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Feathers and Fur

Following are the various posts I have placed on our Message Board.

Messages 8/15/01
Hello fellow classmates. My email is I am 50 and attempting to get a degree before I die. I own five beautiful exotic parrots. I have a son and daughter in college as well. I work full time at Pasadena Water and Power, and given the current "energy crisis" I am quite busy. Interestingly, there are considerable ethics questions being raised in our industry over the recent price gouging by a few energy providers. I look forward to an interesting class and some insightful online debates.

Message 8/16/01 11:40 am Whew! I did it. The Site Builder didn't work last night, but it's working now. Later I'll upload some photos of my passion -- Parrots! Ethics: Having no introduction to a Philosophy class, I'm finding the first reading assignment difficult, at best. I'll try re reading the first several pages when I'm not so tired.

Message 18 8/17/01 10:30 am
It's too bad you missed the orientation. It was the only time our class will ever meet! You will find the syllabus within the first two messages posted by gnosticgolfer (the instructor). Your first assignment is also posted. We will need two books for the semester. One is in the Mt. Sac bookstore now and the other should be arriving soon, or you can buy it from an online source, if you can find it. Everything you need to know thus far is in the syllabus. Most importantly, you need to create a website to house your posts, mid term and final. Hope this helps

Message 19 8/17/01 10:32 am
I believe I tried to reply to this message from e-mail, but I don't think it worked. You need to post your assignment here, as well as on your website.

Message 25 8/17/01 10:34 pm
You are correct! The required books are NOT on the syllabus. Uh Oh. I was sitting in the back of the class and I could not read the board. The first book is Great Traditions in Ethics 9th edition by Denise White and 2 others. The second book is Practical Ethics by Peter Singer. Hope this helps. On a personal note, I'm truly bummed because I just had two surgeries on my right arm: carpal tunnel and a reconfiguration of my elbow. Now it turns out I have a torn rotator cuff, and I need yet another surgery. Arrrrgh!

Message 26 8/17/01 11:13 pm

PHIL 12 - Week 1 Post - Virginia Bender
Considering this class an initial introduction to Philosophy with a focus on ethics, I hope to use what I learn in daily business. I was surprised at the complexity of ethics. The first reading could probably take up an entire semester, if we concentrated on breaking down the various theories. For this essay, I will use values based on an American society. However, given the diverse ethnicity of the United States, there exists a great disparity in values. Despite this disparity in values, I will focus on basic principles of right and wrong. On whose values should we base ethical behavior? Should we follow the practices of a society, and, if so, which society? In my reference site Colero indicates that we should listen to intuition or an "inner voice." That sounds like a good idea, but what if we lack an inner voice. A recent conversation I had with my orthopedic surgeon comes to mind. While he was Chief Resident at County USC Medical Center, Richard Ramirez (the "Night Stalker") was brought into the emergency room. My doctor indicated that while Richard was a friendly fellow, his eyes were those of a shark?dead. Now, what kind of inner voice or intuition did Richard Ramirez possess? Why didn?t he develop the same inner voice and intuitions as others? Lawrence Kohlberg wasn?t off base when he attempted to trace how youth think. I was surprised, however, to read that most people never reach Kohlberg?s fifth level. I presume one reason would be that we encounter daily corruption. For example, we might see employees engaged in time theft, or taking a few office supplies, or making personal calls. Such deeds don?t seem like a big deal, but they are nonetheless acts of corruption. Maybe people become desensitized to this type of corruption, and it hardens the ability to achieve Kohlberg?s fifth level. Obviously, Mr. Ramirez did not reach any of Kohlberg?s levels. Perhaps, in addition to Kohlberg?s five levels, we include W.D. Ross? seven moral convictions, we might enhance our inner voice. Parental grooming probably stimulates our inner voice from the time we are toddlers. If, however, parents themselves lack moral character, how will they teach their toddlers? I think the subject of ethics is as varied as the cultures of the world. It would be ideal if everyone shared the same ethics, or if everyone even had ethics. Sadly, just watching the evening news confirms the lack of ethics by many people. After reading the first weeks? lesson, I think it will be a challenge to pinpoint one philosophy as the true ethical source. Perhaps we will have to combine a variety of philosophies and come up with our own rules for ethical behavior.

