Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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Keep Me Chained

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The allegory of the cave by Plato is a theory about human perception. In the allegory, there’s a cave that contains three prisoners that are tied to rocks. Their heads are also tired so they can’t see anything except the wall in front of them. The prisoners have only seen this wall and nothing else, they’ve never seen anything outside of the cave. Behind them is a fire and between that is a raised walkway. People outside of the walkway are casting shadows. The shadows are the only thing that the prisoners are exposed to, not even who is beside them. When people from the outside cast shadows, that is all they see, they’ve never seen real objects. They believed that the shadows they were seeing were ‘real.’ One of the prisoners end up escaping from the ties and leaves the cave into the outside world. He discovers what is out there and can’t believe it. He then realized his former view of reality was wrong. After experiencing the ‘real world’ he returns to the cave to inform them of what he found. They don’t believe them and choose to stay tied.

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In my life where I experienced being in the cave is actually right now. I am in the cave of high school, and have been in the caves of elementary and middle school as well. To me elementary, middle school, and high school are just like upgrades of the so called cave. I’m stuck here, being exposed to education – my teacher’s shadows. Everything I’m exposed to now is what I’m used to. It’s what I know is reality. Being in grade twelve is a massive eye opener, that I’m not sure I’m entirely happy about. Once I step out of high school, I’ll be escaping the cave. At this point in my life I don’t feel like I am the one that escaped yet. I’m more like one of the prisoners that don’t want to believe there is a ‘real world’ out there for me to experience, I’m truly terrified. To be so used to the reality I’m in now is scary, knowing that once I step out of this cave, there’s a whole new perspective of life that I have to then figure out, and find my way in. Not saying that elementary, middle school, and high school, are incorrect views of reality, just a different perspectives. There’s a new frightening outside world that I have yet to experience and to be honest I’m still afraid to have myself untied.

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Afterlife?

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Topic: Afterlife – What happens after death?


 

Sub-Questions:

  • 1: What happens after you pass away?
  • 2: How can it be determined that one has passed?
  • 3: Where do you go? spirit/soul/essence/being
  • 4: Do you still exist? How/How long When are you considered non-existent?
  • 5: Is there a higher power?

 


Personal Interest:

I never really thought about life after death or what may happen, until my grandma passed away 2 years ago. It was a real eye opener to have a loved one I’ve been so close to all my life disappear in a way. Her passing lead me to question death. I’ve always wondered all the sub questions I listed above whenever death is brought up (news, newspaper, friend, family friends, etc). I find it really interesting to think about what there is after living on earth, and I’d like to think that being here isn’t just it.


Reading:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/death/

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/death-definition/

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/afterlife/


Where to next?:

I want to expand my knowledge on this topic, whatever it may be, to get closer to providing myself a purpose for being here. Id like to learn more about everything about this topic and everything that may branch off from it. Although I may never truly find out the answer or the “truth” to these answers, the journey to potentially learn more about this topic will be fulfilling and exciting.

 

 

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Moon Landing Hoax?

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“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” -Neil Armstrong

 

As we all know, Neil Armstrong supposedly stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the very first time on July 20, 1969. Many believe it, others may not. Some would say that the U.S government were so desperate to beat the Russians to space, that they faked the landing. There are many theories that people have conjured up surrounding the whole possible hoax, I found a few very interesting ones that are maybe worth the read:

http://listverse.com/2012/12/28/10-reasons-the-moon-landings-could-be-a-hoax/

I will be focusing on one particular theory:

  1. Premise #1: Wind makes a flag move
  2. Premise #2: There is no air in the atmosphere on the moon
  3. Conclusion: The American Flag was never on the moon

Evaluating for factual correctness, validity, and soundness:

  • Premise #1:

What is wind? Definition #1: “the perceptible natural movement of the air, especially in the form of a current of air blowing from a particular direction.” Definition #2: “Wind is moving air and is caused by differences in air pressure within our atmosphere.” Air under high pressure moves toward areas of low pressure. The greater the difference in pressure, the faster the air flows.”

Movement: “an act of changing physical location or position or of having this changed”

A flag is very similar to a sail on a boat and is quite comparable. Wind makes the sails on a boat move, so wind would also make a regular flag move. (“The air interacting with the sails of a sailing vessel creates various forces, including reaction forces. If the sails are properly oriented with respect to the wind, then the net force on the sails will move the vessel forward.“)

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Extra information to support:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind

http://www.encyclopedia.com/earth-and-environment/atmosphere-and-weather/weather-and-climate-terms-and-concepts/wind

This premise is factually correct, when wind blows against a flag, it will move.

