Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Alexa Ray, Nov 18, 2014.

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  1. It's probably pointless to talk about something you don't even understand altogether because you don't have enough experience with it. I don't know, I just thought it might be something cool to bring up, hoping one or another online has had their fair share in knowledge of philosophy.

    I just recently went to an "international week" presentation that solely focuses on "Perspectives of Asian Thoughts". Mind you, after sitting there for two hours I still had no idea what philosophy was, but I believed I had a general idea of it. When I first saw this title, I immediately thought: "Ooh! We're gonna learn about how the Japanese and Chinese people see things through their eyes, how they look at us, etc." I got the complete opposite when learning that each man was going to talk about some common religions in East Asia.

    They were speaking about Buddhism and Hinduism, how these people saw everything around them, what their perspectives in life is, but I stayed. I stayed the entire two hours and after the first presentation, talking solely about Buddhism and how he related to the religion in his life as a child, I was all like, "Wow. This really intrigues me. I think I might minor in philosophy."

    So, I continued to learn, to gain knowledge about Hinduism and Buddhism, to learn how they see the world around them. I would love to share what I learned but my goodness, it was all so much to take in. They were very proactive in their presentations, although the last one simply sat on the edge of the stage and gave a lecture about Hinduism. So, I guess what I'm asking for is just simply your words on philosophy. What do you think about it? Is it something that appeals to you? Are there any religions in specific that intrigues you? Just a discussion all about philosophy.

    I'd love to learn more about this in particular, to gain more knowledge and thoughts! (:
  2. It's pretty hard to talk so generally about "philosophy" as a thing considering it encompasses almost everything that can be considered fundamental to human existence. Pretty much any field of academic study that isn't a science (i.e. that doesn't employ the scientific method) can be considered philosophy if you look at it in the right way.
  3. I'm not sure I understand what you're saying when you say it's hard to talk so generally about philosophy. I wasn't trying to imply that you had to talk about philosophy itself in general.
  4. All I know about philosophy is that there's lots of veins in it, and it's even worse a degree than English lol
  5. Philosophy in its broadest sense is the act of studying and/or pondering the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. This is what Halo meant by it being hard to talk about it in a broad and general sense, because it encompasses so many things that it's hard to make a statement about philosophy as a whole. It's much simpler when you pick a specific subset of philosophy to focus on, like ethics or the nature of the human mind or religious philosophy.

    I might be misreading your post, but you seem to be speaking as if religious philosophy is the whole of philosophy. I'm sure you're aware that's not the truth of the matter, so my interpretation of your post is probably due to you being currently focused on religious philosophy and me reading into it a bit too much.

    Anyway, to answer the questions you asked, philosophy does very much appeal to me. It's sort of the older sibling of science, which I also quite enjoy. As a field it seeks to understand the truths of reality in all facets, just using a different methodology; where science goes in for evidence and reproducible proof, philosophy is all about thought and logic. They could be looked at as two sides of the same coin. I've always been the type of person who questions why things are the way they are, and philosophy is absolutely required to seek answers to a lot of those questions. I'm particularly interested in the areas of ethics, logic, and social and political philosophy.

    As for religions, no, none really interest me past a purely academic level, and most of them not even that far. I went through a whole phase of religious questioning in my teen years and looked into all the major religions and a lot of smaller ones, so I've got at least a basic grasp on them. I decided that none of them were fitting as answers to major questions of the universe like 'how did the universe begin?' and 'where did life come from?' and so on, because they either did not bother trying to explain the origins of everything (such as Buddhism, which as I recall doesn't say anything about those two questions) or they started from a declaration of "this is how things began" and then built up from there. Those ones start out with an illogical and impossible to prove supposition, such as that an omnipotent being exists and has always existed, and proceed on the assumption that it is true, often on the 'proof' of saying their book is true because the book itself says it's divine word and thus is must be true, AKA circular reasoning.

    So, as worthwhile sources of answers to the big mysteries of the universe, religion as a whole does not work for me. However, they're rather neat for moral philosophy. Putting aside the "this is the right thing to do because our deity/book says so" rationale, you can find moral codes there that vary from reasonable to insanely inconsistent. Wherever it lies on the spectrum, it can be pretty interesting to see what the creators of these religions held up as proper morals, even if only because it gives an insight into history. None of them really seem to work as a whole for a modern morality system, because they were made back in times when social conventions were vastly different, but it can be rather fascinating to see what people hundreds of years ago though were the proper ways to behave.
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  6. Philosophy is a broad broad broad fucking subject, and can often be defined by the practitioners of philosophy which is equally if not more broad. So it's hard to even have anything but a vague neutrality. I mean, Buddhism and it's four fundamental truths? Great! Segregation and Right-Wing Political Philosophies? Not so great.

