Month: August 2018

Absence Culture Vs Absence Policy

Absenteeism is widespread in almost all sectors of a given economy. By and large, it is taken as hampering competitiveness, profitability as well as productivity. Often, it brings about overtime, dissatisfied clients, late deliveries, and injures staff morale among the employees expected to take up the duties of their absent colleagues. In due course, absenteeism affects organizations’ profitability adversely, with the related direct costs being exceeded by the related indirect costs (Jex & Britt, 2008). This paper demonstrates that absence policies, unlike the absence culture, are unlikely to stem employee absence. Many organisations remain bedeviled by staff absence despite having many well thought out, as well as clear, absence policies. Organisations are better served by developing the absence culture than putting in place absence policies. The absence culture helps manage staff absence proactively. It is essential in eradicating staff absence successfully.
Absence policies confer on organisations fewer benefits than the absence culture largely because of the considerable challenges that define the implementation of the former. Many organisations have developed well thought out and well planned absence policies, which unfortunately, are likely to fail to achieve the desired low levels of staff absence (Towers, 2004). The policies are likely to fail even when they are communicated to the targeted staff members persistently. Often, the implementation of the policies is challenging owing to organizations’ dependence on their line managers for the policies’ implementation. As well, organisations are highly dependent on the managers for the policies’ tracking as well ownership (Jex & Britt, 2008). As expected, the busy line managers find the role rather inconveniencing owing to their busy work plans. As well, they find the role inconveniencing as it is often not one of their principal performance indicators or key responsibilities. The line managers are usually not incentivized to focus on the role. Consequently, they rarely take action before staff absenteeism levels get out of hand.
Absence policies are unlikely to bring down staff absence rates as much as the absence culture does owing to other reasons. First, the policies and the related processes are often inconsistent, meaning that varied managers implement them in varied ways. Second, the manual tracking of staff absence is challenging. Consequently, many managers lack the enthusiasm to embark on it. They are likely to prioritize other tasks than the manual tracking of staff absence. Third, when organisations fail to track the implementation of their absence policies the rates of absence go up almost invariably. Fourth, in most organisations, senior managers are likely to be disengaged from the implementation of the policies.
Absence policies have varied downsides. Many employees are likely to find the implementation of the policies demeaning as they see them fit for very young, irresponsible persons. That is especially so when they suffer reprimands for staying away from their workstations. The reprimands are likely to bring about resentment. If organisations have absence policies that provide for the punishing of the staff who keep away from work but fail to provide for the rewarding of those posting commendable attendance rates, their employees are likely to view them as practicing double standards. As noted earlier, there are considerable challenges in the enforcement of the policies. Over and over again, the implementation of the policies is challenging owing to organizations’ dependence on their line managers for the policies’ implementation (Towers, 2004). Additionally, organisations are highly dependent on the managers for the policies’ tracking as well ownership. True to form, the busy line managers find the role rather inconveniencing owing to their busy work plans. As well, the implementation of the policies is defined by limited or no flexibility. The implementers of the policies are likely to fail to consider the many factors that define working adults’ lives, including sickness of loved ones, which can alter the adults’ schedules (Jex & Britt, 2008).
Even then, absence policies have various strengths over the absence culture. First, the implementation of the policies helps organisations in their allocation of their human resources in ways that are efficient (Towers, 2004). Second, the policies are rather effective in controlling costs since staff members who keep away from work cost their employers money. Third, the policies foster a sense of fairness: employees are unlikely to be asked to stand in for colleagues who absent themselves unjustifiably.
Even then, the absence culture has various strengths over the absence policies. The culture promotes staff wellbeing as employees have the confidence, as well as flexibility, to balance their individual and family needs devoid of worrying about finances or even work. Organisations that have the absence culture show a commitment to their staff members’ wellbeing and also bolster their engagement levels. Besides, the culture supports talent acquisition, demonstrating cutting edge ways of managing benefits (Jex & Britt, 2008). However, some employees may be tempted to abuse the culture, impacting on organizations’ profitability adversely.
By and large, practicing an absence culture confers more benefits to organisations than practicing an absence policy. Many organisations remain bedeviled by staff absence despite having many well thought out, as well as clear, absence policies. Absence policies confer on organisations fewer benefits than the absence culture largely because of the considerable challenges that define the implementation of the former. In most organisations, senior managers are likely to be disengaged from the implementation of the policies. The absence culture promotes staff wellbeing and allows organisations to show a commitment to the wellbeing.

FIN 550 Corporate Finance – All Discussions With Sample Answers

FIN 550 Week 1 Discussion Questions

Investment Performance – Please respond to the following:

From the e-Activity, predict the performance of the DOW for the next two years. Provide support for your prediction. Given your predictions, recommend whether or not a risk-adverse person should invest in the DOW index fund. Explain your rationale.

“Investment Decisions” Please respond to the following:

Analyze the factors that influence investment decisions at different stages in an investor’s life cycle, and make a recommendation at which stage the average investor should consider financial investments. Provide support for your recommendation. Assess how cultural differences in foreign countries impact investor asset allocations.

FIN 550 Week 2 Discussion Questions

“Globalization” Please respond to the following:

From the e-Activity, analyze how national exchanges around the world are linked and suggest which exchange most significantly impacts the U.S. markets. Explain your rationale. Assess the factor(s) contributing to the global consolidation of stock, bonds, and derivative exchange. Predict the impact to these exchanges in the future.

“Efficient Markets” Please respond to the following:

Analyze the most significant driver in an efficient market and whether or not you would characterize the U.S. markets as efficient. Provide support for your position. Discuss how behavioral finance concepts, such as bias, may impact investor decisions and the efficiency of financial markets.


FIN 550 Week 3 Discussion Questions

Global Investments” Please respond to the following:

Construct an argument for the average investor to consider diversifying into international markets. Based on international market performance, predict which foreign market will yield the highest return to investors over the next year. Provide support for your prediction.

“Portfolio Management” Please respond to the following:

Assess the factors that contribute to someone being risk adverse and how risk aversion may be diminished for investors. Explain how a given investor chooses an optimal portfolio and the most significant driver that determines if a diversified or single asset will be used.


Search and Seizure: Legal Aspects – Assignment Instructions

Search and seizure legal requirements are important in all investigations. In this assignment, we will concentrate on the need to meet these legal requirements and look at the issues that will affect a case.

A person called the Centervale Police Department to report an assault in front of a single-family residence at 8734 South Street. Officer James went to investigate the assault. The caller had said that blood and a weapon were possibly inside the residence and that he saw the victim, Henry “Hank” Roberts, outside the residence on the ground near the street. Roberts was unconscious and was being treated by paramedics when Officer James arrived. Officer James noted that the front door of the residence was closed. He thought about entering the residence.

On the basis of your reading of this case, prepare a 400- to 500-word, double-spaced report. In you report, answer the following questions:

  • How do search and seizure requirements relate to the investigative process?
  • What are the legal guidelines?
  • What problems might be encountered?
  • When is a warrant necessary and why?
  • In what ways can a defense attorney attack search and seizure issues at trial?

For the report, use Times New Roman, 12-point font. Provide citations for the references in the APA style.

