Last time, we discussed some of the philosophically genius ideas of the world famous playwright William Shakespeare. We talked about the idea of the Great Chain of Being and how it is not to be overthrown. In this post, we will discuss some deeper implications of the Chain of Being that Shakespeare addresses in some of his tragic plays. Keep reading to find out more!
Shakespeare and Nature
Before we go any further, I did want to share how I got into the work of Shakespeare and how it started to fascinate me. A long time ago, I had bought some property in the state of Georgia and and needed to find a tree service Macon because my property was too heavily wooded to build a house. I was able to locate a company called Tree Service Warner Robins. I found them in the phone book and decided to see what their website was all about. I found the search engine result was at the top. It read: www.maconwarnertree.com/tree-removal-macon/ and I was immediately sold.
When they came to my property, I realized that I felt a little bit guilty about cutting down all of these nice trees. However, a worker assured me with the words “if it were done, t’were done quickly.” These words puzzled me so I decided to look them up. I found that they belonged to Shakespeare’s highly revered play “Macbeth.” I decided to give it a read. I did and was thoroughly blown away by the content of the play. It was then that I started reading more and more plays by this great Shakespeare. I then got exposed to his philosophical ideas when I started to reread all of the plays for the second and third time.
This brings me to where I started. What I have noticed about Shakespeare’s philosophy is that it goes deeper than just the idea of the Chain of Being. In many of the tragic plays, when murder is being plotted or carried out, there are a lot of supernatural things happening. What I interpret this as is that Shakespeare is trying to tell us that we should not try to overthrow the natural course of things. When we try to make our own fate or destiny for ourselves, we enter into dangerous territory that will ultimately end in our own ruin. As a result, I have heeded Shakespeare’s advice and have been able to successfully avoid most trouble in my life.
When we think of Shakespeare, we unfortunately revert to a silly picture of a man in a wig who has some sort of weird frilly garb on his body. We also think of him as an overly pedantic writer with both humor and intellect far outside of our reach to understand.
These are unfortunately inaccurate thoughts to have. William Shakespeare was without a doubt a genius in his own right. However, we dismiss him as a philosopher because we spend too much time trying to focus on the beauty of his plays and writing. While this is not a bad thing, we definitely miss out on the great things that Shakespeare has to say about life, love, and the great beyond. This post is meant to help open your eyes to just a sample of Shakespeare’s philosophies. Read on to find out more!
One of Shakespeare’s great plays is entitled “The Tempest.” In this play, Shakespeare tackles some interesting concepts. One of these concepts is that of the Great Chain of Being. This idea tries to describe the position of everything in the world. Essentially, the Chain of Being articulates that each being in the world belongs on a link of this great chain. If someone tries to supersede another being on another link of the chain, then the natural flow of things is ruined and chaos ensues. This becomes very clear in the beginning when the characters are plotting some sort of murder and overthrowing of power. This results in a huge storm at sea.
We live in a world where there is a constant stream of new ideas coming at us. Each and every day, we have someone touting some sort of revolutionary concept in our ears. These ideas can often be deceiving because they seem acceptable and intuitive. However, if we are not careful about what kind of thinking we accept, we can get off the beaten path and get very confused. This can lead to very dangerous actions that may put someone in danger. As a result, it is very important to be wary of new philosophies.
Taking Philosophy to Heart
For example, in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope,” one of the main characters ends up murdering one of his friends because he took a philosophical idea too close to heart. The idea put forth that there are people in the world who are superior beings and consequently reserve the right to commit murder if they see fit. The main character in “Rope” considered himself to be one of those superior beings. Throughout the movie, he always refers to himself with an air of class and distinction. He is so taken in with this new philosophical notion that he ends up following it to the bitter end.
This idea of superior beings actually comes from a novel by the Russian Author Fyodor Dostoyevsky called “Crime and Punishment.” In it, the main character, also a murderer, writes an editorial about superior beings being able to murder “base” or “regular” people. This obviously is incorrect and turns out poorly for the protagonist of the book.
Sometimes it is difficult to truly free your mind. There are so many things happening in the day to day grind that you can easily lose focus of what matters. This happened to me. However, through all of the muck and turbidity of uncertainty, I was able to find truth when I finally freed my mind. It was then that I was able to fully embrace different kinds of philosophy and have my mind expand to the farthest reaches of the universe.
