Thursday, March 14, 2013

Should or Should Not...

There are many themes reinforced in the Shakespearean drama Macbeth. Please answer the following question in a highly structured paragraph by 12:00 AM Sunday, March 17, 2013. Do not forget to post a meaningful response to one of your peers' posts.

If you thought that you were doing the right thing, but it turned out that you were doing something evil, then should you be punished?

55 comments:

  1. In today's society the belief of "good" differentiates on the way a person is raised. Although not all actions are meant to be evil, some actions are not in the right mind or processed thoroughly. For example: royalty used to be the purest family as they reproduced within one another; meanwhile, in the city, state, and our local communities mating with ones family member is looked down upon. If a person is found having sexual intercourse with a family member a scolding is to be looked forward to; unlike, in "royal" communities reproducing with a family member is the purest way to keep the generations clean. Therefore even if an individual justifies their actions the individual should have realized their surroundings and allow the prison, court or higher powers to take the process in their hands. In other words the individual should be punished if and only if they are breaking the law, and their rights are strictly and constitutionally interpreted.

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    1. I agree one should take their surroundings into account when performing an action. Although they may think it is right, there is a time and place for everything and the wrong time and place can potentially make the difference between a good deed and an evil crime.

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    2. While I agree with you in terms of committing a right or wrong decision depending on your surroundings, this is not always the case. Should one always be punished by their society's standards? For example, if a man was standing up to the society in which he lived in because it was corrupt and oppressed should he face punishment? What if he was doing nothing more than speaking out against the tyrants who ran his society? He was not harming anyone nor burdening anyone's constitutional rights so should he still be punished?

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    3. Esperanza ElizarrarazMarch 19, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      I completely agree with what Lizbeth is saying, especially with the example that she gives relating to royal families. It goes back to what I said, that not all things may be okay in others eyes. And when that happens its best to place things in the context of setting and surroundings, or else that could be the difference between a good deed or a crime.

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    4. I agree with post--BUT--please connect it to Macbeth PLEASE. EVIL or RIGHT as it pertains to the text.

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    5. Although Macbeth believed his wrong doings were for the better right he knew that his ways of pertaining his position were wrong/evil. During the entire poem there were contexts that allowed the reader to realize that for the most part the actions committed were wrong and unjustified, for the fact that supernatural beings were released in the beginning of the poem; therefore, through the eyes of society any evil is wrong and should not exist. As Emilia questioned "Should one always be punished by their society's standards?" the morally correct answer is no, but it is what it is and society is decided upon the majority group; therefore, if an action is right in your own mind but wrong based on society views then maybe you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Therefore Macbeth should have not committed the crimes he did. they were morally wrong as a murder is never justified and there was no "Gray" area that could save his explanation for why he committed the murder.

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  2. Everything in the world is not always black and white there is a gray area. Committing evil under the impression you are doing the right thing is one of those gray area situations. Punishment of the situation depends on the severity of the crime. If a coach is yelling and screaming at a player in an attempt to motivate him, he feels like he is actually helping but he may be bothering the player and causing his performance to suffer. In a small instance such as that a punishment is not needed but in the situation of Macbeth murdering someone is never okay one's conscious should have kicked in and steered him away from that path. Certain situations do call for a punishment.

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    1. Chris, I agree with your position on a punishment being dependent of the severity of the crime. As you mentioned, Macbeth should have understood that his actions are foul and he should of looked away from such a crime. Macbeth was fully aware of his actions; as a result his punishment should be severe. Even though Macbeth believed his actions were good, they were actually evil and shall be treated as an evil action.

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    2. I agree with you Chris, based on what one has done or is doing should decided whether or not they deserve a punishment.

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    3. Chris, I agree with you completely. Some actions are intended to be good, but end up being a negative effect. What do you think should be their punishment, if there is any?

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    4. Punishment should fit the crime;however, there are times when there just is not an appropriate punishment because the crime was so small or was not a crime at all. In some cases perhaps the regret and guilt one feels for committing the crime is punishment enough.

