Adjectives on the Typewriter

she moves her words like a prizefighter

13 April 2005

"Philosophy requires...

...the virtues of patience and charity"? That's exactly what our professor told us in his first lecture. And, being my ignorant self, I half-ignored half-discounted what he had said. After all, so many of my professors have boasted in their particular discipline's superiority, etc, etc. That certainly requires patience... But charity?!?

Yep, charity too, though not in the sense of tolerance or weak benevolence. In this instance, it's more like Humility. The strength of character to acknowledge when we don't know the answers. Not a feeble "I'm not sure..." but a courageous "I'm too finite to know a lot of things!"

Although this is relevant to any (and every) discipline, it is absolutely essential to philosophy in particular. Philosophy is, quite literally, the love of knowledge/wisdom. And what is true knowledge? According to Socrates, it's knowing what we don't know, and knowing that we don't know it. Is there any better definition of humility? Thus charity and wisdom are inseparable- you can't have one without the other.

Conversely, when Socrates equates ignorance with evil, we see that ignorance is simply a form of pride. He wasn't claiming that childlike innocence is evil, rather that the worldly "knowledge" possessed by so many is quite the opposite- foolishness. In thinking that we know, we blind ourselves to higher, more glorious truths like the prisoners in Plato's Cave. This ignorance is a deliberate suppression of the truth, humanity's willful rejection of a Divine gift (Romans 1:18-23, 25).

The only way to get out of the Cave, our own personal prison, is to realize the folly of our earthly "knowledge." That, in effect, is the goal of philosophy: to rid the individual of his trite, mundane "knowledge" in preparation for the real Truth and Beauty and Wisdom from above.

"Professing to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of God into an image made like corruptible man..."



Blogger jenn see said...

i like the colors in your philosophy.

April 13, 2005 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger em²ile² said...

Thanks jenn! But what do you think about the philosophy itself?

April 14, 2005 at 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you said is very true. Where did you find this reflection?

April 14, 2005 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger em²ile² said...

I dug it out of the deep, dark recesses of my mind. Actually, most of it comes straight from Socrates/Plato- I'm just paraphrasing and adding a Christian twist. You know, "plundering the Egyptians."

April 14, 2005 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger easywriter said...

Hi, I just wanted to stop by and thank you for leaving your comment at my Blog. I will be back to visit you again quite often. It's nice to know philosophy, colour, and prolific readers of books are still alive and doing well.

April 15, 2005 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger em²ile² said...

Yep, there are still a few of us left today. It's encouraging to find someone else who's a "prolific reader of books"!

April 15, 2005 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Carlos Guzman said...

I see you posted in my blog, and asked me to check yours. I found it pretty interesting. Would you like me to talk about something in particular?

April 15, 2005 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger em²ile² said...

No Carlos, I just stopped by your blog so I could practice a little Spanish. Nothing in particular. But I'll be sure to re-visit your blog. :)

April 15, 2005 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger marrie said...

I was the president of the philosophy club at GRCC when I went there, so I was so happy to see that you were writing about philosophy on your blog. I also love TLOTR Did you go to Ringcon in 2004? Do you ever listen to talk radio? Today I was listening to the Michael Medved show and he had Sean Astin on. I was surprised to find out that Sean Astin is very intelligent and well spoken, although very liberal. Anyway, I just thought I'd say hello since we share some of the same interests.

April 15, 2005 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog. You're right, I do have very little of them. The reason is that my blog routinely dumbfounds people and they have a temporary inability to leave comments. I am impressed that you were able to overcome this affliction enough to put together a sentence... roughly... Either that, or I am impressed that you thought enough to return and leave a comment. I'm glad that you like 'The Bourne Identity,' too.

April 16, 2005 at 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how do you propose one overcomes the fallacy of relativism?

April 18, 2005 at 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, as a side thought, why do you think that society as a whole tries to annihilate childlike innocence? Is it because the children are frequently more wise in some ways than the godless parents?

April 18, 2005 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger em²ile² said...

Good questions T.N.O. I think I'll let the others answer them though, as we are largely in agreement :D

April 18, 2005 at 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(And, as another very trivial question, what does it mean to "find oneself" or "follow your heart"?)

April 18, 2005 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger em²ile² said...

Lol- anyone gonna answer that?!?

April 19, 2005 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger marrie said...

As a concerned parent of little kids, I've done a lot of thinking about why we as a society might try to annhilate childlike innocence. I think part of it is fear. We want to teach our kids all the things that they need to be afraid of so they wont go trusting blindly that nothing bad happens. Its sad in my opinion because by teaching them that bad things can happen, I think we ourselves perpetuate something bad happening to them. We pass down our fears of the world and our lack of trust and faith in a higher power and we warn them that life isn't always fair, and good doesn't always win. I hope that I can teach my kids not to be reckless, without breaking their spirit. I want them to know that on the surface, what might seem fair or right or good may not happen, but there is a reason and an order to this life and in the end there are other worlds than these and justice will be served.
I do believe that children can be instictivly more wise than their parents, because they have a kind of faith that most adults find hard to match. In this way I strive to be more like my kids.

April 20, 2005 at 1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True that.

April 20, 2005 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger em²ile² said...

The Golden Mean, eh?

April 20, 2005 at 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Refresh my memory... the Golden Mean is...?

May 27, 2005 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger em²ile² said...

Agh! Clint doesn't know what the Golden Mean is! What is the world coming to?!? (Look it up, TNO).

May 27, 2005 at 10:28 AM  

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