International Gossip: Canada according to Germany

America Shocked

The USA was shocked the other day when reminded for the umpteenth time by Canada that Germany views them as a perfectly real and rather powerful first world nation.

Canada snubbed?!

The USA then felt embarrassed about being shocked because all of that is sort of ‘safely assumed’ ‘goes without saying’ about what Canada is like.  The USA was confronted by emotions one has when instead of trying to keep up with the Jones, the Jones can’t quite keep up…I mean, fortunately that’s how it seems from the American perspective about Canada….but Canada doesn’t really see it that way.

Canada smooches Germany?!

Canada felt slightly, but not severely nonplussed when the USA offended them again.  Canada took solace in Germany’s 2nd post-WW2 generation of “Not NaZis, but still speaking the German language” kindness and more respectful manner towards them.

Canada snubs the USA

Canada decided to sit next to Germany at the picnic.  Educated Germany can speak enough English and also provides universal health coverage.  Canada shared with Germany the rumor that the USA had a per capita consumption of more than double the rate of the next nearest nation: the big hog of the globe, they said.

Male & Female USA

Male USA pretended to not notice and didn’t believe the rumor.  Male USA felt superior to both Canada and Germany.  Female USA felt embarrassed by male USA but still needs his money and help raising the children.  She realized that the criticism made by Canada and Germany might have some truth to it.

Last words:

In truth, blog readers, I was told that Canada noticed me today, so I wanted to say something to you.

 

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For You

the most concise work of applied philosophy ever known

What this is

This is a short booklet that introduces philosophy to readers in a practical way.  It is not the same as a critical thinking textbook, nor is it a ‘corporate philosophy’ lesson.  Each of the 5 major branches of philosophy are covered in one chapter.

The reader is not expected to know much about the subject.

What it has to do with being young or self centred

Personally, I started studying philosophy for a while when I was young, but adult.  I was always reading the philosophers to see what, if anything, they had to say might be of personal relevance or of personal use.

OK, I admit that Time and Cosmos are part of philosophy, but not all philosophy is the same and a lot of it involves the issues of ‘what is the best way to live’.  I won’t go into it much further; I just wanted to point out that I wrote this booklet assuming that you might be just as interested in philosophy you can put to use for yourself as I was.

Again, this one is not a critical thinking textbook, but there are some tips about logic in this book, which is also what at least 50% of critical thinking is rooted in.

Buy this now.

Boxing Day 2018

Back to work already?

Today, while going about my business I came across some people who were already back at work after the holiday.  I was a little surprised by some of what they told me.

The reason I was surprised was simply because I am the kind of person who genuinely loves having time with relatives and friends at the holiday.  I’m sure I’m one of hundreds of millions of people who feel the same way.  However, I am happy to report that some of the people who were already back at work felt pretty okay or even better about being there.  It was just that I had expected that either they would feel as if they had to lie to me about it, or that most of the people who worked today would have been miserable about not having had more time to enjoy their relatives and friends.

Christmas Day

Due to my personal preferences and stage in life and spiritual interest, I actually spent almost the entire day on Jesus.  Again, I’m sure that my being actively oriented that way at the religious holiday commemorating Jesus’s birth is something that hundreds of millions of people around the world also did, but for me it was somewhat special because it was voluntary and I did it that much more than I have done most years so far in my life.

If you did to, I hope you felt wonderful about it.

Good wishes

This is just to wish you all well, and hope that you are either continuing to enjoy what Christmas does to your life and the lives of those you love, or that you are glad that the craziness has already passed you by.

General Information about Philosophy

the most concise work of applied philosophy ever known

Straight answers from a know-it-all

Do you know what it is?

In truth, during childhood I had no idea what philosophy was.  My mother knew, but never thought of it as being anything she needed to tell me about.  As a 16 year old I read a book by an Englishman named Alan Watts.  Mainly I remember only that it was a nice little book and a I liked it.  I liked a lot of what I read.  Little did I know back then, that it was written by one of the first major 20th century thinkers who attempted to understand the Buddhists from a English, Christian background that so many of us have.

If you already know what it is, you may not find this blog post particularly interesting, but if not: here we go.

Philosophy

This is a wide ranging subject area.  Like most academic ‘knowledge areas’ it is more attractive to some and less so to others.  Examples of questions a person has that may indicate an interest in philosophy:

What is Time?        What does it all mean?              Is that True?

Is there any such thing as objective truth?      Is morality absolute or relative?

                                                     How do I know if God is real?

Is our perception of truth and reality dependent upon how the human mind works?

Is it all just neurons firing in the brain?!

     Is it all just hormones?

Can I really come to know by thinking the right way?

Is the scientific method really that important?

Is it related to how the human brain works?

What Next?

If you do ask questions of those kinds and are interested in getting actual answers, one of the things you can do is learn more about philosophy.  One way to do that, is to buy the booklet Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them.

