Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Section 14 Group 3 (9-30-2014)

Today, I mainly researched on my phone for my group's midterm project. The rest of the group talked about their personal opinions on Machiavelli, leadership, and politics.

Section 10 Group 1 9/30

Our subgroups within our group broke off and worked on the projects, so no discussion was had today. Good luck to our subgroup that's presenting Thursday as well as the others!

Wanted to also knock out posting about my subgroup's different jobs.
Topic: What makes something beautiful?
Jenna Jackley, Joshua Pereira, and Megan Fischer
Jenna will be taking a look at the scientific aspect.
Joshua will be looking at the theological and non-theological aspects.
And Megan will look into Plato's Form of Beauty and his perspective on it.

Calvin & Hobbes & Machiavelli

Thanks to Katie (9) for posting this link. (Too bad nobody's doing a C&H report this semester!)

Section 10; Group 3 September 30th Recap

Today we started by assigning individual duties for everybody in the "Philosophy through Comedy" group to have a contribution in addition to their own research and presentation to the group project as well as talking about the project for a bit to make sure everybody was on the same page.  David and Dustin split off to work on their group project since they have the dubious honor of going first on Thursday.

Then we went into our philosophical discussions for the day.  Topics included the moral justification for restriction of freedoms- specifically prison and taking away the right to vote, what types of civil disobedience are acceptable and which aren't and the free speech zones used to corral political protests.  Opinions were varied, and debate thoughtful, as per usual.

Daily Quiz 9/30 Section 10

1. Did Machiavelli expect to be remembered as a political theorists?
No, he did not.

2. Niccolo Machiavelli believed it was best to always tell the truth as a leader. (T/F)

3. What is virtú?
Boldness, willingness to act; the ability to be a leader

4. What was the book Machiavelli wrote?
The Prince

5. Finish this sentence. "Machiavelli stresses that it is better as a leader to be ____ than be ____.
feared, loved

6. What famous article did Isaiah Berlin write?
Two Concepts of Liberty

Sec. 13 G-Squad

In class, we figured out how we are going to present our group topic to the class. We also discussed the DQ, "Do you think that a leader needs to be ruthless under circumstances?" Through the confusion of our debate (merciful ruthless leader, being poisoned by brothers) , we came to the conclusion that we each had different views on what ruthless meant and what the special circumstances could possibly be.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Section 10 Group 2 Abbie, Aubrey, Hayley, Valerie

We will be doing a project on Karl Marx. We will cover his general life events, his political stand and philosophy, as well as his legacy that was left behind.

Discussion 9/29 Section 13 Group 2

Today we discussed Machiavelli, ruthlessness, and the views of life being achieved on 50% of luck and 50% of success. Our main focus was towards ruthlessness in areas of war and how we would personally handle it if we were in those positions. If we were in a war situation and a kid was pointing a gun at us would you shoot first? If the kid ran through the crossfire would you attempt to avoid hitting them? How would you react in these situations?

Section 13 Group 3 9/29

Today in class we talked about Machiavelli. We discussed his books and political views. In group discussion we went over whether a leader needs to be ruthless or not, and many other related questions.

Backup Quiz Sep29/30

1. Machiavelli's key idea was that a politician ("prince") needs to have what quality?  LH 53

2. Does Nigel think the adjective "machiavellian" correctly implies that the politicians it describes are simply evil or self-serving? LH 55-6

3. Name one of the qualities Cicero and Seneca thought a politician should have, that Machiavelli rejected. PB 46

4. What famous English utilitarian argued in On Liberty that individuals should be free to conduct their own "experiments of living" so long as they harm no one else? P 89

5. What difficult philosophical question is raised by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? P 92

6. Name a famous advocate of civil disobedience. P 98

BONUS: What kind of argument is the objection to civil disobedience that it encourages law-breaking? P100

BONUS+: Name the English philosopher I frequently mention who supported and practiced civil disobedience.


1. What qualities do you value in politicians? Do you always vote according to party allegiance, or for the "best" candidate regardless of party?

2. Do you think our current leaders (in all branches of government) are "machiavellian"? How so? Do you approve or disapprove of their quality of leadership?

3. Who do you think have been our best leaders? Why? Were they also the most successful politicians? If not, why not? Who are the best leaders in the world today, in your judgment? Why?

4. Are you a libertarian? What role do you think government should play in regulating people's personal habits with respect to the consumption of dangerous or habit-forming drugs, personal safety, and other "self-regarding" behaviors?

5. Do you believe there is a human right to free speech? Or to anything else (including FDR's "Four Freedoms" - freedom of worship and expression, f. from want & fear)? Can you prove it?

6. Have you ever engaged in an act of deliberate law-breaking, in order to challenge what you considered an unjust law? Are there circumstances in which you would do so? Would you risk arrest on behalf of social justice, climate change, or anything else?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Section 14 This I Believe Sub Group 9/25/14

Today in class we discussed political views. As it turns out, none of us carry a specific set of views, that is to say that we don't really subscribe to one side our the other. We began the discussion without Professor Oliver but as soon as he caught the phrase, "we don't live in a democracy" the bait was cast into the philosophical pond.After being questioned as to why we don't live in a democracy, I said that we have no voice and even though we do technically have a way to be represented the fact still remains that no matter what stance our representative takes while he is running, he will make the popular decision. By popular decision I mean the decision that will most likely keep him in office and more voters punching his button when the time comes. I'd like to see some comments concerning the relevance of politics from other groups so I can see other views.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Midterm Report Presentations

Wednesday, Oct. 1
     #13 - 1. "This I Believe" (Caroline, Savannah, McKayla, John)
               2. Favorite songs analyzed philosophically (Derek, Christina, Camden, Sam)

Thursday, Oct. 2
     #9 - 1. "This I Believe" (Charles, Qatie, Landon, Evan)
             2. Superheroes & philosophy (Yoan, Jeff, Nick, Caitlin)

     #10 - 1. Disney & philosophy (Francisco, Rachel, Russell, Katherine)
                2. Robin Williams (Dustin, David, Jonathan)

     #14 - 1. Quentin Tarantino (Adam, Mallory, Carlyn, Jessika, Garret)
               2. Monty Python (Cody, Josiah, Jonathan, John) Reschedule no-shows.