Message 27 8/17/01 11:41 pm This is the link to my website. I had to create a new page to insert my Week 1 Post. How do I go from page 1 to page 2? Anybody know?

Message 38 8/20/01 10:40 am
My problem arm is, in fact, my working arm. Since I have 2 online classes, it would be problematic if they wanted to operate now! Bummer.

Message 40 8/20/01 10:13 pm
When in the EDIT site for your web page, I clicked on the icon at the bottom that said, "New Page" -- I created my site in Tripod. To view the second page, I click on the upper left link that says "new title page."

Message 44 8/21/01 5:07 pm
Yes, we are supposed to write a one page "essay" about our observations of the first Internet reading.

Message 50 8/22/01 12:21 am
Your page seems to be working. You just need to add your posts now. I need to add my posts to my page too.

Message 52 8/22/01 10:22 am
Good Grief! I thought the first week's reading of 13 pages was long! Aristotle's Ethics is 28 pages. My brain is sure to explode trying to understand it.

Message 63 8/23/01 10:47 pm
Hello! I believe we are merely to post our work here and post it on our website.

Message 67 8/24/01 5:57 pm
It's in the first two messages left by Dr. Diem. It is on the syllabus. It's #3 under Week One. You need to link to an article, read it, write a one page post, then add that page to your website.

Message 72 8/24/01 10:10 pm

Message 81 8/27/01 4:19 pm
You must first advise which site you are using for your web page. Then go to that site (not your web page), but the main site, and find the section that allows you to enter your website. For instance, I'm in Tripod. I go to Tripods main page and I hit "Site Builder." It then goes to a window that lists my site and I simply select my site. Then I can go into my website and edit. You copy and paste in the same way you copy and paste everything.

Message 87 8/27/01 11:15 pm
I just saw some links to websites posted in the "Links" section of this club. Now I'm wondering WHERE we're supposed to be posting our assignments. Do we post the links to our essays in this, the message section, or in the section called "Links?" I'm confused. Also, do we post the link to the actual page our essay is on or merely the link to the web page? Double confusion. Last bit of confusion--we're supposed to paste our posts on our webpage, but are we supposed to paste all the mundane chatter-type posts as well? At age 50 I live in a perpetual state of confusion, but I can't afford to have my assignments confused. Any help on this will be appreciated!

Message 89 8/27/01 11:53 pm
Thanks! That was my understanding as well, until I started looking through the Club site and confused myself.

Message 103 9/1/01 7:51 pm
Last night while posting an Anthropology message, I heard a POP, smelled an electrical burn and my Mac G4 died. Rushed it to Comp USA and the diagnosis is still not in! I've dusted off a slow-as-molasses Power PC, but lost all my links, passwords, etc. Arrrgh! And yesterday driving to a doc appointment, the entire side of a back molar crumbled. Of couse, the dentist is on a 3 day weekend. Somebody shoot me! As for Kant... wow, is that ever difficult reading! I've got 4 more pages to read and I haven't a clue what I read. Very difficult, and if the rest of the class is like this, I'll open a vein!

Message 108 9/2/01 11:00 pm
Wendy, thank you! I'm ok, because I saved everything. The only bad thing is that I can't remember the password to edit my website! My G4 memorized all the keystrokes, and like ad dummy I didn't write down my password! I wrote to tripod though. So, I can't upload my Kant report until I get my password.

Message 113 9/4/01 11:38 am
Theresa, thanks for the info. I suppose I didn't expect an Ethics class to be studying philosphers of old. I'm told by many that I'll enjoy the subject, so I guess I'll stick with it. I look forward with DREAD to week 7! I'm printing all of the links to future readings, so that I can read earlier than the week due, but whew, what a lot of reading! In reading the syllabus for week four I see that we're supposed to post links here for our essays that are on the web. I thought I was supposed to post the essay! Duh! Well, I'm off to find a site that explains what David Hume just said on cause and effect. Just when I think I get it, he confuses me again.

Message 114 9/4/01 12:00 pm
Hello fellow students. I contacted the system administrator at in an attempt to get the correct link to hume1. I asked for the doc itself, or a better link. I will post to everyone if I get the document. Hume.htm was a difficult read!

