Up@dawn 2.0

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Please post only installment #1, for now

I love seeing all these fetching 1st-installment posts go up!

But, I'd rather you not post #s 2 & 3 until the scheduled due-dates. Give us all a chance to read and possibly respond with comments in the meantime. Some of those comments may be worth taking into consideration before you proceed.


  1. The Philosophy of War (section 8)

    According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, there are four questions that must be answered when delving into the philosophy of war. What is war? What is the reason for war? What is the relationship between human nature and war? And can war ever be justifiable?
    For the purpose of this set of posts we will use the dictionary to answer the first question, what is war. War is a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.
    This first post will dive into the second question, answering in my own philosophical opinion what causes war, or what is the reason for war. I believe war is a necessary evil in most cases. That’s not to say that war is always justified but I fully believe that without war, I don’t think man is able to come to resolve on hot topics especially when one group of people infringes on, attempts to corrupt, or removes another groups rights. This can be seen, for instance, in the historical background of the United States of America (and the Americas, pre-revolutionary war). The root cause of war is man. War is caused because it is human nature to fight for what they believe is theirs for the taking. The new world was discovered, and almost immediately the new comers fell into a state of war by fighting the Native Americans, and for what? To gain more ground for the new comers to occupy. Fast-forward to the Revolutionary War, and you see those same groups of “Americans” now fighting the English for trying to encroach on their rights and for implementing taxation without representation. Onward we get to the Civil War and the North trying to infringe upon the South’s rights that led many Southern states to secede. The common trend thus far in the Americas is man trying to impose rules and regulations on others, or greed. Then there were wars and conflicts involving a social or political party that were infringing on basic human rights such as the Nazis committing genocide by murdering millions. It all comes back to Man, to the humanistic needs, wants and desires. This leads to the next post that will discus the relationship between human nature and war.

  2. Installment #1 Ralph Waldo Emerson

    These posts will be in three parts; Emerson’s philosophical journey (the outline), his Works, and to finish with his influence and influences on the world of philosophy.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the biggest Transcendentalists in the movement. He was a poet, a writer, and a philosopher of that time. He was born in May of 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts to William and Ruth Emerson. Emerson went to Harvard University and graduated in 1821, became a licensed minister in 1826 and was ordained in the Unitarian Church in 1829. His preaching’s centered around the personal aspect of spirituality. He resigned from the clergy when his wife Ellen died in 1831 from tuberculosis.
    When Emerson was in Europe in 1832 he met Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish Philosopher and writer who lived a life of solidity. He also met Samuel Taylor Coleridge as well as William Woodsworth who are both English philosophers and writers. These men each influenced Emerson for when he returned home in 1833 his lectures centered around ideas of spiritual and ethical lifestyles. He began writing essays, most famed is “Nature” that were reflecting his new found philosophy and some say the birth of the transcendentalist movement. In Concord he found a home around the kindred spirits and deep thoughts of his friends such as Henry David Thoreau, Margret Fuller, and Amos Bronson Alcott, who was the father of Louisa May Alcott.
    Emerson became the central figure for the American Transcendentalists whose belief centered around the idea that each individual can transcend beyond the physical reality and into a deeper spiritual experience, God was understood by looking inside of their own souls as well as a deep connection with nature. Emerson’s later work which is a collection of his essays called “The Conduct of Life” he attempts to answer how we should live as people. His health began to fail in 1870 yet he still published “Society and Solitude” as well as a collection of poems in 1874. His health finally failed him and he died in April of 1882 in Concord Massachusetts.


  3. Part 1 of 3. Section 8 Group 1
    Albert Einstein.
    I thought for my final report, I would do a biographical/philosophical study on Albert Einstein and cover briefly both his scientific accomplishments and his influence of the philosophy of sciences. Albert Einstein was a Germanic Theoretical physicist born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm of the Kingdom of Württemberg. When most people hear or read his name they most instantly think of the “worlds most famous equation” E = MC^2, however what people don’t acknowledge was his influence on the philosophy of science.
    Einstein was born Jewish and raised in a catholic elementary school until the age of 8 where he transferred to the Luitpold Gymnasium where he received advanced secondary education until he left Germany at age 15. After his father lost his business he was moved to complete secondary schooling in Switzerland at the Argovian Cantonal School where he scored extremely high in physics and mathematics. After he graduated, he sought a teaching diploma from the Zürich Polytechnic where he met his wife Mileva Marić.
    Einstein and Mileva bore two known children together before separating in 1914 and getting divorced early 1919. Einstein then Married a miss Elsa Löwenthal, (fun fact: Elsa was Einstein’s first cousin maternally and 2nd cousin Paternally) shortly after his divorce with Marić. Elsa passed away in 1936 due to kidney and heart problems.
    Einstein had a very interesting point of view on religion that I would like to point out. Einstein had a pantheistic view of the world. He believed in Spinoza’s god, god had many attributes, a god that revealed himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a god that concerns himself with the fate and actions of human beings.
    “A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty - it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. (Albert Einstein)”

