The Question on the Relationship Between Soil and Plants

When someone says: “soil is just dirt to hold a plant up,” do I agree with this statement or not? Well I mean the question does seem relatively sound, soil does seem to offer support to hold a plant up, but there is definitely more to the relationship between soil and plants, right?

Well first of all I will ask the question: where does a plant get a lot of its nutrients? Well, the answer is simple, a plant gets the majority of its nutrients from the soil. With that question out of the way, soil definitely thanks to science is known to have more uses than the statement above states, but does soil also hold up a plant? Yes, the soil does offer support to hold up a plant; soil provides a base for a plant and keeps it in its place.

In conclusion, this would be my answer to someone who said, “soil is just dirt to hold a plant up.”

Is the State the Source of Human Rights?

Human rights is a very discussed topic; it is discussed when individuals talk about foreign countries who go completely against the idea of human rights. Or maybe one may talk about it when discussing the past. In general, I have heard the discussion of human rights many times, by individuals of all ages; but where do we get this source of human rights from? Is the state the source of human rights?

Some will say that the state is the source of human rights, that if the government is an oppressive one, the lower the rights of the people. This is actually true in many instances, look for example at the Soviet Union, but I wouldn’t call this a source of human rights. The state can restrict the rights of the people but that does not mean that they are the exact source of human rights, which is why I believe that the state is not the source of human rights.

But what is the actual source of human rights? Well, I am a Christian and I believe that God is the source of human rights. Yes, I mean the rights that we all as humans are entitled to(property rights, religious freedom, etc). Yes, these rights can be restricted by the state but that does not mean that we as humans are not entitled to these rights and that the state is the source of these rights. Just because something is capable of restricting something does not mean that they are the source of the thing that they are restricting. 

In conclusion, these days it especially seems that the state is the source of human rights, with governments around the world being able to restrict the basics of human rights(property rights, religious freedom, etc), but in actuality the source of human rights is from the Creator of all things, God.

The Religious Policy of Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I(1533-1603), is probably one of the most famous of the rulers of England. During her rather long reign she accomplished greatly. England at the time of her rule was divided with Catholicism and Protestantism; but what was Elizabeth’s policy on religion?

Elizabeth I did not exactly have a religious policy, since she actually switched from Catholicism to Protestantism quite easily. But she could not and would not abide to subject herself to the Papacy, which was why she removed the Catholic Mass, and forced everyone to attend the Anglican church. She was able to do this because she was the head of the church. From this point on Catholics were persecuted; if a Catholic was suspected to be Catholic, their homes would be searched and if they were found with Catholic theological books, they would be punished. Also Elizabeth did not agree with the fully Protestant side, which is shown in the persecution she encouraged toward the Puritans.

Clearly, Elizabeth I religious policy was one that could not exactly be called a religious policy. She was neither fully Protestant or Catholic; she enforced and encouraged persecution towards Catholics and Puritans, and was at the head of the Church of England. Regardless of all this, this was her religious policy.

Who were the Contending Parties in the French Wars of Religion? What was the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre? What was the Edict of Nantes?

The French Wars of Religion lasted from 1562-1598, and was a time of unrest between the Catholics and Protestants in France, which culminated into multiple wars. But who were the contending parties in these religious wars? What was the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre? Finally, what was the Edict of Nantes?

Who were the Contending Parties in the French Wars of Religion?

The French Wars of Religion had two main contenders: the Catholics of France, and the Protestants of France, also known as the Huguenots. Catholics and Protestants in other countries had conflicts also, but the conflict between the Catholics and Protestants in France was probably the longest lasting. 

What was the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre?

The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, which occured in 1572, was a wave of Catholic mob violence directed towards the Huguenots, specifically towards the leaders of the Huguenots. But it went far out of control, and caused more issues. This is traditionally thought to have been instigated by Catherine de Medici, who was convinced by her son Charles IX. The outcome of this was the massacre of thousands of Huguenots, in Paris, and other French provinces.

What was the Edict of Nantes?

