Understanding Linear Cryptanalysis

Dipanjan Bhowmik
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to provide a better understanding of the Linear Cryptanalysis Attack developed by M.Matsui [2]. This paper has been written after going through noted literature in this field and has been structured in such a way that a beginner in this field would be able to understand the idea with little prior knowledge. The paper describes a simple cipher and then applies Linear Cryptanalysis to break it. The cipher has been intentionally taken to be very simple so that a beginner can actually implement it and get an actual feel of the attack. The paper also describes all the algorithms involved in this attack again with the intention of letting a beginner actually realize the attack.
Keywords: Linear Cryptanalysis, Linear Approximation Table, s-box, Toy cipher, Parity.
Introduction:
If one feeds a random input with a particular property into a magic box and can guess the corresponding property in the output, the magic box is some what linear.
For example imagine that the box takes an input and adds one to it. Now, let’s say that the property which is looked at is whether the input/output is even. By feeding it an input, one knows the property will be opposite in the output every single time. In other words, adding one to an even number will always produce an odd number and vice versa. This magic box will be completely linear with respect to divisibility by 2.
In an iterative cipher, substitution box(s) (S-Box(s)) add non linearity to it. Ideally, an s-box should receive an input with property X and output a number that has property Y exactly 50% of the time.
The property, which is being looked at in Linear Cryptanalysis is Parity.
Definition
Parity: It is a Boolean value (a 0 or a 1), that we get if we perform an XOR operation on some or all of the bits of a number expressed in binary form. The bits that are being XORed together is defined by another number called the mask. The mask lets us to ignore some of the bits of the input while calculating the parity. In order to calculate the parity, the mask value it bitwise ANDed with the input value, the bits of the resultant is then taken and XORed together to obtain the parity.
Generating Linear Approximation Tables (LATs):
The masked input parity concept is used to find linearity in the S-boxes. Every single combination of input mask vs. output mask has to be tested for all possible inputs. Basically we will take an input value, mask it using an input mask and obtain its parity (Input Parity). Next, we will take the original input, run it through the S-box and mask it with 6the output mask. We then compute its parity (Output Parity). If they match, then we know that the combination of input and output mask holds true for that input. After doing this for every possible input against every possible pair of input/output masks, we have made a table called the Linear Approximation Table. Each entry in the table is a number indicating the number of times a specific input/output mask pair holds true when tested against all possible inputs. For example, if a certain S-box takes 4 bit inputs and produce 4 bit output, then the LAT will be of dimension 16 x 16 and each entry will range from 0 to 16, indicating the number of successful matches between input and output parity.
Algorithm 1: Algorithm for generating Linear Approximation Table
For i=0 to 2m -1
For j=0 to 2n -1
For k=0 to 2m -1
If Parity (k AND i) =Parity(S-box[k] AND j) then
LAT[i][j] ï¦LAT[i][j] +1
Where, LAT is a 2-D array of size m x m.
Parity () is a function that computes the parity of the given input.
M is the total number of bits fed as input to the S-box.
N is the total number of bits produced as output by the S-box.
I ranges from 0 to 2m -1 , it represents all possible input masks.
J ranges from 0 to 2n-1 representing all possible output masks.
K ranges from 0 to 2m -1, it represents all possible inputs to S-box.
Let us assume an S-box that takes 4 bit inputs and produces 4 bit output. Both the input and output ranges from 0 to 15. Such a S-box is injective in nature.

I

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

A

B

C

D

E

F

O

E

4

D

1

2

F

B

8

3

A

6

C

5

9

0

7

For such an S-box, the algorithm to generate the Linear Approximation Table is modified as following:
Algorithm 2: Algorithm for generating Linear Approximation Table for the S-box given in Fig 1.
For i=0 to 15
For j=0 to 15
For k=0 to 15
If Parity (k AND i) =Parity(S-box[k] AND j) then
LAT[i][j]ï¦ LAT[i][j] +1
In this case, the LAT generated is of dimension 16 x 16.The following table depicts the Linear
Approximation Table generated for the S-box given in fig. 1 using algorithm 2.

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

A

B

C

D

E

F

0

16

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

1

8

8

6

6

8

8

6

14

10

10

8

8

10

10

8

8

2

8

8

6

6

8

8

6

6

8

8

10

10

8

8

2

10

3

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

10

2

6

6

10

10

6

6

4

8

10

8

6

6

4

6

8

8

6

8

10

10

4

10

8

5

8

6

6

8

6

8

12

10

6

8

4

10

8

6

6

8

6

8

10

6

12

10

8

8

10

8

6

10

12

6

8

8

6

7

8

6

8

10

10

4

10

8

6

8

10

8

12

10

8

10

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

6

10

10

6

10

6

6

2

9

8

8

6

6

8

8

6

6

4

8

6

10

8

12

10

6

A

8

12

6

10

4

8

10

6

10

10

8

8

10

10

8

8

B

8

12

8

4

12

8

12

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

C

8

6

12

6

6

8

10

8

10

8

10

12

8

10

8

6

D

8

10

10

8

6

12

8

10

4

6

10

8

10

8

8

10

E

8

10

10

8

6

4

8

10

6

8

8

6

4

10

6

8

F

8

6

4

6

6

8

10

8

8

6

12

6

6

8

10

8

Similarly, the LAT for any of the DES S-box can also be generated, For DES S-box; the algorithm is modified as the following:
Algorithm 3: Algorithm for generating LAT for DES S-Box.
For i=0 to 15
For j=0 to 63
For k=0 to 15
If Parity (k AND i) =Parity(S-box[k] AND j) then
LAT[i][j] ï¦AT[i][j] +1
In this case, the LAT is of dimension 16 x 64, the reason being DES S-box takes 4 bit input and produces 6 bit output.
Piling Up Principle
One of the fundamental tools used for linear cryptanalysis is the Piling Up Principle. Let us conceder two random binary variables X1 and X2, and let us assume

And

Then, the probability of the relationship X1(+)X2 will be

That is, X1 (+) X2 will be 0 when X1=X2 i.e. when both X1 and X2 are 0 and both X1 and X2 are 1. And X1 (+) X2 will be 1 when X1≠ X2 i.e. when X1=0 and X2=1 or X1=1 and X2=0. Accordingly probabilities are computed, assuming X1 and X2 are independent.
We are particularly interested in deviation of the probability from ½, so, let us consider p1=1/2+ ε1 and p2=1/2+ε2, where ε1 and ε2 are the deviation of p1 and p2 from respectively from ½ and are referred to as probability bias.
Now, P(X1 (+) X2=0)=(1/2 + ε1).(1/2+ε2) + (1-(1/2+ε1)).(1-(1/2+ε2))
=1/2+2.ε1.ε2
So, probability bias of X1 (+) X2 is given by
ε1,2=2.ε1.ε2
Generally, if X1,X2,…Xn are n independent random binary variables, then the probability of X1 (+) X2 (+) …(+) Xn=0 is given by the Piling Up Lemma.
P( X1 (+) X2 (+) …Xn =0) = ½ + 2 n-1 . ∏i=1…n εi……….(1)
And the probability bias of (+) X2 (+) …(+) Xn=0 is given by
ε1…n=2 n-1 . ∏i=1…n εi
Note that, P( X1 (+) X2 (+) …Xn =0) = ½, if there exist some εi such that εi=0 or pi=1/2. And P( X1 (+) X2 (+) …Xn =0) = 0 or 1, if for all εi, εi=+1/2 or -1/2 respectively or pi=0 or 1 respectively.
Attacking a Toy Cipher
Let us consider a toy cipher that takes 4 bit input goes through two iterations of key addition and block substitution and yields a 4 bit output. The following figure diagrammatically represents the toy cipher.
P1, P2, P3, P4 represents the 4 bit plain text
C1, C2, C3, C4 represents 4 bit cipher text.
K0, K1, K2 are 4 bit sub keys
Total key length is of 12 bits.
The cipher uses two identical S-boxes, which is same as the S-box described earlier.
The following algorithm implements the toy cipher
Algorithm 4: Implementing Toy Cipher
Kye[]ï¦{k0,k1,k2}
Sbox[]=ï¦{E,4,D,1,2,F,B,8,A,6,C,5,9,0,7}
For i=0 to 15// 16 possible inputs
{ p=i
For j= 0 to 1// 2 iterations
pï¦Sbox [ p (+) Key[j]]
C[i]ï¦ p (+) Key[2] //final key whitening step
}
The toy cipher yields the following output when Key[]ï¦{B,7,F}

