In the book Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, in the chapter of the Garden Party they are all having a good time at the party until Joanna and Jeremy go into the bushes. Then people start talking and Gaarder writes, “”They can’t be stopped,” said Mrs. Ingebrigtsen, not without a certain pride. “No, generation follows generation,” said her husband” (Gaarder 472). Gaarder is saying something more than kids will be kids; he is saying that we all learn from our parents. We learn how to behave, act, think, and what to believe in. It keeps trickling down generation after generation; along the same lines with philosophy too. We believe in what our parents taught, and most of the time it is true in what our parents teach us, but some of the time we must break away from what our parents taught us and experience life by ourselves.
Gaarder, Jostein. Sophie’s world: a novel about the history of philosophy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994. Print.
In Rodrick’s video on philosophy and post-modern Rodrick says, “I heard a great remark that the Swiss cuisine at Busch Gardens is better than the food in Switzerland… and more Swiss! You know, so, why bother to go? No reason! The food’s better, there’s a Swiss person, there’s some yodeling – I’ve been there!” That is what our problem is today. We listen and we listen and we listen to someone talk about something that they have experienced and we hear about it so much that we believe that we have done it also. It’s like going to Epcot in Disney World and say that I have traveled around the world, when really you only traveled to Orlando, FL. There is so much more out there than what we just read and hear about. We need to stop listening to others and go out there and experience it ourselves.
In Rodrick’s video on Kierkegaard Rodrick says, “We all know today to be a Christian – a famous Christian – like Billy Graham doesn’t mean you have the task of Moses which is to lead your people out of bondage, it means you have the job of playing golf with the Pharaoh.” Rodrick is right about that. We don’t have enough people to lead them out of Egypt, all we have are a lot of Moses’ and everyone else is Pharaoh. That is our goal in life now, to make Pharaoh believe that there is a God, and that whatever he worships, weather that be himself or other gods isn’t the true God. So to play golf with Pharaoh is our main job on this earth, and we are not going to get anywhere if we go up to him and yell at him to believe in our God, or somehow make our golf clubs turn into a snake.
In Rodrick’s video on Nietzsche Rodrick says, “That two plus two is four, that A is A… are all acceptable… and they are acceptable precisely because nothing of very great human importance hangs on them. The moment you go a little beyond that in any direction, even in math class, when you discuss for example the philosophy of mathematics, then the disputes start.” In life we are not arguing about the little stuff, we are not arguing that 2+2=4. We all agree that it is what it is. We just say it like it is. We go beyond that, we go into more controversial things. We argue about homosexuality, abortion, even in sports we argue who is better Michigan State or Michigan. We don’t sweat the easy stuff, it is what changes our culture and in our world that we tend to dispute about.
In Rodrick’s video on Hegel, Rodrick says that, “So, we are more used to contradiction than they were, and take it less seriously. We expect it. In fact certain cultural artifacts of our period, like Twin Peaks make a joke out of our ability to accept contradiction. They use it as a way as a kind of an irony on our society, that we could accept it with very little difficulty.” In life we just accept things the way they are. We hear our teachers tell us and we trust them enough that we believe in what they have to say, and we take their word on it. Now I am not saying that we shouldn’t accept everything for what we hear, because almost all the time the teacher is right. I believe what Rodrick is trying to get across here is that we can’t accept everything that we hear; we have to understand and think about what we hear before we just accept it.
In Rodrick’s video on Kant, Rodrick says that, “There’s a moral law. There are some things that are right and wrong. That isn’t questioned by Kant.” Kant believes that there is always a moral law, that whatever you do in life, you are either doing it right, or you are doing it wrong. So you can create your own philosophy and ignore all the rules you want, but there is still going to be that moral law that you follow by. You may not realize it that the law is there, and go on and do your own thing, but that moral law is always going to be there. Even though later down from Kant, philosophers are going to argue it, Kant is right that there will always be that law there.
In the philosophy and matrix documentary, one person says, “People in the matrix are the means of production in society, and they are a battery source of society. That they are asleep and they don’t realize what they are doing.” That is what society is doing. People are just sleep walking through life. They aren’t waking up and realizing the bigger picture of life. They are only focusing on one aspect of life rather that be protesting against something, or creating arguments against someone against what they believe in. Just like in the matrix people are in their own little pods not realizing that they are actually doing, and nobody will actually know what they are doing until they come to the realization that what they believe in is just a small aspect of the big picture.
In the documentary of Friedrich Nietzsche: Human, All Too Human video, in the beginning they were talking about Nietzsche and one guy said, “He was a positive thinker, he is enjoying people doing their own thinking, he isn’t one that people should think like him, but a guide that you should think for themselves.” With learning about other philosophers that is completely out of the ordinary. Most philosophers come up with their own philosophy and want people to follow them and their philosophy. For some people, people don’t want to think for themselves. They want to be given what they should think and then follow that. With Nietzsche he is doing the complete opposite, he is making those people think for themselves. In most situations people go and grab bits and pieces from other philosophers and create their own philosophy and that is probably why not a whole lot of people have Nietzsche in their own philosophy.
In a video of James K.A. Smith on Postmodernism & Religion he talks about Postmodernism rationalist and he says “If you are going to be rational you have to be atomists, independent, unbaits, neutral, objective, and free from the influence that is being rational means throwing off the influence of tradition throwing off belief, and having the courage to use your own reason.” In that sense he is right. In Postmodern religion most people take all the good stuff away from the Bible, the stuff they want to believe in and do things with, and the other stuff get left behind. They basically re-write the Bible for themselves. They make their own reason, and basically their own religion based off of the Bible. In a Christian perspective that is completely wrong to do, but for a postmodern rationalist it makes perfect sense.
Peter Adamson talks about Plotinus on the One in #88. He talks about how an army is one unit, but it is made up of many people. The one thing that Adamson said was, “Plotinus came to one conclusion, if we are looking for a source of all things we should be looking for a source of unity, that’s for its self maximally one.” In today’s world we can easily forget that back then people worshipped many Gods for different areas; health, water, wind, sun, and even love. So for Plotinus to come out and say that they should find a source for unity and only be one is a big deal. They can have one unit of Gods, but Plotinus wanted just one God for everything. To say that back in those times were dangerous because Plotinus could have gotten executed for saying that, but for him to come out and say that there should only be one God during a time of many Gods is unheard of.
Adamson, Peter. “88 – Simplicity Itself: Plotinus on the One and Intellect.” Socrates Plato Aristotle. N.p., 8 July 2012. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <http://www.historyofphilosophy.net/plotinus-one-intellect>.