Cut Down on Insurance Costs – Use Multiple Quote Comparison Sites to Cut Out the Middlemen

Have you ever wondered why insurance agents are called so? They do not have any insurance policy of their own to sell. Rather, they work on behalf of different insurance companies that appoint them specifically for the task of marketing their services. Using a middleman in this task was very beneficial until the World Wide Web came along. Today, there’s no need for you to make use of insurance agents. Rather, you can use multiple quote comparison web sites to get the best deals without any problems.

One of the biggest complains that people have against insurance agent is that they often know more about the field than their customers. Ideally, they should educate their customers and instill the confidence necessary for them to take an informed decision. However, it so happens that the agent uses his or her superior position to instruct the customer to take decisions profitable for the agents. Since the remuneration of the agent is connected with the conclusion of the deal, there always a question of whether advice received from the agent is completely free of bias or not.

Further, different agents have different working styles. Some may focus on providing holistic service while others may simply view you as possible sources of income. There are many individuals who have not receiving the attention required just because they opted for inexpensive plans offering low coverage and low income to the agent.

If you make use of multiple quote comparison web sites, you can cut through the middleman and get in touch with the insurance companies directly. This helps you deal with agents better. There’s no denying that contacting agents still has its benefits. However, you should not do so directly. Rather, you should obtain quotes from different insurers on the World Wide Web and then approach agents so that you can bargain from a position of strength.

There are many agents who will avoid dealing with an informed and educated customer. On the other hand, there are some who will recognize that the customer is proactive and will change their working style accordingly. This is another advantage of using comparison web sites when searching for insurance deals.

A Scary Article About Our Country’s Math Skills

I read a shocking article on CNN today about the poor ability that most people have when it comes to basic math skills. A variety of statistics were quoted about how few people could figure out a simple weekly paycheck, how our teachers are qualified without passing a single math question, how most people can’t figure out the amount to tip a waitress, and how we lack the basic skills to handle everyday finances. Obviously not everyone has these math problems but there are shocking number of people who have real trouble.

The one that struck me was the stat saying that 20 million people get help filling out their 1040EZ form at tax time, the simple one with only 10 questions. I was so surprised I read that stat aloud to my co-workers and to my shock, one of them admitted that he, too, got help with his 1040EZ. While I felt bad about his situation, I was also amazed. That form is the equivalent of a 4th grade math problem, where you fill in the blanks, add up a couple of numbers and then sign your name. But apparently some people are so confused by numbers (or perhaps just fear) that they can’t figure it out.

Being afraid of the form is different from an inability to do it. I am more concerned about those who are unable to figure out the form. That is a sign that our country’s school systems are failing millions of people. These basic financial skills should be taught at an early age, we should not be afraid to balance our checkbooks, fill out the simple forms, or calculate a tip. We cannot escape the need for basic math skills and with each passing year the requirements increase. Parents should be teaching their children at home as well as the education they get at school. If the parents don’t know they should find someone to help them. As a collective group we need to get better so we can keep ourselves out of the next global recession.

Basics in Forex Trading Education

Educating yourself about forex trading can earn you lot of money. You can avoid the fees and time that you are sacrificing in other investments. You may be wondering why you have to opt for forex trade only when there are options such as bonds, real estate, stocks etc. It is important for you to know that the benefits of forex trading outsmart the other trading options. Beginning to educate yourself in forex can transform your financial future.

Previously, only multinational companies, large banks, investors who could invest millions were the ones who used to reap the benefits of forex trades. They were called the “big boys”. But now every individual can trade in forex market. You can open an account in any of the forex trading sites that are available online and start the trading. There are also some sites which offer free forex trading education.

Basics of Forex Trading Education:

– Trading is done in pairs of currencies like US dollars/Euro.
– Changing bear or bull markets does not affect the forex market.
– The forex trade is based on the values of currencies in relation to one another.
– The currency values keep on changing.
– The quotes are always quoted in percentage in points. The currency having a higher quote is strong as compared to the one having lower quote.
– Placing a trade in forex market means purchase of one currency and sale of another. This is however, determined by certain factors like economic stability, interest rates, country’s trade status and the political stability.
– The major currencies that are traded in the forex market are the Euro, U.S. dollar, British pound, Yen, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar and the Swiss franc.
– Paper trade is a good option for the beginners of forex trade education. You can analyze the real time results affecting your financial stability.
– There are sites which offer “practice trade” before you invest real money.

