Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Connection #7
I want to talk about the concept of free will in this book. Hilde’s father has written the story of Sophie and Alberto’s life even though the two of them think they have free will. That connects to what we’ve discussed concerning free will. I personally don’t believe in this, but people do believe that god has already planned their life for them and that everything they do is predetermined. This is destiny, and it seems as though that in the book Sophie and Alberto do have a destiny which has been “written” (literally) for them, kind of like they have their own god which is actually kind of cool because if the two as religious then they’re right about there being a god. I feel like when Sophie hit Hilde with the wrench Hilde’s dad knew it was Sophie and was “teasing” her because he knew it wasn’t a gadfly. This also goes for when Sophie and Alberto set the rowboat loose. I still hate this book and I still don’t understand why this book is labeled as a philosophy textbook, but freewill does connect to the book very well.

Reflection #7
I want to talk about punching a Nazi! I got the sense that a lot of the class said the decision depended on the situation in which you and the Nazi are in, which is what I think. Honestly for me, I totally understand the concept of not punching a Nazi because it would be stooping to their level of violence, and I am completely against violence. But I just wouldn’t be able to control myself.  Even though I am atheist I grew up Jewish and learning about all of the absolutely awful, torturous, plain old wrong things the Nazis have done I just can’t let that go. Yes, there are definitely people out there who want to punch the gay liberal who wants tattoos and piercing and is pro-choice (aka me), and I would really appreciate it if they didn’t punch me, but as far as Nazis go, I absolutely think it’s completely warranted.

Connection #6
Alright, this book is getting too weird for me. I just really don’t understand why we are reading this book because it seems to be more focused on the plot line rather than actual philosophers. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the plot is definitely s philosophic idea but it doesn’t really have to do with the content we’re looking to learn. Alberto having a copy of the book that he’s in is mind blowing. I just…it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever and I don’t really like that. It’s fun to be puzzled while reading a book as long as everything works out in the end but I honestly can’t imagine this ever making any sense to me. I don’t like Hilde’s father at all with the tricks and crap he’s playing on Sophie and Alberto. I just can’t stand this book anymore.

Reflection #6
I want to talk about altering the traits of your child. In class it seemed as though everyone mutually agreed that in terms of medical use, alteration is okay. But there were some pretty heated discussions about the whole traits deal. My opinion is simple: it’s not okay. I have this opinion because I don’t want to be in control of another person. A person she become the person they were meant to be, not someone I engineered them to be. Sure, I want my child to be smart and accomplished and I want a boy first and a girl second, but I’m going to be happy no matter what happens. I am going to love any child I have. Maybe my child won’t be the perfect image I want them to be but they’re still going to be my child and that’s all that matters.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Okay so I’m getting really bored of this book. It’s not so much that the book isn’t interesting, it’s more that the book is getting so frustrating. I don’t like how Alberto keeps mentioning that he and Sophie are characters in Hilde’s book. I guess it’s relevant but it gets so repetitive and he’s just saying it outright and not making it fun to read so we’re literally reading “next chapter” while going into a literal NEXT CHAPTER! And Sophie is giving Alberto a crap ton of sass that he doesn’t deserve he’s teaching you and you don’t even give him the chance to give her examples without asking for them. I did love the Alice in Wonderland reference though. It definitely made the concepts/differences of idealism and individualism a lot more clear and distinct. It was also really fun to read; it made me feel like a child for a while and I got less frustrated while reading it, at least for a second. I thought it was a really clever technique to fit the two concepts into a relatable sensory situation. I wish the book would incorporate more allusions like this into it, but I don’t if it’ll be able to happen. Either that or the book needs to have another huge plot twist.

Okay! So yesterday we were talking about abortion and this is a subject that I am SO ready to discuss! I completely agree with Olivia in the terms that there needs to be more women on the board that decides the abortion laws. I don’t think it’s fair to make the decision a community decision when it’s the woman’s body and not Joe’s from next door. I think that women definitely have a better grip on the ins-and-outs of pregnancy and abortion, and I’m not trying to gender stereotype at all but I think it’s because it’s the women who have the babies. Me personally, I would never EVER get an abortion ever, but I’m not in charge of another woman’s body. If Betty from Detroit wants to get an abortion who am I to tell her it’s wrong for who to do what she thinks is best for her? I know I’m not the only one who has a say in the decision, I actually don’t have a direct saying in it at all, but I do think that my opinions would be heard more if there were to be more females on the abortion-board. I really want to continue this abortion discussion in class but it would probably end up in a complete uproar that would last until the end of the year.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Okay okay okay so we did a discussion in class about our views on lying and if it is ever okay. I shared my views in class; I believe the ends need to justify the means. For me, lying is only okay when it is used to help others. For instance, my example of lying as a POW during interrogations. When the soldiers lie about not having any information to expose they are protecting a whole country. Yes, they are lying, and yes, lying is bad, but is it really wrong when it can save the lives of millions? The same goes with the Kant example of revealing a person in your house hiding from a murderer that knocks on your door. Obviously, it is not right reveal this person, considering their life is on the line. But that’s lying, and according to Kant that isn’t okay one bit. I don’t think it’s good to tell your parents you didn’t break the vase when you really did or blame your sibling for not picking up the dog’s poop outside, but when your family is hiding during the Holocaust and you’re caught and asked where they are, it’s perfectly acceptable to lie and say that you don’t have any family left in order to protect your significant other and children. Now this brings up cheating, which is a whole other issue in itself. Cheating is lying, and lying is bad, but is cheating bad? We’ve discussed this in class a couple of times and I agree with a lot of what everyone is saying. Plain and simple: cheating is not condoned, but you have to do what you have to do in order to keep up with society’s and the school’s and your parents’ expectations of your academic abilities.