Monday, Oct.6 
     #13 - 1. Aristotle (HP, TJ, Cheyenne, Daniel)
               2. Animals, morality, & complex emotions (Megan, Jack, Dylan)

Tuesday, Oct.7 -
     #9 - 1. The Matrix & Philosophy (Paige, Abriana, William, Madison, Adaysha)
             2. [TOPIC?] (Jesse, Sam, Marie) No-shows. Rescheduled for Oct, 21.
     #10 - 1 & 2. Philosophy in & thru comedy (Matt, Billy, Teddy, Christa, Hunter, Joel, Summer)

     #14 - 1. "This I Believe: Relationships" (Justin, Cassie, John, Talia, Kylee)

Wednesday, Oct.8 -
     #13 - 1. "This I Believe" (Peyton, Kyle, Nathan, Jim, Nikki)
               2. Pop culture (Melissa, Patty, Shania, Amanda, Alex)

Thursday, Oct.9
     #9 - 1. Should we philosophize? (Alex T., Warren, Tala, Damon, Colin)
             2. Socrates (Alex F., Pola, Jesse, Katherine)

     #10 - 1. Beauty ( Megan, Jenna, Joshua)
               2. Karl Marx (Abbie, Aubrey, Hayley, Val)

     #14 - 1. "This I Believe: Religion" (Jordan, David, Tyler, Blake, Joseph)
               2.  "This I Believe" (Ebone', Kaitlynn, Ciera)
               3. The Matrix (Andrew, Ethan, Aaron)


Wednesday, Oct. 15
     #13 - Pop Culture (conclusion); 1 & 2. SpongeBob (Clarissa, Shorouq, Breanna, David, David, Victoria, Jasmine, Sara)

Thursday, Oct. 16
     #9 - 1. Psychology and mental health (Annalise, Tiarra, Kameshia)
     #10 - 1. Karl Marx (Abbie, Aubrey, Hayley, Val)

     #14 - 1. [TOPIC?] (John, Timmothy, Kelton, DeAnthony, Jordan)

Monday, Oct. 20
     #13 - Pop Culture (conclusion)

Tuesday, Oct. 21
     #9 - 1. Music Video (Jason, Jordan, Seta, Katie)
             2. [TOPIC?] (Jesse, Sam, Marie) [Re-scheduled from Oct.7]

     #10 - 1. Machiavelli (Kristopher, Max, Jemelia)
               2. Aquinas (Brittney, Kayla, Caitlin, Ryan)

Thursday, Oct. 23
       #10  1. Morality (Peyton)
               2. Plato, Kant, & Nietzsche on metaphysics (Brianna, William, Markia)


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Peripatetic Group Section 13 Group 2 9/24

Sorry, a little late. On Wednesday we broke up into our groups for our presentation. Outside we talked about how we are assembling our project and talked about ideas on what to focus on. We also talked about using philosophers to see if any have the same philosophical view towards our topics for our project. Our project is dealing with philosophic songs.

Section 14 Group 1 9/25/14

Today we did a peripatetic discussion in which we talked about how the media has given the word extremist a negative connotation and that in reality extremism is not a bad thing, but when taken to the wrong extrema it can become wrong as perceived in media.
Blake R.

Section 14 Group 3

Today in class we discussed our point of view on point of view, and whether we believed it was ethical or not. we also discussed whether or not we believed that religious extremist are ever right, in any situation.

Discussion 9/25 Section 10 Group 1 (The PhilOliphers)

Today we talked about the question on whether a belief in God can be derived from logic or if it is a matter of faith. We all agreed that faith is necessary to believe in God and to some extent, actively disbelieve in God. We also talked about how we as humans have such a small understanding of our universe and how it works and that we may never be able to see beyond our universe or from the outside looking in. I kind of talked about magnetic fields and how they are not very well understood. I do not think I really knew much about the topic but if you are interested in reading more about it, you can do so here (complete with technical jargon).


We now have two peer tutors (undergrad philosophy majors) standing by to assist in answering your questions, helping you think about your assignments, and generally strengthening your philosophical acumen. And it's free! You'll find them in JUB 307B at these times:

Steven Haggard
Monday – 12:00-2:00
Thursday – 4:10-5:10
Tiffany Vance
Tuesday – 8:15-9:45
Wednesday – 10:15-11:45
Use 'em or lose 'em!

section 10, group 2 Kant Touch This

Today we first talked about our midterm projects, and made sure each group knows what they are doing and our individual roles. Then we broke into smaller groups. One group went outside and we discussed protest and how useful certain forms of protest really are. We also talked about Anselm and if his argument for God's existence is valid or not.

-Kayla Karlovic

Discussion 9/25 Section 10 Group 3

Today we discussed where we get our political beliefs. Many were influenced by their parents, but Hunter said he actually influenced his parents. Summer said social media and school influenced her political beliefs. John branched away from his parent's beliefs after high school and began forming his own opinions - becoming more Liberal. We began to talk about how we were raised... our views on Obama... parents thinking that he is the "anti-christ."

