Sunday, 7 August 2016

Thought 287: Rarity of Philosophy

It does amaze me how rare it is for people online, and especially on my Facebook, to share philosophical ideas of their own or any kind of thoughtful generalisation about the world.

Generalisations are seen with a poor eye by common understanding as being untrustworthy and nothing offends people's sensibilities more than admitting to the fact that truth may be absolute rather than relative and dependent on or equivalent to perception.

Mark Passio is always keen to point out that some blanket statements are true and the fact that a statement amounts to a blanket statement - e.g. there are no enlightened people working for police authorities - does not necessarily mean it is a false one.

Many who deal with philosophical ideas online limit themselves to sharing what other thinkers have thought and appear to be loath to themselves make the leap into the strong winds of thinking for its own sake. 

The vast, vast majority on my Facebook account share pictures, videos, memes, stuff happening in their lives, the occasional rant or reaction to mainstream political events, but the philosophers among my friends are incalculably rare. 

[That being said, the fact that people choose not to express their philosophical views for whatever reason is no sure sign that they do not have philosophical ideas. Perhaps sharing philosophical ideas takes more temerity than I realised.] 

I would not be surprised if many of my Facebook friends considered my online philosophical musings and opinions as a waste of time, hard to read, pretentious or even the sign of a character flaw. 

This was brought home to me not only by the general lack of interest in my thoughts but also by the fact that the one thing I said that did get attention was my admitting that my philosophical labours were at bottom opinions mixed with a little insight and sensitivity.

Now that got a lot of likes.

People just don't care or want to know what you think, however deep and profound, and likely do not see any value in the art of thinking. Moreover, getting off on ideas is likely a minority taste.

Nietzsche thought that the fact that the philosophical sensibility was a rare plant, historically and in his own time, had perhaps good reason behind it. After all, a lot of suffering can arise from over-philosophising. 

Yet I personally fail to see the wisdom in this because it is reluctance to think and therefore to resist that allows evil and immorality to endure and this failure ensures the continuing success of mass mind control methodologies that divide and conquer and lower the consciousness levels of the great majority. 

Although often quoted with amusement, the statement by Socrates according to which great minds think in ideas, average minds in terms of events and small minds in terms of people should perhaps be taken literally

I was once asked how I knew that I had a great mind. Although unable to answer the question at the time, in retrospect I should have answered with the above quote: I think in ideas rather than events or people.

I hope that my example as an outspoken blogger who is not scared of probing the depths of existence will encourage others to partake in the pagan feast that is thinking for the sake of thinking.

Addendum - Of course material conditions are key to one's ability to philosophise, including whether or not one is tied to a job or is constantly worried about money or has dependants that need active, daily care.