Reasonable Philosophy

Posted on January 24, 2009. Filed under: Games, HowTo, Philosophy |

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to generate a blog post. I was skimming the website ICanHasCheezburger, as I do from time to time, (with apologies to those of you who think that site is silly, horrific, and/or patronizing—it is; but, honestly, I can’t help it; it makes me laugh) and came upon this:

reasonable-cat

It made me snicker, and reflected my mood, exactly. What happened afterward feeds into the theme most amazingly. I had most of this post written last night, but “put it to bed” as it were, as I was getting too sleepy to think and/or edit coherently. I put myself to bed as well, and looked forward to polishing this up and publishing on the morrow.

Alas! When I awoke the next morning, my Really Clever Post was gone! I’m having to settle for what I’m just writing now! :? My links, which I’d spent some time finding—also gone! I often (although not often enough) use an offline editor to write my posts, but, this time, I trusted it was safely stored in the WordPress Post Editor. It was not. Gone, gone, gone; no more; no more…And—go figure—I’m writing in that same editor now, tempting fate. Why? I must. If I can’t trust WordPress, at least most of the time, what becomes of us all? :eek: [I just clicked on "Save Draft". Do you think it really did? We shall see. Ah,the suspense.]  [Alright! I admit it! I also just copy-pasted into Notepad, as well. Chagrin, noted.]

Anyway, back to the cat and its caption. I have tried to be reasonable, and seriously, I didn’t like it. I don’t know who or what the cat is responding to, but my response is to people in my past (I don’t meet many people who would say this to me now) who have addressed me thus, when I’ve just presented my point in the discussion: “Oh, be reasonable!”

First of all, I distrust admonitions starting with the word “Be”.

“Be careful!” (Well, I could, but this advice is usually given once I’ve already tripped and fallen on my face. Generally, it’s not what I want to hear after this has happened. Where were you before I did that?)

Be diligent – How?

Be normal – Sorry, not gonna happen. ;)

Be open-minded – My brains might fall out!

Be prepared – I was sort of a BoyScout once (long story) but that was a long time ago. I don’t know how, and besides, that notion interferes with my spontaneity.

Be sincere – Well, I certainly try! :)

Be brief – Um, have you met me?

Be(gone) – Soon, soon; patience, patience.

Be(have) – Yeah, right!

Be good – How could I possibly not? :D

(Don’t worry,) Be happy – There are some admonitions which are quite subjective. I can certainly take action to feel better, but I haven’t found out how to just flip the happy-switch, yet.

…Not to mention all those things we’re told *not* to be.

So, in my lifetime, I have had occasion to “act reasonably” or to consider “reasonable” points of view. I’m reminded of a paper I wrote for my introductory Philosophy class in college. We were to analyze the argument put forth by Socrates, in the Dialogues of Plato, in which Socrates, true to the concept of “Reason”, felt it not possible to refuse the cup of Hemlock, which would bring on his death, because it would be an “unreasonable” conclusion to a “reasonable” life. The guy really admired Reason, above all else. The assignment was to choose a side—*Should* Socrates have chosen to take the cup of poison, when he could so easily have avoided it by a few well-placed words and promises, or *Should* he not?

My first point was that it wasn’t my business what Socrates chose to do with his life (yes, I’ve been like this for a while), but that didn’t meet the word-count requirement of the paper, and I liked getting good grades as much as the next person. I won’t burden you with my substantive argument (if you knew, you’d thank me), but here’s the comment I received from my instructor: “You DO stick to your point!”

Was that praise or condemnation? I may never know. I had the feeling my teacher’s patience was severely tried by my relentless repetition of EVERY SINGLE *REASONABLE* phrase Socrates uttered. Still, I did get a good grade in the class, so “all’s well that ends…”—Oh, that was a different class.

I had felt that, within his own world view, Socrates was true to his principles. I like a person who is true to their principles, including me when I am. I feel people have the right to change their principles from time to time, though. In fact, if one finds oneself repeatedly violating ones own principles, perhaps it’s time to review them? …Just a thought.