While this experience has been amazing for me, It still burdens me that there are people who are still stuck on the other side of free mind philosophy. It is because of this that I have decided to write a little anecdote of how I came to be this way. In doing so, my aim is to shed light on the process of the free mind philosophy so that others can find the clearing in the path as well. Keep reading for more info!
Freeing the mind
I was stuck in a cubicle job that I hated for a very long time. It was the worst. I just went through the motions in college an ended up with a degree that I didn’t even really like. That was tough.
So here I am, without hope, sitting in this cubicle as the life was slowly draining out of me. I was stuck pasting the same stupid link into every email: http://www.oklahomacitytrees.com/tree-service-oklahoma-city/. It was stupid. I was stuck trying to convince my clients to hire a commercial landscaping company, and it sucked. I couldn’t stand it. I mean, who really cares about emergency brush removal during storm damage? I certainly didn’t.
Anyway, as I was wasting away, I felt the desperate need to preserve my soul. I would do whatever it takes. So, I decided to take a spur of the moment trip out to the Rocky Mountains. I booked a flight to Denver, and away I went. It was scary to do something so out of the ordinary, but I knew it had to happen.
I took a bus from the airport to a remote place abound 90 miles outside of the big city.
And there, I felt something that I had not felt in a very long time. I was alone. It was quiet. But the most important part was this – I could hear myself think.
And that was it. That was the turning point. I realized that I had to make sure to let my mind wander and be away from all of the rigamarole.
And now I am free.
There are many people who remember admiring some kind of superhero during their childhood. This is nothing out of the ordinary, because each superhero displays or possesses some kind of incredible trait and power that makes their circumstance seem particularly desirable.
Even now in adulthood, there are surely those who would be excited at the prospect of being able to gain some sort of talent or change something about one of their flaws into something amazing. This kind of thinking may seem too dreamy and fanatical, but actually is not. Over the past few decades, researchers have been able to work on engineering genetical material for animals in order to make them better or stronger. They are beginning to learn how to select against diseases in the genome, making these animals live longer and stronger.
The scary (or not so scary, depending on how you look at it) part is, that kind of technology is not that far off for us humans. We have the opportunity to make ourselves stronger and better.
While most of us would definitely desire to be immune to sickness and stronger in every way, we must also think about the repercussions of these kinds of technologies. For example, all of these medical advances come at some sort of cost. This means that the offspring of the rich might be able to benefit from this kind of genetic alteration, while the poor might remain “suffering”at the status quo. This could provide very serious discrepancies between the two classes, leading to an imbalance and rising tensions that could result in some sort of war.
In this world, we must do what we need to do in order to survive, right?
Upon first glance, this statement appears to be some sort of no brainer. Let’s be honest Who in their right mind is going to deny someone the opportunity to make sure that they maintain their existence as a human on this planet?
The answer to this question might be a little bit difficult than it may first appear. Obviously we would love to make sure that everyone has the right to survive. However, what if surviving entailed doing wrong to others? For example. what if a homeless beggar had to resort to stealing from stores and people in order to get money for food everyday? These questions become difficult in the context of human morality. Oftentimes, everything that we do is guided by some kind of subconscious moral compass that we have developed from living in human society on planet earth.
If we follow some sort of biological model, then we give ourselves over to some sort of state of nature. The state of nature describes a circumstance in which everything (in human society, that is) is allowed to act as it would in nature. This reduces us to a sort of animalistic default. As a result, we place the survival of others in danger and let evolution run its course.
However, is that such a bad thing? Is it wrong to let those who are stronger dominate the weak? You decide.
Since this is a philosophy blog, we would be remiss if we did not take a chance to discuss fate. Fate, as it is commonly defined, is the concept of a future that has been forethought or designed for the world. The concept of fate is similar to the idea of destiny. In this post, we will just offer some conjecture as food for thought. If you have any thoughts or questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment or question. This is an open forum, and we encourage open minds and new ideas!
Does it exist?
