View Full Version : Philosophy is not a joke....
04-24-04, 01:54 AM
Philosophy is inescapable. Your philosophy is your worldview, which is a backdrop for all thought and a context for all knowledge. The decision about examining philosophy is between: 1) to make your philosophy explicit, or 2) to be a slave to the subconscious notions, principles, and other people's philosophies picked up throughout life. To ignore the topic of philosophy is to be doomed to the second choice. Examining your philosophy will allow you to discover and root out all errors and contradictions and allow you to more easily acquire anything you want out of life.
A philosophic system is an integrated view of existence. As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation -- or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance, but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into a single, solid weight: self-doubt, like a ball and chain in the place where your mind's wings should have grown.
Philosophy is a science to investigate about how we think better.
We all want to live in a more comfortable way. Before this, one should have a comfortable mind. However, we dont necessary has this mind. If a philosophy that can comfort me, I will let it be my philosophy.
nevertheless, I don't think we should think too much, feel may be the best way to found the best philosophy. :m:
04-24-04, 11:34 AM
Love, hate, fear, envy. We all feel emotions. We've all experienced them. We know what they are and how they affect us. The primary questions in philosophy is what causes them, and how can they be used. The first answers the second.
Emotions are caused by one's thoughts. They are both triggered by one's thoughts and programmed by one's thoughts. The triggering is straightforward to show. Hearing the words "rape", "murder", "death", or "genocide", etc., one experiences an emotion. Hearing the same words in an unknown language, the words would be meaningless. One wouldn't be able to make the mental connection between the sounds and the meaning of the words. The emotions that one normally feels with respect to these words would not be present. Only understanding can trigger an emotion.
A further example is that of a gunman. If someone burst into a room with a gun, the people present would probably feel fear. However, if one didn't know what a gun was, you wouldn't make the connection, and wouldn't experience the fear. The emotion is only triggered when understanding of the situation is present.
We know that understanding triggers the emotion. This doesn't explain the particular emotion, though. Why do we feel fear when we see the gunman, but joy when we see a baby walk for the first time? The answer is the same as why understanding is required to trigger the emotion. The emotion is a response to our understanding of the situation. Emotions are triggered by particular beliefs. Fear is based on a belief that one's life is in danger. Pleasure is experienced when one believes a value has been achieved. Each emotion is a particular response to a certain kind of judgment.
Emotions are automated responses. When one sees the gunman, one doesn't need to follow the full chain of thought to the judgment that causes the emotion. The emotion occurs almost immediately after the gunman is seen. This is because of an automatized judgment: the judgment that life is worth living and death is to be feared. The gunman triggers this emotion when one realized that one's life is threatened. The evaluation of whether life is good isn't made at that time. It was made before.
Since emotions are automatic responses to previous value judgments, it is possible that the response is not proper. If the original judgment was faulty, the emotion will be faulty as well. For instance, one may hate a stepfather because one believes him to be trying to steal one's mother. Later in life, the emotion may still be triggered when one sees the stepfather, even if one no longer believes the cause to be true anymore. Similarly, if the original judgment no longer applies, neither does the emotion. Finally, it is possible to trigger an emotion out of the original context. One may properly hate a man for his actions, but another man with similarities may improperly trigger that same emotion.
Because emotions are automatic responses and thus fallible, they should not be taken at face value. They should be compared to one's reasoned thoughts and if a conflict occurs, one should attempt to resolve why the conflict exists. One should try to understand why the emotion is being triggered and whether it is correct. It is possible that the emotion is correct, and the reasoning false, due to an oversight. But the two should be resolved carefully, and if the emotion is incorrect, one should attempt to change one's automatic response.
With a proper understanding of how emotions are formed, it can be seen that they serve a purpose for lightning fast value judgments which enable faster responses to time-critical situations and, as automatic responses, they can give useful insights to complicated problems. But emotions should never be taken at face value. They need to be validated with reason to insure that they are proper.
Thanks for your time.
04-25-04, 11:59 PM
Hey everyone :) Have to get this off my chest.
What is mans moral standard?
