Weirdest experience with philosophy?

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Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 04:42 pm
This isn't a debate, more of a question - what has been your weirdest experience with philosophy?
I've read about all those 'feeling inconsequential relative to the scale of the universe and time' kind of epiphanies, but have always wondered whether they're actually all that common.
For me, the closest I've ever gotten was when I realised that everything we physically experience is essentially in the past by the time we experience it. I spent about ten seconds just looking at people moving around me being thoroughly 'weirded out' by the whole idea, and then just moved on to finishing my English essay XD
I realise it's essentially based in physics, but the idea raises questions about what we mean by 'past', 'present', etc.
Anyone else experienced anything similar?
 
hue-man
 
Reply Tue 7 Apr, 2009 11:56 am
@spacemonkey phil,
spacemonkey wrote:
This isn't a debate, more of a question - what has been your weirdest experience with philosophy?
I've read about all those 'feeling inconsequential relative to the scale of the universe and time' kind of epiphanies, but have always wondered whether they're actually all that common.
For me, the closest I've ever gotten was when I realised that everything we physically experience is essentially in the past by the time we experience it. I spent about ten seconds just looking at people moving around me being thoroughly 'weirded out' by the whole idea, and then just moved on to finishing my English essay XD
I realise it's essentially based in physics, but the idea raises questions about what we mean by 'past', 'present', etc.
Anyone else experienced anything similar?


The weirdest thing that I have run into thus far is mystical metaphysics. Someone once told me that I could actually become a dragon if I believed that I was a dragon. This is philosophical idealism to the tenth power.
 
Dylan phil
 
Reply Mon 27 Apr, 2009 09:26 am
@spacemonkey phil,
spacemonkey wrote:
This isn't a debate, more of a question - what has been your weirdest experience with philosophy?


I have never really had a weird experience with philosophy itself, but rather with other individuals in life about it. For example; if I were to try and talk about philosophy at my school, I would be laughed at. They would completely reject me, and most likely ignore me if I were to say something as small as just saying I doubt their religion. This completely blows me off course. Why would an individual wish to be ignorant to the (possible) truth and facts? Is it because they simply cannot comprehend that their only belief could be wrong? Is it because they are just too scared of death, etc? (Do not actually answer the questions.) I have asked kids at my school if they would simply just believe in a religion if their parents taught it to them. They told me that they would believe in it if they did, and once they got to be eighteen they would still believe in it no matter how stupid it sounded. I don't know.. it's just weird.
 
Lily
 
Reply Sun 3 May, 2009 04:32 am
@Dylan phil,
For a couple of weeks ago I was sitting in the classroom, we had physics and were watching a movie about the universe, and I realized that I am going to die and it's not sure at all that there's a after life. This life might be it, even worse, it probably is. I just looked around me and felt so insignificant. Life on earth would go on after I've died. These thought scared the **** out of me. You only get one shot at luck. And I might already have missed mine. Now I'm dealing with according to the good old "try not to think about it"- method.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sun 3 May, 2009 08:17 am
@Lily,
Lily wrote:
For a couple of weeks ago I was sitting in the classroom, we had physics and were watching a movie about the universe, and I realized that I am going to die and it's not sure at all that there's a after life. This life might be it, even worse, it probably is. I just looked around me and felt so insignificant. Life on earth would go on after I've died. These thought scared the **** out of me. You only get one shot at luck. And I might already have missed mine. Now I'm dealing with according to the good old "try not to think about it"- method.


It kind of scared me when I first realized that there was probably no after life. I'm more concerned with the truth than I am with convenient lies and so I accept my fate as an animal living in an absurd reality. However, I feel no reason to be afraid of death. I'm more afraid of how I will die and whether or not it will be painful. When I say death I mean the aftermath of my biological breakdown, the non-existence that follows the dying process. I see no reason to be afraid of a non-existent circumstance like death. It is irrational to be afraid of a state that doesn't exist. Like Mark Twain said - "I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it."

---------- Post added at 11:16 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:17 AM ----------

Dylan wrote:
I have never really had a weird experience with philosophy itself, but rather with other individuals in life about it. For example; if I were to try and talk about philosophy at my school, I would be laughed at. They would completely reject me, and most likely ignore me if I were to say something as small as just saying I doubt their religion. This completely blows me off course. Why would an individual wish to be ignorant to the (possible) truth and facts? Is it because they simply cannot comprehend that their only belief could be wrong? Is it because they are just too scared of death, etc? (Do not actually answer the questions.) I have asked kids at my school if they would simply just believe in a religion if their parents taught it to them. They told me that they would believe in it if they did, and once they got to be eighteen they would still believe in it no matter how stupid it sounded. I don't know.. it's just weird.


