All 5 entries tagged Just Thinking
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January 28, 2005
txt I once got from tp:
"Philosophy…the spoiler of all fun in the world ever…assuming there is such a thing as fun…or a world"
thought it was pretty funny at the time but is becoming increasingly true of my life. The last couple of weeks have been pretty full on and I'm finding myself regularly fearing my head will literally explode. My friends laugh at me for the whole "yes, but how do you_ know _ that?" "is that actually true?" etc etc, but in all seriousness it's taking over my mind! I fear I'm becoming one of those "but why?" questioning children that never stop asking questions. Not necessarily a bad thing though. When I started my degree they told me I would learn to think. Oh boy, do I think!! Every day I spend my time thinking about the world, the universe, and beyond! Sounds cheesey, but it's happening! Again, not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, I do spend my time reading the History of Philosophy, but I don't think you can put Philosophy into a historical box: it's happening all the time, as you read it you're forced to think about it and make a judgement.
The consequence of this? A big fat test of my faith. In my head there's a constant struggle between concepts of truth, faith, rationality vs spirituality, knowledge and wisdom etc etc. I've grown up with "Jesus is the truth" but when I hear that know my mind goes into overdrive simply about the word "truth". Yet, this is why I am doing this degree. Let's see if I can come out at the other end of the three years still claiming to know Jesus is the truth. Let's see if God does have all the answers.
Been reading some cool stuff in the bible recently in a bid to make sense of everything. Some might argue this isn't a legitimate proof of anything-how do you know it's the Word of God and all that- but it's the same as reading any other "philosophy"- at some point you just have to decide if it's true or not.
Thought I might as well include the stuff I'm reading:
From 1 Corinthians 1:
19As the Scriptures say,
"I will destroy human wisdom
and discard their most brilliant ideas."[c]
20So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world's brilliant debaters? God has made them all look foolish and has shown their wisdom to be useless nonsense. 21Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never find him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save all who believe. 22God's way seems foolish to the Jews because they want a sign from heaven to prove it is true. And it is foolish to the Greeks because they believe only what agrees with their own wisdom. 23So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended, and the Gentiles say it's all nonsense. 24But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles,[d] Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God. 25This "foolish" plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God's weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength.
26Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you. 27Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, 29so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
From 1 Peter 1:
7These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
8You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9Your reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
15Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation.[d] 16Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see—kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through him and for him. 17He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together.
1In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn't make. 4Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone. 5The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.10But although the world was made through him, the world didn't recognize him when he came.
Always come back to this: rationality is not everything. If we discount spirituality then we are not doing justice to the nature of a human being. There is spirit, and there is spiritual truth. There are things reason wont disclose. This isn't empiricism. Spinoza says we are thinking and extended things and so can only concieve of thought and extension as attributes, yet God has infinite attributes. We are spirit, God is spirit, I know God through spirituality. Not a good enough answer for some. Good enough for me.
November 10, 2004
Today had a seminar for Ethics on Kant's catagorical imperative and we discussed some interesting stuff about whether it's actually achievable. Kant doesn't seem to think is…hence his hypothetical kingdom of ends. Apparently the problem is that we live in the phenomenal world and this means our inclinations get in the way of us doing our duty. Think this is pretty accurate. It's because we live in the world that we become immoral. So, can you ever reach morality? Is it worth constructing an ethical system that you can't abide by fully?
Totally. This is an age old debate within all ethical theories, and least of all within the bible. How is that we are expected to become completely like Jesus, when we know full well that we'll never be able to reach it. If you hold that Jesus was God, and claim that complete morality is reachable, are you claiming that you'll become immortal? Surely God wouldn't allow this…And yet the bible clearly tells us we should aspire to be like Jesus. Whether you're talking about Jesus, or Kant's ethics, or Hume's, or Aristotle is it worth ever trying to become something you wont reach? Yes. What's the alternative? You strive for something you know is second best. I don't want to commit to living my life for something that is only mildly challenging…if I'm gonna aim for morality I want it to be morality in it's purest form. If I'm gonna aim for something I want it to be the best…and whether you hold this to be some metaphysical form of morality, or God, it's worth aiming for.