It seems hard to imagine that the future has already been laid out for an individual or those in his surroundings. However, if you take a closer look, maybe the idea of fate is explainable. For example, there are things that exist in nature that are explainable and predictable phenomena. Also, molecules can adopt similar movements. When we study atoms, we can understand how they act and how they are going to behave in certain circumstances. If this is true, then why could we not say the same thing about humans and animals?
After all, our emotions and reactions are just responses to our surroundings. We get input, and we give output. It is a reasonable assumption, then, to think that people and things will respond in some sort of measureable and predictable way. As a result, we can give some sort of quantification and explanation to fate. Isn’t that a crazy concept? Stay tuned for more mind boggling posts!
As homo sapiens, we are part of a world that is much bigger than ourselves. We must interact and cooperate with a host of other organisms that coexist on this planet with us. This can be a difficult concept for us to understand because we are used to taking control of our surroundings and mastering them for our benefit. For example, we raise animals such as cattle and goats in order to benefit from both their byproducts and their meat. We used to raise oxen and horses and make them do our labor for us.
This idea of humans taking control of the earth has had far reaching implications. One of these implications that is a hot button topic in our modern age is how our industry affects the environment. We know that the agriculture and industry are important for our advancement and sustainment. However, how far is too far? There have obviously been gross misuses of our environment. Our history of oil spills and fracking are a testament to how we have abused the environment with our recklessness. In fact, several species of animals have even gone extinct from overhunting or industry impeding on the fragility of the ecosystem.
There is an ongoing debate as to what man’s role is in his environment. Many of us think that we are here to take what is ours and dominate all that is weaker than us. This plays out in a variety of ways. For example, some feel the need to clear out their land manually. They’ll call a company to get land clearing service quotes in order to have their land flattened and free of all natural objects. This can, however, result in a destroyed ecosystem. This will end up eliminating a lot of wildlife and organisms that usually subsist on those trees. Others, will however, nurture their environment, saying, “I need to care for my fruit trees.” This can be very beneficial for the environment and the things that live in the immediate surroundings of these people.
Whatever position you choose, it is important that you think very carefully about what you are representing. There are many lives of organisms that are at stake depending on what you think, so it is important that you be prudent in your decision.
Whether it is caring for animals or just consulting tree removal, you should be sure that you are making the right decision.
In this day and age, we are stuck in a clash of philosophies. This can be very difficult because we are being attacked from all sides. There are simply too many ideas to be able to simply choose what you are going to think. For example, there are a plethora of different religions that offer a variety of viewpoints.
When we are being thrown about with a variety of philosophical viewpoints, it is hard to decide which is true. What is interesting is that our thought has actually changed quite a bit in the last forty to fifty years.
One of the things that has changed majorly in the area of thought is the change from modernism and the possible idea of absolute truth to postmodernism and relative truth. In this article, we will compare some of the ideas that have changed within this era.
The idea of absolute truth is that truth and morals have been laid down and rules over all other thought. This means that any kind of law that exists can be judged right or wrong based on outside law. This directly clashes with the idea of relative truth, which dictates that truth is in the eye of the beholder.
To expound on relative truth, this could mean that one thing that is morally right to somebody could be morally wrong to the next person, and vise versa. However, absolute truth dictates that something could be right or wrong no matter what person A or B thinks.
In all of this discussion of philosophy, it is very easy to get carried away with any idea that comes before you. This is tempting because people who have come up with these ideas have had the chance to dress up their concepts in a way that seems intuitive and appealing.
However, not all ideas are good ones. There are certain ideas that contain logical fallacies. This means that they do not adhere to the logical process and lead people astray with wayward thinking. This article is devoted to illuminating some logical fallacies that can exist within certain ideas. Knowing these fallacies and being able to spot them in everyday life will help better you as a thinker. Keep reading to find out more!
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Yes, yes, we know. This long Latin name does definitely look intimidating. However, its meaning is rather straightforward. Post Hoc describes a fallacy in which one would assume that Event A is the cause of Event B just because Event A came before Event B.
Let us give you an example. Say that in the morning you decided to wear brown shoes instead of the black ones that you usually wear. Later that day, you are riding your bike and you end up getting hit by a car (we know, this is a bit morbid, but bear with us with this one. Let’s also say that you end up being totally fine). A Post Hoc fallacy would assume that since you wore your brown shoes, you got hit by a car.
Obviously, that would be ridiculous.