  4. SECTION 8

    Installment #1 - Development of Idea - Free Will

    Will (Installment #1)
    I’ve chosen to expand on the topic of free will as is discussed in Philosophy: The Basics. This is a subject that I have argued for years, whether that be with people who do not or do believe in free will as a human. Much of my early teenager years I spent time in a Baptist church, which is known for heavy Calvinistic views (essentially the idea that there is a certain group of Christians that are already pre-destined by God to be sent to heaven, and that every action or decision we make is pre-destined) that at first I didn’t know whether to believe or not. Being surrounded by such influence from my peers to understand and believe what they thought to be true was very difficult for me to comprehend. I never considered myself to be either: free will or pre-destination. What it took for me to finally straighten out the views that I held to be true was a little maturing and growing up, letting myself develop my own personal beliefs rather than basing them on the ideals that my peers had and expressed so openly. For this installment, I want to explain more in depth what those beliefs that I developed and what I believe in today really are.
    What seems to be the most commonly accepted definition of free will as a general consensus is that we are free to do whatever it is that we so please, free from any higher deity’s control or any other out-of-body control that we do not possess ourselves. To me, that is true, but it’s missing a few limitations. Whether others choose to believe if there are other limitations/stipulations on the idea of free will is up to them, but I am entitled to my own beliefs/opinion, am I not? For me, free will does seem to mean that, as a separate entity from anyone or anything else, I have the ability to make and do whatever I so well please in this life, from deciding what I’m going to eat for lunch or if I just up and decided to drive three states away, there is nothing stopping me from doing those things. The opposing side, “pre-destinationists”, if you will, believe that those actions that I may have thought I decided on my own, were already planned out for me by God or some other higher being. I am not bashing on God or Christianity, I mean come on, I claim to be a Christian anyway, just with my own beliefs tied in.

    My next installments will expand further on Free Will.

  5. SECTION 9

    Installment 1

    Mind-Body Problem

    The Mind-Body problem has been in existence for several thousand years - going back to Plato, Aristotle, The Buddha and many other ancient Greek and Eastern thinkers. The problem is simple to state, even if the ideas of physics and physiology were not as well developed several thousand years ago as they are today: the mind and the body seem to be entities of very different kinds, so how do they interact so as to produce in a person a mind able to have effects on their body, whilst also their body can affect their mind? Although the problem is simple it has as yet no satisfactory solution, in spite of the amount of time and thought devoted to it over the millennia. But such excessive activity would be worth while if a universally-accepted solution were forthcoming, since such a solution would finally clarify the nature of our existence in the universe.

    Much has been written on the variety of solutions to the Mind-Body problem. There are the dualist solutions; the idealist solution; a third position is that there is only body or matter, so this is a reductive physicalist approach. There are also nuanced versions of one or other of these three initial positions for solving the Mind-Body problem, some having great sophistication and subtlety in themselves.

    Are human beings purely physical? Evolved at random and destined to die, extinguished forever? Or are we something more? A spirit or a soul, with existence beyond? What's the relationship between our brains and our consciousness, between the stuff in our skulls and the essence in our minds?

    Neuroscience nor a great minded philosopher are even close to solving this age old question.

  6. Section 12
    Group 3

    Ideas expanding on war and freedom and religious freedom

    War has been around since the beginning of time. Survival of the fittest, it was when people roamed the earth in its beginning stages when people wanted what other people had. Many wars were fought in England, Jerusalem, and many more when it came to religious battles. I cannot fathom why God would want people to fight and die over the same belief in a god but a different twist in their faith. If God wants blood to be shed for him, then why would people be willing to do this. Let me ask what has he done for them? He has done nothing but caused your family pain if you have had family die in a religious war or any type of war that involved death for that fact. I'm not here to bash God but some say those wars were pre-destined by God when he made the earth. Involving free will, people did not have to fight; let's be honest it didn't matter who was right, who are we to say you can't believe in something. If you want to believe in it, it is your decision to do so, your free will. People did not have to kill each other just for a difference in religious views. No matter what religion it is, I do not believe killing or murderous activities makes the top ten things to do in a religious setting. Instead of killing it needed to be peaceful protests, but it seems like there's always one arbitrary person who has to mess it up. So why should we all suffer for one mistake made by one person?

    2nd installment - free will

    3rd installment - fighting for beliefs

  7. Ok, trial #3 hopefully this will work this this time.

    Section 8

    For someone who has written “the most famous song in the world”, Leonard Cohen is little known. You may not have heard his name, but believe you me; you’ve heard his music. The song was recorded by over 200 different artists (and several different languages), making it the most recorded song in history. Can you guess what it is? There is always at least one person singing on those Idol shows. Still nothing? It was on Shrek. Ok surely you’ve guessed by now. That’s right it’s Hallelujah! It was only written 30 years ago (Various Positions, 1984).

