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a foreign country at a cheaper price than the same good with the same quality in his own country, he will purchase that good from the foreign country. However, if tariffs make the foreign good more expensive than the domestic good, the consumer will buy the domestic good. But he will have paid more than he originally could have. Thus he will have less money to spend on improving his standard of living than if he had bought the foreign good at its actual price. “Smith attacked the doctrine that in commerce neither side gains or loses.” By definition, a trade’s terms must be agreed upon by both parties. So both parties receive a good or service that they wanted or needed more than the good or service that they give to the other party. “Free trade is the true nature of things because it allows the whole world to obtain the greatest amount of enjoyments and satisfactions at the least labor and cost.” Free commerce allows consumers to obtain commodities at the lowest cost and highest quality, thus helping consumers to become wealthier and increasing their standard of living.

Free Trade Jesse Keipp, Writer

When the Industrial Revolution was dawning, Adam Smith published his economic theory of laissez-faire capitalism in his written work, The Wealth of Nations. In this book, Adam Smith argues for free trade: trade between nations without tariffs or restrictions. Free trade leads to prosperity for citizens of free trade nations and for those who trade with free trade nations. If there is more international commerce, all of those nations that trade with each other grow wealthier. Commerce leads to economic prosperity of entire nations. Commerce improves the standard of living for everyone--whether they are in the upper, middle, and lower class. “It is in the interest of the whole world that all commodities should be produced in those places where they can be obtained best and cheapest.” Consequentially it is also in the world’s greatest interest that goods are “exported to those places where they can only be produced of inferior quality and at a greater cost.” It is best for consumers to be able to obtain commodities at the lowest price and highest quality. Free trade allows consumers to obtain the cheapest and best commodities, while trade restrictions prevent them from obtaining these commodities, and thus prevent consumers from achieving the highest possible material standard of living. Inhibited trade leads to impoverishment. “Tariffs act at once as a barrier, and diminish the commercial intercourse of nations to their mutual loss and impoverishment.” Tariffs prevent trade, preventing people from acquiring the best goods at the cheapest possible cost. If a consumer can acquire a particular good from

Sources: Thomas Mackay, ed., A Policy of Free Exchange: An Argument Against Socialism and Socialistic Legislation (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1894), HYPERLINK " tml" tml (accessed March 2, 2010) Emma Rothschild, Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith , Condorcet, and the Enlightenment (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2001)


both atheism and theism fail to satisfy human logic. Since theistic and atheistic explanations for the founding of the universe are the only explanations possible, yet human beings cannot understand either of them, there is no point in either atheist or theist insulting the other's belief system as being totally illogical. A theist can say:

Atheism Logan Hayward, Senior Editor

Although their numbers may or may not be increasing, atheism has gained prominence in the past decade, due in part to the works of atheists such as the Oxford Biologist Richard Dawkins, and the commentator Christopher Hitchens. Its ideas have proliferated more easily because of the Internet, and have of course found their place among high schoolers. I would guess that between fifteen to twenty percent of the SLUH population is sympathetic to atheism-the disbelief that there is a creator of the universe who is a person. I will attempt to examine the beliefs of atheism critically, but I will not now confront it with Scripture, but with reason. It is beyond the scope of this particular article to delve into the propriety of reasoned belief in Catholicism. I will restrain the scope of the article to the propriety of reasoned belief in a god.

Premise: Something cannot come into existence from nothing. Premise: Atheism holds that something, at some point in the past, came into existence out of nothing. Conclusion: Atheism is incorrect. However, an atheist can say: Premise: Something cannot always have been. Premise: Theism holds that something always has been. Conclusion: Theism is incorrect. The human logical system agrees to each of the four premises, and yet they cannot all be correct. For logical battles, theists and atheists will have to find another arena in which to fight, besides the logic of their respective creation beliefs.

The Logic of Creation The human logical system is imperfect. It can adequately proscribe how much of the universe works, but not all of it. It is a system that man creates based on his observations of the world around him--or perhaps it is instilled in him from the moment of his creation. In any case, it cannot explain everything in existence. Logic is dependent on axioms, which are dependent on belief (we simply believe that A=A, without any syllogism that is able to noncircularly prove such). We must accept certain axioms in order to proceed. One human axiom is that there has to be a first cause. It is impossible for us to comprehend otherwise. According to our logical system, something had to have started all that exists currently. We cannot comprehend something--whether it be the force of gravity or the first sub-atomic particle--arising from nothing. This means that the human logical system rules out atheism. However, the idea of a creator god is also seemingly incompatible with the human logical system--for the human logical system also posits that it is impossible for something to always have existed. Therefore, as far as the issue of the foundation of the universe goes,

