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Philosophy Q&A Essay

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1. Essay 1: Are you someone who wonders if life’s practical side is only half of what makes life worth living? May 21, 2010

According to Bertrand Russell, the practical man is one who is primarily concerned with meeting immediate needs, doesn’t recognize the need for mental nourishment, and whose ideas are simply a product of the environment he lives in. In contrast, the philosophical man is primarily concerned with things of the mind, with finding and contemplating questions of much greater significance, whose views are formed intentionally after careful consideration. I feel like I am someone who wonders if life’s practical side is only half of what makes it worth living, but I often struggle to find a way to meaningfully explore a philosophical view and make contemplating a daily part of my life. I seem to have found a small compromise between the two, in what I consider the economic point of view.
I find myself in constant pull between a practical view and a philosophical view. It can be very difficult when life is busy and complicated to think beyond the next item on the to-do list. Yet at times it can feel overwhelmingly important to find a way to hold on to a broader, more contemplative view of life and the world we live in and interact with. I’m majoring in economics, and I’ve found that the longer I study economics, the more my entire world view has come to be dominated by the economic way of thinking. To me, this economic viewpoint is an improvement on a purely practical view, but still some way from truly being a philosophical view. I have found this type of approach to life to be much more fulfilling than a purely practical life, but it does leave much to be desired. In time, I hope to become more philosophical.
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...orical. He describes these metaphors as “useful and precarious,” with their precariousness coming from the danger of seeing them as literal. To Gillman, believing that God is a person deprives him of his transcendence and divinity.
For the most part, I find Gillman’s reasoning compelling and agreeable. It certainly doesn’t make sense to me to ascribe to God the properties of transcendence or infinity, and at the same time require that he be subject to our own logic. If there is a God, and if he has any of the characteristics that believers ascribe to him, he certainly isn’t bound by what our minds can comprehend or prove. If every Biblical metaphor about God were literally true, this God would be so full of contradictions as to be something that meaningful faith could not be placed in. Establishing this God’s existence by any kind of logic would prove impossible.



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