we have a winner about what philosophy is..

Bob: I think I am done here, since you seem to be obstruse about anything I post, and therefore there is no discussion. In fact, the whole group of you seem to be just arguing for arguments sake, with no intention to find a common denominator. You seem to think that the last standing is a “winner”, but in reality, philosophy involves 4 Rs: r esponsiveness, r eflection, r eason and r e-evaluation. The aim is to deepen understanding. There is none of that going on here.

K: Bob quite clearly understands what philosophy is… philosophy isn’t about
taking a position and then defending that position to the death…an example,
one might say,

“the only truth is through knowledge of god”…

and that is fine… however the point isn’t to hold that position no matter
what is said… the point is to examine that position… why that proposition
and not another? as Nietzsche himself said,

“It isn’t enough to have the courage for a one’s convictions,
one must have the courage for an attack upon one’s convictions”

the question isn’t about any given conviction, but is that conviction,
that belief, that faith, is really one we should hold?
why do we hold that conviction as oppose to another conviction?

One might say, as an conviction, “America is the greatest country on earth”
Ok, is that true? why that conviction? how would we judge such a conviction?
what standards or values would we use to judge if and how “America is
the greatest country on Earth”…

is your belief in "America being the greatest country on earth’’ a fact,
or is it simple some childhood indoctrination you never examined?
we were told since, birth really, that “America is the greatest country on earth”
but how do we know? I hold that the statement about America to be
opinion and nothing more… a childhood indoctrination that people
refuse to examine with the use of reason, rationality, logic…

philosophy is a method of examining our values, our “faiths” our
beliefs by using philosophical methods like reason, rationality, logic…
with the use of reason, logic, rationality, I can conclude that “America is not
the greatest country on earth” but if we reengage with what made America
“great” in the first place, we might be able to return to that greatness…
but that takes reason, logic and being rational…the tools of philosophy
to discover how to be "great’’ again…(and not in the bullshit way IQ45
wanted to “make” America great again)

so as Bob said, we must reengage in philosophy with the goal of
examining our values, our beliefs, our faiths…

as Socrates said and is the fundamental engagement of philosophy…

“to know thyself” and “the unexamined life isn’t worth living”

to know oneself is the highest value of philosophy
and to examine not only one’s life but one’s values
and beliefs is the most noble goal of being human…

“who are we and what does it mean to be human”

that is the question we should be engaged with every single day,
every single hour, every single minute…
what values are the values worth holding? Are my values really my values
or are my values just values that were indoctrinated into me as a child…

that is the question we should be engaged with… not in holding a position,
but being able to justify or engage with that position…

the courage to attack one’s own beliefs or values is the true strength of a human being…

Kropotkin

part of the role of philosophy, at least for me, is to have the
words we speak to match the actions we take…
if we preach love, then we must act with love…

our words must match our actions…
and every day is a work in progress…

every single day, I am presented with questions of honesty…
people will hand me more money then the product is,
do I pocket the money or do I return it? and for the question is
quite simple, am I honest or am I not? I preach honesty, as part of values
we should hold as human beings…and I attempt with every single customer,
to be honest…in both words and in actions… in fact, management has asked
me to be less honest in dealing with customers… they don’t ask me to be dishonest,
just not to reveal… but when faced with a “honest” question, I believe I should give
a “honest” answer…the corporate policy is to reveal only that which makes the
corporation “look” honest… every single month, we have some charity drive going
on in store… and we are, as checkers supposed to drive this charity by asking
every single customer to donate… every single customer regardless of who they
are and what their story is… personally, I believe that corporate is skimming off
the top of every donation… donations are just another revenue stream for
our corporation…which is why I won’t ask for donations… but when pressed
by management as to why I don’t ask for donations, I just lie and I am very
uncomfortable with lying… but it beats the hell out of looking for another job…
so I am faced with two “evils” one is the donations themselves and the other
is lying to management… and for that reason, I hold that lying to management
is the lessor of two evils…but it puts me into an awkward and uncomfortable
situation of lying and I don’t like lying…but that is the nature of moral dilemmas…
there is no easy answer here and that is what a moral dilemma is…
a possibility with no easy answers… and that is another problem I have
with conservatives… their inability to understand the nature of moral dilemmas
that there is no such thing as an easy answer to our modern day questions
of ethics or morality… one can make, easily, the argument that the
Holocaust was evil… but what of the average German who benefited from
the Holocaust… One can argue that the reason the Holocaust wasn’t such
an issue for the average German is that they benefited from the removal
of Jews from German society… they got better jobs, they got more material goods
in the form of cars, houses, couches, left over from the Jews… If my life
is made better by their being less Jews, why should I object?
my life is being made better… isn’t that the point of existence from the
capitalistic standpoint? My economic standpoint has improved and how is
that wrong, given our high praise of capitalism and its dependence on
people “improving” their lives? if you allow that the point of existence is
an improvement of our economic lives, then the Holocaust, from that standpoint
isn’t an evil, it is in fact, a benefit to the average German and to be encouraged…
that is from an economic standpoint, the viewpoint of capitalism the Holocaust
wasn’t an evil… and as us “Moderns” has rejected the moral/ethical in place
of the economic… if the point of existence is to improve one’s standpoint economically,
then the Holocaust wasn’t evil… if the point of existence is to improve oneself
morally, ethically, then the Holocaust was “evil”…

and we use the method of philosophy to work out what is the “true” path of
existence, the capitalistic path where we judge values economically, or
do we judge existence by ethical/moral standards and economic values
are deemed to be wrong? and philosophical standards are one means we
can use to help us make that determination… which values are we to judge
existence by? moral or economic values? and the answer helps us determine
what kind of people we are…

Kropotkin