Billy shared his advice on why we should be registered to vote and why our vote actually does count. Now we're all going to register and vote. So yay!

Daily Quiz 9/25 Section 10

1 A __________ argument is one that doesn't rely on any observation of the world to reach a conclusion.

2. Those who argue for some form of equality are known as what?

3. Who combined Aristotelian philosophy with Christian theology?
Aquinas for sure

4. Aquinas stated that belief in Christian theology can be proved by reason without any appeal to an alleged revelation. What did he call this?
Natural theology

5. (T/F) Gaunilo argued with Anselm's argument about the existence of God.

6. (T/F) Aquinas is best known as a theologian.

Section 9 Quiz 9/25/14

  1. (T/F) Anslem would agree that the idea of god proves his existence.  True
  2. According to Samuel Scheffier, what has more meaning to us than our continual survival and the survival of our loved one?  Continued existence of life on earth
  3. Did Guanilo agree with Anselm's reasoning of why God exists? No
  4. Those who argue  for some form of equality are know as? Egalitarians
  5. The name of Anselm's (depending on who you ask) ridiculous argument is? Ontological argument
  6. Name a philosopher critical of democracy for not fostering genuine popular participation    Karl Marx

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Section 14-3

Today we broke into our sub groups and discussed our midterm projects.

Section 13 Group 2 summary

Today in class we split up into our midterm project groups to discuss them. My group talked about who was doing what, and when we could possibly meet up to talk to another professor and get some more insight and stories from him to include in our presentation. We talked about whether or not being gay is a choice, and how Dylan tends to bring up the most controversial topics in a rather blunt and forward fashion.

Section 10 Group 3 9/23/14

Sorry I didn't get to the computer yesterday guys. Anyway, in class on Tuesday we mostly discussed our group projects for the mid-term, and made some great headway and planning on them. Group three is split up two ways.  One group talked about the philosophies behind different musicians, which sounds awesome.  Our other project group decided to base our project on the philosophies of different comedians, because who doesn't love a good laugh, right?  It is the best medicine.  Some comedians mentioned for study were Louis C.K., Charlie Sheen, George Carlin, Marc Maron, and Seth McFarlane. This looks like it's going to be a very fun project indeed.

Section 14 Group 1

I do not believe our group posted at all for the class on 9/23!!! Anyways, we did discuss the philosophies of Kant, Darwin, Bentham, and Descartes and their view of moral actions towards animals. This included the ideas of speciesism, animals' ability to feel pain, and animals' rights. This further went into a discussion about whether animals could think, if they have duties, and if they even have rights, or if any of this matters. Our group, though, was split by peripatetic discussions, and we were in need of discussing our mid-term groups/projects in class.
*Sorry this is a late post, but I realized that our group failed to post, and I felt the obligation to post for us! I guess it is better late than never, although we should have posted something in the beginning.

Section 13 group 3 outside 9/24/14

Today we had a peripatetic discussion about our group projects and how we are going to collaborate our PowerPoints on prezzi. Shania is responsible for helping everyone figure out how to do the online  work. Patty is doing Dwight from the office and gandolph from The Lord of the rings. Shania is doing Homer Simpson and aslan from narnia. Alex is doing princess peach and is still deciding on his other character. Melissa is doing yoda from Star Wars and the joker. Amanda is doing Roseanne and is still decidng the other one. We then discussed out views on our voting system and whether or not it is beneficial. We also talked about what life would be like if we were all equal financially.

Backup Quiz Sep24/25

1. (T/F) Anselm said God, "the being than which none greater can be conceived," must exist because otherwise He'd be imperfect (and not The Greatest). LH 47

2. (T/F) An objection to Aquinas' argument against an infinite regress of causes is that an Uncaused Cause is not necessarily God-like in relevant respects (power, knowledge, goodness). LH 50

3. In contrast to utilitarians like Bentham, says Anthony Kenny, Aquinas agreed with Aristotle that happiness is not a _______ but an activity or way of life. PB 31

4. Because political philosophers typically write in response to the actual situations they find themselves in, knowledge of _______ is especially important when studying political philosophy. P 78

5. ________, author of Anarchy, State, and Utopia, argued that ______ always trump every other consideration including utililty. (Fill in one blank for full credit.) P81

6. Name a philosopher critical of democracies for not fostering genuine popular participation. P 86

BONUS: What kind of conflict or paradox confronts anyone committed to democratic principles? P 88

BONUS+: Who's the most important political philosopher of the 20th century, strangely omitted from our chapter? U@d


1. Do you think not existing is an imperfection? What, exactly, is made less perfect by its failure to actually exist? Can we think our way to an understanding of what must be real, and what is merely imaginary?

2. Can you infer from a (hypothetically-) necessary First Cause to an omnipotent, omniscient, omni-benevolent God? Can you rule out the possibility that a First Cause might be malevolent or Satanic?

3. What is the relevance of feelings to happiness? If you never feel good, can you still be happy?

4. What is politics for? What does it accomplish? (If you watched The Roosevelts: what did TR, FDR, & ER accomplish?)

5. Does anything trump utility?

6. Is American democracy really inclusive? Does your vote matter? Can one citizen make a difference?

Section 13 Group 3 (Outside)

During class we discussed one our points of view on God and his function. We also contemplated topics for the midterm.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Section 10 Group 1 9/23

Today during discussion time in class, our subgroups talked more about the midterm project. After most people felt confident they were on the right track with their groups, we jumped into a discussion starting with how we see animals. We all agreed that animals can feel pain. A good point was made that although animals can feel and have feelings, they don't have emotions as we do. Another point that was brought to light was if a bear were to kill a human, you can't punish it because it can't understand the reasons behind that punishment as you can with humans. The bear did that out of natural instinct, which plays a major role in the life of animals because they are never taught any different, such as to have morals or laws stopping them from killing things/people that they see as dangerous. We further discussed this and different examples of how this applies.