Benefits of trading Forex are:

– Timely trading
– Low transaction cost
– No effects of other trade on forex trade

Begin your forex trading education and reap the maximum benefits from forex trade.

Life Insurance Quotes – 5 Reasons to Get Life Insurance Quotes on the Web

We all know the need to have good, affordable life insurance especially if one has a family that is depending on them to supply their needs. When seeking the information you need, there are five reasons why you should get life insurance quotes online.

The first and quite likely best reason is education. One of the great things about the internet is that it can bring a wide variety of resources, information and educational material together in one place. Being informed about what companies provide insurance – and what their coverage and policies are -in the long run-will save you both time and money. And in these times, when time and money are in short supply that is very important indeed!

Another reason to look online for your insurance needs is that you can find an almost unlimited list of companies that provide life insurance, and comparison sites that can assist you in the task of obtaining good quality quotes for the policy that you need. On these sites you can learn about the types and kinds of coverage that is available, in addition to getting information about waivers for premiums and disability riders to name just a few.

A third reason is quite obvious. Its easy and convenient. You can do it all from the comfort of your own home. It can save you the time and hassle of contacting agents and companies either in person or by telephone. And who can’t afford a little ease and convenience when it comes to comparing and quoting insurance?

Reason number four. Most sites that deal with life insurance have a vast array of resources to help you get the best deal that you can on your term life policy. In addition most also contain links and information about not only life insurance but also health advice and tips that you may need.

The fifth reason brings all the other reasons together getting insurance quotes on the web saves time, is convenient, helps to educate you and enables you to compare prices all in one place. And that’s something everybody can like.

Contents of Education

An Islamic Perspective towards Philosophy of Education

Introduction

Philosophy is the study of realities, pursuit of wisdom, and commentary on general principles of life. It is concerned with a search of eternal truth, both conceptual as well as practical. It has five areas of search – Epistemology, Metaphysics, Aesthetics, Ethics and History. The instrument used by philosophy to unearth realities or to discover truth is logic, both inductive as well deductive. Educational philosophy is a branch of general philosophy, it gains strength from epistemology. It formulates the aims and objectives or contents of education that, in turn, influence the whole learning environment, society, and future generations.

Philosophy of education is based on general principles of psychology, sociology, politics, economics, history, science, and religion. Education is dualistic phenomenon; it is static as well as dynamic. The major portion is dynamic or provisional and adjusts with the change and growth in knowledge, social structure, and civilization, while the minor but vital portion is static or eternal. We proposed that the contents of education are eternal while the application and explanation of these contents, a major portion, is dynamic. We assumed multi-disciplinary approach towards contents of education. The analysis accommodates the needs of individuals, society, and time and encompasses the cultural, social, and vocational aims of education.

Education may be formal as well as informal. The formal education is given in schools or colleges or universities, on the other hand informal education is obtained and absorbed from society and environment. Education, formal & informal, is developed and internalized in one’s personality through reflection and experience. It means all of us are learners during our lifetime. However, we are going to analyze the philosophy (aims & objectives) of formal education. Moreover, education has three levels – primary, secondary, and higher. Primary education deals with infants of 3 to 11 years old, secondary education covers teenagers of 12 to 18 years, and higher education shapes young learners of above 18 years. A distinctive approach is required for each level of education.

The contents of education vary from community to community. A secular society would have a different approach towards contents as compare to some ideological society. Moreover, the explanation or implementation of contents would be different in different societies. Our analysis is ideological and dominantly based on Islamic view towards education.

Terminology

The term “education” has been derived from the Latin words Educare, Educatum, or Educere. Educatum and educare mean to train and to nourish, while educere mean to lead out. The former implies that education is something external; to be imposed or put in from outside, it means the external environment plays a decisive role in learning process. The latter indicate growth from within; it means internal potentialities of an individual are decisive in learning process, the external environment has secondary role in educational process. Naturalists / Psychologists gave more importance to internal dispositions of learning process while the social philosophers put major stress on external demands of educational process. We assumed a mixed and balanced approach towards role and importance of internal-external environment of learning process.

