07 May 2012

What Humans Crave

          Individuals are continuously searching for the meaning of life. In essence, what people are looking to discover is: what does it mean to be human? Humans search for meaning, or an identity, to add value to their lives and the world around them. A common response you hear people give when asked what they want to accomplish during their lives is: “I want to be part of something bigger.” What is this something “bigger” and “bigger” than what? This something “bigger,” something “extra” is different to each and every individual, but is consensually aimed at achieving progress, either at a personal or social level. That being said, the humanities scholars, authors, painters, etc., understand this dilemma that people face; the questions regarding meaning, identity and being part of “something bigger” are what the humanities tries to answer. Putting all political views aside, when you read’s Marx’s “Communist Manifesto,” you are so attracted to the words Marx writes because he provides you with a sense of meaning. Hence, when you dream about being that deprived proletariat rising up against the selfish bourgeoisie; you are imagining yourself being part of “something bigger”. Marx is one of several humanities scholars that examined society across many generations.
          You don’t read Aristotle because he spoke of the day to day challenges that the Greeks of his time encountered. You read Aristotle, Plato or Socrates because these philosophers wrote about problems that mankind has come across since the being of time and continue to confront today. The value you obtain from studying the humanities is that when you search for what it means to be a human you are attempting to add meaning to your life and the society around you. When you read the stories of Homer or Shakespeare, you come to understand that the characters of the stories experience the same problems you do in your own life. The humanities teach individuals that mistakes have and will be made, but it’s up to humans to turn earlier errors into future progress.
          The humanities is the history of human thought; where it began, how it’s changed, what it has become. In the past people believed that the answers regarding meaning and identity came from above. However, since the Enlightenment, science rules this realm, having proved to people that facts and empirical data can be used to give people meaning. But has science really provided humans with the meaning of life? Nevertheless, the underlying message seems to get lost in the debate between creation and evolution. What really drives human beings is faith, and this is the value that humanities provide. One has to believe that progress can be accomplished before it actually is achieved. Whether one puts their faith in themselves or other individuals, a higher being or scientific knowledge, one has to believe that goals can be reached first because only then is there a reason to search for meaning; the drive to be part of something “bigger.”

          With that, I want to welcome you to reading "The Philosophy Fools: Unfiltered Observations of a Flawed World," the blog created by my brother Randy and myself. Like my brother told you earlier in his welcome post, although we are writing this blog together, we don't necessarily have the same beliefs or share the same opinions and that's what I'm hoping will make this blog so attractive to our readers. We share our father's gene's, our ruggedly handsome looks and maybe a bit of the same sense of humor (Randy's much more perverted, I think?), but that's about it. My thoughts are still undefined and although I'm starting to piece them together I would like you to understand that my thoughts will be all over the place. The advice or message I attempt to offer may come off as a bit misleading if you try conveying one singular message out of reading my posts collectively. No topic or event will be off-topic, but the majority of my posts, whether they touch on sports, foreign affairs or energy consumption, will try to convey a greater societal message. As a writer I will put my best effort in to writing posts that will be entertaining and/or thought-provoking. As the reader all I ask is that you please clear your mind before reading the posts. Approach every post with a fresh outlook and I promise you that you will not be disappointed with mine or Randy's writings. And always remember: the words on this blog express our opinions, but that doesn't mean that we agree with them.


          Ryan - feel free to shoot me an email anytime at philosophyfool.002@gmail.com

1 comment:

  1. You stepping on me? My last post addressed (briefly) the "what does it mean to be human?" question. Alright, alright... virtually human.