Commercialization of Organ Transplants – Assignment Instructions

Imagine that you are a member of an ethics committee listening to arguments for and against altering the way in which human organs are obtained for patients in need of transplants. A new policy to allow the sale of organs by consenting individuals to patients in need and to medical institutions has been proposed. Critics argue that permitting organs to be bought and sold is unethical. You have been asked to review the arguments for and against the commercialization of organ transplants and to construct a report with your suggested plan of action. Use the Internet or Strayer databases to search for arguments for and against the commercialization of organ transplants, and then apply the principles learned in Weeks 1-3 to formulate your report.

Write a three to four (3) page paper in which you:

  1. Briefly summarize the arguments for and against the commercialization of transplants that you found in your research.
  2. Formulate your position on the debate of whether or not the sale of organs should be permitted.
  3. Defend your moral judgment with a moral argument. Identify the moral principle that you are appealing to in your moral argument.
  4. Determine which normative theory best supports your conclusion.
  5. Use at least two (2) quality references. (Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.)

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Determine the considerations for and process of ethical business decision making to balance corporate and social responsibilities and address moral, economic, and legal concerns.
  • Analyze selected business situations using the predominant ethical theories, such as utilitarian, Kantian, and virtue ethics to guide ethical business decision making.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in business ethics.
  • Write clearly and concisely about business ethics using proper writing mechanics.

Organization Strategic Dimensions Assessment – Assignment Instructions


The focus of this assignment is to assess the strategic dimensions of your own organisation or any organisation that you are familiar with. You are to critically assess and document the following dimensions:

You need to clearly articulate the conclusions that you draw about these dimensions individually. What linkages and consistency can you identify or infer within these dimensions?

Length: 10 A4 Pages maximum (plus appendices)


The purpose of this assignment is to provide an opportunity to utilise your knowledge of strategic planning to develop proposals concerning the future operations of a specific organisation.
Assessment criteria:

  1. An ability to utilise sources such as the Internet and University library facilities to search, locate and summarise data relevant to the assignment
  2. An ability to assess organisational culture
  3. An ability to utilise appropriate theories about business strategy to assess the relevance of the three dimensions for the chosen organisation4. An ability to assess the formal organizational structure and its impact on communications and decision making
  4. An ability to utilise appropriate theories to assess the linkages between specific dimensions of strategy
  5. Presentation of an appropriate arguments to justify your conclusion about the consistency and linkages in the chosen organisation
  6. An ability to present a well written, well structured report

The main body of the report should not exceed a length of 10 A4 pages,

Assessment criteria:

typed one and half space, using Arial point 12 type face. You can also attach appendices to the report to provide coverage of information that, because of the report length constraint, could not be included in the main report. There is no limitation on the length of the appendices.
1. 2.5 margin

World Cup PR Campaign in the US

You will prepare both an executive summary of the campaign (3 and half page), and press release announcing the campaign press release (1 and half page). e.g 2014 Brazil World Cup PR campaign
Develop a public relations campaign in behalf of 2014 World Cup PR campaign in the US market (2014 Brazil World Cup PR campaign – but target to US audience) / Brazil World Cup committee hired you as United States PR firm / and develop U.S. market PR campaign for 2014 Brazil World Cup. US Soccer federation also try to raise 2014 World Cup audience in the US, because there is not enough soccer fan base in the US. This PR campaign will cover ALL OF THE ELEMENTS of the campaign, including objectives, target audiences, assets, liabilities, strategies, tactics and metrics.

You can use bullet points for developing each sections. BE SPECIFIC! BE CREATIVE!

Using Articles To Compare And Contrast Qualitative And Quantitative Research Designs

Identify two articles in the University Library: one in which the business problem is researched using a qualitative design and the other using a quantitative design. Summarize each of the research designs.

Write a 350- to 700-word paper in which you compare and contrast the two approaches:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of each approach?
  • How can they be used most effectively in a combined approach?
  • Which method is more appropriate for research in your own business and functional area?

Women in Renaissance and Reformation Europe

Women in Reformation Europe

In 1569, the Scottish Presbyter John Knox wrote a powerful treatise against the idea of women in government. He was responding in part to the swift changes in society caused by the Reformation, but also responding to the accident of history that brought multiple women into roles of power in the mid-sixteenth century, including: Mary, Queen of Scots; Mary Tudor, Queen of England; and Catherine de Medici, Queen Mother and Regent of France. Hoping for a favorable Protestant King, Knox wrote this and published it a year after the Protestant Elizabeth took the English throne (which changed his tune, since her Protestant faith was in line with Knox’s wishes for governance). However, Knox did not know what to expect from Queen Elizabeth when he wrote the following words:

For who can deny but it repugneth to nature, that the blind shall be appointed to lead and conduct such as do see? That the weak, the sick, and impotent persons shall nourish and keep the whole and strong, and finally, that the foolish, mad and frenetic shall govern the discrete, and give counsel to such as be sober of mind? And such be all women, compared unto man in bearing of authority. For their sight in civil regiment, is but blindness: their strength, weakness: their counsel, foolishness: and judgment, frenzy, if it be rightly considered. ~John Knox, “The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women”

Kevin Reed. (1995). The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women 1558
Retrieve from

The following passage is taken from the 1542 publication of Agrippa von Nettesheim, A treatise of the nobility and excellence of womankind. Consider the different views on womanhood expressed here:

The woman has that same mind that a man has, that same reason and speech, she goes to the same end of blissfulness [heaven]. And thus between man and woman by substance of the soul, one hath no higher preeminence of nobility above the other, but both of them naturally have equal liberty of dignity and worthiness. For all, a woman was the last of the creatures created, the full end and most perfect of all God’s work. It is well known, that for the more part, a woman hath always more pity and mercy than a man. Moreover, it was proved by the civil laws that women might lawfully look to their own profit, to other men’s hindrance. Women should not merely grind at the mill, nor drudge in the kitchen. It is permitted unto noble women to judge, to arbitrate and decide matters, to do and take homage and fealty, to keep courts, and minister Justice among their tenants. And for this purpose, the woman may have servants of her own, as well as the man may: and a woman may be judge, yea among strangers. She may also give name to her family and kindred: so that the children shall be named after their mother, and not after their father. ~Agrippa von Nettesheim, 1542

(source: Bodleian Library, Oxford University, STC 71:08)


What do these passages say about the status of women in Renaissance and Reformation Europe? Write 200 – 250 words explaining your reaction to these descriptions and what they tell us about European women between 1200 and 1600:

Reformation and Political Authority

Part Two: Reformation and Political Authority

The following passage was written in the twelfth century by a Dominican Priest named John of Paris. Read this and consider what it tells us about the later dispute between the political power of Church versus State.

Secular power is more diverse, because of the diversity of climates and physical constitutions. Secondly, because one man alone cannot rule the world in temporal affairs as can one alone in spiritual affairs. Spiritual power can easily extend its sanction to everyone, near and far, since it is verbal. Secular power, however, cannot so easily extend its sword very far, since it is wielded by hand. It is far easier to extend verbal than physical authority. Third, because the temporalities of laymen are not communal…; each is master of his own property as acquired through his own industry. There is no need therefore for one to administer temporalities in common since each is his own administrator to do with his own what he wishes. On the other hand, ecclesiastical property was given to the [Christian] community as a whole… (pp. 85-6).

J.A. Watt. (n.d.). John of Paris
Retrieved from

The next passage was written by Marsilius of Padua in 1324. It is part of a longer list of “truths” about the nature of authority. Consider again what it tells us about disputes of power during the later Reformation.

There can be only one supreme ruling power in a state or kingdom.