    Leonard Norman Cohen was born in 1934 (80 years old), in Quebec, Canada. Although he has always been of Jewish faith, the poet, novelist, and singer was ordained a Buddhist monk and did not utter a single word for most of the 90’s. Out of that period of his life came “The Book of Longing” which is an amazing book of poetry.

    Get his records, they’re great. http://www.leonardcohen.com/home

  8. Trey Welch
    Section 12 - group 1

    Who was Thomas Jefferson?

    If I had the chance, I would go back in time to meet Thomas Jefferson. Born in 1743, Jefferson died in 1826, making him 83 at death. While a member of the Democratic-republic party, he was the 3rd United States president. Much like myself, Jefferson had a large family, including 5 children. He was interested in many different subjects such as; science, architecture, new inventions,religions, as well as philosophy.

    In my mind,Thomas Jefferson had a great philosophy, influenced by many philosophers, including Voltaire and John Locke. Having been one of the main supporters of the demise of the Church of England, he believed that the two should stay separate. "A proper government, for Jefferson, is one that not only prohibits individuals in society from infringing on the liberty of other individuals, but also restrains itself from diminishing individual liberty as a protection against tyranny from the majority." Even within oneself, you can belong to different groups. While being a majority in one group does not exempt you from being a minority in another. I fully believe that Thomas Jefferson was on to something when he called for equal rights and a separation of church and state.

    As well as being interested in many philosophies, he was also interested in many cultures and languages. Jefferson was fluent in French, Latin, Spanish, Italian, and Greek. He even went back to the University of Virginia to study new languages and cultures after his terms in presidency. Like Jefferson I am completely interested in new cultures and languages.

    If I was able to go back in time, i would love to meet Thomas Jefferson. I believe that he would be a great life teacher.

  9. Section 8 - Group 1

    Sorry about being late on this my computer didn't upload... hope you all enjoy
    Installment #1

    The topic I’ve chose to blog about is free will. My first installment on the matter of Free Will discusses the definition of free will, challenges the claim of being free, and what you possibly may be paying for. Free Will by definition is the ability to choose, think, and act voluntarily. What you may not know is that every decision you make has a consequence, and you determine whether that consequence is positive or negative by the decisions that you make. So with that being said, Is free will free? If you “will” something hard enough it’s likely to happen, but the part about it being free I doubt it. Nothing in this world is free, and everything comes with a price. While people may feel liberated, some fail to take in the account of the cost. People like to brag about having free will as if it’s a blessing, however look at it like this if every time something bad happens that you say “isn't your fault” Is it not? You have free will, and must take accountability for your actions despite your role in the situation… why you ask? Because you chose to be at the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people! Back to the question about free will being free… Its not! The question is now what price do you pay for your will? Is it morals, values, self-respect, discipline, love, character, integrity, or people? It maybe none of the above, but I challenge you to find out how much you spend on “free will” because after all you gotta pay to play!

  10. Section 8 Group #1

    Installment #2

    My next post will tie religion into free with and will make a correlation between religion and academic tests. In tying free will in with religion people often think of it as a gift from God. I personally think it’s a test from God. I suppose I’m playing devils advocate because I agree with the “pre-destinationists” as well. I believe that our destiny’s were already mapped out and we as human-beings basically get to pick which route we take in correspondence with that test of course. I like to look at free will like a test in grade school or college for that matter. If you don't do the work you don't pass the test, and if you don't pass the test you don't move on to the next grade. That’s the price I believe you pay with this whole “free will” game. I personally don't think God is out to get anyone, I think that he just gives you the option of doing it the easy way or the hard way. Most religious people would use they're biblical text as they're manuscript to living life the “right way” and spiritual people like myself would say we hear God, and we know what he wants us to do. Well when you walk into class your professor gives you a syllabus and the materials you need to be successful in that class. Some people take heed to it and some people have to learn the hard way. It’s not impossible to make a come back and do the “right thing” but nobody can and should have to force you. So once the terms of the agreement are met, so are the rewards. However when your disobedient you pay the consequence which means you’ll inevitably end up sacrificing something that you didn't have to if you would have only done what your were suppose to do. I don't readily identify my self as a “Christian” but I definitely believe in free will, because everything that I do or don't do is by my own choice, and I have to take responsibility and accountability for everything I do, and so do you. When its all said and done, I suppose I believe that free will and pre-destinationist tie in together like ying and yang do to create a balance, to teach a certain level of ethics, and show how fate is not only pre-destined but is changeable to some extent by one’s actions