The Depraved Effect of Empiricism:
“Philosophy, in the academic sense, is the art of asking questions that cannot be answered. Any idiot can ask that kind of question.
The awesome power of rational thought is that we can ask questions to which we CAN find the answer.
Only a total moron turns their back on that.”
— Chance Brown’s comment on this facebook page
Should philosophy be utterly forgotten “since all we need is science”? It’s actually kind of ironic due to that fact that they employ a philosophy to say that “philosophy is stupid”. They are using philosophy to form their argument against philosophy! These people never seem to let me down.
Why We Need Philosophy:
All humans orient their lives around ideas of the nature of reality; how they explain their experiences of reality; and how they explain their ideas about what reality ought to be like. We formed all of these through the help of philosophy — no empirical evidence necessary and yet they are necessary for empirical evidence.
Human beings need metaphysical ideas because they are not born with instincts that determine what they should think and want. We are born with the capacities to make up our own minds and to question any belief we have or meet. It is evident that most of the ideas in history that people have used to explain human experiences have been false or unfounded in many respects, and it is also evident that most of the ideas in history or direct human behaviour have been harmful to other human beings or to themselves. On the other hand, it is also evident that whatever adequate understanding people have of themselves, of others, and of their environment, is based on the asking and answering of the type of general questions that are philosophical. It is human to ask and answer such questions and to play with such ideas– it’s part of our nature.
All ideas about philosophy, including those that condemn philosophy, are themselves philosophical ideas. To declare all philosophical concepts useless, trifling, or impossible is little better than a refusal to do any serious philosophical reasoning. The ideas people live and die for, war and kill for, are all philosophical ideas and are not meant to be shrugged off.
And finally, in Plato’s Apology, Socrates tells us that philosophy is a necessary tool for obtaining wisdom and knowledge. Socrates believed that in the absence of philosophy, we would not be able to question or disagree with our thinking or ideas — we simply go with the flow and assume that whatever we see, hear, or read is correct. As Socrates says, “… as long as I lead an unexamined life, I’m very unlikely to catch my errors and I’m very likely to go on fooling myself.” Hmmm. I thought atheists didn’t like that. I thought they always cry out saying that we “religious folks” ought not to have a “blind faith” mentality — something that is produced when philosophy is absent from the mind.
So whenever a non-believer pulls this bluff as an argument, just give him the basic reasons why we need philosophy and how it’s actively used in everyday life; even in his own argument he’s forming against philosophy.