Live and Let Live

“Live and Let Live”

Who gets to make decisions for other people? Is there a need to come to terms with an understanding of human rights? Not surprisingly, these two concepts often clash when culture is introduced to the equation. On the issue of gay marriage, for example, one way of thinking creates restrictions to individual expression, but change to those restrictions necessarily infringes on closely held beliefs. If our goal is to reach a state of utopia where people are free to make their own decisions, how do we come to terms with this opposition?

Post a 500-word essay to your blog addressing a “hot-button issue” topic of your choice (e.g. abortion, gay marriage, transgender rights, etc.). In the first part of your essay, investigate the religious, political, or social/cultural, etc. influences that inform both sides of the topic. See if you can determine who is making the decisions in the first place. Who has the power? If you cannot tell, why not? Remember your Circuit of Culture handout, here.

In the second part of your essay, begin to work out a solution to how (at least) two opposing viewpoints can be reconciled. Think big. Think outside the box. Get creative here. You’ll have to understand who is making the decisions on both sides of the argument, what the motivations are for those decisions, and you must propose a solution that does not infringe on the rights of either side’s decision-making process.

Also, keep it realistic and respectful. Blatantly violent, disrespectful, or unrealistic solutions will not be accepted for credit. Remember what you all said together in our first in-class discussion: that you just want people to be a little more conscious of and a little nicer to each other.

Good luck. Be creative. Remember that this writing assignment is pass/fail, so don’t stress yourself out trying to find an answer. This is a tough one. Have fun with it.

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