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    5. However, an individual being left with only guilt will cause problems in societal balance. It will raise questions in why one person wasn't punished while the rest were condemned to even the smallest of consequences. Even if a harsh judgment isn't right, some type must be reached in order to keep balance, I agree that the crime should be paired with the punishment but that is always dependent on the judge.

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    6. Nice post Chris. I would like you to use an other real life situation and connect the concept of right/wrong or good/evil to the novel. The coach example is clear--but--it does not really relate to Macbeth. I hope I am making sense to you.

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    7. In the case of Macbeth he acted solely out of greed. There is no perspective in which what he is did could be considered "right". So in Macbeth's case the punishment he received was fitting. However, there are times when a similar evil is committed maybe not for a justifiable reason but for atleast an understandable one. For example in today's economy many people are getting laid off and losing their jobs leaving them with no way to support their family. In those desperate times some people resort to robbery that in some cases results in murder in order to provide for their family. Now a great evil is being committed; however, the culprits are under the impression that they are doing the "right thing".

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    8. Class:
      Do you agree with Chris' POV?

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    9. To clarify I did not mean that it is ok to rob and steal for your family. I meant that it is an understandable reason it does not make it right but it is better than someone stealing for their own personal gain or greed.

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    10. I would have to disagree with Chris just to take a different course on the situation. Although most people do believe there is a gray area, this gray area does not help anyone in any legitimate situation. Situations always consist of either right or wrong, never do you hear a judge say "I guess this time It's okay it happened" that is not how life works. For example in Macbeth's case his murders were never justified because a killing is never right, even if a person deserved their murder, this is only justified in the ones persons eyes who believed the killing was right. Therefore a gray area only exists in smaller situation that do not consist of higher legal powers.

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  3. There is a fine line in what people believe is evil and good. In today’s society, there are different views on what is considered good and evil. In Macbeth, Lady Macbeth influences Macbeth to continue with the murder of King Duncan, in this case there was no remorse for the actions done by Lady Macbeth, she views the right thing to do is encourage Macbeth to kill the king. However in reality, her actions are evil and caused the death of the king and she should be punished. Overall, dependent on the type of crime or action being done will determine the punishment. Even though one may sincerely feel their actions are a reflection of a good deed does not necessarily mean that society views their actions the same way. Often times, it is society that determines the result of ones action. Punishment should be granted to those who committed an evil crime even if they feel their actions were intentionally good.

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    1. Oh Brianna! I completely agree!(Hint)

      I felt that Lady Macbeth's actions where selfish and of course evil which led to her death. Lady Macbeth wanted to become evil and her morals wanted her to be good, and yet when the two -good and evil- clashed she lost her sanity and her death occurred. I feel as if the real fault is Macbeth for not being strong and denying the witches prophecies.

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    2. GREAT POST BRIANNA!!! WELL STATED AND I UNDERSTAND YOUR RATIONAL! THANK YOU!!!!!

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  4. "Fair is foul and foul is fair" or in other words nothing is as it seems.Depending on the situation If one believes they are/were doing the right thing, but it turned out that they were doing something evil, the genuine reasons behind thier actions.Good and evil are vague words that change with ones morals and values. Society has a stricken interpretation of these words but in certain situation society does not no what is good or bad.So as for punishment that too changes based on ones beliefs or moral values.

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    1. Jose:
      Love the reference to the quote. Please explain the quote more explicitly please. BUT, I need clarity: What do you mean when you said, "If one believes they are/were doing the right thing, but it turned out that they were doing something evil, the genuine reasons behind their actions"?

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    2. By stating "Fair is foul and foul is fair" I was trying to explain that one might have good intentions but you do not find out if you did good until you actually do it. If one truly does not have any evil intentions towards a person but what they perceived as good turns out to be evil or bad it is understandable;since it was not their intentions.