REFLECTION #4                                                                                                                                This whole twist with the book we’ve been reading actually being Hilde’s birthday present that SHE’S been reading is a slap in the face. I’ve been confused about all of the Hilde references and why they’re actually happening; before now they seemed sort of pointless to me if the plot of the book was to teach us bout philosophy. But finding this out has definitely cleared some things up and has helped with the whole “what is the actual plot” question. I mean, we’re reading a book that is a book inside of the book (I think…) so the weird fictional events that have happened to Sophie and Alberto are warranted. The book within our book seems to be fiction, so the weird stuff really isn’t so weird in the aspect of purposefully being unrealistic. I actually didn’t see a huge reveal coming this early in the book; I thought the “big reveal” would come a little bit later. But I guess knowing the twist it makes sense to have the reveal here. Nevertheless the whole thing was waaay more than I ever expected. I’m not really loving the book so far but I really love this twist. It pulled me into the book and I’m definitely more interested in it now than ever before. I’m really excited to see what happens next and I’m actually looking forward to reading the next chapter.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Like Skye I'm also really confused about who Hilde is and the question of her actually being real, I mean it’s getting kind of frustrating because we’re so far into the book and the whole Hilde deal is still really hard to follow. I do think Alberto is Hilde’s dad, but with all the confusion I could very well be completely wrong. I disagree with his view on not being able to trust our senses; our senses are exactly what help us figure things out and piece together if something is real or not, I mean my eye site is definitely pretty accurate in telling me what’s real. I can see where Descartes is coming from when he says that philosophy should start simple and then go more complex along the way. Yes, I do believe that nothing in philosophy is actually simple; we are literally questioning the existence of everything. But I do see how some questions/topics/ideas can more simple than others, at least to me. Personally I think answering the question of whether I believe in god and why is much simpler than having to answer the question “who am I?” I’m seventeen and I still have no freaking clue who I am, but I do have a clue on how I feel about god, so I guess that could be viewed as being a “simpler” question. I’m not sure how I feel about Spinoza’s theory about eternity ended where we end. Even though I do have a pretty good grasp on my opinions on god I still haven’t really decided what I think happens after death. I do believe in spirits, but I don’t know if that constitutes as a ghost or an angel and I certainly don’t want to believe that eternity ends because something that big just ending is a lot to handle. But I’m not sure because an end to eternity seems sort of peaceful, you know, being nothing at peace after death because you’ve already lived a crazy life. It’s  very wishy-washy subject for me, so right now I think I don’t agree or disagree with Spinoza, I think I am just acknowledging his opinion and taking it into consideration.

Okay so Descartes really messed up mind like WOAH. The whole doubt on top of doubt is just mind blowing. I feel that way sometimes, you know when you doubt that everything you believe is actually true and you have that moment where you look around and have to blink a couple of times to make sure you aren’t going inane. That usually happens to me after I get up from a dream, but the whole “do I know that I’m really awake and not just dreaming anymore?” thing realllllyyyyy freaked me out because I could be asleep while typing this I just don’t know it and I could actually be in the real world when I have “dreams” about dragons and being able to fly. Local doubt makes sense. I sometimes have to step out and make sure my senses haven’t deceived me. I have double vision so that happens a lot. I find myself making sure there aren’t two apples when I go to pick one up but that doesn’t mean I think EVERYTHING is a deception. Onto Spinoza, I really connect (ha) with his theory that the mind and body are connected and that what you feel connects with your brain and senses. I know this is the opposite of what Descartes believes (that the mind and body are NOT connected) but I think that Spinoza is the one on the right track. Spinoza’s theory about connecting with god through nature is really easy to relate to; I don’t believe in god but I definitely believe that everything in the world connects through nature.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The conversation we had in class yesterday was really fun for me. Though it got a tiny bit heated and it seemed as though some people began to take others’ opinions personally, it was a great discussion. In my opinion, God does not exist. I really connect with Hume’s counter-argument to Payle’s theory of the Teleological Argument. Hume offers the idea of a “flawed-creator”. Though Hume may still believe in God, this is one of my main reasons why I choose not to believe in God. Hume points out that if there are so many “flaws” in the world, the creator of the world must have been flawed s well. Okay, so I’m being a bit of a hypocrite here because I’m a very firm believer that nobody is perfect and our flaws are make us beautiful. But is God is the almighty powerful being, in my interpretation he should have no flaws. The whole “flawed-creator” idea contradicts the whole “perfect all mighty God” idea, and for me if God is flawed there can’t be a God at all. Like I said in class, I can’t imagine a creator being able to sit and watch the beings in their creation suffer horrible things like rape, abuse, disease, and so much more. Yes, sometimes LESSONS need to be learned, but those are painful lessons, not extreme suffering that should not be present in this world. If the world is so full of suffering it’s not possible for me to have the idea of that creator who is just watching the suffering. I do take my opinion of the flawed-creator theory a bit farther than Hume, but the basis of his idea is what fuels my beliefs.