We wrapped up our discussion with the powerful question, "If God is all-knowing, is free will then an illusion?" The views varied. We decided it all really depends on how you view God and your perspective on the "all-knowing" aspect. All in all, we had a really productive and awesome discussion today! 

Section 14, Group 2

In class today we went over the quiz first. Then we split into our subgroups to talk about our projects. Finally we had a discussion about what we would do if we found out we only had one day left to live. There were answers varying from spending as much time as we could with our parents and families to doing a lot of drugs, to skydiving. Then a couple of us had a conversation about the county we are from.

The subgroup I am in for our group project is doing This I Believe as our group project. The overarching theme we are trying to keep with is relationships. I am doing the topic of forgiveness, John is doing peace, Talia is doing respect, Justin is doing fortitude, and Cassie is covering trust.
-Kylee Kerns

Section 9 Group 3 Subgroup/topic: The Matrix and Philosophy

We have five people in our group and we've decided to do our group project on The Matrix and how relates to philosophy and some of the things that we have already learned in class.  Today we just talked about ideas and the different ways we can present and make the most enjoyable presentation.

Section 10, group 2

Today both groups discussed their projects. My group went outside and layed out a game plan. We are doing the project over Karl Marx.

Daily Quiz 9/23/14 Section 10

1. True or false: Jeremy Benthan believed that animals cannot feel pain.

2. What was the name of Boethius's most popular book?
The Consolation of Philosophy

3. Boethius died 20 years before what?
The barbarians took over/ the fall of Rome

4. Because Descartes believed animals had no souls therefore couldn't experience pain. What did he do to the animals?
He cut them up in a live dissection...

5. Who was the lady in Boethius' cell?
Lady Philosophy

6. What does speciesism imply?
That your being un justifiably true to your species.

Section 9 Group 1

Today we did not get to the discussion questions.  We spent the entire time talking about the midterm project.  Jason, Seta, and I were originally were going to do "This I Believe" essays with Jordan.  Now we have decided to do a music video with the philosophies of the philosophers we have already discussed thus far. (Surprise Jordan!) The other half of our group is doing the philosophies of various super heroes as a live skit.

Section 9 group 2

Today in class we discussed that if we were in prison we would come up with an escape plan in order to stay sane. Also we talked about that animals do have souls. We discussed ideas for our project and group separation.

Section 10 Group 3

In Thursday's class our group decided to talk on the topic of inherited sin, as well as morality of euthanasia. 
      With inherited sin, we agreed that it wasn't right to condemn someone based on who their ancestors were or on what ethnic origin they were. For example, you can't assume that Johnny is going to steal your stuff just because his father was a thief. Even deeper, the issue of slavery. Caucasians are still, to this day, condemned by many people based on what their ancestors in the 1800's. How is it that something like that has transcended through 200 years even though slavery is no longer an issue?
      Our last topic was on the morality of euthanasia. For those who don't know, euthanasia (or assisted suicide) is "the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma." Is it "right" to take someone's life if it meant that they wouldn't suffer any longer? We concluded that the only reason that it would be justified is if the patient is completely brain-dead. Otherwise, it would be considered immoral. It is not your decision to take take the life of another human being. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Philosobeast section 9 group 2

During our discussion Thursday in our discussion groups we did not get through all of the questions because our group was very hung on two of the questions; one about euthanasia or 'mercy killing' and if it was fair for the evil people in the world to be granted eternal life when asking for forgiveness on their death bed. While we discussed euthanasia we had an interesting mix between those who were comfortable with if given the choice to 'pull the plug' vs those who just truly were not sure. I personally do not think I would have the strength in me to end someone's life but others brought up good points about older cancer patients who seem to be crippling away. Most of our group agreed though that euthanasia or 'mercy killing' was probably easier said than done since only one of us knew what it was like after working in hospitals. While we discussed the second question about the evil people in the world that ask for forgiveness at the last second. We got into the principles of Christian values and the Old Testament God vs the New Testament God and how the 'old God' was a very straightforward, straightedge, unforgiving God and how the 'new God' is a more forgiving, understanding God. Safe to say the whole group was not okay with evil persons asking for forgiveness on their death bed. The group basically said, "those who live a life of evil and ask for forgiveness does not deserve the same as those who live up to being a good person"

section 13 group 1 9/22

Today we compared the difference between racists and specists and how they were similar.

Section 13 Group 2 9/22 discussion

We talked about many things today, but we began with the question of how we came into existence. We discussed several different views on this, as well as thoughts on bringing children into the world and the morality of how and when this happens.

G-Squad Sec. 13

Today we talked about our group project. We narrowed our topic down to Spongebob and broke into even smaller groups to focus of specific characters.

Backup Quiz Sep22/23

1. Who consoles Boethius in his prison cell but also reprimands him for having forgotten her? LH 41

2. (T/F) Nigel writes that if you believe in an omniscient God it's also plausible to believe your choices are free, despite the seeming paradox. LH 44

3. How does Lady Philosophy resolve the paradox of divine omniscience coupled with human free will? (OR: How, according to her, does God see things?) LH 44/45

4. Name an important philosopher who denied that animals are capable of feeling pain. P 68

5. (T/F) "Speciesism" is a neutral, non-pejorative term. P 71

6.(T/F) For Kant, harming animals is wrong because it damages OUR character and relationships. P 75

BONUS: Which utilitarian is cited as disagreeing with Kant's view of animal suffering? P76

BONUS+: How many people participated in the Climate March in Manhattan yesterday?