The number and the qualifications of persons who hold state offices and all civil matters are to be determined solely by the Christian ruler according to the law or approved custom [of the state].

No prince, no partial council, nor single person of any position, has full authority and control over other persons, laymen or clergy, without the authorization of the legislator.

No bishop or priest has coercive authority or jurisdiction over any layman or clergyman, even if he is a heretic.

The prince who rules by the authority of the “legislator” has jurisdiction over the persons and possessions of every single mortal of every station, whether lay or clerical, and over every body of laymen or clergy.

No bishop or priest or body of bishops or priests has the authority to excommunicate anyone or to interdict the performance of divine services, without the authorization of the “legislator.”

Paul Halsall. (1996). Medieval Sourcebook: Marsiligio of Padua: Conclusions from Defensor Pacis, 1324
Retrieved from


Both of these works enjoyed a resurgence during the religious conflict of the sixteenth century. How would these arguments be used to support or challenge a break between the political king and the spiritual center in Rome? Be sure to mention which passage would support Catholic goals and which would support Protestant reforms. Write 200 – 250 words:

Relationship Between Religion and Philosophy in Islamic Circles

Part One: Renaissance Ideas

As Islam spread across large regions, Muslim scholars began to adopt ideas from Ancient philosophers. In the following passages, we read some thoughts about the role of Aristotle in Muslim and Renaissance Italian political thought. The first passage was written by Muslim scholar Mohammed Al-Farabi.

Now when one receives instruction.., if he perceives their ideas themselves with his intellect, and his assent to them is by means of certain demonstration, then the science that comprises these cognitions is philosophy. Therefore, according to the ancients [Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates], religion is an imitation of philosophy. Both comprise the same subjects and both give an account of the ultimate principles of the beings. For both supply knowledge about the first principle and cause of the beings, and both give an account of the ultimate end for the sake of which man is made – that is, supreme happiness – and the ultimate end of every one of the other beings. In everything of which philosophy gives an account based on intellectual perception or conception, religion gives an account based on imagination. In everything demonstrated by philosophy, religion employs persuasion. It follows, then, that the idea of Imam, Philosopher and Legislator is a single entity. ~ Al-Farabi (ca. 870-950)

Islam. (n.d.). Islam.
Retrieved from

The following passage comes from medieval thinker Roger Bacon:

The next consideration from effects is taken by comparing our state with that of the ancient Philosophers; who, though they were without that quickening grace which makes man worthy of eternal life, and where into we enter at baptism, yet lived beyond all comparison better than we, both in all decency and in contempt of the world, with all its delights and riches and honors; as all men may read in the works of Aristotle Seneca, Tully [Cicero], Plato, Socrates, and others; and so it was that they attained to the secrets of wisdom and found out all knowledge. But we Christians have discovered nothing worthy of those philosophers, nor can we even understand their wisdom; which ignorance of ours springs from this cause, that our morals are worse than theirs. For it is impossible that wisdom should coexist with sin. But certain it is that, if there were so much wisdom in the world as men think, these evils would not be committed. And therefore, when we see everywhere (and especially among the clergy) such corruption of life, then their studies must needs be corrupt. Many wise men considering this, and pondering on God’s wisdom and the learning of the saints and the truth of histories have reckoned that the times of Antichrist are at hand in these days of ours. ~ Roger Bacon ca. 1271

Paul Halsall (1996) Medieval Sourcebook: Roger Bacon: Despair over Thirteenth Century Learning
Retrieved from


Based on these words, what can we say about the relationship between religion and philosophy in Islamic circles? In Christian Renaissance circles? Since both passages are drawing from the same ancient philosophers, what does this tell us about the origins of the Renaissance? Write 200 – 250 words.

Ways In Which Different Levels of Government Interrelate With Each Other

Write a 350- to 700-word paper about the ways in which different levels of government interrelate with each other. Include the following points in your paper:

  • Provide an example of a current event or issue where multiple governments interact on the solution.
  • Describe the ways that those governments work together or against one another on that issue.
  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages in the ways that the governments involved work together.
  • Provide a possible solution to the current event or issue that would be better by having different levels of government work together. Include ways in which communication between the governments might be improved.


Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.

Process for Conducting and Closing Procurements

Write a 1,400- to 1,750-word paper in which you explain the process for conducting and closing procurements. Include the following:

  • Outline and explain high-level process steps for conducting project procurements.
  • Outline and explain contract administration policies and procedures.
  • Describe tools and techniques for the contract administration process, including the following:
    • Contract change control process
    • Procurement performance reviews
    • Inspections and audits
    • Performance reporting
    • Payment process (n/30, n/60, and so forth)
    • Records management system (RMS)
  • Describe conflict resolution techniques used while managing contractual relationships.
  • Outline steps to be taken to close out project procurements.
  • Explain the importance of closing project procurements and accounts.
  • Examine external influences on the procurement and risk management process.
  • Analyze the relationship between the risk response plan and the external influences.

A Judgment About Theory That Describes Wealth and Power in the United States

Write a paper in which you express a judgment about which theory: pluralism, state autonomy, or elitism best describes wealth and power in the United States. Address the following points:

  • Describe your participation in political activities.
  • Assess how these activities may have influenced your judgment.
  • Describe what evidence supports your appraisal beyond personal experience.
  • Decide if the general good is sacrificed for the good of powerful elite and special interests based on your appraisal of the theories. Defend your position.
  • Discuss the validity of class domination theory.
  • Describe why it is important to understand distributions and concentrations of wealth, power, and influence in the United States, and why it matters.
  • Make mention of why this topic should be relevant.

Format your paper according to APA standards.

Components Used to Measure the value of Information Systmes and IT Department to a Company

Write and Submit a 700- to 1,050-word paper in which you recommend various components that may be used to measure the value of an IS and IT department to a company. Include the following:

  • Metrics that measure the effectiveness of IS and IT. Also, metrics that measure their efficiency and the difference between metrics of effectiveness and efficiency
  • Methods used to measure the economic value of an IT department to a company
  • Models for assessing the IS value put in place by the IT department
  • Whether or not traditional financial ratios and measurements must be applied to determining the value of IT

Format your paper according to APA guidelines, including at least two cited references in your paper. Write the paper in third person voice.

Data Archiving Solution For A Company

An effective information technology manger must be as adept at the application of data storage techniques relative to business continuity. The organization is counting on IT to have a plan in place that ensures that business operations will continue in the event of a disaster. Most organizations today have a 99% uptime requirement. This means that data services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 99% of the year. Data archiving supports a well-designed disaster recovery plan by moving a copy of the data used in the production environment physically away from the organization’s data operations center to a remote location.

Imagine that your company has two locations—one in hurricane-prone Miami, Florida, and the other in earthquake-prone Los Angeles, California. The company policy is to handle data network storage in-house. The company processes high-volume transactions daily, and the data is considered mission critical.
    • Discuss your solution to archiving the company’s data, and be prepared to defend your option versus other students’; proposals.
  • Elements of your answer should include the following:
      • Hot site versus cold site
      • Data mirroring capability
      • Tape and optical drive backups
    • Offsite data storage services
Grading Criteria:
Your paper should indicate that having an offsite data storage program is essential to supporting the goals of business continuity. The fact that the organization handles all of its data storage in-house is a risk, especially considered the environmental risks of each location.
In an ideal setting, the hot site data mirroring option would be preferred as it would ensure real-time backup of crucial data while also providing the shortest lead time between the system going down and coming back up at the hot site; however, this option is expensive.
A less cost-prohibitive option is the cold site because it does not have operational equipment in it but is a predetermined location for operations to move to in the event of a disaster. The lead time in setting up a cold site would severely effect business operations. Data archiving in the form of backup tapes or optical drive platters provide the data used in cold site recovery as well as day-to-day file recovery. Backup tapes typically contain a full backup performed once a week, with incremental backups done daily.

