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The never ending philosophy thread

Maister

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I thought this thread might be a good place/opportunity to discuss philosophical matters. I realize simply using the word ‘philosophy’ may have a slew of negative connotations that turns off a number of folks before a conversation even starts. Some of us might still be suffering PTSD from a freshman PHIL 101 class they were required to take as an undergrad.

e.g. …Part of the confusion between your circular argument and tautology is that the term "tautology" is often used in everyday language to mean a statement of the kind A A. The reasoning for this is to do with the fact that the statement A A cannot be false by the meaning of material implication (the problem is that a statement that is always true is somewhat different from an argument that always has a true conclusion). In this case, the 'tautology' is obviously circular, it's just not a Tautology in the way logicians use this term…..

The problem with these sorts of classroom experiences is that they leave one feeling turned off to the entire discipline and left with an impression the field is strictly concerned with impenetrable abstractions, hair-splitting, and has no relevance to one’s real life. In other words, something only academics could love.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Philosophy can actually be a very practical tool to be used in one’s every day life. A means of improving one’s life experiences from the inside out as it were. You may be more familiar with philosophical principles than you realize, even if you haven’t studied philosophy. Take, for instance, stoicism. The word ‘stoic’ generally means ‘to suck it up without complaining’, but stoicism is actually a well-developed formal logical construct and worldview. Here’s a short video about Marcus Aurelius and stoicism that does a decent job of laying out some of the precepts:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=marcus+aurelius+video&&view=detail&mid=AC261E6B0AED66BA1BD5AC261E6B0AED66BA1BD5&&FORM=VRDGAR

This doesn’t seem so alien to us, and when you think about it, you come to realize that many of these concepts are so prevalent they actually form the bedrock of western thinking. It SOUNDS like common sense, right?….the only things under your control are your attitudes and actions, so we should spend more time and energy in our lives building individual character and this will ultimately increase our satisfaction in life. Thing is, there’s quite a bit of overlap with this philosophy and many other philosophies. Stoicism seems to embody some pretty zen-like concepts, wouldn’t you say? The real key to making any philosophy useful or practical is when we find ways to implement their concepts into our daily thoughts and actions. Wasn’t there some sorta ancient Greek guy that said something about unexamined lives not being worth living? He was on to something.

Anyone ever study any kind of philosophy and actively try to find ways to implement it in their lives?
 

mendelman

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In my opinion, Kurt Vonnegut was one of the World's great modern philosophers of the 20th century. He just did it as a popular author.

He wrote entire books with great Humanist philosophical underpinnings (whether unintentional with the early novels, certainly intentional with his later writings).

He's almost inexhaustibly quotable.

The central theme of Mother Night is expressed in the quote:
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

The central quote from God bless you, Mr. Rosewater:
Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind'.

Just because you don't believe there is a God, doesn't mean you can't be a nice moral human to other humans.
 
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Maister

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Just because you don't believe there is a God, doesn't mean you can't be a nice moral human to other humans.
Yes, occasionally you can run into this sentiment when dealing with certain Christians who seem to operate under the belief that neither morality nor ethics existed until the advent of their religion.

Forgive them, they know not what they do (or in this case say).
 
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