Message 117 9/4/01 11:23 pm
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four/Post 5

Message 125 9/5/01 1:22 pm
To copy and post my links to our Club, I did the following: I opened my Website. Then I opened Word in the background. I clicked on my first Posted message and in the Browser's URL location bar, I simply highlighted and copied it. (Command C for Mac, Control C for PC). Then I switched to a blank document in Word and hit Command V (Control V) and it pasted the link into the word document. I went back to my Web page, opened the second post and repeated the above steps. Once I had all the links to my pages on the Word document, I copied the entire word doc (highlighted it all and hit command C). Then I opened our Club site, selected post, named it Links to Posts 1 thru 5 and in the body I hit command V, which pasted all the links. If I didn't explain this correctly, I'll be happy to walk you through it on the phone.

Message 126 9/5/01 1:25 pm
Theresa, I believe your post was "guessing" at the instructor's intended links. I don't want to waste my time working on links that are not the intended link! I want to find the originally intended link. As for the reply from The message I wrote to the System Administrator, was returned to me this morning as "undeliverable." I think if the instructor wants us to read a specific link, then it is the instructor's responsibility to provide us with that link. Otherwise, tell us to go find our own! I belive at the end of your post you laughed, suggesting that this whole thing was a joke. (I may be wrong, but that's how I took it.) I'm far too busy to joke around with a class assignment.

9/6/01 8:03 pm

I just spent the last 30+ mimutes finding and copying all my posts on our Club into my webpage.
Above is the link if you' like to see what I did. I then marked the from/to post dates, so that i will know where I stopped. Every couple of weeks, I'll copy my posts and add them to my website. Just thought I'd share this with you.

Message 126 9/5/01 1:25 pm
Theresa, I believe your post was "guessing" at the instructor's intended links. I don't want to waste my time working on links that are not the intended link! I want to find the originally intended link.

As for the reply from The message I wrote to the System Administrator, was returned to me this morning as "undeliverable."

I think if the instructor wants us to read a specific link, then it is the instructor's responsibility to provide us with that link. Otherwise, tell us to go find our own!

I belive at the end of your post you laughed, suggesting that this whole thing was a joke. (I may be wrong, but that's how I took it.) I'm far too busy to joke around with a class assignment.

Message 137 9/7/01 1:13 pm
Thank you for the explanation. One thing I don't take humorously is school. I focus very hard on the subject at hand, and I took the message as "ho hum, isn't this funny, find your own links" and it didn't settle properly with me.

I guess this is the first online class I've taken where the instructor doesn't participate! Very strange indeed. If there was an error in the link, or a different link, I expected Dr. Diem to communicate with the class directly.

I completed the assignment as best I could with the information the instructor provided.

Message 138 9/7/01 1:16 pm
I can't recall what week we're on and what the lesson is for the week of 9/10. I have not yet started the Religion section and I see a post is already up! Am I behind?

Message 155 9/11/01 12:49 am 6ABITM4UI&sourceid=00000161363075341331&bfdate=09-11-2001%2B00%3A47%3A01&querylo cation=7&TTL=Practical+Ethics&x=26&y=14&ATH=Peter+Singer&WRD=&SORT=S

I found our second textbook at the above site ($19 new, or $15 used). What I would like to know is if the 2nd edition is the right edition.

The book ships in 24 hours. Does anyone know how much the book is at the Book Rac?

Message 161 9/12/01 11:40 pm
Thank you, Dr. Diem, I will go ahead and order the book online. I bought the other book immediately following orientation. Lucky me... I got the last USED book!

Message 169 9/15/01 11:10 pm

Above is the link to my Religious and Christian Ethics post.

Message 191 9/28/01 11:29 pm
I'm trying to get through the Genealogy of Morals. I'm trying to deal with the horrible tragedy of September 11th and knowing that over 200 of my former colleagues are missing. And I'm trying very hard not to fear my upcoming trip out of the country. It's a mere 13 days away. Our tickets still show us flying into LaGuardia, NY, and sailing from the port in Manhattan. I'm sure that will not be the case.

