the elections.

Nevertheless, when we refuse to vote because we are not interested in politics (or because we think it is a nuisance), then we also are not justified to claim our privileges and improvements, since we are not contributing to the society. We should be as concerned with our responsibilities and duties as we are with our rights and privileges. Voting is a duty of every citizen and not simply a right.

The fact that people vote not wholly conscious of their choices is not a consequence of the obligation of voting, but rather of the lack of interest in searching information, watching debates, discussing the topics, etc. Although voting is not compulsory in developed countries such as U.S.A. or Canada, people there still feel they have the obligation to vote, thinking of an ideal of patriotism (an ideal that I think the Brazilian people lack sometimes).

I disagree with the argument “If the political knowledge of the nation is still not completely constructed due to its economical underdevelopment, compulsory voting would not cause a significant change”; actually, if we assume that compulsory voting is not being effective, not-compulsory voting would be even more innocuous, because it is not a habit of the Brazilian people to search for information about the candidates or to be engaged in social issues. If people participate in society more actively, the opinion of the majority would become valid and it would contribute to lower social inequalities, as an ideal democratic nation should work.


2 points

I think it is important to work on policies of social inclusion; the problem, though, as Sara1E and Andressa1E have said, is the lack of infrastructure and qualified teachers. It would be simply incoherent and unwise to apply a program if there is not even a previous and proper infrastructure to support and maintain it. Otherwise, it would be unfair for the deaf to receive such a program and then afterwards be deprived from it, since it would be shut down because of lack of resources. Therefore, before considering the inclusion of LIBRAS in all schools’ schedules, LIBRAS should first be acknowledged by MEC as an independent language: there are many people who are not conscious of the critic circumstances of the deaf people in Brazil (even I was not aware of this before reading this article); thus, it would be a practical and efficient measure to provide didactic material and lectures to them in order to make them realize the importance of LIBRAS to our community. After that, the process of inclusion needs to be worked from the top—by investing money on universities to qualify teachers and professors—to the base, by including LIBRAS at the elementary schools as the last step to be taken.

2 points

What I particularly liked in the girls’ argument is their focus not on the changes brought by technology itself, but in situations where the use of technology is excessive and prejudicial. We reckon society nowadays need these new technologies to cope with the new globalized world: Internet and computers became students’ allies by simplifying the writing and researching; cell phones and emails connected us all around the world; virtual simulators improved the quality of learning process and training courses (for instance, pilots have to pass through simulators in order to pilot a real plane later), etc. Nevertheless, in all these cases, technology just plays the role of instrument or device created to serve or simplify men’s life. The problem is that the new generation (or at least an increasing number of persons) is overly using technology, transforming it in a controlling principle which dominates every aspect of their life: we have to face children becoming addicted to videogames or to television programs, thus leaning to develop health problems such as obesity; or even many persons substituting real and significant relationships with virtual ones. I saw many of these extreme examples in the Japanese culture, which became so deeply involved with technology. For example, there is a social phenomenon which has been expanding over the years called hikikomori, alluding to those who shut themselves at home and avoid any kind of physical interaction, including their own family, in order to dedicate themselves entirely to a virtual life. There was even one hikikomori who married a female character from a virtual date game. Therefore, whenever the use of technology becomes excessive, we should substitute it with alternative resources or even avoid it if possible. For example, there is nothing wrong in chatting with friends through Facebook, although we have always to remember that this interaction will never substitute the physical and real interaction. There are better activities to enroll young children rather than watching TV or playing videogames, such as outside activities, like the “old times”. Briefly, in every aspect of our life there must be balance and moderation.

3 points

I agree with Veronica1E and Bruno1E. I do not think the quotas system should be applied because it would be just a palliative resource; in a long-view term, it is a palliative resource because it assumes that the larger number of students at universities corresponds immediately to an improvement of education and social inclusion, which is not exactly true. Actually, the quotas system would just lower the education quality because it does not provide the proper infrastructure to maintain these students at university; it only assures their entrance at the university. As Veronica1E and Bruno1E have said, there are not as many qualified professors as should be to teach all the new students which would enter at university by quotas; also, the whole schedule would have to be altered to include reinforcement classes and after-class help. These students would not even cope with students from private schools, which in my opinion is quite unfair. Moreover, the quotas system is more likely to encourage the government and the students to settle down instead of encouraging real improvements. Finally, it is important to stress that applying the quotas system would just intensify even more the social segregation because the university would graduate many students with lack of basic knowledge, which will not correspond to the market demands and, therefore, will not be included in the social and professional areas. The real problem is not the exam entrance of the university, but the bad quality of basic education. You cannot solve a problem by cutting its branches, but by healing its roots. Briefly, the quotas system should not even be applied as an alternative resource while we wait for true improvements at the elementary schools.