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  5. Thinking about my personal beliefs if I -or others in general- had done a good deed and evidently it turned out to be an evil deed I would not want to be punished. If I happened I commit an evil deed then in fact I myself would be corrupted and obsessed with the fact that what I had committed was for good. Like Cauis Balled (FF13-2), he wanted to destroy the timeline of his universe so he could be free from his curse -immortality- which he saw as a great thing to do for his world. Those that apposed him fought for the world, because they knew he was pure evil.
    Once a person has chosen their path the only thing to do is either oppose or support the person's path.

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    1. You say that "Once a person has chosen their path the only thing to do is either oppose or support the person's path," so are you saying that it varies from every case? If that is true, then what would be the set of guidelines to follow that would allow for each case to be held with the same amount of fairness? In our systems today, we have appointed judges who go through law school and are supposed to be dubbed adequate in their decision making - do you believe those people worthy in deciphering whether or not to oppose of support a person's path?

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    2. Please answer Maylyne's question. I would like to hear your response.

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    3. Yes I believe its true, I'm a bit confused on your part of the question "what would be the set of guidelines to follow that would allow for each case to be held with the same amount of fairness?"

      I think even judges are a bit bias and keep their opinions to themselves. If there is enough evidence to oppose or support then yes.

      I hope this answers your question.

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  6. Each society throughout the world holds differing opinions towards what is right and what is wrong. If one commits an evil act knowing of the wrong they are committing then by all means they should be punished. However, if one were raised in such an environment as to believe the wrong in which they were doing was right then they should not be punished and given assistance to right the wrongs in which they have done. Such assistance could range from mental help, rehabilitation, etc. Right and wrong/good and evil are not set in stone, yet there are always consequences for one's actions. If one commits a wronging then they should be punished, yet one's upbringing should always be considered in determining the severity of the punishment.

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    1. You have said "Ones upbringings should always be considered in determining the severity of the punishment" yes I understand. Although sometimes cases that are released because of their "understanding of the severity" such as, insanity, or mental illness. I believe the law and most if not all peoples punishments should be strictly interpreted by the law.

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    2. I enjoyed reading your post; however, I am interested to know how does this relate to the drama, first off; but, I am interested to see HOW your claim--Right and wrong/good and evil are not set in stone, yet there are always consequences for one's actions--fits into the fabrics of Macbeth. Please respond.

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    3. I agree with you emilia i think it is important to think of the society you live in. Relating this to macbeth i think macbeth was part of evil and he should have been punished. The evil came from the 3 sisters whom used their "spiritual powers" to tell macbeth that he will be king. Macbeth should have thought of the consequences but but he did not instead he committed a crime and continue to pursue what he had to do to become the king.

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    4. @Liz: have you ever considered that perhaps the laws own interpretation of the law is not entirely justifiable?

      @Yoali: I am glad that you see my point! I like how you related the concept towards the prophecy.

      @Happy: As for the claim connecting towards Macbeth, well in the beginning of the play if one had told Macbeth of the evil deeds he was bound on completing Macbeth might call the man mad and proceed to lock him up for claiming such heinous lies. The Macbeth in the latter-end of the novel, however, is the complete opposite of the man presented in the beginning. Macbeth's own institution of right and wrong was warped beyond repair upon the introduction of a future far too grand for him to handle. The severity of receiving such a future led him to do all possible in his power and it these actions that led to his inevitable end. Macbeth's own right and wrongs were not set in stone and the more they warped the more dire consequences the man began to face.

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  7. Yes, the person who did the evil should be punished. Evil is something that differentiates depending on the person, so if they did a crime that was "evil" where they were, they should be punished. Although they may have thought they were doing something good, they were not. In history is someone was going to die they would display his or her death, and if someone spoke about why that person should not die they would kill him/her as well. This is something that could be thought as the right things to do; however, it was thought as of evil.

