My Philosophy of life over the past couple of months of learning “philosophy,” by its definition, is extremely vague and confusing. It can be related to anything to do with thought, perception, and even basic human existence. However, over the notes, readings and class discussion I have been part of through these months, I learned that philosophy is just simply the study of knowledge. It is also described as the love of wisdom. Consequently, in further defining philosophy, perhaps it is easier to simply state what it may or may not involve rather than trying to find a concrete and firm definition. Philosophy includes the studies of logic, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Logic deals with the principles and systems of reasoning. We deduce and interpret information by this method. Ethics involves the principles of morals and the judgment of “good” and “bad” conduct.
In a world where people are murdering, stealing and harming each other, it’s hard to find the good in people now a days. The people who are doing these things need help. That’s where people with good morals can step in hopefully and change the way they think. I think that people are created initially good and then go create their own nature, which is what Plato thought. He believed that when you are born, you are born with a “clean slate.” I can agree with this by what I have learned In church with my religion, and I think that anyone that believes in God can believe this. Now some of us have it better than other, which can really hurt our chances to do well in this world. If you where born in a bad neighborhood with a lot of violence and drugs, then hung out all with a bad crowd, chances are you will become a bad person. That why these kids need to be put in the right direction.
Aristotle said that everyone lived to be happy, that is something that I totally agree with. Even though different things make different people happy. Aristotle also pointed out that pleasure and happiness is two different things. Like eating wings on a Tuesday night might be pleasurable but may not make me happy so to say. I live my life by having my own philosophical thinking, a combination of my own believes and disbeliefs on the outlook on life. I do not agree with everything that one philosopher thinks, I agree with some points then disagree with others. I just try to do what I think is the right thing, and what makes me happy. I base this on what I have learned through out life. You have to use what morals and values you have, and hopefully they are good. You must first look at your morals and ask yourself if they are good or bad. Having a good moral judgment means you have values in your life. Values are beliefs you have in life that are worth a lot to you. For example, I value life more than anything in this world. I think murder and suicide is terrible. We are put on this world for life, when someone takes that a way I think that is the greatest sin. That is only one of many values, some others include truth, honor and love. These are some great values to have in life, which can make you a very good person. Truth is good because your friends and family will always trust you and be able to rely on you. Honor lets people know that you are a faithful person and can be trusted. Love is the greatest one, whether it is in a relationship with a girlfriend or a family member, or maybe even a person that you don’t even know, Jesus loved everyone and knew they were capable of being good.
Aristotle defined a virtue as a habit of living according to reason. He said that all people had the potential to be virtuous. So if we learn how to take our values and not have too much of it and not too little of it then it becomes a habit, then it will become a virtue. I agree with what he said, I think if we start being truthful, no matter what the case is then eventually we will become a truthful person. People sometime value the wrong things. We value money, greed, and pleasure. Although money is needed in life, I think it can be taken to far.
I have these values but they are no where close to being what they should be. God gave me the potential to be virtuous so it is up to me to strive to meet these standards if I want to be a good person. I am a very caring person, I hardly ever get mad at someone or am mean to someone. I know how it feels to be yelled at or made fun of, so I have learned not to do that to someone. My mother is the one that has taught me most of what I know. So when I got old enough to know right from wrong it didn’t matter how I seen things around me, I just tried to put myself into their shoes to see how they felt. My parents are separated and really didn’t have a great relationship through my whole life, but it didn’t really affect me. I know they both had their flaws and sometimes was right, and sometimes was wrong, but I always understood how to see what they did wrong and reverse it in my own personality.
Basketball is a big part in my life, it has kept me out of trouble too. All throughout high school while my friends were out partying and drinking, I was at the park practicing. Playing college basketball was always a dream of mine. Having dreams and goals is a very good thing. It keeps you occupied and keeps your head on straight, so you do not get caught up in the bad things in life.
Going back to what I was saying earlier about while my friends were drinking. I don’t think drinking is that bad, unless you are binge drinking out of control and you do not know what is going on. Going out and having a few beers with your friends can do no harm. Just as long as you don’t have enough to impair your thinking so much that you make bad decisions that can harm you.
Along with having good values you have to have a very good attitude towards life. Everyone has problems so you need to have good outlets of your problems. I usually deal with my problems in a very rational way. For every problem there is a solution. Sometimes when we get mad we don’t see the solution or we see it but it just seems way to hard to solve. We either don’t know where to begin or don’t know where to go. So we give up. I try not to think like that. If there is a problem I try to fix it right away. For example, if I heard from one of my friends that someone was talking behind my back. I would go to the source, which would, be the person talking. I would go up to them calmly and ask them what was going on. You can’t rely on what others say. Stories get twisted and people like to exaggerate a lot. It also helps when you can go to your family and friends for advice. They are very good outlets for your problems. If you have good family and friends, they can be very understanding and they will listen more than the usual person would. I have been fortunate enough to have family and friends like that.
I am not saying I am issue free at all. I think my biggest problem is judging people. Sometimes I think that my life is so good that everyone should be like me. Every now and then I have to sit back and think, wait a second, people have a lot more problems than me and deal with them differently than I do, which is not wrong at all. Who knows, I might be the one with the wrong outlooks and ways of thinking.
I think I could overcome his by just changing my way of thinking. When you start understanding that people can think differently than you do and deal with things differently that will make you a better person. This is a big problem with everyone. Understanding that you can help this person with their problems but still giving them the chance to vent and deal with things there selves is good. You can only help them as far as they want to help themselves. You can’t control them or nor should you want to. If they want to change they need to take the first step and that is knowing that there is a solution and that this problem is just one of many speed bumps you will come to in life. You may just need to point them in the right direction and be that friend to just listen and understand. I think if everyone had this mind set that the world would be a better place.
As you can see I have my own little outlook on life. It isn’t nothing really new, it may be what you call a regular outlook of a 20 year old college student. But throughout the last 20 years of my life, I don’t think I have been depressed or wished my life was a whole lot different. My parents have been separated and bad things have came in my path but it hasn’t slowed me down. I just deal with my problems and look at the brighter side of life. Life is too short to worry about the small, petty things. Philosophy class this year was very confusing, but still opened my eyes and made me think of how I felt about things. It made me look at my own life a lot closer and analyze it. Aristotle and Plato both had some similar ways of thinking. I agreed with a lot of what they said, even though I might not go into it, or think about it as much as they did. I guess you can say my philosophy would be go with the flow, be happy, stay out of trouble and live life.