Definition

Aristotle defined education as process necessary for the creation of a sound mind in a sound body, according to him, the aim & objective of education is to create good and virtuous citizens. Ibne Khaldun, in fourteenth century, expresses the view that education consists off intellectual, social, and moral training through which hidden potentialities are developed, traits of character are built and culture of the people is conveyed to the coming generations. Dewey, in twentieth century, defined education in these words: “Education is a process of living through a continuous reconstruction of experiences. It is development of all those capacities in the individual that will enable him to control his environment and fulfill his possibilities.” We may define education as, Education is the mean whereby adults pass on and inculcates to children their knowledge, thought-pattern, and behavior pattern and develop their genetic potential to manage existing and future challenges.

Aims & Objectives – Islamic View

Islam is Divine religion. It is based on revealed book, Quran, and prophetic commentary, Hadith. The foremost responsibility and ultimate purpose of prophets and Revealed Books are to educate the mankind for better, happy, and purposeful life. They specify the purpose of life, outline the procedure to actualize it, and present a practical example of purposeful life. Thus, the aims and objectives of education or contents of education can be understood from the last Revealed Book, Al-Quran. We quote a verse of Al-Quran,

Undoubtedly Allah did confer a great favor on the Muslims when He raised an Apostle from among themselves, who recites to them the Revelations of Allah, and causeth them to grow, and teacheth them the Scripture and Wisdom whereas they were in manifest error before.” (Al-Quran)

The verse identifies aims and objectives of education. These are:

  • Faith Plantation
  • Knowledge Advancement
  • Wisdom Enhancement
  • Manner Development

A. FAITH

The word faith has various meanings and uses, however, the central meaning is similar to “conviction”, “belief”, “trust” or “confidence”, but unlike these terms, “faith” tends to imply a submissive and transpersonal relationship with God or with someone having superior powers. Faith is founded on certain beliefs; beliefs’ indispensability to faith is just like seeds’ inevitability to plants. A belief system has certain perceptual ingredients with practical implications. A living faith must fulfill two conditions, the necessary condition is logical reasoning and sufficient condition is practical fruits for believers / mankind. A living faith gives stability to the believer, creates dynamism in one’s personality, brings fruits in one’s life, promotes cohesiveness among the believers, and assigns a specific shape to a group with peculiar traits.

We mention a few verses of the Holy Quran to outline and explain the basic elements of Islamic Faith.

A Glorious Book this! Which has nothing of doubt in it; it is guidance for the God-conscious who fear Allah. Those who believe in the Unseen and establish prayer and spend in Our way out of what We have provided them. And those who believe in that which has been sent down to you (O My Apostle) and in that which was sent down before you, and they also have faith in the August Day of Judgment. They are the ones who are rightly guided, and verily it is they who are successful in both the worlds.” (Al-Quran)

The first thing that the Quran does it removes the element of doubt, which is the foremost requisite of modern philosophy by introducing the faith as a fundamental factor behind reality. Doubt is a negative factor that hinders the exact understanding of reality; curiosity is far better alternate to doubt for knowledge development or to unearth realities. The faith concomitantly presupposes some obligatory beliefs – Unity of God, Unseen System (Angels, Heaven, Hell, etc.), Revealed Books, Institution of Prophets, Day of Judgment, Fate, and Life after Death. In addition, it imposes some obligations on believers – Kalimah (a confession of faith), prayer, fasting, alms giving, and pilgrimage. It is noteworthy that the idea of Unity of God must create the belief of mankind’s unity.

The Islamic approach towards faith is that it is revealed, explained, and planted through reverent personalities, i.e., prophets; a faith based on personal reasoning is not acceptable in Islam, the finality of prophets’ wording about faith elements is also essential. In addition, a loving and trustful posture towards prophets is fundamental for complete faith, without it faith is incomplete or objectionable. The very foundation of faith is thus love and submission to a reverent personality or a prophet. Simply, faith can be defined as accepting something true which has been told by someone who is believed to be trustworthy / praiseworthy.

The object behind development of faith is to make stable and balance psycho-spiritual formation of human personality. The prophets are sent as practical role modals and revealed books are accompanied as permanent working manual for guideline. The ultimate aim of developing faith elements is to equip the individual with necessary working tools to manage and tackle the conceptual or practical issues of life, either, big or small, simple or complex, independent or interlinked, a few or many, with fortitude and firmness. Thus, determination is necessary outcome of faith, no determination, than no faith.

Islam vehemently put forward two aspects of faith – human and transcendental. The human aspects propose the concept of unity of mankind, while the transcendental aspects propose the idea of Unity of God. Faith is incomplete if one aspect is ignored or not forcefully defined. In addition, the ignorance of one aspect makes the human personality lopsided and unstable. The repercussions of wrong belief about unity of mankind and Unity of God are manifold and penetrating to each and every aspect of human society. It can lead the nations into some kind of continuous strife and belligerent attitude towards each other. Moreover, the effects of wrong belief go beyond the present generations’ outlook and disturb the peace and tranquility of future generations, as well.

