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Vanguard3000

A Modest Proposal

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Many of you have probably heard of this satirical essay by Jonathan Swift. Recently, I had to write a satire based on a number of different rhetorical devices (i.e. rhetorical questions; appealing to authority; flooding the reader with information; run-on title; etc). This is what I came up with. I haven't got it back yet, so I'm not sure what mark I got. So, I'd appreciate it if the respected members of this board would critique it for me. When reading it though, keep in mind that I do not condone this proposal. It was meant to be absurd (those who've read Swift's Modest Proposal will know what I mean).

I'd appreciate it if any comments were posted in this thread, rather than that stickied thread (I don't really understand why that's there, but oh well).

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A MODEST PROPOSAL

For the Enlightenment of the World, Leading to Unity, Prosperity, and the Virtual End of War as we know it.

By [Vanguard3000]

Since the creation of the world’s second religion, there has existed war between religions, or those that have been created by religious difference. Most major religions peddle the concepts of love, hope, and charity like the worst of used car salesmen – and if you choose to buy into it, you get about the same deal as you would with the salesman. It seems that, more often than not, these worshippers of goodness end up becoming fanatical soldiers of Deity X, rather than genuine, all ‘round good people. To remedy such a plague, I will humbly present my suggested solution. Perhaps it will have a better chance of transforming the world into a peaceful society, rather than a bunch of people fighting for different visions of the same virtues.

The Crusades, fought between Christianity and Islam, in fact consist of about eight separate crusades. According to a world-renowned ancient historian whose name need not be mentioned, these Crusades lasted from 1096 to 1099, 1147 to 1149, 1189 to 1192, 1202 to 1204, 1217 to 1271, 1228 to 1229, 1248 to 1254, 1270, until the seizing of Acre in 1291. More minor crusades occurred right up until the discovery of the New World. All in all, these so-called religious wars became little more than centuries of killing, raping, pillaging, theft, and cannibalism (yes, cannibalism!) – All in the name of God. These crusades are a result of the Islamic conquest of Palestine in the 600’s. Hostility has continued up until the mid 1900’s, and have escalated even until today. In 1941, Japanese soldier-fanatics attacked Pearl Harbour in the name of their Emperor, who was seen as a living god, similar to the pharaohs of Egypt or even European royalty over the ages, not to mention various pseudo-cults such as the Schutzstaffel of Nazi Germany, created by the nefarious Heinrich Himmler himself. Only the gods know how many millions were slaughtered in religious wars. As they should – it’s their fault.

The proposition I humbly present is a simple one. Hopefully, it will also prove an effective one, for if it is successful, it will lead to the end of all wars based on the perceived difference of religion, and the unity and prosperity of the world. I ask you: Is world peace not one of the noblest causes of them all?

The first phase of my plan involves the creation of a cult of sorts. One consisting entirely of atheists. This should not be difficult, as there is a larger number of atheists in the world as there have been in the past. Also, many of the world’s top scientists are atheist, so our technology will soon surpass those of religious sects. We can then use this cult to forcefully unify, and assimilate all of the world’s religions. Obviously, the enemy will resist at first, but due to our superior technology and faith/solidarity in our cause, we will arise victorious over the scattered and ethically restrained masses. Eventually, the formerly-religious will see the practicality and long-term benefits of our noble cause. Because they will no longer be needed, the various churches, temples, and monasteries will be converted to penal colonies for those who cling to the savage and archaic ways of religion.

There are many benefits to this plan, both in the short and long-terms. First, archaic beliefs such as sexism and discrimination against other races and religions will be snuffed out almost entirely. Second, religion is the most powerful force standing between us, and almost any type of scientific breakthrough. Without such a hindrance, science and learning will replace blind, religious zeal, leading to a new, enlightened society. Third, there are many fundamentalist radicals who yearn for a religious jihad. Why not give them what they want, and make everyone happy? In fact, if we meet them on the offensive rather than wait, cowering, for another September 11th, casualties will be minimized. Fourth, and most importantly, we will finally achieve something never done before. We will have created a world where unity, total pace, and prosperity are within our grasp. If religion has done anything, it’s prevented this possibility!

