10 December 2008

the last post.

the last two sentences in the Pojman book are as follows:
If we are to survive as a civilization and species, we must find new and better theories or revise the old ones that leads to the Truth, for only the truth will set us free. The pursuit is worth the effort.

When this class started, it was established that it technically would have no end, but the means to an eventual (and faraway) end was what we were searching for and discussing. I was instantly frustrated by the continual conversations that led to no end. There was nothing that we could set in stone. However, over the course of the course, I began to accept the inevitable. There was no end, but it was important for human nature to keep searching for possibilities. The truth will set us free. When the truth will be obtained, no one knows. Its the road there that makes it all worth it.

Love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

the future?

one of the questions that pojman raises in the last paragraph is: "Will the nature of our families change as we live longer so that there is less room on earth- and less need and desire- for children?

that question is something i have never thought about very much, but it raises a lot of interesting points and thoughts.

I have noticed that in my friend group, there is less desire for children. At least two of my close friends have no desire to have children, and would, at the most adopt. As for the rest of us, we are probably not going to have children for about another 10 years, 30 sounds like a good age. At my age, my mom already had me and my younger brother, AND was pregnant with my youngest brother. I think that there is less of a rush to have children nowadays, along with the lowered desire. Will there be tendencies for less kids per family since there is less room? Will more people just not have kids? Will another form of a type of abortion be discovered that is less tragic and more acceptable? That would also lower the child rate. Without a doubt, the population definitely will soar. We will have to become inventive to have enough resources, but i think the world can handle it.

how are the two sexes related?

i found the section about the relation between men and women in the conclusion very interesting. After reading it, based on my own personal experience, I agree with Aristotle and the Conservatists. Now, I believe that all women are not made for childbearing, like they said. However, i do believe emotionally, men and women are fundamentally different. Different enough to make a difference in our human natures. Although as a female I do believe that the androgynous feminists in that we have some of the same abilities to do the same jobs, I don't agree with them wholeheartedly because sometimes women can't do a job that a man can, and vice versa. I think that Aristotle had the right idea that there are fundamental differences that in turn, affect our human natures. Although men and women may equally have the same will to live, or were both born with the same blank slate, differences develop. Differences that are important to the way the world is. If men and women were incredibly the same, the world would be boring. It's the differences that make relationships and such interesting.

nietzche. again.

I don't know what it is about Friedrich Nietzche that I enjoy so much. Maybe because he was the rebellious bad-ass (which is my type) or maybe it's because he was just different.

First and foremost, his quote, "That which does not kill me, only makes me stronger" has been on a poster that a friend made me on my wall since freshman year, so about a year when this class started. I had no idea it was Nietzche. I will admit, shamefully, that I thought it was Kanye West, from his hit Stronger. (kind of ashamed)
Anyways, that quote has been instrumental to my life in college. I classify myself as an "awfulist". I usually think the worst is happening, or if I don't get an A my life will come crashing down around me. The truth is, nothing that horrible will happen. I won't actually die from bad grades. And since it doesn't kill me, it will actually make me stronger. Besides, I'm not really interested in graduate school, so as long as I pass through 2 and a half more years, I'm done. So what is there to really worry about?
I wholeheartedly without a doubt, love that quote. Everytime I think about it, it brings on new meaning. I guess that I should first thank Nietzche for actually coming up with it, and then thank Kanye West for resurrecting it into a hip-hop song aiding my discovery of it.

Another thing I enjoy about Nietzche is his thoughts on the meaning of life in the pojman book. He says, "My life has no aim and this is evident even from the accidental nature of its origin. That i can posit an aim for myself is another matter. But a state has no aim. We alone give it aim."

