I like to read. I read a lot. I always have. When I was about 7 or 8 years old I spent the summer at my Grandparents farm. You can read more about that in other posts on this blog, Like Grandpa’s farm. My Grandma had a lot of the Reader’s Digest Condensed books. I read them all summer.
I now sometimes like to read books with a lot of words that I do not know, and have to look up. I also am experimenting with reading more than one book at a time. My son suggested that to me. I am currently reading Destiny and Power, and Modern Ethics in 77 Arguments. The first is about George Herbert Walker Bush. The latter is about Philosophy. Did you know Nancy Reagan once referred to the Bush’s as the “Shrubs”, soon after George Bush became Reagan’s Vice President?
I suspect that people who are working for pay Philosophers are avoiding getting a real job. But the way they think can really make your brain smoke. A guy named Frank Cioffi once, when called the guy with all of the answers, replied “No, I am the guy that knows all of the questions”. He wore his pajamas all of the time. Philosophers like to explore the meaning of life and the existence of God. Or the lack of either, or both. They do it over and over. Argue it. That’s what they call it.
As I was reading 77 Arguments, I had some thoughts about the meaning of life of my own. Is it possible that the meaning of life is simply the effect we have on others? And that they then pass that on to the next person, and the next, and so on? I once had an experience that gave me that idea, so to speak. I theorized that one’s “soul” was the on going effect we had on those around us. My uncle passed away, and I went to his small hometown for the funeral. He lived most of his adult life in this small town, and he was a gregarious individual. So, he knew everyone. He was a clean living and righteous man. He was a man of faith, and a public servant. His funeral was held in the high school gymnasium, because that is the only place that was big enough to hold us all. As I observed my cousins and all of these people who came to honor this man, I pondered the possibility that his “soul” was living on in all of these people who’s lives he had touched. And the people’s lives that they would then influence. And on and on. A soul eternal. Of course he being a religious man, I think my uncle’s ideas for eternal life were a little different than that. Or were they?
Now observe what I just did. This is what Philosophers do. I just shared an idea with you, without making a commitment to it’s truth. I made an argument, without taking a position. That is my definition of Philosophy.