One word, conformity. In my opinion, a good philosopher is an intelligent non-conformist. The reason why many people will believe in faith if it is taught to them as children is because that is how human beings learn. Human beings learn by observing peers and elders, and by passing information on to the next generation. This is probably why we're not still using stone tools like the Apes. It is easier to learn this way because it stops us from having to relearn everything that our ancestors discovered. Therefore, many humans are unlikely to question the teachings of their parents, elders, and peers, and in that order.
 
Lily
 
Reply Sun 3 May, 2009 10:09 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
It kind of scared me when I first realized that there was probably no after life. I'm more concerned with the truth than I am with convenient lies and so I accept my fate as an animal living in an absurd reality. However, I feel no reason to be afraid of death. I'm more afraid of how I will die and whether or not it will be painful. When I say death I mean the aftermath of my biological breakdown, the non-existence that follows the dying process. I see no reason to be afraid of a non-existent circumstance like death. It is irrational to be afraid of a state that doesn't exist. Like Mark Twain said - "I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it."


Actually, it also made me a bit happy. I felt how much I lived. But then I had to concentrate on black holes. It didn't make my comfused state of mind any better...
 
validity
 
Reply Mon 4 May, 2009 03:35 am
@Lily,
The realization that about 10% of the components in my body formed some 13 billion years ago and the rest of it was made in a star, some 9 billion years ago.

If each could tell the story of where it has been, perhaps parts of me were once in a comet, a butterfly or a cloud.

And where shall these components end up. If the universe were to collapse back in on itself I shall meet you all there.
 
Paggos
 
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 10:05 am
@spacemonkey phil,
That any action is at our fault. If you get shot it's your fault considering you chose to be at that place, and chose to live there.
 
bk-thinkaboom
 
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 09:36 am
@spacemonkey phil,
I totally understand what you are saying, I have one recurring experience which comes to me every now and then. It's an experience that is not only weird in the way it makes me think and feel, but one that is strange in the way that it recurs without actually changing me a great deal, althought I think it probably did change me slightly when I first experienced it.

It usually happens after I've been thinking deeply about something or other and decide to look at the fundamental basics of whatever it is; sometimes searching for a simple meaning or purpose. It's similar to feeling insignificant in the universe, but goes one step further; I begin to try and understand the implications of a universe in which there is no purpose, no creator, no 'ultimate truth', just particles that exist without a reason; nothing to find; no conclusion.

I have come to accept that there probably is no afterlife, and that doesn't scare me. This recuring experience, however, does freak me out a bit.
 
Joshy phil
 
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 01:23 pm
@bk-thinkaboom,
When it comes to Philosophy, I suppose I find myself in quite a small sector of the science, if you would call it that. I focus on trying to understand what the point of life is, how time runs, and the smaller links in between.

The strangest experience that I have had from this is probably the feeling, or perhaps understanding, that, in the larger scheme of things, nothing I do will ever make much difference. I suppose you could class this more as a distressing thought that a 'weird' one, but it is still something that makes me feel extremely uncomfortable.

Several questions arise from this: how can me theorising (I think that's a word) alternate meanings and purposes of lfie and creation contribute to the anything? My own life? Society? Is it really worth it?

Also, when I contemplate morals and principles, and what I personally hold in high regard, I begin to question whether any of it is really worth the 'effort' I put in. It has been said that those that put in the effort reap the reward, but as a friend of mine questioned the other day: if one travels one a 'moral highroad' that nobody else can see, are they really travelling along a 'moral highroad' at all? I tried to argue my case, but to little avail. I suppose the jist of it is that in a society as selfish, greedy, ignorant, and self-obsessed as ours, is there really much point in putting others before yourself? In caring about those around you? Because surely they would not even realize, or understand, or appreciate, the sacrifice you may be making. I know that one should not do something for the sake of getting something in return, but it can often feel like your efforts have been wasted.

Anyway, I believe that I'm getting a bit off topic there. Those are my only major problems with my own philosophy, as surely that is what they are, being so personal.
 
Thanatos phil
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 10:07 pm
@spacemonkey phil,
Mine was realizing that right and wrong is subjective and morals are things people invented.