Organizational Theory: The multiple Perspective on Organizational Culture

The Question To Be Answered:

‘What managers most often want to know about their organization’s culture is how to change it. Regardless of the perspective adopted, all organization culture researchers acknowledge that top managers are powerful members of an organization’s culture. And, because power grants them a disproportionate share of attention, their behavior becomes a role model for others, their words are carefully attended, and their directives are obeyed. But what is recommended to managers on the basis of culture theory differs markedly according to the perspectives adopted’ (Hatch and Cunliffe, 2013: 185).

Choose two of the four perspectives and discuss their different views on organisational culture and how their advice to managers who are seeking to influence organisational culture might be different.

  • The four perspectives are Modernism, Critical Theory, Symbolic Interpretive and Postmodernism.
  • I would pefer if focused on Modernism and Symbolic Interpretive.
  • Required word count 2000 words excluding the references.

Required readings (located on blackboard site):

  • Chapter 6 and pp 311-318 (Hatch and Cunliffe)
  • Fleming, P and Spicer, A. (2003) ‘Working at a cynical distance: Implications for power, subjectivity and resistance’
  • Wilson, F. (2014) ‘Chapter 11: Culture’ in Organisational Behaviour and Work, pp. 224-241.
  • Xu, Y., and Weller, P., Inside the World Bank, “The Staff and Their organizational Culture”, pp. 74-82.

System Integration Analysis and Its Importance to the Organization

The purpose of this paper is to explain all the procedures followed in system integration analysis and the importance of the integration to the organization. A system is the combination of subsystems working together so to enhance the delivery of  the desired functionality .Therefore system integration is the procedure of  linking together diverse  systems and software applications either physically or functionally so as to act as a synchronized component (Bandy, 2015). It is an essential element when designing a project since it helps in evaluation of all the processes in the project and reduces chances of making mistakes that might lead to unprecedented costs.

The approach used in designing the project is that of traditional architect and engineer design. This approach focuses more on the demands and preferences of the customers, using design milestones for feasibility accompanied by design reviews, and all the stages have the approvals of the customers before proceeding to the next stage (Bandy, 2015). The success of a project is determined by the team design in place; there should be qualified, experienced and competent teams who have a better understanding of the whole project.

Requirement specifications

The specifications help in determining the present and future requirements of the customers using the project being implementation. One of the specifications is that the design has to be integrated at an early stage. This is the period before any procurement are made, to ensure that decisions made in the design process are not biased, and emphasize on neutral engineering codes rather than procurement policies. The other important aspect is integrating the information system using the best information technology practices and transparent procedures with the main of achieving reliable and effective information that will meet the individual requirements of the customer (Rosenblatt, 2013). Tagging on that is the aspect of selection of platforms that will adapt to the client’s prevailing processes and business practices,   to ensure that the project will not cause any inconveniences to both the customers and the running of the business.

The other specification is determination of existing system by examination of existing network infrastructure, data pathways and procedures. The next one is checking customer requirements by identification of the existing system deficiencies and detailing the requirements of the customers’. This is followed by determination of systems interface, including existing hardware interfaces and procedures to the systems devices (Bandy, 2015). The next specification is identification of project risks through the documentation of possible risks that might be encountered in the integration process and coming up with measures of mitigating the risks. The final aspect is documenting all the areas that will be addressed in the course of the entire project. This includes the hardware, software, descriptions of the interface and the used approaches, layouts of the data, and sequence of operations.

Process used to elicit requirements

Requirements can be collected from various sources either from within the organization or from the external environment. The first process used in collection of requirements is by interviewing the major stakeholders in the company in order to ascertain the major problems that led to the formation of the project and the possible solutions to the problems (Denis, Wixom & Tegarden, 2015). The other process is reviewing the condition of the systems and infrastructure in the company with the aim of identifying the needed solutions that can be integrated in the project. The other option is holding joint requirement specification meetings with all the stakeholders so as to ensure the interests of all the members are integrated in the project, which will assist in quick formation and implementation of the project.

The other way of eliciting requirements is interacting with the users of the system and the user’s customers. Operational users of the system are the main contributors since they have enough information about the requirements for the systems functionality, performance capabilities and the user interface. Requirements can be elicited directly or indirectly on the basis of the users’ informal narratives, or through the observation of the users’ environment, or by capturing the responses from the questions asked to the users by either the use of questionnaires or face to face communication (Denis et al, 2015). Information about the user’s environment include job descriptions of the system users either on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, documentations in the organization like available training facilities and services, any reporting requirements done in the past, the staff members, the systems in place, the type of problems they encounter and the frequencies of the occurrences, and finally what works and does not work well in the organization. This information’s will act as basis for the foundations of more information which will be used in forming the requirements for the project.

Adding to that, asking the users specific questions like what was their ideal system would help in gathering more information that might have been left out using the mentioned methods. The other method is by directly observing the users of the system as they perform their roles and responsibilities in the organization, which is seen as a way of getting passive information (Bandy, 2015). Upon confirmation by the users that the implementation of the existing set of requirements will provide solutions to their problems and meet their desired needs, and the staff members working for the projects agreeing that they can come with viable products based on the use of the requirements, the activities proceed to the next step.

Stakeholders and their roles

An organization or individuals always come up with their personal projects, but the project will eventually affect other persons, administrations, or even systems in the organization either directly or incidentally. The major stakeholders are the executive sponsors of the project and contributors to the requirements; they include system engineers and system integrators, governmental organizations and other financial contributors like the banks (Rosenblatt, 2013). Other stakeholders are affected by the project indirectly, like interfacing businesses and operations; these include the contractors and subcontractors who provide essential services like integration of the system. . Another group of stakeholders include the company managers, system architects, security staff and technical and monetary staff who take part in ensuring that the project is well implemented and effective. All the stakeholders are mandated to review and remark on, and approve all the requirements in which they are involved.

Components and interfaces

The components in the project include the people using the system, the processes involved in the design and implementation of the project, the data, models used and the type of technology. The three major activities that are needed by the organization to make resolutions, control procedures, analyze difficulties and create new designs are the input, processing and the output (Bandy, 2015). The input serves the purpose of collecting data from either internal or external environment, the processing takes the active role of converting the data into more meaningful information that can be easily understood by the system users, and finally the processed information is transferred to the users through the output. The feedback channel helps in conveying the output to the stakeholders so as to help in evaluating and correcting any errors at the input.

Functional and Nonfunctional requirements

Functional requirements describe the outlooks of the user concerning the functionalities in which the system should have, while nonfunctional requirements describe all the things that are needed by the user from the system, and that do not have any element of functionality. Functional requirements are associated with the capability to directly support the user in accomplishing the desired mission. They include components and interfaces in the system, timeliness, quality of services, availability of all the required resources and features. Commonly used nonfunctional requirements are the operating systems, software environment, web applications, graphical interfaces and command line interfaces (Rosenblatt, 2013). With regard to the project, the nonfunctional requirements should be in a position of assisting the functional requirements achieve the intended goals of the project. For example, the web application used should be easily reached in all operating systems and through all the web browsers.