I'm having such a horrible time trying to concentrate I can't even begin to think to post. Because of the horrible worm that invected our computers at City Hall. All access to this site and others have been blocked.

I'm sure there are many others who are having a difficulty time getting through this, as well.

Message 192 9/29/01 12:23 am
There seems to be a deep chasm between Christian and Non Christian beliefs. It appears that Buddhism seems most closely related, as the forbidden acts of Buddhism are similar to Catholicism: Killing, stealing, illicit sex, wrong speech, drunkenness, to name a few. It seems that the goodness of and to man is important.

From this Internet article, I get the impression that the other faiths appear to be pro themselves with dislike and even hatred for non-believers???firm belief that Muslims possess the one truth has led to much violence on the behalf of Allah?? as well, as the oppression of women as evidenced by the Islam article that stated, ?? horribly degraded position of women in Arab Society??

What I think the article failed to mention is that these faiths are probably all quite good, but certain human beings have soured or turned certain teachings into their own personal viewpoint, such as Osama Bin Laden. He preaches hatred and violence, as the world witnessed on September 11, 2001. Perhaps if I studied the non-Christian faiths in detail, I might learn the true intention of Allah, Buddha and the other named gods. Perhaps I would learn that their true teachings are similar to Jesus Christ?s teachings, but changed over time.

Jesus? teaching was never other than love, both the love of the Father in Heaven and love of our brother. I suppose I could take up a sign, decry a cause and say it is in the name of the Catholic Church, but it would not be true. Look at the so-called pro-lifers who, in the name of God, kill abortionists and bomb abortion clinics. That is not what Jesus compels us to do. That is in direct opposition to calling themselves pro-lifers! It is not the Christian way. Killing in any form is wrong.

Message 193 9/29/01 12:23 am
Thomas Paine is as off base as one can be. His views are sad and reveal a closed heart. In order to legitimize his views, he tries to lead readers into believing that Christianity is horrible, viscous and murderous. Paine speaks of biblical atrocities, but out of context, and without the complete picture. He said the sword founded Christianity. His views are skewed.

Paine states Christians pretend that Christianity was established by the sword. Jesus Christ is Christianity; He established Christianity, and certainly not by the sword or violence. It is true that professors of Christianity waged wars, but they were, after all, merely human. We all know the frailties of humankind. Leading wars in the name of the Lord did, in fact, take place. That is not to say that Christianity compelled such wars.

Paine further uses the history of events to denigrate the Old Testament. The Bible is an accounting of history. History did not use the Bible to plot its course. There is much in the Old Testament from which Paine could draw conclusions, but as I said, he has a closed mind. Paine would have us believe that since Christianity has the Old Testament as its foundation, and because there was violence in those days, that hence violence formed Christianity. Christ formed Christianity, and again I say there was no violence in Christ.

I am unclear as to what Paine is trying to say in the fifth paragraph of his article, but maybe he is inferring that the Bible does not say enough on the subject of morality. If this is his intent, he is mistaken ? case in point, Sodom and Gomorrah. Adultery was also addressed

Lastly, Paine criticizes one of God?s most difficult of His two Great Commandments?Love thy neighbor as thyself. Love is what Jesus Christ advocates and loving our enemies seems nearly impossible right now. Paine does say something provocative, ?It is incumbent on man, as a moralist, that he does not revenge an injury; and it is equally as good in a political sense, for there is no end to retaliation?? This is especially profound at this particular moment in history, for what we are witness too today is one of the most gut-wrenching, horrific scenes we have ever seen, and will long remember.

Message 194 9/29/01 12:27 am
I believe in God and in His omnipotence. I believe in Jesus Christ, that He was crucified for our sins, and that He rose from the dead. I believe in the saints and martyrs. I believe that it is wrong to kill, steal, lie, and put yourself above others. Part of putting oneself above others is vanity, bearing false witness, slander, gossip, greed and so many other things that tangle us in a web that keeps us away from God. I believe in prayer.