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    1. Well Aaron what if you did an act that you thought of Good but indeed was evil? Would you want to be punished? Would you want to feel the pain of hatred? Wouldn't you want to fight for you life on your own views?

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    2. Thank you for the loaded question fallacy. Your whole comment is invalid, please repost.

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    3. Aaron please play nice in the sand box. Miguel: What Aaron is trying to say--although he was slightly cantankerous and pugnacious--is do you mind rephrasing your questions? Like Aaron, I am a bit confused as to what you are asking.
      Nevertheless, Aaron: how does your theory apply to Macbeth? I can make a connection, but I am interested to see if you made the same connection. Please elaborate for your audience.

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    4. Thanks Happy,

      Aaron if you committed a crime (that you thought was good)are you saying you would want to be punished?

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  8. Personally, I believe the person should be punish because they should have recognized that their action was wrong. As humans everyone makes mistakes; however, it is each and everyone’s responsibility to take control of their actions. Furthermore, without punishment one will not understand why their actions were wrong or the consequences from their actions. Without punishment humans race would not understand why their action was wrong; punishment is one of the many consequences from wrong-doing. It balances out the person by having them comprehend why their “evil” action should not be committed again. Overall, although the person may be innocent from the true “evil” of the action it is best to “nip it in the bud” than to have a person become “evil.”

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    1. A mistake or EVIL. EVIL or a mistake. Both of these by definition are significantly different. Please consider the text as you answer this question. Please connect your discussion to the novel thank you.

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    2. People should be punished when they are committing an “evil” act no matter the circumstances. When people are not punished for the evil act they will go mad with power because no one told them of the consequences which they will have to encounter. Therefore in Macbeth, since no one concluded who the culprit might be the host, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were able to feel superior to everyone. This contributes to each of their downfall because they knew their actions were evil. Although they honestly thought they deserved the life of luxury, their consciences prove their evil actions for a better life style was wrong. Furthermore, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth paid the consequences for their evil actions.

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  9. Esperanza ElizarrarazMarch 19, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    This is a really hard situation to be in, there is so many technicalities that could be brought up and so many different ways to portray it. If I was taking part in something that I thought was good, but was in fact evil, I would not feel like I should be punished. Most of the time, before people do anything they think of the consequences and they use that to gauge whether a certain should or should not be done. That leads to judgement, and the different ways that people can view things. Some might think a certain action is right, while others might see it as wrong. So you can say, that the most deciding factor is the setting and surroundings, and in my opinion that is how I would gauge whether or not to partake in something.

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    1. Esperanza:
      The "technicalities" you mention would not be an issue IF you used the text as the question directs you to do. Please use the text to discuss your theory or assertion. Evil and a mistake are two different paradigms--use Macbeth to discuss this question.

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    2. Esperanza ElizarrarazMarch 24, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      Hm, I don't quite understand what you mean by saying that evil and a mistake are two different paradigms. I'll relate what I'm saying back to the text though. In the novel Lady Macbeth thought that she was doing good by killing King Duncan because it would bring her and Macbeth riches and power. In her eyes, her wanting that was fine, but zooming out and looking at the bigger picture it was bad. She murdered the King who she had given room and board to in her own house. Ultimately what she did was wrong, and so she definitely deserved to be punished.

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    3. Esperanza:
      Does Lady Macbeth really believe she is doing right? She does ask evil spirits fill her with direst cruelty. What are your thoughts?

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    4. Esperanza ElizarrarazMarch 25, 2013 at 11:08 PM

      I think that she truly believes she is doing right. Yes she does ask evil spirits to fill her with direst cruelty, however she does this so that she will not feel remorse or change her mind about killing King Duncan, because she feels that the ending result of her killing Duncan will bring her and Macbeth good. And if she herself calls upon evil spirits, then she must not feel like what she is about to do is wrong.

