Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Nameless Honors Group 3

I find no summary for our group, so I'm getting this up so that I and others can finish our other participation stuff.

As I was the floater for my group, I didn't hear all the discussion which went on therein, but I do have this much: At the beginning, we dealt with the question of whether or not soulmates exist. Megan took the stance that each person has a soulmate, but they can also be happy without that person (an example being nuns: they have soulmates, but they are still happy even though they don't marry). Shannon (as I recall) says there is no such thing as a soulmate; people can be happy with anyone. Kayla shared the same view (again, if I recall correctly; I don't have my notes in front of me). I maintained that soulmates do exist, based on my view of absolute truth and my stance as a Christian (which, by the way, not all Christians share, so it would be a misconception to say that all Christians believe in soulmates, although many do). Unfortunately, I can't remember what position, precisely, Seneca took, so sorry, Seneca.

There be the part of our group's discussion I was privy to, but it is by no means complete.


  1. Two minutes later, I'm back with my comment.

    Factual Question: What theory of Aristotle's did Galileo disprove in the late Middle Ages? (His theory that a metal object falls faster than a wood object; Galileo found that they fall at the same rate.)

    For Discussion: What do we think of Aristotle's statements about eudaimonia being achieved by "appropriate" actions? How do we determine what action is appropriate?

    As to commentary, I'm going to deal a bit with some of the discussion I had in the other groups. It seems I have a knack for bringing everything back to absolute truth, which was the discussion I had with the Hihglanders: Is there an absolute truth? Actually, I'm not going to deal with the discussions I had in the other groups; instead, I'm going to link absolute truth back to what we dealt with in the first part of our discussion. If you think about it, the issue of soulmates is inextricably linked to the idea of absolute truth. The link exists in the idea of creation: The only way for soulmates to exist is for humans in general to be created by a God who loves them and created a world in which the life of people is meant to reflect the Christian's relationship with Him. There's where soulmates come in. Just as every person is made to glorify God and has the opportunity to develop a relationship with Him, every person has their perfect counterpart to them, who completes them in an amazingly beautiful metaphor of the Father's love for humans.

    Link to CS Lewis: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/cslewis151474.html Perhaps this will draw down fire on my head, but there 'tis.

    1. I love that quote by C.S. Lewis! The two main motives for people seem to be "happiness as a goal" and "I'll be happy if I my needs are met." But of course we tend to seek it in this world only, and neither motive receives the fully desired outcome. Case and point: Ecclesiastes 2:26.

      Oh, and I'm not in your group. -Avery 17-3

    2. Nicely (and concisely) said. Incidentally, my pastor was preaching on that verse and the few before it this morning. That very point about how this world will never tender happiness to us is part of the reason I am a Christian: I cannot achieve happiness here. Making such an attempt would lead to a rather dismal existence,I would think.

  2. Thanks for posting this! Maybe I should be an author too? Just for backup (even though I am terrible at summaries).

    FACT: What was the name of Aristotle's doctrine, which claims that every virtue lies between to extremes? (The Golden Mean)

    DISCUSS: Do you believe in the Golden Mean? Or do you believe in virtue at all?

    COMMENT: I enjoyed talking with my group about each of our posted discussion questions; it felt very productive and eye-opening.

    LINK: To go along with our group's popular topic I give you a quote from Aristotle, "Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies."

  3. Sorry about that, guys. I didn't have time to get to it last night and I couldn't remember my gmail login to do it on campus before my 8AM class. I can still do a summary of what I have written down if you'd like. Otherwise, I shall return later with my questions and the like.

  4. No prob. I, for one, wouldn't mind knowing what was talked about when I wasn't present.

  5. I'm going to add another link I came across which could lead into the soulmate discussion but that is more of a reprise of our discussion on love: http://perfectlynormal33.tumblr.com/post/57745407396/cliff

  6. On Kayla's failure to post a summary right away: Even though Dr. Oliver emphasizes that the author needs to post within the hour, I don't think it's a big deal. On a Thursday class, I don't think it's important to post within the hour because we have until the following Tuesday to get everything done. I have, even in the first few weeks of school, loads of homework and other responsibilities that I can take care of in the meantime. So, it's okay, Kayla. You were busy and nobody blames you for that. I think you do a wonderful job with all of your summaries and comments, and you are an important member of our group as an author. Anyway, thank you, Mitchell, for getting our post up sooner, so the rest of the group could get this homework assignment out of the way.

    Comment: I want to expound on what Mitchell posted about my view of soulmates. With any relationship (this includes friendships too), there are compromises. Every person is different, and we alter ourselves to fit with the ones we love. Kayla mentioned that we have different selves. I am a different person with each of my friends; I don't have a true identity. If we are able to do this, we can get along with many people. If you are comfortable and happy with your identity with one person and are compatible, your relationship will be strong.