Plain Text

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

A

B

C

D

E

F

Cipher Text

3

B

6

D

1

7

F

2

4

9

E

5

8

A

C

0

The first step towards attacking the cipher begins by obtaining an equation of the form X1 (+) X2 (+)…(+) Xn =0. Such an expression can be obtained using Linear Approximation Table. In our example P(LAT[F][A])=12/16 or equivalently Bias( LAT[F][A})=4/16,k where F is the input mask and A is the output mask. It should be noted that although LAT[0][0]=16 but it cannot be used.
Let Uij demote the jth input of ith S-Box and Vij denote the jth output of the ith S-Box.
So, P(U11 (+) U12 (+) U13 (+) U14 =V11 (+) V13)= 12/16
Let Kij denote the jth bit of the ith sub key, then U11 = P1 (+) K01, U12 =P2 (+) K02, U13 = P3 (+) K03, and U14 = P4 (+) K04, where Pi denotes the ith plain text bit.
Therefore, P( P1 (+) K01 (+) P2 (+) K02 (+) P3 (+) K03 (+) P4 (+) K04 = V11 (+) V13)) = 12/16
orP ( P1 (+) P2 (+) P3 (+) P4 (+) ∑K0 = V11 (+) V13) = 12/ 16
Since, U21 = V11 (+) K11 or, V11 = U21 (+) K11 and U23 = V23 (+) K13 or, V13 = U23 (+) K13
Hence, P (P1 (+) P2 (+) P3 (+) P4 (+)∑K0 = U21 (+) K11 (+)U23 (+) K13) = 12/ 16
or, P (P1 (+) P2 (+) P3 (+) P4 (+)∑K0 (+) K11 (+) K13 = U21 (+)U23) = 12/ 16
Let us assume K=∑K0 (+) K11 (+) K13, which can either be 0 or 1
Therefore, P (P1 (+) P2 (+) P3 (+) P4 (+) K= U21 (+)U23) = 12/ 16 Or,P (P1 (+) P2 (+) P3 (+) P4 = U21 (+)U23) =
Now, as we have obtained a linear expression with a relatively high probability bias, we would now partially decrypt the cipher text to obtain U2 (input to the 2nd S-Box). The following algorithm does this.
Algorithm 5: Partially decrypting the cipher text
C[] ï¦ { 3,B,6,D,1,7,F,2,4,9,E,5,8,A,C,0}
Isbox[] ï¦ {E,3,4,6,1,C,A,F,7,D,9,6,B,2,0,5}
For k=0 to 15
{pro[k]ï¦ 0
For I = 0 to 15
{pdc [k][i] ï¦ isbox [ C[i] (+) k]
If Parity (pdc[k][i] AND A) = Parity ( I AND F) then
pro[k] ï¦ pro[k] +1
}
}
It should be noted that Parity (pdc[k][i] AND A) = Parity ( I AND F) is the algorithmic implementation of P1 (+) P2 (+) P3 (+) P4 (+) = U21 (+) U23. Since, bit wise ANDing retrieves the required bits when ANDed with a mask having 1 in the required position in its binary equivalent.
The algorithm yields the following probabilities.

Key

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

A

B

C

D

E

F

Probability

From the result we observe that probability when key=F is 12/16 which matches with our expected probability, there by indicating that K2=F.
It should be noted that in our example, it so happened that there is only one candidate for K2, but generally there may be more than one candidate and all of then should be given due consideration.
For the next round, we use the partially decrypted cipher text with respect to key =F as the cipher text and perform the procedure defined as algorithm 5.
That is , now C[]ï¦{B,1,D,4,0,7,E,2,6,A,3,9,F,C,8,5}
The output yielded at this point is given below.

Key

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

A

B

C

D

E

F

Probability

At this time we are comparing the plain text block P1, P2, P3, P4 to the input of the first S-Box i.e. U1, U2, U3, U4, so the expected probability is computed as
P( P1 (+) P2 (+) P3 (+) P4 = P1 (+) P2 (+) P3 (+) P4) =1
Or, P( P1 (+) P2 (+) P3 (+) P4 = P1 (+) P2 (+) P3 (+) P4 (+) ∑K0) =
Or, P( P1 (+) P2 (+) P3 (+) P4 = P1 (+) K01 (+) P2 (+) K02 (+) P3 (+) K03 (+) P4 (+) K04) =
Or, P( P1 (+) P2 (+) P3 (+) P4 = U11 (+) U12 (+) U13 (+) U14) =
The expected probability match4es with the observed probability for sub key K1= 7. Therefore with high degree of certainty, K1=7.
So, we retain the partially decrypted cipher text for sub key =7, which is contained in pdc[7][i] for i=0 to 15. The partially cipher text for sub key =7 is given in the following table.

Plain Text

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

A

B

C

D

E

F

Partially decrypted Cipher Text

B

A

9

8

F

E

D

C

3

2

1

0

7

6

5

4

Now, in order to obtain the sub key K0, we need simply to choose any pair of plain text and partially decrypted cipher text and perform a bitwise XOR operation.
Say, we choose (4,F), then 4 (+) F = B, So, K0=B.
Thus, the actual key ={B, 7, F}, which is the key we originally used in our example toy cipher.
It should be noted that, at every step of our attack, we obtain unique sub key values that matches our expected probability, which may not be the case all the time. And in such situations where multiple sub keys matches the expected probability we need to consider each of these sub keys.
Observations

If the Linear Approximation Table (LAT) has an entry such that Bias (LAT[i][j])| =1/2 (50%) and i=j, then the S-box is prone to Linear attack. So, such an S-box is a strict no for any cipher
If the Linear Approximation Table has entries such that |Bias(LAT[i][j])| =1/2 and | Bias (LAT[j][k])| = ½ where i ≠ j ≠k , then such a cipher is also susceptible to Linear Attack.
If |Bias(LAT[i][j])| = ½ where i≠j and there is no pair such that |Bias(LAT[i][j])|=1/2 and |Bias(LAT[j][k])|=1/2 where i ≠ j ≠k , then after a certain number of iterations, Linear Cryptanalysis becomes ineffective. The observation is illustrated using the following graph.

Conclusion
As the number of iterations of an iterative cipher increases and observations 1 and 2 does not hold, Linear Cryptanalysis becomes increasingly less effective.
References:

Heys,H.M,2002,”A Tutorial on Linear And Differential Cryptanalysis”, Cryptologia,XXV(3),189-221.
Matsui, M.,1994,”Linear Cr4yptanalysis Method For DES Cipher”, Advance in Cryptlogy-EUROCRYPT’93, Springer-Verlag,386-397.
Jakobson, B.T.,Abyar, M.,Nordholt, P.S.,2006,”Linear And Differential Cryptanalysis”
Paar, C.,& Pelzl, J.,2010,Understanding Cryptography.Berlin:Springer-Nerlag.

Fully Understanding The Arian Controversy Religion Essay

The church has battled throughout its history with various Heresies and controversies, which in essence have partly defined the path that the church has taken. A perfect example is Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria and his bold stand against Arianism. Without which today’s orthodox faith may have drifted into paganism and found itself more of a philosophy than a life saving religion The message of salvation was on the line.