1. How hard would you find it to take consolation from Philosophy, if you were awaiting your execution? Do you think you could become more "mindful" and less fearful, by studying and reflecting philosophically on the vicissitudes and randomness of fortune?

2. Is it in fact plausible to believe that your choices are both free and determined?

3. What's your definition of free will? Even if you could not have acted otherwise, in any particular situation, are you still free just because you did not know that?

4. If you agree that animals can feel pain, do you think it matters ethically how they process those feelings (or if they process them differently than the way humans do), or that they don't treat one another with a human form of regard?

5. Are you a speciesist? Why or why not?

6. Why do you think it's wrong to harm animals? Why do you think some people engage in blood sport with animals (cockfighting, dogfighting)?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Section 10, Group 3, Peripatetic Team 1

I suppose the 2nd peripatetic group can post on here too if they want, since we met up as our orbits of COE brought us back together and had a large group talk at the end of our time.

The first walking group was the larger one, and we discussed our group project instead of a philosophical topic.  Headway on that was, lacking to use a kind term.  We need to get it hashed out on Tuesday.

On a plus note, the weather is getting beautiful and being able to get out of the classroom and enjoy the fresh air was well worth it.  I hope to do it again as weather permits.

Peripatetic G squad group

As we walked around to different places we spoke of rather odd topics, but thought provoking nonetheless. As we approached the library we talked of social perceptions of individually made decisions, such as clothing, tattoos and piercings among other things. The KayS brought discussions of freedom of speech and the pros and cons of such a freedom. The BAS brought up conversations about hunger in the world, mainly because someone said they were hungry and we decided to use it as an opprotunity to discuss.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Daily Quiz: 9/17 Section 13, group 2

Quiz 9/17
1. T/F Manichaeans believed that God was not all powerful.

2. What's Augustine's defense against moral evil?
    Free Will Defense

3. Augustine was originally a ________ but later converted to _______?
    Manichaean      Christianity

4. What is also know as neo-aristotelianism?
    Virtue Ethics or "How to live"

5. The theorizing of ethical theories is known as?

6. The type of euthanasia that is described when the patient is unconscious or in no position to express a wish is which type?

Section 9 Group 1

Today our group divided into two  groups: one that stayed at class during the discussions part and the other group (included me) had a sympathetic peripatetic walk. We didn't go far since the time was limited but we were able to have a productive philosophic discussion. We discussed whether we  agreed with "mercy killing". Me, as a future doctor, don't have a definitive decision yet about this topic because i believe doctors are supposed to save lives, and not kill. While, on the other hand, mercy killing "saves" someone's life, maybe not the life of the person being "killed". Consider this scenario: a patient that is brain dead and that has no chance that he will get better or regain conciseness, doctor puts him to sleep with the family's consent.  In this particular case, the patient being put at sleep didn't lose anything (he was already "dead") but his family has the possibility to move on with their lives and maybe be debt free (we know how expensive medical bills can get).
We also talked about whether God created more goodness in our world. We agreed that this is so subjective and it depends. The place where you live, or the kind of life that one lives are important factors in defining whether there is more goodness or evil around us.

Section 14 group 3

Today we had a discussion on why God allows evil in the world when he is powerful enough to banish it. We also discussed about if feelings were taken away from the world will it end universal suffering. And if yes, is it a good thing or bad thing.

peripatetic group section 14 group 1

we discussed the morality of euthanasia and attempted suicide while doing a peripatetic stroll throughout the mtsu campus

Section 10, Group 1 (the Philosophers) 09/18/14

Today we split ourselves into groups for the midterm project. We also discussed life and at what point (i.e. Being in a vegetable state) does it become not worth living? Most of the group agreed that at that helpless point in life, life is pretty useless. I have been thinking and might also challenge this: what about babies born with physical or mental disability? This can sometimes be similar in the ways they are helpless and doomed to a life without social activity or personal growth. What about those lives?

On a totally different note, if you're a geek like me, you might enjoy this RadioLab podcast (download the app, then listen). This one is short and gets kind of philosophical... Easy to listen to! Enjoy, and have an awesome weekend!



Section 10 group 2

Today we talked about:
-What makes the devil evil?
-How did God create both good and evil?
-Is everything a choice?
-What is grace?

Section 10 Daily Quiz 9/18

1. What was Aristotle's word for flourishing?

2. How old (relatively) was Augustine when he converted to Christianity?
30 something... middle aged

3. After converting to Christianity, what did Augustine eventually become?
A saint

4. Who was one of the most popular writers of the Middle Ages that believed in an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good God?
Boethius or Augustine

5. Who wrote the book "Confessions, the City of God?"
St. Augustine

6. Who wrote the book about emotive title "Language, Truth, & Logic"?
A.J Ayer

Socratarians (Section 9 group 3)

September 18, 2014
Today we talked about the age at which we should establish our faith, and most of us agreed that we should wait until we are older. Then, we talked about if we should be struck by lightening for every time we sin...even lying. Lastly, we touched on the subject of how everyone views God differently.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Section 14, Group 3 ( Comments)


What was the one problem Augustine "agonized" over?

What was Augustine's real name?


How could we choose to do anything if God already knows what we'll choose.

Section 13, Group 1

Today we discussed our thoughts on if children should be influenced at a young age to practice a certain set of beliefs. We agreed that a child should not be heavily influenced until they are old enough to understand what they want and who they are, because those things could possibly change as they get older.

