Constantine NdodewanPHIL 1301
Journal #1: Personal Philosophy
My personal philosophy of life is to be kind, generous, helpful, and honest. My personality is best suited for the profession of counseling and learning new things because I like being inspired of things that is essential in life in other to increase my innate ability. I love to work with people and help others grow and develop into the people they choose to be in their lives. I believe people have the innate abilities to succeed if they can remove the obstacles to their growth. Fear, anxiety, and depression are crippling influences in the normal pattern of development for people. Life is about growing, changing, and continually trying to find out that one is in their lives. Life is mysterious, intriguing, scary, and at times meaningless. These contradictory qualities of life make it unsettling and ambiguous. Nevertheless, change and progress speed forward. The rudder in my life while we are proceeding forward seems to be the self-actualization of people and trying to help them through the wisdom I have gained over my life. I see myself more as a mentor to the young than anything else. I love to take the energy of people around me and channel it to the next step in their existence.
Another important tenet of my philosophy is focusing on the importance of my family, and friends, I believe it is our duty to leave healthy, respectful, humble and a happy life, where people can emulate and do better-off life and also have a strong religious background. I have grown, struggled in life, travelled to different places, learned different culture, and been very joyful the way I see myself. I always asked God to comprehend my way towards where opportunities are highly available and success is attainable.
Finding what one loves in life in terms of work and a committed partner are important elements of living the good life. Freud said “the task of the individual are to resolve the questions in two areas: love and work”. I would agree that spiritual fulfillment comes from being happy in both domains.
The spiritual or transpersonal element is crucial to my mission or philosophy of life. Without a connection to something bigger than ourselves we are nothing. Being connected to the mysteries of the universe, wondering what we are here for, and deciding for ourselves what holds us together are as important as anything else in life. After all we are only here for a short period of time and it is important to always do what is right even if nobody is doing it while avoid what is wrong even if everyone is doing it. I wonder what lies beyond and whether we are able to hold on to the threads of uncertainty yet see the connections in why things happen to us and for what reasons. My sense of spirituality is the notion of evolution of self and we are always moving toward some greater fulfillment of purpose. Things happen for a reason because we meet our destiny half way in the way we pursue our existence but the goodness of God is enduring forever.
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Journal Entry #2
Socrates was a genius philosopher who spent his life in Athens and volunteered for service as a soldier in the Peloponnesian War in which he fought, he showed himself to be a brave and loyal member of the fighting force. After his retirement from the army, he devotes his time and energies to the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge. The Apology is an account of the speech Socrates makes at the trial in which he is charged with not recognizing the gods recognized by the state, inventing new deities, and corrupting the youth of Athens. Socrates should be seen as trying to justify his actions and to defend himself. The intent was not an attempt to apologize for anything.
Plato is known as one of the most influential and greatest philosophers to have lived on planet earth. Plato represents his idea of reality and the truth through one of his famous writings, “The Allegory of the Cave”. The philosophical writing is in the form of an allegory, which is a story in which the characters and situations actually represent people and situations in a real world. The “Allegory of the Cave” is Plato’s attempt to explain the relationship between knowledge and ignorance. According to Plato, knowledge gained through the senses is no more than opinion and that, in order to have real knowledge, we must gain it through philosophical reasoning.
In the Pluto’s allegory of the cave theory, people are untutored in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind them burns a fire. Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects, that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see. This is what the prisoners think is real because they have not experienced outside the cave; reality for them is a puppet show on the wall of a cave, created by shadows of objects and figures. Amongst the prisoners, one decided to escaped from their bindings and leaves the cave. He was shocked about what he witnessed outside the cave and did not believe reality outside the cave. As he becomes used to his new surroundings, he realizes that his former view of reality was wrong. He begins to understand his new world and sees that the Sun is the source of life and goes on an intellectual journey where he discovers beauty and meaning of the existence of human being and realized that life in the cave was completely useless. When the prisoner returned to the cave to inform the other prisoners of his findings, they did not believe him and threaten to kill him if he tries to set them free. This shows that the people are scared of knowing philosophical truths and do not trust philosophers.
In the Plato’s allegory of the cave, there are people who have been chained and are unable to turn to other direction except for the inner wall they are facing. Because of the chains, they cannot see anyone besides themselves nor can they see the cave’s exit, which is directly behind their back and are bound to remain ignorant and non-skull. Therefore, Plato is suggesting that “your philosophical journey sometimes may lead your thinking in directions that society does not support.The only source of light in the cave is a campfire. Exiting the cave means the soul’s rising into a world of ideas. One can accomplish this by continue learning, associating with smarter peoples and a mind clear of distractions and sluggishness. It can be deduced from Plato’s allegory of the cave that; the shadow represents the perception of those who believe empirical evident ensures knowledge, cave represents people who believe that knowledge comes from what we see and hear in the world, the other prisoners represents those who are trapped in a cave by their own misunderstanding and ignorance and the escapee represents the Philosopher, who seeks knowledge and wisdom outside of the cave. The prisoner who escapes is a free thinker.