  • Premise #2:

As we all know, there is no air on the moon. Here’s a scientific explanation that I found difficult to put in my own words: “The atmosphere of the Moon is a very presence of gases surrounding the Moon. For most practical purposes, the Moon is considered to be surrounded by vacuum. The elevated presence of atomic and molecular particles in its vicinity compared to interplanetary medium, referred to as “lunar atmosphere” for scientific objectives, is negligible in comparison with the gaseous envelopes surrounding Earth and most planets of the Solar System—less than one hundred trillionth (10−14) of Earth’s atmospheric density at sea level. Otherwise, the Moon is considered not to have an atmosphere because it cannot absorb measurable quantities of radiation, does not appear layered or self-circulating, and requires constant replenishment due to the high rate at which its gases are lost to space.” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_the_Moon

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This premise is also factually correct.

  • Conclusion:

In conclusion, this argument is factually correct because all of its premises are true, valid because the conclusion follows from its premises and sound because the argument is both factually correct and valid.

 

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Clueless DOL #1

I’ve sat here staring blankly into my computer screen for about an hour, after reading posts made by the people that didn’t procrastinate until Sunday night. I still have yet to conjure up intelligent things to say that will prevent me from looking/sounding like an imbecile. Honestly, I can’t decide whether my mind is blank or crammed with too many thoughts. I’m really unsure of how much sense I’ll make in this post but it’s very likely that the person reading this right now will be just as confused as I’ve been in every philosophy class so far.

@jasminghorbani

@jasminghorbani

Truthfully I’m very insecure about having my thoughts out there for the public to see, considering the fact that people are free to form an opinion (good or bad) on you or what you have to say. I don’t know whether my thoughts are correct or incorrect, but I think the beauty of philosophy is that there is no right or wrong answer. I’ve always been used to a strict criteria sheet, and a solid guideline of what exactly is expected of me, but this class has opened up a whole new world opposite to what I am used to. I always thought that freedom was a good thing, however, I am now second guessing that. With so much freedom, how do you know where to start? Or which path to take? I’ve always been exposed to a different teaching style, and I guess this leads me into my first main goal. I want to learn how to direct myself and create my own path with little to no guidance. I want to be able to figure out what I want out of my life and lead myself to whatever that may be. I’ll definitely need that skill, especially after high school. Not knowing what to do in my future is so frightening to me and I often worry about it. Unlike others I don’t have a secure plan, or any plan for that matter. For this post, I had no idea where or how to start. I didn’t know where I was going or how I was going to get anywhere. I had no clue, and I still have no clue to be honest. These thoughts are similar to my thoughts about my future. I chose to take this class because I often think about my overall existence here, and what my purpose in this world is. I have a lot of questions and I’m hoping Philosophy 12 will answer a few of them.

 

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Besides getting a kick out of Mackenzy passed out on the couch, I’ve enjoyed the discussions that went on during class. Although I have no idea what’s going on half the time, the bickering between classmates keep me intrigued. I realized that I was lacking in my understanding of the content being discussed in class. Which leads me to my next goal, I hope to extend my vocabulary to further understand more difficult topics and readings. In doing that, I will be able to actually engage in the discussions and score some participation marks for once. My third main goal that I want to mention is, I would like to generate quality ideas, and be able to connect those ideas to what is being discussed. Which as well ties in to my last goal. I’d like to capture my thoughts and learn to represent them in not only written formats but also visual. It would be cool to combine my artistic skills with deep philosophical topics.

As for what we learned in the first week of Philosophy, from the love of wisdom, to the “Talk With Me Essay,” I found myself endlessly confused after each class. I kept slowly trying to process everything as the rest of my day went on. This class has drastically opened up my mind and has got me to question everything. A few things I understood and was interested in was in the “Talk With Me Essay.” I found statements that I highly disagreed with:

“Philosophy in its highest forms seems intently solitary and often damaged by the presence of others.”

“Telling someone something he will not understand is pointless, even if you add he will not understand it.”

And statements that I highly agreed with:

“Philosophy is an inherently social activity that thrives on the collision of viewpoints and rarely emerges from unchallenged interior monologue.”

 

“The point of philosophy is not to become a walking Wikipedia or ambulant data bank”

“Audible non-verbal aspects of the interaction, such as hearing the smile in someone’s voice, a moment of impatience, a pause (of doubt perhaps?), or insight – these factors humanize philosophy.”

 

Coming into this course I didn’t know what to expect but so far I’m impressed and very excited to see what the future holds for this class. I hope to eventually discover the answers to my questions as well as lessen the amount of my daily confusion.

(Was written September 18th)

 
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