Section 13 Group 2 9/17 discussion

Today, we discussed our views on euthanasia. First, we agreed that if the decision would be made about our own demise, that it would be a heck of a lot easier than making the decision for someone else, especially a child. We discussed that society accepts euthanization of animals much more than the seriousness of "assisted suicide" of humans.

Group 3 Section 13 9/17

Today we discussed Augustine and his conversion process. We also talked about euthanasia and the problem of evil.
We've came up with new groups for our midterm project
1. Peyton


3. Ricardo will be a floater with another group in the section for this project.

Backup Quiz Sep17/18

1,(T/F) Augustine was a chaste and pious youth, converting to Christianity while still a boy. LH 35  

2. Augustine's early "Manicheaean" solution to the problem of suffering was to claim what about God? LH 37

3. Augustine's later solutions were the Free Will Defense and what? LH 39

4. In contrast to Kantian deontologists and utilitarian consequentialists (concerned mainly with the rightness or wrongness of particular acts) what do Aristotelian virtue theorists focus on? P 53

5. A Christian moralist inclined to follow the Commandments without exception might nonetheless feel conflicted about "lov[ing] thy neighbor" in the event of what end-of-life situation? (That is, what scenario or possible action might create a conflict?)  P 56

6. The view that facts and values are distinct and separate is associated with ____'s Law and _____'s Fallacy (name at least one, for full credit). P 59

BONUS: ______s are sometimes accused of inconsistency, claiming absolute truth for the view that all judgments are relative, while ______s say all ethical statements are literally meaningless. (Name at least one.) P 63

BONUS+: Which cartoon character (in my dawn blog post on Augustine) says free will is an illusion?


1. Is it better to embrace (or renounce) religious faith early in life, or to "sow  your wild oats" and enjoy a wide experience of the world before committing to any particular tradition or belief? Were you encouraged by adults, in childhood, to make a public profession of faith? If so, did you understand what that meant or entailed?

2. Does the concept of a never-ending struggle between good and evil appeal to you? Does it make sense, in the light of whatever else you believe? Would there be anything "wrong" with a world in which good was already triumphant, happiness for all already secured, kindness and compassion unrivaled by hatred and cruelty?

3. Do you find the concept of Original Sin compelling, difficult, unfair, or dubious? In general, do we "inherit the sins of our fathers (and mothers)"? If yes, give examples and explain.

4. Is it more important to you always to do the right thing, or always to act consistently with your values? Do those always coincide?

5. What's your view of euthanasia? Would you ever seek to end a loved one's physical suffering if they were dying painfully of an untreatable condition, with or without their instruction?

6. Can you get an "ought" from an "is"? Why or why not? If yes, give an example.

Daily Quiz 9/16 Section 9

1. What is the name of Cicero's book?
On Old Age

2. In Utilitarianism, what is the ultimate aim of human activity?

3. T/F Stoics believe that emotions cloud reasoning and damage judgement.

4. What is the Euthyphro dilemma?
Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God

5. T/F Utilitarianism is the best known type of consequentialist theory. 

6. Who were the two main philosophers that spread Stoicism in the Roman Empire?
Cicero & Seneca 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

9/16 Section 10 Gropu 1 The philosophers(?

On today class we spent our discussion time wondering if we could accept the Stoic mindset, we wondered if you could apply that even when someone close to you die, some of us defended this position while other defied it. We also wondered if we are actually capable of controlling our own emotions and if we do up to what degree? Another question that raised from our discussion was if we liked not having control of our emotions.  We had a kind of conclusion were life isn't black or white but a ton of grey, and we can't stop many things from happening but we are always responsible of the reactions we decide to take.
Sorry for lateness guys and hope to see you on Thursday
Today in class we discussed whether or not we believed that what our mind tells us is real actually is that, or if everything in our mind that is true has been made up by ourselves, and if the world actually existed before we were born.

Section 14 Group 1

Our group had a very successful conversation today. We started our discussion with the ideas of Nature vs. Nurture, and we included ideas such as foreign cultures as well as the literature of Lord of the Flies. We proceeded to move into the philosophies of mourning and stoicism in relation with the ideas of death and sadness. We ended by declaring that it is a instinctual motive to mourn a loss, and it is inappropriate to be stoic about  a mourning process.

Section 10, Group 2 Kant Touch This

Today in our discussion, we talked about if moral decisions should be made on an emotional basis. We also talked about how morality cannot always be cut and dry, as our world is not black and white but is rather a gray area. We talked about circumstances under which the "moral" thing to do falls within a gray area, and how we make moral decisions when faced with a gray area.

DIscussion 9/16 Section 10 Group 3

We argued whether we thought the world was more emotional or logical. We mostly agreed it was emotional... emotions for what makes us happiness, emotion towards some sort of gain, wealth... etc.

We discussed whether we believed morals came from some sort of higher power or just "good is good".

Does morality come from authority?
People take morality from religion is a common connection, we mentioned. Our laws came about from religion. If you considered law authority, then what if it is not morally right? I.E. Jim Crow laws.
We don't care to steal music online, but we obviously care if someone is murders.

Daily Quiz 9/16 Section 10

1. What is based on the assumption that the ultimate aim of all human activity is happiness?
Answer: Utilitarianism

2. Kant stated that we should only pursue Maxims that are _______ applicable.
Answer: universally

3. Who is the first "Major" stoic?
Answer: Zeno

4. Stoics believe we should re-none emotions all together. True or False?
Answer: True

5. Who were the Stoics compared to for their aim of a calm state of mind? 
Answer: The Epicureans

Immanuel Kant believed moral action was not done out of inclination, feelings, or the possibility of some sort of gain, but out of __________ ?
Answer: a sense of duty

Section IX Group I (42)

Today we discussed lies. We asked ourselves what makes someone a liar. One person asked if it was the amount of lies we tell. Another suggested that the severity of a lie could mark someone as a liar. For example, telling your wife she looks great would be an "ok" lie because it makes her feel good, while telling a person you will watch their stuff when you really won't is a "bad" lie because the stuff may get stolen. Finally, we discussed what happens to our souls when we die. The only theory mentioned was that we may become flying-wolf-eagles.

