How many people here studied Philosophy and/or Religion in college?

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Adorno, Jun 18, 2017.

?

Your Background in Philosophy and Religion

  1. Have an advanced degree in Philosophy or Religion

    4 vote(s)
    19.0%
  2. Majored in Philosophy or Religion

    1 vote(s)
    4.8%
  3. Took some classes in college

    12 vote(s)
    57.1%
  4. Read/studied on my own

    2 vote(s)
    9.5%
  5. Don't have to study - I already know

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Don't study and I don't know much about the topics - I'm here to learn (or troll)

    2 vote(s)
    9.5%
  1. Steady Pie

    Steady Pie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I have a degree in philosophy.

    I'd advise against it. Brilliant topic, but at college it serves two purposes (or at least it did at mine):

    1) To let students become vaguely familiar with the source material without actually having to read it. Get The History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell, and get the top 5 books from each author he lists. You will be more knowledgeable than any philosophy major, just by reading a hundred odd books. Read 2 a week and you'll be an expert in a year.

    2) To indoctrinate you into THEIR view of philosophy and philosophical history. Universities are full of consequentialists, or at least mine was. Professors rabidly defend their views and provide strong criticism for those they oppose. It's made difficult to ask questions in class.

    In short, philosophy is an individual art. Study it in private and have a chat with other people of various viewpoints.
     
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  2. robini123

    robini123 Well-Known Member

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    It is the examined life that I have been living since I first read Socrates words 7 years ago. He was an intellectual giant.
     
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  3. pakuaman

    pakuaman Active Member

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    only Partially true. If you have good teachers you can really learn some great reasoning skills that will be useful in any profession. Also, History and Philosophy (Economics being another) majors have some of the top LSAT scores and do well in law school.
     
  4. ARDY

    ARDY Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I would be interested to learn one salient question an the answer you have found... if it is not presumptuous to ask, lol
     
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  5. Adorno

    Adorno Active Member

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    Ugh. What a terrible experience. Dogmatism should be the sworn enemy of the love of wisdom. My experience was just the opposite: 1) we read the primary source material, 2) had stimulating conversations (with a wide variety of viewpoints in the classroom), the professor would give the pros and cons of each position but never tell us his position (and welcomed challenging questions) -suggesting that the weight of reason should win the day, 3) consequentialism particularly tooks its lumps (but then again deontology had some tough days too)
     
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  6. pakuaman

    pakuaman Active Member

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    It's close for me but I think I agree with Plato over Aristotle, Plato's cave was something I particularly enjoyed, (definitely Aquinas over Anselm and Ockham) I particularly enjoyed the Stoics and wished we had more time to study them.
     
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  7. ARDY

    ARDY Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    A computer is useless to some people, a bow and arrow useless to others

    I was raised in a deeply religious family. Therefore I could not casually dismiss relegion. Therefore I have studied it.

    I majored in economics and philosophy. I hoped that philosophy would help me find some fundamental life truths. That did not happen quite as expected. But what I did discover is the elusiveness of truth. The history of philosophy is a long sequence of deep thinkers attempting to answer profound questions. Each succeeding philosopher would essentially do a critique of previous ideas... only to have his ideas again critiqued by succeeding philosophers.

    From a technical skills perspective I learned how to write and think... which has been valuable and satisfying.

    From a human perspective I learned to be skeptical about ideologies and people with intimidating brilliance... since I had studied a long line of highly respected people who had their ideas demolished by those who followed them
     
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  8. Deckel

    Deckel Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It was mostly 3 or 4 hours a week (I forget how many credits it was) of the professor being a prick by asking people questions and then playing semantics with whatever their response was.
     
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  9. Adorno

    Adorno Active Member

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    Yeah the Allegory of the Cave is one of my all time favorites. I think the Hellenistic period in general is fascinating (for me, I have always been drawn to Boethius' The Consolation of Philosophy).
     