For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors - between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.
Life is the process of self-sustaining and self-generating action. Life requires action, and action requires values. Philosophy in general, and ethics in particular, attempt to answer the questions, "What do I do?" and "Why?" People study philosophy so they can know how to live their life.
So that you can live life successfully and happily, you must learn which values to hold and how to achieve them -- this is your life as your moral standard. All moral questions (questions of right action) are questions of how to live happily and successfully, and all moral principles must be measured against how they promote and benefit your life and happiness. Your life as your moral standard holds all things promoting your life as the good.
To every living thing, there is one primary choice, and that is to live or not -- to engage in the action required to further its own life or to engage in action that destroys its own life. The only other alternative is death. Choosing life as your standard of value is a pre-moral choice. It cannot be judged as right or wrong; but once chosen, it is the role of morality to help man to live the best life possible.
The opposite of choosing life is altruism: the moral doctrine that holds death as its moral standard. It holds sacrifice as the only good, and all things "selfish" as evil. According to altruism, it doesn't matter what you do, as long as it does not further your life it is considered good. The more consistently a person is altruistic, the closer their actions are to suicide. The consistent altruist will give up every bit of food he owns to other people because that is what he considers good, and die because of it.
Your life as your standard does not mean Hedonism -- the spur of the moment instant gratification, doing whatever you feel like. Your life as your standard means acting in your rational self-interest. Rational self-interest takes into account the long-term effects of every action.
Your life as your standard does not mean trampling on other people to get what you want. This is not in your rational self-interest. It is in your interest to be benevolent.
Nor does your life as your standard mean cheating people to get ahead, even if they don't realize it and you never get caught. Fraud is not in your rational self-interest because you lose your independence and you sacrifice honesty to an unreality that you have to maintain to perpetrate your fraud. This is self-destructive in the long run.
In order to know what is good, which actions are objectively in a person's self-interest, we develop virtues which are principles of action.
Thanks for your time.
So how many philosophers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
None, as neither philosophers nor light bulbs can be proven to exist.
I actually think that the inescapable aspects of philosophy are precisely what makes it a joke. The philosophical undercurrents are ever-present. You can do what you want with it but you can't avoid it.
Even if people are joking about it, at least they're thinking about it. And we have to see what the next round of brain-examining technology brings; it could be that some people simply can't face the fundamental questions of the Universe.
It would go a long way toward explaining the human affinity for formalized superstition.
04-26-04, 01:12 AM
Definition of a philosopher=
A blind man looking in a dark room for a black cat that isn't there! :D
With the amount of garbage thinking out there it isn't too far off.
However, lacking a grasp of the fundamentals of building a philosophy can make life an overbearing challenge to many people. Making many choices in life overwhelming.
Fundamentals of knowledge and existence is a good place to begin building your lifes philosophy.
An axiom is an irreducible primary. It doesn't rest upon anything in order to be valid, and it cannot be proven by any "more basic" premises. A true axiom can not be refuted because the act of trying to refute it requires that very axiom as a premise. An attempt to contradict an axiom can only end in a contradiction.
The term "axiom" has been abused in many different ways, so it is important to distinguish the proper definition from the others. The other definitions amount to calling any arbitrary postulate an 'axiom'. The famous example of this is Euclidean geometry. Euclid was a Greek mathematician who applied deductive logic to a few postulates, which he called axioms. In this sense, "axiom" was used to mean a postulate which one was sure was true. Later, though, it was shown that his postulates were sometimes false, and so the conclusions he made were equally false. The "axiom" he used was basing his geometry on a two dimensional plane. When his work was applied to the surface of a sphere, though, it broke down. A triangle's three angles add up to 180 degrees on a plane; they do not add up to 180 degrees on the surface of a sphere. The point is that Euclid's "axioms" were actually postulates.
True axioms are more solid than that. They are not statements we merely believe to be true; they are statements that we cannot deny without using them in our denial. Axioms are the foundation of all knowledge. There are only a few axioms that have been identified. These are: Existence Exists, The Law of Identity, and Consciousness.
Thanks for your time.