I took that as your life has no planned end. YOU make up the life for yourself, and along with a little help from fate, you shape it to your likings. It just makes me realize that the possibilities are endless. Adding to this is an element of new society as well. Back in the day my grandmother had to work in the fields, since she was a mexican immigrant. My mom grew up in a pretty bad area of Chicago, and basically just decided to be a housewife because she thought that she was not capable of something like higher education, because that is what her society around her told her. (although, since moving to massachusetts, she has gone to school in the past five years and became a chef.) Anyways, Advancements in society is letting me go to college, letting me choose my life. I am creating it. Right now, I chose to be a sports broadcaster and am studying towards that. If i change my mind, I change my mind. My life has no set plan, which is exciting.

truth and nietzsche

Nietzsche said "A belief, however necessary it may be for the preservation of a species, has nothing to do with truth"

So is Nietzsche saying that no matter what you believe in, if it helps you survive, and preserve the species, it could be false?
So the way I took this had to do with religion. There is always the concept in the back of your mind about, what if the world is going about this all wrong? Maybe Catholics chose the wrong religion and we're going to burn while the Buddhists reincarnate..

In the Simpsons and Philosophy book I read, it explains one episode entitled Homer and the Heretic, where Homer ponders the same things.
  • "What's the big deal about going to some building every Sunday, I mean, isn't God everywhere?"
  • "Don't you think the almighty has better things to worry about than where one little guy spends one measly hour of his week?"
  • "And what if we've picked the wrong religion? Every week we're just making God madder and madder?"
In the episode, Homer gives up church and decides to follow God in his own way: by watching the TV, slobbing about and dancing in his underpants. He justifies his actions with those three statements above.

Going back to Nietzsche, society may be only believing something that is entirely false, yet it is acceptable since this belief keeps society going. Although some are atheists or non-practicing, a lot of communities are held together by religion. Such a topic is hard for me to ponder since I enjoy fact, and I don't like not having all of the answers, but it is an important issue of human nature. It is in our nature to believe, despite not having any concrete evidence.

an interesting discussion on truth from my ethics of journalism class

Accuracy-conformity to fact. precision; exactness.
conformity to fact. a statement proven to be or accepted as true.

I believe that the two things are very similar in definition; however, you can be accurate without being truthful. If you are accurate with the facts, but your story, for example, does not lead people to the truth, the two things become completely different. You can be accurate, but lead to false pretenses; therefore you are misleading although the information is accurate. An accurate statement can be true to fact, but the truth means what it means, it is clear cut.
It took me a while to come up with how they were different.

09 December 2008

humanity's essence

What is the essence of all humanity? What is at the center, propelling us forward from the inside?
Some believe that Religion is the center of all reality. Plato, aristotle, and Kant all believe that reason is at the center of our essence. Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche believe that our will is the center of our essence. Two completely separate views are that of Marx and Freud. Marx holds that economics are at the center, always changing our essences. Freud believed our essence was our sexuality. Sartre said that we had no essence, we had to create one.
I agree with each philosopher in some way. I believe that our essence is made up of each of those ideals, not just one. For example, right now, I have slight belielfs in religion, while each human has reason, will, and outside forces that influence us.

causal thesis

Causal Thesis is the thesis that every act and event in the universe is caused by antecedent events.
In normal speak, everything happens for a reason, or every effect has positive or negative cause. Understanding these cause and effects can help thinkers make more educated decisions. Weighing the effects, and consequential causes, can change ways of thinking. This one concept of philosophy is one that I wholeheartedly agree with. Everything does happen for a reason. The world would be depressed and chaotic if people decided that everything is decided in advance. This plays hand in hand with fate. Things happen for a reason, fate plays with the conditions, and this belief in an higher power that is controlling the main aspects of your life helps live a sane life. If you were worrying what each decision meant for your future, lives would be chaotic. Even if a person does not agree with a higher power, things still do happen by the planets, or whatever one person chooses.

reality in philosophy

A constant discussion that seemed to come up during conversation was about that poor tree outside of our classroom window. Is that tree really a tree?
Common knowledge is that physical objects do exist and are real. They exist in reality without any contemplation necessary. We may think that that is not a tree, maybe it looks like a tall bush to you. However, the object will not change regardless of our thoughts. This statement has always been "common sense" and a fact of life. However, when philosophy class started, other ideas poured in. Maybe the tree is not actually a tree, we just believe that it is a tree. One major thing I have learned over this semester is that things are not black and white. That fact was the hardest thing for me to accept. I like fact. It makes sense. To sit in a room and start thinking that maybe what I always thought was fact is not was hard to grasp. However, sitting and thinking more openly, instead of closed thought based on fact, helps philosophical thinking, along with other areas of learning.