2 points

(EsterK1E e Clarissa1E)

Inside a classroom teachers and students have to be aware of each social role they play and respect it. Despite the friendship and good acquaintance they might develop (which is important to a good relationship), there must be a limit to this. Affection should not play the only role in this kind of relationship.

The great problem occurs when the teacher mistakes affection with excessive informality. He tries to extinguish of class every trait that could suggest some kind of authority, adopting new habits – for example an informal vocabulary or new clothes – in order to put himself in the same level of his or her students. This attempt, though well-meaning, will not just create a false and hypocrite image of the teacher as someone like every other student, but will also cause the loss of his or her authority and the respect from the students.

Another bad effect affection could bring is what the author Pedro Morales (2001) calls the “Pygmalion Effect”. Instead of working with the class as a whole, the teacher ends by deposing his or her expectations towards a few elected students, who stand out due to their better grades or skills in a certain subject. The teacher sees in these students a chance of “self-accomplishment”, giving them a better treatment. In this process, the teacher ends forgetting completely the students who have more difficulties or those who are shy, discriminating them.

When teachers let only affection be the guide of their practice, they are at risk of messing up all the school organization. There will be always a hierarchy between teacher and student; the only point, however, it that this hierarchy should not be authoritarian or oppressing.

Paulo Freire, a much known Brazilian educator, wrote about this difference between authority and authoritarian behaviors. According to FREIRE (1996), teachers must be authorities to guarantee the students’ freedom of thought. Through their practice and preparation, they can pay attention to all the students’ necessities during their learning process and make sure that they have an adequate environment to express themselves.

If teachers take into consideration only their “friendship” with their students, they can make students act in licentiousness instead of freedom. In order to become better citizens who act effectively in the world, students need their teacher’s guidance during the whole process of learning.

Lack of authority can be a problem in the classroom. The same way, when teachers do not develop a good relationship with the students, they can have other sorts of problems. These teachers apply hence the pedagogy of the authoritative discourse, creating an atmosphere of fear and oppression in the classroom. Instead of being an active participant of the process of learning, the student is turned into a voiceless audience, obliged to a unilateral transmission of knowledge, in which there is no real improvement.

We defend that balance is fundamental in this kind of relationship without erasing the fundamental boundaries between teachers and students’ social roles.

2 points

I agree with the girls. The worst thing about plagiarism is that it gives credit, status and money to someone who is not really the author and who did not make an effort to achieve that result. Thus, plagiarism cannot be considered a development stage for every beginner in the areas of knowledge, because simply copying something to intentionally pretend it is yours is clearly different from learning based on a model—which is indeed the first step to every kind of learning—because in the previous case the copier does not learn the real technique or skill to produce a work of his own.

Notice that I criticize one specific type of plagiarism when I said “copying something to intentionally pretend it is yours”. Thus, though I do not support plagiarism, I see the necessity to clarify its definition. Simply saying “plagiarism is the use of another person’s work without acknowledging the source” is not applicable to every situation in which a copy might be involved, because there is a slight and subtle difference between the explicit theft and the unintentional copy, due maybe to lack of experience or ideas.

I believe this problem gained more serious dimensions at the university because it was not properly corrected during the high or middle school period. Indeed, the intentional plagiarism has to be properly punished, but when students non-intentionally commit plagiarism, it would be more effective if the teacher corrects and helps them rather than giving a harsh punishment. It is important to begin to learn from models and to embrace the basic concepts of a subject, while giving also to the authors the proper credit and quoting their works.

While writing this comment, I remembered a bad experience that I had concerning plagiarism: I use to post my drawing in the Internet, and one day I noticed someone had simply copied my drawing and was receiving all the credit for it. I felt horrible to see my own work being stolen and I warned him about the consequences of his act. Fortunately, he admitted it, apologized and quickly erased his post. As we can see, plagiarism cannot be considered in any sphere as being something beneficial or a part of our society, since it does not contribute with anything new or substantial to the community and the plagiarist will be forever limited to only copy other´s work, being a mediocre thinker.

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