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  10. One should always take age and wisdom into consideration when one is accused of an evil act that was not perceived as evil. For example, when a child throws a rock at a window and breaks it, all the child ever gets is a slap on the wrist because of the fact of that it is a child who did it. The parent of the child may have to pay for repairs but at the end of the day the child remains unpunished. If an adult were to do the same, they would be convicted of a misdemeanor and would be sentenced to community service and to pay for the repairs. Overall, if one is not given the proper guidance -- as in teaching right from wrong -- then they have nothing to derive their judgement from.

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    1. Please use the text to discuss your theory or assertion. Evil and a mistake are two different paradigms--use Macbeth to discuss this question.

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  11. Punishment for action
    An evil action cannot be truely be considered evil if the action did not have a direct purpose. This would actually be called a mistake, so should a person be punished for a mistake? That is what this question really asks. A person should not be punished simply because the action was not premeditated. -Fernando

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  12. Fernando:

    Please elaborate. I am not sure what you are saying. Please apply an ethical theory or philosophy to answer this questions and then use the text to support your claim or assertions.

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  13. I think you should be punished if you committed "evil" Even if you thought you were doing the right thing. It was the right thing to do for some reason in your mind but to others might be committing some evil. for example in macbeth you cannot mistake evil with good if you are murdering someone as powerful as the king. Macbeth thought he was doing the right thing because he was only thinking of how luxurious he's life would be if he were to become king.

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    1. Thank you for your post and welcome back to CALI! Holla at ya Teacha!
      I agree with your post, but I would like you to elaborate a bit more. If Macbeth did not kill Duncan, but he killed a servant, would that make his actions justifiable? I know what you would argue but your diction and ambiguity seem to affect the reading of your post.

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  14. Generally, I think regardless whether a person thinks they are doing the right thing or not, there is a consequence for every action. In the beginning of the year we discussed the morality of cannibalism, and it was hard to come to a conclusion because of the different beliefs that come from differences in locations and upbringing. Relating it to MacBeth, the protagonist MacBeth is the perfect example of doing what you think is right - although it is not the good thing to do. Even if he had thought that his becoming King was the right thing to do, the process in which he went about fulfilling that was evil. Many put blame on the witches for tricking the path that he took, but it was ultimately MacBeth who decided to take it upon his own hands to commit each murder. In the end, he had to pay for it, which I think everyone has to for every action.

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  15. Yes you should be punished, however the punishment can vary. For example a little kid who wants a toy from the store but his parents will not let him have it for unknown reasons to him. Yet, he still takes the toy. Later the parents find out and without question return the toy as an "honest mistake". The kid will some sort of punishment coming to him. Or in cases with Macbeth when he learns about his prophecy he thinks it is the right thing to do, so he can fulfill the prophecy. He too was punished but not by some small punishment but by death.

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  16. The perception of an action being either good or evil is not, or rather should not be, an arbitrary matter. Individuals cater to their society's codes; not the other way around. For example, law is unbiased -- or at least many wishes it so. If an individual kills another person, Judge Law does not take into consideration the morale standing of said action. Judge Law delivers the appropriate punishment (also take into account that the appropriate punishment is reflective of the particular society's codes rather than tailor-made for an individual) for murder because murder IS murder. It is not essentially murder, it is simply murder. In regards to Macbeth, the character, he yearned for the throne and proceeded to claim what he believed to be his through means he thought just but is perceived by any normal member of his society to be clearly ill-willed and malicious; better yet, downright evil.

    - Kiet

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  17. I think that every action done has a consequence, good or bad. Some actions may be for the better while others lead to evil. Innocence plays an important role in the punishment because their naivety can be seen as an excuse for their actions. However, every person has the choice to make the action placed upon them or turn it down. For instance in Macbeth, Macbeth had been manipulated by his wife into thinking he was doing the right thing. Yet, he had the choice to go on with the killing or walk away from the greed to be king. His greed in the end drove him to commit the murders making him guilty. Therefore, he was punished with death. As in Macbeth, every action done has an effect and is punished. A person is responsible for their involvement in doing something evil, even if they were misguided.

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