Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Happy holidays

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CoPhilosophy will return January 19, 2016.

Don't stop

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."
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"There is no conclusion. What has concluded, that we might conclude in regard to it? There are no fortunes to be told, and there is no advice to be given.--Farewell!"

Michael Jackson

Final Installment
Posted for Lauren Coleman (graphics not preserved in this formatting)


  My first and second installments discussed the humanitarian actions

Michal took to support his philosophical beliefs such as creating a sanctuary

for orphaned and sick animals on his Neverland Ranch to helping a young

child with AIDS live life to the fullest. For those of us who are strong enough

to look past the lies about him the media hurled at society it is very easy to

see what a remarkable human being and great philosopher Michael was.

He lived a life far from normal but from my personal findings it seems to me

that he lived the best life he could and helped as many people both young

and old as best he could. It seems to me that unlike the typical philosopher

most of us imagine when we hear the word philosopher Michael’s personal

philosophies can be found in his music particularly on his Dangerous album

where he wrote most if not all of the songs himself. The album was

released in November of 1991. I Know most people wouldn’t particularly

agree that Michael Jackson was a philosopher but there aren’t any strict

guidelines on who can and cannot be a philosopher. So when I think of a

philosopher I think of Michael Joseph Jackson.

Lauren Coleman

Balance of Passion and Success in Sports

3rd installment
Posted for Chris Reddit

When I was younger I use to go outside every day and play any sport with any ball I can get my hands on. My group of friends and I used to have a set time to get our homework done and immediately go outside to play. Any weather we knew to come outside, except heavy rain, heavy snow, or hail. Now that I am older I do not know if we went outside just to have fun or because we genuinely had a passion for the sports that we was playing. I am leaning towards the passion side because even without my friends, I went outside and dribbled the ball by myself and put up shots. That passion is what got me to make numerous AAU teams and my high school basketball team. I found the perfect quote to explain passion. “Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping… waiting… and though unwanted… unbidden… it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us… passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love… the clarity of hatred… and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we’d know some kind of peace… but we would be hollow… Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we’d be truly dead.” — Joss Whedon. The philosophical part about it is that in order to be great or just simply good in any sport you have to have the passion for it. Like the main said in the video, if you have enough passion to work for anything you want to do you will be successful. Which leads me to my next philosophical point what is total success. Pat Riley says that success is not determined off how many rings or accolades you have, but how truly happy you are at what you accomplished. Success can be determined in many ways. Like just making it to the NBA or MLB can be considered successful, but if your goal was to be a hall of famer and you fall short that is not success by just making the league. Success can only be determined by your personal standards, when you are truly happy and completely enjoy what you are doing every second. 

Jerry Walls, Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University and author of "Wisdom From the Hardwood" discusses what basketball has to do with philosop...

B.F. Skinner

Posted for Charmika Laleen Hannah
(graphics not preserved in this formatting)

Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. He was

born on March 20, 1904 and as he grew up he was known as B.F Skinner. Skinner’s

Father was a Lawyer and his mother was a housewife. When he became a student of

Hamilton College he found a passion for writing and made a career out of that. Even

though Skinner loved writing he moved on to study Psychology and that is what he’s

mainly known for. He attended Harvard University and started looking into ways to

measure behavior. What made Skinner stand out to philosophers was when release

his book Beyond Freedom and Dignity and that was published in 1971. He wanted to

change the way society sees behavior, and wanted science to be able to solve this

issue. Skinner wanted to blame a person’s behavior on their environment even if

you’re being praised or punished. By Skinner saying that people had no free will in

his book it caused critics like Chomsky to speak up and challenge everything he said. I

chose B.F Skinner because he was one of few that asked question that weren’t even

thought of in psychology. Skinner felt like the “Man’s freedom is not due to a will to

be free, but to certain behavioral processes characteristics of the human organism”.

Meaning that freedom is built around society and not the mindset of the people.

Society focusses on a person’s behavior and Skinner says that society should

consider the environment.