God is an all-powerful, all knowing and all loving God. He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us, save us from sin, and show us the path to heaven. Sadly, His son was rejected, and put to death. However, His very death is the foundation of my belief, for if Christ had not been put to death, he could not have risen. The resurrection of Christ is our salvation. It is the greatest feast of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church, in keeping with Christ?s instructions, encourages us to pray. I believe that prayer, especially united prayer, accomplishes more good that we can possibly imagine. For centuries, Catholics prayed for the conversion of Russia. Today, Russians are free to practice their faith openly and without fear of reprisal from their government. The effects of prayer are not only far-reaching, but provide a tremendous relief to our soul.

The soul, I believe, is where our inner resolve resides. It is what makes us who and what we are. If we cherish and nurture our soul, we would be living in a Christian way. We would be walking the talk. While everyone has a soul, not everyone believes in savings one?s soul. One source of damage to our soul is immorality.

Immorality is a terrible sin that leads to much turmoil and pulls the soul further away from God. Immorality diminishes fortitude, and may lead to other sins. I believe that because I have a soul my body is a temple of God, and as such should be cared for and properly nurtured. Following in Jesus? footsteps is the only way to nurture a soul.

I believe in heaven, purgatory, and hell. I know heaven exists because Jesus told us His father is in heaven?Paradise. Before Jesus died on the cross, he told us of paradise. Jesus also told us about the fires of Hell and banishing an archangel to the fires of hell. It is a place I would hate to spend eternity. More information on the existence of hell can be found at

I believe in the pope and his infallibility as it pertains to the Catholic Church. I also believe in the Blessed Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Message 195 9/29/01 12:27 am
How would a Muslim agree or disagree?

Because Muslims look upon Western culture as perverse in and of itself, they probably associate Western ways with Christianity. They most likely have a great disdain for Christians. Muslims believe that their ways is the only way. They probably resort to violence toward any other belief, much as Western fanatic pro-lifers do when they kill abortionists and bomb clinics. I think it is more out of a horrible pent up frustration and a lack of knowledge.

Since Muslims believe women cause men to sin, only tells me they must be weak and unable to control their sexual urges. Because of this weakness, the Muslim women are covered from head to toe. Modest dress is perfectly acceptable in Christian ways.

Our Ten Commandments are not denigrating to either sex, so our women are treated much better. (Of course, there are exceptions.) A Muslim would disagree with our Ten Commandments because they do not differentiate?the laws are the same for every man woman and child. For instance, one of our Commandments is ?Thou shalt not kill.? Some Muslims believes it is ok to kill in the name of Allah. Here is where I have a problem. Muslims say it is ok to kill in the name of Allah, and we say it is ok to kill a convicted criminal or an unborn baby. In a way, Westerners are qualifying our kill rule.

Christians do not have ?clear cut? duties, as the Muslims appear to have. Therefore, in that respect, Muslims would probably consider our Ten Commandments as a weak set of rules. We Christians act of our own free will. Muslims kill in the name of Allah?Kill in the name of anyone in the U.S. and you?re a criminal.

Muslims would disagree with my belief in saints and probably with our priests and pope, as well. Muslims do not have mediaries, but rather pray directly to God. (They also do not believe their God is the same as our God.) What Muslims may not understand is that Christians pray directly to God too.

The website I found talks about praise and glory to god, yet some Muslims practice the opposite of what god is. God is love. The web author speaks of Westerners misunderstanding Muslim ways, yet the website itself makes a mockery as it harshly criticizes nearly every non-Muslim faith. Rather than expressing criticism, why not just expand on the glories of the Muslim faith and allow tolerance toward others?

In conclusion, I do not think there are any similarities between the Muslims and the Christians. It would certainly be interesting if I could meet and speak with a Muslim as I did with my Jewish neighbor. Perhaps I could have more insight, and I would not have misguided beliefs about them. I don?t know a single Muslim.

Message 196 9/29/01 12:28 am
How would a Buddhist agree or disagree?

A Buddhist would disagree wholeheartedly with the basic philosophy of Christianity in that Buddhists do not believe in a supreme being. Because belief in a supreme being is non-existent, it holds that no teaching of Christ would exist for a Buddhist. If there is no god, there is no heaven, or hell, or saints or martyrs to intercede. There is no prayer?to whom would one pray?