However, I am NOT Socrates! I do not live a life based upon reason! I am happy to examine issues from several angles, and *reason* out a *sensible* conclusion, but, in the end, it’s my intuition which makes the decision. This is a much more *pragmatic* approach (another philosophical term! See, I was paying attention!), at least for me. I see “reason” as a useful tool, but not the be-all and end-all of life. I don’t know whether I’d rather take a cup of hemlock than give up my freedom of thought, which is really what that Socratic issue was about. What is life without liberty? I don’t actually know, because it seems to be my belief, at the moment, that there is ALWAYS a choice.

To conclude, I’ll just report that in addition to finding the above linked site which gives a description of Socrates’ death, and the *reason* (there’s that word again) for it, I came upon a professor’s philosophy dialogue game—get this—based on the “Argument Clinic“, one of my favorite Monty Python sketches. (Those who had forgiven me for liking ICanHasCheezburger now will need a fresh delve into their forgiving nature when I admit how much I admire and respect the Monty Python perspective.)

This game is a clever mix of serious study of Socratic dialogue with the absolutely insane wit and wisdom of the “Argument Clinic”—a completely unreasonable way to study reason—and, therefore, it pleases me immensely.

I wish you many unreasonable moments. :D

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14 Responses to “Reasonable Philosophy”

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Hey my Muse! Where have you been? So glad you’re back. You just made me laugh (rare) again. And as before, you really come back with a BANG!

this is wayyyy to philosophical for me! on the reasoning note, though, i’m one of those people who needs reason to justify every single thing i do. i can’t not do something without a reason. if i don’t know why i’m doing something, it’s merely because i haven’t found the reason yet!

continuing on that note, i know i’m a difficult person socially. i have a certain standard expected of my friends and when i feel they don’t meet those standards, i do pretty antagonistic things, or what people might consider as ‘unreasonable’ behaviour. even though i have a perfectly good reason for doing that!

what’s my point? my point is that everything i do, there’s a reason behind it. i’m just made like that, i’m afraid! :)

I hope you’ll excuse the ignorant comment; I never studied philosophy, so I’m going to refrain from commenting on that concept. I tried that Socrates game, but gave up after getting stuck between a 404 error and an infinite loop. :?

Oh, it’s so frustrating when you lose a post, isn’t it? Especially a great big post like this one. I’ve taken to using Notepad, too…

Monty Python isn’t something you need to be forgiven for! That sketch is a classic!

Wait… you were a boyscout?

Hi Muse,
Wow. Did your post really just up and disappear? So far, I’ve not experienced that, but it’s scarey to think about losing a post you’ve worked on. Perhaps I should think about saving my in the works posts somewhere else on my computer,too.

The Monty Python Argument Clinic was HILARIOUS. You made my day.

fantasic post, very enjoyable and thoughtful. And I too love Monty Python.

Hi, poch! I’ve been around, just not as much. Things are calming down, now though, and I have ideas swimming around in my head. Watch out! ;) How’ve you been? Thank you! It’s a good thing to laugh! :)

I know not everyone likes to play in the philosophy sandbox, sulz, but thank you for working your way through it! You call yourself difficult, but you live in a reasonable way! Nothing wrong with that. :razz: Besides, it’s good to have a basis upon which to make decisions.

No excuses needed, B0bby, I just appreciate you coming by! It’s an acquired taste. Yes, I believe you lost a post recently too! Are there post pirates on the loose? :eek: Thank you! Perhaps I’ll make a list of worthy Python fans I can point to when some others simply look at me with scorn and pity when I confess my fanship. ;) Well…I said I was “sort of” a BoyScout. I was one of these things. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. :razz:

It did, tee, and it happened again this morning. I was typing away in the post editor, just as I am doing now, and hit “Save Draft” and everything disappeared except the title! Fortunately I’d copy-pasted (is that a verb, now?) so I pasted it back and saved again and it was fine. I’ll watch it carefully, and if it happens much more, I’ll report it to the fine folks at WP. I’m so glad you enjoyed the “Argument Clinic”! There are quite a few MP sketches I adore, but I think that one makes my top ten list. :D

Yay, another fan for my “See, I’m in good company and not pathetic” list; thank you pinnythewu! I appreciate your compliment. I enjoyed writing it. :)

I did read it but need more time than I have right now to reply. Another wonderful post though. I’ll be back tomorrow. Night.