    Factual question:Why did Aristotle title his book Nicomachean Ethics? (His son's name is Nicomachus)
    Where and when was Aristotle born? (The book says Macedonia in 384 BC, but the internet says Stagira, Greece. I'm a little confused here.)

    Discussion question: I would like to reopen our discussion from last week, which was "Would you die for love?" At least it was something of that nature. In A Little History of Philosophy, I read a very interesting and important paragraph about Aristotle's beliefs about Eudaimonia that supports mine and Kayla's argument.
    Another discussion I would enjoy is, what do you think true happiness entails? Aristotle believed children can't be happy and that happiness requires a longer life.

    Link: I took psychology in high school, and my teacher told us that someone's philosophy was that we all seek pleasure and avoid pain. I think it was Freud, but I looked it up to make sure. In doing this, I found something very interesting. This is Epicurus's philosophy on pleasure.
    Also, on these links, I speak to Aristotle. You tell me that children don't know true happiness.

  7. I think everyone does have a soulmate, but people can be happy without a soulmate.

  8. I, too, wouldn't mind continuing that discussion on dying for love. We never did really finish it, as I recall. (Or, at least, I don't think we did, not conclusively.)

  9. I can't find an option for editing comments, so I'm posting this other idea as another comment.

    I was reading this article on the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/badger-cull-sets-off-a-fight-in-britain/2013/09/07/8c65beec-1702-11e3-961c-f22d3aaf19ab_story.html?hpid=z4 As the URL indicates, people are freaking out about an attempt to reduce the badger population of England in order to curb cases of TB in cattle. If you read the article, you'll find that anti-cull protesters have resorted to methods just short of vandalism (at times) in order to annoy farmers out of killing the badgers. How effective might this method be? Will it actually reduce the number of badgers killed, or will it anger the farmers to the point that they injure one of the protesters when attempting to keep said protesters from trespassing on their property? In short, is the protesters' method actually effective in persuading people not to kill badgers?

  10. Olivia (The Highlanders)6:16 PM CDT

    I find it very interesting that you all had different viewpoints on soul mates. I believe that God has a certain plan for our lives, but I also believe people can learn to love one another (like in arranged marriages and such) so I've never really thought about marriage or love in terms of "soul mates" rather a person whom you love, cherish and can glorify God with to the fullest. I guess this wouldn't be a destined person for you to end up with, but someone who fits God's plan for your life. Just a personal opinion. This sounds like it was an awesome discussion though! Very thought provoking!

    1. I like your analysis. A good example of your point would be CS Lewis and his "very strange marriage," as it has been called. In a sense, I think your analysis about one's spouse being "a person whom you love, cherish and can glorify God with to the fullest" I think exemplifies the idea of a soulmate. In my view, the only way for a person to have a soulmate is if God has chosen someone specific for you who is the perfect completion of you. At any rate, yes, the discussion was fantastically fun (or it was to me, at least; I love discussion, if anybody hasn't noticed that).

  11. Continuing on from the "soul mate" portion of our discussion last class, we moved onto predestination. I believe we all conceited that you have a proposed path, but that path may fork or obstacles may be placed in your way. I don't view that in a religious light, but I know that Seneca and Anna believed that to be God's plan (other group members might have agreed, but I forget). We then got into a brief discussion of "Be as you wish to seem", followed by an explanation from Dr. Oliver on what exactly the Theory of Forms is. We also mentioned Aristotle and that he didn't agree with the Theory of Forms.

    FACT: What is 'truth by authority'? (Believing that something MUST be true because an authority figure has said it.)

    DISCUSS: I would simply like to hear everyone's thoughts on eudaimonia. My question seems similar to Shannon's, but that wasn't my intention. Do you define happiness as your overall achievement in life, or by the moment?

    COMMENT: I found the discussion on predestination and the "Be as you wish to seem" quote fun. I think our discussions are much shorter with Mitchell as a floater, though!

    LINK: Both LH and PB described bravery as being appropriately afraid, but overcoming that fear to do what must be done. Because I'm a nerd, and a lover of Ned Stark, have a Game of Thrones quote. http://www.lessonsfromfantasy.com/2012/07/can-man-still-be-brave-if-hes-afraid.html

    1. Ha, I can imagine the discussions are shorter without my ponderous number of questions. (First philosophy pun I've made.) But, you get me in the full discussions for the next few weeks.

      Ah, bravery. Ronald Reagan said, "Brave men are no braver than anyone else; they are simply brave five minutes longer." Hm. We should discuss the nature of bravery and the nature of fear...do we have enough time, though? Not if I'm present, I don't suppose.