When Skinner speaks about freedom in his book it’s about freedom in a

different view. He compares freedom to a behavior reflexes as if you’re trying to

release yourself from something harmful. He furthermore talks about why he believe

people respond the way that they do because of the way others treat them. I

somewhat do agree with that statement simply because most people react off of

emotions. The next thing that Skinner says is that “It is possible that man’s genetic

endowment supports this kind of struggle for freedom: when treated aversively

people tend to act aggressively”.

I believe that that statement is a 100 percent true simply because the human

body is constantly fighting off harmful bacteria’s. Which I don’t think it is any

difference between when protecting themselves from controlling people. Skinner

says that Philosophy is just like behavior it cannot be satisfactory as an explanation

until it is explain. Skinner talked about a person’s behavior is “determined by a

genetic endowment traceable to the evolutionary history of the species and by the

environmental circumstances to which an individual he has been exposed”. Meaning

that people only behave the way they based on what they’ve been around. I

personally feel like Skinner has made some valuable points when it comes to

behavior. I do feel like your environment has somewhat to do with your behavior

and the way you treat others. Even though there is some people that has been raise

in a terrible environment, but didn’t allow that to determine how their life went. I

feel like he was a big influence on a lot of behavior debates and that he did give

future philosophers something to talk about.

-Charmika Laleen Hannah

Blake Owens Third Installment "Self-Reliance"

The most famous work of Ralph Waldo Emerson is his essay "Self-Reliance" which is a culmination of his transcendentalist works. In it he argues that genius is to believe in oneself. In some way, shape or form, Emerson argued, everyone's mind exists in a state of conformism with society. Because of this, he stated that, “No government or church can explain a man’s heart to him, and so each individual must resist institutional authority.” Not only does he argue that not conforming to societal values is a way to reach true enlightenment, he actually argues that conforming thusly is actually harmful to the individual, because it causes one to sacrifice one's own values. Another large part of the essay is the importance of self worth. Emerson believed that we should not look to great figures in the past with too much awe because they were men just like the men of today. However, they can be good examples of men who learned to trust themselves. This belief came from Emerson believing that quoting a great person from the past keeps you from voicing your own opinion. 
 Emerson's transcendentalism, while written in the 1800's, is still very relevant today. In a world where people define themselves define themselves by political party, race, and religion, and governments across the world are doing more and more to control what people are allowed to see and think, it becomes more important than ever for us to think for ourselves. Countries like 
Bahrain, Egypt, and Jordan have seen more censorship, arrests, and violence in the past few years than ever before. With the advent of the internet, it is all to easy to connect with people who completely agree with you. As amazing as that is, it also has its share of dangers, as people grow complacent and accept things without truly thinking about them or never have their own thoughts at all. I hope that Emerson can inspire us all to be a little more self-reliant.
Previous posts:

Blake Owens Second Installment Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism had its origins in a form of  New England Congregationalists who were notable for the importance they placed on individual human effort, which differed greatly from the beliefs of most puritans at the time who believed that original sin meant humans were naturally depraved. This created Unitarianism, and William Ellery Channing, one of the lead Unitarian preachers, believed that Congregationalism in its Orthodox form instilled fear into people, when instead people should be free because Jesus took away both the punishment for the sins and the sins themselves. 
Unitarians attempted to modernize religion. They tried combine modern philosophy's emphasis on proof and religion, stating that the accounts of miracles in the Bible proved Christianity was true. This is where Transcendentalism moves away from Unitarianism. Although they agreed with some of their philosophies, they did not think that their would ever be significant evidence for religion.
Emerson once said, "We have no experience of a creator, and therefore we know of none." But the real emphasis of Transcendentalism is human intuition. They believed that inside every human is the voice of God, and because we all have a direct line to God, the institution of church would never be as important as the revelations of the individual. In fact, because of this direct line to God, institutions like organized religion and political parties distracted people from the truth because it tells them how to think. Instead they believed that individuals were most free when self reliant. Humans in nature were "gods in ruin". In essence they believed that all philosophy and religion should be grounded in the nature experiences and beliefs of the individual.