Everything I believe in as a Christian means nothing to a Buddhist. Self-denial and suffering on earth are stepping-stones to heaven as far as a Catholic is concerned. One of the four Noble Truths of Buddha is ?to be fully understood? one of the eight beatitudes of Catholics is that it is not as important that we be understood as to understand. Buddhists want to attain Nirvana in a new life. Catholics want to attain heaven after death.

Buddhists believe strongly in reincarnation. Catholics only believe that we have one life on earth, and after the death of that life, we will go to Heaven, Purgatory, or hell.

The Eightfold Path (right understanding, thinking, speech, conduct, livellihood and effort) are good concepts and probably hold to the Christian beliefs, but when coupled with their other beliefs, they differ considerably from Christians.

I am sure there are very devout people in all of the religions of the world, just as there are non-followers of each faith. There are certain Christians who also believe that unless you are born again you are condemned. I believe that Catholicism is the true religion and that I am so fortunate to have been raised as a Catholic. That is not to say that not anyone who is non-Catholic will be saved. I believe that good people will receive their just reward, just as truly evil people will receive theirs. Justice is mine says the Lord, and I believe He will hand out justice such that we have never seen.

It would be interesting to see a side-by-side non-partisan comparison of the lives of Jesus Christ, Mohammad, and Buddha. There must be a theologian somewhere who has done that. Dr. Diem, this was a very enlightening exercise.

Message 197 9/29/01 12:29 am

Summer Yahoo Club Link

Message 198 9/29/01 12:31 am
[this is unfinished -it's my outline]

What impressed me the most was the diverse subject of tolerance. The museum was not just focused on the holocaust, as I originally expected, but rather it focused on almost every form of intolerance that humanity has suffered.

Interestingly, the subject of terrorism did not have a predominant focus. However, in view of the events of September 11, 2001, I believe the terrorism aspect in the Museum of Tolerance will assume a more significant prominence. Sadly, given the number of dead in such a short span of time, the events of September 11th as well as what is sure to follow, will become a prominent section of the museum.

The holocaust section is the most dramatic. For some people it brought back painful memories. The setback in time coupled with the final ac was a unique way to truly enlighten those of us who did not live during that terrible era. One can only describe this section as chilling. It is almost incomprehensible that this could have actually happened.

The education offered by the museum should be broadcast to everyone! In view of our current events, people need to be educated against the commission of hate crimes. It is not up to us to single out a person or group and extract revenge on them for the deeds of September 11th. That kind of ?justice? is not justice, but a crime! If for no other reason that the educational aspect of the museum, everyone should visit this museum. Not only visit it, but re-visit it two or three times more!

Message 199 9/29/01 12:35 am
I'm sorry I blurted out my emotions. I realized after than poor me post that I had not posted a single link to my essays, nor the essays themselves. I decided to focus on this class, and go back and post my work.

Again, I am so sorry for running off at the mouth earlier, as I'm sure there are a lot of folks who have been severly hurt by these horrific evil deeds. If I could just stop being so weepy and concentrate, I'm sure I'd be more civil in my replies. Melody, you're right, we all need to participate.

Off topic question - has anyone on this list had rotator cuff surgery? And were you able to type or write immediately following? I am in dire need of this surgery, but if it affects my ability to finish this semester, I may just postpone it until after finals.

Message 200 9/30/01 6:17 pm
Yesterday at 9 a.m. my beloved Congo African Grey, Sinbad, died in my hands at emergency. She took ill Friday night at 9:30 and not one single emergency hospital had an avian specialist on duty. She made it through the night, and despite making to the animal hospital, she died in our hands - I holding her and the vet trying desparately to save her.

I cannot stop crying for my beloved parrot. I have changed my webpage. Ginny

Message 210 10/1/01 10:16 pm
Thanks Wendy. I'm just trying to hold off until after finals. At the rate I'm going I may not be able to wait. Drugs! that might help! ha ha ha

Message 211 10/1/01 10:19 pm
Anybody know if the mid term was posted anywhere - in the syllabus on a message borad??? I'm making myself a nervous wreck thinking i won't have enough time to do complete IT as well as homework before I leave! What on earth possessed me into taking 2 classes, work 12 hour days, care for parrots, and have surgeries all in one semester! Somebody shoot me!

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