English Seminar Capstone Research Papers

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Capstone Project

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A simultaneous, nearly paradoxical contemporary phenomenon exists by which a critical mass harbors great skepticism for objective ethics yet increasingly asserts what ought and what ought not to be. As the technological age further develops, the masses continue to fragment, each person arguing his or her own point on political news programs and blog posts. Initially, this prevalence of ethical claims would seem to indicate a war against apathy is largely successful; increasingly few are without a means of expressing their concerns for humanity, the environment and other pertinent issues. Yet in a society of assertions, the only reliable consensus that has emerged is the consensus that there is none. Uncertainty is no new dilemma, yet its magnification following failures of Enlightenment, modern and postmodern ages has not only amplified the need for life-governing answers but has also demonstrated that a stable narrative must be stylized with abundant effectiveness so as to break through walls of rampant cynicism. Into this cauldron of moral claims enters the band System of a Down and its discography, which calls for an ordering of principles. As one examines the band’s commentary, the crucial question emerges, “By reevaluating or demoting the taboo placed on the vices of profanity, sexual behavior and drug use while emphasizing the culpability of violence and oppression, does System of a Down’s ordering of morals have epistemological merit in opposing Christendom’s ethics?”


System of a Down

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