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The Big Questions by Mind Map: The Big Questions
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The Big Questions

Doing Philosophy

Problems with buzzwords and their solution

Truth, Articulation

Justice, Arguement, These give rise to concepts that have to fall into a conceptional framework., Empirical concepts, Experience, Influenced by lifestyle, ideology, climate of opinion, worldview weltanschauung, A priority concepts, Math

Freedom, Analysis

Moral, Synthesis

A Little Logic

Also include Appendix II  page 395 to the reading on logic.


Vicious and nasty

Logical and reasonable, Deductive argument, Inductive argument

Ad hominin

Possible Lessons

Opening Questions

Distribute questions to groups for discussion

Looks to be a class activity maybe two classes. A good lead in to the course.

The Meaning of Life

Possible Assignment:  Page 49, Choosing the best fit \\\\\\"Life is ______\\\\\\" and then explaining why this is true.


Do we do everything merely for our own vanity?  Do we work hard to buy a car, merely so that others may glare upon int in wonder?

Meaningless question

It would be like asking, "What is the meaning of Arabic?"  or "What is the meaning of golf?"  It turns into nonsense.


If children ar ethe meaning, the meaning is never realized because children have children.

The Afterlife

Why would the next life be any more meaningful that this life?

Life is a game

Everything comes to naught so have competition

Desires life all about chasing the latest model telephone?

Can one ever be happy or are we doomed or chase our desires or no meaningful end?


The opposite of desire. To rid yourself of desire. Why not just be dead?

Is pushing a rock up a hill any different?

God chapter

Without God all would be absurd..... Kierkengaard

No Meaning = absurdity and nihilism, Camus

The vocabulary is useful

Spinoza ... God is everywhere

Hegel Team Spirit for Humanity

That God lives amongst us in a spirit and in that God works through people.  Zeitgeist.  Furthermore, God is not static but is going through a process of change over time..  It sounds to me like a classic case of Man creating god in his own desired image.

Voltaire ... God the physicist

The Deistic point of view that God is the prime mover behind the physical world, but it would be groundless to say that God is conscious of our thoughts, intentions, or actions.  This is what makes dogma so absurd.

Pierre Simon de Laplace ..."So what's the point Voltaire?"

Soren Kierkegaard ... God is everything

The Problem of Evil

Yes, there is evil, but it could be worse

Suffering is put forth to test the faith of individuals and the natural disasters are put in our way to remind us that we are mortal - not to get too high up on our high horses.

Evil doesn't disprove God

We just can't comprehend what the grand goal is.

Free will Solution

Ontological Argument in favor of God

1.  We cannot conceive of God except as an infinaite and most perfect being. 2.  A being who had all perfections except for perfection of existence, would not be most perfect. 3.  Therefore, the most perfect being necessarily exists.

But there is the problem of the flying spaghetti monster.

Kant - If there is no God, then there is no moral foundation

If there is no God, morality is based on majority/mob rule.

Pascal's Wager

Irrational Faith

Proposed by Kierkegaard, that belief is merely a leap of faith and that to form rational arguments are baseless.

Mysticism - can't be argued on the basis of faith

Marx (Opiate), Freud (Illusion)

Job (A-Yub - in Arabic) - Justice in the afterlife

How can some people be tested and not even know it.

Saint Thomas Aquinas - Cosmological Argument

There has never been an effect without a cause, therefore there had to be some prime mover (as Aristotle saw it) that got the ball started.

Rush Limbaugh

The Good Life

Kant's Good Will

There must be free will otherwise there can be no morality.

Good intentions are good enough because we are unaware of the consequences of our actions. Intentions matter, This was "duty" doing what you ought to do.


Does not exist in pure form


Happiness should be obtained, but from sober thought and reflection


Happiness, The point of success is not to arrive, Doing something for the sake of doing it is what happiness is., Eudaimonia, Achieved Through Virtue, Courage, Temperance Liberality, Magnificence, Pride, Good temper, friendliness, Truthfulness, Wittiness, Shame, Justice


Life through simplicity and a meager living

Leads to purification



Psychological egoism

Can this exist?

