World History Homework Three Answers - Student Sixteen

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Charles Thoreaux

1. Which do you like better, classical India or China, and why?

I find classical India most fascinating, as its society managed a peaceful coexistence of numerous religions, including Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains. Classical India also developed "arabic" numerals, which would later supplant Roman numerals as they provided a more streamlined method of writing mathematics.

The coexistence has not been so peaceful. But the answer is otherwise fine.

2. What advantage did Buddhism have over Hinduism in converting people outside of India?

Buddhism has few strict morals beyond the concept of Śīla, most of which applies to those in monastic orders. With less proscription and a more open attitude than Hinduism, it naturally drew converts widely.


3. Explain what this is:

The yin yang, a Chinese symbol for a dualistic conception of reality, somewhat akin to a pantheistic form of Manichaenism. It describes a supposed unity of opposing forces, both physical and conceptual, throughout the universe.

You don't say what the "opposing forces" are, and "yin yang" is not it's real name. (Minus 1).

4. What aspect or aspects of Hinduism have enabled it to survive for so long?

Its moral and philosophical systems were integrated into Indian culture long before serious efforts at proselytization from outside began. The most notable example of this is the Caste system, which continues to permeate Indian culture despite efforts to mitigate it.

Off the mark. Buddhism is ancient, and came from within Indian culture. (Minus 2). So you haven't discussed the real reasons. See model answers.

5. Describe and explain one or more of your favorite insights by Sun Tzu.

"The victorious warrior wins first then goes to war, the defeated warrior goes to war then seeks to win." Here, Sun Tzu makes a point later echoed by Machiavelli and Clausewitz: engaging in warfare without the ability to win and a concrete victory strategy at the start entails failure.


6. Take your pick, classical India or China, and list in chronological order the major empires along with their time periods.

  • Shang Dynasty (1766 - 1122 B.C.)
  • Zhou Dynasty (1027 - 221 B.C)
  • Qin Ch'in dynasty (221 - 206 B.C.)
  • Han dynasty (206 B.C. - A.D 220)
Your list doesn't address the question: classical China. Nothing "classical" about the Shang Dynasty. (Minus 1).

7. Current events question (b) The Silk Road established and developed during the Han dynasty was similar in some ways to the internet today.

Not particularly. The Silk Road, like the transcontinental railways which would supplant it, was created explicitly to facilitate trade of physical goods. The Internet, on the other hand, was designed as a decentralized military information network, and then expanded to become a general information transmission network, akin to England's early-modern Postal system. Only in recent years has it become a major facilitator of trade. The lecture claims "The Silk Road was influential from 150 B.C. to A.D. 900," though the sentence is gibberish, and transmission of ideas was at best a tertiary purpose of the network.

The "purpose" is not controlling here. What matters is the use and effect, and Buddhism did spread along the Silk Road just as ideas (including Conservapedia) spread on the internet now. (Minus 2).

H2. Some question whether Confucianism is really a religion. What is your view?

Given its silence on matters of the supernatural or divine, Confucianism is an ethical philosophy, akin to Platonism. However, when its precepts are applied dogmatically (ie. religiously), the label "religion" may be reasonably applied.


H3. How do you think the major belief systems of today, as ranked in the lecture, will rank in 100 years?

I suspect Islam will rank at the top, due to its growth in Europe and rapid population growth among Islamic African nations. Christianity will see decline, resulting from ongoing generational disillusionment in Europe and North America. The irreligious will expand as social stigma attached to agnosticism drops and the masses of non-practicing yet self-identifying Catholics are more honest about their irreligion.

You're entitled to your opinion, but it is too narrow by limiting itself to Europe, North American, and Islamic African nations. Far more in the world than that. (Minus 1).

H1. The lecture mentions that the acceptance of Arabic as a liturgical language by the Pope of Alexandria may have aided the rise to dominance of Islam in Egypt. Your thoughts?

Given that the lecture does not explain who makes this point, what their explanation is, or their evidence in favor, in can only respond "not proven."

That's a non-answer (and an ungrammatical one at that). You could have expressed a view based on the question and the course's discussion of language. (Minus 5).
88/100. Lots of room for improvement, if you try more. Godspeed.--Andy Schlafly 13:45, 22 February 2009 (EST)