Good riddance. Looking forward to getting off the ramblings of long dead Christian “philosophers”. Where are the Hindu philosophers when you need them? ARE there any Hindu philosophers? From the lack of coverage I can only assume that Hinduism must not be a major world religion or anything.
As we come to the close of the first week of Module 3, I can’t help but shake my head at the quality of discourse in the class in regard to this subject. I don’t know if it’s just the asynchronous nature of the class or people not bothering to read anything, but I feel like there’s not much going on outside people just scratching the surface of the topic because they’re told to. I’ll not lie and say that I’ve been the most diligent student as, quite frankly, my school life necessarily takes a backseat to my job and my family, but I can’t help but ask myself why I even bother to try at all when I read through some of the responses being given on these discussion boards.
While I am not particularly interested in going over the same tired arguments I’ve dealt with pretty much since I hit adolescence, I don’t understand how even the most disinterested person could respond to anything as large as questions of philosophy surrounding the notion of God with a short quip. There is so much depth that you could easily write massive tomes on the subject. This is not even taking into consideration the fact that one ought to do the reader a favor and have the decency to attempt to foresee questions and provide clarity from the start, whether it be in the form of defining the context in which you are using a word or providing some degree of insight your mode of thinking. Writing is different from a real-time conversation, where you are going back and forth quickly and people can ask for clarification and receive an answer within a matter of seconds or minutes.
I think I’ll be glad when this section is done as I find it far less interesting than metaphysics and epistemology—even though one can argue that it is more important in the sense of potential negative consequences to your eternal soul should you be wrong.
I dislike playing the “what if” game. I feel that I have spent a good amount of my life speculating on the various “what if” scenarios associated with every decision that I have made. In the end, I have found that the value of spending time speculating on the various paths that history could have taken should different choices have been made to be limited. After all, we cannot change the past and even if we were to use it as a mental exercise in trying to predict the course of events that might have followed, there is simply no way to account for the myriad of variables that factor into the events of life as they actually play out.
While I believe in the “Butterfly Effect”—the theory that a small and seemingly insignificant action such as a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the planet can compound into a major effect such as a hurricane forming on the other side—to an extent, there is simply no way to prove it as the energy exerted by that butterfly represents only a fraction of the energy that goes into a hurricane. The major event in question is often a confluence of numerous little things rather than something to which we can trace a direct cause. People are often asked the question of whether, if given a chance, they would eliminate baby Adolf Hitler. The inference is that doing so would stop World War II from ever occurring. While I can agree that World War II would not have occurred in the manner that it did without the man named Adolf Hitler, Hitler was merely the focal point that galvanized many points of deep resentment following the first World War. Without him, it’s completely plausible that war might have still broken out under different leadership because every other factor that led to the conflict would have still been in play and festering beneath the surface.
Be it Abraham Lincoln, Sir Isaac Newton, Ghengis Khan, or Socrates, we have a tendency to lionize figures and attribute the great deeds and advancements of mankind to them. Socrates, as the father of Western philosophy, is certainly no exception in this regard. But who is to say that history would not have followed its path if not for these people? How much of the energy contributing to the winds of change belonged to these individuals and how much to countless others? Perhaps we may one day develop the means to accurately simulate alternative timelines to discover this, but until this happens, I think that it is presumptuous to assume any individual’s impact on the course of history however tempting it may be.
So here’s my blog for Philosophy 101. I’m not entirely sure why I need this, but here it is.