Philosophically, education is power and the treasure that will take you everywhere you go. As we obtain the ability to see things more clearly in the cave that is our ignorance, we start to then loosen the fetters that bind us and investigate the objects and images around us with our newly acquired mobility. Eyes that have seen nothing but darkness for so long are now fine-tuned to see even the smallest glimmer of light, or knowledge, in the far reaches of the cave. For example, when I was a teen, I was dormant and reluctant to learn and listened to advice, what I cherishes, was to go out there and rock myself recklessly without any sense of purpose. As times pass by, I was bound to remain in a virtuous cycle of poverty. I was insecure and uncomfortable with myself. I isolated myself because my friends who went to school, were ahead of me in all domain. One day, my father invited me in his room and mentored me about the important of going to school and becoming a distinguished personality in the society. I was so amazed and motivated, and just afterward, I was enrolled into high school where I acquired some knowledge and certification that prompted me to have a career job. At that point in time, I was in a cave of immaturity and lack of knowledge to emerge from slumber. I had to socialized myself to create mutual collaboration. However, I must say that education is personal and it is the transition from darkness to light, where light represents knowledge and truth. and is not just a matter of changing ideas or changing some practices, it is a process that transforms one’s entire life because it involves the turning around of the soul. Education is the movement of the self, the transformation of the self and the awareness of being educated. Therefore, an allegory involves showing how something else brings things out into the open.
Journal Entry #4
Aristotle ethical view of virtue is a moral of showing high moral standard of an individual behavior. A virtue is a quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. One can consider an action as virtuous if it is done so consciously, rationally, and voluntarily. Aristotle argued, “One swallow does not a summer make,” and he was right. One good thing does not make the person a kind person but a continuous effort to always be in a stand out when need is required. Say when a person is loath to spend money on his friends but does so anyway, we would not really call him virtuous – we would only call him continent because while he restrained his true desires (or loathing) and did the right thing, he not only did not do it for the right reasons but he also had to battle himself in order to do it. In contrast, a person who genuinely loves his friends sincerely and spends some money on them is virtuous because he acted so for its own sake and he did it cheerfully – his emotions and desires are diligently true values of virtue standard. However, Aristotle defines virtue as the mean between two extremes that need to be avoided. Virtue is based on two extremes, but where it exactly falls is dependent on the particular circumstance to a very large extent. It is only in particular circumstances do we decide how much love to shows to our enemies, how much generosity to show, or how honest one can be, or how much courage to show. We can avoid bad behavior to our peers by established rules and regulations of good moral standard against all odds.
Virtue ethics focuses on the development of sound moral character rather than moral rules. It is a moral obligation for everyone to know what is morally good nor bad. According to Aristotle, virtue is something learned through constant practice that begins at a young age. A virtuous person is someone who is naturally disposed to exhibit all the virtues, and a naturally virtuous disposition exhibits all the virtues equally. For example, it should be obvious to anyone that excellence in a football player cannot be learned simply by reading about football and wishing it on TV but it a persistence practice. Becoming a good football player requires a lot of hard work, commitment and steady practice: one learns to handle the ball by spending a lot of time playing constantly. Likewise, being a virtuous person is a continuous learning and practices of good moral behavior. virtue theories of ethics should be treated as ways to understand how we become moral creatures. In addition, how we develop the means by which we make moral decisions and the process by which moral attitudes develop. More importantly, virtue theories may be able to teach us how morals themselves should be taught. To be excellence, require practice first and theoretical study second, so the teaching of virtue can be only of secondary importance after the actual practice of it.
Virtues are universal and recognized by all cultures as basic qualities necessary for our well-being and happiness. For example, the social media is misleading viewers today due to lack of integrity and honesty. Integrity is adhering to moral principle, being faithful to moral conscience, keeping our word, and standing up for what we believe. To have integrity is to be whole so that what we say and do in different situations is consistent rather than fake nor contradictory. Integrity is different from honesty, which tells the truth to others. Integrity is telling the truth to oneself and to be self-deception to justify our actions factually. Self-deception enables us to do whatever we wish and find a reason to justify our actions. A lot of fake news being rampant on social media against the president of the United States is sign of lack of integrity and humility. To be a virtuous person is identified with being a person in full possession of the virtuous character traits of which the practice of virtues allows us to develop our potential, and live a more purposeful, better life; a life not ordinary but extraordinary. Becoming more virtuous people attracts great things to us; it’s a certainty.