Sec.9, Group 3 Sep16

Today in class we questioned what is right and what is wrong. We also learned about the Stoics point of view.

Landon Holloway

Section 9 Group 2

We discussed most of today's DQs for which I will post the details after class

Monday, September 15, 2014

Section 13 Group 3

Today in class we discussed our midterm project and took a quiz on our last few readings. We split up into three different groups for our midterm project.
Group 1:

Group 2:

Group 3:

section 13 group 2 summary

Today in class, we talked about our midterm report and formed groups in order to begin working on the project. We discussed control vs.conditioning. We concluded that you cannot control your initial feelings, but you can control how you immediately react.

-Caroline Moore

Peripatetic group: section 13

As we walked to BAS we discussed if ot trial is possible to waste ones life. Surprisingly, all of us said no. Living is the meaning of life, jewels, honor, justice and life long accomplishments at just things you gain while living. If you didn't live you would be able to gain anything.

Backup Quiz Sep15/16

1. Which Stoic started out as a slave, and inspired a future American fighter pilot? LH 29

2. Which Stoic, a lawyer, politician, and noted orator as well as a philosopher, said experience, friendship, and conversation offset some of the problems associated with growing old? LH 30

3. Which Stoic said our problem is not how short life is, but how badly most of us use the time we do have (and then ironically had his own life shortened at Nero's command)? LH 31

4. Plato's Euthyphro Dilemma implies that either God is not the source of morality, OR morality is ______. P 41

5. For Immanuel Kant, a deontologist in ethics, a moral action is one performed from a sense of ________. (duty, fear, selfishness, inclination, sympathy, compassion) P 42

6. Name one of the two most famous 19th century English Utilitarian philosophers. P47

BONUS: The late 20th century Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick came up with a virtual reality thought experiment he called the _______ Machine. P 50

BONUS+: "It is the great arrogance of the present to forget the past," said _______.


1. Do you think you could effectively adopt a Stoic mindset ("Our thoughts are up to us," we shouldn't be affected by circumstances beyond our control, etc.) that would enable you to endure captivity and torture? IDo you attempt to adopt that mindset in less extreme everyday circumstances (like a rainstorm just before class)?

2. Do you "hope [you] die before you get old" or do you look forward to the compensations of old age (memories, old friends, grandchildren etc.)? Do you think 100 become the new 65, in your lifetime? How long do you hope to live? If cryonics ever becomes plausible would you want to use it?

3. Are you a good time-manager, or a procrastinator? Do you usually approach life as if you had "all the time in the world"?  If Nero ordered YOU to take your own life, would you resist or comply? Why?

4. Do you agree with Dostoevsky?: "If God doesn't exist, anything is permitted." Why or why not? Do you think the only thing preventing you from being good is the fear of divine retribution for being bad? Or do you think that to be good one must simply believe in goodness and reciprocity ("Do unto others" etc.)?

5. Do you consider yourself a good person? If so, what motivates your goodness? If not, why not? 

6. Should we always try to "maximize the greatest happiness of the greatest number"? Does it matter what kind of happiness we maximize? Are some pleasures just intrinsically higher and better than others? Is it "preferable to be a sad but wise Socrates than to be a happy but ignorant fool"? P 49

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Section 13 group 2

In class we talked about numerous things. We talked about how if you choose to not believe in anything, than that in itself is a belief. It's a redundancy. We also talked about how we are born with certain instincts that prevent us from the idea of letting go of all worries. If there's a dog about to bite you, regardless of your philosophy, you will flinch and step back. We also talked about how the idea of surrounding yourself with friends is the way to be happy, is now out the window. Thanks to social media, we find it much more difficult to be truly friends with someone beyond liking their posts or sharing pictures of your cats. The topic then moved on to how not having a Facebook isn't the end of the world, and even without it, we found that your social life is much more meaningful and personal.

Why aren't the godless all "rushing out and murdering people"?

Are you one of those who worries that, without a firm faith in God, you might revert to being a bad person, "rushing out and murdering people" etc. etc.?

Julia Sweeney was, before she experimented with what she calls the no-god glasses.
[1:32]…Let’s just try on the not-believing-in-God glasses for a moment, just for a second. Just put on the no-God glasses and take a quick look around and then immediately throw them off. So I put them on and I looked around. 
I’m embarrassed to report that I initially felt dizzy. I actually had the thought, “Well, how does the Earth stay up in the sky? You mean, we’re just hurtling through space? That’s so vulnerable!” I wanted to run out and catch the earth as it fell out of space into my hands. 
And then I thought, “Oh yeah, gravity and angular momentum is gonna keep us revolving around the sun for probably a really long time.” Then I thought, “What’s going to stop me from just, rushing out and murdering people?” 
And I had to walk myself through it, why are we ethical? Well, because we have to be. We’re social animals. We’re extremely complex social animals. We evolved a moral sense, like an aversion to wanton murder, in order for communities to exist. Because communities help us survive better in much bigger numbers. And eventually we codified these internal evolved ethics inside of us into laws against things like wanton murder. So… I guess that’s why I won’t be rushing out and murdering people! …