The Edict of Nantes was issued by Henry IV, in 1598, which granted religious freedom to the Huguenots, and in turn ended the French Wars of Religion. Also at this point the Catholics and Protestants of France concluded that religious toleration was far wiser an idea than constant destruction and fighting.

Conclusion

During the French Wars of Religion, both the Catholics and the Protestants committed some pretty horrible things to one another; and for the longest period could not maintain peace with each other. Finally in 1598 with the Edict of Nantes, both parties concluded that it was best to be tolerant than constantly fight each other.

What Were the Causes of the Dutch Revolt? What was the “Demonstration Effect?”

Under the reign of Philip II, a revolt occurred in the low countries; this revolt is known today as the Dutch Revolt, which went on from 1566-1648. But what were the causes of this revolt? Lastly, what was the “demonstration effect?”

The Dutch revolt was mainly caused by the religious persecution enforced by Philip II towards the Protestants in the low countries. Philip II was a ruler who was not at all tolerant to Protestants. This persecution got to a point that even Catholics in that region had enough also. They believed that this persecution went too far. Thus this led to the Protestants and Catholics of this region to band together, to rebel against Philip. This revolt led to the freedom of seven of these territories, which in turn became the Dutch Republic.

The “demonstration effect,” on the other hand, refers to what people saw in other countries, and applied what they saw in those countries. This really refers to the Dutch Republic, which became a place of prosperity with religious freedom, private property rights, etc. Other countries saw the success of the Dutch Republic, and tried to replicate it. 

In short, the Dutch Revolt was caused by the religious persecutions toward the Protestants by Philip II. This revolt’s main outcome was the freedom and creation of the Dutch Republic, which was a place of more freedoms compared to other regions at the time. Other countries tried to replicate this; this is known as the “demonstration effect.”

Some of the Reasons Offered in the Psalms for Long-Term Optimism

There are over a hundred Psalms in the book of Psalm in the Bible, and all of these Psalms cover a variety of topics including faith. A common trend that I have seen while reading Psalms is how they portray a specific person praising God, going through hardships, asking for guidance from God, etc. But what are some of the reasons offered in the Psalms for long-term optimism or optimism for the future?

Optimism in definition means, hopefulness and confidence about the future. Our futures are unknown as humans, but having hope in our futures, and putting our faith in God there is optimism. Some reasons offered in the Psalms for long-term optimism is how the Psalms reveal God’s ability to save, His love, and blessings.

One of the most important writers of the Psalms is David. David himself goes through difficult times, and in the Psalms, he shows how God delivered him. Psalms show how God promises David kindness and blessings for his heirs in the future, which shows His promise of the future. One of my favorite Psalms, which is Psalm 23, is a very good example of how Psalms offer reasons for long-term optimism. Psalm 23 itself, states that God is like a shepherd who is guiding and protecting David. David in this Psalm is walking through great danger, but he does not fear since God is with him. 

If one believes and follows God, they will be saved; this is also stated in the Psalms. This is another reason which offers long-term optimism from the Psalms. But there are many other examples from the Psalms that offer reasons for long-term optimism, but in my opinion, the ones I mentioned above are key examples.

In this essay I covered some of the reasons offered in the Psalms for long-term optimism. The reasons I dove into, in this essay are: God’s ability to save, His love, blessings, and the truth that if one follows His word, and believes in Him, they shall be saved. All of these are offered reasons in the book of Psalm.

What Were the Causes and Consequences of the Spanish Revolt that Occurred After Charles V Left to be Crowned Holy Roman Emperor

Charles V(1500-1558), was Holy Roman Emperor from 1519-1556; and King of Spain from 1516-1556. His reign resulted in the closest Europe would come to be under a universal ruler. Charles, though his territory was so vast, he still had struggles throughout his reign. One of his earlier struggles occurred when he left Spain to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1519, which caused a revolt. What were the causes and consequences of this revolt in Spain?

