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What's the point of philosophy?


dimreepr
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I think it's to hold up a mirror (with the same relective index) to everyone, equally; be they, a scientist or a priest, a leader or a follower, a worker or a lay about, a saint or a sinner etc.

Should anyone be exempt from that scrutiny?

Perhaps:

A scientist is better informed than a priest.

A leader is a better human than sheeple.

etc.

Discus...

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I think philosophy has no point, perhaps because its focus is most everything.

Some of the overriding interests (historically) have been:

What is real? (ontology)

What is knowledge? (epistemology)

What is "I"? (the problem of the self, a continuation of ontology)

What is change? (cause and effect: teleology and its alternatives perhaps?)

What should we do? (ethics)

Everybody feels a call at some point, but nobody's forced to follow that call. And it's a tiresome exercise.

Science tends to clarify in some measure those question, and supersede them with (perhaps) less ambitious questions. Thus,

What is real? --> What is objective?

What is knowledge? --> What is information?

What is change? --> What are the physical laws?

What should we do? --> What should we do? ;) 

I think.

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2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

I think it's to hold up a mirror (with the same relective index) to everyone, equally; be they, a scientist or a priest, a leader or a follower, a worker or a lay about, a saint or a sinner etc.

Should anyone be exempt from that scrutiny?

Perhaps:

A scientist is better informed than a priest.

A leader is a better human than sheeple.

etc.

Discus...

Not snipping, just picking.

A mirror - yes, sort of. To the human mind and its workings. It's really just the external version of introspection - that is, the philosopher projects his own "reflections" onto his nation or his entire species (even when he has no clue to other cultures or mind-sets or world-views.) It's a presumptuous, arrogant kind of thinking engaged in by people who consider themselves wiser than other people.

To everyone equally - well, yes: scientist, peasant or priest, you are all grist to the philosopher, who simply ignores your individuality, your attainments, your varied experiences and convictions, and sweeps you in with generic mankind.

'Should' in philosophy doesn't apply to scrutiny of persons; only of traits, actions, beliefs and systems of organization.

Quote

A scientist is better informed than a priest.

About her particular science, yes. About everything else - who knows? The philosopher mostly doesn't care.

Quote

A leader is a better human than sheeple.

 Huh? What, precisely, constitutes a leader? Who are counted as 'sheeple'? In what way is the one "better" than the others? 

In which philosophical school of thought is this concept elaborated?

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1 hour ago, joigus said:

I think philosophy has no point, perhaps because its focus is most everything.

Some of the overriding interests (historically) have been:

What is real? (ontology)

What is knowledge? (epistemology)

What is "I"? (the problem of the self, a continuation of ontology)

What is change? (cause and effect: teleology and its alternatives perhaps?)

What should we do? (ethics)

Everybody feels a call at some point, but nobody's forced to follow that call. And it's a tiresome exercise.

Science tends to clarify in some measure those question, and supersede them with (perhaps) less ambitious questions. Thus,

What is real? --> What is objective?

What is knowledge? --> What is information?

What is change? --> What are the physical laws?

What should we do? --> What should we do? ;) 

I think.

But you can't explain the nature of science without philosophy. I am constantly having to refer to philosophical ideas when trying to explain to creationists what science is and - just as important in such discussions - what is not science. 

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15 minutes ago, exchemist said:

But you can't explain the nature of science without philosophy. I am constantly having to refer to philosophical ideas when trying to explain to creationists what science is and - just as important in such discussions - what is not science. 

Indeed. But not everybody aspires to be a scientist. I'm talking more about the regular fellows. If you asked me, I'd recommend everybody to make room for a little scientist and a philosopher of sorts in their daily rut-driven minds. Questioning things is a healthy habit, I think.

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4 hours ago, dimreepr said:

What's the point of philosophy?

I would say it is cool to share your thoughts about life

Things that you are not able to explain/prove using math

And it looks some people get interest/benefits from philosophy, so maybe we could say it can make some people happy...

Also, if a conscious made the universe with a goal (i guess it already knows the result), if you remove the worst human ever or a sheeple priest, do you think the result will be the same ? So can we say someone is better if we need everyone ?

