Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Love Philosophy

My entire life I have said I wanted to study Philosophy. And my entire life I have heard nothing but nay saying at why this a most nonsensical educational pursuit. But pursued it I have! It seems to have stumbled back into my life. I had to take Intro to Philosophy for my major. and I inexplicably loved it. Sure it makes you question, a lot, even your faith. But when I emerged from those questions, my faith was stronger and more resolute than ever before. Now I am taking Intro to Ethics with the rock star teacher of BYU-Idaho. Today he told us he treats our class like a graduate class, and he really does. We are respected as intellectuals. After every class I leave with a heightened concept of what ought we/I do. It lifts my spirits in such a way I can only describe as if I were a bird tied down (but ideas I have always taken for granted or I have conformed to) and being prevented to fly, and philosophy has cut me free! I feel like I am souring. Elation fills my soul as I contemplate new concepts. But this feeling is swiftly put out by a little class I like to call Writing. Its a fine class. The teacher is very sweet. Confusing with her assignments, but its not too bad. But it is so incredibly dull. Its literally like I was flying and this class pulls me back to earth; back to the old not well thought out ideas and formalities of essay writing that caring no consequence for my mind or soul.

To further explain my joy of studying philosophy I can only compare it to the Allegory of the Cave. One of my favorite stories. It basically is a story of a group of people who live their entire life tied to the wall of a cave, watching the shadows of animals on a wall. They never move. Time is spent naming the different shapes of the shadows. One day Socrates free's himself of the ties and ventures outside. He experiences more than he could have possibly imagined. The animals and shadows are now real. And there is light and nature. He is elated! When returns to the cave to explain to his peers what he has discovered, they get angry that he would propose such an idea! They deny his discovery. (also this is just from memory, I could be wrong about a few details, but thats the basic allegory)

Welcome to the story of my life. Every day I feel like I am getting closer and closer to the light, if not already there. And when I seek to tell my peers about it, they react with aggressive confidence that philosophy is bad. The "philosophies of man," and such. Now, granted, I have many benevolent friends who will submit to my wishes in explaining my new discoveries. And for them, I am extremely grateful. But it makes me terribly sad how rejected philosophy is by the general population. I do not think everyone ought to pursue Philosophy as I do, for fear that, for lack of a better word, their mind might explode. But I do wish people would stop taking what they know for granted. Sincerely look at both sides of the argument and determine a logical explanation for the way in which you act and think. People who sincerely and with an open mind studied philosophy would emerge with a much deeper sense and explanation for what they know.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, sista! I think that almost every form of knowledge is good to pursue, as long as you keep an eternal perspective and pursue it with a view to understanding your own faith better (which I think you certainly are). I mean, would people not want to study science because sometimes science presents conflicts with religion? Would people not seek to understand the teachings of other religions because it might make you question your own? Would people not become doctors because that would be like denying that God has power to heal by faith? Of course not! Philsosphy is about understanding yourself, understanding human nature and how we interpret the world around us. It is a quest for pure knowledge. I mean, if you want to get technical, most of what we study in church can be called philosophy - ethics (morality), aesthetics (we seek after these things...), the search for truth. You just have a bonus over most "worldly" philosophers because you know where real knowledge and truth come from, and you can recognize real truths by relying on the Holy Ghost. I will never understand why so many people can't accept that "science" and "religion" can go hand in hand. I for one, think that the gospel is a very logical, orderly thing. Yes it's true that some philosophers have totally missed the mark, but can't that be said of any field of study? I mean, heck - there are plenty of LDS people that believe crazy things and haven't quite come to a real knowledge of the gospel yet. Isn't that what we're supposed to be doing, learning all we can and then sorting out the truth from the rest by asking the Lord in faith? (Ok, have I ranted enough now?)

    In short, YOU GO GIRL! ;)