The system should be simplified in a manner that it can be accessed and used with ease by all the users. Nonfunctional requirements are categorized under three requirements, which are product, organizational and external requirements. Examples of product requirements include the security of the product, its dependability, usability and efficiency (Denis et al, 2015). Examples of organizational requirements include the environmental conditions, operational requirements and developments .Common examples of external requirements are the regulatory and ethical requirements. Both the functional and nonfunctional requirements should be testable and measurable. One should be able to gauge whether the system satisfies the stated requirements or not.

Scope of the project

The design of the project utilizes the use of System Development Life Cycle (SDLC), which is a type of methodology in software developments. Different models are used in this methodology, including spiral, agile and waterfall (Bandy, 2015). The models used in a given project depend largely on factors like the size of the project, its complexity, the desired goals and objectives, the level in which the requirements are well understood, the permanence of the environment in which the system is to be used, the needs and demands of the customers and the tolerance to risks in the course of project implementations. Another important factor is the timelines needed for the completion of the project.

This project will make use of the waterfall model because of its relatively low risk properties. It is done in a series of phases which have to categorical. The first phase is conduction of requirement analysis, it occurs after all the stakeholders including the system users have approved and documented a set of functional, nonfunctional and other requirements needed for full implementation of the project. The next phase is designing of the project, followed by implementation. The next phase is testing of the design so as ascertain its efficiencies and effectiveness in the system (Bandy, 2015). This is followed by integration, operations and finally maintenance of the new system in place. Before installing the new system, it important to train all the users on how to use and maintain it to avoid any cases of system failures. This type of model is achievable when the undertaking of the customers or the business is fairly stationary.

Some of its advantages are that it has a focused need; it provides a stable environment to the user of the system, the risks associated with expenses, security and program are very low, and that it has a very low probability of experiencing changes in the requirements when implementing the project (Denis et al, 2015). In order to avoid any misunderstandings between the stakeholders, it important to inform all the members of the possible risks that might be encountered in the process. For example, informing the customers of the fact that changes of requirements in the project, especially after the approval stage, will definitely lead to increase in costs , which add up to higher product prices.


When designing a project, it important to note that changes are inevitable, even if all the requirements are correct, complete and effective. Another important fact is that adding, modifying or deleting some requirements when the project is in implementation phase increases the cost, making the whole process expensive and may negate its implementation, an aspect which might discourage the stakeholders (Bandy, 2015). Therefore, the use of proper requirement organization process is encouraged with the main aim of controlling costs, and promoting traceability of the project. The other way of controlling costs is the use of effective system integration mechanisms when designing a project.

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American Automotive Industry Porter’s Five Forces Model Analysis

In 2009 the American auto industry was in a dire economic state.  Chrysler was in Chapter 11, GM was on the brink of bankruptcy, and Ford’s future was at best uncertain.  The demise of the U.S. auto industry would have a devastating impact on our national economy and specifically the economies of Michigan and Ohio. Economists occasionally use Porter’s five forces framework when making a qualitative evaluation of a firm’s strategic position.  According to Porter, his model should be used at the industry level, defined as a marketplace in which similar or closely related products or services are marketed.  This research paper requires the application of Porter’s Five Forces Model to the auto industry.

Porter’s analytical framework consists of those forces that affect a producer’s ability to serve its customers and make a profit.  A change in any of these five forces requires a re-assessment of the marketplace.  The five forces include:

  • The threat of substitute products: The existence of close substitute products (i.e., high elasticity of demand) increases the propensity of customers to switch to alternatives in response to price increases.
  • The threat of the entry of new competitors: Unless there are significant barriers to entry, profitable markets that yield high returns will attract firms (i.e., perfect competition), effectively decreasing profitability.
  • The intensity of competitive rivalry: As in the case of oligopoly markets, rivals may choose to compete aggressively, non-aggressively or in non-price dimensions.
  • The bargaining power of customers: The ability of customers to put the firm under pressure due to availability of existing substitute products, buyer price sensitivity, uniqueness of the products, etc.The bargaining power of suppliers:  The cost of factors of production (e.g. labor, raw materials, components, and services such as expertise) provided by suppliers can have a significant impact on a company’s profitability.  As such suppliers may refuse to work with the firm or charge excessively high prices for unique resources.

Develop a detailed paper applying Porter’s Five Forces Model to the American automotive industry. Your paper should be between 1750 and 2500 words, in APA format and structured as follows:

  • Cover page with a running head
  • Abstract
  • Introduction to the Auto Industry
    • Industry Definition
    • Industry Profile
    • Industry Structure
    • Future Outlook
  • Porter’s Five Forces Strategy Analysis as it applies to the Auto Industry
    • Bargaining Power of Buyers
    • Bargaining Power of Suppliers
    • Competitive Rivalry in the Industry
    • Threat of New Entrants
    • Threat of Substitutes
  • Conclusion
  • References

How John Locke Views Personal Identity – Sample Essay

Philosophers who focus on personal identity deal with specific questions, including determining the types of the things that that are persons according to Gasser (2010). John Locke views personal identity as being hinged on memory or consciousness as opposed to the body or soul. He conceptualizes consciousness as the recurring self-making out of oneself according to Forstrom (2009). Via the consciousness, moral responsibility or duty is assigned to given subjects and guilt, as well as punishment, is justified as implied by Perry (2008). Locke asserts that the self, or personal identity, is dependent on one’s consciousness as opposed to either the soul or the substance (Solomon, Higgins & Martin, 2016).

Locke was a renowned physician and philosopher from England. He was among the Enlightenment thinkers who wielded the most influence on the others and was a libertarian and a British empiricist. He helped develop and advance many theories, including the theory of social contract and the mind theory. He made significant contributions to the fields of political philosophy and epistemology. The mind theory is commonly referred to as having been the initial trigger of contemporary conceptions of the self as well as identity. Locke’s work figured significantly in the works of other renowned philosophers, including Immanuel Kant, David Hume, and Rousseau. He was the foremost philosopher to characterize the self via consciousness’ continuity. Elementarily, the philosopher postulated that a newborn has a tabula rasa, or blank slate, for a brain. Unlike Cartesian philosophers who based own postulations on concepts that were already in existence, Locke held that at birth, one is devoid of intrinsic ideas. The knowledge that one accumulates over time is only impacted on by the experiences he or she draws from own sense perception according to Locke.

According to Locke,  a person remains the same as long is he or she is aware of own future, as well as past, actions and thoughts similar to how he is aware of own present actions and thoughts according to Gasser (2010). If one views consciousness as a given thought that moves along with a given substance making comparable persons, them the identity is only hinged on the recurring consciousness act according to Forstrom (2009). That demonstrates that the identity does not comprise of the substance’s identity but the consciousness’ identity as implied by Perry (2008). For instance, one may argue that he is the reincarnated Plato, consequently having a soul-substance that is comparable to that of Plato in all respects (Solomon, Higgins & Martin, 2016).

Even then, the person would be Plato if his or her consciousness, or awareness, of Plato’s actions, as well as thoughts, is comparable to the consciousness, or awareness, that Plato had of own actions and thoughts. That means that self-identity is not hinged on one’s soul, which may comprise of diverse personalities as implied by Perry (2008). As well, self-identity is not hinged on one’s body substance since even when a person’s body changes, he or she does not change according to Locke. The identity of an animal is maintained in life identity as opposed to substance identity as the animal’s body changes and grows. A human being’s identity is hinged on own consciousness on the other hand according to Forstrom (2009).

