Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Group 2 (The Philosoraptors) - 2/10

Today, our group decided to discuss the question, 'do you want to die before you get old?' None of us really had a solid 'yes' or 'no' answer, mostly because the question really hinges upon whether your life is worth living when you get old. Specifically, do you have grandchildren to watch grow up or do you still have a spouse or friends to keep you company and make life enjoyable? If so, life would be worth living! This naturally led to the negative aspects of aging, like losing your independence. Most of us agreed that life isn't worth living once you've reached a point of deterioration where other's need to help you with your basic bodily functions (that's putting it mildly in comparison to the contents of our discussion!). What's kinda' sad about this is that old folks, who truly have nothing to live for, are unable to undergo assisted suicide (at least it's sad to me and a few members of my group). I think this would be a tantalizing conversation to have in class or on the blog; that is, why is medically assisted suicide illegal? This question not only applies to suffering old people, but also sick people with diseases that are going to kill them anyway or people with diseases that make life worse than death. 


  1. I'd like to add a little bit about a smaller discussion that happened towards the end of the group discussion. I brought up that the stoics believed that, though we are not in control of all of the circumstances, we are in control of our thoughts and emotions. While I do believe that we do have some amount of control over the way we think and feel, many times, our emotions are purely the result of stimuli in our lives. What I initially stated was a belief that we are not in total control of our emotions, but we are in control of our actions. Daniel then brought up an example that gave an important counterexample to my statement: if a person were to come up and break my arm, I would not have much control over my reaction, which would likely be to shout out in pain. Further examples of this type of instinctual reaction to stimuli were given, such as when a person almost instantly reacts to being startled by punching the person/thing that scared them. These examples brought me to rethink my statement. I would now revise my statement. It is not that we have complete control over our actions, as instinct cannot always be controlled in volatile situations. Instead, I would say that our control over our situations is less than our control over our thoughts and emotions, and our control over our thoughts and emotions is less than our control over our actions. Any thoughts?

  2. Nick Watts11:01 AM CST

    Group 1 H1

    In Group 1 we addressed the question of: Is a stoic mind set adopted in order to cope with everyday life an appropriate mechanism. Sarah was quick to cite stoicism as a possible antithesis to justice. Her reasoning stemmed from the observation that it could devalue the individual and his or her contributions to everyday life in the form of taking action with the goal of changing events or happenings otherwise considered by stoics as beyond their control. Lesley brought up the point that stoicism is often exhibited in much more placid occurrences than those of torture offered by the initial question. Quick to acknowledge that it is not a case that such events like the rain or awaiting news on grades do not matter, simply that they are out of your control and should therefore be easier to shrug off. Lesley and Meghan tag teamed the misinterpretation of stoicism for a lack of apathy or concern for people; citing encounters of their own with peers whom many considered stoic, and were instead simply unconcerned with those whose company they were in. The group also discussed areas in which stoicism was inappropriate or miss-founded, such as in cases of Stockholm syndrome in which victims frequently forgive their transgressors. This was compared to Plato's Cave allegory of knowing one way of life for so long that one becomes complacent and even uncaring about its nature.

    1. I liked our conversation with Dr. Oliver about the earliest memories we had. Sometimes we can pick out a distinct memory from our childhood that maybe occurred during an important transitional time or something traumatic happened. Most of our early childhood memories are absent, they run together, or we only remember them from the stories and pictures our parents show us.

    2. FQ: The Problem of Evil is the problem of explaining why _____. (LH 36)

      FQ: The ______ Defense is an attempt to explain how a good God could allow suffering. (LH 38)

      FQ: Rule utilitarianism is a combination of deontological ethics and ________. (P 52)

      FQ: (T/F) Duty-based theory, consequentialist theory, and virtue theory are all examples of first-order theories.(P 58)

    3. I think Stoicism is useful for the everyday, little nuances of life... For example, when it rains, you can use stoicism so it doesn't bother you. However, as Sarah said, in the larger issues, it can be the enemy of justice... and that is why Stoicism as a philosophy does not work for me. Emotion is good and natural, it just must be controlled, rather than letting it control you. But controlling emotion is different from abolishing it altogether.

    4. I agree Meghan, very well-said! I enjoyed our discussion on stoicism. We often attribute it to a facet of someone's personality, when it is often a chosen philosophy.

  3. FQ: What religion believed that God is not all-powerful, and that God and Satan are forever locked in a battle of good vs evil?
    FQ: Under what school of philosophical thought would it be morally acceptable to eliminate all sentient life?
    DQ: What distinguishes involuntary euthanasia from murder?
    DQ: Are laws always morally upstanding? At what point should you break the law to perform a morally good act?

  4. FQ: What does Hume's Law attempt to reveal?
    DQ: Do you think there is justification for drawing conclusions of what 'ought to be' from what 'is'?

  5. Jeanette Stevens2:28 PM CST

    I agree with you Evan! Thoughts are one of the hardest things to control, in my opinion.

    In regards to death, I would like to live a full, long life, which I think most of us could agree with. I don't want to get to the point where I lose my independence, whether physically or mentally. I don't want my loved ones to have to see me deteriorate.