Stephen Hawking (last blog post)

I decied to do my last blog post on the Stephen Hawking presentation because I really liked the puppet show and I just found out today that I don’t have to take a final, so I really just want to get this finished. LAST BLOG POST EVER. Anyway, the puppet show was about the life of Stephen Hawking. When he was younger, Hawking wanted to become a dancer, but an accident forced him to be confind to a wheelchair. He then made science his life’s focus, getting a degree in physics from Oxford and a degree in cosmotology from Cambridge. His main focus is in cosmotology and black holes. His research cemented the big bang theory, and his Theory of Singularity argues that a black hole is a point of endlessness. One of the theories that really interested me was his arguement that God doesn’t exist and that the only real thing is the universe. So my question is what if God IS the Universe????? Da da da dum! Here’s what I found from my research……

Ok, so when I looked up this theory online I expected to find some ideas supporting it, but I definately didn’t expect to find a whole religion about it! Pantheism is the idea that God and the Universe are the same thing! The ideas of unity through the Cosmos and a sacredness of nature is central to their religion. John Toland first used this term in 1705 in his work “Socinianism Truely Stated, by a pantheist”. He was influenced by Spinoza and Bruno. In his work, Toland stated that Pantheism was “opinion of those who believe in no other eternal being but the universe.” Some other notable Pantheist are Wordsworth, Coleridge, Hegel, Emerson, Thoreau, and Einstein. Although the religion lost momentum after World Wars One and Two, and the emergence of more “realistic” philosophies such as Existentialism and Post-modernism, it still exist today. This makes me wonder if Hawking is a secret Pantheist, um……..

Well, this my friends, is my totally awesome blog post about how God and the universe are actually the same thing. And thus, my last blog post ever is done. Ozzy out!

Love

One of the presentations that really interested me was the one about love. It’s such an important part of our lives, yet not many philosophers spend time trying to explain it. The philosophers that do, such as Scozinhower, believe that love is a trick we play on ourselves to reproduce. Scozinhower believed that the reason we fall in love with someone is because, subconciously, we believe that person will make a good parent. Also, because we think they will cancel out our flaws, both physically and personality wise. For this presentation, we watched a video where different people expressed what they felt love was. Most people, like the philosophers, believe love is just about having sex. They regard it more as an action than an emotion. Although, one person expressed a rather different view. He said that loving someone is when we want to put their happiness ahead of our own.

All of these views were very interesting, but they left me with lots of questions. I think that love has to be about something more than sex or “reproducing”. I love my family, but I don’t want to “reproduce” with any of them! So I did some reasearch and this is what I found: One general definition of love is that it is a virtue representing all human kindness, compassion, and understanding; but because their are so many different views from various cultures and religions, it’s impossible to create an universal definition. For example, in the Persian culture, love inclues everything from the relationship you have with your friends, to your family, to your spouses, to your Gods. The Japanese culture places a large empthasis on the Amae, or the Mother-Child bond; whereas most religions would agrue that the highest form of love comes from a deity. However, most views agree that love is the opposite of hatred. Aristotle defind love as the desire “to will the good of another.” I thought this view was very similar to the one discussed in the video we watched in class by the man with the Mentos on his chin. This definition can be used to defind love towards a family member or friend. One can also feel love for an object, priniciple, or goal if they care about it enough and are deeply commited to it. This also shows that love is about more than sexual attractions.

Robert Sternburg defind love in three different parts; the first being intimacy. Intimacy happens when you share your beliefs or other personal information with someone else. For example, if you say that “Purple is my favorite color!” or that “Secretly, I really like ______ movie!” This sort of interaction is one we often have with our friends and family. The next stage in commitment, proving that the relationship will be long lasting or permanet. For example, you may have a nice conversation with a random stanger where there is some intimacy, but then never see or hear from that person again. However, if you exchange contact information with that person and stay in touch with them, the two of you can become close friends. The final stage was sex and sexual attractions. This stage occurs between two people who love eachother in a more romantic sense. Sternburg also explains that real love involves some combination of these three stages, so you can’t love a person if you have a one-night-stand with them or a random conversation. I like this way of looking at love because it is inclusive not only to romantic relationships, but relationships between friends and family as well.

I also looked at the views of some of the Eastern philosopher’s. Confusious believed that how much we love someone is determined by our actions, not our feelings. He believed that people love each other to different degrees, with the family being the highest degree. The biggest opposition of this view cam from another Chinese philosopher, Mozi. Mozi did not believe in degrees and felt that we should love all people equally. In Buddaism, love is believed to either help one reach Enlightenment, or keep one from it, depending on weather on uses it for selfish or selfless desires.

Ultimately, this reasearch proves that love is about more than having sex.

