Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Tasty Dish

Philosophy is the greatest of the arts.

As far as I'm concerned a person's philosophy isn't worth a dime if it doesn't have practical purpose, some positive effect on the world. It's the same with a person's religion. Jean Paul Sartre's philosophy certainly profoundly affected the French and others. Martin Luther's ideas transformed much of European religious thought. Socrates is still shaking up world thought.

It's fun, and probably therapeutic for some, to dream up fancy utopian ideas but what good are they if you can't put them into practice. "I will show you my faith by my works" wrote James, chapter 2. If it works, it's worthy of faith, if it doesn't work it's fruitless fancy.

Some may think I'm a philosopher. I don't think so. Many philosophers started out as mathematicians, or other scientists, some started out as priests. I wonder if there was ever a philosopher who started out as an actor.

Philosophy is certainly woven through the writings of the great playwrights from the ancient Greeks to Shakespeare, Moliere, Ibsen and Shaw. Pope John Paul II started out as a playwright and became a priest.

To consider myself a philosopher I would have to become familiar with all philosophers from Thales to the latest one to publish. And considering that my eyesight isn't as good as it used to be and I have to read with a magnifying glass, that would be a very tedious task.

And many of today's philosophers spend too much time arguing with each other over semantic gravel like borderlines of borderlines, theories of vagueness, implicatures and secondary said-content. Try analyzing a sentence like "Even, unlike Picasso, Warhol was famous." Good luck.

The greatness of philosophy is the greatness of art and the greatness of science. Imagination, ingenuity, intelligence and a sense of humor. Mix thoroughly. Serve. Season to taste.

DB - The Vagabond
The Ball Game
a story in 7 parts

Part 4

Jimmy thought that after graduating from high school he would take a year off, find a job, make a little money and then try to enter City College, or maybe Brooklyn College, to study to become a scientist like his father. So he was very surprised when he got a phone call from the head office of the Brooklyn Hawks.

When he went to the appointment he met with a man who explained that they had been watching Jimmy for the past year and thought he would make a good ball player for the team. If he agreed he would be sent to the White Plains Aces, the Hawks farm team, for a few years and if it worked out he could move up to the majors. Jimmy never thought any one would pay him to play baseball. His Mom told him he should do what's in his heart.

When he went in to sign the contract he still wasn't sure. The man he had talked to before said that he would step out of the room for a few minutes and leave Jimmy alone to think about it.

Jimmy read the contract over carefully and sat staring at it. "Jimmy" a voice said. He looked up and sitting across the table from him was a man in a lab coat, glasses and a big warm smile. "Dad, what should I do?"

The man didn't speak, but just then a pen came floating out of a cup on the table, gently moved over to in front of Jimmy and hung there in mid air. He took it and singed the contract. When he looked up the man in the lab coat was gone.

(Part 5 tomorrow)


NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.

Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?

2 answers so far

I eagerly await your answer.



Lori said...

I read a biography of Louisa May Alcott's father, Amos Bronson Alcott. I believe he was one of those whose philosophy didn't really have a practical purpose -- one reason his daughter had to help support the family.

Big Mark 243 said...

While some are pendantic in their the development of their philosophy, it is often in justification of what they may lack in their lives, a place where they go to hide from the world at large.

At some point a philosophy has to prove its salt in practice in order to prove its worth. People who are lost or slaves to their thoughts lack the capcity to put their believes in action. Even people who definitely believe 'in' a negative are better off than the fence sitters...

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

We all have a bit of a philosopher in us, and as you pointed out, it really only matters when you have a real point :o)