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Journal Entry for Chapter 5

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Journal Entry 11.Chapter 5: The teacher and his teachings, Pages: 108-109. Monday 24, 2014
A New Kind of Teacher
Socrates a different kind of teacher, he was not paid to be a teacher and his teaching method was different. He believed that people could not think clearly if they are not clear on what they are analyzing or talking about. Therefore, in his teaching sessions he would ask questions and answer them the best he could. So I wondered, how different would the education system be if we had follow Socrates way of teaching? Socrates is one of the most important people in western philosophy. I found it interesting that we have no writings from his own hand, from his two students Plato and Xenophon. I agreed with Socrates claim that appearance of the body is less important than how it functions and true beauty comes from spirit and character. I questioned if spirit and character is more important than the physical appearance, why do modern society judge an individual based on their physical appearance?
Journal Entry 12. Chapter 6: the Theory of forms. Pages 144. Thursday, February 20, 2014.
Knowledge Vs. Opinion
Plato is one of the philosophers that interest me the most because of his search for knowledge outside his “comfort zone.” Plato left the Athens and wandered for twelve years and during that time he studied mathematics and mysticism. For me, as a math minor, it was interesting to see how mathematics influenced Plato’s philosophy and I wondered, does an individual’s knowledge in science and math affect their philosophy claims and theories? After he finished most of his writing he founded his academy “Academos.” I was fascinated how Plato lectured without notes for forty years. Does knowledge come from the heart and soul? In Plato’s work theory of Forms he attempted to provide a rational explanation on what knowledge really is and he wanted to identify what defines an individual as “wise.” He questioned knowledge versus an opinion. Based on what I read on Plato’s theory of forms I had doubts and questions whether what really is true knowledge. Can we really prove what is knowledge or just an opinion? Can we actually prove what true knowledge is?
Journal Entry 13. Chapter 6: The divine. Pages 155. Saturday, February 22, 2014. The Republic
I agree with Plato’s argument that there is a reciprocal relationship between the individual and the kind of society in which he or she lives on. If I were to be born in a different century I would be a different person. Also, If I was born in a different area, I would be a different person. My family is originally from a poor town in Mexico. If my family were to have stayed there I would have different thoughts and opinions because I would be adjusted to a different environment, have different customs and think differently because I would not have the same educational background like I have now. I also agree with Plato’s argument in “The Republic” that knowing what is right or wrong comes from experiences and consequences we encounter. We can only distingue between right or wrong based on our past actions. One is not truly aware of whether a situation is wrong or right till the consequences our acts produce bring us a basic understanding of moral truth. Is morality based only on experience? Is the instrumental theory of morality different for every individual since we are all different?
Journal Entry 15. Chapter 6: Page 151, Allegory of the Cave. Sunday, February 23, 2014.
Allegory of the Cave
In my opinion, in Allegory of the cave the puppet masters are considered a metaphor for the government and the ideals they force society to follow because they have power over them. Society is just but a puppet that is being controlled by the puppet masters to follow their ideas. Therefore they are being controlled, with no saying, and no voice, the puppets find it easier to be influenced by these ideals just for the fact that it is easier than to come out and question them. At the end, the person realizes that they were trapped in a cave all along because he had limited himself and didn’t use his mind to see how there is much more than what meets the eye.
Journal Entry 16. Chapter 7: Pages 188-190. Monday, March 3, 2014.
What is reality? Aristotle did not completely agree with Plato’s rationalistic idealism. Aristotle was a naturalist and he believed that reality consists of the natural world, which is full of consistent and discoverable laws. Aristotle accused Plato of mistaking intellectual analysis for ontological status or reality. According to Aristotle, form exist within the natural order embedded in particular things and cannot exist independently. I agree with Aristotle because I believe that reality consists of the natural world but I don’t disagree with Plato’s claims. I think both philosophers’ claims are structured based on their educational background and customs. Aristotle was a philosophical naturalist, and he denied the existence of a separate supernatural order of reality and believed in natural order and behaves according to fixed laws and principles. If naturalist deny the existence of separate supernatural order of reality, was Aristotle an atheist?
Journal Entry 17. Chapter 7: Pages 188-190. Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
What is happiness?
