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human personality, law - University of Chicago essay


Dre1 1 / 1  
Jan 29, 2010   #1
hey everyone this was my uchicago essay plzz comment...

Essay Option 2: "Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust," wrote the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his "Letter from Birmingham Jail." What is "human personality?" Is it obvious what uplifts and what degrades it? Can law be justified on the basis of it? We want to hear your thoughts on justice as it relates to this human personality.

Cogito Ergo Sum-I think therefore I am. This is a philosophical truism that speaks profoundly to the existence of a human personality. From a scientific vantage one need only have mass and occupy space to exist. However through a more social and analytical lens a precondition to human existence is that one must, in addition to being physically material, think and or question his existence. The capacity of the human personality to satisfy this requirement is incontrovertible as it is this ubiquitous sense of "somebody-ness" that allows one to think or question his existence and to therefore 'exist' within the social realm. Simply put: human personality is the embodiment of one's sense of "somebody-ness", the irrefutable and universal right one person has to call himself a living creature.

The abasement of the human personality is a feature of my country's history. For over 300 years West Africans and their descendants endured the evils and disenchantment of slavery one of the most institutionalised forms of human degradation. The positive law within this context was justifiable on the premise of democracy and public will however as it pertains morals and equality it was undeniably unjust. Prima facie, it is easy to misappropriate or wrongfully equate democracy with equality. The frequence with which this faux pas has been made notwithstanding, history has proven repeatedly that this is a perilous mistake. As the will of the 'majority' has been used to justify or qualify the exploitation and devaluation of a 'minority'.

The question is therefore what makes law justifiable? Is it the will of the 'majority' ?, Public interest?, or is it the equity it dispenses?

Situations or laws that devoid men of their basic "human rights...", "human dignity...", "constitutional rights..." and "human personality..." are unjust. Institutions that deride the human creature of his ability to believe in, or at least question, his own existence and worth are unjust. Apartheid, the aftermath of Pearl Harbour and the holocaust imperil the human personality. Xenophobia, Slavery, homophobia and Racial Prejudice disembowel the human personality.

In as much as Dr. King believed in the "sanctity of life" and by extension the human personality and its inevitable upliftment so too am I compelled, by a similar moral suasion and by common sensibilities, to affirm the importance of the human personality in the determination of society's norms and the ultimate validation or justification of the positive law. The upliftment of the human personality within the historical context of the civil rights movement, in my estimation, refers to the "...rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood...[the rise from] the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity". A discernable copula exists between this quotation and Dr. King's overall opinion on the upliftment of human personality and Descartes' philosophy on man and his existence. I submit that if man is able to recognise his reflection as that resembling man, so much so that he is then able to contemplate or even question his own existence then, and only then, has he been uplifted into human existence.

In my opinion the upliftment of human personality may be explicated summarily by the French battle cry: liberté, égalité, fraternité. Without liberty one ceases to live for himself and his capacity to cogitate freely is abrogated. Without equality one looses the will to live and the capacity to think freely. Without brotherhood one is left desolate and derelict of other human life and counsel.

Law is neither justifiable exclusively on the basis of democracy nor is it on the premise that it protects the 'interests of the majority'. A Law can only be vindicated by its capacity to uplift the human personalities of the people it restricts. The human personality is the raison d'ętre of the law and I believe that true Justice demands that the human voice and personality be at the fulcrum of the law.
uyt6996 3 / 9  
Jan 30, 2010   #2
Dre1
Cogito Ergo Sum-I think therefore I am. This is a philosophical truism that speaks profoundly to the existence of a human personality. From a scientific vantage, one need only have mass and occupy space to exist. However, through a more social and analytical lens, a precondition toa human existence is that one must, in addition to being physically material, think and or(???) question his existence. The capacity of the human personality to satisfy this requirement is incontrovertible as it is this ubiquitous sense of "somebody-ness" that allows one to think or question his existence and to therefore 'exist' within the social realm. Simply put: human personality is the embodiment of one's sense of "somebody-ness", the irrefutable and universal right one person has to call himself or herself (a person is not only man.) a living creature.