October 14, 2004
Tara (housemate) told me last night there's a song called 19
Today I got the number 19 bus to cannon park, cos I missed the 12 by literally 3 seconds…you'd think the bus driver might look in his mirror to check for people running behind the bus.
Anyway, still got to lecture on time-Berkley and his opinion on…hmmm….not quite sure what the guy was talking about. Doing the reading for it now-he's an idealist, and is basically saying that there are no physical objects "out there" but it's all just in your mind-they're mind-dependant- i.e. depend on being percieved for their existence. Got me thinking…how do I know he's wrong? Instinct is…because he just is…why would God create us so that we think that way (i.e things exist that don't…). But then why wouldn't he? Maybe this is the way it is…? Well, good old Descartes and the "God is no deciever" thing comes in to play here…also…why would the bible have the whole "on the first day he created this, etc etc" if it wasn't the case. One big fat illusion? Hmm…again, instinct tells me not. Thinking about whether I give too much play to my instincts and need to learn to argue this intellectually. But…at the end of the day, wont ever be able to do that, as God is a spiritual entitiy, I have a spiritual part of me, that I would be inclined to say I listen to, and perhaps this is just something you can't intellectualise. Why do I believe the bible? Yes- it does intellectually,theologically,emotionally,physically make a lot of sense to me…but it makes a whooooole lot of sense spiritually. Plato and Aristotle give the highest authority and superiority to reason…perhaps they've gone horribly wrong. A balance between the intellect and the soul, is, surely, vital…
October 13, 2004
Finaaaaaaaaaaaally got the internet working in my room-woo! and didn't even have to do anything-just turned on my computer and it worked!
Allie did a wickedy pause for thought at Rev last night about blogs and she mentioned that you're supposed to use them to talk about your education. Soooo missed that concept, I just happened to be rambling about my course anyway!
This morning had a seminar about Plato's theory of justice being a kind of mental health. Slightly dodgey, cos you get into the whole "immoral people/criminals/political activists etc etc are mentally unwell…". But raised loads of really interesting questions about what you judge to be normal, what it is to be human etc etc…all biiiig big questions which again I can't find a plausible answer for other than we were created a particular way by an omnipotent God who had it all planned, and because we're made in his image we have a innate sense of morality. Still finding it hard to actually say that in seminars!! Bear with me!
Loooots of reading to do, and trying to get it done before going to Edinburgh this weekend to see the lovely Emma. Absolutley can't wait- pretty much counting the hours!!
October 11, 2004
Finally got internet in our house…wooo! but…my computer seems to not like it much so having to use Groovy Ian's (thanking you)
Was planning big long blah about what I've been up to…but had loooong day (9 o clock lecture on monday morning…what's that about?) and my ma is about to arrive for dinner :-) so will be a quick one!
Was thinking on my walk down from the bus stop just now how different my course is this year…it's actually really getting me thinking, which, seeing as though it is Philosophy, you would've thought would've happened last year…
Anyway-modules I'm doing and things I'm thinking about-
History of Modern Philosophy- Locke+Berekely ask question HOW (if ideas are images in your head) you can have an idea of a general term…i.e how can I comprehend the idea of 'brown' without attaching it to some particular example of brown and bringing that to mind. I'm completely stumped on this one, and I love it.
Aesthetics- get to talk about beauty a whole lot. Kant's a killer, but getting well into the whole is there 'beauty', univeral beauty, subjective beauty, objective beauty etc etc, what's that authority behind it etc
Ethics- last week we talked about the origins of morality, which was pretty interesting- whether it's socially constructed etc. Guy I was talking to in seminar said that he instinctively felt that it couldn't just be socially/culturally constructed, that there just are things that are right/wrong. I said "what/who has the authority to decide that" he said "hmm…that's the problem, I can't think of an answer to that."
Hello?!? Feeling slightly frustrated that I totally believe that God is pretty much the answer to everything…and completely the origins of morality/beauty etc etc etc…just trying to figure out the way to get that across plausibly in a seminar group. Leave it with me…
Things are going well. I'm a happy bunny.