The causes of this revolt were mainly due to the fact that Charles did not speak Spanish, and that he actually wasn’t born in Spain. The revolt ended with Charles defeating the already weakened rebels. Thus these were the causes and consequences of the Spanish revolt.

Is Restitution to Victims Better for Society Than Jail Sentences for Criminals?

The question above is complicated, since there is still a large debate on this topic. There are more than one answers to this question in my opinion, and it largely depends on the situation or crime. Restitution on the other hand means: the restoration of something lost or stolen to it’s proper owner. 

There are many kinds of crime, and these crimes are on a hierarchy of how severe the punishment will be to anyone who commits a certain crime. Also the severity of punishments for certain crimes differ depending on the area(this especially goes for the US). But there is one thing for certain, someone has to pay for the upkeep of prisons; and prisons are paid mostly by taxpayers. Actually most definitely paid by taxpayers.

It is rather ironic to think that when a person gets robbed, and the person who robbed them goes to jail, the victim in this situation has to pay for the criminals’ well being in jail. When it comes to prisons there are many cases in which criminals do not learn the consequences of their action, and instead become more of a criminal. This is most likely due to criminals being surrounded by other criminals, who probably committed worse crimes. Also to note there are cases of criminals after finishing their jail sentence who go back to crime.

In my opinion a criminal should have to pay restitution, or work to pay for the wrong he has done. This though only goes for specific situations, or crimes, for example theft. Hence why I believe that restitution to victims is better for society than jail sentences to criminals, in specific situations. For example if a criminal is a mass murderer, in the US(this depends on the area), they most likely will get death row, restitution cannot be paid, obviously.

In conclusion, in my opinion restitution to victims of crime is better for society than jail sentences for criminals in certain scenarios. There are a number of reasons why I believe this, but the main reason being the fact that tax-payers mainly pay for prisons, which means that most likely a victim of crime will be paying for a criminal’s well being. Also criminals in many cases become more criminal after jail, due to being surrounded by other criminals.

Why is Ignatius Loyola Concerned About Careless Discussion of Faith and Works?

Ignatius Loyola(1491-1556), is considered to be the main founder of the Society of Jesus, which is a religious order of the Catholic Church. Before becoming a Catholic theologian, he was a soldier, who eventually began putting himself through a serious spiritual regime. He was concerned about the careless discussion of faith and works. Why was he concerned about this?

The reason why Loyola was concerned about careless discussion of faith and works is that he believed that this would cause people to not take responsibility for their actions, and instead wait for God to do something instead. Hence, why he was concerned about the careless discussion of faith and works.

How Important is the Concept of Historical Sanctions in the Psalms

The Christian Bible itself contains many smaller books; one of the most famous and read of these smaller books in the Bible is the book of Psalms. Psalms are song-like and poetic; all the Psalms contain praises toward the Lord, and there is quite an emphasis on this, and by design are to help guide Christians on their journey of faith. A lot of Psalms were written by David, and a lot of the Psalms revolve around him. The Psalms cover many important concepts, including sanctions. But exactly how important is the concept of historical sanction in the Psalms?

To begin with, the Psalms do in a sense describe what God states is wrong and right. For example God blesses people who follow him with eternal life and punishes people who do not follow. There are many examples in the Psalms of God bringing forth judgement to those who are not righteous. The Psalms are all tied to ethics. David through the Psalms show how much God despises sin. It is also seen in the Psalms that David himself is saddened to see those who go against God. David himself did sin, which caused him misery and grief, thus asking God for forgiveness. Showing that if one goes against God and His laws, there are consequences or sanctions. That there will be judgement to those who are unrighteous and decide to remain so.

The importance of the concept of historical sanctions is seen throughout the Psalms. Psalms emphasis greatly on how important it is to follow God and His Laws. That negative consequences or sanctions occur when one does not follow His laws. Look at the example above when David himself sinned, and the consequences that occurred as an outcome of that. 

In conclusion, the importance of the concept of historical sanctions is seen throughout Psalms. Even though sanctions is not the main concept covered in the Psalms it still is a pretty important one, with many examples throughout the book.