    2. Love the Ned Stark quote, Game of Thrones is awesome.

  12. Do you think love is the emotion of affection for your "other half" or just something we must openly seek?

  13. First, you must define "love." Love is both a noun and a verb; the noun invokes the feeling, while the verb is, of course, the act of loving someone. Everyone understands the noun part of the word, since that is the nice, warm feeling people get when with someone they like and/or are close to. The trickier part is the action of loving. What does that mean? To "love" someone means to look out for the best for them, not to break them down, to do to them as God would. In fact, there can be no true love outside of God, for God is the only One who can perfectly combine the feeling and the action. Indeed, the feeling ought to be born out of the action.

    All of this that I have said is rather vague, so I'm going to quote C.S. Lewis, as I found something he said that puts wonderfully how love must come through God: "The event of falling in love is of such a nature that we are right to reject as intolerable the idea that it should be transitory. In one high bound it has overleaped the massive of our selfhood; it has made appetite itself altruistic, tossed personal happiness aside as a triviality and planted the interests of another in the centre of our being. Spontaneously and without effort we have fulfilled the law (towards one person) by loving our neighbour as ourselves. It is an image, a foretaste, of what we must become to all if Love Himself rules in us without a rival. It is even (well used) a preparation for that." What a beautiful description! Love is embodied in Christ, for Christ showed the greatest love, in that He died for all people; one must only accept that love, that sacrifice, that terrible, horrible, beautiful sacrifice He made nearly two thousand years ago, that we must only accept the love the Father has proffered to us!

    So, David, Love produces the feeling we call "love," but it is far more than that. It is not something we seek in the sense of achieving the feeling within this world; no, we must seek it beyond this world, beyond the particulars (Plato was right on that count). Love stands beyond this world yet has stood within it. Love is far more than mere feelings.

  14. Chelsea 16-111:56 AM CDT

    I think that when you use the word love, you are saying that you deeply care for another person and you want to have a relationship with that person to help each other throughout life.

  15. Factual: What was Aristotle's school in Athens called? The Lyceum
    Discussion: Do you think philosophical counseling is better than regular counseling? Why or why not?
    Comment: I thought it was very interesting to see what each of us thought about soul mates. I don't think that anyone other than Kayla and Shannon shared the same viewpoints on whether soul mates exist.
    Link: This is a link to a website that gives a lot of information on Aristotle's Lyceum http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/sirrobhitch.suffolk/portland%20state%20university%20greek%20civilization%20home%20page%20v2/docs/11/arischol.htm

  16. Jennifer (The Highlanders)9:47 PM CDT

    It sounds like your group had an interesting discussion! I can't wait to be the floater in your group. A question for those of you who believe everyone has a soulmate: what happens if you mistakenly marry a person who later discover/decide is not your soulmate?

  17. Fact: What did Christopher Phillips call his series of local "Symposiums"? Socrates Cafes.

    Discuss: Do you believe that the United States is unique in its approach to philosophy in a humorous manner, and that is this approach is one reason why the rest of the world views it as un-philosophical?

    Comment: I enjoyed the discussion on soul mates in the last class. I found that everyone's opinion differed in way and that no matter how slight, those differences enhanced the discussion. I too believe we should re-address the discussion on "dying for love" it seems we left it unfinished.

    This link is a map of various Socrates Cafes around the world and shows how successful Christopher Phillips' personal approach to philosophy was and how it has interested people.


  18. I always love the debate of do we have a soul mate. It was a popular topic growing up as a Christian in a christian community. There is a big push to find the man God has planned for you. You create the lists of your perfect man, and have long discussions about the journal you are writing to your future husband. But I also think that puts too much pressure on a relationship early on. I truly believe that there may be someone God has planned for you, but also that there could be 100's that may work depending on your life choices. it always brings to mind the quote from the movie Ever After...
    "Henry: Do you really think there is only one perfect mate?

    Leonardo da Vinci: As a matter of fact, I do.

    Henry: Well then how can you be certain to find them? And if you do find them, are they really the one for you or do you only think they are? And what happens if the person you’re supposed to be with never appears, or, or she does, but you’re too distracted to notice?

    Leonardo da Vinci: You learn to pay attention.

    Henry: Then let’s say God puts two people on Earth and they are lucky enough to find one another. But one of them gets hit by lightning. Well then what? Is that it? Or, perchance, you meet someone new and marry all over again. Is that the lady you’re supposed to be with or was it the first? And if so, when the two of them were walking side by side were they both the one for you and you just happened to meet the first one first or, was the second one supposed to be first? And is everything just chance or are some things meant to be?"

    So to finish this longish comment, I don't know if there are soulmates for people :)