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The Arians believed that Jesus was not God, but instead a created being, where Athanasius knew that for salvation to be realised, Jesus must be both fully God and fully human, of the same substance as God, and always being, not created. The importance of this stance could not be overstated as it would affect all aspects of Christian belief and society.
Athanasius’ stand cost him dearly spending many years in exile on 5 different occasions, but his determination to stand for what he believed was absolute truth eventually triumphed. His stand maintained the church as an instrument of salvation, separate from the control of secular power. It is through the example of Athanasius’ life and costly fight for truth that we learn the importance of identifying today’s critical issues and standing firm in this present difficult age.
Introduction
To fully understand the Arian Controversy and the depth of involvement for Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria  , one only has to follow his life story, as the history of the Arian Controversy is entwined throughout it.  The life of Athanasius is so dominated by the combat of this heresy, that the rise and fall of the Arian Controversy was a reflection of the life and security of this theological giant.
In this essay the Author shall attempt to examine the relationship between Athanasius and his passionate fight against the Arian heresy. In so doing one must firstly understand the Controversy, secondly have knowledge of the Key players, and what they so passionately believed and fought for, and finally to consider how learnings from these past battles can be applied today.
Section1: The Arian Controversy
The Arian Controversy was birthed through a man named Arius (250  -336AD)  born in Libya.  A very popular and prestigious presbyter of the Baucalis Church,  in the city of Alexandria.  Arius’ intention was to protect the status of a unique God, the only being to have always been and neither has another ever existed with the same standing nor made of the same matter.  However the controversy finds an earlier conception through Origen,  probably the greatest Christian theologian of the early church.
Origen’s understanding of the Trinity was three distinct beings firmly united into one, God the Creator of all, the eternal Son Christ and the Holy Spirit. However it was his comments regarding the subordination of both Christ  and the Holy Spirit to the Father, which influenced some of those who followed him to accept subordinationism  and finally Arianism. This belief along with a number of other popular heresies and schisms built a foundation and lead into to what is now known as the Arian controversy.
Around the year 318AD  Arius began to spread his views on the relationship between God and Christ,  one being the uncreated Father without a beginning, who bore a Son with a beginning.  The Word (Logos) became flesh as the man Jesus Christ (John 1:14), but Arius argued, He was not made of the same nature nor substance as God the Father, “neither eternal nor omnipotent, and therefore was a lesser being”.  In Arius’ appeal to the highly influential Eusebius, the bishop at Nicomedia  he wrote “The Son has a beginning, but God is without beginning”.  Arius postulated that Jesus Christ was a created Being, the first and the greatest ever created,  but still only a form of creation, not the Creator.  This is further seen in a common phrase that would eventually become the Arian motto,
“There was, when He was not”
At this time (early in the fourth century) in church history, the theory’s and ideas surrounding the divinity of Christ were still “up in the air” so to speak, and the church had no set way to ‘officialise’ doctrine or determine what was an acceptable belief.  So it was, when Alexander the bishop of Alexandria clashed over several issues with Arius, the most important being whether the ‘Word of God’, was co-eternal with God.
In 320AD Alexander took decisive action, clearly declaring his belief in the Son’s, being ‘consubstantial and coeternal with the Father’,  following which he brought together a council of local bishops, condemning the views of Arius  and deposing him in 321AD.  Arius, appealed both to the local populace and some prominent bishops  from the eastern side of the empire,  who in turn supported him. Arius’ return to Alexandria,  resulted in demonstrations and riots in the streets,  further threatening a division of the ‘entire eastern church’,  causing Constantine; the first fully attested Christian Emperor,  to intervene.
In 325AD  , Constantine called the first Ecumenical (Universal or worldwide) Council in Nicea  to settle the matter of the Arian Debate.  This historic meeting not only had the Emperor Constantine present but it is also claimed in ancient chronicles that 318 bishops  were also in attendance.  The Arian party was led by Eusebius of Nicomedia  and the opposition was headed by Alexander bishop of Alexandria notably supported by a young deacon named Athanasius  his eventual successor and champion of Nicene orthodoxy.
The Arian debate was distilled to the addition or subtraction of one iota. Was Christ ‘Homousios’ (i.e. of the same essence as God) or the Arian stand ‘Homoiousios’ (i.e. of similar essence with God)?  In what has been described as a ‘decision of immeasurable importance in the history of the church’,  Arianism was rejected,  in the clearest way possible,  and after debate, the condemnation of Arius pronounced by the bishop Alexandria was upheld,  resulting in Arius being ‘anathematized and banished with two companions to Illyria’.  Furthermore for clarity of belief, and complete rejection of Arianism, it was decided that a common creed needed to be developed and unanimously agreed upon.  Eusebius of Caesarea presented his own creed,  which was adopted with some changes strengthening the rejection of the Arianism heresies.  This creed known as the ‘Creed of Nicaea’  became the basis of the ‘Nicene Creed’ still used in today’s churches.
This should have ended the Arian controversy but it soon reappeared with the emperor ordering the church to reverse Arius’ condemnation, and readmit him. This introduced a new church issue, the interference of the state (emperor) in church affairs. Instead of persecution, the church had to deal with instruction from a secular authority. We also start to see the true grit of Athanasius, and his willingness to stand for truth despite the negative consequences to his own life.
Section 2: Athanasius, “The Black Dwarf” Champion of Nicene Orthodoxy.
Athanasius (296 – 373 AD),  seemed to be a man surrounded by controversy. In his time as archbishop of Alexandria,  he was exiled no less than five times. His controversial standing centred around his use of Episcopal authority,  as well as the famous alleged assassination of a fellow bishop of a rival group  which was dramatically found to be false.  It was Athanasius’ lot, that his fortunes would ride the waves of rejection and popularity of the cause (The Arian controversy) he so diligently fought against throughout his life. His stance against the heresy that plagued his defence of Christianity fashioned his life. He is credited in history  as one who “stood alone for the truth, against the forces of heresy”,  and is to have stated his famous defiance, “Athanasius Against the World”.
Athanasius who was noted as being so dark and short of stature, was known to his enemies as “The Black Dwarf”,  the man seen above all others as being opposed to Arianism and to be feared the most.  He was also known as the champion of Nicene orthodoxy, seen as one of the ‘great fathers of the fourth century’,  and is also credited as one of the most renown theologians of the early church,  amongst other greats such as Clement and Origen.
Three key issues of concern for Athanasius were within the ‘religious, social, and political’ realms. His gravest concern was the Arian core argument regarding the full deity of Jesus Christ and the theology of the Trinity. Athanasius’ stance on the trinity, was deeply rooted upon his beliefs on creation and salvation, effectively focusing debate on a biblical and theological basis steering it away from philosophical speculation.  In the Arian debate, Athanasius could clearly see that Christianity was at the brink of becoming a form of paganism.  If Jesus was not declared ‘Homousios’, then Christianity would have worshiped two Gods, and Jesus would not have been a worthy sacrifice for our sins.  Athanasius saw Salvation was on the line,  Jesus needed to be both fully human to atone for the sin of man, and fully divine, as none other could have the power to save humanity. This duel nature of Christ was paramount, as without it the Salvation of humanity would be impossible.
The second major issue was in the realm of politics. At this time Christianity had just emerged from a period of major persecution by the secular powers  to a time in which it was the dominant religion. However, Christianity had in reality moved from secular persecution to secular control by the Emperor  of the day.  The Arian controversy was a great example of a shift in foci with Athanasius now finding himself opposing the Emperor over religious issues. This resulted in five periods of exile and reinstatement,  based on either a change in emperor or the cliché closet to the emperor at the time.  Subsequently the church found its role degraded away from its real role of pointing mankind to salvation in Christ, rather becoming a tool of the emperor used to achieve his own ends. Consequently, church issues and doctrines were not being decided by the religious elite debating each issue, instead key decisions (e.g. Arian controversy) were made by secular rulers under petition.  Furthermore, church decisions were subject to being over ruled by the state to suit the whims of the emperor.  Throughout this period Athanasius established and fought for the principle of church separation from the state, retaining the church’s focus and mission on the good news of Christ.
The third issue faced by Athanasius was in the social sphere This arose through the emperor Constantine’s legitimate concerns with the volatility of the Arian dispute, its magnitude and potential to tear apart the entire eastern church.  Constantine recognised the importance and role of a united church holding together the fabric of a decaying Roman society. This was his hope and means of ensuring Rome’s survival, but a divided and embittered church would seal the fate of weary empire.  So it was that Constantine called together the first worldwide assembly of Christian bishops to deal with these issues amongst other things.  His stance regarding the social impact of a divided church was clear as he addressed the bishops before the council stating “Division in the church was worse than war”.
Athanasius refused to condone violence to achieve his goals. This was shown during a confrontation with rival bishop Gregory which escalated into violence. Athanasius’ response was to remove himself from the city in order to avoid further bloodshed.  Athanasius’ pastoral heart recognised the danger Arianism would bring to society, and that those who opposed Arianism would once again face persecution,  (only this time it would come from within). Athanasius also realised that Christianity’s endpoint under Arianism was paganism leading to the demise of both social and moral standards as the Christian faith decayed to the depth of other pagan religions.
Section 3: Applying these lessons in today’s society
The issues which arose in Athanasius’ day are seen again today, challenging Christians across all nations to varying degrees. The three main areas of conflict faced by Athanasius and Christians today, are as follows.
The first issue Christians face today is that of religious heresy. The many denominations now found under the Protestant banner demonstrates the splintering of the church into multiple denominations, further giving rise to cults barely related to the original Christian message.  Even the Arian controversy itself has re-surfaced in a modified form with the emergence of the Jehovah Witnesses.  One learns from Athanasius that even with insurmountable odds, someone must stand in the gap for truth, despite the cost it may have on your very being. Athanasius showed that one must persist until the end, to not only ensure truth is victorious, but that unity of the body of Christ is achieved. Looking at Athanasius’ stand, it is observed that he never gave up on the church body, despite overwhelming odds opposing him. Athanasius worked within the existing church structure, resisting the temptation to start his own religious theological group. This resulted in the survival of the ancient church, giving Christians of this present day a functional theological base to build upon.
Today’s second issue encompasses the relationship between church and state. This battle is being played out across the world. Christians in many western countries have formed specifically Christian political parties,  based upon the Christian stance and influencing government policy where possible.  Globally we see countries like Communist China and the old Russia where the government took an active role in trying to discredit and eliminate religion  through persecution and unjust laws. Unable to defeat the church of Christ some adopted a policy of offering religious “freedom” with harsh restrictions under the tight control of the government.  We learn through Athanasius trials, the dangers of mixing politics and religion, with the corruption and misuse of the church which can come from such a union. Today we face the seeds of secular intervention in Christian belief and activity with Australia’s recent discrimination and vilification laws having the potential to silence the church.
The final lesson deals with the society or community in which Christians live. Constantine saw that the unity of the Christians could hold the fabric of the Roman Empire together, and Christians may exert a similar influence today. The gradual decay of present society towards a collapse in its social moral character is evident with the increasing occurrence of problematic behaviours (in societal terms) such as abortion, child and spousal abuse, and euthanasia (in some western countries). From a Christian stance, moral indicators such as divorce, suicide and problem pregnancies are also increasing in frequency. Some indicators show a decreasing difference between secular society and the Christian community as Christian beliefs are influenced and eroded. The past reveals that to avert social disaster, Christians need to be unified, offering stable standards and clear beliefs tempered with peace, hope and love to the communities and nations in which they live: Offering Christ as the real alternative to modern paganism. Athanasius demonstrates that the church must get back to its roots and be a vessel of good news, offering Salvation to mankind.
Conclusion
The church would do well to look back on the life of Athanasius and learn from the lessons that this great man of God teaches. Although the works of Athanasius hold an important place in the history of Christianity, it is more the Life and stance of Athanasius which speaks volumes to Christians throughout the ages. It was Athanasius’ tireless and fearless stand against the Arianism which earned him the title “Champion of Nicene orthodoxy”. Against seemingly insurmountable odds, Athanasius opposed heretical change, battling both the hierarchy of church and state.
The tenacity and vision of one man, refusing to recant his theological stance on Christ’s deity and the role of the church, established and impacted the church’s direction to this day. In most Western countries the protestant church is independent of the state’s influence  with a primary focus stayed true around the message of Christ bringing salvation through his deity and subsequent efficacy of his substitutionary sacrifice.

My Understanding Of Sin And Salvation Religion Essay

In this essay I would like to consider my understanding of such complicated concepts like sin and salvation and explain my own attitude to these concepts. It should be noted Catholic Church considers sin like direct or indirect violation of religious precepts, rarely sin is considered as violation of dominant moral and ethical rules, regulations, established in society. The most common definition states that sin is the result of an act of the will of the individual that implies guilt and carries a reward, as described in Why Talk About Sin?

