Challenges Faced By Socrates

Socrates developed this philosophy when he himself was facing some challenges as he was facing trial for corrupting young people and undermining the state religion. Socrates once said that the unexamined life is not worth living. In this he was Socrates wanted forward various issues including the independent of mind or autonomy, if an individual does not reflect on their values and life and just living life like they are going through a motion. One behaves like a mere cog in the machinery of that is the human universe. When we have experiences whether good or bad we should think about them and try to find out why they are happening to us. One should always question their personal actions, what drives them, and we should remodel our character into a way we feel it is the most appropriate and not what others or situations think.

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A life that has not been examined has no author, for the individual did not live his life but mere followed the force of nature or others. Therefore it is very important for an individual to be examined for it helps them to find their place in the society. According to Socrates the human life is supposed to be for one to achieve both personal and spiritual growth. An individual will be able to understand their true nature when they examine and reflect on the life they are living. By having an examination on the life we live we will better understand our pattern of behavior. By deeply contemplation on our life we will better understand our subconscious which is what controls our life. Therefore if we do not make time to understand our subconscious we will unconscious be living a repetitive life with no meaning.

Examining our life relates to philosophy as it means we have to take time to study our behavior and find ways of improving this behavior.

2. Plato in the discussion that he made on the myth of the cave, he distinguished on aspects of awareness which are knowledge and opinion. In the myth of the cave he described how one has been deeply chained inside a cave. As they are chained in the cave their cannot see each other and they have restricted vision and what they can only see is the wall in the cave and which shows shadows from statues belonging to animals and various objects emanating from a burning fire. One of the chained individuals escaped from their captivity in the cave to the light of the day. After escaping the person sees real world for the first time and goes back to those still in the cave and informs them that they have only been seeing appearances and shadows and if they fight to free themselves they will see the real world out there.

The environment in the cave which has appearances that are shadowy it shows to for Plato is the appearance that is there in the physical world. The escape to the world full of the sun outside of the cave is a symbol of transitioning into a world that is real, where things are full and perfect, and there are real forms, this are the true aspects of knowledge. Plato argued that Forms are arranged according to hierarchy. With the top Form being the form that is good, according to the myth of the cave is the sun. The sun which acts as the form of good helps to explain on how an individual becomes aware of how things they are the way they are or how they came to be. The cave stands for the world which is in our imagination, the in the shadows cave shows of how at passive state that we are at when thinking. Those who decide to learn in the cave are the individuals who have empirical knowledge and are able to make predictions. The knowledge that they have is not useful but a shadow. Education is only important if it can be able to free someone from their bondage. Every individual has an ability to think and If does not utilize this it is because he is held by chains.

3. Elizabeth Spelman once claimed that, women have been portrayed as bodily being. By portraying the woman this way she is denied her status that belongs to her as a human being. According to Rene Descartes who is accredited to have developed the theory of Cartesian dualism, he argued of distinction between the mind and the body and they are also separate. Cartesian dualism states that the thoughts of a man are a reflection of his beliefs, values, conditions, experiences, and development.

The Cartesian dualism that speaks of the independence and separation of the mind and body perpetuates a sexist beliefs and behaviours. This is because it privileges the cognitive and intellectually is represented. This masculine discourses; Spelman argued that it works in reproducing a disembodied way of thinking which blinds people on how a normal world is. Spelman argued that the viewing of the woman as a property or a sex product undermines who the woman is. Elizabeth Spelman the Cartesian dualism is used to justify why the women are subordination especially in fields such as Politics.

The stereotyping of women is a dangerous aspect in the society, judging a woman based on her body is an affront to the women. The theory tends to give certain roles to women, like that they have a certain position in the society and they are field that are specifically for them and others they should not venture into. They are seen as models and not engineers.