Edited by raphaelh42
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23 minutes ago, raphaelh42 said:

I would say it is cool to share your thoughts about life

I would further say that everyone is, or should be, their own philosopher. To some degree, all adolescents are, when they are working out their attitude to the world in which they are being prepared to live their adulthood. Not all do it in the same way; not all are original, organized or articulate; not all question received wisdom with the same intensity or acuity. But all do, at some time in their young life, question and challenge. At that moment, informed guidance would make a difference - might make the whole world  different.

Edited by Peterkin
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On 9/5/2022 at 1:57 PM, joigus said:

Science tends to clarify in some measure those question, and supersede them with (perhaps) less ambitious questions. Thus,

What is real? --> What is objective?

What is knowledge? --> What is information?

What is change? --> What are the physical laws?

What is real? --> What is objective? = Same question, answered in much the same way.

What is knowledge? --> What is information? --> What is understanding? For instance, if you have all of my information/data, can you understand me?

What is change? --> What are the physical laws? Answered with the same type of thinking.

My point being, scientist's are as prone to blinkered thinking as any other human, for instance "The God Delusion"

Quote

In The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator, God, almost certainly does not exist, and that belief in a personal god qualifies as a delusion, which he defines as a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence. He is sympathetic to Robert Pirsig's statement in Lila (1991) that "when one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion."[3] With many examples, he explains that one does not need religion to be moral and that the roots of religion and of morality can be explained in non-religious terms.

Philosophically speaking, so what!!!; if he's right, then the morals/wisdom described by Jesus, Buddha, Socrates etc. must have come from man, not God; so what's the difference, with who or what method is used to describe/teach them?

And if he's wrong, then who's delusional?

20 hours ago, Peterkin said:

I would further say that everyone is, or should be, their own philosopher.

But as Socrates argued, not everyone is capable; for instance, how can a jury find justice, if they're not expert's in law?

Edited by dimreepr
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20 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Philosophically speaking, so what!!!; if he's right, then the morals/wisdom described by Jesus, Buddha, Socrates etc. must have come from man, not God; so what's the difference, who or what method is used to describe/teach them?

It matters, because Socrates doesn't tell anybody to take his only child up on a mountain and slit his throat - and then say, "Just kidding! Here, take some other guy's prize ram to kill instead." The Buddha doesn't send thousands of inadequately armed and provisioned peasants on a crusade against another, similar god's thousands of fools to massacre one another over possession of a patch 'holy' desert. 

Philosophically speaking, morals/wisdom should be considered on its merits: what does it benefit society and individual, at what cost? Not because it's believed to come from a god who wouldn't hesitate to immolate you for all eternity. 

20 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

And if he's wrong, then who's delusional?

Very good question! How do you discover the answer?  

20 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

But as Socrates argued, not everyone is capable; for instance, how can a jury find justice, if they're not expert's in law?

Socrates thought he was smarter than everybody else. Most philosophers think they are. Maybe some of them are, maybe not. Either way, they're not necessarily better suited to work out the best course for another another person than the person herself. The function of a judge is to interpret the law. The function of a jury is to weigh the evidence as presented by two advocates who also know the law. The jury is not burdened with 'finding' justice; their job is to decide whether a fellow citizen - one of their own peers - deserves to be punished for something he's accused of.  

Edited by Peterkin
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2 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

It matters, because Socrates doesn't tell anybody to take his only child up on a mountain and slit his throat - and then say, "Just kidding! Here, take some other guy's prize ram to kill instead." The Buddha doesn't send thousands of inadequately armed and provisioned peasants on a crusade against another, similar god's thousands of fools to massacre one another over possession of a patch 'holy' desert. 

You're conflating religion with politics, do you think science is immune to politicians?

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19 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

What is real? --> What is objective? = Same question, answered in much the same way.

What is knowledge? --> What is information? --> What is understanding? For instance, if you have all of my information/data, can you understand me?

What is change? --> What are the physical laws? Answered with the same type of thinking.

My point being, scientist's are as prone to blinkered thinking as any other human, for instance "The God Delusion"

Philosophically speaking, so what!!!; if he's right, then the morals/wisdom described by Jesus, Buddha, Socrates etc. must have come from man, not God; so what's the difference, who or what method is used to describe/teach them?