Now, I admit: My plan does entail violence, for the religious masses will surely resist the concept of unification. But the short-term casualties will be infinitely less than those of a non-unified long-term. What is a mere couple of decades of police action compared to an eternity of religious hatred and war? Doubtless you’ve heard the expression “to make an omelet, one must break a few eggs”? Well my plan, properly executed, will result in an omelet to be savoured by all until the end of time. Compared to a society filled with separate volatile religious beliefs, this cause is relatively bloodless.

My proposal may be simple, and it may prove to be challenging, but I believe it to be an excellent solution, especially when compared to an eternity of religious hatred. I would gladly take note of a faster, or more effective, solution. In fact, for the sake of humanity, I would welcome such a solution with open arms. But as of yet, given the thousands of years in which civilized man has existed, no such proposals exist, and we can’t – nor should we – endure religious war forever while we wait.

I will now leave the most esteemed reader to carefully consider my modest proposal. And when doing so, please bear in mind that I myself have absolutely nothing to gain from the execution of my plan. I am not an atheistic scientist wishing to create new technologies for such a movement. I am not an out-of-work prison warden who wants to work in a converted monastery-containment colony. Finally, I do not have any children, nor do I feel the desire to father any, who would benefit from my proposed long term goal: Unity, prosperity, and world peace.

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hmm well thought, but too utilitarian and downright wrong for my beliefs. I do respect the thought of it htough and understand its just an essay. :)

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Yeah, I don't agree with it either. I'm not exactly a religious person, but I encourage those who are to be so. Apart from being an important thing in itself, I see religion as one of the most powerful forms of law in existence. I made my essay deliberately absurd, using Swift's as a model.

Swift's essay/treatise was in regards to the problems in Ireland during his time. Because there were so many unwed mothers, and so little food, he proposed that they sell their children to rich British families as a culinary delicacy, while their hides could be used to make fine gloves for ladies. Obviously, this was not a serious thing either. ;)

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Hey, good job! Just one thing... the purpose of satire is to criticize something or someone. But what are you criticizing in this essay...?

Also, I'm afraid it's not absurd enough these days... I know a few people who would agree with it, seriously. :( Then again, there will always be madmen in this world. It just seems that are more of them lately.

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Hey, good job! Just one thing... the purpose of satire is to criticize something or someone. But what are you criticizing in this essay...?

I'm criticizing the way a lot of wars have religious undertones. The irony is that I wanted to end religious war by starting a religious war (i.e. to forcefully unify all religions).

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Why would you say that Earthnuker?

Vanguard, did you study his essays before doing this? Just wondering, because it was made quite similar, but different in the deliberate places.

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Acriku-: I read and analyzed Swift's essay in my english class. My essay was part of the related assignment: To make a similar satire using the same devices as Swift.

other than "A Modest Proposal" I've read nothing of Swift's. Although Gulliver's Travels is pretty interesting (what I know of it, anyway).

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No worries Nuker, just wondering :)

Vanguard, I recommend reading it, it is pretty good - but takes a bit of comprehension that a ninth grader would have (not that you don't have it, I don't know your age and some are not ninth graders yet).

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I'm eighteen (nineteen - drinking age - in April! Booyah, except I don't drink much), and in OAC (Basically, Grade 13). In any event, I probably won't get to reading it at least until June. English has me swamped with books. Crappy ones. :(

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Drinking age is 19 in Canada? HA HAW! It's 16 over here, even though nobody bothers keeping to that limit.

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Drinking age is 19 in Canada? HA HAW! It's 16 over here, even though nobody bothers keeping to that limit.

21 here

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Drinking age is 19 in Canada? HA HAW! It's 16 over here, even though nobody bothers keeping to that limit.

In most of Canada, yes. In Québec, though, it's only 18. I only live about an hour and a half from the border. Besides, I don't drink to get drunk or anything, nor do I plan to.

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Drinking age is 19 in Canada? HA HAW! It's 16 over here, even though nobody bothers keeping to that limit.

21 here

I blame it on the legacy of Prohibition and when it was repealed.

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It's 18 over here - not like it matters to anyone. :)

It's completely irrelevant to me as well. I hate alcohol anyway, and turning 18 won't change that. I'm rather attached to the few brain cells I have. ;D

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I agree, I will rarely drink (ceremonial purposes) - I'm even cutting back hugely on carbonated drinks.

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I agree, I will rarely drink (ceremonial purposes) - I'm even cutting back hugely on carbonated drinks.

I know...all I drink is one Sierra Mist a day at lunch. And that's only on weekdays. I drink water, milk, or juice otherwise.

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