Ethnics

So I’m doing my second post on the presentation about Ethnics. In class, we talked about the difference between meta, normative, applied, and descriptive ethics. Meta deals with the analysis of ethics and defining good and evil. Normative deals with the standards of ethics and ideas such as the means, acting for duty, and the ends, acting for a result. Applied deals with how we use this information, and descriptive deals with what people think is right. One of the philosophers we talked about was Moore and his Principal Ethica. His ideas were very similar to Plato’s, in that he believed good was a universal truth; such as yellow is the only color of that nature, or that a triangle always has three sides. We also talked about Thomas Hobbes, who believed that people need a government because human nature is cruel and a if humans existed without a government, the result would be chaos and misery.

Although I think Plato was a complete jerk, I do agree with his theory on good being a universal truth; but I think we tend to confuse these truths with social norms. To support this theory, I looked at different religious views. The three major religions of the world, Judaism, Christianity, and Islamic, all have the same basic beliefs; don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t cheat on your partner, give to others, etc. One could argue that because these religions all originated from the same source, Judaism, it only makes sense that they have similar ideas. However, religions such as Paganism and Buddaism also express a belief in the need for people to respect their fellow human beings. It all adds up to proving that good is a universal truth resulting from nature, not a human invention.

However, this theory leaves one problem; if good is universal, why do people choose to do the wrong thing? I think ignorance may be a factor, but that doesn’t cover it. I spend a lot of time thinking about this problem, and I believe I might have an answer. Pride leads people to choose the wrong action; it’s what causes prejudice and hate. For example, the Crusades happened because Christians thought their religion was better than that of Muslims. Genocide occurs because some people think their race is better than that of another. When a person thinks they are in someway better than another, they commit actions which they know are wrong for others, because they think they are somehow above them.

Loyalty

I decided to do my first presentation post on loyalty because it got me thinking a lot about what true loyalty and if you can be loyal to a cause even if it’s not a good one

So in this presentation we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what loyalty was. We looked at dictionary definitions, as well as the Josiah Royce theory. In his theory, Royce said that a person can only be loyal if they are devoted to a good cause, not an evil one. We also looked at different examples of loyalty in literature and movies, such as The Odyssey, Beowulf, Voltaire’s Candide, Fox and the Hound, Titantic, and the Notebook.

I’ve been thinking alot about that Josiah Royce theory, and I think I’ve figured out what he meant. It’s alot easier to be devoted to an evil cause than a good cause, which is why devotion to a not so good cause is never true loyalty. For example, it’s easy for someone to be devoted to bullying an unpopular kid at school, because most students wouldn’t care. But it’s alot harder to be a true friend to a kid who gets picked on, because you risk getting picked on yourself. It’s easier to think that if something’s different it’s automatically bad, it’s easier not to have an open mind, it’s easier to go along with the crowd. But it’s a lot harder to be devoted to something when other’s are not, and when it becomes a challenge. When you stand up for something even when it’s hard, that’s true loyalty.

So I tried to look up some examples in support of this theory, and I found two really great one’s. The first example happened at our school not that long ago. Last week, there was an assembly for Freshmen and Sophomores about bullying. A small group of upper classmen went up and spoke about times they had been bullied, how it felt, and what helped them get through it. They showed true loyalty to their cause to end bullying by talking about their personal experiences in front of half the school. Afterwards, students were invited to go on stage and share their some of their own experiences with bullying. Over 50 students went on stage, others had to be turned back to do lack of time. One notable student actually confessed to being a bully and promised to change his ways. (I swear I am not making this up!) I think that what this shows is that when supporting a not so good cause becomes difficult, most people will stop supporting it. Plato’s theory of evil being a result of ignorance, and that the more knowledge people have the less likely they will commit evil, definitely has some validly here.

Another example of true loyalty I found was on the tv show Glee. In one episode, a character named Kurt was about to be beaten up by some of this peers because he was gay. Another character, Finn, decided to stand up for Kurt and prevent the bullies from hurting him. The students doing the bullying were not showing true loyalty because they were just building off the anti gay feelings at their school. Again, taking the easy way out. Finn, on the other hand, showed true loyalty to his friend by standing up for him. This was the harder task, because he risked becoming a target for future bullying. Also, because the two students doing the bullying were Finn’s teammates.

So, that’s my argument. I know most people probably wouldn’t agree with me; but let me just ask you this. Have you ever made a decision that you weren’t sure was the right one, for any other reason than the people around you were making the same decision, so you figured it couldn’t be that bad?

Project Day 5

Ok, so I’m not really sure what to right about since I finished all my research and planned out my entire presentation. Today I finished making my Magda Arnold experiment (that’ll be fun). And so yeah…..that’s pretty much it. What I hope the class gets out of this is more knowledge about different theories for the development of the personality. Also, that they might look at their own personality in different ways. Now the question is, what am I going to do tomorrow?

Last day

Almost forgot to do this last post, oops! Anyway, I looked up a few last minute facts about nature vs. nurute, got all my activities together, and am ready for my presentation!

Project Day 3

So today I found some more theories on personality. Some things on social constructivism, theories on attitute, and some facts about the Ego and the ID. I also came up with an idea on how to test Magda Arnold’s theory of emotion on the class, hope it works (and that it doesn’t make anyone mad at me !)