I blog, therefore I am.

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Anonymous asked: 65

Truths without any evidence whatsoever will require something like faith so in that instance what you would have to do is develop a solid argument for the validity of faith. Other things such as love, friendship and justice will lack the solid evidence that is required for factual truth (e.g. The existence of a wooden table) but this type of evidence is not required to adopt a belief in love for example. We gather evidence for the existence of these things through experiences, refining our emotions with sound reason which allows us to safely assume that these things exist, at least conceptually as love etc doesn’t exist in the same way that a wooden table does :)

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ramblingsarcasm asked: Powers of four: 4, 16, 64. :)

4 - I would like to think nurture is the dominant factor. If nature was then I don’t think people could change or better themselves.

16 - the same people who write history I suppose ;)

64 - time to me is simply a relative concept in which we measure the duration of events and the order in which we place them (past to future). Combining this one dimension with the three dimensions of space then creates space time.

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Philosophical Question Time

1. Is it worse to fail at something or never attempt it in the first place?
2. If you could choose just one thing to change about the world, what would it be?
3. To what extent do you shape your own destiny, and how much is down to fate?
4. Does nature shape our personalities more than nurture?
5. Should people care more about doing the right thing, or doing things right?
6. What one piece of advice would you offer to a newborn infant?
7. Where is the line between insanity and creativity?
8. What is true happiness?
9. What things hold you back from doing the things that you really want to?
10. What makes you, you?
11. What is the truth?
12. What is reality?
13. Do you make your own decisions, or let others make them for you?
14. What makes a good friend?
15. Why do people fear losing things that they do not even have yet?
16. Who defines good and evil?
17. What is the difference between living and being alive?
18. Is a “wrong” act okay if nobody ever knows about it?
19. Who decides what morality is?
20. How do you know that your experience of consciousness is the same as other people’s experience of consciousness?
21. What is true strength?
22. What is true love?
23. Is a family still relevant in the modern world?
24. What role does honour play in today’s society?
25. If money cannot buy happiness, can you ever be truly happy with no money?
26. How do you know your perceptions are real?
27. How much control do you have over your life?
28. What is freedom?
29. Isn’t one person’s terrorist another person’s freedom fighter?
30. What happens after we die?
31. What defines you?
32. What do people strive for after enlightenment?
33. Do we have a soul?
34. What is intelligence?
35. How should people live their lives?
36. If lying is wrong, are white lies okay?
37. Is trust more important than love?
38. Is it easier to love or be loved?
39. Is it better to love and lose or never to love?
40. Do aliens exist?
41. The structure of DNA appears to be intelligently designed, what are the implications?
42. If everything evolved from amoebas, how does the world still have amoebas?
43. Is life all a dream?
44. When does consciousness begin?
45. What are numbers?
46. Can we have happiness without sadness?
47. How did the universe begin?
48. Is there a supreme power?
49. What is education?
50. What will happen at the end of the world?
51. Is there a reason to life?
52. Where does the soul live?
53. Is it more important to be liked or respected?
54. Does sound happen if nothing is present to hear it?
55. What is infinity?
56. Where does the universe end?
57. Does observation alter an event?
58. Does the Law of Attraction exist?
59. How does gravity work?
60. Where were people before they were born?
61. What is beauty?
62. Where do thoughts come from?
63. Is mind or matter more real?
64. What is time?
65. How can people believe in truths without evidence?

66,475 notes

90s Animal Planet:
Animals are cool, kids! They can be your friends! But watch out, some are dangerous! Ooh, watch Jeff Corwin handle the most venomous snake in Africa! Aw, look at the tiger babies! Oh, let's learn about conserving the environment! Remember kids, we must respect this planet, because it's the animals' home as well!
2013 Animal Planet:
90s History Channel:
Here kids, we're gonna talk about this society today. History from all time periods and all countries. Isn't this stuff fascinating? Watch us dig up a tomb!
Early 2000's History Channel:
So there's this guy named Hitler. And he's pretty bad. Let us tell you how bad Hitler is. Hitler. Hitler. Hitler. Hitler. More Hiltler. Hey have you heard about this guy named Hitler?
2013 History Channel:
Aliens moonshiners aliens rednecks aliens pawnshops aliens aliens aliens hey have we mentioned aliens because aliens
2014 History Channel:
Was Hitler an Alien?

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Philosophy need not be obscure, and it shouldn’t be inaccessible. Nor need the communication of its ideas be ‘philosophy lite’. Often the most brilliant philosophers are those most willing and able to convey their thoughts to an intelligent non-specialist audience.
Nigel Warburton

Filed under philosophy quotes nigel warburton

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More on misconceptions

Thanks for the suggestions of floydpinkus amongst others for more Nietzsche on the blog and i hope the misconceptions piece suffices. Had a lot of material and cut it down as much as I could to keep it as simple as possible but may take all 4 misconceptions and deal with them in more detail individually sometime in the future.