Even then, that characterization of self-identity occasions the conflict-laden that given that the identity is hinged on one’s consciousness, which only oneself may have awareness of, external human appraisers may never become aware of if they are merely appraising or punishing the same substance, or body, or the person of interest as implied by Perry (2008). Locke contends that one can only be adjudged for the body’s acts, which are obvious to all save God (Solomon, Higgins & Martin, 2016). Even then, one is only truly liable for acts that his or body commits when he or she conscious. This perspective is commonly employed in insanity defenses, which contend that a person is not liable for acts blamed on his or her body during periods for which he or she was insensible, or unconscious according to Gasser (2010).

The defenses, which are more common in criminal court proceedings than civil court proceedings, entail arguing that accused persons cannot be held liable for own actions owing to the persistent or even episodic psychiatric illnesses that they suffer. Such defenses have colored criminal proceedings since the Hammurabi Code times. In different legal jurisdictions, mental disorders and insanity are defined in line with different legal rules or provisions. In Canada and Australia, mental disorders and insanity are defined based on M’Naghten Rules. The terms that are commonly used where the rules are employed include “mental disorder defense”, “mental illness defense”, “not criminally liable owing to mental disorder”, and “not criminally liable owing to mental illness”. The defenses are rather rare in the US, Ireland as well as the UK. In every jurisdiction where the defenses are considered, the related mitigating factors may occasion reduced sentences or even charges. The factors may include diminished capacity and intoxication (Forstrom, 2009).

The conception that Locke has regarding personal identity is not hinged on the body or the related substance. Rather, it is hinged on the same persisting consciousness according to Forstrom (2009). The consciousness is as well separate from the soul because it may not have self-consciousness. Locke further demonstrates that the identity is not hinged on the brain: just like the substance, as well as the body, the brain changes but consciousness remains unvarying. Consequently, one’s self-identity is not in own brain but own consciousness according to Gasser (2010). Even them the theory of self that Locke developed borrows heavily from theology which excuses human justice failings, thus the sorry state of humanity (Solomon, Higgins & Martin, 2016).

The experience that Gregor Samsa has in “Metamorphosis” by Kafka (2008) does not present a challenge to the view that Locke has regarding personal identity. Samsa wakes up to find that he has metamorphosed into a creature that is insect-like. The transformation’s trigger is not revealed or explained. Samsa remains keen on adjusting to the new reality, or condition, as he tackles the concerns of his parents and sibling who view him as burdensome. The parents and sibling appear repelled by the creature, which appears verminous and horrible. Locke views the identity as consisting of memory continuity. That is because the intuitions that Locke has regarding personal identity make particular sense. Samsa gets a new body but not memories. Even if Samsa’s person was to remain unchanged following the metamorphosis as he perceived himself – he was keen on returning to his former engagements –then his body’s continuity cannot be a requisite personal identity criteria.

Middle East Literature – IBP Inc. 2015, Cordesman 2004, and Owen 2008 Literary Works Analysis

Middle East Literature

Many countries in the Middle East are the major sources of crude oil that is used by the Western countries. Oil was founded in the Southwestern regions of Iran in May 1908. Since then, oil has gained a global importance in America, Europe, United Kingdom, and Africa, among other continents. According to Owen (2008), oil from the Middle East played a very significant role in the political struggle that took place in the Middle East after World War I. Discovery of large oil fields in the Middle East occurred between 1927 and 1931when there were discoveries in Baba Gargur, Persian Gulf, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. This essay analyzes the literary works of three authors: IBP Inc. 2015, Cordesman 2004, and Owen 2008, describing the discoveries, exploitations, developments, and the significance of Middle Eastern Oil.

According to Owen (2008), oil exploitation has brought about a number of benefits and challenges, not only to the Middle Eastern countries, but also to the rest of the world. One of the benefits of oil exploitation to the Middle East and to the rest of the world is the fact that it serves a major source of funds that citizens used to purchase their basic needs. However, some Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq use funds generated from oil exploitation to fund international terror which distorts the lives of citizens, both in the countries that produce it and in those nations that do not. Furthermore, oil exploitation in the Middle East is closely linked to global warming and environmental degradation (Owen, 2008).

Owen (2008), adds that oil production has greatly contributed to the stabilization of political economy especially in the Middle East. According to Owen, arrival of oil in the Middle East coincides with the creation of modern towns and industries. As oil revenues in the Middle Eastern countries continue to rise, these countries experience significant growth in their towns. The best examples of regions where oil exploitation is directly associated with growth of state is the smaller Gulf states where oil has played a big role in expansion of societies. Since oil was discovered in the Middle East in 1908, allocation of oil revenue has become part of domestic politics in the region. In addition, many oil producing countries in the Middle East rarely rely on their larger neighbors for funds to purchase resources because they have made oil revenue part of foreign policy (Owen, 2008).

Owen has recognized that Middle Eastern Oil has the potential to continue existing for another 100 years. According to Owen (2008), approximately 40 percent of the world’s oil is produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and there is great likelihood that these countries will continue supplying many countries of the world with oil over the next 100 years. This indicates that oil producing countries in the Middle East such as Iran and Iraq will continue to be of global importance provided their oil reserves are not depleted.

Additionally, Owen (2008) points out that the world’s demand for oil is likely to rise to 50 percent by 2030 and this will require oil producing countries in the Middle East to increase their production in order to meet the world’s oil demand. For instance, Saudi Arabia alone will have to double its oil export at a constant rate in order to fully meet the global need. One thing that might pose a big challenge to oil producing countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia is technological problem as far as development and management of new oil fields is concerned (Owen, 2008).

IBP, Inc. (2015) mainly looks at Petroleum production in Kuwait, one of the oil producing countries in the Middle East. According to IBP Inc. (2015), Kuwait has worked very hard to expand its oil production capacity to meet the world’s demand. Initially, small oil wells were drilled in northern Kuwait region but larger wells have since been constructed because it is anticipated that oil consumption in the country alone is likely to rise by 2 percent over the next two years. Kuwait Oil, one of the largest oil producing companies in the Middle East, is good at constructing oil production plants like the ones constructed in the Canadian oilfields (IBP Inc., 2015). Kuwait as a country has recognized that oil and natural gas will be of great significance in its electrical power generation plans for the future, and there is therefore great need to continue investing in oil production (IBP Inc., 2015).

Cordesman (2004) supports Owen’s idea that oil production in the Middle Eastern countries is projected to increase through the year 2030. Considering a number of factors, it is anticipated that the Middle East and North African region will need to expand its oil production capacity in order to meet the world’s demand. Therefore, oil producing countries in the Middle East should be prepared for the high oil demand through 2030. This is an indication that the Middle East will have a great impact on the global economy over the next 15 years. According to Cordesman (2004), such estimations are characterized by a number of uncertainties because they are driven by changes in demand which will determine the quantity of oil that must be supplied by oil producing countries. Moreover, these expectations have not incorporated the oil supply that might come from other countries outside the Middle East, suppose the world’s demand for oil increases through 2030. The Gulf States are believed to dominate the increase in Middle East and North Africa oil production capacity over the coming years (Cordesman, 2004).