    That said. I love philosophy, it's probably one of the most thought things in my head, something I'd account to my more introverted side as I'm constantly trying to get to the "truths" of life. I read about a book a day, non of them fictional, and while it may all err on the self-help side. I definitely see self help as an umbrella term for philosophies within the pursuit of self actualization, and I would regard what works in my personal life as a sort of microcosm to the universe as a whole, it's all scalable, like physics on a macro or micro scale, as well as it's both equally true and contradictory of each other, much like Bhuddisms truth of "interdependency", or the fallacy in which the science of special relativity doesn't mix at all with quantum mechanics.

    When it comes to more social concerns of how society lives, I put myself more to the objectives of science. Which, is more or less an application of quantitative philosophy, less contextual and more content orientated. That's because simply, while 1st person information such as experiences is far more quantifiable and qualified information, the universe in all it's avenues - day-to-day or in the grande schemes or finer detail or otherwise - is just to too complex, and so as an energy conserving species with limited time, some repeatability and predictability in 1st person information, to be passed on as 2nd hand information, is much easier to jive with.

    That said, fuck logic and common sense, logic and common sense requires a state of accepting the context in which said logic applies, which is never the case with anything all the time, it's ultimately an unconscious prerequisite for the logic, and so - while it's time saving - unless the common sense is based directly off of past 1st hand experience, you're always vulnerable for using a wrong assumption that could be based on societal misunderstanding, cultural misunderstands, even to the point of where our brains haven't evolved to be in tune with it (like quantum physics.). So, always be quick to drop logic, as often it'll not only make you make more mistakes, but it also could hinder your potential to gain new understanding entirely.

    Anyway I didn't read the entirety of this thread, so I assume it was just an opening to talk about philosophy, which I'm more than happy to lament on.
    #6 scribz, Nov 18, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  7. Philosophy, when separated from religious or spiritual contexts, at its core, is the study and use of logic to problem solve and interpret complex, unknowable things. When mixed with religion and spirituality, it's the single greatest way to brainwash yourself into a nonthinking drone that acts upon a set of (often detrimental) laws and regulations.

    It is a tool to better understand your life and perspective, not to give concrete answers to the unknowable, but to define the questions and let you choose the most reasonable answer so as to put your mind to rest. The greatest mistake many philosophers make is asserting the truth rather than a truth... Then again, a truth doesn't sell as well, nor is it as reassuring, is it? It's also a mistake made by everyone in their lives, about one thing or another.

    Defining and making a statement about philosophy, isn't difficult. It's comprehending the questions within philosophy that can send one for a head trip.
    #8 Brovo, Nov 19, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
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  8. Brovo, by making a statement about philosophy as a whole I meant a qualitative statement, as in "philosophy is good," because the question posed was a general "what do you think of philosophy?" When you ask someone, for instance, "what do you think of this cake?" the question is seeking a qualitative assessment. What you did there was describe what philosophy is in a general sense, which would be akin to answering the cake question by explaining how a cake is made. :lol:

    What I was getting at with the "hard to make a statement" thing is that there are so many differing and conflicting bits of philosophy (mutually exclusive ideas, concepts that we know are completely ludicrous thanks to modern science, various ethical philosophies that many people would find abhorrent nowadays) that making a statement of quality about it all as a whole is not a simple thing to do. That's why my answer to the question was "I enjoy philosophy" rather than "philosophy is great."
  9. I believe you could further simplify it as the study of or pursuance of truth.

    JOIN US.
  10. Haha, not sure how that'd happen but okay! *joins you and your buddies* XD
  11. God is dead!!

    I like to live by virtue ethics, and stoic principles. One of my favourite books is Meditations, a collection of writings by Marc Aurelius from the way back when.
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  12. What I meant is to get a philosophy minor; if you don't have a minor already then the classes could very well be quite entertaining and insightful.
  13. Then that will have to be another few years or so. Thanks for the invite! :3
  14. You could, but I think that would be an oversimplification. There are branches of philosophy that posit that you cannot ever really know the truth because the human senses and/or mind are inadequate tools. There are branches of philosophy that look into how things could be in an ideal world, rather than the truth of current circumstances. There are branches of philosophy that deal entirely in the hypothetical. None of these things are really studying or pursuing truth, but they are philosophy. I prefer my broader explanation, since it includes all variations of philosophy.
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  15. Please do so! I wanna suck all that knowledge out of your brain! >:3
  16. Except in all cases, the supposition that one cannot know truth is also a claim of what they believe is true; that you cannot know truth. Unless of course they also believe that their own philosophy on the matter cannot be known, in which case it's just a silly and roundabout way of doing and thinking absolutely nothing at all.
    Likewise I cannot picture a situation in which hypotheticals are not intrinsically involved in the search for truth.
    #17 Asuras, Nov 19, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  17. Oh my god someone finally has given me permission to splurge everything in my head at them.

    But I don't know where to start! D:

  18. Haha just... Start where your point of interest in philosophy is or somethin'... I don't know! Just gimme your knowledge! xD
  19. Throw out a buzzword that I can roll with then.
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