I want to reflect on the religious information is the book so far. I personally don’t have a religious connection at all but I do find the arguments and theories very interesting. Specifically I find Anselm’s ontological arguments really cool. He thinks that god is the best possible thing ever, and “proves” this my saying that because he is the best thing we think of the, the only thing that can make him the best is by him also being real. Okay, here’s my problem: the thought if my nana not having dementia is one of the greatest possible things I can imagine, and if it is one of the greatest, the only thing that make it more great is it being real therefor it has to real, according to Anselm. But it’s impossible for my nana to not have dementia because she’s had it for seven years and there isn’t a cure. Another on of the greatest things ever to me would be the fact that my dog would never die. So, the only thing that could make it even more great it would have to be true, according to Anselm. But unfortunately immortality is impossible and my dog, no matter how much I love her, will not be alive forever. Also, if I don’t think god is the greatest thing ever does that mean he doesn’t exist to me? Or because Anselm thinks that god is the best thing ever ever so he has to exist mean that he exists for everyone, even me who doesn’t think is real, let alone the best thing ever? I said his theory was cool to me, not that I agree with it. I think it’s cool because he really did believe this theory was whole-heartedly-no-doubt-about-it-100% true for EVERYONE, not just his. He kind of just assumed that everyone had the same idea of god as he did, and even though that’s beyond silly, it’s still awesome he had so much confidence in the idea.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Connecting the whole of what we are learning in class to the “real world” isn’t something I have to think consciously of doing. Every sentence I read connects to the world around me. If you think about it, every single question Alberto presents to Sophie asks the reader to really question everything they know about life. I sit here reading this book finding myself in the same position as Sophie – when a question is posed instead of reading further I take a second to answer the question myself BASED ON the world in which I live in today. The whole idea of philosophy involves the present just as much as it involves the past, which is one of the really cool things about this subject. Literally EVERY thought depends on your view of the world you live in and how you view it. I mean how am I supposed to answer questions about my opinion on whether the human soul keeps living after death if I don’t have a position on religion in today’s modern society. Society shapes every thought we develop around each philosophy question. I also find it easy to relate the book in general to myself because it’s about a teenage girl learning about something she loves. Okay, I’m learning about philosophy in school by a teacher I SEE every day, but I’m still a really interested teenage girl who goes to bed pondering life and wakes up ready to learn more on how to ponder better. Even though I don’t always agree with Sophie’s answers I feel like I AM Sophie when I read the book.

The book so far is really intriguing. I know you said not to think of Alberto as a pedophile trying to “prey” on Sophie but I can’t help thinking how wrong this whole situation is. Aside from that, the book is actually a really clever way to get a kid to become interested in philosophy. Philosophy is one of those subjects that you don’t necessarily think about until the word is presented to you. Her “teacher” introducing the idea of philosophy to her in a really personal way. By writing Sophie individually and being that mysterious teacher type of figure it really drew Sophie into the subject, even though she didn’t need much convincing once she read the first letter. As far as information goes, the way Alberto is presenting the information makes it seem like I’m being taught personally the information I need to know rather than reading it out of a “textbook”. I also find it extremely helpful to learn the philosophers in order of generation, starting with the natural philosophers and then moving forward from there. It has really helped me connect how each generation of philosophers connects to the generation before it because Alberto is “teaching” it to me chronologically. Alberto himself is also pretty cool if you get past the whole pervert deal. It’s always amazing to have a teacher who genuinely seems interested in the subject they are teaching because it really helps the students want to become involved. Alberto is SO interested in philosophy and the more excited he gets about what he is teaching it seems like the more excited Sophie is to learn what comes next. Overall I think the book is extremely is very helpful, especially because it doubles as a, dare I say, fun textbook to read.