Apart from the three articles analyzed above, other articles also describe the discoveries, exploitation, developments, and the significance of Middle Eastern Oil, both to the countries within the region and globally. According to Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated (2006), the projection that world’s oil demand is likely to rise through 2030, and that oil producing countries in the Middle East must increase their oil production capacity to meet this demand, may pose a great challenge to oil producing companies because of its reliance on demand-driven models. There is a big problem of relying on demand-driven models because the anticipations do not consider the exporter intentions from countries outside the Middle East. One thing that many people should accept is the fact that economists can make future decisions based on the current trends, but it might be very difficult to achieve those projections due to changes in political, economic, and environmental factors.

As Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated (2006) puts it, relying on demand-driven models to propose changes in the production capacity of oil producing countries of the Middle East might pose a big challenge because any outside influences may greatly interfere with the real outcome. It is therefore important to take some factors into account before concluding whether it is necessary for oil producing countries in the Middle East to expand their oil production capacities. First, oil exporters do not have the capacity to make accurate predictions of the demand market and therefore, they cannot anticipate the nature of oil supply globally through 2030. This explains why the Middle East should invest more in oil production and exporting facilities when the economy is strong and minimize similar investments when the global economy is weak (Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated, 2006).

Second, Middle East and North Africa oil producers are only volatile in the long run but not in the short run. It is therefore important for oil producing countries to revise their energy plans and to incorporate the changing conditions. Lack of volatility of Middle East countries in the short run makes it very difficult to project possible impacts suppose a country fails to increase its oil production capacity when global demand for oil rises. Third, many oil producing companies doubt the soundness of demand-driven models arguing that countries in the Middle East will not be able to pay for the high level of export that will occur following an increase in their oil production capacity. Therefore, they cannot struggle in increasing their production capacity before the world’s demand for oil rises, but they will wait for such changes to occur. These companies take such a position because they believe that it is an increase in revenue that should justify the investments (Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated, 2006).

Jones (2011) explains that vast democratization and liberalization are very crucial if oil producing countries in the Middle East want to reap good revenues from oil exploitation. This article gives example of the impact of political instability on oil production and supply in Iraq and Russia. According to Jones (2011), the high oil price is a clear indication that the political mayhem in the Middle East cannot be solved in the near future. Russian oil production was affected in mid 1990s during the Soviet era from 12.5 million barrels per day in 1980s to 6 million barrels per day. The country realized a turnaround in production in the year 1999 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Currently, Russia has recovered from the crisis and it is moving towards in peak production (Jones, 2011).

With the current Iraq Wars, the Middle East is likely to be on a similar path as Russia. Oil production in Iraq fell drastically following removal of Saddam Hessein in power. However, Iraq realized tremendous improvements in oil production after the war. If Iraq and Afghanistan continue to engage in endless war, Iraq’s oil production capacity will fall, leading to a rise in oil prices, both in the Middle East and globally. The case of Russia and Iraq best explains why oil producing countries in the Middle East should not rely on demand-driven models when they are making a decision of whether to expand their oil production capacities in preparation for the anticipated increase in world’s oil demand through 2030 (Jones, 2011).

Download full Sample Essay  that analyzes the literary works of three authors: IBP Inc. 2015, Cordesman 2004, and Owen 2008, describing the discoveries, exploitations, developments, and the significance of Middle Eastern Oil or order a unique paper at an affordable price.

What is the Meaning of Life? – Jesus Christ, Confucius, Prophet Muhammad , Buddha

In reference to a satisfying life, a life worth living or simply the good life; one characterized by a sense of purpose,fulfillment, and satisfaction, according to Jesus Christ would constitute the reunion between God and man. In this reunion, those who are lost would be found, those who are weary would find rest, and so that all who believe in Him may have life and have it in full.Confucianism believes the nature of humans to be intrinsically good. Confucius the man placed more emphasis on matters of sociology and humanity than he did on matters of the spirit. Filial piety was so important to Confucius that in Confucianism, the prioritization of one’s possession of love and respect for a person’s parents and ancestors ranks highly, followed by humanness and loyalty. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Jesus Christ: A relationship has been lost between God and his children. Having been sent to restore this relationship, my life will signify the love of the Father for His children. This relationship will fulfill the desires of their hearts, which will give them satisfaction and contentment, since God wishes only the best for His children. Surrender and submission to the will of God the father, is the access pass to experiencing life to the fullest.

Being one to be interested in the relationship between children and their parents, Confucius would then take a pause from feeding and ask with keen interest…

Confucius: What would that relationship entail?

Jesus Christ being one who loves rhetoric, illustrations, and parables would take in the question find an inspired illustration using the chicken and dumplings as his props before responding.

Jesus Christ: The use of gifts and talents by God’s children, to not only accomplish the Father’s will by obedience, but also to express and proclaim in praise and worship the greatness of God their Father, both in spirit and in truth.

Confucius: I would say the meaning of life is revolves around self-improvement. This is so because the nature of a human being is that can he be taught, improved, and even perfected through the efforts of the community that he lives in or his own attempts at creation of self and cultivation of self. True wisdom can be attained through the understanding that all things are controlled and regulated by mechanisms beyond us.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):To know Allah is the meaning of life, to search like hidden treasure and to uncover the nature of Allah. Life on earth is a test with only two outcomes in the afterlife; hell or paradise, and the way to ensure one’s place in paradise is to worship Allah and to observe the guidelines in accordance with the Qur’an. Obedience to Allah will determine where one’s soul ends up on the Day of Judgment. Well, as the last prophet, my job is guide humanity towards this realization.

Buddha seated in his signature full-lotus position, would then remark as calmly as humanly possible.

Buddha: When hungry eat. The meaning of life is about the pursuance of the end of human suffering. Detachment is the key out of human sufferingand with the release of unhealthy attachment to materials and non-materials one attains well-being or otherwise known Nirvana; release from pain and suffering. Nirvana is not attained by fighting desire but by embracing conceptual attachments and cravings.

God Is Not One – Stephen Prothero’s Argument – Essay

Having read the book by ProtheroI agree with his acknowledgement of the eight religions as being different from one another in many ways including; how they perform their rituals, the goals to which they each aspire, how they adhere to their doctrines, their experience, their laws and their mythology.I concur with Prothero in his observation of the eight religions’ convergence in the ethics arena.I agree with his views and distinctive categorizations of the eight religions where he terms Islam as the way of submission; where pride is the problem of the Muslims and to which submission is the solution. He refers to Christianity as the way of salvation; where the problem of Christians is sin and whose solution is salvation. Hinduism is referred to as the way of devotion due to its focus on devotional activities. For Buddhism the way of awakening, suffering is the challenge and awakening is the solution. Daoism as the way of flourishing emphasizes the flourishing of human beings and the nurturing of life while Judaism is observed as the way of exile and return, where exile is the problem and returning to God is the solution. The connection of heaven and earth, people with one another and orishas and human beings is the goal of the Yoruba religion.

In the provision of guidance towards the answering of the eternal questions of life and the living of it, I agree with Prothero that each religion in its own right has served a purpose by making relevant contributions. This being the case, the diversity of religious expression and faith deserves respect.I disagree with his observation and consequent reference to the eight different religions as rivals. In my observation, knowledge, and understanding, I do not see the religions as competitive against one another. The assumption that because, they are different implies competition is overstretched, deceiving, and obviously incorrect.I also disagree with Prothero’s assertion that all the eight religions lead to the same essential end, to which his controversial book title; God is not one, refers.

