PHIL102: Introduction to Philosophy

Professor Roth's
PHIL102: Introduction to Philosophy
Fall 2009

Stephanie Vannello
November 11, 2009
Intro to Philosophy

Arguing for the Avocado View

                                 In Listening is an Act of Love there are people who endure numerous and horrid situations. However, through these situations people show qualities of bravery, helpfulness, concern, and other emotions and actions. Some people depict the same emotions throughout different scenarios which can be considered as the avocado view. The avocado view is defined as all humans being a group with cores (essences). What identifies the core of people is a common trait they show in situations let alone life. This specific trait connects humans together because they share the said certain trait; this certain trait is the core of humanity which causes humans to be connected. I believe sorrow is a trait that everyone shares because it is seen and expressed throughout the following situations as well as in every day life.

Sorrow leads to tragedy and the pain people receive from it.  It’s a mental pain that can sometimes be felt physically depending on how deeply the person is affected.  Sorrow is an emotion that people express easily and differently depending on how sorrow is triggered. An example of this (as well as mental pain that could be physically felt is) the death of a loved one dying; by this, the person experiences sorrow. They also express the sorrow by crying, holding a funeral, recalling the time they spent with that person, etc. Without sorrow, people would feel no pain and become heartless to tragic situations that are presented in life.

                                A quality shown in a few stories is sorrow. One of the stories that displays sorrow is Douglas Paul Desilvey losing his family in Katrina. He had lost his family because they drowned before his eyes and even before he could save them.  Because of this, he expressed his sorrow by making a memorial for them outside the home where they took shelter from Katrina.  Another story that depicts sorrow is Christopher James Fraser having to move in with Victoria. His sorrow is being depicted through the fact he was taken away from his father who he loved greatly despite the fact that his father had been arrested for molestation.  Christopher at the time didn't understand why he had been taken away from his dad but was expressing his sorrow by keeping a memento of his father’s and missing him dearly. A final story that expresses sorrow is the son of Shawn Fox. Shawn Fox was arrested for aggravated murder but his son depicted sorrow in this story because he asked his father to come home and he told him he couldn't. The son began to weep because he believed his father didn't love him enough to come home let alone leave him the way he was.

                               These three people express sorrow differently. Douglas made a memorial in his deceased family’s honor, Christopher kept a memento of his father, and the son wept for Shawn when he said he couldn't return home. These people show their sorrows differently despite the fact that they have different situations. Sorrow is a trait that connects people together. This trait is the core of humanity to show that it’s unique and that everyone has sorrow.


Angela Bickel

Extra Credit

   Philosophy breaks down human nature into two metaphorical possibilities. We are either like an artichoke or like an avocado. The avocado view states that, much like the fruit itself, human nature can be examined to have one core. This core is what makes up humans and is the same throughout all of us. In the book, Listening is an Act of Love, the stories give much evidence to prove that humans are like an avocado. We peel apart our layers to find a core which is the same in all of us. The quality of human nature, which is consistent throughout all of the stories and is written in the title itself, is love.

                One story gives an example of a young man recovering from war and has every intention to marry the woman of his dreams. When his future mother in law shows up to reveal to him her daughter’s inability to have children, he tells her that he still wants to marry the young woman.  Of course he wanted to have children. However, he is not letting that stop them from being happy together.  He loves his fiancé and nothing will stop him from marrying her and having a wonderful life with her.

                The next story that proves the avocado view is the one about the young mother who gives her child up for adoption. She knew that she was incapable of raising a child. She also knew that the baby would not have a father present in his life. She thought it was best to give the baby to a family where he could have a good life. She wanted him to be well taken care of and have a male figure to learn from and grow with.  She loved her son and wanted to keep him. Yet sometimes, being selfish is not the answer. This young woman loved her baby enough to let him go and have a wonderful life.

                One more example from the book that proves that love is consistent throughout all humans is the example of the mother who finished her daughter’s project for her. When her daughter makes a mistake and procrastinates, Mommy steps in to save the day. She loves her daughter enough to create a beautiful farmhouse folded out of paper.  If she did not love her, she would have gone to bed and made the daughter pay for the mistake she made.  Here we see a worn mother who is exhausted from working all day. Yet love triumphs all.

                There is no doubt that love is a core essence of human nature. From the examples given here, it is easily concluded that human nature can be looked upon as an avocado. When the layers of our nature are peeled apart, we find a single characteristic that lies within ALL humans.  Love is a quality that every human being has and cannot deny.