‘Night ‘night, BD! Thanks so much for stopping by and liking it! :) I will love to read your comment when you’re nice and fresh and rested. :D

Those ICanHasCheezburger cats are hilarious! :lol:

Another great post. I never like having to do something a second time, but sometimes the second time comes out just as well. Hopefully this was just a one time glitch and it won’t lose any more posts on you!

I don’t think I’ve seen the Monty Python sketches, so off I go to check it out!

[...] Argue With Me, It’s Funny! My friend over at MusEditions posted this Monty Python skit. I had never seen this one before and found it not only funny, but [...]

LMAO! :-D

Muse, I really enjoyed this unreasonably candid post. What’s the reason behind it again? Lol! ;-)

Well I have to totally agree with you on this one, I love my freedom of choice and thought. I hate to have my thought process dictated by any external influence.

When you really think about it, “reason” is actually taking into account set laws of life that is believed to influence the outcome of an event/situation determined by how you react. These are preset laws by mankind from their science conclusions which are applied in life to set a certain order of life for mankind. Reason is justified as logic, and logic as common sense. But let’s be honest here, most of us have come to realize that sense is not always common.

So why follow one order of thinking when life has proved to us that nothing is defined? Everything can be defied by nature or consequence, hence “paranormal” events.

So there’s no expert of life, all of us have our own paths and life to discover, and our personal journey is much superior to any science law or set belief.

I’m not quite sure if I have been making much sense here, but I totally believe that we all have our unique journey and discoveries, and we only limit ourselves when we use laws or an order set by another person. We need to find our own. ;-)

No reason for this post, I’m just being unreasonable! Lol

I think so too, Shane! Some people think they’re exploiting the cats, but it seems to me that the people who get involved in ICHC really love them. The cats must think WE are very silly! ;)
Thanks! So far it’s about 50/50 on my posts disappearing. I do save them all outside of WordPress now, so I haven’t lost anything. Probably should have been doing that all along… Oh, DO have a look at the Pythons, if you haven’t. :D

Thanks for the link, DoYouSee (otherwise known as TeeVeeBee). I’ve watched them for years, now, and they still seem fresh. It’s just that now I start laughing even before something funny happens. :)

Thank you, Tazzy, how unreasonable of you! :razz: As it happens, I think you are making quite a bit of sense; in fact this is mini-post in itself on reason, logic, and laws. Brilliant insight, and thank you for posting it on my blog! :D

I did so love this post. What is reasonable anyway? It depends on who you ‘hang’ with. If you are around like minded people of course everything you and they do are reasonable. Everyone else is unreasonable. The same goes for the other people looking at you like you have lost your marbles.

My one sister thinks I am totally unreasonable for the things I talk about, yet I could easily find hundreds of people who agree with me. I used to care a lot more about what people thought of me. now, not so much.

In the end we just have to be whatever we want to be at the time. I don’t always agree with everything you have to say but I really like who you are. Many times I have wished I were more like the you I know, than me.

Life is too short though to worry about things like that. ;)

Thank you BD, I’m so glad! You have a great point there. What is seen as “reasonable” is really a judgment call, isn’t it?
Well it would be really boring if we agreed all the time, wouldn’t it? Aw, that’s nice that you say “…but I really like who you are.” And of course I feel that way about you. You are wise, in my view, in that you can see and evaluate the “whole package” as it were, and not get hung up about a few philosophical or behavioral differences.
Now, if the rest of the world could just be more like us! :D


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