Ethical Altruism

Golden Rule

Psychological Altruism

Ethical Egoism

Ayn Rand

Morality and Theories of Morality

Categorical imperatives, Act only on that maxim [intention] whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law, Act as if the maxim of your action were to cecome by your will a universal law of nature., Always act so as to treat humanity, whether in yourself or in others, as an end in itself, never merely as a means., Always act as if to bring about, and as a member of, a Kingdom of Ends {an ideal community in which everyone is always moral].

The Rule of Deference

The Utility Principle

John Stuart Mill

Jeremy Bentham

Moral Relativism

Moral relativism may be any of several descriptive, meta-ethical, or normative positions. Each of them is concerned with the differences in moral judgments across different people and cultures: Not all descriptive relativists adopt meta-ethical relativism. Moreover, not all meta-ethical relativists adopt normative relativism. Richard Rorty (1931–2007), for example, argued that relativist philosophers believe "that the grounds for choosing between such opinions is less algorithmic than had been thought," but not that any belief is equally as valid as any other. Descriptive relativism is merely the positive or descriptive position that there exist, in fact, fundamental disagreements about the right course of action even when the same facts obtain and the same consequences seem likely to arise. It is the observation that different cultures have different moral standards. Descriptive relativists do not necessarily affirm or deny the existence of a single correct normative appraisal,...

Moral Absolutism

Moral absolutism is an ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong, regardless of other contexts such as their consequences or the intentions behind them. Thus stealing, for instance, might be considered to be always immoral, even if done to promote some other good (e.g., stealing food to feed a starving family), and even if it does in the end promote such a good. Moral absolutism stands in contrast to other categories of normative ethical theories such as consequentialism, which holds that the morality (in the wide sense) of an act depends on the consequences or the context of the act. Moral absolutism is not the same as moral universalism (also called moral objectivism). Universalism holds merely that what is right or wrong is independent of custom or opinion (as opposed to relativism), but not necessarily that what is right or wrong is independent of context or consequences (as in absolutism). Moral universalism is compatible with moral absolutism, but also...

Never acceptable in any circumstance


"God is Dead"

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The Nature of Reality

Scientists have taken over from the religious people in regards to determining what science is.


Ontology - Ontological study, determining what is most real.

Aristotle's false belief about weight and free fall - dispelled by Galileo

But the side issue is that Aristotle was had a different idea about science.  Like the story of the boat that was refitted.  To some it was a new boat, and to others it was entirely new - depending on the essential parts to the boat.

Thales - everything is water or a combination thereof

Fell into the well and had this revelation.

Pythagoras - Numbers are most real

And he also discovered that half the length of a string brought about an octave higher.

The World Really Isn't Real


the world is made up of non-material things, tends to be the more religious types that follow this, but it makes me wonder about black matter in the universe.

Plato's Form

It is impossible to draw a perfect triangle


Substance is what is important


Descartes - Dualism - mind body Relationship

Spinoza - Monist - there is only one substance


Monads, Life is immaterial and illusiionary


Reality NEEDS a basis in the mind

Bishop Berkeley

German Idealists

It would seem as if the Germans such as Kant and his "  


It would seem as if Hegel and his "Spirit" was close to what Aristotle said about humankind going in a particular direction.  Kant talked of a massive consciousness moving through history.  Aristotle saw a similar movement.

The world is a process and devoid of permanent substances. For example, what is the true nature of an apple, is it how we see it at the moment, or is it what we saw three weeks previously when it was a bud.

The problem with the process

Early philosophers would contend that God was perfect and perfection doesn't need an alterations, therefore, to define God as a process would necessarily admit that God is at times flawed.

A Decent definition of reality:

Reality is a function of our purposes, our passions, and our collective social goals.

Maybe there are other dimensions we are unaware of.

An interesting topic when looking at things like dark matter in the universe or other things that we are vaguely aware of.  2,000 years ago, people could not have understood radio wave, but when they did, it was taken for granted.  Perhaps there is another unknown beyond our senses that shapes reality.

Schopenhauser the Pessimist

Life basically sucks.  It's meaningless and we should never think too much into it being a happy creature.


The Essential Self

Often thought of as the self devoid of what role you might be playing

Changes from situation to situation

Self as Body, Self as Consciousness

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The Self and it's Emotions

The Egocentric Predicament

The Mind Body Problem


Identity Theory

The Self as a Choice

No Self, Many Selves

The Self as Social

Self and Relationships

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