Sunday, April 10, 2011

Up We Go

Why do you climb the philosophical hills? Because they are worth climbing.

Margaret Thatcher
Hello Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
Why are they worth it? What is the value in huffing and puffing up the steep trails of ethics, aesthetics, politics, poetics and economics? Where is the profit in struggling through the jungles of logic and semantics? Then what is to be gained from coming out onto the sheer and treacherous slopes of cosmology and metaphysics?

Why make the effort? Why not just order a pizza, kick off your shoes, crack a beer, flick on the TV and enjoy a good ball game? I must admit there are many times when I just want to relax into the simple, limited thinking of my own mental world. And I would if I hadn't been permanently alarmed at my own lack of knowledge and understanding of the world of ideas that are shaping everything around me and will eventually affect me and my life, if they haven't already.

Some of the gentler philosophers like Bertrand Russell will take me by the elbow and lead me this way or that. The more vigorous ones like Friedrich Nietzsche will grab me by the beard and yank me into understanding. Either way it's a life changing experience to be thrust into a place high up in the rarified atmosphere of thought where few have been before.

The philosopher, like the artist and the inventor, is searching for the invisible, cataloguing the unknown. A philosopher may attempt to understand and define the short term and long term destiny of humanity by observing human history and human behavior. He may attempt to define man's relationship to the universe, as a creature of it, through cosmological observations. He may reach the enlightened place in his thinking where things disappear and are replaced by thoughts. If he achieves that inspired place he will have fulfilled all the duties of his watch.

I, following, stumbling and tripping, climb as best as I can, the slippery philosophical hills.

DB - The Vagabond

(This is not a contest)

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?

4 answers so far

I eagerly await your answer.

This Week's Contest

This is one I put up a few years ago and people seemed to enjoy it, so here it goes again.

You are now ordered to take a famous remark, a cliche or otherwise and restate it in the most verbose manner possible. Example:

Night is an inappropriate time for the manufacture of animal feed.
(Make hay while the sun shines.)

Get it? Ken Riches won this contest the last time, so you're up against some heavy competition.

5 entries so far.

Good luck. Enter as often as you wish. The decision of the ornery, biased, curmudgeon is final.


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

Knowledge is addicting :o)

Big Mark 243 said...

I, following, stumbling and tripping, climb as best as I can, the slippery philosophical hills.

Just know you are not the only one who makes such a journey, friend!!

Geo. said...

Something Russell wrote that I never committed to memory but can paraphrase: people will resist facts contrary to their instincts until convinced by overwhelming evidence but will, upon slightest of evidence, accept facts in keeping with their instincts. He did not exclude himself from this axiom, nor do I, which is why I too stumble and trip up those "slippery...hills". If you hear a lot of thrashing and swearing up there, it's me.