Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Parched

One of the issues attendant with non-attendance at your average university level philosophy course is the inability to articulate the buzzwords necessary to appear as if you know what you're talking about. For example, today I had a long conversation with a customer about the Cowon J3. Frankly, I don't know much about it (and I can't see why anyone would want to know much about it), but the thing was that I knew slightly more about it than he did. More importantly, I know all the buzzwords of mp3ology, and thus I was able to appear much more knowledgeable than I really am, and I was able to give learned opinions regarding his future purchasing habits. After all, my goal is to help people self-actualize, if not hyphenate themselves.

My point in the above lengthy example is that I really don't know how to express myself well when it comes to the comment which I want to make on today's Parsha. Basically, Rashi asks a simple question, "Why is Yaakov so worried about Binyamin going on a journey?" I mean, I get that he'd be worried about his youngest son (who by the by already had ten of his own children, but that's neither here nor there) going off to Egyptland, but why did he specifically mention the journey? You think that by staying at home you'll escape disaster? Rashi answers that we see from here that the accuser prosecutes at a time of peril. So yeah, logically there's no difference, but when it's more dangerous, it's more dangerous.

The philosophical point that I think is important here is that life just is. There's no way to know what's going on, what's going to happen, or whatever. I'm sure there's some fancy philosophical term for all this, but it seems to be very fatalist. Like, whatever is going to happen is going to happen, and there's nothing you or your redundancies can do about it. And just as you're about to go eat that cheeseburger and jump off the Empire State Building and dedicate your next six lives to reading Bill Bryson, something happens. And that something is G-d. In this case, he's making sure that climbing the Empire State Building is more dangerous than you might think at first blush, but be that as it may, there's shtuff happening that you can change. Sort of like "Don't go into the desert and you won't get thirsty," but not so cause and effective. Or maybe it is.

16 comments:

e said...

Ich farshtei nisht.

Yossi said...

all too true...

Yossi said...

to you, not to e

sarabonne said...

Oh, oh, we got all this covered in my philosphy textbook. You wanna buy it when I'm done? You can figure out exactly what you believe and quote a bunch of dead guys too. Ok, some are still alive...

e said...

On a serious note, my philosophy textbook (Exploring Philosphy, edited by Steven M. Cahn) is actually quite good. If TRS wants to learn some buzzwords, I'd be glad to lend it.

The Real Shliach said...

e: which part didn't you understand?

Yossi: thank you.

Sara: I'll take a donation- what else will you do with it?

e: has this philosophy helped you in life? Or is it not that kind of philosophy?

e said...

trs: are you saying that yaakov is fatalistic or non-fatalistic?

trs: ummm. a bit. I suppose. Some of the readings helped me clarify my opinions about important stuff like euthanasia and moral relativism. Some of the readings just gave me the right to quote people like Kant and Russel.

The Real Shliach said...

Who mentioned Yaakov?

What are your opinions on euthanasia and moral relativism?

e said...

trs: We were analyzing *Jacob's* fear regarding Benjamin, were we not?

trs:
Permitting euthanasia feels like a horribly slippery slope, but other than that it's a great idea.

The articles on moral relativism made me think that there is no such thing as morality.

The Real Shliach said...

Oh, sorry, I mixed this post up with the other. So, in answer, you tell me if he's fatalistic or non-fatalistic?

It's a great idea because...

Is there such a thing as morality?

e said...

1. whatever.

2. Euthanasia by definition is merciful. Mercy is a great idea. So euthanasia is a great idea.

3. Is there such thing as Santa Claus?

The Real Shliach said...

1. that was an answer.

2. Mercy being a great idea is a subjective (moral) judgement.

3. Of course there is.

e said...

1. ...albeit cleverly disguised as a question.

2. Morals are fantasies. In my moral fantasy, mercy is a great idea.

3. Then I can prove that lemons are not yellow. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_explosion

The Real Shliach said...

A. Very clever- what was the question?

2. Fair enough.

III: A: I'd need to go to college to properly understand that.

B: Of course he exists, in some form or fashion.

e said...

III.
A. Basically it says that all false statements are logically equivalent. So once you assert one false statement, you can use valid logic to deduce anything other statement from it.

B. Well then morality exists in a similar form and fashion.

The Real Shliach said...

A: Yes yes, I got that, I just didn't get all the logistics.

B: Fair enough.