Tag Archives: Philosophy

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 68. On Lying.

Lies are bad things, right? Honesty is the best policy; the truth will always come out, and lies will always catch up with you. Bear no false witness against your neighbour no matter how many times he leaves his rubbish in your garden.

The truth is, truth has its place. Lies have their places, too. As Dr House would say, “Everybody lies.” I lie, you lie, your government lies (no surprise there). But if we were to be truly moral, lying wouldn’t come into the equation. Not even to save someone’s life.

Too much truth can be dangerous too, though.

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 62. On Pleasure.

For those of you who are not sure, there is a distinct difference between pleasure and happiness. Pleasure exists in the here and now, for the most part. It consists of those little moments of bliss, such as winning the lottery, typing The End on your first manuscript, and going on a date that ends with many moments of pleasure over an extended period.

But these moments are transitional and do not in themselves constitute total happiness. They contribute to it, certainly, but happiness depends on more than just having a good time between the sheets or winning some cash.

 

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 58. On House.

Dr Gregory House is an asshole, an arrogant, self-satisfied pain in the butt – and I can’t get enough of him. Not many shows make me want to sit down and view whole seasons all at once, but there’s something about the anti-hero that resonates with the writer in me.

Hugh Laurie’s award-winning portrayal of House notwithstanding, there’s more to his character and the show as a whole that causes me to think long and hard about it, even well into the early hours of the morning. Ethical issues come to mind and I will write more on this very soon.

 

 

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 52. On Arguments.

Depending on what definition you use, an argument comes in many forms. Recently I’ve adopted the philosophical and logical definition. An argument is a statement in which premises (propositions) support a claim.

James was born in Ireland. James holds an Irish passport. Therefore James is an Irish citizen. This is a simple syllogism as popularised by Aristotle. You make a claim, then you back it up with supporting evidence. This is deductive logic at its finest.

Other types of arguments can result in name-calling, Internet hating, divorce, law-breaking and severe migraine. I can almost see Aristotle spinning in his grave.

 

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 49. On Montaigne.

Michel de Montaigne (1533 – 1592) was a French philosopher – but don’t hold that against him. He lived through turbulent times and survived long enough to gift the world his Essays. Rather than writing material so dry it made the Sahara seem like Hawaii, his engaging personality and writing style endeared him to readers past and present.

He asks us to look at the world through another’s eye. He got this idea from his cat. He wondered, “When I am playing with my cat, how do I know she is not playing with me?”

Once again, maybe cats know more than we do.

 

 

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 47. On Time.

It waits for no man. It flies. We waste it, yet we both spend and serve it. We lose it and spend it while catching up with it. We mark it as it is of the essence.

We break it down into bite-sized pieces because it’s more manageable that way. Days, hours, minutes and seconds are less scary than weeks, months, years and decades.

It has been around since before we were, and it will continue long after we’re gone. We’ve written songs, books, poetry and essays about it. We take it so we can think about how we can best make use of it.

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 43. On Necessities.

For humans (and most animals), the bare necessities of life are food, water, shelter, companionship and the odd bout of rumpy-pumpy. Political and religious ideals are mere distractions from the endeavours of survival. They’re good to have and can make excellent conversation starters at the dinner table. But if one is severely lacking in the fundamental needs of humankind, then all the zeal in the world isn’t going to save you from hunger, thirst, homelessness, loneliness and a long dry spell. An efficient and speedy broadband network provider is, in my opinion, up there with a cool glass of water.

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 35. On Achieving Serenity…Kind Of.

If you’d have known me a few years ago, I was a basket case. More reactive than proactive. The kind of person who caused crises rather than averting them. I’m not saying I’ve completely changed, but I’m getting there. You see, I’ve taken to classical studies recently, reading the likes of Aristotle, Plato, Seneca and Epicurus. These men knew how to live and also knew how to pass on their wisdom.

Now, rather than jumping in with both feet, I’ve learned to take a step back to consider the possible consequences of my actions. It’s easy once you know how.

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 32. On Opinions.

Like backsides, everyone’s got an opinion. No subject is safe from them. And like most backsides, it is advisable that they remain safely hidden away from public view. Not all opinions are hairy, pimply, badly formed and just plain wrong; but the ones I’ve had to listen to recently check all the above boxes. Being a bartender has its disadvantages: listening to backsides airing their backside opinions is perhaps the worst offender.

To these backsides, logic is something Spock uses when he has lost his phaser. Like all backsides, they need wiping now and then.

Scotty, beam me up. Now.

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 21. On Righteous Indignation.

I’m not much of a Biblical scholar, and the concept of hermeneutics passed me by on its way to deeper intellects; but I know a paradox when I hear one. The Bible on one hand suggests taking an eye for an eye, while on the other it proposes turning the other cheek.

Watching footage of the horrendous goings-on in London and elsewhere in Great Britain, the only image that comes to mind is that of the late great Kenny Everett. His character, General Cheeseburger, had a distinctive way of ending his rants.

Let’s round them all up, put them in a field, and then bomb the bastards.

Amen.