And if he's wrong, then who's delusional?

I don't know. I'm better at asking questions than answering them.

But I don't think Dawkins is very much to blame for being delusional. I'm sure he's thought about God far deeper and far more seriously than many a religious type. ;) 

Plus he's shown he's ready to accept he's wrong from time to time.

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3 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

You're conflating religion with politics,

No. You conflated religion with philosophy and ethics. Abraham was in the Holy Bible, not in Washington; it was specifically the Holy Land those peasants ran off to liberate from the heathen; it was a pope who sent them there.

Edited by Peterkin
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Just now, Peterkin said:

No. You conflated religion with philosophy and ethics. It was specifically the Holy Land those peasants ran off to liberate from the heathen; it was a pope who sent them there.

And how do you think he got to be pope?

Jesus had an idea, the pope had an agenda...

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Just now, dimreepr said:

And how do you think he got to be pope?

How is that related to the moral teaching of anybody? All the peasants were told about how popes get to be popes is that Jesus appointed Peter as his representative on Earth, who gets to anoint kings and lay down canon law.  They only know it through religion, which is to be taken entirely on faith, never examined, never questioned, never criticized.

Organized religion sleeps with politics. Politics borrows from philosophy. Individual ethics are influenced by all of these things.

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2 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

That's the point...

okay....

Philosophically speaking, morals/wisdom should be considered on its merits: what does it benefit society and individual, at what cost? Not because it's believed to come from a god who wouldn't hesitate to immolate you for all eternity. 

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2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Jesus had an idea, the pope had an agenda...

Nice teeshirt motto. The pope exists. Jesus may have existed. God/gods, very unlikely - any of 'em. 

People have both ideas and agendas, all the while they have needs and desires.

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19 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Nice teeshirt motto.

Just because a statement is pithy enough for a tee-shirt, that doesn't make it risible.

19 hours ago, Peterkin said:

The pope exists. Jesus may have existed. God/gods, very unlikely - any of 'em.

Right, but what's God got to do with it?

19 hours ago, Peterkin said:

People have both ideas and agendas, all the while they have needs and desires.

Indeed, that's the point of the OP; a scientist that can't think past his/her bias, prejudice and assumptions, in this case Dawkins, is no different to a priest that insisted that the earth is 5,000 years old; because a book told him/her too.

22 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Philosophically speaking, morals/wisdom should be considered on its merits: what does it benefit society and individual, at what cost? Not because it's believed to come from a god who wouldn't hesitate to immolate you for all eternity. 

Exactly... 

But if the person you were trying to teach, figured it out when you used God as a metaphor; it's real for them...

Edited by dimreepr
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What's the point of philosophy? Well, it's something we all do, to examine and possibly predict ramifications of what we are observing. We do it like breathing, people do it all the time.

What's the point of philosophers? Not a lot. Anyone can do it and everyone does it.  But I can't think of a single question that "philosophers" have solved. They seem to spend most of their time arguing over the meaning of various words. 

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21 hours ago, mistermack said:

What's the point of philosophy? Well, it's something we all do, to examine and possibly predict ramifications of what we are observing. We do it like breathing, people do it all the time.

You're confusing philosophy with thinking, a dog can think...

21 hours ago, mistermack said:

What's the point of philosophers? Not a lot. Anyone can do it and everyone does it.  But I can't think of a single question that "philosophers" have solved. They seem to spend most of their time arguing over the meaning of various words. 

I disagree, a philosopher tries to think about a problem, by dissociating ones ego from the thought process (even the most intelligent among us can be incapable); so, off the top of my head, the introduction of the double blind study is one problem it's solved. 

22 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Front: Some people have ideas.

Back: I Don't Care Do U?

It's a ying yang thing, it doesn't really matter if you care or not; the problem is, most people care way too much, a good idea would be to help them not to and relax a little.

There's few people more zealous than an ex-smoker/druggy/ganster, those of us who don't indulge, don't understand why they care.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/5/2022 at 4:19 AM, dimreepr said:

I think it's to hold up a mirror (with the same relective index) to everyone, equally; be they, a scientist or a priest, a leader or a follower, a worker or a lay about, a saint or a sinner etc.