Due to the value of the research for me and the enjoyment i got out of it i think i’ll take bononos' request up for more posts on the misconceptions of other philosophers. Was thinking of maybe Wittgenstein or Kierkegaard but if you guys have any suggestions that would be great. :)

Filed under philosophy tsp personal Nietzsche Wittgenstein kierkegaard follow

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Misconceptions of Friedrich Nietzsche and his works

The Ubermensch 

This myth is the belief that Nietzsche’s work is all focused on the Ubermensch which many then link to Hitler’s master-race. It is easily the most common misconception of Nietzsche and one that will not bother anyone who reads him to any real level. The Ubermensch or ‘overman’ is a character in Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, that all people should aspire to be. Whilst this does sound vaguely like a master-race it is important to understand that the image of the overman only appears in one of Nietzsche’s books. To understand his use of the ubermensch we must understand the reason behind Thus Spoke Zarathustra. This book is written in a very fanciful, non-philosophical fashion because it is a parody of the New Testament with Zarathustra being a parody of Jesus Christ. One of Zarathustra’s teachings is that his people should aim towards becoming this overman. Therefore, not only does Nietzsche not agree with the idea of the ubermensch but the idea of the overman is a stab at Christianity, a religion that the whole book attempts to undermine.  

Anti-semitism and Nazi Ideology

This is a misconception that contemporary authors are doing a very good job of removing from common ideas of Nietzsche and one which his sister and publisher are heavily responsible for as she was very proto-Nazi and an anti-semite. This particularly became a problem in his later years in which he was extremely unstable and had huge amounts of unpublished work for her to edit and twist to fit her own message, but i’ll come to that later. In terms of his own feeling towards Jewish people there are many (and i mean many) instances of him praising them in his work and even one passage where he ranks them much higher than the Germans whom he disliked passionately. The main criticism Nietzsche has of Judaism is that it is responsible for the formation of Christian values and nothing to do with anti-semitism as we know it. 

The Will to Power

For me, this is the most frustrating misconception because many who are aware of the previous two misconceptions fall for this one. It is a common held belief that, along with the ubermensch, the will to power is at the core of Nietzsche’s teachings. To straighten out this myth we must look to Nietzsche’s later work Ecce Homo in which he reviews all his works and ideas. The idea of the will to poweris mentioned only in passing and is given little to no significance. Even more importantly is the fact that Nietzsche did not want to publish a book called Will to Power and this was done by his sister and publisher who were mentioned earlier. Basically, that work is a perverted piece of work that a now mentally incapacitated Nietzsche could do nothing about. As Nietzsche wrote his published work by taking pieces of text from his notebook he was left with a lot of unpublished material so sadly Will to Power is not the only one of his later works to be tampered with. What Nietzsche was interested in was the psychology of how people are motivated by the desire and feeling of power. In this Nietzsche is not only talking of controlling others but also of the feeling of power that comes from self-control. The idea that Nietzsche believed that reality and life is completely and totally driven by a will to power is a complete fiction.

Post-modernism and relativism

This misconception is one that is more a problem in the academic sphere of philosophy and is perhaps the main reason that Nietzsche is not as highly respected as he should be by other philosophers. Recently Nietzsche has been adopted by post-modernists such as Derrida and Foucault as the man who first understood that texts basically have no meaning and that he was a huge skeptic about objective truth. Amazingly and ironically this is the opposite of what Nietzsche actually teaches in his philosophy. It is important to understand that Nietzsche was educated not primarily in philosophy but in classical philology which is basically the study of the culture of Ancient Greece and Rome. Nietzsche’s work shows a deep respect for the science of philology and it’s careful reading and interpretation to find the true meaning of texts. Therefore Nietzsche is certainly not a relativist or a prototype to post-modernism.

Filed under Philosophy tsp existentialism nietzsche will to power thus spoke zarathustra ubermensch existentialism nihilism hitler nazi aryan master race christianity judaism anti-semitism new testament ecce homo power post-modernism relativism perspectivism foucault derrida ancient greece rome philology classics

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A problem of social movements in philosophy

A real bug-bear I have with philosophical works involving things like feminism or anarchism is that many authors seem to be droning out a selection of phrases like a mixture of a preacher spewing rhetoric on his pulpit and a child abusing the string on the back of a Woody toy.

Don’t get me wrong there are excellent works out there on both subjects and I’ve only picked those two out in particular because they are the most prominent examples. It just seems like a problem many of the works suffer from is this catchphrase syndrome where there is a lack of serious philosophy but just playing to the emotions of a crowd with the same old increasingly unsubstantiated script.

Filed under philosophy feminism anarchism tsp feminism tsp rant