The Importance of Philosophy

Busts Statues of Sokrates, Antisthenes, Chrysippos, EpikourosPhilosophy is a term that may conjure images of ancient Greek men with long white beards sitting around discussing the big questions of existence. I believe the word “philosophy” goes far deeper than history and speaks to the very core of everything we see happening in our world.

Philosophy is the way in which we think, and goes beyond thought itself. It is our ideas about the nature of life and death; truth and falsehood; our relationship to one another and all living beings.

The way we think leads to the way we live, and what we give to each other in thought and deed. Anytime we share our points of view on matters of politics, news stories, religion, and the many other topics with dominate our conversations, we are discussing philosophy. The philosophy we share with others also shapes and fuels the policies and actions taken by governments and institutions. Our philosophy is our idea and our idea becomes the reality we see.

True philosophy is by its’ own nature cooperative. Philosophy is a table for us to place differing ideas upon as each individual is uniquely different. when two philosophies meet in verbal discourse we are granted the exciting opportunity of learning from one another how to see things from a new perspective. This is the understanding of philosophical discussion which leads to peace.

When we do not see philosophy for what it is – different but neither opposed or unopposed viewpoints – we make ourselves the judge over the thoughts and ideas of another. This path leads to a mentality of agreement or disagreement; ultimately, war and destruction.

Competition, and in this case, the competition of ideas, is what some believe to be the key mechanism needed for progress.  It is seen often as a type of necessary evil to fuel our drive to achieve more, climb higher, and do more work. But that would greatly depend upon what kind of progress one means. Competition is a continuous game of one-up-manship. A game by which we are always looking to be a step ahead of our fellow man and woman. This is thinking is entirely against and at war with serving others, and therefore will always lead to the true benefit of none.

It is of highest importance that we share in philosophical discussion with each other, whatever our current philosophy on life and the world may be. Because sharing our points of view, ideas, and thoughts in honest and open discourse with one another is the key to how we learn and grow in life with each other. In order to have a truly open and honest dialogue we must see and discuss in terms of difference rather than looking to agree or disagree with what another might say. That is how we really listen to what someone else has to say. And the mark of a being true friend can be found in how well we listen to each other.

Thank you for “listening” to my writing. Now it is your turn to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Let’s discuss philosophy!

 

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One thought on “The Importance of Philosophy

  1. Dylan, what’s beautiful here (among many things) is the line “the mark of a being true friend can be found in how well we listen to each other.” Whether we are talking about philosophy in general — our our philosophy of living, parenting, breathing, yoga…you name it. I take a similar stance as you — I love talking and listening to folks who bring different view points than mine to the table. They give me something to think about — to think “outside of my little myopic world.” I often take what someone says and really just let it swirl within me for awhile.

    Blessings,
    Lisa

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