Should anyone be exempt from that scrutiny?

Perhaps:

A scientist is better informed than a priest.

A leader is a better human than sheeple.

etc.

Discus...

Hammer dross.

The love of wisdom.

I think the point is a somewhat informal discussion, the goal of which is to bring agreement which could contribute to common ethos. I do not think that it is using a mirror with the same reflective index with everyone. That to me sounds like egotism in a way, in that you are not making accomodations to read your counterpart and try to comport your rhetoric or argument to them, but instead are holding to your own preconceived notion that you have objectivity, which is unlikely. Perhaps it is though that we could recognize we are trapped in subjectivity and by holding mirrors to help each other see ourselves whilst also trying to see each other we could in that way try to grasp a more objective perspective.

  

On 9/7/2022 at 7:02 AM, mistermack said:

But I can't think of a single question that "philosophers" have solved. They seem to spend most of their time arguing over the meaning of various words.

I don't think the purpose is to index answers for you. I think it can serve to help you fashion your own mind, and decide what you take on by what accords to your reason. I think the necessary first step in a logical discussion is to have a set of agreed upon terms.

Edited by NTuft
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19 hours ago, NTuft said:

Hammer dross.

Why? And what does hammer, in this context, mean?

19 hours ago, NTuft said:

The love of wisdom.

What do you think that means?

19 hours ago, NTuft said:

I think the point is a somewhat informal discussion, the goal of which is to bring agreement which could contribute to common ethos. I do not think that it is using a mirror with the same reflective index with everyone.

You clearly don't understand the mirror metaphor.

19 hours ago, NTuft said:

That to me sounds like egotism in a way, in that you are not making accomodations to read your counterpart and try to comport your rhetoric or argument to them, but instead are holding to your own preconceived notion that you have objectivity

And that's the point, in a way, your assumption and judgement is the mirror you can't see beyond.

19 hours ago, NTuft said:

Perhaps it is though that we could recognize we are trapped in subjectivity and by holding mirrors to help each other see ourselves whilst also trying to see each other we could in that way try to grasp a more objective perspective.

The subtext here suggests the more objective perspective, is the one you agree with...

19 hours ago, NTuft said:

I think the necessary first step in a logical discussion is to have a set of agreed upon terms.

And if you can't agree upon those terms, your fully covered and can storm out in righteous indignation... 

Edited by dimreepr
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On 9/19/2022 at 5:09 AM, dimreepr said:

Why? And what does hammer, in this context, mean?

Well, you finished with, "Discus..". To, "think with a hammer", in my mind, means to apply reason or rationality, perhaps even to minimize emotional influence on the thinking.

On 9/19/2022 at 5:09 AM, dimreepr said:

What do you think that means?

That wisdom can only be come to by asking philosophical questions, and likely also through philosophical discourse.

On 9/19/2022 at 5:09 AM, dimreepr said:

You clearly don't understand the mirror metaphor.

Let me ask you, instead of metaphorically, how does your mirror come into play in actuality?

On 9/19/2022 at 5:09 AM, dimreepr said:

And that's the point, in a way, your assumption and judgement is the mirror you can't see beyond.

I do think I alluded to subjectivity, which I think encompasses judgement and assumption one cannot see beyond.

On 9/19/2022 at 5:09 AM, dimreepr said:

The subtext here suggests the more objective perspective, is the one you agree with...

Given the prior injunction that I am trapped in subjectivity, I think it follows that a potential road out is through mirroring in some fashion so as to know together; I do not see what subtext you're reading to say what I agree with on the matter -- the point was that we ought to presume we're subjective, because only from that point does striving for objectivity even become a notion. Or please elaborate on what you saw wrong here.

On 9/19/2022 at 5:09 AM, dimreepr said:

And if you can't agree upon those terms, your fully covered and can storm out in righteous indignation... 

or, hold your horses. sure we can have emotion enter in. I'm apt to do somethin gbodily to  try and draw up the tripartite interface of my common being presence if consciousness calls.

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