There are lots of books and lots of philosophers.  By the way, there are and have been women in philosophy for over 1000 years.  It is true that as usual, the gender difference made a difference.  Because of how it does 500 years ago the most successful women philosophers were married noble women who exchanged letters with one of the most prominent male philosophers of that generation.  In fact, Women Philosophers of the Early Modern Period is one example of that type.  It is true that throughout history because of gender and social-political challenges, there have been times when women were able to contribute to the field more effectively than at other times.  This is not intended to denigrate in any way the reality that most of the great tomes of wisdom out there were put together by men who depended upon women to do the bulk of the raising of their children, which helped make them able to do what they did.  Even so, I just wanted to make sure that both men and women know that women have been involved in the field.  In the 20th century, the philosopher/ess Ayn Rand was able to articulate an entire organized philosophy but ultimately one of her most trusted male adult student-admirers is the one who wrote it up in the book Objectivism

Personal Favorites

Here are some of my personally favorite philosophers:  Gottfried Wilhelm Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thomas Aquinas, Marcus Aurelius, Socrates & Plato, Aristotle. I have not ever agreed with any of them about everything.

As a woman, I am always glad when any of us achieves anything profound, and I also greatly admire Luce Irigaray, Ayn Rand as well as Simone de Beauvoir and in fact, some of those ladies from that book Women Philosophers of the early modern period.

Louise Andreas-Salome gets a special vote for “women who tried” because she was able to get through an idea or two: I believe she was a Christian believer and had an idea about “a victimless society”.  Mainly, she was able to help women get access to being taught well and have prominent male philosophers as guest speakers.

Weird Stuff about Philosophy

  1. Philosophy brand cosmetics.  They are a real company and I don’t understand what happened.
  2.  The philosophy of a business or organization is often summed up into a concise paragraph; the vast majority of time is spent in implementing and/or attempting to implement some pithy philosophical wisdom or insight.
  3.  Many people jump to conclusion that people good at philosophy are not going to earn money or are impractical people.
  4.  While numerous people seem to believe that everyone interested in philosophy is an atheist, there is a whole other school of thought that describes philosophy as simply being theology’s maid servant.
  5.  Biblical factoid:  because I was fascinated by Athenian philosophy and am one of the horde of people who love Jesus, I wondered how to view them together…Then, eventually, I discovered that everyone can read in the book of Acts, what happened to the apostle Paul when he actually went to Athens, during that very time often covered in Ancient Philosophy: the Greeks in philosophy courses at colleges and universities.

Conclusions

I hope that those of you who didn’t already know what this subject area is about, have some clue thanks to this blog post.  As with most things in life, some people are drawn to it and love it whereas others find it either empty or unpalatable.   This blog post was written by someone who has studied a wide variety of subjects but for some reason loved philosophy.

Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them

the most concise work of applied philosophy ever known

 

Does it matter?

Perhaps you are having one of those days when you are actually asking yourself questions such as:  Does my life matter?  or just What does it all mean?  If so, there are a few simple approaches to handling this.  One, if possible you should get a hug from someone who cares about you.  Two, you should either read a bit of philosophy or go to a church service, or three: all of the above.

This is one of the questions directly addressed in the booklet shown in the image with this post.  Not only that, but it’s only $13.50 and can be delivered right to your door.  Here’s a link: Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them

How do we know what’s true anymore?

Let’s just say that the headline describes your subjective mental state.  It could be because you aren’t sure whether or not your spouse is cheating on you.  It might be caused by having found a crook at the company you work for, or because you recently suffered from an online scam.

Whatever the reason, this is a fairly serious question.  Let’s rephrase it just slightly: how does any of us know what’s true in the first place?  Often we trust authority and experts: this is normally the case whether we mean a religious cleric or a school instructor who claims to have received trusted information from scientific researchers.  In both cases, whether from The Bible or History of the Universe we are faced with serious efforts to get at truth and knowledge.

Philosophy also seeks truth and knowledge.  If you are an avid and vigorous reader or lengthy works you can start with the link at the beginning of this paragraph, but if you just want the short answer, you can click on the link for the booklet above.

Either the human mind contains the power to perceive the truth or does not.  If so, then either we can get to it from: God, and or from thought and or from sense experience.  If we can get to it in any of those ways, we still have to look into methods.  There are spiritual methods, and there are also philosophical and scientific methods for getting at the truth.  In Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them, I help readers see how these basic principles work and how they show up in daily life.

Sadly, I am not in a position to call your boyfriend or girlfriend for you and explain what happened…nor am I in a great position to call you right now and talk you through your present problem.

If it is mainly emotional unrest, please take a few deep breaths and maybe go for a walk.  I do also recommend getting a hug if you can get one from someone you trust at this time.  If it still seems important after you’ve calmed down, buy the booklet and delve into this more deeply.

Buy Now: Five Big Questions in Life

Writer’s Advice – what’s that?! 2018

the most concise work of applied philosophy ever known

Author’s Advice

There are many ways that people can get advice. The most obvious ways for writers to improve are to take lessons in the language they will be writing in and the old fashioned ‘read the greats’.

There are times when constructive criticism is very helpful and there are times when your enemies will only have destructive criticism and jealousy to offer you.

Two main ways to get feedback about your writing for professionals:  1) Submit!  When the editors will make changes; when the magazine or newspaper or publisher will buy it/pay for it; then that ‘s good.

