Joke - Beer Philosophy

This was posted by someone at and I thought it funny, so I’d share. Here’s the link.


A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items infront of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions–things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else–the small stuff.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.”

Someone have a beer?

I think most people should abstain from indulgence and choose the moderate path according to the Nichomachean Ethics of Aristotle. I especially think people who have genetic predispositions towards alcoholism – namely David Hume and Ted Kennedy – should lay off the rum because it really doesn’t help the coherency of their Sophistry.

Anyway, cheers mate. It’s all about the Hoegaarden.

Fortunately I never aquired a taste for alcohol. And what experiences I have had with alcohol haven’t been impressive enough to make me want to endure the terrible taste to get the buzz that it offered. Honestly, people, none of you can say that you actually enjoyed the taste of your first beer. Don’t lie. Remember behind the tree after school that day when Johnny snuck a six pack from his pop? You didn’t drink it because it tasted good. You drank it because of what it represented psychologically. A sense of rebellion, experimentation and curiosity, a mischevious, adventurous youth declaring his/her independence and power. No? Explain.

Only later, after you managed to tolerate four beers, you felt a little fuzzy and warm. “Hey, this is all right,” you say winking at Johnny. “Yeah, but it tastes like shit,” Johhny replies.

Come on, folks. It’s rotten wheat for Christ’s sake. Fermented hops. What went wrong? Why did the first person to ever get drunk, accidentally, even continue drinking the shit when he realized that this bottle of fruit juice, which sat on the shelf long enough to ferment, tasted sour and bitter, while this one, just poured today, tastes fresh and sweet?

Now, for the record, I do smoke …(is this forum tapped?)…[cough]. I don’t think this will damage my reputation or credibility. If you don’t already think I’m full of shit, I’ve got nothing to lose by firing it up. Can we get a moment of silence for this small kronic break?

I also question the idea that the legalization of marijuana would be as detrimental as, say, alcohol. Who beats his wife, or his friend at the bar with a pool stick? Not the guy with the spliff, obviously. Who carries at least 40% of the fault for roadway accidents? Not the guy rollin down the street smokin’ indo, obviously. Who is curled up on the hospital bed because of an enlarged liver? “What about lung cancer,” you retort? Hardly a statistic. Although the amounts of tar produced by the smoke are more than that of tabacco, the chemicle toxicity isn’t even comparable. Anyway, one wouldn’t smoke marijuana in the same quanity as one smokes tobacco. You would not smoke, as an average smoker, twenty joints a day…I don’t care how pimped out you think you are. Not on what I’m smoking right now…

There are even some decent arguments that suggest that marijuana has a broader range of resource value than tobacco. It produces a fuel that has a more efficient buring rate than petroleum, there are medical uses for it, clothing can be made out of it’s fibers, paper, many things. The matter at hand is not whether or not it is a positive step to legalize it, but rather “what kind of restrictions” do we place on it’s use? Out of moderation, marijuana is more dangerous than tobacco, which is a liability. Yet if it were contolled correctly it could be very productive, more so than tobacco I would think.

Okay. This is not some makeshift campaign. I apologize.

Leave it to philosophers to not get the point of humor.

I thought it was funny. I read something vaguely similiar in i think the seven habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey. There is a certain amount of truth to it. The golf balls have to go into the jar first. That was Covey’s point. Take care of the important things, put first things first.

“Leave it to philosophers to not get the point of humor.”

No, Raf, I didn’t mean to come off that way at all. In fact, aside from the humor, there is an important metaphor at work, worthy of philosophical speculation indeed.

I’m just babbling tonight. I have some spare time and, also, have been very impressed with the new arrivals. Browsing through your posts I become enthusiastic and am inspired to post. “He who hath ears let him hear,” I think it goes.

No, I’m kidding. I appreciate the humor and it is ironic that my way of aquainting myself with you all, through this kind of casual interaction, can be misunderstood.

I wasn’t criticizing…I thought the response was more funny than the joke is so far as it’s exactly what I had hoped for!

How do you make a philosopher speak?

Tell him he doesn’t exist.

How do you make a philosopher shut up?

Tell him nothing exists.

"How do you make a philosopher speak?

Tell him he doesn’t exist.

How do you make a philosopher shut up?

Tell him nothing exists."


Yeah, how does it go again…

There Is and there Is what’s not what Is. What’s not what Is, Is, insofar as it Is what it Is not, but not what Isn’t what it Is, has equal right to exIst as far as exIstence Is concerned with what Is.


i thought it was great!!!
philosophers and symposiums go hand in hand. sartre philosophised over beer, as marshall said in another thread. wine and socrates go well together… although nietzsche did condemn beer together with christianity.
im a beer swigging girl and proud of it.