  10. Ritter

    Ritter Well-Known Member

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    Come to think of it, I have actually studied religion at uni as part of my semi-useless major in cultural anthropology. But, it was a very short course and did not really get me much apart from some theoretical frameworks by some prominent scholars. The professor was awesome though, although most co-students expressed dislike for him for no real reason at all. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  11. Ritter

    Ritter Well-Known Member

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    He was an older man who had conducted fieldwork amongst the Navajo and used to say stuff in Navajo on random, creating a dramatic silence and then say "that means class dismissed." :laughing:

    He was a bit "mentally absent" in his lecturing, kind of like the stereotypic professor with a thick gray beard and hair sticking out to all sides from his head with a hoarse voice and cronic cough . True legend. :D

    Studying at the Liberal Arts departments nowadays will, of course, mean a majority of female students and not just any kind of females, but rather the "you-know-whats". When these criticised him, I asked them why and the response they would give was - unsurprisingly - based on (irrational )feeling - "he is like one of those who would call you 'little darling'." Asking what the heck that means, the reply was "I just feel..." Friggen idiots! Obviously, all of them favourised this younger man who was really dopey because he was cute or something. But, they did not dare to confess they were just objectifying him. :p
     
  12. VotreAltesse

    VotreAltesse Well-Known Member

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    I studied philosophy in highschool but I'm not from USA. Didn't studied it in college but I red some books.
     
  13. robini123

    robini123 Well-Known Member

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    Question: How can one act in an immoral way yet claim that they have acted in a moral way? Answer: Morality is relative to the individual ergo subjective as opposed to being universaly uniform to all humanity. What is moral to one will be immoral to another. To me the boundary that separates action from immoral action is harm and in the absence of harm I see no cause to label harmless action as immoral (Basis of my moral code). Where things become highly subjective is when we try to define harm as what constitutes harm is not universally agreed upon thus the subjectivity of morality.

    The moral litmus test I use when faced with a moral question is does an action in and of itself cause harm physically, psychologically or materially to others or their possessions and if the answer is yes to any question then it is immoral else it is amoral (there are exceptions to the rule so I argue it as a general guideline). To me a moral person is one who actively seeks to live a life that avoids harming others to the highest degree possible.
     
  14. RPA1

    RPA1 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    In your opinion, is abortion a harmful action?
     
  15. Matt84

    Matt84 Well-Known Member

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    Two of the best classes I ever took. Introduced me to more than I was ever exposed to growing up. Interesting to learn about all of the different religious beliefs and how these beliefs, in many cases, influenced later religions.

    I'd recommend both, especially to christians. 8)
     
  16. ARDY

    ARDY Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Thx for the response

    Following your post...
    What about when the harm is subjectively different?
    A child may wish to stay out late for a special occasion
    That child mat feel greviously harmed if denied
    Otoh the parents may have good reason to forbid staying out late

    You could adjust the situation for adults...
    Maybe a worker who arrived late with a good excuse
    And an employer who fires him for being late

    If moral judgement is only based upon my own view of damage
    Then I would point out that psychopaths and sociopaths have very skewed versions of reality
    And might even think that murder causes no harm and is therefore moral

    Further, one might conclude your action to be moral simply because you are insensitive to the harm
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  17. yiostheoy

    yiostheoy Well-Known Member

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    All I know of Wittgenstein is what James Mannion in his own book "Essentials Of Philosophy" mentions in passing.

    I like Wittgenstein's idea of breaking down language and sentences into simple facts. This is also how I myself analyze things -- by breaking them down into more "atomic" pieces.

    Oddly however Wittgenstein went on to somewhat schizophrenically rewrite his own philosophy in complete contradiction of itself.

    Aside from Wittgenstein, I don't view word games as true philosophy. I only view them as distractions.

    So I think it would be an exercise in predetermined futility to read his first book followed by his second which is a complete contradiction. But I do not doubt you could take a full semester on Wittgenstein where those two books are your complete texts. And the final exam would be a paper on which is which -- the first or the last?

    I like philosophers who are consistent -- like Scruton, Russell, and Descartes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  18. yiostheoy

    yiostheoy Well-Known Member

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    @Matt84 you need to pick an avatar to go with your moniker.
     
  19. yiostheoy

    yiostheoy Well-Known Member

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    That's funny because I favor Aristotle over Plato.
     
  20. yiostheoy

    yiostheoy Well-Known Member

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    Philosophy is a good major for divinity studies.

    Since as Bertrand Russell argues that you must keep Religion and Philosophy and Science all separate, with Philosophy as the referee between the other two, that would be its greatest application.

    Philosophy also goes well as a double major with math. To be a good math teacher or math researcher you really need to be a philosopher as well.
     

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