Local Lesbian Attempts to Find Meaning of Life
My quest to answer life’s deepest philosophical questions starts exactly where it should – Starbucks. Some interactions I have with people there are heartwarming and sweet – but some people are demons. The lack of human decency and compassion is sometimes appalling, like one regular who comes and throws a two dollar coin at me, like some sort of mutual coffee pact is being made between us. The duality of man really shows itself in a Starbucks at 8pm.
I’ve not had many past experiences with philosophy, so starting the class was a surreal experience. Creativity and discussion based learning are two things you don’t see often in your regular classes. One of the first topics we had in class was what our personal idea of philosophy was. Personally, philosophy is the attempt to answer the “why’s” of the world, and to positively change your mindset through enlightenment. To me, philosophy is more like an activity than a study. Philosophy is more like an ongoing search for wisdom and clarity that never really ends and only opens up more questions. To search for wisdom is to seek out experiences and an environment that can cultivate thought and personal growth. The wisdom you’ll obtain throughout your life shows itself in the form of good judgement and the confidence in your own actions. Wisdom is the application of your experiences in your life and the acceptance and understanding into the experience and wisdom other people have.
But there’s no use having all the wisdom in the world if you can’t share it with others! Communication and dissent are two extremely important things that factor into any good philosophical discussion. One of our first discussions in the class was about criticism and differing opinions in philosophy, and the value of dissent. In my opinion, dissent is useful in most discussions, but to a point. On one hand, a different viewpoint can pressure the speaker into thinking outside the box and to improve their own arguments, but it can also derail the conversation completely. Disagreeing for the sake of it (especially in social justice topics) can be incredibly harmful and create an environment where minorities can feel highly unsafe. Is someones personal safety and peace of mind in an previously safe environment worth sacrificing for the sake of being the “devils advocate?”
Communication on its own is the base of any good discussion, and talking your ideas through with others gives you new ways to voice your opinions. If the person agrees with you, they can expand on original points being made and open up an entirely new discussion. I’m working on trying to improve my own critical thinking skills, and to improve my own personal insight and gain come clarity into my own goals and opinions. I’m looking forward to the personal improvement that will (hopefully) happen in the next couple of months, and hopefully I’ll understand myself and the world around me a little more.