I am of the opinion that is assertion is rushed and untrue and adequately reflects the weaknesses of some of the author’s arguments and some of the ideas the book appears to be advancing in name of educating the readers. Deeper knowledge of the differences in religion is a welcome topic especially in these tumultuous times and can help in the deciphering and providing solutions to some of the challenges being faced by the world today for instance as is reflected in the war against terrorism and the Muslim fundamentalists. The book’s intent to increase awareness and understanding of the great religions of theworld is undermined by the use of a title that is not only controversial but also unnecessarily offensive.The content provided in the book is mismatched with a title that is presumptuous and that is founded on simplistic analysis based on superficial observations and broad categorizations.The assertions made by the book regarding God not being one, read like introductions to deeper conversations, and cannot be taken to be substantive or conclusive.

Prothero’s reference to faith as driven by hyperactive imagination is in my opinion simplistic and shows a certain lack of understanding of the working of the human in spirit in unseen and veiled realms or dimensions. These dimensions have to do with the scientific view of all things existing in the universe as energy and vibrating at different frequencies, including human beings.

Code of Nones / Unaffiliated, Judaism and Daoism – Compare And Contrast Essay

Essay Prompt

Compare and contrast code of Nones/Unaffiliated, Judaism and Daoism . Which of the three do you analyze has the most persuasive/compelling code?

Sample Essay

Code: Nones/Unaffiliated, Judaism and Daoism

Daoism minimizes the identification of oneself with the acts of doing while encouraging the greater sense of being. According to Daoism, societal trappings need to be discarded. By passively being the highest form of oneself, then one is able to cultivate, prepare, and nurture the real and magnificent to radiate, these traits have greater influence on society.In the words of Lao Tzu, self-transformation is the greatest gift that one can give. In Daoism, there is special emphasis placed on the source and order in the universe, which is formless and yet profoundly effective:the Dao.Judaism is based on the ‘halakhah’; rules and practices that informs one’s way of life, while to the nones/unaffiliated, religion is not necessary to living an ethical life. The unaffiliated, though detached from organized forms of religion have their own personalized ways of connecting with the rest of existence and in pursuance of spirituality.

Similarities around these three religions fall under the area of personal and social goals, where cleanliness and sometimes purification are upheld. The concept of self-transformation as the most basic responsibility that one has not only to the self but also to the society that one lives in. The ideas of wealth distribution feature prominently with a frowning of wealth accumulation without helping those who may be in desperate need for it. The notion of ‘non-interference,’ where things that are not in one’s control and that cannot be fixed should not be interfered with, the attempt at improving things that fall beyond one’ sphere of control should not be pursued. Harmonious and peaceful co-existence on planet earth features dominatingly in the practices these religions.

The differences between these three religions appear under the area of ritualized practice. For instance, Daoism in its vastness and incomprehensibility within human rationality deemphasizes ritualistic practice only encouraging transcendence beyond bodily filters; stilted emotions, sharply focused introspection, and a collapse of the ego. Judaism on the hand, in adherence to the ‘halakhah’ requires one to observe certain practices regarding even the basics of existence like grooming, what to eat and what not to eat, who to marry and who not to. The perception and interpretation of God, and how one ought to treat Him is another area of departure for these three religions. The nones/unaffiliated attach little or no importance to religion, as evidenced by their infrequent observance of religious services among other practices. There is the feeling among the unaffiliated that organized religions have too much focus on rules, money, power, and politics. The level of commitment to religious practices and the stipulated codes, differ greatly among the three.

Daoism in my opinion has the most compelling code, in that it is inviting in its relaxed nature and allows for freedom of practice as best as one may be capable of. In my observation, this religion leans more into spirituality because it is not laden with rules, laws, and rituals that seem to be more distracting by introducing obstacles in the path to spirituality. The Daoist notion of great passivity in leadership is rather appealing in that, even a leader is encouraged not to do anything that is directly linked to leading; all one ought to be is just be, be the authentic version of themselves. (541 Words)

Rites of Passage – Circumcision

A rite of passage is a situation where a person haves a transition from being part of one group to join a higher group (, 2015). However, the treatment of rites vary in different communities. Whereas a rite could be very important to one community, the same right may not have a significant impact on another community.  A particular rite for instance circumcision is taken to be a welcoming to adulthood. However, some communities have more unique ways of such transition to adulthood.

Circumcision is a very important ritual in most communities all over the world. In most of these communities, the ritual has always been applicable to the male group. In some communities they have also been practicing it to the females but has always been a campaign to end it (Abusharaf, 2006). The ritual involves the removal of the foreskin in the male penis.

The age at which it is done determines the significant role of the ritual. Some get their male ones circumcised at a very young age, usually a few days after birth has taken place. This cannot be said to be a transition to adulthood because the victims has not yet gone through the adolescence stage. It has also received criticism in the modern time (Schoen, 2005). In some communities, it is done after the boys have attained a certain higher age. In Africa, education level is used to gauge the circumcision group. Those who finishes a certain level are ready to be circumcised irrespective of their age.This is the separation phase.

The boys are then separated from the others. Various advices are given to them after they get circumcised. The advices are a guide on how to relate with both the elders and the young groups. This plays an important part in the transition.

After they get healed a ceremony is carried out welcoming them to the new life. They are expected to behave differently in the society. They are given certain roles and they can now be able to join the next level of their education.


There ismuch benefits from the ritual, both to the initiates and to the society. At the modern time, it has also been put forward that circumcision also helps in the prevention of most sexually transmitted diseases. Doing it to aged boys is important since they will understand the difference between adolescence and adulthood.

Rites of Passage – Assignment Instructions

Before you begin this assignment it will be necessary to have read the chapter on Religion and the Supernatural, specifically the section covering Rites of Passage.

  1. Make sure you are familiar with the details of a Rite of Passage as they are presented in the textbook.  Pay special attention to the details of each of the three phases of a Rite of Passage.
  2. Choose a ritual to write about.  Make sure that it is a Rite of Passage.  Does it contain the three phases of a Rite of Passage?  Do you know enough about the ritual to write a detailed essay?  Make sure you can look at the ritual objectively.  It is important to look at the ritual as a functional piece of a culture.
  3.  Write a 275-300-word essay describing the ritual you have chosen, making sure to clearly illustrate how it fits the criteria for a Rite of Passage.   I would suggest you organize your essay as follows as it will make grading the assignment.
    • Introduction paragraph: Tell me what you are going to tell me.  Introduce the concept of a write of Passage and let me know what ritual you will be describing.
    • Separation Phase: Describe, in detail the portion of your chosen ritual that serves as the separation phase of the ritual.  Then describe how this portion of your ritual fits the criteria for the separation phase.
    • Transition Phase:Describe, in detail, the portion of your ritual that serves as a transition phase.  Then, as before, describe how the portion of your ritual fits the criteria for the transition phase.
    • Introduction Phase:I think you should understand what to do by this phase.
    • Conclusion: Briefly summarize what you have told me.

Tips for success: By the end of the essay, I should be convinced that you understand what a Rite of Passage is.  I should also have enough detail from you about the ritual you have chosen to be convinced that you know your ritual and that it is indeed a rite of passage.  Finally, you should deliver a clearly written essay, without grammatical or spelling errors.

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