4. Aristotle refuted Plato Theory of Ideas arguing that, that the existence of various Ideas that contradict themselves and deny there being a possibility of a negation. He also argued that the portraying of Ideas was an empty metaphors and finally that the theory used various impermanent abstractions that created perception. The theory by Plato was meant to establish that the knowledge of reality was. Aristotle considered the argument to be full of inconsistencies and he believed that reality depended on correlations of other elements. These ideas, Plato believed were self contained absolutes and are permanent and they help in establishing what knowledge is and how it is attained by use of human thought. Plato also viewed Ideas as good standards to which it can be used to judge human endeavor and at the top of hierarchy of ideas leads is that of Good.

Also the theory argued that that the states of being are based or dependent on the interaction of number of Forms of existence, also the objectivity of knowledge and therefore more real, it also argued that only the processes that are from nature are valid entities. However, Aristotle attacks this theory on the grounds that Plato’s arguments are inconclusive either his assertions are not al all cogent. Aristotle says, or his arguments lead to contradictory conclusions. Aristotle claimed that the argument by Plato makes one to conclude that those entities that might be man-made and the negation of great ideas can exist like from non good in when in opposition to good. This works in contradicting the belief by Plato which was that only natural objects can be used by unto themselves, that they are independent of the subjective experiences of human. Aristotle argued that Ideas cannot be abstractions but they are duplicates experiences that are witnessed by individual’s everyday in their daily life. Aristotle meant that Plato’s idea which stated that Ideas are not tangible to the subjective human experiences is perfect entities, has no grounds, since all standards are set by the perception and ordinary human activity.

5. Behaviorism is a theory of that believes that that all human behaviors are learnt or acquired through the process of conditioning. The process of conditioning happens when an individual interacts with the environment. Behaviorism experts believe that behavior can be effectively studied in an observable and systematic way without the consideration of the internal mental states in the subject of which the behavior is being studied. Behavior theorists believe that learning is just but the acquisition of behavior and this acquisition is conditioned by the environment that the person lives in. there are two methods of conditioning, namely the classical conditioning and the operant conditioning.

According to dualism there are number a number of uses of thought. The idea of dualism believes that, for everything, there are two options or categories of principles or things. A dualist will believe that there is Good and Evil. The dualist belief that the two things or principles, are independent equal opposing forces in the world. In the mind philosophy, dualism theory believes that the mind and body is radically different thing. It is a theory that tends to say that everything comes from the mind and the body and that both are very different and distinct. The spirit, mind, or soul is thought to be the conscious and it help to show the self using the brain.

The computational theory of mind argues that mind of human beings should be seen as a system for processing information. It also argues that thoughts are a form of computation.

I prefer behaviorism as I belief that all behaviors that people exhibit are based on the environment that they live in. I strongly believe that behavior is learned by people.

6. Berkeley argued that the position of idealism can be held without any contradiction. Berkeley tried to portray realism as absurd, since it needed some concepts that cannot be conceptualized in reality. Therefore Berkeley made a conclusion that idealism was necessary, and the only theory we should work to understand. Realism is the ontological position which believes that there exists some things that which are neither in our minds or they are ideas in minds and idealism is the ontological position that believes that everything which exists it exists as either as an idea in a mind or a mind.

Anti – realist believe that what cannot be observed is not real. They insist that people can only understand anything if they come to understand the circumstances it is the way it is. They deny the objective reality that is of entities. They also deny the verifying of statement that are transcendent on a certain entity whether true or false.

Berkeley and anti – realist have several things in common which include that he did not believe in realism but believed in idealism which he considered to be essential to people. He argued that for a concept to be concrete it has to be observable. This is the same as what anti realist hold.

7. Jean-Paul Sartre, made the phrase that existence precedes essence. In the past it was assumed that nature or essence was more important eternal than existence. The phrase that existence precedes essence means, that humans and reality, exist before there are any morals or values. An individual is born with nothing in their mind. Also human beings do not have any universal or form of predetermined principles that are common to all.

Sartre made an argument of there being two kinds of being, being-in-itself which demonstrated as being complete, fixed, and there being no reason of it there, it just is, it works to describe the external objects. The other being is showed as being dependent on the way it previously existed. It is fixed, absolute and works to describe the state of humanity.