Aristotle was believed that happiness requires activity, good habits and practical wisdom. I completely agree with him but I also believe happiness depends on the individual and what makes them happy. Aristotle also claimed that happiness is the state of realizing its entelechy. Entelechy means the realization of potential and means being really alive rather then just existing. He believed that a good life is when someone gets the opportunity to become fully himself or herself. I think happiness depends upon ourselves but we all come into the world in search for happiness. Our actions reflect what we think will make us more happy. Thus, Aristotle claimed that an individual is truly happy then he or she is alive rather than just existing. This statement made me wonder whether I was actually alive or whether happiness is truly attain with years of experience and knowledge?
Journal Entry 18. Chapter 9: pg 230- 235. Friday, March 7, 2014
A Superior Being Thomas Aquinas was encouraged in the search for philosophical unity by his teacher who provided his foundation to his beliefs. His teacher Augustine argued that reason without faith is powerless. In Aquinas time, Christians saw no need to develop political interest because the main concern was salvation through faith. It was the time where Christianity arose and society grew uninterested in science and philosophy. Aquinas attempted to demonstrate God’s existence through “five ways.” All of his five ways make sense but I think the last three ways prove that there has to be a superior being for everything to exist. I agree the most with the third one which states that some things are only possible but others are necessary. I agree with the principle of sufficient reason because I believe noting can’t evolve of nothing there has to be a reason for an occurrence. In my opinion, the universe is to amazing and to be an accident; it has to have a reason for it existence. Aquinas claimed God is the necessary reason that only possible things actually happen. The Fifth Way, which states that order, or design, doesn’t arise on its own. Since there is order in the world, something capable of maintaining order must have created it. Everything in the world has purpose and a function that keeps the world going round. Everything is linked together genetics, photosynthesis, plants, respiration, water and etc, everyone and everything was designed a purpose in life. A superior being has to exist to maintain order, design and maintain the world in place. It’s very hard to prove the existence of God and sometimes I question, who is God? Is God just another archetype? Can it ever be truly proven that God exist?
Journal Entry 18. Chapter 9: pg 240- 245. Saturday, March 8, 2014
Good vs. Evil
“Though God did not deliberately will evil, He willed the real possibility of evil. Evil must always be possible when love and goodness are free choices.” In this quote Aquinas proposes a solution to the problem of evil and he states that evil is necessary for good to happen. I agree with his claim because where there is good there must also be evil. Good and evil make it possible for human beings to have choices in life and develop our on lifestyle. Our choices make us who we are and give structure to our life. Could evil been created by God to make us who we are? How different would the world be without evil? How different would our character be? Does our choices between good and evil makes us who we are?
Journal Entry 19. Chapter 17: Pages 466-468. March 17, 2014
Our Own Point of View
Friedrich Nietzsche was the first to recognize the symptoms of profound sickness at the core of modernity. Back in his time modernity was defined as the historical period of nineteenth and twentieth century, it was a period of enlightenment. The historical period greatly influences an individuals ideas and cultural customs. Nietzschean is seen as a more modern philosopher, and in my opinion we can relate to him more because his ideas a beliefs are structure to fit modern society. I agree with his perpectivism that every view is only one among many possible interpretations. We all think differently and have different points of view that’s why I like how this modern philosopher tries to prevent the reader from forgetting that they also have a point of view. We sometimes forget we also have a point of view because we are too busy trying to understand someone elses. This section made me question why do we let others influence our point of view? Does our historical period structure our points of view?
Journal Entry 20. Chapter 17: Nietzsche and God. Pages 466-468. March 17, 2014
Is God really dead?
Nietzsche’s most famous pronouncement was called “God is dead” to illustrate how the world was transforming to a modern age. He used his famous quote “God is dead, ” to demonstrate that the idea of God has lost its full power. I agree with Nietzsche that the old religions are dying and traditions are becoming a thing of the past because we are in a new century with new advancements, ideas and technology that makes us neglect out faith. However, I believe that our faith is called upon ourselves and we decide how much we want to center our life in god. Nietzsche claimed that God is dead because we have killed him and I definitely agree with him because how society has become has taken power way from the idea of god. We are more focused on our career, in our school, and the new technology that we neglect our worship to god. Some of us tend only to turn to god when we are struggling or when we are looking for salvation. Are we unable to face consequences of life without god? Even though we are on a modern period, does god still remain as our hope for salvation?

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