The Examined Life


Socrates the Greek
#1
My fellow Canadians here is the biger picture other than politics.
The deep of your minds!


Apology: The Examined Life

Because of his political associations with an earlier regime, the Athenian democracy put Socrates on trial, charging him with undermining state religion and corrupting young people. The speech he offered in his own defense, as reported in Plato's Apologhma (Apology), provides us with many reminders of the central features of Socrates's approach to philosophy and its relation to practical life.

Ironic Modesty:
Explaining his mission as a philosopher, Socrates reports an oracular message telling him that "No one is wiser than you." (Apology 21a) He then proceeds through a series of ironic descriptions of his efforts to disprove the oracle by conversing with notable Athenians who must surely be wiser. In each case, however, Socrates concludes that he has a kind of wisdom that each of them lacks: namely, an open awareness of his own ignorance.
Questioning Habit:
The goal of Socratic interrogation, then, is to help individuals to achieve genuine self-knowledge, even if it often turns out to be negative in character. As his cross-examination of Meletus shows, Socrates means to turn the methods of the Sophists inside-out, using logical nit-picking to expose (rather than to create) illusions about reality. If the method rarely succeeds with interlocutors, it can nevertheless be effectively internalized as a dialectical mode of reasoning in an effort to understand everything.
Devotion to Truth:
Even after he has been convicted by the jury, Socrates declines to abandon his pursuit of the truth in all matters. Refusing to accept exile from Athens or a commitment to silence as his penalty, he maintains that public discussion of the great issues of life and virtue is a necessary part of any valuable human life. "The unexamined life is not worth living." (Apology 38a) Socrates would rather die than give up philosophy, and the jury seems happy to grant him that wish.
Dispassionate Reason:
Even when the jury has sentenced him to death, Socrates calmly delivers his final public words, a speculation about what the future holds. Disclaiming any certainty about the fate of a human being after death, he nevertheless expresses a continued confidence in the power of reason, which he has exhibited (while the jury has not). Who really wins will remain unclear.

Plato's dramatic picture of a man willing to face death rather than abandoning his commitment to philosophical inquiry offers up Socrates as a model for all future philosophers. Perhaps few of us are presented with the same stark choice between philosophy and death, but all of us are daily faced with opportunities to decide between convenient conventionality and our devotion to truth and reason. How we choose determines whether we, like Socrates, deserve to call our lives philosophical.
 
jimmoyer
#2
As you see us fight any issue of the day, you will notice
a lie we all perpetuate about our positions.

It's something that professional pollsters know and
we don't.

It's something many psychologists know and we don't.

It is this:

Next to sexual orientation, the least changeable part
of the human psyche is political orientation.

And the second lie to be debunked is that our political
orientation is based entirely on logic.

It's reverse.

We vote because of an emotional feeling, and emotional
gut feeling. We then seek to defend it by searching
for any logic and any facts that sustain our original
emotional view.

The lie is that we tell ourselves that logical analysis
precedes emotion.

It's the other way around, folks.
 
Said1
Free Thinker
#3
In other words, our beleifs are subjective rather than objective. Things we claim to be fact, or hold as truths are merely reflections of our beleifs and/or values, which in turn are preyed upon by politicians....or something?
 
jimmoyer
#4
I believe we react emotionally first.

This emotion is not without intelligence, but it is
still emotion nevertheless.

After that emotion first, we rush to find those facts
and logic which sustain our original gut feeling.
 
Said1
Free Thinker
#5
I would tie emotions to beliefs, to a certain degree - either way, the logic comes next and that logic usually validates our beliefs, irregardless of what is true.
 
jimmoyer
#6
Yep, that's pretty much it, Said1.

I don't mean to demean anyone's advocacy of a cause
by dismissing it as mere emotion.

But I do know that most advocates of a cause know
their argument's weak points.

Yet, they won't admit to them without pulling their
teeth out.

If we all really knew how we rush to find any facts or
logic to defend our original emotional view, we would
all get a little smarter.
 
Curiosity
#7
Ideation is formed early on....

We are sponges as little ones - while we don't consciously retain all that we are exposed to, it nevertheless stores away until we can make sense of it, or use it in basic primal instinct such as survival and nurturing of self.

By the time we are seven or eight we have formed opinion based on teaching (not overt - but passive) by our caretakers - and those in our milieu and finally as we progress up through the years - our life experiences such as interacting with others and reacting to things which displease us or conversely bring us pleasure.

When certain repetitive events happen which coincide with what we have heard our "teachers" (parents, friends, older siblings, teachers at school, etc. etc.....all the more knowledgeable people in our lives) we begin to form our unique self-created opinions.

These can be at odds with fact, magical, full of dreams and hope, or right on the nose and based in reality. Usually they are a combination of some extremes but never varying because the young hate to move outside of a good comfort zone of familiar thoughts constantly reinforced by those who are important and necessary.

Adolescents continue with this learning process similar to the original one adopted as a child - through evolutionary stages of trying to "fit in", or discover self, some become determined to make their opinions fact. Staying comfortable and confident is a primary goal. At this stage they are also regarding "others" apart from self to assemble what they believe to be a better way of living - others included.

Early adult life will see experimentation in opinion, trying out new ideation, competing with others for group consensus, and again seeking to align the world stage to one's own "acts" and beliefs.

As maturation progresses, often people will do a complete 180 from their original opinion and thought regarding how their world matches what they believe it should be. It can be politics, religion, personal goals, pursuit of happiness, and generally a feeling of contribution to the world either by change of improvement of the status.

Politics and religion figure heavily into formation of ethics and philosophy of the person because they actually replace the teachers of earlier life experience.... the morality of being (or lack thereof)...now being questioned and denied and challenged. But it is also frightening to change.... emotionally a turmoil which many refuse to recognize or face.

And emotion as we know it plays a huge role in formation of personal ethics and opinions, which is good for humanity, but
creates problems in trying to direct masses of humans such as government seeks to do.

While emotion may be the engine which initially drives us, it also causes chaos and reactive results which are not always a solution, but compared with what our world would be like were we all to agree, to have one "master opinion - never questioned" ...I think we are fortunate we do disagree on matters of import and ultimately how our lives will pave the way for those who follow.

It may slow decision-making down, but I have faith debate is healthy - even angry argument - as long as it makes us think.

Mankind is a wonderful experiment - enjoy your gifts and make good use of them.
 

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