Me and Philosophy

Philosophy literally means “Love of wisdom”

For me and how I approach the subject I prefer one of the Webster definitions which is:
“The most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group “

While I don’t believe that Philosophy is the end all of acquiring knowledge, I do find the pursuit to be rewarding.  Much like any major human enterprise, great elements and teachings can abound in the subject, even great revelations for a person who studies it, EX: better understanding of how people think, act, believe, and a greater appreciation for one’s own beliefs, etc…but it can also have dark elements as well, philosophies that emphasize death, despair, hopelessness, etc…I realize that what I define as “dark”, someone else may not, hence I accept this as a value judgment on my part, but this is MY page isn’t it?  😛

In my Accepted Philosophies page I will seek to document my own beliefs and concepts, those of which can be reduced in philosophical terms/concepts. Please refer to my ‘rejected philosophies‘ sub-page as well and keep in mind, that these sections are sure to grow as time (and my own development as a human being) goes on…

For more detailed arguments/articles I’ve written, focused on the theme of the rationality (or lack of) of Atheism, please see my Squidoo page here:
http://arts-humanities.squidoo.com/sensiblebelief

————

These are how some philosophical systems weigh personally on me, according to a quiz/generated test I took online, which was so terribly one-sided and sophomoric in concluding the most literal meaning of the questions possible, that I don’t it too seriously, but in some respects it was accurate. (and it was fun.)

Existentialism
80%
Divine Command
70%
Hedonism (??? see below)
70%
Justice (Fairness)
60%
Utilitarianism (??? see below)
55%
Nihilism
5%

Here it is if you want to take it yourself…. PHILOSOPHY QUIZ

It’s interesting how I have divine command and hedonism near the top of my list right next to each other (LOL), with Existentialism at the very top.

My only explanation for some of these higher results are: (if I give this quiz any credence):

Existentialism: This was my strongest score and assume it has to do with me perhaps me over emphasizing my the importance of human freedom in both thought and deed and the importance of accepting responsibility for both. I believe most of us should dig a little deeper into what we believe/feel, and that LIVING LIFE itself is rarely a process of analyzing objective knowledge, language, or science, etc…even scientists go home to their wives, children, dream of vacations away from a lab, enjoy a good movie, etc..we LIVE life in the “real” experiential world, not a test tube. As the wiki on this philosophical position explains (which I accept): “the individual has the sole responsibility for giving one’s own life meaning and with living life passionately and sincerely, in spite of many obstacles and distractions.” I’ve found this to be a truth in my own life and I’ve seen it (sometimes being surprised by it) in the lives of others.

Divine Command (theory?): The questions pointing to this category (in the quiz linked above) were very one-sided and absolute, and in fact I would argue this result has little to do with my answer. I would preferred more balanced and realistic ones. I do believe in God, as my page on ‘philosophies I reject’ explains a bit more, by having rejected certain foundational assumptions of reality, I have no intellectual problem what-so ever believing in God/spiritual reality, but I believe ‘Divine Motivation Theory’ to be a better theory.  However I have major issues with all big “Institutes of God” on this planet and the religious tyranny committed by men and groups who swear they are on God’s fan list. I’m surprised this score is so high though, because there really was very few questions pointing in this direction, and I feel that whoever devised these on the quiz knows very little (or cares very little) to reflect any serious degree of separation between the most literal explanation possible. (a rigid “If Church commands it I do it!” mentality), in which case if that’s the only sense intended by the quiz (I believe it is), I would score very low on this philosophy, indeed.

Hedonism: Funny enough, this is highlighted by myself in my Rejected Philosophies page, and here I’m supposed to be a serious proponent of it, lol…my guess is that it comes down to how a person defines “pleasure” (of which this flawed quiz obviously has purely selfish pleasures in mind only) – I answered the ‘pleasure’ questions in the affirmative where it didn’t have a bold effect against others or justice because I happen to believe that pleasure IS the natural (and hence desirable) state of human life, although we are pressured by and highly subject to the will of our physical life/desires, genetics, society/cultural norms, etc…we can be virtuous, and to be so IS a pleasurable state for those that are sincere about it. It should give us all pleasure to do good and treat others right, as we would want for ourselves and the people we love.

Utilitarianism:  Another one I’m supposed to be aligned with (via the results in the quiz), but explicitly reject on my Rejected Philosophies page.  The quiz probably weighs the level of “individual” type answers and then prematurely concludes that any answers that reject (what it interprets) as a purely selfish individual motive, means you are a Utilitarian.  It’s rather silly.  I do emphasize individual rights and freedoms above that of any group, nearly always as a principle, but not when purely selfish/destructive outcomes are to be certain by executing them.  That hardly makes me a Utilitarian!

Justice (Fairness):  I would need to study more what this means philosophically before I can really flesh out the comment here, but I would agree that I do value heavily justice in ethics, and upholding it as a principle for both individuals and groups.

See my Sub-Sections for more details, with more to come…

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