The abasement of the human personality is a feature of my country's history. For over 300 years, West Africans and their descendants endured the evils and disenchantment of slavery one of the most institutionalized forms of human degradation. The positive law within this context was justifiable on the premise of democracy and public will, however, as it pertains morals and equality, it was undeniably unjust. Prima facie, it is easy to misappropriate or wrongfully equate democracy with equality. The frequencies with which this faux pas has been made notwithstanding, history has proven repeatedly that this is a perilous mistake. Asas the will of the 'majority' has been used to justify or qualify the exploitation and devaluation of a 'minority'.(It cannot be a complete sentence. For instance, "As I had been to Japan." You cannot just end up with a dependent sentence. You need a independent sentence after "As-----------,".)

Since I am not excel in English, I might make a mistake. But, I tried to help you! It is a bit confused to me because there are some comma issues. So, I think you need to make your essay clearer.
srandhawa 10 / 157  
Jan 30, 2010   #3
i dont know if i would have put the i think therefore i am, really has become a cliche to the point where i dont think it gets the reader thinking at all like it should. I have to go, so I'll give the quick rundown WHERES YOUR PERSONALITY IN THIS ESSAY? This sounds like a college, thesis, a grad paper, a research paper, not a college essay! It's like your analyzing something, not telling a story, you gotta tell that story, this shows very limited glimpses of your personality, a major no no for a college essay. All this essay seems circular, just seems to harper at the same point, return to the same ideas, never really adds, and when you say in my opinion, that just highlights my point, most of your essay isnt about you, its about the issue, and you just highlight how circular your argument is when you say in my opinion, i think, if that makes any sense. Sorry, didnt have a full chance to give a whole run down, you obviously know your stuff and your prob pretty smart, this just seems way to formal, like your trying to impress, and doesnt show anything about you. Sorry, essays mean a lot less than most people say they do so dont freak out:) Good luck!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 31, 2010   #4
human personality is the embodiment of one's sense of "somebody-ness", the irrefutable and universal right one person has to call himself a living creature.

The body is the embodiment of it. The personality is not an embodiment.
Also, this says:
human personality is ...the -------> irrefutable and universal right.
So, human personality is both embodiment and a right?

I'm sorry to be critical!

Now, they asked about the human personality that can be uplifted or degraded. Could King have been talking about a COLLECTIVE personality shared by all humanity?
OP Dre1 1 / 1  
Jan 31, 2010   #5
thxs for your constructive comments guys. i know it lacks personality srandhawa but since this was actually not the only essay I sent to U of Chic. I wanted to use this opportunity to speak critically about the topic.

Aside from being academic sounding though, what is your general feelling of the essay? Do you think it answers the question appropriately?
srandhawa 10 / 157  
Feb 1, 2010   #6
it answers it, but i think it does so too directly meaning, its like a math question, heres the question, and heres the actual answer, your trying to give too simplisitic, too superficial of an answer here. What your saying is right, but theres so much more to the argument than what your saying and thats the risk w/ these types of college essays, the person reading it may know much more about the topic than you and might just hate some of your ideas or think theyre too basic and immature. Thats why i dont know if talking seriously about thsi type of issue without relating it to yourself was the best idea, your making this essay more and more objective and less subjective to the point where an adcom can say this essay is just wrong, its incorrect, if they really dont agree w/ what your saying, cant do that with an essay about your personality or whats important to you or what not. U chicagos the type of school that loves quirkiness, uniqueness, individuality, kids who show their nerdy side, and as to your point about turning in other essays, this is the extended essay prompt, this is the big one, this is the one you really have to do well on to get in, this would have been the essay to show those personality quriks u chicago loves. Maybe the why u chicago essay is the one to get more serious on, but this extended essay, mmmmm, i dont know, maybe this works out for you, lots of things they think about in their decision, but i just might have thought about doing things a little diff, no hard feelings though, just trying to be honest, good luck man:)


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