Great ways to get feedback for amateurs and some semi-pros: join writer’s groups; take work shops or classes.  Peer critique is often part of such arrangements.

General to Specific

There are numerous types of writing and most writers specialize.  Many of those who have specialized don’t call themselves writers.  Grant writers, for instance, will often just say that they work for whatever organization they work at in some administrative role.  Journalists, typically prefer to be called journalists, although they could all call themselves writers and be telling the truth.  Staff writers may choose to refer to the publication where they work.  Most staff writers wouldn’t ever write “for fun” or “as just a hobby” and those that would might well not tell the truth about that.

Travel writers, book authors, niche novelists, political news, best restaurants, fashion, television, film, all have specialized types of writing.  There are people capable or more than one kind of writing, but it is common for those who are most successful in the field to find they were forcibly limited to a small subjection of the writing world in order to find a way to earn a living or to develop a good reputation in the industry.

 

Network

There are times when you have to meet and greet enough others in the industry to get a deal and other times when you really need to mail something for it to work. In some cases, the right thing to do is apply for a job and become a regularly paid publishing company editor for other authors even if you hardly get anything of your own published. Maybe you will, and maybe it won’t matter anymore.

Sometimes writers are stubborn and fail to change in ways that will cause them to have far greater success and other times people just realize that for them: to change that much would be so bad that they might as well go work in a totally different field if that’s really how it works.

Other writers tolerate a lot of painful constructive criticism and make survivable compromises and learn to be a bit more flexible and they find out that they can get a lot further and are happy with the results even though the reality ends up being unlike their original idea.

What is Philosophy?

the most concise work of applied philosophy ever known

What is Philosophy?
Most people know what religion is. For those who don’t go to church with their family, religion is an organized way of helping people to grow spiritually; that means mainly to help the good stay good, to help people improve – especially morally, and in terms of their awareness, and to help people to help each other better. Religion is usually also associated with beliefs: beliefs and methods.
Philosophy addresses many of the same core questions that religion does, and that science also does. Due to that, sometimes philosophy can be understood as being part of religion and part of science but other times it isn’t. For example: what is knowledge? and Is God real? If so, what is God like? are all normal philosophical questions.
Sometimes philosophy is viewed as conflicting with religion or with science. How do we know that scientific research methods are as good as or better than religious writings like The Bible? Are both just as good? Are social science case studies and legal witness testimonies any better, worse or as good as testimonies about God’s activities in The Bible and elsewhere? Are they scientific evidence? If so, then why do scientists sometimes complain about religious people or claim they are unscientific and superstitious?
There are also famous or infamous atheist philosophers, including David Hume and Friederich Nietzsche, and Bertrand Russell. They were able to write and to publish without being burned at the stake by other people and they were not struck down by God for not being believers. However, David Hume did not dare publish while he was alive because the Church was so powerful in his day and he was terrified of them.
Many theologians also study philosophy, and those who do not fear and hate it, in contrast refer to it as ‘the handmaiden of theology’.
Ethics
Ethics is the philosophical term for morality when people try to talk about it as if it is not religion. Many theologians and others are comfortable dealing with morality as ethics. The types of problems that ethicists (moralists) deal with are often political; they require thinking about both the small and the large scales in life.
Here are a few examples:
1) At what point can a physician remove life support from an unconscious patient and not be breaking their Hippocratic Oath to protect and preserve life?
This one is clearly a medical question. Hence, hospitals are one place where ethicists often work, but as there are standards for the large scale, agreements about such matters turn into laws, regulations and public policies. As such, they are also political.
2) How many refugees can the country take in, in an emergency? To what extent does a nation’s right to protect itself and it’s own welfare override a moral obligation to help those in need – such as refugees? This is more obviously political, but is just as personal as the previous one. Clearly, this is not medical ethics.
Both of these questions can be looked at from a definitely religious perspective but may have to be faced by people who do not consider themselves to be religious or to even have a religion. Neither question has a quick, easy cut and dried answer.
People who consistently address these questions from a religious perspective are still doing moral philosophy or ethics. It is just that, this is also philosophy to those who take any other kind of approach to seeking good answers to the same kinds of problems.
When it is not
Philosophy is not always religion, and not everything in religion is philosophy.
When Socrates asked the young men at Plato’s parties if they knew what “justice” is, he was not trying to practice religion. When Aristotle chose to catalog animals while working for Alexander the Great he was not doing it as religion. Both were activities of philosophy.
Many religious activities are caused by the God-based philosophy (also known as theology), but the ritual of each religion is not philosophy itself. Many of the good works done, such as building schools and hospitals and feeding the hungry are likewise based in theology but are not philosophy itself.
Many businesses put together a paragraph or two about their company’s philosophy for employees and other customers. That is normally not considered to be religion.
Together and Separate
Philosophy and religion can be found together or treated separately. Real life is holistic of course, so there may be times when a categorical separation seems artificial but that’s okay. If you are used to one, but not the other rest assured that you can know both quite intimately. The better you know them, the less you will get confused about which is which.

*If you loved this article, check out Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them.  You can buy it online Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them.