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In turn, salvation – is the recognition of guilt and the desire of the person to atone for his sins. Confession gives the Christian an opportunity to receive forgiveness from God himself (contrary to popular belief, a confession in Christianity has always been given only by God; the priest is only a witness). As a fact, penitent must show the desire to avoid further repetition of the old life of sin, in which he has repented. Closely with the concept of sin is connected a central doctrine of Christianity for salvation. Christ suffered and died atoned for the sins of humanity as a whole and for each individual in particular, as stated in Christian’s understanding of salvation.
According to The Holy Bible: “But if we walk in the light, as he also is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. And the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all iniquity. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar: and His word is not in us” (John 1:7-10). In my opinion, this quote states that after the Fall, man becomes “sick”, but the Son of God has given everyone the opportunity to be healed. Our Church teaches that the Son of God comes to the suffering of unfathomable sacrifice and His love had an opportunity to save every human being. And the only reason for salvation and incarnation – is the love of God. Sacrament of penance is the beginning of treatment, a prerequisite of which is humility – awareness of their sinfulness and damage, as well as a desire to fix this nature. Repenting of sin and showing the desire to be with God restore the shattered relationship, which were broken by sin. Every sin is a sin against love, because God Himself is love. Therefore, getting rid of sin, man returns to love, returns to God, as described in A God-Centered Understanding of Sin, 2010.
It should be noted that nowadays, people, as a rule, refer to the sin lightly and ironically; they consider sin as only human weakness or lack of will. As a matter of fact, 300 years ago more than 90% of people who had believed in God, kept the faith until the end of life. Today, this number is probably less than 5%. It can be said that unlike that time, the humanity has changed the perception of the world. As a fact, most people do not believe in the Creation and Fall, as described in Why Talk About Sin? As a result, sin has been given new meanings – the loss of self-esteem or residual aggression. So when evangelicals are trying to preach about sin, repentance, instead of people and invocation to God for mercy, they meet strange and even hostile reactions. As a result, evangelicals’ sermons about sin and the Judgment Day reduced to a minimum by offering students the happiness here and now, instead of salvation from eternal damnation.
There is an outstanding article Why Talk About Sin?, where is described very interesting example of modern attitude to sin and salvation: “If the flight attendant asks you to put on a parachute to make you feel better during the flight, you will soon remove the parachute, because you will feel uncomfortable with it and, in addition, other passengers will laugh at you. However, if the flight attendant asks you to put on the parachute because the plane will crash soon and you need to save your life – you will not care, convenient it is for you or not, or how people will react – you still will be sitting with the parachute. The same way youth live their lives. They just do not care what sins they do and what consequences there may be for their souls and conscience, as stated in Why Talk About Sin?. In my opinion, this example describes how people just do what they want to do and think that in the end of life they can come to a church, confess and receive a salvation. But they have forgotten that to receive a salvation your confession must be sincere and truthful, they just can not cheat God. Moreover, many of them do not live up to the moment of confession, many people die suddenly in car accident for example and have no a chance for salvation and eternal life.
It should be noted that among Christians is widespread the opinion that sin – is the fall of the soul, I disagree with this statement. I think that sin – is an inevitable manifestation of humanity, because all people are sinners. In other words – there is no sinless people. In some extent, our sinfulness separates us from God. So, there is the main question that every person should be asked: “Did you recognize the power of God and repent in your sins?”. If the answer is yes and it is sincere truthful (and the priest is witness of this action) – the person can expect a salvation, if the answer is no – the person will be in hell for eternity.
To sum it up, I would like to say that sin is the result of an act of the will of the individual that implies guilt and carries a reward. In turn, salvation – is the recognition of guilt and the desire of the person to atone for his sins. I believe that God gave us an opportunity to have eternal life in paradise, everybody decides for himself should he believe in hell and paradise or not. In the end, time will put everything in its place.

Defining And Understanding Holography Physics Essay

Holography, method of obtaining three-dimensional photographic images. These images are obtained without a lens, so the method is also called lensless photography. The records are called holograms (Greek holos, “whole”; gram, “message”). The theoretical principles of holography were developed by the British physicist Dennis Gabor in 1947. The first actual production of holograms took place in the early 1960s, when the laser became available. By the late 1980s the production of true-color holograms was possible, as well as holograms ranging from the microwave to the X-ray region of the spectrum. Ultrasonic holograms were also being made, using sound waves.
Holography is one of the remarkable achievements of a modern science and technology. Holograms have unique property to restore the high-grade volumetric image of real subjects. The word “holography” originated from the Greek words holos – whole and grapho – write, that means complete record of the image.
Holography represents photographic process in a broad sense of this word, essentially differs from a usual photo because there is a registration not only intensity in a photosensitive material, but also phase of light waves, scattered by the object and carried the complete information about three-dimensional structure of the object. As the medium of mapping of the reality, hologram has unique property: unlike usual photo, the holographic image can reproduce exactly three-dimensional copy of the original object. Such image with set of views, varied with change of supervision, has amazing realness and often looks like the real object. Unlike photography or painting, holography can render an object with complete dimensional fidelity. A hologram can create everything your eyes see – size, shape, texture and relative position. However, if you try to touch a holographic image, all you’ll find is focused light.
History of holography
Holography is known from 1947 when British (native of Hungary) scientist Dennis Gabor  produced the theory of holography while he was trying to improve the resolution of electron microscope .Gabor coined the term which we know today i.e. holography by the greek word holos, which means “whole” while gramma means “message”. Further development in the field was during the next period because light sources available at that time was not truly “coherent” .

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This problem was overcome in 1960 by Russian scientists N. Bassov and A. Prokhorov and American scientist Charles Townswith by the invention of the laser, whose pure, intense light was ideal for making holograms. In that year the pulsed-ruby laser was developed by Dr. T.H. Maimam. This laser system (unlike the continuous wave laser normally used in holography) emits a very powerful burst of light that lasts only a few nanoseconds (a billionth of a second). It effectively freezes movement and makes it possible to produce holograms of high-speed events, such as a bullet in flight, and of living subjects. The first hologram of a person was made in 1967, paving the way for a specialized application of holography: pulsed holographic portraiture.
In 1962 Emmett Leith and Juris Upatnieks of the University of Michigan recognized from their work in side-reading radar that holography could be used as a 3-D visual medium. In 1962 they read Gabor’s paper and “simply out of curiosity” decided to duplicate Gabor’s technique using the laser and an “off-axis” technique borrowed from their work in the development of side-reading radar. The result was the first laser transmission hologram of 3-D objects (a toy train and bird). These transmission holograms produced images with clarity and realistic depth but required laser light to view the holographic image.
Their pioneering work led to standardization of the equipment used to make holograms. Today, thousands of laboratories and studios possess the necessary equipment: a continuous wave laser, optical devices (lens, mirrors and beam splitters) for directing laser light, a film holder and an isolation table on which exposures are made. Stability is absolutely essential because movement as small as a quarter wave- length of light during exposures of a few minutes or even seconds can completely spoil a hologram. The basic off-axis technique that Leith and Upatnieks developed is still the staple of holographic methodology.
Also in 1962 Dr. Yuri N. Denisyuk from Russia combined holography with 1908 Nobel Laureate Gabriel Lippmann’s work in natural color photography. Denisyuk’s approach produced a white-light reflection hologram which, for the first time, could be viewed in light from an ordinary incandescent light bulb.
Another major advance in display holography occurred in 1968when Dr. Stephen A. Benton invented white-light transmission holography while researching holographic television at Polaroid Research Laboratories. This type of hologram can be viewed in ordinary white light creating a “rainbow” image from the seven colors which make up white light. The depth and brilliance of the image and its rainbow spectrum soon attracted artists who adapted this technique to their work and brought holography further into public awareness.
Benton’s invention is particularly significant because it made possible mass production of holograms using an embossing technique. These holograms are “printed” by stamping the interference pattern onto plastic. The resulting hologram can be duplicated millions of timesfor a few cents apiece. Consequently, embossed holograms are now being used by the publishing, advertising, and banking industries.
In 1972 Lloyd Cross developed the integral hologram by combining white-light transmission holography with conventional cinematography to produce moving 3-dimensional images. Sequential frames of 2-D motion-picture footage of a rotating subject are recorded on holographic film. When viewed, the composite images are synthesized by the human brain as a 3-D image.
In 70’s Victor Komar and his colleagues at the All-Union Cinema and Photographic Research Institute (NIFKI) in Russia, developed a prototype for a projected holographic movie. Images were recorded with a pulsed holographic camera. The developed film was projected onto a holographic screen that focused the dimensional image out to several points in the audience.
Holographic artists have greatly increased their technical knowledge of the discipline and now contribute to the technology as well as the creative process. The art form has become international, with major exhibitions being held throughout the world.
The commonly and widely used way of imaging of the reality is the photography. A photograph is basically the recording of the differing intensities of the light reflected by the object and imaged by a lens. However, information about dimensions of the object contained not only in amplitude (intensity), but also in a phase of light waves.
A great difference between holography and photography is the information recorded. This difference is why photographs are two dimensional (2-D) images while holograms are three dimensional (3-D) images. Photographs contain only one view point of an object. Our eyes need a minimum of two view points in order to see depth. Vision using two viewpoints of an object is called stereoscopic vision. Each eye receives a slightly different view point of an object, our brain combines the two and we perceive depth. We can fool our eyes into seeing photographs in three dimensions by taking two slightly different views of an object and allowing each eye to see only one image, the right image for the right eye and the left image for the left eye. We can do this with a stereoscope (for pictures) or with polarized glasses (for movies). The shortcoming of stereoscopic images is that when we move our head from side to side or up and down, we still only see the same two view points, whereas we should be seeing continuously changing viewpoints of the object. The image therefore doesn’t quite appear to be three dimensional. In order to make a record of a three dimensional object we need to record this continuous set of viewpoints of the object.
Estimating sizes of the objects and considering shape and direction of shadows from these objects, we can create in our mind general representation about volumetric properties of the scene, represented in a photo. But, if sizes of the objects are identical and there are no shadows, volumetric content of the photographed scene is completely lost. For example, we can not define in the photo of snowflakes on a dark background, which of them is closer, and which of them is farther.
Holography is the only visual recording medium that can record our three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional recording medium and playback the original object or scene to the unaided eyes as a three dimensional image. The image demonstrates complete parallax and depth-of-field and floats in space either behind, in front of, or straddling the recording medium.