Personhood Atheists may believe that a force created the universe. We do not know what a force is-we know what it does, but we do not know what it is. Even if a force really is a thing, we do not know what a thing is. We are ignorant as to the basic facts of matter. If we do not know what a force is, or even what a thing is, atheistic beliefs in the creation of the universe are just as seemingly bizarre as theistic beliefs are. We cannot fully explain who God is, and we cannot fully explain what a thing is. The real question is: is the creator a person? Atheists would say that it isn't--some might even say that there is no such thing as a person. It would seem that personhood, which means being part of the species which can rationally choose between right and wrong, would not likely evolve out of amino acids. We must ask ourselves, in the debate between


atheism and theism, whether the particularly human qualities--imagination and perception of spiritual concepts, desire for goodness in itself-could arise in the absence of a creating, spiritual person (a god). At an economics conference I attended over the summer, the other attendees and I watched a video of two monkeys who cooperated to achieve what was in both of their best interests. If I remember correctly, one monkey had the ability to let the other out of a cell, and the other had an object which would help the other monkey crack open a mango. The monkey with the object which could crack the mango gave it to the monkey who could let this monkey out of the cell--he wanted a trade. The other monkey was now able to eat his mango, and he had no obligation to open the door for the other monkey. But he did. This video might lead one to believe that human beings possibly developed morality out of biological instincts so that we could be socially prosperous and so that our species could be strong. This proposition seems plausible, but human morality does not encompass only what is best for the species. Although early civilizations--Sparta, ancient Rome--exposed deformed children to the elements, and although there are some in our society (abortionists) who believe in rooting out deformed people from the population, many people--including many at Saint Louis University High School--oppose killing innocents in all circumstances, even if it means keeping deformities in the human species. In other words, our morality transcends what is merely beneficial to help the species survive, and in some cases it may even embrace viewpoints which are not beneficial to helping the species survive, but are morally right. We are not merely deciding right and wrong based on chemical impulses in the brain. We are appealing to abstract concepts which are often based on uniquely human spiritual desires which cannot be the mere result of natural selection. An atheist may claim that theists believe in God because it settles them emotionally--it helps them make it through the day. In this view, theism is just another product of natural selection--belief in God helps us make choices that benefit the continued survival of the

species. Of course, belief in God can settle our emotions and lead us to make healthy decisions that possibly lead to the survival of the species. But that is not all belief requires. Belief can inspire martyrdom, which seems hardly compatible with ensuring the survival of the species. Belief can influence people to spend their lives working with the poor and/or disabled members of society--even if it would be best for the survival of the species, from a biological standpoint, to just pretend such people don't exist. Belief can inspire us to hold on to certain principles even if they make us social pariahs. Belief can lead us to new and strange ideas and questions, which may not serve any evolutionary purpose. Those seemingly strange ideas--the Assumption of Mary, the concept of purgatory, the desire to be in a place of eternal life, light, love, rest, and peace (even though our biological natures seemingly have nothing to do with that should seemingly point us to desiring a life of physical pleasure and base carnality above all)--are often times totally or nearly totally removed from any social function of our species. We could probably have productive, social, evolutionarily beneficial lives without worrying about whether the Mother of God was assumed Body and Soul into Heaven. From a biological standpoint, we could probably have productive, social, evolutionarily beneficial lives without caring about God. But we ask questions that aren't necessary for us to ask. We invent and find abstractions and dedicate our lives to the study of them. In terms of morality, we go beyond helping each other advance as a species. I do not know of any chemical reaction in the brain that makes a woman want to write Pride and Prejudice. I do not know of any evolutionarily useful function which requires a Roman Catholic to argue strongly about the real presence of the Eucharist with a Protestant. If neurobiologists scan my brain, they will almost certainly not see any spiritual processes ongoing. They will probably see evidence of electrical impulses rushing through neurons. But I refuse to accept that electricity is all that powers me. I can think of things which have no biological necessity, and I can make decisions based on abstract morality, not just whichever chemical is the primary influence in my brain at a particular