There being no preformed essence or a clear what to be human is, an individual is tasked to form their own concept about existence this can be achieved by an individual ensuring that they assert control and show responsibility for their choices and acts. Human beings gain their essence by their choices and actions that they make as individuals. It by living that an individual is able to define who truly they are.

By life that we experience every day, we are involved in a process that shapes our identity. Since there is no set moral code that has been set for us to abide with, then there people as individuals have a fundamental freedom to ensure that they create their personal system of belief.

8. The ontological argument is an argument on the existence of God. The argument is based on reason and intuition alone. As per the argument, it states that that one should not look for any physical evidence to show that God exists. But by merely thinking about it we can realize that God exists. In philosophy this argument is referred to as priori argument.

According to the ontological argument, human beings are wise enough to know claims false without even by looking into this claims and to find out. The argument claims that the thought that there is no God and does not exist is an absurd thought. According to the ontological argument, human beings can easily be able to decide that it is false or wrong to claim that there is no God; this decision can be made without one spending his time to look at the details of the existence of God. This is compared to one knowing what a triangle is which means it is obvious that it is impossible to have a four-sided triangle. The argument states that by one knowing the meaning of God it would be impossible for one to contemplate of God being non-existence.

Descartes argued that it was impossible for people to demonstrating there being or existence of God who he considered to be supreme and a perfect being. Since human beings supposes and conceive the idea that there exists a supreme and perfect being. Therefore because we all have an idea of the supreme and perfect being, it is therefore imperative that we should all make a conclusion that this supreme perfect being does surely exists.

9. There being evil and a lot of suffering in the world poses a big challenge for one to belief in the existence of a God who is perfect. The problem of evil is an argument which argues that a God who is all-knowing, all powerful, and who is perfectly good should not permit any form of suffering or evil to happen. The world today is full of countless aspects of people suffering and there being too much evil. The facts on the presence of evil and people suffering do conflict with the claim by the orthodox theists that there is a God who is perfectly good. This challenge by this conflict is known as the problem of evil.

Some argue that God could have a reason that is morally enough reason for him to allow there being some evils to happen, by doing this he ensures that a big good is seen or comes out of the evil. But those against argue that God should only permit evil or suffering as it should be necessary so as to attain a bigger good. But when people look at the world, there are a lot of prevalent incidences of pointless evils that has no bigger good that comes out as a result. They also argue that the existence of pointless evil provide a strong case that God does not exist.

Philosophers and theologians have worked to develop theodicies, which are responses that are meant to explain the argument from evil and help people to still have a belief in a God that is all-knowing, all-powerful and perfect and good. Some state that God allows people to undergo pointless evil for reason that are above human comprehension.

10. Pascal Wager argued that that is safe to believe that there is God since if later you learn that you were wrong you will have lost nothing. Also if one doesn’t believe in God and it turns out to be incorrect, they will go to hell. He therefore believed it was not wise to be an atheist. I personally do not believe in this argument as it has several flaws.

The argument doe not tell of which religion one should follow. Since there are many religions that are mutually exclusive and contradict each other example is Christianity and Islam. Therefore one might end up avoiding worshiping the wrong God thus avoiding the wrong hell and eventually end up in hell. Example is in both Christianity and Islam they both belief in there being hell yet their practices are very different and they both worship God, which God should one follow?

Another flaw is that the argument that the person who the bet losses everything, it might be that he loses nothing. If an individual puts his bet on the wrong god, the True God just may decide to punish the person who bet wrong for his foolish behavior. Also the True God might be an independent God who respects the right of other people believing in what they reason rationally, therefore he does not pick on the bet.

I also have a problem with somebody deciding to believe in a god since they think they have made a choice which will offer them a lot of benefits and less danger. This might be a problem as the god you believe in might have a problem in one believing in it so as to benefit by being allowed into heaven or not to be punished in hell. The god might be fair but on the choices that people made, were they selfish choice?