Third Installment - Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac's Poetry and Fascination with Buddhism
Jack was influenced by many of the free thinkers and members of the beatnik movement. In particular, Allen Ginsberg became a good friend to Kerouac and encouraged him both to pursue his poetic desire and explore other religious/spiritual routes besides Catholicism. Jack found particular comfort in the dharma of Buddhism and wrote a few works devoted to the subject, but his behavior got in the way of his belief system. He could not follow the tenant of Buddhism that says one should treat his/her body with respect and keep it free from toxins. Jack continued to drink heavily throughout the rest of his life. I don't think this personally held him back from producing great art. However, the greatest artists tend to have great suffering that influences their art. Although Jack is better recognized as having a talent for writing novels, his drunken poetry is also quality work in my opinion. Here is a bit of prose that reads like scripture and describes the feeling of unconsciousness in an enlightening way.

... During that timeless moment of unconsciousness 
I saw the golden eternity. I saw heaven. In it 
nothing had ever happened, the events of a 
million years ago were just as phantom and
ungraspable as the events of now or a million
years from now, or the events of the next ten
minutes. It was perfect, the golden solitude, the
golden emptiness ... There was no question
of being alive or not being alive, of likes and
dislikes, of near or far, no question of giving
or gratitude, no question of mercy or judgment,
or of suffering or its opposite or anything. ... It seemed
like one smiling smile, one adorable adoration,
one gracious and adorable charity, everlasting
safety, refreshing afternoon, roses, infinite
brilliant immaterial golden ash, the Golden Age.
The ‘golden’ came from the sun in my eyelids,
and the ‘eternity’ from my sudden instant
realization as I woke up that I had just
been where it all came from and where it
was all returning, the everlasting So, and
so never coming or going; therefore I call it
the golden eternity but you can call it anything
you want ... (Kerouac 1994, 59 – 60)

For as depressed and dark of an individual Kerouac was, he managed to vividly describe enlightenment, happiness, and life in many jaw-dropping and inspiring ways through his writing that would fool you into believing he was actually an incredibly energized and happy presence. Well, maybe he was, and maybe we all can be.

Joseph K. Sasraku
3rd Installment
Truth and Christianity.

The Truth: someone or something must know the truth right? Someone must know what really happened and how it happened and when it happened or even better when it’s going to happen. And that’s when God comes in, john 14:6. “And Jesus answered, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” I never really understood that whole verse in the bible so it was at my fellow football player Christian Saad’s house where I asked to see if anyone else understood. Christian held a bible study at his house after every Thursday practice, that being the last practice before the game the next day. They were always funny we’d play video games for about 2 hours, his mom makes in my opinion the best cheese dip and after eating we’d all gather in the living room and have bible study. Saad would lead it of course he was and upper classman as well and there were no more than 12 people there out of the 12 about two or three of us were black and id have to say that made no difference when it came to atmosphere but the message seemed slightly difference than what we blacks were used to. For example he said as a Christian all you have to do is ask God for forgiveness when you sinned and you shall be forgiven, but I was thought that one, I should not sin and that there is no excuse for sinning but in the case that I did I was supposed to pray to God for forgiveness, repent in my heart and confess my sins. But that’s not the point I asked Saad what Jesus meant when he said that he was the way, the “TRUTH” and the life. And he told me it meant that in every situation Jesus is the answer. And I took that as it was and stuck to it but it was not until later that I realized that he gave me not necessarily the wrong answer but the wrong on the specific question that I asked. And I believe Jesus said that because he is the only all-knowing being and he is the only one who know the real truth about any and every thing and situation. So in other words he is the truth.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Yad Ahmed (Section 11) 3rd post

“Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.”

Karl Marx is a very benevolent man and always seeks for the synergetic happiness in humanity. With this will to help the needy, Marx strives to diagnose the problems within capitalism. Marx finds it infuriating that the U.S. could provide every single a person a house, a car, a decent house, and the privilege of a school and hospital, yet capitalists and other greedy figures repent that from happening. Although this infuriates him, he still finds hope in this scenario. Marx describes the U.S. as a highly efficient nation and does not really need everyone to work. To Marx, this meant others who don’t have jobs are basically “free” and shouldn't consider themselves unemployed. 

“Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.”

Capitalism is bad for capitalists; at least, that’s what Karl Marx thinks. Marx feels bad for the capitalists due to their lack of healthy decision making. In Marx’s opinion, capitalists have to reach their financial standards in order to maintain good relations with those they interact with. If capitalists were to actually stop focusing so much on their financial status, then they will most likely improve the health of their relations with those whom they love. 

"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."

These opinions of Marx show how deeply important of a man not only to want the replacement of capitalism, but as someone who could easily diagnose the many problems that lie within it. Although a very brilliant man at his time, Marx wasn’t very popular at his own time. Only slightly after his death did the strength in his ideology become vital to the powerful leaders around the world. His works are now considered the theoretical base for modern communism.

Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. Freedom is the consciousness of necessity.


Wittgenstein Installment 3 - Kara Stallings sec 11

One more important aspect of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s work was his ideas regarding family resemblance and word games. With the family resemblance explanation, Wittgenstein attacks conventional views on how words can have deeper and sometimes far different intentional meanings. His beliefs in some ways attack the traditional view that words acquire meaning from the thoughts of the person who speak them. However, ironically enough it at the same time challenges Wittgenstein’s own concept from his earlier Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, that words get their meaning by standing in for objects in reality.

Instead, Wittgenstein says that some words do not have a single essence that encompasses their definition. He uses the example of the word ‘game’. Although we may think of the term as having a definite meaning, Wittgenstein points out counterexamples to this idea. No single thing is common to all uses of the word ‘game’. For instance, not all games are played for fun or as recreation; games like hockey and football are played professionally, and some casino games are played out of addiction. Not all games have scores or points, nor do they all have teams or any equipment that would define them as games and not some other activity.

Wittgenstein says that rather than each use of the word ‘game’ having a relationship to a specific common trait of certainty or even of the judgments behind them, that it is the relationships between the uses of the word that is more remarkable and significant. It is here that he brings up his coined term of family resemblance.

Wittgenstein says that the way in which family members resemble each other is not through a specific trait but a variety of traits that are shared by some (but not all) members of a family.

Importantly, Wittgenstein does not say that the family resemblance relation is not always the way that words get their meaning. Instead, words can get their meaning by picking out objects in reality, as he claims in the Tractatus, but he asserts that philosophers must recognize the difference between the varied methods of assigning meaning to words.

Overall his work constitutes an articulate description of how language impacts the intellectual progress of society. He argues strongly that in order to survive as an individual, communication with other scholars are crucial. To further this idea he expressed in great length the significance of preserving language for only such a highly weighted purpose by stating that if something cannot be expressed clearly that it should not be spoken at all. However, this quote remains quite a contradictory belief juxtaposed to his complete message of language. In order for progress in any degree of further knowledge one must not shy away from fear of unclear, mistaken or even just plain bizarre ideologies. In replace of this quote I feel as though his other quote mentioning the event of death better summarizes his works; if the spread of knowledge is the entire purpose behind our existence than the present is where our timelessness lives.
“Death is not an event in life; we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.”
Installments 1 & 2:

further info:

Krystal Bird 3rd installment


Why is a Christian Philosophy Important?
Good question. We already went over that a philosophy is a filter to which people view the world and make decisions that affect their lives. Developing the right philosophy makes all the difference. I am not going to say that you have to have a Christian philosophy and if you don't then you're an awful person. I will, however, say that I have found a Christian philosophy to be the most fulfilling. Basing your decisions off of your faith leads to less stress and less chaos because you are no longer living a life that is contrary to your religion. If you are a Christian then you need to base your life and the bible and not just what someone tells you. The entire bible is breathed by God and has been made available for teaching and reproof, so it doesnt make sense to never read it and test religious leaders with scripture. Chances are, if it doesnt match scripture then it isn't from God.
"many Christians no longer have an untainted biblical view of how and when God formed the earth...One such theory is the thought that God was responsible for the Big Bang and that living beings evolved from that point. Another is that God did form each creature, including humans, as individual and unique entities but that He did so millions of years ago. And those many years also account for the earth’s natural evolution through things like volcanoes, earthquakes, floods and erosion."

