Posts tagged ‘philosophy’

May 1, 2009

Freedom and truth…probably the most discussed topics there are.

by caroanna

   Why is some behavior wrong? – Because people will be hurt.

   Who says that? Do you have proof, have you asked these people? Many people talk about freedom as the ultimate goal in life. But what kind of freedom?

   There is no absolute freedom. Everyone acts under certain restrains and preconditions. The difference is that some people notice them and others don’t.  The latter feel free in their choice, and that’s what finally matters: their subjective view. And what one sees as freedom, the other will perceive as restriction. That’s because people are not equal. They don’t think equal and they don’t feel equal.

   So what is the solution to this problem? Take the risk. You never know how many people you will hurt with your behavior but you can be certain that there will be damages. So stop pretending to act perfectly moral by dressing yourself in values that someone has created and others have claimed as true; follow your own goals first.

   Many claim to know the truth about right and wrong, good and bad. That is the purpose of religion. But the fact is that we haven’t found the truth about life yet and it’s questionable if the truth will ever be found. I don’t think this is necessarily negative; at least it keeps people occupied until they die.

May 1, 2009

Living for living’s sake

by caroanna

   “For what’s the sense of struggling to be virtuous,  denying yourself the pleasant things of life, and deliberately making yourself uncomfortable, of there’s nothing to hope to gain by it? And what can you hope to gain by it, if you receive no compensation after death for a thoroughly unpleasant, that is, a thoroughly miserable life?” (Thomas Morus, Utopia, Penguin Classics, p.72)

   First of all, why do you have to make your life miserable? Why not trying to make the best of it and make your life as pleasant and liveable as possible? If you can’t do that without harming other people, then you shouldn’t follow that advice. That should be known to every man.

   But why do you need someone to tell you how to behave in your life? Isn’t it enough to know that you’ll feel good? I think people are generally able to figure out what’s best for them and the people around them. We are clever enough to protect ourselves against evil without having to ask for help to a God who hasn’t been that helpful in the past few hundred years; provided that he exists.

   I don’t need someone telling me that I have to help people when I can and treat them as I would treat myself. I feel good knowing that a person like me (ok, not exactly like me, I don’t consider myself a genius or something like that) came up, as I believe, with this principle, wrapped it in a nice story to make it easier for common people to digest, and wrote it down in a collection of similar stories now widely called The Bible.

   I feel perfectly confident in making my life worth living for my own sake, and being nice to people because I’m not a hipocrite, and want to be treated equally by them. I like seeing people being happy and that’s sufficient for me to make them happy when I can. That’s my reward, and it’s a reward I receive immediately, not after death.

April 19, 2009

Horace’s legacy

by caroanna

As I’m using one of his most famous phrases, I should respect Horace and add the writing where it originally appeared, including an English translation for those who decided to not spend time on learning a dead language (myself included):

From Odes 1.11:

Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi Don’t ask (it’s forbidden to know) what final fate the gods have
finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios what end the gods will give me or you, Leuconoe. Don’t play with Babylonian
temptaris numeros. ut melius, quidquid erit, pati. fortune-telling either. It is better to endure whatever will be.
seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam, Whether Jupiter has allotted to you many more winters or this final one
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare which even now wears out the Tyrrhenian sea on the rocks placed opposite
Tyrrhenum: sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi — be smart, drink your wine. Scale back your long hopes
spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida to a short period. While we speak, envious time will have {already} fled
aetas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero. Seize the day and place no trust in tomorrow.