I Love it When A Plan Comes Together | How to Learn Philosophy

This is day # 4 of 30 days of blogs on philosophy. This month, as part of the Praxis philosophy module I am blogging every day about something that I am in the process of learning. If you are between 17-25 and interested in becoming awesome at life find out more at discoverpraxis.com

I’ve got a plan.

A plan to solve a problem I’ve been having this week.

Since I assume you didn’t skim the note at the top of this post, you will know that I am on the fourth day of 30 days of blogging about philosophy. Deciding on topics for these blog posts, has been a challenge the first few days.

Yesterday, my third day, I sat at my computer for 2 hours before I finally figured out what I wanted to write about.

I would get an idea, start writing, then get stuck and drift off onto Facebook, Medium, or Youtube fifteen minutes later.

I was struggling.

I wanted to write something that people would like. Something that I felt confident about. I wanted to find something that I had learned and use it to make a point that would be valuable to others.

I was really overthinking things.

Today, I went to google for blog inspiration.

I thought to myself where could I find inspiration for day number 4?

The obvious answer, I’ll just plagiarize God! What did the big dude get up to on day number 4?

Apparently creating the sun

Which, as someone on my Facebook feed pointed out, raises the question of how it became the fourth day if there had been no sun?

Anyways, creating celestial bodies was a little out of my range for day 4 so I went back to the drawing board. And, that is when the answer hit me like a big omnipotent deity. I SHOULD TAKE MY OWN ADVICE…. DUH!

On day number two I wrote about how important it is to answer big questions for yourself. I was giving advice that I wasn’t really following through with in my own life.

I wanted to just give updates on things I was learning. I didn’t want to take the risk of telling you what I think I know. I didn’t want to risk looking like an idiot.

I was afraid. Haunted by the ghosts from 17 years in the education system, telling me that I needed to learn before I could start doing. I needed to read through the history of philosophical thought before I could set out to answer big philosophical questions.

Even though I knew it wasn’t true, I was still acting like I needed to gain some sort of authority before I attempted to answer big questions.

That’s not the way to actually learn something, though. We don’t learn to master a skill and then finally start to apply the skill. Learning is a process of learning, applying, failing, learning, applying, failing, over and over again.

To learn something you need to try to do it. So that is what I am going to set out to do. Over the next seven days I’m going to give some short answers to big questions.

  1. What happens when we die?
  2. What is “reality”?
  3. What is evil?
  4. Do you control the universe, or does the universe control you?

Do I have any authority to answer these questions? No. Not Really.

I’ve probably thought about them a little more than the average person. But I am very far from being well read when it comes to philosophy.

I haven’t read the Aristotle or Plato. I don’t know what Descartes’ ideas were.

And that makes me feel nervous. I feel nervous to put my opinions out into the open when I know I’m probably wrong. When I know I probably have some fallacies in the way I think about things and that there are some areas where I might now be logically consistent.

There is some part of me that is scared of finding out those things. A part that is more worried about looking good, than actually being good.

I don’t listen to that part of myself.

There is no real risk to being wrong. There IS a risk to never finding out that you are wrong.

If I don’t express my thoughts, I won’t get the feedback I need to improve my thinking. I will hold onto beliefs that haven’t been tested, and make assumptions that are not based on biases and not clear thinking.

So, instead of hiding my core beliefs, I want to put them out in the open. To share them with you and get your thoughts on them. I want you to tell me what you agree with, and what you disagree with. To try and untangle some answers to life’s big questions.

Then, as I continue reading I will have something to compare to as my ideas, thoughts, and opinions change. I will have answers on day ten that I can compare to answers on day 30. I will be able to see the things I have learned clearly in terms of my ability to apply them. And that is what education is all about.

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