"According to Young Earth theorists, God did create the earth, the heavens, and every living creature, just as stated in Genesis 1. Based on Scripture, creation covered a span of six days – literal days, because each had a morning and an evening and because this is the same type of day as referred to in Exodus 20:8-11 where the Sabbath is discussed."

"Dr. Grady McMurtry is an evolutionist-turnedcreationist scientist who has worked hard to prove the Young Earth Theory. “Whether you look in the earth, on the earth, or outside of the earth in space, there is plenty of evidence to show the earth is young,” says
Dr. McMurtry. In fact, McMurtry states that there are over 270 geochronometers, or earth time clocks, that demonstrate a recent creation of the universe. For example, minerals and gemstones found inside the earth are said by evolutionists to take millions of years to form. But Dr. McMurtry has found evidence of gold being formed in fewer than five hours, and he states that in 2006, it was discovered how to produce flawless diamonds in fewer than twelve hours. McMurtry also points to stalagmites – which supposedly take millions of years to grow – having formed on Mayan pottery
made in AD 700, as evidence of a young earth."
Alan Watts 3 of 3 by: Brad Parsley

This is “What is the Meaning of God?”.  God is portrayed in a paternal image.  He is the father.  There are various conventions put in place by the church so everyone will conform to the same image.  However, Alan Watts proposes an idea of seeing God in an image that is different than that, an image where one would see God in an image that is totally personal to themselves.  Watts tells the audience to imagine seeing God as a woman instead of a man with a long white beard.  Watts says that image is a foundation for the substance or content, so once one has a better picture of God they would better understand God.  With all of the incredible senses humans possess, one should not cling to the tradition idea of God.  One should look within to find their own concept of God.

This is probably my favorite speaking.  It is called “We are God”.  Alan Watts tells of Jesus Christ saying he is God.  Watts claims Jesus Christ therefore had cosmic conscious or nirvana.  At that time, is was basically treason to say you were speaking as God, but it was alright to speak as an extension of God such as Moses.  However, If you believe God is the one cosmic monarch, then this introduces a form of democracy.  Everyone is a son of God.  “That to know you are God” is another way of saying that you know you are a part of this universe.  In every action you do, you are playing a part of the universe.

Here are some other great lectures on God by Alan Watts:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1LzVN8nqg0 (Alan Watts plays the part of God, and he accepts questions from the audience.)

My first 2 installments can be found here:

Installment 2 : http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2015/12/alan-watts-2-of-3-by-brad-parsley-as-i.html

Blood and Virtue; The Unconventional Philosophy behind SAMCRO and Sons of Anarchy Installment 3 Matthew Powers #8

Link to Installment 1: Blood and Virtue Installment 1
Link to Installment 2:Blood and Virtue Installment 2

Aquinas believes that God is the true reaper; that his acts, both by himself and through his “henchmen,” are for the greater good. So when we look at the Sons of Anarchy, is there anyone who acts for the well-being of other people, or just for their own personal gain? It is not a line that can simply be drawn by cops versus outlaws because neither side fully represents one side or another. From SAMCRO, there is Clay who only does stuff in order to put himself in a better position, such as killing the person who raped the mayor’s daughter in order to gain the upper hand on the mayor whenever he needed it. On the other side, Jax truly think about the good of the people of Charming when he makes decisions. He even wants to get out of the illegal side of the motorcycle club’s dealings and get into legitimate business in order to stop all of the deaths that had been happening around him, although it seemed to push him deeper into the middle of it. On the other side of the law, Stahl does not care about anything than her career, even throwing her partner and lover under the bus in order to save herself. However, Unser, who let the motorcycle club conduct their illegal business ventures under the condition that they keep it out of Charming. This seemed to work in the time before the show takes place, as there are references to how low crime used to be. So even though Unser was not necessarily conforming to the duties of which he was sworn to acts in the betterment of his town of Charming, although it ultimately ends up back-firing on him. So Aquinas would not find a saint in either side of “justice” in the world of Sons of Anarchy, however he may find a saint in a particular member of each side, especially Unser, but also Jax.