Understanding Cultural and Ethnic Identities

Language is an important part of being humans. Being able to communicate with each other and not other animals differentiates us from other animals. This unique characteristic of being humans also is a cause of diversity in our cultural and ethnic identity. From birth we are trained to learn a basic language but as we grow older we pick up languages from our environment in our quest to become accepted by the dominant population. At least that is how I see it. To have an in-depth view of this research paper, we have to define what language, cultural and ethnic identities are.

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According to Merriam-Webster, language is defined as a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings and the combination of methods to be understood by a community (2011). On the other hand cultural identity is the influence of one’s culture on the development of identity. Individualist cultures stress the importance of personal achievement and independence. For example, although many Americans, identify with their Irish, West African, Chinese, or Mexican roots (among many others), they still call themselves Americans. Ethnic identity is the extent to which one identifies with a particular ethnic group(s). it refers to one’s sense of belonging to an ethnic group and the part of one’s thinking, perceptions, feelings, and behavior that is due to an ethnic group membership. The next ten pages will see me go through how language marks our cultural and ethnic identity using my own experience as an African.
I was born in Ibadan, Nigeria. Ibadan was the capital of the Oyo Empire and still is the capital of the modern Oyo state. I identity myself first as a Nigerian, and a Yoruba, but that isn’t how it was about some 200 years ago. Before the nineteenth century no one was called a Yoruba. The peoples of southwestern Nigeria, the Benin Republic, and Togo who are today referred to by scholars as “the Yoruba” were, until the late 19th century, organized into a series of some 15 to 20 independent states. (Christopher) These political entities were similar but different. The Oyo Empire oversaw all the political entities and therefore the culture of this people were similar they spoke in a similar language but in different dialect. North-West Yoruba is historically a part of the á»Œyá» Empire. In NWY dialects, Proto-Yoruba /gh/ (the velar fricative [É£]) and /gw/ have merged into /w/; the upper vowels /i Ì£/ and /á»¥/ were raised and merged with /i/ and /u/, just as their nasal counterparts, resulting in a vowel system with seven oral and three nasal vowels. Ethnographically, traditional government is based on a division of power between civil and war chiefs; lineage and descent are unilineal and agnatic.
South-East Yoruba was probably associated with the expansion of the Benin Empire after c. 1450 AD. In contrast to NWY, lineage and descent are largely multilineal and cognatic, and the division of titles into war and civil is unknown. Linguistically, SEY has retained the /gh/ and /gw/ contrast, while it has lowered the nasal vowels /á»‹n/ and /á»¥n/ to /áº¹n/ and /á»n/, respectively. SEY has collapsed the second and third person plural pronominal forms; thus, àn án wá can mean either ‘you (pl.) came’ or ‘they came’ in SEY dialects, whereas NWY for example has áº¹ wá ‘you (pl.) came’ and wá»Ìn wá ‘they came’, respectively. The emergence of a plural of respect may have prevented coalescence of the two in NWY dialects.
Central Yoruba forms a transitional area in that the lexicon has much in common with NWY, whereas it shares many ethnographical features with SEY. Its vowel system is the least innovating (most stable) of the three dialect groups, having retained nine oral-vowel contrasts and six or seven nasal vowels, and an extensive vowel harmony system. (Adetugbá» 1973) the term Yoruba is said to be given to Oyo Empire by the Hausas who originally called us “yariba”
But as the Yoruba people changed from one political power to another, their identity became stronger. The Oyo themselves had adopted the designation Yoruba as a mode of self-reference by the early 19th century, a process probably encouraged by the high status associations of Hausa regal culture and Islam. (Christopher) and with the existence of colonialism and World War II the Yoruba ethnic group solidified to become what it is today.
Yoruba give up from what was a group of political entities with different dialect to uniform tribe with a language Yoruba’s call “Yoruba adugbo”. The 15 – 20 dialects which were employed a long time ago became one language. Despite the fact that I come from two royal families of two different independent states with different dialects, I can only speak the common Yoruba language even my parent have had hard times trying to remember the individual dialects.
As a Yoruba we have certain Norms which most of us are accustomed to for example when must prostrate when greeting elders, we must respect elders in every way possible. Also we are also known to be people who are well educated and successful for example, M.K.O. Abiola, Obafemi Awolowo and Wole Soyinka. This specific qualities gives Yoruba’s certain privileges with which being able to speak the language comes to an advantage. While I was still living in Nigeria, I discovered that people who could speak the Yoruba language were immediately considered as Yoruba and would receive any treatment that is due to a Yoruba. Even when I came to the United States, I went for a college interview and when she my saw my last name she just smiled and started speaking Yoruba to an already nervous me and the interview was a success as I felt comfortable in my native language. What I am trying to say is that when she saw my last name, her knowledge of the language helps her to identify me as someone of the same the tribe as herself and further more from my last name she was able to deduce what state I was from and communicate with me in an appropriate way. A similar case happened to me when I went to the beach last summer while walking I heard man speaking it was a man whom I didn’t know from Adam but when he spoke Yoruba I could identify to be a Yoruba man and began to talk like we have known each other for a long time.
Research has pointed to an interesting ethnic paradox in the United States. Despite many indications of weakening ethnic boundaries in the white American population (due to intermarriage, language loss, religious conversion or declining participation), a number of studies have shown a maintenance or increase in ethnic identification among whites
This contradictory dualism is partly due to what Gans terms “symbolic ethnicity,” which is “characterized by a nostalgic allegiance to the culture of the immigrant generation, or that of the old country; a love for and pride in a tradition that can be felt without having to be incorporated in everyday behavior” (Joane). Bakalian provides the example of Armenian Americans:
For American-born generations, Armenian identity is a preference and being Armenian is a state of mind….One can say he or she is an Armenian without speaking Armenian, marrying an Armenian, doing business with Armenians, belonging to an Armenian church, joining Armenian voluntary associations, or participating in the events and activities sponsored by such organizations.(Joane )
While ethnicity is commonly viewed as biological in the United States (with its history of an obdurate ethnic boundary based on color), research has shown people’s conception of themselves along ethnic lines, especially their ethnic identity, to be situational and change- able. Barth (1969) first convincingly articulated the notion of ethnicity as mutable, arguing that ethnicity is the product of social ascriptions, a kind of labeling process engaged in by oneself and others. (Joane)
As one language changes the their notion of ethnicity change a s we further learn According to Joane Nagel that with this perspective in mind, one’s ethnic identity is a composite of the view one has of oneself as well as the views held by others about one’s ethnic identity. As the individual (or group) moves through daily life, ethnicity can change according to variations in the situations and audiences encountered. Ethnic identity, then, is the result of a dialectical process involving internal and external opinions and processes, as well as the individual’s self-identification and outsiders’ ethnic designations-i.e., what you think your ethnicity is, versus what they think your ethnicity is. Since ethnicity changes situationally, the individual carries a portfolio of ethnic identities that are more or less salient in various situations and with reference to various audiences.
As audiences change, the socially-defined array of ethnic choices opens to the individual changes. This produces a “layering” of ethnic identities which combines with the ascriptive character of ethnicity to reveal the negotiated, problematic nature of ethnic identity. Ethnic Constructing Ethnicity 155 boundaries, and thus identities, are constructed by both the individual and group as well as by outside agents and organizations. Examples can be found in patterns of ethnic identification in many U.S. ethnic communities.
For instance, Cornell (1988) and McBeth (1989) discuss various levels of identity available to Native Americans: sub tribal (clan, lineage, traditional), tribal (ethnographic or linguistic, reservation-based, official), regional (Oklahoma, California, Alaska, Plains), supra- tribal or pan-Indian (Native American, Indian, American Indian). Which of these identities a native individual employs in social interaction depends partly on where and with whom the interaction occurs. Thus, an American Indian might be a “mixed-blood” on the reservation, from “Pine Ridge” when speaking to someone from another reservation, a “Sioux” or “Lakota” when responding to the U.S. census, and “Native American” when interacting with non-Indians. Joane Nagel noted a similar layering of Latino or Hispanic ethnic identity, again reflecting both internal and external defining processes. An individual of Cuban ancestry may be a Latino in relation to non-Spanish-speaking ethnic groups, a Cuban-American with reference to other Spanish-speaking groups, a Marielito in relation to other Cubans, and white in relation to African Americans.
The chosen ethnic identity is determined by the individual’s perception of its meaning to different audiences, its salience in different social contexts, and its utility in different settings. For instance, intra- Cuban distinctions of class and immigration cohort may not be widely understood outside of the Cuban community since a Marielito is a “Cuban” or “Hispanic” to most Anglo-Americans. To a Cuban, however, immigration cohorts represent important political “vintages,” distinguishing those whose lives have been shaped by decades of Cuban revolutionary social changes from those whose life experiences have been as exiles in the United States. Others’ lack of appreciation for such ethnic differences tends to make certain ethnic identity choices useless and socially meaningless except in very specific situations. It underlines the importance of external validation of individual or group ethnic boundaries.
An ethnic group’s cultural identity involves a shared sense of the cultural features that help to define and to characterize the group. These group attributes are important not just for their functional value, but also as symbols. For example, for many Puerto Ricans in the United States, the Spanish language is not just a means of communication; it also represents their identification as Latinos and their difference from the majority culture. Even if Spanish reading and writing ability is absent, the desire to conserve some degree of Spanish speaking ability may reflect a desire to maintain distinctiveness from the surrounding society
Take me for example; I didn’t learn my native language until I was about eleven years old. I went to a very expansive school where everything around was English. Therefore, the only my society needed from me at that point in time was English. It was not until I went to live with my grand mom that I started to pick up my native language. My grandma lived in a more or less rural part of Nigeria were most people spoke Yoruba and as began to mingle with other kids I fortuitously began to pick up the language as the need for communication was apparent in other to be part of the community.
At the individual level, cultural identity has to do with the person’s sense of what constitutes membership in an ethnic group to which he or she belongs. Each person will have a particular image of the behaviors and values that characterize the group’s culture. In my case Yoruba’s are known to be able insult people especially people from the Oyo empire they are popularly categorized with the term “agboku dide” meaning someone who can insult the dead to come back to live. While staying with my grandma I was not look at to be a foreigner and precaution was taken when I come to play with other children. When I was in a fight I didn’t get support because I did not belong, making my whole group triumph at insulting me. But as I started to learn the language I began to gain respect amongst my pairs and felt part of the community. People think twice before coming to insult me and the sense of belonging came to me.
The term cultural identity is distinguished here from the related and broader social psychological concept of social identity, as well as from ethnic identity. Tajfel and Turner (1986) define social identity as consisting “of those aspects of an individual’s self-image that derive from the social categories to which he perceives himself as belonging”. Their notion of social categories is quite broad, encompassing any type of group to which people perceive themselves as belonging. Such categories of course include ethnicity, but can range from school sports teams to professional identifications, from social club memberships to gender or race classifications, and from nationality groups to psychological groups (for example, “jocks,” “yuppies,” “nerds”). Social identity incorporates both the person’s knowledge of membership in particular social categories and the value and feelings attached to those memberships. Ethnic identity can be defined as the portion of an individual’s social identity that is associated with membership in an ethnic group (Joane).
Cultural identity, while linked closely to both ethnic and social identity, is neither equivalent to them nor coterminous. While both ethnic and cultural identity help the individual to answer the question, “Who am I?” cultural identity is the component that associates particular cultural features with group membership. Social identity and ethnic identity deal with the symbolic aspects of social categorization – the boundary between the in-group and the out-group – and the associated affect. A particular individual, for example, may base his/her social identity primarily on gender, while his /her younger siblings may focus more sharply on her Polish background. Thus, the former individual’s ethnic identity as a Polish-American would be somewhat less strong than that of the latter individual (Joane).
Using the example Joanne Nagel gave, an ethnic identity is only made possible by our language. As one can only know more of one culture by speaking its language. No wonder when ever scientist want to explore a certain ethnic group they start by first learning the ethnic’s group language. After that, the scientist and people from the ethnic group feel as one and as if they can relate without any barriers.
In conclusion, I would like to attest to the fact that that our language marks our identity. the way one speaks directly refers to where one comes from, for example if one speaks French, the person is from either France or French speaking country but the way the person speaks French is always different and from this one is able to deduce if the person is an Ivorian, Senegalese, a French Canadian or proper French. The same is English we have the American English which differ for instance we have a southern way of speaking and the northern way of speaking. This systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings and the combination of methods to be understood by a community can differentiate us totally like I am always asked if English was my first language because of my accent and no matter how times I tell them that English is my first language, I keep hearing the same question.

