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Philosophy

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Philosophy

Post  Jas DelaLuna on Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:33 pm

The Magick of Philosophy

What is philosophy?

Philosophy, in its most basic definition of the word, is the love of wisdom, coming from the Greek roots “phil-” meaning “love” and “-sophy” meaning “wisdom”. This love for wisdom is sometimes more accurately dubbed the “desire for” or “pursuit of” wisdom, as the philosophers of the past, and of the present, often have forsaken all else to do just that. Today, many do not realize the importance or function of philosophy outside of an academic subject taught in universities, only taken by those who need another credit or wish to teach the subject themselves. However, the philosophers of our time still see a great value in the pursuit of wisdom. Some would go as far to say that pursuing wisdom is the purpose of the time we spend on earth.

The relevance of philosophy

In philosophy, we are encouraged to use a variety of methods of thinking. We are to take stock of all that we believe, and all that we question. We ask questions such as, “how can I know that what I believe is true?”, “is my belief valid?” and “what does it mean for a belief to be ‘true’ or ‘valid’?” In today’s pagan community, one person can be subjected to an arsenal of opposing beliefs, confusing doctrines, and an often counterproductive acceptance of relativism (a school of philosophy that suggests that all held beliefs are true) in a matter of one hour surfing the web or speaking to other pagans in their area. Due to this plethora of faiths and doctrines, it is not only beneficial, but necessary to develop a basic understanding of philosophy, and the methods used by philosophers to examine various beliefs.

The Three A’s Method

The “three A’s method” of philosophy is a method used to examine one’s held beliefs, or ideas. It was popularized by Dr. Tom Morris, a leading expert in the area of philosophy and author of “If Aristotle Ran General Motors”. The three A’s method holds that Analysis, Assessment, and Argument are the keys to examining any belief in a philosophical manner. The first of these, analysis, is one skill that everyone should use at some point in their life. When we analyze something, we look at it from every angle, we play the devil’s advocate and we question the belief, trying to find where it is weak and how we can change it to make it more structurally sound. Question your belief to death if you must, because others will without a moment’s hesitation. The second of these, assessment, is necessary when pitting one idea or belief against its opposing idea or belief. We compare the two, inevitably asking which of the beliefs are correct, but in the process also questioning there coherency and completeness. Finally, the third of these, argument, is certainly the most misunderstood. An argument is not meant to be a fight with words, nor is it meant to be a competition. You aren’t supposed to “win” an argument. Argument serves as a method of testing your beliefs. You’ve already done it yourself through analysis and assessment, now it is time to seek the views of another and see if your belief can hold up against a person with their own established view points. It is also very important to remember the most important rule of argument: never enter one ill prepared.

Taking it with you

This is only an introduction to the art and science of philosophy, but presented in this article are valuable tools. The next time you get heated over someone holding a belief that is different than yours, or invest so much of yourself into a belief that you would die defending it, it wouldn’t hurt to take a moment to analyze, assess, and argue it. The Magicka School Forum is a great place to put these methods to work. Remember the next time you hear the word “philosophy” that it is not just a subject for scholars, but a valuable set of methods that can be used by anyone.
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Re: Philosophy

Post  Godsmack on Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:23 am

Very true. Philosophy should be something that all people should incorporate into their lives. As Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living". I've grown to be very disappointed in the majority of people in this world... A great deal of them are ignorant and proud of it, sadly enough. These people are simply afraid of change and refuse to accept anything beyond what they believe because if they do, their whole life, their 'existence', is shattered. I've met many people like this. I try to engage in a healthy debate with a philosophical approach... only to have them say they don't want to talk about it or because their religious beliefs don't allow it. It's just a matter of excuses they use to masquerade their fear of knowing. "Ignorance is bliss", as they say...
A great example of something like this would be the Christian story of Noah's Ark. Most people will accept this story without questioning its validity. If you actually think about it, there so many flaws within the story itself. Think of all the species on the planet; all of them could not possibly fit within an ark. That is but one example.
It's important to question our lives. Know Thyself. We must analyze ourselves, our beliefs, our lives and learn what is important in this life.
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Philosophy

Post  jman on Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:19 pm

In everyday life and experiences it's not necessary but defiantly more then helpful and strengthening for us to develop be skeptical and curious, to talk deny wonder and explore with each-other for our own well being. I'm sad I didn't start until a few years ago but everyday is a walk in the better meaning of not the general idea of life, but all things that I come in contact with through the day. Its fuffiling for me to know I have my OWN set of beliefs and target concepts of everything and that I can talk or study different things with friends open to share. I encourage every one to wonder and indulge in your own self appearing curiosity =)
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Re: Philosophy

Post  Godsmack on Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:02 pm

Philosophy is a way of life. I think it should be incorporated into daily life. If you make a good habit of doing things, questioning the important, you can raise yourself to new levels of being. Spiritual, emotional, physical, mental... everything. It's important to question things, however, there are some things you cannot understand and will most likely not get a clear answer to, at least in this life.

Love and Light,

Blessed Be.
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