Another was realizing that my parents are just human (same as me) Razz kinda depressed and angered me a little bit lol
 
AOS
 
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 01:06 am
@spacemonkey phil,
i had two experiences that really weird-ed people out too
once in sixth grade i came up with an idea that if i don't think about what I'm not seeing it doesn't exist like for instance whats outside the classroom doesn't exist until we go there, or think about it. i tried to explain it to my friends and they just laughed and tried to make me explain it so i did, then they laughed at me.jaja i joined this forum and two days ago i saw this was solipsism jaja
another was a little touchier i was trying to explain to my parents that all the rules of the catholic church were made by regular people just like us so why should we have to do what they say if god didn't make those rules then i went further into it saying the Pope was just like us except he knows more about the bible than us so why do we hold him so high and i said what is this hierarchy who decided it and it really doesnt exist its just something we made to give ourselves luxuries lol they made me join the youth group jaja
but i said that there and a lot of people agreed with me jaja even some of the instructors lol
 
FBM
 
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 06:28 am
@spacemonkey phil,
Hmm. This was pretty weird in the sense of being unexpected and life-changing: I was in undergrad Philosophy in order to qualify for Episcopal seminary. I was a deeply commited Christian, though not a fundie. One evening, after History of the Bible class, I was just about to my dorm room, thinking about what I'd been learning in class. I wasn't questioning the existence of God or anything, just thinking about what scholars have found out about the origins of the Bible. Suddenly the clearest thought crossed my mind: 'Oh. Of course. It's all made up. We [humans] just made all those stories up.' Within the span of a heartbeat or two, I thought, 'Oh, well then, we just made up God, too. All of that is just an old story.' There was no wailing or gnashing of teeth. Instead, I just thought, 'Oh, well. That's settled. Don't have to worry about pleasing a god or fulfilling a divine plan any more. Now what am I going to do with a freakin' degree in Philosophy, of all things?' At the moment, the answer is 'teach English in Korea.' ^^^

Oops. I didn't notice that this is the Young Philosophers' Forum. I'm far from that...Surprised
 
Joshy phil
 
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 03:55 pm
@FBM,
I've thought up something else. Well, I suppose it's something that I've been thinking about for quite a while, but haven't necessarily recognised as a 'weird experience'.

What I've found, through all of my philosophising and theorizing, is that, no matter how deep-a-topic or theory you go into, everybody has a view, an opinion, and perhaps even their own in-depth thoughts on the matter.
I suppose it just goes to show that, really, anybody can be a philosopher. Some people may not be able to comprehend certain things, and their thoughts may not be correct, and they may not even be interested in the topic at hand, but they still have something to say. From time to time, people I've talked to have even pointed out things that I hadn't even begun to consider.

I've probably posted this is a way that makes it sound really cheesy, or perhaps even nonsensical. Still, it's what I tend to do: just write down what I'm thinking as it comes into my head. It was really just a vague thought, and so I've pretty much made it all up as I went along.
 
Kat333
 
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 05:19 pm
@spacemonkey phil,
spacemonkey;56723 wrote:
This isn't a debate, more of a question - what has been your weirdest experience with philosophy?
I've read about all those 'feeling inconsequential relative to the scale of the universe and time' kind of epiphanies, but have always wondered whether they're actually all that common.
For me, the closest I've ever gotten was when I realised that everything we physically experience is essentially in the past by the time we experience it. I spent about ten seconds just looking at people moving around me being thoroughly 'weirded out' by the whole idea, and then just moved on to finishing my English essay XD
I realise it's essentially based in physics, but the idea raises questions about what we mean by 'past', 'present', etc.
Anyone else experienced anything similar?


That's happened to me a few times too. Kind of trippy, in a way. When I think of strange experiences with philosphy, two things come to mind. I went through this stage, off and on for about a month, where I was almost hyper-aware of my free-will (as far as moving my body). It was actually very distracting.

The other thing would be one time, when I wasn't so much meditating as I was just enjoying being outside, and I completely and utterly forgot that I was actually my own being. I don't know how long it lasted for, but it was very interesting.
 
Dunkler Schatten
 
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 05:50 pm
@spacemonkey phil,
the weirdest philosophical thing thats ever happened to me happened while I was showering. I was thinking about religion in that manner when you are doing something else, when all of a sudden, I realized that, as many religious people say god gives meaning to the universe, and withough man would find no meaning, but that was untrue...as man gives meaning to things through feelings and attachements...so man is god of his universe.

Needless to say I stared at the soap for a while.
 
William
 
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 08:25 pm
@spacemonkey phil,
Joshy;68597 wrote:

I know that one should not do something for the sake of getting something in return, but it can often feel like your efforts have been wasted.