Understanding The Definition Of Holy Books Religion Essay

Where do they come from?
What role do they have in our lives?
How do they work?
Do they have any benefit?
Most people think of the holy books as a set of heartless rules, laws and ancient story empty of clear meanings, which are difficult for our mind to comprehend fully. Their languages are strange to our modern languages, we do not know their true meanings and their purposes, and we do not have any clue how they can help us in life.
Prove 30:5-6, Romans 7 :12-14
Every word of God is pure he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. God’s law is holy just good and spiritual.
All of these concepts are justifiable because we do not know any thing about them as much as we should do, just to reach them for some religious events.
No wonder we are not able to experience God because we do not know his words, the more we learn about God’s word the more we become that close to God.
The Torah of Moses, the Psalms of David, the Gospel of Jesus and the Koran of Mohammad, they are magnificent holy books, pure truth, with matchless value, which come from the one and the same source. These heavenly books have been the most influential books in history all of them are miracle with no equal, beyond the capacity of human.
Divine religions help people to save and develop their faith , their original holy books are best references which are exclusive from any personal preference, if the people do not add or take away from them for better translation or some times for personal advantage.
Koran 32:2
This is scripture free from all doubt has been sent down from the lord of the worlds.
They provide us with all the information we need to get enlightened and advanced. Through considering and appreciation our holy books, we could become conscious and to realize the universal realities, secrets, messages and cods. These heavenly books are, slightly cross bridge between visible and invisible worlds, connection between the creator and creature we have been honored with this amazing set of connections.
These luminous books tell us how to purify our soul from the impurities for perfection in order to prepare ourselves for our journey toward God, we are people of love who want to observe and experience his love and truth.
Their messages have addressed directly to all people regardless to their class, gender and age, they have instruction and information in different styles and ways for all classes of human beings in favor of their happiness.
They are the source of truth and true knowledge, which teach us all rational, moral, spiritual matters and principle of happiness, make us aware of our creator through his magnificent creation, and explain our divine purpose for his creation.
Romans 10:17
So then faith comes from hearing the words of God.
These revelations are the life-maps for us to find our right path and any one could find his own share, they are God’s timeless speeches for whole universe regardless of era, sex, ethnic group and location.
They reveal the tremendous meanings and purposes of life and are inspired by God for eternal life and salvation they are heavenly divine truth, religious beliefs, laws and mortality. These practical books contain different subjects; philosophy, sociology, history, psychology, physics, biology, law, tradition, spirituality, mortality, and religion, every body with different level of understanding can obtain benefit from them.
Through them, we are able to see how God acts and rules in universe, their insignificant historical events have verity meanings we could draw universal conclusion from those ordinary events. They hold the vast store of divine purposes, facts, and bear hidden universal principle and general law even the rules of personal, social conduct and principal of happy life.
Koran 3:164In deed God conferred a great favor on the believers when he sent among them a messenger from among themselves reciting to them his holy book and purifying them.
These divine’s words are a gift of mercy beyond our expectations which enable us to attach ourselves to the spirit of God to see the source of truth, understand the way to the eternal life, find out about the secrecy of life and our magnificent destiny.
They are healing for any kind of spiritual sickness that treats any patient in a certain way since human beings are different in the condition of their heart.
They invite us to the unlimited peace and delight, the most important thing is to train our heart and our mind to unite with God. To have all answers to all our needs (physically and spiritually) according to our moral purity and our intellectual capacity, we would achieve perfection, and to elevate and revive our soul through learning and understanding these scriptures.
God shows his true signs to people through his divinely revelation in order that they find out about the reality of creation.
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works
All revelations have specific purposes, to know and believe our creator through his creation, to open the door of more love and blessings, to achieve lasting happiness, to give inner power for faith testing trail.
We should take God’s words prayerfully with all our heart because their truth protects our spirit and our body.
God has blessed us with extensive knowledge and guidance we should learn and internalize the true meaning of his word through understanding, experiencing, following our heart and our conscience.
The most important matter is, to apply God’s principles into our ordinary lives and avoid regretting from making wrong decisions in additional, to build our lives upon the solid rock of divine’s word in order to achieve eternal happiness.
We should recite them over and over to fix them in our scattered heart firmly it means to recite them with the tongue of our heart.
KORAN 5:15-16
In deed there has come to you from God a light and a clear book with which God guides him who seeks his pleasure to the ways of safety and brings them out of darkness into light by his permission and guides them to a straight path
Every time we read them, our mind and our soul recognize the new truth and meaning from them.
When we read them with holiness and sincerity, we discover new meaning and understanding. There is no point in reciting them with out understanding and contemplation.
We believe in heavenly books because we follow our heart and our conscious, they are supported by light of faith and signs of God’s wisdom and power and mercy we glorify our God through thankfulness, obedience and specially loving attitude.
James 2:21-24
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed GOD, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness
Hebrews 11:1
Faith is the evidence

Understanding of Conservation of Number and Mass in Children

Understanding of Conservation of Number and Mass in Children

Abstract

One of the most famous child cognitive development theories was coined by Jean Piaget. One of the Piagetian tasks that was used to analyze child development was the conservation task. This task tests if children can reason that a quantity will stay the same regardless of what container it’s in, what shape it changes to and what form it’s in. Children who are in the preoperational stage (ages 2-7) do not fully understand concrete logic so most should fail the conservation task. The next stage in Piaget’s cognitive development theory is concrete operation stage (ages 7-11) where children learn to become more logical and supplicated in their thinking. Children in the concrete operation stage should successfully pass the conservation task. In this study we tested children that were 5 years old and children that were over 7 years old to see if this theory was true. We used two different methods to test children’s knowledge of conservation. Conservation of number and matter. The results show us that although some children under 5 years old are able to complete the number conservation task many of them have trouble performing the matter conservation task. These results highlight Piaget’s cognitive development theory and how children in the preoperational stage (ages 2-7) have not fully learned the concept of conservation even though they may have the ability to perform some conservation tasks.

