Thursday, August 15, 2019

Carrie Buck Essay

Buck versus Bell 274 U. S. 2000 (1927) was the United States Supreme Court ruling that upheld a statue instituting compulsory sterilization of the unfit, including the mentally retarded â€Å"for the protection and health of the state. † (Holmes) It was largely seen as an endorsement of negative eugenics which is the attempt of science to improve the human race by eliminating â€Å"defectives† from the gene pool. (Elof) Paul Lombardo argues (in N. Y. U. Law Review, April 1985, 60(30):30-62) that the Buck case was a milestone in government power over individual rights. Lambardo) In his essay â€Å"Carrie Buck’s Daughter: a popular, quasi-scientific idea can be a powerful tool for injustice,† Stephen Jay Gould attacks the injustice of the false â€Å"science† of eugenics, and champions Carrie Buck as the example of the victims. This paper aims scrutinized Gould’s writing skills by studying and analyzing the five metaphors he used in the essay. First, the comparison to Judeo-Christian (Exodus) and pagan Greco-Roman (philosopher Plato) ideas of punishment through 3 generations which is unjust will be tackled. Second, Carrie Buck is an instrument of showing the people what injustice is. Third, the references to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi’s policy of eugenics through gas ovens will be analyzed. Fourth, the issue of the dishonesty of the American legal system and the issue regarding Oliver Wendell Holmes will prove that government powers overpower the individual rights. This should not be the case. Lastly, the metaphor from the ballad â€Å"Barbara Allen† will be talked about. At the end this paper will also examine and evaluate whether Gould succeeded or not in his argument or persuasion essay Gould was a world renowned historian of science. (Shermer) This is why one believes that he uses metaphors that happened in history. He wanted to prove his arguments by relating to what has already happened in the past which is unique for a writer to do. The first metaphor was a comparison to Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman ideas of punishment through 3 generations. In addition to that is the superstition of bad things happens in threes. One supposes that Gould wants the readers to realize the similarity of the ruling and the ancient beliefs. He argued though that the injustice here is that the children are innocent of the crimes of their fathers or grandfathers. (Gould) When Gould referred to Adolf Hitler as the perfect metaphor for evil, it could be he was coming from a point of view that no person in the history of the world had done what Adolf Hitler did and all for the reason of eugenics. Gould was also known to write about philosophical matters. He was clearly disgusted by the eradication of over 9 million people through gas ovens just because they were considered â€Å"imperfect. † (Gould) How could Hitler know what is perfect if he is imperfect? Surely, it seems illogical when one sees this argument. As for the issue of dishonesty of the American legal system were the victims were not told of sterilization and that the government falsified records was just plain unjust. The government does not have powers to undermine the rights of any individual. The individual is in the proper perspective to know how to better a government and a sense of bettering a society rather than one person holding a high office. That should better fulfill each individual needs and in turn produce a more controlled government. A government should be entirely equal to all citizens and each individual should make his or her own decisions. (Rousseau) One of the most notable documents in history tells of the necessity of individual rights and explains why those rights are a necessity. Individuals’ wants and needs could possibly be blind to the state running the government and everyday pleasures that many take for granted could quickly come to light once they were gone. Often, the state does not visualize this method and can sometimes ignore the individual’s needs all together when proposing things. This basically give power to the federal government to control and set laws for people instead of letting the individual think for him or herself and control their own actions. With having the states predominate control over individuals, problems often occur and the different laws and propositions could alienate some people. The Declaration of Independence originally established different rights for the population of the United States in which gave the people rights of freedom that the citizens needed and a norm to have a guide for the people. Plato’s â€Å"from Crito† is a document that established and guidelines to be held by the states instead of the individual. The Declaration of Independence sought for individual unlike the principles regarded in â€Å"from Crito†, in which saw the power of the government to be lead by the state. Over time people have swayed from the views of the Declaration of Independence and have abused their rights that were allowed to them. That should be no reason to have these freedoms taken from them. Individual rights are a must in society and are important in the function of everyday life. The individual’s rights should predominate and not the government powers. In fact, the government has defeated their purpose by doing acts like fraud and telling lies. (Rousseau) They have the responsibility to defend and protect the innocent and helpless against people that will try to harm them. In this case, the people who are harming the innocent are the ones that should have been protecting the victims. Gould argued that as we can see in the evidences that Carrie Bucker is a victim of this injustice. Gould also made a reference to the ballad â€Å"Barbara Allen†. The ballad was about two lovers who were united only in their deaths which is similar to what has happened to the mother and child in the Buck case. Carrie and Vivian Buck were reunited when they were already dead. Gould’s tone during this part was a person who mourns as if the two people were related to him. He was so disappointed in what happened in their lives and was disappointed that because of the injustice done by the government we see the end of the Buck lineage with Vivian. Stephen Jay Gould is one unique writer. What distinguishes Gould from other writers is that he has taken his work beyond academia and into everyday life. He takes certain aspects of information in history or in any topic that appeal to a general audience and makes them relevant to the here and now. Gould uses his unique style to condense the key contributions of influential figures into a single essay. He also uses his own seemingly mundane experiences to make larger points. In this essay, one could see that readers will be enthralled to read from the very first page. He uses ordinary language but this does not mean that the depth of his words and thoughts would suffer. One can also see that he uses different perspectives in looking at the problem and not just contained in his expertise. He definitely succeeded in this persuasion essay if what he really wants was to open the eyes of the public to the negative effects of eugenics in our lives. Gould captures the emotions of the readers by using information that is both scientific and historical. However, if one questions whether Gould was impartial or objective then one would say that he was impartial. Although he did not directly state it in the essay, one could feel his emotions when one is reading through the article. Gould has established an interesting point in this essay. It was fascinating to see how he had developed the theme and wrapped it up. The essay was like a more structured version of a good and intellectual conversation. Gould has his own unique philosophy of science that has influenced both his career and his life. That philosophy can best be summed up in a quotation from Charles Darwin, frequently cited by Gould as a sound principle of philosophy: â€Å"All observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service. † (Darwin) Gould has followed Darwin’s advice throughout his career and his extensive writings.

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