B. KNOWLEDGE

It is the understanding of the factual/declarative, procedural and conceptual aspects of something that a person acquires through education, observation and experience. Acquisition of knowledge is basic demand of human nature. It plays vital role in growth and development of a person or a nation.

1. Bases of Human Knowledge: –Let us quote some verses of the Quran on the subject:

And recall when your Lord said to the angels: “I am going to appoint a vice-regent in the earth.” They said: “Will You set in the earth such as will make mischief and cause bloodshed, whereas we celebrate Your praise and glorify You.” Allah said:” Surely I know that which you know not.”And Allah taught Adam the names of all things. Then He set them before the angels saying: “Tell Me the names of these if you are really truthful (in your opinion)” They said: “Glory to You! We have no knowledge what You have taught us. In truth, You alone are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”

Allah said:’ O Adam! Tell them the names of these things.” Then Adam had told the angels the names of those things, Allah said: “Did I not tell you that I know full well all the hidden mysteries of the heavens and the earth and I know whatever you disclose and whatever you have been concealing?

The verses manifest that the human nature has been made inherently fit and capable of receptivity and absorption of Divine Knowledge. Moreover, Adam’s knowledge has ability to conceptualize the things in nature. Thirdly, man has ability to develop language because Adam assigned names to items without prior formal training. These verses also show that the first man of the earth came down fully abreast of scientific knowledge, in full monopoly to develop it for natural conquest. According to Quran, than the program of human activity should proceed hand in hand with the divine cooperation and blessing, before the plan was being carried on unilaterally in which God has no vice-regent. The verses also indicate that a man has free will to choose right or wrong path of life. There is no external compulsion on his free choice. The verses also indicate that the mankind has strong tendency towards injustice and strife, however, it can be managed through human knowledge and is restrained by the Will of God.

2. Types of knowledge: –Knowledge can be classified into following groups:

  • Natural Sciences: –Natural sciences deals with inanimate objects of universe. The major branches are physics, chemistry, and astronomy.
  • Biological Sciences: –Biological Sciences deals with animate objects of universe. The major branches are zoology, botany, and psychology.
  • Social Sciences: –Social Sciences deals with collective life and relationship between individual and society. The major branches are sociology, political science, and economics.
  • Professional Sciences: –Professional Sciences deals with professions of individuals necessary for human survival / quality of life. The major branches are medicine, engineering, and commerce.

Islam accepts the scientific classification of knowledge, however, it proposed a broader taxonomy of knowledge for mankind:-

First, Absolute verses Dubious Knowledge. The absolute knowledge is based on some scientific facts or given through some reverent personality (i.e., prophets) in a shape of Revealed Book (e.g., Quran). The dubious knowledge is based on subjective analysis (e.g., the theory of psycho-analysis proposed by Freud.). Second, Fruitful verses Fruitless Knowledge. The fruitful knowledge gives benefit to mankind (e.g., natural sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, and, professional sciences.) while the fruitless knowledge is of no use for mankind (e.g., occult sciences).

3. Aspects of Knowledge: –A peace of knowledge can be broken into three categories or has three aspects – Declarative, Procedural & Conceptual.

  • Declarative Knowledge: –It is knowledge about something, e.g., structure of body, structure of computer, format of earth, and parts of speech. It deals with WHAT type of questions.
  • Procedural Knowledge: –It is knowledge about the procedures and sequences. It narrates and explains procedures & sequences of any compiled information or data, that is, it deals with HOW & WHEN type of questions. For example, HOW computer is manufactured or used, WHEN computer is ready to use or sale.
  • Conceptual Knowledge: –It is knowledge of concepts working behind the declarative and procedural knowledge. It is abstract aspect of knowledge. In conceptual knowledge, the relationship among concepts is also discussed. It deals with WHY type of questions. For example, the mathematical concepts and their relationship with each other that provide basis to the working of computer hardware or software.