Introduction

Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is a theory of the developmental process of a child from birth to adulthood. He believed that there were different stages in development and as children grow older, they obtain the ability to reason, do logical thinking, think abstractly, and more. Piaget found that conservation was not present during the preoperational stage (ages 2-7) but develops once they reach the concrete operational stage (ages 7-11). Conservation is the ability to logically think of quantity staying the same regardless of changes in appearance (Bjorklund, 2012). For example, in Piaget’s famous conservation task he had two cups of water with the same amount of water in each cup. He poured one cup to a tall glass and the other to a short glass. He found that most kids in the preoperational stage would fail this task by believing that the tall glass contained more water. He also discovered that during the concrete operational stage, children were able to easily identify that both cups still had the same amount of water despite their physical appearance showing that they achieve the ability to logically think about conservation.

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Method

Participants

There were 7 participants in this study. Divided into two groups, one group was the preoperational stage group which consisted of 4 children all 5 years old. The other group was the concrete operation stage group, which consisted of 3 children two were 7 years old and one was 8 years old.

Design

There are two phases to this experiment. The first phase was to test children’s knowledge of conservation in number and the second phase was to test children’s knowledge of conservation of matter.

Phase 1

In this phase children were shown 5 gold Hershey’s chocolate kisses and 5 silver Hershey’s chocolate kisses. The experimenter laid out the gold and silver chocolates in a row parallel to each other and made sure that the length of both rows was equal. The experimenter then asked the child if there were the same amount of chocolates in each row. Next, the experimenter spreads out a row of chocolate so that one row will appear longer than the other. Both rows still had the same amount of chocolates. The experimenter then asks the children to identify which had more chocolate. After they children gave their answer the experimenter asked them to explain why and their answers were recorded.

Phase 2

This phase of the experiment was also a conservation task but focused mainly on matter as a unit of measurement. The experimenter rolled up play dough into a ball and made them both the same size. The experimenter then asked the children if the two balls were the same size. After the children stated that they believed the two balls were the same size, the experimenter then squished one ball. The children were then asked the state which ball they believed was bigger. The children were then asked to give an explanation for their answer.

Results

This present study was testing Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Specifically, we tested children’s logical thinking ability of conservation in the preoperational stage (ages 2-7) and the concrete stage (ages 7-11). During the first phase of the study, all of the children over the age of 7 correctly identified that the two rows of Hershey’s chocolate were the same length and passed the number conservation task. Surprisingly, all of the 5-year-old children were also able to pass the number conservation task (figure 1). Phase 2 showed slightly different results from phase 1. During phase 2, children that were over the age of 7 were able to correctly identify that the play dough was the same size even after they were squished. Three out of four children who were 5 years old failed the matter conservation task. All 4 of the 5-year-olds agreed that the play dough was the same size when shaped like a ball, but after the ball was squished, three out of the four believed that the squished ball was bigger than the round ball.

Discussion

The reason why there were two phases in this experiment was to test whether children fully mastered how to do conservation task. As shown in the results children who were over the age of 7 were able to able to complete both the number conservation and matter conservation task showing that they have reached the concrete operation stage of cognitive development. We hypothesized that children in the preoperational stage group would fail both number and matter conservation. In this study child in the preoperational stage group were all able to successfully perform the number conservation task. We believe that children were able to perform this task because they were able to physically see the amount of chocolate on the table and no matter how far we moved them apart from each other there were 5 chocolates in each row. The children were able to count the chocolate to confirm that the amount of chocolate did not change despite the row looking longer. In matter conservation task only 1 child successfully performed the task from the preoperational stage group. We speculate that this was because children had to rely on actual logical thinking in order to determine that the play dough was still the same size despite the squished play dough looking larger than the round one. One limitation of this study is that it only tested children’s knowledge on conversation of number and mass. There is conservation of liquid, area, volume, and many more. Adding more conservation tasks could specifically show us if older children are able to fully understand the concept of conservation.

References

Bjorklund, D. F., & Causey, K. B. (2017). Children’s thinking: Cognitive development and individual differences. Sage Publications.

Houdé, O., Pineau, A., Leroux, G., Poirel, N., Perchey, G., Lanoë, C., … & Delcroix, N. (2011). Functional magnetic resonance imaging study of Piaget’s conservation-of-number task in preschool and school-age children: A neo-Piagetian approach. Journal of experimental child psychology, 110(3), 332-346.

Pratoomraj, S., & Johnson, R. C. (1966). Kinds of questions and types of conservation tasks as related to children’s conservation responses. Child Development, 343-353.

Understanding The Objectives Of Trade Unions

Trade unions represent individual workers when they have a problem at work. If an employee feels he is being unfairly treated, he can ask the union representative to help sort out the difficulty with the manager or employer. Unions also offer their members legal representation. Normally this is to help people get financial compensation for work-related injuries or to assist people who have to take their employer to court.

