Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Philosoraptors - for Peace and Happiness (17,3)

Hello fellow Philosoraptors!

As many of you know, we did not actually have discussion groups today, but we did have a very informative presentation from a representative of the Peace Corps., as well as some interesting lecturing on the nature of happiness. I just want to pose two discussion questions:

1. Have you ever thought of joining the Peace Corps.? What about after today's talk?

2. Based on an interesting point brought up near the end of class, what do you think about the idea of being homeless, but happy about it?



  1. Anonymous1:50 PM CDT

    I think the Peace Corps is a great program. It's definitely beneficial to you and everyone around you... And I think someone can be happy being homeless. But that just depends on what makes you happy. Everyone is different and has a different definition. If it makes you happy, go for it.

  2. I'd always wanted to join the Peace Corps--travel the world, experience new cultures, make a difference... Instead I went to college... Anyway.

    Factual Question (LH): Which Stoic philosopher wrote a book titled On Old Age?

    Discussion Question (AP): What do you think of William James's assertion that "truth lives, in fact, for the most part on a credit system?"

    A link to the book mentioned in the text by William James, A pluralist Universe. http://www.amazon.com/Pluralistic-Universe-William-James/dp/1463752075/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379192436&sr=1-1&keywords=a+pluralistic+universe

  3. I never knew much about the Peace Corp until now. It seems like a great program to gain some experience, travel the world, and help out other countries. I just don't know about the 2 year commitment overseas. I spent 3 years overseas and although I enjoyed it, I missed out on a lot back stateside. If I could go for a couple months I would definitely join.

    Factual Question (LH) What were the Greek Stoics view on problems about reality, logic, and ethics? That we should not worry about things we can not change. They aimed for a calm state of mind. Our attitude to what happens can be controlled even though what happens to us can not.

    Discussion Question (LH) The Stoics and their attitude towards life made them carefree, even towards the death of a loved one. Do you think this attitude is even possible if you are faced with many hardships throughout life?
    I would have to say no. Although I try to live a carefree life as much as possible, sometimes you can not help how you feel. Especially if a loved one died or is dying, or even if you're sick or dying. No one wants to face death even if it is a part of life. To know that you or a loved one is no longer going to be here is hard to accept for anyone. I think we learn to deal with it and is somewhat content with death but we never really are ok with it.

    Here is a link on the Stoic Philosophy of Mind from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  4. I honestly never had any interest in the peace corps (mostly due to lack of information) until now. It sounds like a great opportunity and a great experience, but I don't see it in my near future.

    Factual question (LH): What does it mean to be philosophical? It means to accept what you cannot change.

    Discusion question (AP): One of the questions that puzzled Michael Walzer was: "should one stay detached from actual political activities and leaders, lest they poison one's intellectual purity?" (the question was originally asked by Julien Benda)

    I feel like this week's posts are a little awkward due to the lack of discussion time...

  5. Also, a little history on Epictetus, because he seemed interesting: http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa010400a.htm

  6. I haven't considered joining the peace corps. I feel i have too much to do in life as a young adult to take the time off to enjoy another country, and really challenge myself. When I'm older after retirement, i feel the peace corps would really be something fun to do.
    I think that the idea of being homeless and content is interesting. That would be taking living below your means to a whole new level. I suppose its possible, just not very likely for any person to attempt.
    I liked this video, it was rather interesting and a different point of view. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBuMPN5Steo

    1. That video was interesting except the camera work was some of the worst I have seen. Where as the story of the free cab rides was cool.

  7. (17-1) I think that many homeless people are unhappy, especially in a situation where they lost many experiences, goals, and material possessions. I do think that there are many who come to terms with their situation and find peace in it and their life. It is similar to a concept known as voluntary simplicity. Another way to compare it is the idea of freedom from want, and the abstinence of certain religious orders. There are many orders within Buddhism and Christianity that practice complete abstinence from certain experiences and material possessions. They focus on meditation and simple pleasures instead. It is this focus on not having material items that makes certain experiences and aspects of life more pleasurable. "Voluntary simplicity involves both inner and other conditions. It means singleness of purpose, sincerity and honesty within, as well as avoidance of exterior clutter, of many possessions irrelevant to the chief purpose of life. It means an ordering and guiding of our energy and our desires, a partial restraint in some directions in order to secure greater abundance of life in other directions. It involves a deliberate organization of life for a purpose." -Richard Gregg

  8. I hadn't really considered the peace corps before, pretty much for the same reason I don't consider foreign missions: there's far too much to do here at home to focus on somewhere else. But regardless, it sounds like a great program and one that I may look into as I grow older, but not something I can see happening in the near future at least.

    As far as the homeless thing is concerned, I think that it is absolutely possible to be homeless and happy, because you don't have to worry and focus on material things. But at the same time, you don't have a place to call your own, and while I think that some kind of cross-nation journey a la Into the Wild could be fun, I don't think that I could do it.

    For my factual question (LH): How was Seneca tested in his practice of Stoicism? - Not only was he accused of having an affair with the Emperor's sister and sentenced to exile, but he was then accused of plotting to kill the emperor-to-be, and then ordered to commit suicide. He realized that it would have been pointless to resist, and even up till the end, remained peaceful.

    Speaking of the Stoics, my discussion question would have to be "Which of the three Stoics (Epictetus, Cicero and Seneca) do you believe had the most relate able outlook on life?

    And for my link, political feelings aside, I thought this was an interesting article on how Stoicism can still be relevant: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kareanderson/2012/09/28/five-reasons-why-stoicism-matters-today/