Wednesday, December 06, 2006
The Bent Philosopher
...on a philosophical bent. Most everyone who knows me knows I majored in music theory and composition in college. Most people don't know that I minored in...philosophy!
Would you like fries with that? I digress. The best part about taking philosophy classes is it's very hard to fail if you do the reading and write the papers. Philosophy is a slippery thing at best. I regarded it as a study of history. What sort of bubble headed things have people been spouting about life, the universe and everything? (42) In all my papers on the teachings of various philosophers I resolved early on to steadfastly stick to the position that no matter who they were or what they had to say they were completely full of shit. I never failed to recieve an A for my critical thinking. I have found that this strategy works well in many other areas of life as well.
Today's cartoon (stolen) references the concept of solipsism, defined here:
and described in detail here:
While in many ways it is difficult to KNOW anything outside the self but it's reasonable to SUPPOSE that the vast variety of things in the world make it unlikely that one is "alone" and that all is a fabrication of the self. I find it unlikely that I am that good at everything. Then again we come into the world alone (mostly) and we leave it alone (mostly) and unless we're very careful to cultivate loving and caring relationships with ourselves, friends, family, lovers and a higher power we are likely to spend a great deal of this life alone as well.
Last night I went to a great restaurant and was accosted by an old, lonely and clearly drunk patron who wanted to talk philosophy, science and religion. Good gracious! Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig enjoys it! Nevertheless, rather than have him continue to shout questions at me across the room I went and sat with him and indulged his high opinion of himself, his thoughts and his views on life. He said he was writing a book about religion dedicated to the proposition that religion was a farce and science was all. Now I'm the first one to say that organized religion is evil on the order of a criminal enterprise but I recently have a newfound respect for what you might term "spirituality". Respect for one's self, one's fellows and the beauty of existence is underrated today. The notion that "the desire to be a better man, father, friend, lover, son and neighbor is it's own reward" must be recognized to have intrinsic value irrespective of it's "scientific value". I felt sorry for that lonely old man. His world seemed a very dark and lonely place. I was relieved when he paid up and left. It was an unwelcome visit with a future me that I hope shall never come to be.