Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Who is a Philosopher?: Doing Philosophy is taking Action

Philosophy that inspired the Greeks was intensely concerned with questions about the good life.

Such a conception of philosophy does seem strange or even quaint in the contemporary world, where philosophy has become a kind of specialized, technical profession, one which does not clearly tend to make its practitioners practically wiser or better people.

However, a challenge to this contemporary conception of philosophy seems well within the domain of the philosophical tradition. I conclude that edifying concerns, both ethical and religious, do not preclude entering into a serious philosophical conversation, including a conversation about the relation between philosophical reflection and edification. (Adapted from Stephen Evans,  Kierkegaard: An Introduction.)

Buddha teaches Right thinking and Right actions. "All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him."

Doing Philosophy is taking Action, an incarnation of thinking. Like a twist to Descartes's Cogito ergo sum, I think therefore I Live (Je pense donc je vivant).

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Being Different: Benefits of Asperger's Syndrome

The Benefits of Asperger's Syndrome

 "Our society celebrates the individual who does what he thinks is right and goes his own way."

Aspies often have advanced vocabularies, recognize patterns others do not, and pursue ideas despite evidence to the contrary because they are not easily swayed by others' opinions. Their ability to focus on details and their inability to see the big picture means they can often come up with solutions to problems others overlook. Aspies are often willing to spend long hours in laboratories and in front of computer screens because they do not mind being alone. All this enables them to make tremendous contributions at work and school.   Because of their unusual reactions to stimuli such as light and sound, Aspies see the world differently than most people. They are able to comprehend multiple levels of meanings of words and can be fabulous punsters. When told they had to "eat and run," one Aspie said, "Oh, that's makes us carnivorous panty hose."

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Don't be tools and fools of the elites

Don't be tools and fools of the elites | Bangkok Post: opinion

We humans have a self-serving need to believe we are the good guys, or are on the side of what we believe is righteous. But the problem is that we tend to see the world through our own bias and prejudice.

Conflicts are not motivated by moral goodness or democracy. Those values are created by men and therefore they can and will be manipulated by men in order to achieve power. 

Conflicts are but power struggles where the winner gets to write history and call himself morally good and democratically legitimate.  At the end of the day, it is the elites, the rich and powerful, who will always win. This is because victory requires money and power.

Does "Democracy" really exist?

An agnostic's view of the democracy cult.
Democracy is the greatest trick the elites ever played on the masses.

For instance, the president of the United States must, of course, listen to the people. But you can also rest assured that he answers to Wall Street bankers, oil merchants, the military industrial complex, powerful  lobbyists and others who are, basically, elites.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Russell on Christian Other Worldliness

Mangrove Centre's photo.
Mangrove Centre's photo."Christianity offers reasons for not fearing death or the universe, and in so doing it fails to teach adequately the virtue of courage. The craving for religious faith being largely an outcome of fear, the advocates of faith tend to think that certain kinds of fear are not to be deprecated. In this, to my mind, they are gravely mistaken. To allow oneself to entertain pleasant beliefs as a means of avoiding fear is not to live in the best way.

In so far as religion makes its appeal to fear, it is lowering to human dignity."

-Bertrand Russell "Education and the Social Order" (1932) p. 107

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

What Makes Us Human? Doing Pointless Things for Fun

What Makes Us Human? Doing Pointless Things for Fun

Playfulness is what makes us human. 
Doing pointless, purposeless things, just for fun. Doing things for the sheer devilment of it. Being silly for the sake of being silly. Larking around. Taking pleasure in activities that do not advantage us and have nothing to do with our survival. These are the highest signs of intelligence.

The great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said this: “one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” It is the chaos in ourselves that is divine. We can be trained to do almost anything, harnessed to almost any purpose. But there remains a wayward spark whose unpredictability lies in the fact that it is pointless. That is humanity.

In playfulness lies the highest expression of the human spirit.

Time for us to uphold the virtue of idleness, to play down the demands for productivity.

Albert Camus November 7, 2013 marked the 100th anniversary of Camus's birth.

Mangrove Centre's photo.“To lose one's life is no great matter; when the time comes I'll have the courage to lose mine. But what's intolerable is to see one's life being drained of meaning, to be told there's no reason for existing. A man can't live without some reason for living.”
― Albert Camus, Caligula

November 7, 2013 marked the 100th anniversary of Camus's birth.

“The most loathsome materialism is not the kind people usually think of, but the sort that attempts to let dead ideas pass for living realities, diverting into sterile myths the stubborn and lucid attention we give to what we have within us that must forever die.”
― Albert Camus, Lyrical and Critical Essays

“Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.”
― Albert Camus, The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt

“To create today is to create dangerously. Any publication is an act, and that act exposes one to the passions of an age that forgives nothing.”
― Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death: Essays