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Negotiation is where union representatives, discuss with management, the issues which affect people working in an organization. There may be a difference of opinion between management and union members. Trade unions negotiate with the employers to find out a solution to these differences. Pay, working hours, holidays and changes to working practices are the sorts of issues that are negotiated. In many workplaces there is a formal agreement between the union and the company which states that the union has the right to negotiate with the employer. In these organizations, unions are said to be recognized for collective bargaining purposes.
Voice in decisions affecting workers
The economic security of employees is determined not only by the level of wages and duration of their employment, but also by the management’s personal policies which include selection of employees for lay offs, retrenchment, promotion and transfer. These policies directly affect workers. The evaluation criteria for such decisions may not be fair. So, the intervention of unions in such decision making is a way through which workers can have their say in the decision making to safeguard their interests.
Member services
During the last few years, trade unions have increased the range of services they offer their members. These include:
Education and training – Most unions run training courses for their members on employment rights, health and safety and other issues. Some unions also help members who have left school with little education by offering courses on basic skills and courses leading to professional qualifications.
Legal assistance – As well as offering legal advice on employment issues, some unions give help with personal matters, like housing, wills and debt.
Financial discounts – People can get discounts on mortgages, insurance and loans from unions.
Welfare benefits – One of the earliest functions of trade unions was to look after members who hit hard times. Some of the older unions offer financial help to their members when they are sick or unemployed.
Trade unions perform a number of functions in order to achieve the objectives. These functions can be broadly classified into three categories:
(i)  Militant functions,
(ii) Fraternal functions
3.2.1 Militant Functions
One set of activities performed by trade unions leads to the betterment of the position of their members in relation to their employment. The aim of such activities is to ensure adequate wages secure better conditions of work and employment and get better treatment from employers, etc. When the unions fail to accomplish these aims by the method of collective bargaining and negotiations, they adopt an approach and put up a fight with the management in the form of go-slow tactics, strike, boycott, gherao, etc. Hence, these functions of the trade unions are known as militant or fighting functions. Thus, the militant functions of trade unions can be summed up as:
To achieve higher wages and better working conditions
To raise the status of workers as a part of industry
To protect labors against victimization and injustice
3.2.2 Fraternal Functions
another set of activities performed by trade unions aims at rendering help to its members in times of need, and improving their efficiency. Trade unions try to foster a spirit of cooperation and promote friendly relations and diffuse education and culture among their members. They take up welfare measures for improving the morale of workers and generate self confidence among them. They also arrange for legal assistance to its members, if necessary. Besides, these, they undertake many welfare measures for their members, e.g., school for the education of children, library, reading-rooms, in-door and out-door games, and other recreational facilities. Some trade unions even undertake publication of some magazine or journal. These activities, which may be called fraternal functions, depend on the availability of funds, which the unions raise by subscription from members and donations from outsiders, and also on their competent and enlightened leadership. Thus, the fraternal functions of trade unions can be summed up as:
To take up welfare measures for improving the morale of workers
To generate self confidence among workers
To encourage sincerity and discipline among workers
To provide opportunities for promotion and growth
To protect women workers against discrimination
The existence of a strong and recognized trade union is a pre-requisite to industrial peace. Decisions taken through the process of collective bargaining and negotiations between employer and unions are more influential. Trade unions play an important role and are helpful in effective communication between the workers and the management. They provide the advice and support to ensure that the differences of opinion do not turn into major conflicts. The central function of a trade union is to represent people at work. But they also have a wider role in protecting their interests. They also play an important educational role, organizing courses for their members on a wide range of matters. Seeking a healthy and safe working environment is also prominent feature of union activity.
Trade unions help in accelerated pace of economic development in many ways as follows:
By helping in the recruitment and selection of workers.
By inculcating discipline among the workforce.
By enabling settlement of industrial disputes in a rational manner.
By helping social adjustments. Workers have to adjust themselves to the new working conditions, the new rules and policies. Workers coming from different backgrounds may become disorganized, unsatisfied and frustrated. Unions help them in such adjustment.
Trade unions are a part of society and as such, have to take into consideration the national integration as well. Some important social responsibilities of trade unions include:
promoting and maintaining national integration by reducing the number of industrial disputes
incorporating a sense of corporate social responsibility in workers
achieving industrial peace
3.4 Reasons for Joining Trade Unions
The important forces that make the employees join a union are as follows:
1. Greater Bargaining Power
The individual employee possesses very little bargaining power as compared to that of his employer. If he is not satisfied with the wage and other conditions of employment, he can leave the job. It is not practicable to continually resign from one job after another when he is dissatisfied. This imposes a great financial and emotional burden upon the worker. The better course for him is to join a union that can take concerted action against the employer. The threat or actuality of a strike by a union is a powerful tool that often causes the employer to accept the demands of the workers for better conditions of employment.
2. Minimize Discrimination
the decisions regarding pay, work, transfer, promotion, etc. are highly subjective in nature. The personal relationships existing between the supervisor and each of his subordinates may influence the management. Thus, there are chances of favoritisms and discriminations. A trade union can compel the management to formulate personnel policies that press for equality of treatment to the workers. All the labor decisions of the management are under close scrutiny of the labor union. This has the effect of minimizing favoritism and discrimination.
3. Sense of Security
The employees may join the unions because of their belief that it is an effective way to secure adequate protection from various types of hazards and income insecurity such as accident, injury, illness, unemployment, etc. The trade union secure retirement benefits of the workers and compel the management to invest in welfare services for the benefit of the workers.
4. Sense of Participation
the employees can participate in management of matters affecting their interests only if they join trade unions. They can influence the decisions that are taken as a result of collective bargaining between the union and the management.
5. Sense of Belongingness
Many employees join a union because their co-workers are the members of the union. At times, an employee joins a union under group pressure; if he does not, he often has a very difficult time at work. On the other hand, those who are members of a union feel that they gain respect in the eyes of their fellow workers. They can also discuss their problem with’ the trade union leaders.
6. Platform for self expression
the desire for self-expression is a fundamental human drive for most people. All of us wish to share our feelings, ideas and opinions with others. Similarly the workers also want the management to listen to them. A trade union provides such a forum where the feelings, ideas and opinions of the workers could be discussed. It can also transmit the feelings, ideas, opinions and complaints of the workers to the management. The collective voice of the workers is heard by the management and give due consideration while taking policy decisions by the management.
7. Betterment of relationships
another reason for employees joining unions is that employees feel that unions can fulfill the important need for adequate machinery for proper maintenance of employer-employee relations. Unions help in betterment of relations among management and workers by solving the problems peacefully.
The trade unionism in India developed quite slowly as compared to the western nations. Indian trade union movement can be divided into three phases.
The first phase (1850 to1900)
During this phase the inception of trade unions took place. During this period, the working and living conditions of the labor were poor and their working hours were long. Capitalists were only interested in their productivity and profitability. In addition, the wages were also low and general economic conditions were poor in industries. In order to regulate the working hours and other service conditions of the Indian textile laborers, the Indian Factories Act was enacted in 1881. As a result, employment of child labor was prohibited.
The growth of trade union movement was slow in this phase and later on the Indian Factory Act of 1881 was amended in 1891. Many strikes took place in the two decades following 1880 in all industrial cities. These strikes taught workers to understand the power of united action even though there was no union in real terms. Small associations like Bombay Mill-Hands Association came up by this time.
The second phase (1900 to 1946)
This phase was characterized by the development of organized trade unions and political movements of the working class. Between 1918 and 1923, many unions came into existence in the country. At Ahmedabad, under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi, occupational unions like spinners’ unions and weavers’ unions were formed. A strike was launched by these unions under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi who turned it into a satyagrah. These unions federated into industrial union known as Textile Labor Association in 1920.In 1920, the First National Trade union organization (The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)) was established. Many of the leaders of this organization were leaders of the national Movement. In 1926, Trade union law came up with the efforts of Mr. N N Joshi that became operative from 1927. During 1928, All India Trade Union Federation (AITUF) was formed.
The third phase began with the emergence of independent India (in 1947). The partition of country affected the trade union movement particularly Bengal and Punjab. By 1949, four central trade union organizations were functioning in the country:
The All India Trade Union Congress,
The Indian National Trade Union Congress,
The Hindu Mazdoor Sangh, and
The working class movement was also politicized along the lines of political parties. For instance Indian national trade Union Congress (INTUC) is the trade union arm of the Congress Party. The AITUC is the trade union arm of the Communist Party of India. Besides workers, white-collar employees, supervisors and managers are also organized by the trade unions, as for example in the Banking, Insurance and Petroleum industries.
the Indian workforce consists of 430 million workers, growing 2% annually. The Indian labor markets consist of three sectors:
The rural workers, who constitute about 60 per cent of the workforce.
Organized sector, which employs 8 per cent of workforce, and
The urban informal sector (which includes the growing software industry and other services, not included in the formal sector) which constitutes the rest 32 per cent of the workforce.
At present there are twelve Central Trade Union Organizations in India:
All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS)
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)
Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat (HMKP)
Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS)
Indian Federation of Free Trade Unions (IFFTU)
Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC)
National Front of Indian Trade Unions (NFITU)
National Labor Organization (NLO)
United Trade Union Congress (UTUC) and
United Trade Union Congress – Lenin Sarani (UTUC – LS)
Table Showing Growth of Trade Unions and Membership is following below
Growth of trade unions and membership
3.7 Industrial Relation Policy
Prior to 1991, the industrial relations system in India sought to control conflicts and disputes through excessive labor legislations. These labor laws were protective in nature and covered a wide range of aspects of workplace industrial relations like laws on health and safety of labors, layoffs and retrenchment policies, industrial disputes and the like. The basic purpose of these laws was to protect labors. However, these protectionist policies created an atmosphere that led to increased inefficiency in firms, over employment and inability to introduce efficacy. With the coming of globalization, the 40 year old policy of protectionism proved inadequate for Indian industry to remain competitive as the lack of flexibility posed a serious threat to manufacturers because they had to compete in the international market.
With the advent of liberalization in1992, the industrial relations policy began to change. Now, the policy was tilted towards employers. Employers opted for workforce reduction, introduced policies of voluntary retirement schemes and flexibility in workplace also increased. Thus, globalization brought major changes in industrial relations policy in India. The changes can be summarized as follows:
Collective bargaining in India has mostly been decentralized, but now in sectors where it was not so, are also facing pressures to follow decentralization.
Some industries are cutting employment to a significant extent to cope with the domestic and foreign competition e.g. pharmaceuticals. On the other hand, in other industries where the demand for employment is increasing are experiencing employment growths.
In the expansionary economy there is a clear shortage of managers and skilled labor.
The number of local and enterprise level unions has increased and there is a significant reduction in the influence of the unions.
Under pressure some unions and federations are putting up a united front e.g. banking.
Another trend is that the employers have started to push for internal unions i.e. no outside affiliation.
HR policies and forms of work are emerging that include, especially in multi-national companies, multi-skills, variable compensation, job rotation etc. These new policies are difficult to implement in place of old practices as the institutional set up still needs to be changed.
HRM is seen as a key component of business strategy.
Training and skill development is also receiving attention in a number of industries, especially banking and information technology.

Understanding Difference & Diversity to Develop Empathy

Phil Makins
13th December 2016 – Session 8
The topic of discussion today was Understanding Difference & Diversity to Develop Empathic Understanding. We explored why an understanding of difference and diversity was important when using counselling skills in helping roles. We then went on to broaden that understanding and consider difference and diversity within our own personal relationships and in the wider social context to understand how this impacts on counselling.

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The reason difference and diversity is an important part of counselling training is to recognise that we are not all the same, everybody on the planet is a unique individual, even identical twins will have many differences in the way they feel and respond to different things. Whilst researching this topic I have come to realise that it is more complex than I first thought and goes far beyond the common diversity issues of gender, race, religion, and disability. Diversity runs much deeper than this and also comprises diversity of personalities, experiences, beliefs, and reactions to events. It is important to recognise such diversity if empathic understanding is to be provided to clients, but what is empathic understanding? And why is it so necessary?
Empathic Understanding is one of the three core conditions of Person-Centred Counselling, the other two being Unconditional Positive Regard and Congruence. To be empathic has been described as seeing the world through the eyes of another person or walking in another person’s shoes. It means that the counsellor accurately understands the client’s thoughts, feelings, and meanings from the client’s own perspective. When the counsellor perceives what the world is like from the client’s point of view, it demonstrates not only that that view has value, but also that the client is being accepted. Could I show empathic understanding to a person or group whom I harbour stereotypical views or prejudice about? I doubt that I could be truly empathic in that situation so I would either change my mindset and try to remove the prejudice or take advice from my clinical supervisor. Further to this, empathy has often been confused with sympathy but they are very different. Empathy is something that is done with someone whereas sympathy is a reaction to someone. Sympathy suggests feeling sorry for someone and that in turn suggests some sort of power imbalance, i.e. the person sympathising is in a greater position of power. Empathy is about being on an equal footing by entering into the clients world to try and understand and also communicating with each other to clarify and confirm that understanding.
Without recognising diversity, it would be all too easy to impose our own thoughts and feelings onto a client, especially if the client is experiencing something we have experienced as It is human nature to look for similarities in other people and to identify with them. As counsellors, therefore, the challenge comes in identifying difference and being ok with it – working with it, rather than being threatened by it. The counsellor who can’t do this is merely placing more conditions of worth onto the client, which is incompatible with another one of the Core Conditions mentioned, namely, Unconditional Positive Regard.
I started to think about my own beliefs and prejudices, do I have any prejudices? Surely not, I am a trainee counsellor and I work in a bank! But whenever I hear a Birmingham accent I`m afraid I do think that the person talking must be stupid. When I hear a Liverpool accent I think of youths, hoodies and joyriding. A quick bit of internet research shows that the three most disliked accents in the United Kingdom are Birmingham, Liverpool and Glasgow in that order with Birmingham being the most disliked. I know that for me to think all people from Birmingham are stupid and all youths from Liverpool are criminals is incorrect and wrong but our prejudices are deeply ingrained in us and difficult to remove as they have probably been instilled in us over a period of many years, possibly (probably) since childhood.