C. WISDOM

Knowledge enables us to understand the realties of things (i.e., Divine Scheme of Creation, Natural System of Growth, natural forces, and history) and wisdom equip us with abilities to utilize the realities for the benefit of self and others. According to Islam, wisdom is higher level attribute, it comes after knowledge. Wisdom is bestowed when will of man is replaced by Will of God and human understanding is fully exploited, thus, wisdom is based on knowledge and intellect. Let us quote a verse to make it clear:

“He bestows wisdom upon whom He will, and whosoever is granted wisdom he is indeed granted abundant good and none accepts admonition except men of understanding.”

(Al-Quran)

Islam proposed two diagonally opposites aspects of wisdom – Divine Wisdom and devil wisdom. The Divine Wisdom is based on right faith and fruitful knowledge and produce good results for self and mankind, materially as well as spiritually, while the devil wisdom is based on wrong faith and fruitless knowledge and leads the mankind towards only worldly or material benefits, completely ignoring the benefits of others and spiritual benefits. The devil wisdom guides for self benefits at the cost of others, however, the devil / worldly wisdom is short-lived and weak, ultimately fails to materialize her lopsided designs.

Character-Sketch of a Wise Person

Wisdom is personalized, established, and manifested through struggle. A person fully involved in chores of life would qualify for wisdom. Seclusion or solitude is very negation of wisdom, while the participation is very basis of wisdom. A wise person pursue his goals/responds the problems of life with certain characteristics. These characteristics are essential working tools of a wise individual that give him/her edges over non-wise. The prominent attributes of a wise person are – Effective Communication, Enthusiasm, Discipline or Rigor, Decision Power, Sense of Responsibility, Moderate Behavior, Self-Confidence or High Morale or Courage, and Appropriate Appearance.

D. BEST MANNERS

Manners are countless, structurally, and diverse, practically. However, the essence of good manners is constant for all and sundry, it is humility. Humility is unique positive attribute of human personality; it is an attribute as well as essence of every positive attribute. Absence of humility makes the existence of all manners a soul-less ritual unable to produce fruitful results for self and others. A proud person is ill-mannered and creates problems for self and others.

Manners have two aspects – inner and outer. Inwardly, manners are shaped by dynamic organization of all the perceptions, intentions, and emotions of an individual and the behavior that results from the organization of these aspects, while, outwardly; they are shaped by social acceptance of behavior. Simply,conformity to some rationally defined and morally established interactive standards is considered best manners. Manners are developed under the guidance of intellect, knowledge, wisdom, social norms, and religion. They are time-honored phenomena. The reasonably/indisputably evolved set of manners creates order, consistency and continuity in one’s life and gives beautiful look to an individual or society. Manners are forerunner of culture and give longevity to civilizations. A society of ill-mannered persons will not be able to survive, at least with respect and recognition.

Bases of Best Manners

Man is combination of three basic realities, i.e., body, mind, and soul. Body has certain physical needs for survival or continuation of life such as food, water, and sleep, mind has some instinctual desires for interactive life such as parental instinct, gregarious instinct, learning instinct, and sex instinct, and soul has some ingrained urges towards moral excellence. Body needs are fulfilled by physical powers, psychological instincts are satisfied by mind powers such as will-power, decision-power, and emotional-power, soul urges are calmed by spiritual powers such as insight and intuition. A sustained manifestation of countless human efforts to satisfy body needs, psychological instincts, and soul urges shapes human personality. In addition, physical balance or health depends on diet, leisure time, proper sleep, and constructive physical activities. Mind normality or peace of mind hinges on positive approach towards intentions, perceptions and emotions. Soul is satisfied by rationally-intuitively defined belief system. A balanced approach towards physical health, mental satisfaction, and spiritual contentment give shape to mannered personality. Moreover, a mannered life is formed and improved through several group interactions such as social relations, economic dealings, political contacts, and customary connections.

Concluding Remarks

The aforementioned elaboration about contents of education – faith, knowledge, wisdom & personality traits or manners – manifests that educational institutions should have a comprehensive approach towards learning. They plant FAITH, give KNOWLEDGE, equip with WISDOM and develop PERSONALITY / MANNERS to face existing and upcoming challenges of life. Each aspect has its own importance and indispensability, one cannot be left at the expense of other, and all is needed. It is noteworthy that only a content-based educational system can produce fruits for society, coming generations and concerned individuals. On the bases of whole analysis, we propose two sample Mission Statements of educational institutions.

  • We strive to develop among our students Individuality with Humanity, Independence with Inter-dependence, and Science with Technology.
  • We strive to develop among our students Personality with Patriotism, Faith with Manners, and Knowledge with Wisdom.