Hello Joshy, not by a long shot. May I offer a suggestion? Anytime we "effort" IMO means stress in that we are searching for something "without" when we have it "within"; It's just we don't realize it. Sense of self is so very important and it is that self that we "have to live with". What I have learned is that sense of self means nothing if I don't share it with just one person even if it is only a smile. For those who proclaim, "I have nothing to smile about", is IMO a selfish notion for the are looking for that which will make them content, though they have know idea of what it is they are looking for as they come to realize they are just observing so many others who are looking for the same thing as you noted above in the selfishness of the society that surrounds us and that makes us feel lost as we lament, as you did, "What's the use?".

Joshy, it's the smile you are after even if you have to provoke it yourself and in doing that, both benefit. You will be amazed at the power of the unrequited "compliment" you might offer to another. It will amaze you! Even if it is to a perfect stranger, you will make a friend even if it is only for a brief time, for it is contagious and if you do it often enough you will soon learn happiness comes from within you and in that reflection it renders is in itself a great reward. It takes a bit of courage in the beginning, but you will find it get's easier and more rewarding as you go.

Let me give you an illustration of what I am talking about. I was in the checkout line at the local market and I gazed into the cart of another shopper with a quizical look on my face and a smile. It struck the other shopper odd and asked, "Can I help you"? To which I replied, "I was just trying to figure out what your having for supper"! And chuckled, as did they. They said, "Well, what did you come up with"? And I nailed it! Spaghetti and meatballs with wine. Whether I was right or wrong is not the point, I had made a friend and if I ever run into them again, any conversation we have will start with that same smile except it will come from both.

I hoped I help. To some that might seem "weird"; I don't think so. Smile

Regards,
William
 
Joshy phil
 
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:51 pm
@William,
William, I very much agree with you. I hope that I am not contradicting what I have previously stated, or inferred, but you have focussed upon a point that I very much believe in, or rather would like to.

In principle, the selfless, unrequited 'compliment' or consideration is righteous. Not to the extent that I would feel forced to do it just to make myself look better, but rather in terms of something that comes naturally to me. This may not have been apparent in my previous post on the matter, as evidently I admitted that I often find it difficult.

Your example is one that sounds so 'normal' in many circumstances, if you understand what I mean. Just a small thing that may very well cheer somebody up or put a smile on their face, and yours. However, in all honesty, the possibilities of such an encounter are slim, in my mind. One reason, I suppose, is the difficulty I experience in social interaction, but really it just comes down to the structure of society. England, in my opinion, of all the things I have seen and heard, is one of the worst countries in terms of the greed and selfishness that people demonstrate. True, there are still people out there who value their own morals and principles, and can put others first, but the majority of people have a very dim view on the very concept. I feel that this is something that doesn't come naturally any more, and, if at all, would be forced upon them.

What does this mean in terms of my own personal actions concerning others? Well, generally I steer clear of most social interaction. I don't want to sound like a recluse, but perhaps that is what I am. For the most part, though I can happily do things for the sake of other people; people I care about. The only difficulty is when I find myself in situations which make me consider how little I get in return. It's not really a case of me doing things to get something in return, but rather that nobody partakes in the small happenings that could make me smile. And often people don't even notice the sacrifices I may have made for them. Okay, so I'm not saying that I shouldn't bother any more because people aren't grateful. Most definitely not. But rather that I get upset at the thought that people may not have gained anything from what I did, which could make it worthless. If it makes them happy, then that is really all that matters, even if I don't necessarily get anything in return, because making the people I care about happy is still brilliant. Perhaps it is just another side of the ignorance towards consideration. If people don't feel inclined to 'hand it out', they don't necessarily expect it, or notice it.

I don't know. Just a few more thoughts. I hope I'm not getting too off-topic here, but I suppose this is still relevant to 'weird' experiences, and opens up a whole new trail of thought for me.

Anyway, thank you, William, for taking the time to write out your post. I sincerely appreciate it.
You've definitely got my brain working again. Smile
 
William
 
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 05:29 pm
@Joshy phil,
Joshy;80220 wrote:
Anyway, thank you, William, for taking the time to write out your post. I sincerely appreciate it.
You've definitely got my brain working again. Smile


Zippity Do Dah!!!! :a-ok:

 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 05:49 pm
@spacemonkey phil,
My weirdest experiences in philosophy often comes in my philosophy classes. Either fellow students have no idea what they are talking about, or they apply today's world to philosophy written over 200 years ago.
 
 

 
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