Category: Hot Take

Hot Take – Philosophy

Philosophy is a subject that seems to be coming up around me frequently in recent times and I must say I’m not a fan of it. Perhaps this is just a result of my own personal experiences but it seems that a majority of the things that people philosophise about are utterly moronic. Fun ideas to consider at best but certainly not subjects that should be taken seriously. That in mind, it baffles me that there are people who believe that those who practice philosophy are intellectuals. 

Before we get to the main topic, I want to go on record as saying that I hate the concept of intellectuals and anything that promotes it. Just to be clear, there are some very stupid people in the world and there are undeniably those who are smarter than others. However, intelligence is not something which can be accurately measured, nor can a line which would define someone as intellectual be gauged. Life is just a series of coincidences and people only know what they happen to have learned and experienced. Because of that, something which might seem obvious to one may be completely unknown to another. Life is different for everyone, therefore there can be no correct series of things to know before one becomes ‘intelligent’. 

That may sound like philosophy, which would be counterproductive given my mentality towards it, but I think it objectively foolish to judge people based on what they might or might not know. With that out of the way, let’s get into the bulk of what this post is going to be. Put simply, I’m going to go through some philosophical concepts and questions and either answer them, say why they’re dumb or both. It might seem arrogant of me to claim that I can do this but I think a majority of these queries are far simpler than people believe. 

To ease us into things, let’s begin with a couple of questions regarding our own existence. Specifically ideas like whether or not we’re real and if we truly have free will. Obviously we’re real from our own perspective and I think it utterly pointless to consider whether we might be a dream or a simulation or anything similar. Even if such scenarios turned out to be true, our reality wouldn’t actually change at all. Maybe some crazies would have existential crises but on a whole our lives would go about as normal. The big question this would raise, though, is if it means our lives are being controlled or directed in some way. 

Again, a rather pointless thing to consider. If I’m asked to go out to a social event and am given the choice to go or not go then I have free will. We have the ability to act on our impulses and that, to me, acts as enough proof towards us having free will. Even if those choices were somehow being controlled or manipulated in some way, our will would be free to long as we perceive it that way. It’s a waste of time to fantasise the way thoughts come to your mind, what matters is that those thoughts lead to decisions through which you experience your life. 

The next question I want to tackle is whether or not time is real, because I’ve come across more than one person who genuinely thinks that it’s just something humans made up. To them I would pose the question; do you believe that a string of past events led up to this moment? If yes, then time must be real because it has passed to get to where it is now. If no, then you have to disprove literally all of recorded history. Only the ways we measure time could potentially be considered arbitrary but even those measurements are usually based on some kind of logic. Time itself is real, because if it wasn’t then nothing would ever move. 

One that was presented to me by a friend was whether you should learn to love yourself before loving others. The wording on this one is a bit weird because obviously you can’t just isolate yourself from others until you’ve amassed enough love-yourself-points, that’s just not going to work. I do believe in an optimal world you should come to love yourself as soon as possible, within reason we should all live somewhat selfishly in the pursuit of happiness. The limits of this of course being that you shouldn’t sacrifice the happiness of others for your own. If you’re happy, if you’re taking care of yourself properly, then you’re in a better position to bring positivity to those around you. You become someone whose guidance can be followed and there are plenty of folks who need someone like that. Those people who truly struggle to love themselves shouldn’t be shunned, there’s nothing wrong with needing help and validation from others. That’s why, if you can come to love yourself, then I would urge you to do so, so you can help them to love themselves as well. 

After that heartwarming subject, let’s go into the darkest abyss with the question ‘does God exist’? Now, the answer to this question changes dependant on what you consider ‘God’ to be. If the God in question is some old white guy who lives in the clouds realm then the answer is no. Under the assumption that this question refers to the christian god, there’s just far too much going against them to make them even remotely realistic. Going into every reason why would be a blog post on its own but let’s just say it’s hard to put faith in a religion which just stole their notes from other beliefs and a deity who has human form despite the fact that humans were far from the first form of life on this planet. Evolution isn’t a theory, pals. 

Even though I greatly dislike christianity, I don’t want to bully that religion solely. I don’t think any deities who have physical depictions are particularly viable either. If one is to claim that they exist in such a literal sense then it’s up to them to provide proof, until that proof is given then the deity doesn’t exist. ‘You can’t prove they don’t exist’ is a meaningless statement because at that point the question isn’t ‘does this deity exist’, it’s ‘does [ANY FICTIONAL CHARACTER] exist’. It’s infeasible to state that these fictional characters happen to be the ones which are real because they’re written about in the special books. 

That all said, gods can exist as more abstract concepts such as sets of moral guidelines and things of the like. Not some big human, not some grand creator, just some guidance to help people live their lives. Even in christianity I would argue that God as an entity doesn’t matter at all compared to their commandments, the rules that christians abide to in a vow to be better people. A ‘God’ doesn’t have to come from some old book, though. It can be something small and seemingly insignificant, as little as a personal trinket which holds a memory that makes you smile when you look at it. That trinket and what’s associated with it is something you can rely on, that you can look to in hard times to help you keep going. That’s all a God has to be, and if it’s interpreted that way then yes, it is something which exists. 

Seems the question of if there’s life after death is another popular one and to that I would echo my sentiments on physical depictions of gods. If you’re going to claim that there are these deathrealms that you go to when you die then you’re going to have to prove it. Otherwise, they’re about as believable as any other fictional setting out there. Either way there is definitely life after death, seeing as we all end up reincarnated as mushrooms in the dirt.

Next is a weird one which asks if we can really experience anything objectively. I said earlier about how everyone has their own unique experiences in life and along those roads we all end up with our own personal biases. However, despite that, I do still believe that things can be handled with an objective mindset. The example I’d like to use are the narrative amendments on this blog since I write those under the belief that there can be objectively better versions of the stories I cover. Objectivity is what drives criticism, if we couldn’t experience something objectively then flaws would be impossible to determine under the premise that someone might enjoy those flaws subjectively. 

What are numbers is a question that I saw and don’t really understand where the debate lies. Numbers are shapes which we use to measure things. I don’t see what more there is to consider, unless there’s another definition of the word ‘numbers’ that I’m unaware of.

The last idea that was presented to me was the idea that every object has a ‘perfect’ version in our minds which we imagine when we think about that object. I think this a fun concept, it’s interesting to consider what our minds default to when we think of items that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I don’t really see this as much of a philosophical topic, it’s more an intriguing insight on how the brain works which I would say is closer to psychology than philosophy. It’s compelling enough that I wanted to pass it some mention, though. 

With that, I think I’m satisfied with all that I’ve covered. For now, at least. In conclusion, I would state that the only philosophies that I believe are worth taking to heart are those which centre around self-improvement. Whether or not you feel it, the most important person in this world, to you, is you. While we exist in the world as it, it’s up to you to find your place and achieve happiness. In doing so, you can spread that happiness to those around you. We have to consider reality as it is and not how it might be and, with that perspective, make it the best we possibly can. Be kind, love yourself, and may you pass those energies onto all who are close to you.