Waters. I was explaining to him the theory of “pure cinema.” The theory, in short, states that film takes aspects from every art form, combines them, and yet is absolutely independent from each form as well (id est the art of photography goes into every shot that the camera shows; the art of music goes into the sound mixing and the use of music; literature finds itself in the dialogue of the film; and yet cinema is a completely different art form all its own). Once I finished explaining this, he said, “I think that’s legit. But there’s one art form that cinema can’t fully encompass.” Taken aback by the implication that film wasn’t the greatest art form ever made, I paused and said, “…What is it?” “Writing!” And after uttering the shot that was heard round my head, Max veered off into the horizon. Or rather, he suddenly changed his slope so that on the coordinate plane of my vision (positive y values in front of me, negative y values behind me, and x values to the sides), he was moving horizontally. A few minutes later, I was driving home and thinking about film theory (as I normally do), considering which art form is most like cinema. A few months ago I thought it was video games. They ARE video, they use sound, they have a plotline; it seems, does it not, that they should be almost identical? To quote Father Ralph Houlihan from fifth period Latin class: “No, no, NO! You’re guessing Willie, find the subject first.” The key difference is that you control the character in video games. People have been saying for a while that in the future, you will control the character in movies -- virtual reality. But that would change everything. The Film itself (capitalizing my art form in order to emphasize that it is the greatest thing ever invented) is a work of art created by the director. Once the Film's destiny comes under the control of someone else, it is completely different. It's like having a paint-it-yourself Picasso. Picasso is the painter, not you. . . jerk! So I do not think video games are the art form most closely related to film. My father thinks it's theater. I disagree. In theater, you are free to look wherever you please, and dialogue is strongly emphasized. In cinema, your view is limited (even more strongly so with the iris shot, which was first used in D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation") and dialogue is much more evenly distributed (too much dialogue in a film is always a bad thing). "So what," you ask, "IS the most similar art

moment. I can attach myself to hopes for places that are not of this world, and likely do not arise from it. Human beings have these faculties, and the proper response to their existence is to recognize that they probably come from somewhere, someone, or something that cannot currently be comprehended by human logic and cannot currently be fathomed by the human mind. Conclusion Human beings, barring miraculous revelation, cannot currently comprehend the creation of the universe. Both an atheistic explanation and a theistic one seem nonsensical, yet they are the only two options. In order to have a productive debate on theism v. atheism, we should therefore turn to the other issues involved besides the creation of the universe itself. We must look at historical factors (evidence of miracles) and certain characteristics of human nature, and ask if these came from a natural or supernatural source. The desire for a world apart from this one, whether it be based in the mythology of the Ancient Greeks or the eschatology of Christians, suggests the existence of a Creator, for such a desire has nothing to do with earthly pursuits and does not necessarily assist the survival of the human species. Such spiritual thinking could theoretically be the result of some biological defect, but it would have to be an extremely widespread defect, for many humans have such spiritual desires, removed from the necessities of life. We do not need those desires to function, but we keep them, and defend them, because they satisfy an abstract concept of good, which again would not seem to come from any purely biological source.

A Match Made in Hollywood – Just Kidding, I Hate Hollywood! Willie Kohler, Core Staff I was walking down to the SLUH parking lot on a Friday and having a discussion with Max


form, you pretentious hipster?" I remembered what Max had said -- that cinema cannot fully capture the entirety of the art form of writing. "Wait a second!" I said. "Maybe he was on to something!" And so I took the argument, flipped it around (taking the opposite reciprocal), and I present it to you here. The art form that is the most similar to cinema is WRITING. "Now wait a second!" you shout, your neck veins straining and spittle arcing out of your mouth. "How can writing be the most closely related to Cinema? Writing is with words, and Cinema is with pictures!” Yes, literature uses words and cinema uses pictures. But writing paints pictures inside the mind. Cinema is the actualization of those pictures inside the mind. The symbolism, nuances, et cetera are the same. Mr. Steve Missey speaks of the “voice” of a writer. I think here I should mention the French “auteur theory.” Put very simply, the idea is that the director is the author of the movie in the same sense that the author of a book is the author of a book. I think there’s a reason the French chose to compare it to literature. And I think there’s a reason that Mark Cummings is a film teacher as well as an English teacher. Now I’ll raise my final point. Writing is a very structured art. Grammar is very strict. In a similar way, the camera limits your vision to what the director wants you to see. Everyone can agree that it matters how words are put together. A good author writes well. A good director knows how to place the camera, how to play around. But words alone are not what make reading and writing fun to do. It’s what’s inside that counts. And pictures are not what make a movie fun to watch (although I admit that visual beauty, stemming from German Expressionism, is one of the most important characteristics of cinema for me). Literature and cinema both have a deep psychology. Everything that you see in a film is supposed to evoke something deep inside your cold, dead chest. From the colors and design of the costumes to the architecture and layout of a set to the words and emotions that are chosen by the actor and the writer, it’s all done for the same purpose. The same purpose, in fact, that each word and event of a fiction story is chosen to achieve. When I took Directors class last year (and probably Freshman Film also), I noticed a change in my writing style. I was more creative by far, and overall a better writer. Cinema!

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SLUH Review 5.3.11  

May 3, 2011

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