‘That’s Just Like, Your Opinion, Man’ | An Introduction

I wanted to begin these writings with an introduction, not so much one of myself but of my goals for this blog. It’s important for me to be clear about how I organize my thoughts and the motivation behind them, even if they are rambling or abstract in nature.

 Goals:

Share Inspiration

Organize my own thoughts

Critically examine concepts and beliefs

Be Encouraging

Share Inspiration

I identify with the “you can’t learn anything while you’re talking” quote.  (I’m not sure who said it originally).  I tend to be a listener because I genuinely crave inspiration.  It is important for me to be inspired every day.  I think it is fundamental to my health and existence.  Because I value being inspired by others, I hope to use this blog to exit my comfort zone in some and share inspirations and things that I learn about so that others can experience them as well.  I think this will also help me process more deeply but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Organize My Thoughts

Let me begin the way the last section ended… In his book ‘The Letters’, Jack Kerouac says:

He [William S Burroughs] has no patience for my kind of neurosis, I know... But since then I’ve been facing my nature full in the face and the result is a purge.

I think Kerouac is talking about the release that comes from self-examination and the mechanism of coping with thoughts through writing.  My hope is that this blog can act as something similar for me as I comb through and try to make sense of what is important out of the vast amounts of content I am exposed to daily. 

Critically Examine Concepts and Beliefs               

In his book ‘A Treatise of Human Nature, (1739) Scotish philosopher David Hume introduces the Is-Ought Problem.

In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary way of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when of a sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is, however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, ‘tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and at the same time that a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it. But as authors do not commonly use this precaution, I shall presume to recommend it to the readers; and am persuaded, that this small attention would subvert all the vulgar systems of morality, and let us see, that the distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceived by reason.

Hume is saying that many people make claims about what ought to be based off what is

Example:

Is statement: Sunlight can damage a person’s eyesight

 Ought Statement: One should not look directly into the sun.

Hume states that an is premise does not equal an ought concussion.  If an ought conclusion is formed, then a reason should be given.  We should be aware of the difference in is/ought judgement.  We should also be aware of when people make that shift and how they explain the way they got there.

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It is somewhat unclear to me what Hume means when he says a new relation being deduced "seams altogether inconceivable".  I take it to mean that this relationship of thought is invalid without critical examination and holds no weight on its own. 

critical examination  = questioning + analyzing + creation of arguments + exploration of arguments + Objections + Replies to objections + Revisions + Defense

I will always seek to A. critically examine pivotal concepts and B. speak only from my own experience and not implicate others.  

However,  I know that I will probably spend the majority of this blog trying to climb out of the 'That's Just Your Opinion' pit.  Or in the words of The Dude:

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Encourage

As my last goal, I will simply will strive to be encouraging and inclusive with the content that I share.