00:00 - There Is No Santa Claus
07:36 - The Mormon Boys Arrive
14:59 - My Religious History In A Nutshell
17:47 - I Wish I Were A Nun
23:32 - I Rededicate Myself To The Church
27:48 - Sodom & Gomorrah; Abraham & Issac
32:47 - The Ten Commandments
36:46 - The New Testament
41:38 - St. Paul & The Book Of Revelation
45:34 - Psychologically True
48:21 - Jesus Suffered, But So Did A Lot Of People
50:54 - Father Tom Blesses Me & I Get Out Of There
54:42 - I Begin To Drift East, Spiritually Speaking
1:00:37 - God Is Nature; The Galapagos
1:03:37 - Sister Charatina's Theory Of Evolution
1:08:05 - God Is Love
1:12:39 - Deepak
1:16:09 - I'm Becoming So Cantankerous
1:18:42 - How The Mind Works
1:22:10 - Intelligent Design
1:28:03 - What If It's True
1:34:47 - Good-Bye To God
1:38:24 - So, I'm Just Another Animal
1:42:49 - Mom & Dad Freak
1:50:11 - Mulan Arrives & Dad Is Sick
1:55:42 - A Funeral
2:02:04 - More Mormon Boys

Letting Go of God is a humorous monologue by Julia Sweeney chronicling her search for God. She begins in the Catholic church, the religion her family raised her in, and takes a Bible study class. What she learns there leads her to new questions, and in search for answers she explores meditation, Buddhism and New Age gurus, then describes what she learned from the sciences and from sharpening her critical thinking skills. She discovers that to accept the truth leads to surprising revelations. She concludes by sharing how this effects her family. Many thanks to Julia for this wonderful piece of work and please support her by purchasing her books and DVD's! - YouTube 

Section 14 group 2

In class we had a discussion about a few different things. The majority of the discussions had to to with the quote, "Don't believe everything you think." We discussed the varying moral codes and the correlating ethical processes by which people make decisions around the world. We also briefly discussed if individuals should be allowed to Vape on campus.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Group 2/ Section 9- Philosobeasts

(sorry for the delay in the post, i've been having computer issues since class)

Hello all! In class on Thurday, we discussed the difference between death and what happens after. This brought about what we thought of "death" as children and how it related to "the process of leaving" and the afterlife. Most common questions that were raised were "should we be afraid of what we are not sure of?" We mostly agreed that the unknown sometimes frightens us. However, why would you doubt your happiness? If that's where you find most happiness, stay there.

"If you seek to understand you will." We discussed what happens to people who gamble with God. Also known as straddling the fence. When people only say they believe in God ti avoid being punished they're going to be punished anyway. You have to really want a relationship with God, not fake one.

G-Squad author's post (Section 13- Group 1)

     On Wednesday, our group discussed whether or not we thought religion was necessary for a corrupt society. We also discussed whether or not we need religion to have a good society. Many questions were proposed and discussed also. Where would we draw the lines without religion? Does religion govern society? Does religion in the west govern society the way it does in other places? and finally what makes a society 'good' or 'corrupt'?

Epicurus =/= Epictetus

They're not the same guy, don't be confused. Clearly, though, some Internet quote-poster was. These look like the same stony face. (Remember, it was the pre-Instagram era.)

Same Mama, maybe? Philosophia, or Lady Wisdom? 

But, no: check the timeline. Centuries separate 'em (341-277 BCE, 50-125).

Midterm Group Reports

It's time to begin planning your midterm group reports. First thing to do is begin tossing around ideas for report topics, and split into sub-groups of 3, 4, or 5 based on shared interest in a topic and your perceived ability to work well together. If you find someone from another group who shares an interest in your topic, you can work with them.

Plan on taking about 20 minutes of class time to present your report. You can all speak, or you can select a presenter to do all the talking (taking care to document everyone's contributions to the project). We'll have our first two reports on Oct.1/2 (two reports per class).

So what are some possible topics?

  • You could each write and present your own "This I Believe" essay, following the guidelines suggested at the TIB website, noting points of interesting comparison and contrast amongst you.
  • You could pick a pop culture topic and explore its philosophical significance. One way to do it: get hold of a book of essays by contemporary philosophers on your topic, and each of you read and discuss one of those essays. (Open Court and Blackwell are good sources here. But if the bookstore, library, or I don't have the volume you need, you'd best order promptly from Amazon Prime. If none of you is a Prime member I'll order it for you.)
  • You could pick one of the philosophers we've discussed so far, or one of the topics in Philosophy: The Basics, and do more in-depth research, each of you exploring a different aspect of the philosopher's life and thought. (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and other online sources are linked at the bottom of our CoPhi site. And the library has a good philosophy collection up on the 2d floor.)
  • You could pick a topic, and take turns rounding the bases with it: one of you discuss what you consider an important fact about your topic, another can address an interesting discussion question, others can present links (text or video).
  • You could record, transcribe, edit, and present one of your group discussions. (I think a peripatetic discussion would work best in this format, since you'll actually be able to hear and record yourselves.)
  • You could make a video of yourselves impersonating different philosophers in conversation, and perhaps in costume if you're that ambitious (a class did that last year: they were Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pyrrho, and Epicurus).
  • (Your idea here.)

Think about it, talk it over, make plans to get together out of class if you think that'll help. (It probably will.)

Remember, this is a collaborative group report. You don't get individual grades, it's all for one and one for all. So don't be a slacker, and don't indulge a slacker. Again: document your contributions. Post a list of what everyone did to contribute to the project before the day of your presentation.

My main instruction: have fun, learn something, teach the rest of us something worth learning.