Although the Sons of Anarchy was nothing more than an entertaining twist on Hamlet, it does provide some philosophical values, whether it is questioning the status quo like Socrates, teaching us vales that are stressed by the likes of Aristotle, looking to the roots of misfortune like Nietzsche, or finding justification for the greater good in the likes of Aquinas.

Huxley and The Doors of Perception (3/3)

Read my first post here and my second post here.

When Aldous Huxley wrote his book The Doors of Perception, he made several statements that quickly generated response, especially concerning religion. Huxley himself spent time studying Vedanta, a branch of Hindu philosophy. In The Doors of Perception, Huxley asserted that mescaline would allow users to “participate in a common being”, or come closer to experiences typically associated with religion or spiritualism. As you can imagine, people of faith tended to take offense to that claim. Many stated that using mescaline or other psychoactive drugs like LSD did not create enlightenment; instead drugs create a “strictly private sphere”, according to a Jewish religious expert. Huxley’s relationship with his spiritual guide at the Vedanta Society of Southern California, Swami Prabhavananda, began to decline as Huxley experimented with drugs and wrote more about those experiences.
Several people wrote extended responses to The Doors of Perception, most directly Robert Charles Zaehner. Zaehner, an Oxford professor, thought that Huxley was dead wrong in his statements on religion. He wrote a book, Mysticism, Sacred and Profane, in which he stated his case against Huxley’s claims. Citing passages from the Catholic bible pertaining to drunkenness in church, Zaehner claimed that drug-induced states of euphoria were not the same as having an encounter with a god. He also took offense to the connections that the psychological world was making between mescaline and psychosis. To many doctors and researchers, mescaline and other psychoactive drugs offered the best insight into a psychoactive episode that they had to date. Zaehner thought that if a mescaline trip was like having a psychotic episode, and also like having a spiritual experience, then that meant the visions of the prophets of Christianity were comparable to the ravings of psychotic lunatics.
Regardless of the public reaction, The Doors of Perception heightened awareness and interest not only in mescaline, but other drugs as well. Research inspired by Huxley has spurred advances in medicine, science, and of course, philosophy. 

Blood and Virtue; The Unconventional Philosophy behind SAMCRO and Sons of Anarchy Installment 2 Matthew Powers #8

Link to installment 1 http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2015/11/blood-and-virtue-unconventional.html

Aristotle claims that only someone who is virtuous can be a true friend. It is not secret that the members of SAMCRO are far from virtuous in terms of society, but what about within their own counter-culture? According to Aristotle, the members would not even be true friends, or brothers as they call themselves. This seems true because it is not really the members themselves, but rather a club as a whole that they pledge their loyalty to. This is apparent in situations like when Jax says that he will kill Opie (his best friend) in cold blood if he rats on Bobby for killing somebody. This shows that the loyalty that all of the brothers is really to the club, not necessarily to the brothers themselves. By looking from this perspective, it is clear that, by Aristotle’s interpretation of true friendship does not apply to SAMCRO because they are not really virtuous to each other when put in tough situations. However, at the same time, they do risk their lives for one another. That does seem to be virtuous between the individual members of the motorcycle club. While their does seem to be moments throughout the whole story of The Sons of Anarchy when the members show that they are true friends, I believe that their loyalty and virtue lies deeper in the club than the members’ themselves, thus not making them true friends according to Aristotle.

Nietzsche could have very well been apart of the Sons of Anarchy. Though not as extremist as the brothers of SAMCRO, Nietzsche did consider himself to be an “immoralist.” He, like Jax, looked into history to find where good and evil (for Nietzsche in the world; for Jax inside of SAMCRO) became separated and how both turned towards evil. Nietzsche argued that “good” does not mean to show goodness, yet was originally used by people of power and their ability to keep it. He called this the master of morality, which seems to fit the Sons of Anarchy quite nicely. All throughout the show’s life, the Sons perform whatever actions they deem necessary in order to stay at the top of the food chain in their counter-culturalistic world such as crazy parties followed by massive shootouts, thus fitting nicely into Nietzsche’s master of morality and contemptness of conventional morality, just in a more modern way than the “beasts of prey.”  

The Man Who Cared (Jayson Nesbitt, #11 first and last post)

This is the story of someone who has made a indescribable impact in my life in only just a few months. He is the manager of the hotel that I work at here in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I sat down with him on November twelfth, 2015 and asked him about his life and what brought him to the point he’s at right now. “Why?” he asked; “I’m just like you or anyone else”. But he’s not, and that he thinks this is part of the reason he fascinates me so much. 

Dan (which is not his real name by request) was born in a small suburban town in Saratoga, New York on July third, 1963. He grew up modest, without many possessions and very little to his family’s name. Dan graduated high school, but never attended a college or university. Where his gifts lie are in his incredible and pinpoint eye for detail. After working a few odd jobs in retail and restaurants, he was recruited to judge bodybuilding competitions for a local gym. This stands out because Dan has never trained to do any sort of bodybuilding in his life, but he has this uncanny ability to notice small and almost asinine details about bodybuilders themselves. This ability is all encompassing, being able to notice flaws in spray tans and makeup. But also in the composition of muscle groups that come from the use of performance enhancers, the small jerks the competitors make when moving, and even the differences in facial expressions that identify nervousness.

After a few years of doing this, Dan decided he wanted to get into hospitality, so he applied to the Hilton Hotel Group as a manager. After quickly rising through the ranks of the company, when Dan was thirty he was given his own hotel to manage in Jonesboro, Arkansas. This is when Dan’s ability of perception took on a new form. Dan understands his employees better than anyone that I personally have ever met. He is able to tell when someone is under performing stems from Dan’s genuine interest in their lives coupled with his gifts. The problem is that he takes the happiness of his employees almost too far. He cant help but notice when his employees are emotionally hurting, and projects that onto himself. “It’s almost like I physically feel injured when I see someone skulking around my hotel” Dan claims. So as an extension, Dan basically get his happiness from his employees happiness.

“It ruined my marriage” Dan confesses. “I’m constantly torn between my real family and the one I spend the majority of my time with [at work].” It is what fuels him to keep going every day. The root of this is why I admire Dan so much. He has since decided that he can’t simply leave his work family behind, being that there are more of them than there are his family at home. So Dan chose to focus his attention here at his hotel. “It definitely unhealthy. But the important part is that it makes me happy, and that’s what really matters to me.”

What Did Freud Actually Contribute?

First post: http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2015/11/sigmund-freuds-theories-of-mind.html
Second post: http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2015/12/freud-and-psychoanalysis.html

He’s been dead for nearly 70 years, but Sigmund Freud’s provocative theories are still a huge part of psychology, neuroscience, and culture.  He contributed ideas to all of these sciences, but his theories have either been discredited or disproved.  Sigmund Freud was a giant in his field of psychoanalysis.
Freud’s legacy has transcended science, with his ideas deeply ingrained into Western culture. Rarely does a day go by where we don’t find ourselves uttering a term drawn from his work: Mommy and daddy issues. Arrested development. Death wishes. Freudian slips. Phallic symbols. Anal retentiveness. Defense mechanisms. Cathartic release.  However, when it comes to the academic spectrum, Freud has, for the most part, fallen completely out of favor. Virtually no institution in any discipline would dare use him as a credible source.

Many of Freud’s methodologies, techniques, and conclusions have been put into question, for example his perspectives on female sexuality and homosexuality are reviled, causing many feminists to refer to him by a different kind of ‘F’ word.  Without a doubt, many of these criticisms and valid and totally justified. But a renewed look at his legacy shows that Freud’s contribution is far from over — both in terms of his influence on culture and science.

We’ve learned much about the human brain and the way our psychologies work since that time, but he got the ball rolling.  A great deal of today’s work is still predicated on many of his original insights.  Some areas of his studies have been refined and expanded, while others abandoned and dismissed altogether in favor of new theories.  The trouble with Freud was that, while his ideas were intriguing, there was little evidence to back them up.  For instance, there is no scientific evidence to support of the idea that boys lust after their mothers and hate their fathers.  There is no proof of the id, ego, or superego, nor the notion that human development proceeds through oral, anal, phallic, and genital stages.  He was also a large proponent of cocaine as a viable medical treatment.  This resulted in the death his friend when Freud prescribed him cocaine to treat his morphine addiction.  This did not turn Freud away from the drug, instead he used it to treat his own aches and pains.

Although he was wrong about some ideas, he suggested some things that were probable.  For example, Freud was correct in his assertion that we are not masters of our own mind. He showed that human experience, thought, and deeds are determined not by our conscious rationality, but by irrational forces outside our conscious awareness and control; forces that could be understood and controlled by an extensive therapeutic process he called psychoanalysis.  However, we now know that the unconscious brain doesn’t exist or function in the way that Freud suggested, but we know it does exist. The brain performs a myriad number of tasks in the background, particularly in managing our autonomous bodily processes, the way it affects our conscious, cognitive functioning, and how we interpret our surroundings.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/06/07/freud.psychology.psychoanalysis/

You Are What You......Wear? (Morgan Massey, #8, 3/3)

If it’s not okay for Americans, it shouldn’t be okay for anyone else. It seems kind of hypocritical to stand so firmly on laws and issues regarding workers safety and fair pay here in America, while also contribution to the exact opposite overseas.

When America was a developing country there were a lot of years spent striking and rioting for fair pay and safe working environments. Two men, Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller, monopolized the steel and oil industry, the two ruling industries of this time period. They desired to make most of the profit from their companies themselves and paid their workers very little. The people working in the factories had nowhere else to work, and therefor felt powerless. Factory workers worked long hard hours, many days of the week, received little pay, and worked in dangerous death-trap factories. One of the most heinous incidences that occurred during this time period was the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. This fire occurred in a clothing factory and took the lives of nearly 200 people. The owners of the factory were well aware that the building was unsafe, yet never even attempted repairs. The owners of the factory were in the habit of locking the workers (most of which were women) inside of the factory so they wouldn’t try and take unauthorized breaks. When the fire struck, the majority of the workers were locked inside and without sufficient fire escapes were either forced to burn alive or jump off windows from incredible heights only to be met with hard pavement below.  The men who owned and ran the factory walked away scott-free, no one ever paid the price for all of the innocent lives that were lost. 

This story is one of the darker ones of American history.  It helped to change the way the workforce in America was conducted. It would be incredibly insane to ever think about going back to such a dark time.....but have we ever really left it?

In 2012 a fire broke out in a factory in Bangladesh. The companies that this particular factory supplied goods to included the U.S Marines and Wal-Mart. 117 people were killed and over 200 were injured. The owners of the factory knew about the dangers of this building, but did nothing to repair it. In an attempt to escape the fire, many workers jumped from the top of the building to their deaths, others escaped, while many were killed in the fire. This story sounds painfully familiar to the early 1900's Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.

(watch a clip here) https://youtu.be/zuDFWMg8dl8

I believe it is our responsibility to put and end to this. To stop supporting companies that purchase goods from sweatshops in other countries. I believe that we are all one planet and one people, that our gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and socioeconomic status should never deny us from basic human rights. We should all have a right to safety, to fairness, to being treated like a human being a not a number in a factory. I believe we must all educate ourselves on how we can help our fellow people who may not be as privileged as we are. I believe that we should do everything in life with love. Love for ourselves and love for our fellow humans. I believe if I were a factory worker in Bangladesh making a dollar a day, I would desperately want someone to stand up and be a voice for me, to make a change for me.  I believe we can make a change.

Post Number One: http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2015/11/you-are-what-youwear-8-morgan-massey.html
Post Number Two: http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2015/12/you-are-what-youwear-8-morgan-massey.html

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/introduction/triangle-intro/

Bangladesh Fire: http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/25/world/asia/bangladesh-factory-fire/

Want to watch an amazing documentary? http://truecostmovie.com (available on netfilx and amazon)
Want to know where to buy fair trade clothing? http://fairtradeusa.org/products-partners/apparel (also hit up your local thrift stores and help the earth too!)