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Which is closer?

  1. Western (You can be specific below)

    10 vote(s)
  2. Eastern (Same as above)

    4 vote(s)
  3. Other (Explain if you like)

    2 vote(s)
  1. Apr 1, 2005 #1
    I'm not going to pretend that anyone or any particular philosophy is completely correct, but one must be more logical than the others. So, my question is simple. Would you choose a Western Philosophy, which has sprouted the ideals of Machiavelli (success is everything), the workings of Plato and Socrates (self-realization), and the ideas of Locke and his peers, the atheistic yet morally judging thinkers of Britain? Or would you choose the Eastern philosophies, such as Confucianism, or "The Study of the Way," brought about by Zhang Zai and his mentors and students, in which "qi" and karma are thought to be the deciding factors in life?

    Does the understanding of the mind and universe (my personal definition of philosophy) change with public opinion, as the changing trends in European philosophy would lead you to believe?

    Or is the world consistant, with the same souls attempting to reach Nirvana, or Heaven, or Providence (Whatever you want to call it), so that the entire point of existance is ultimate satisfaction?

    Or would you believe that there is no point to life, and that you should get by as you can, like most modern fads in thought would have you believe?

    Any other ideas are welcome, but be warned, generic approaches such as "I think that a combination of them all is good," without serious thought and explanation will really just make you look stupid. Think about an answer before you post.

    Thank you for reading this, and giving it serious thought. :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2005 #2
    Both hve their good and bad traits.
  4. Apr 1, 2005 #3
    Science is the only philosophy I have ever found compelling, the rest is all pure speculation. Based on your post I suppose I'm closest to the Lockean moral atheists. So I picked Western.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2005
  5. Apr 2, 2005 #4


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    Western, eastern has too much inherent ambiquity, IMO, in trying to offer a "complete package" ... western better acknowledges the deficiencies we have in understanding our surroundings and selves.
  6. Apr 2, 2005 #5
    I voted for wester filosofy because I find it much more human-like-moral-ethical-and logical-filosofy.

    In pàrticular, anciant greeks.
  7. Apr 2, 2005 #6
    If you really encouraged ideas, then you should not put a limit on them, no matter how vague or ambiguous they may seem.

    I voted for "other". Scientific philosophy compels me the most, as it's based on doubt, rather than faith. I find that to be much more assuring.
  8. Apr 5, 2005 #7
    I didn't put a limit, I just didn't want everybody to come up with generic responses and flooding the thread with nonsensical dribble. Everyone is allowed their own opinion, but if it doesn't bring any new thought, don't post.
  9. Apr 5, 2005 #8
    while i voted eastern i do not believe that Everything changes with the publics opinion of philosophy. That is a majority ruling and everyone doesn't have to agree with the majority. I do like morals, and karma( just not reincarnation).

    I disagree with you though on what you said earlier. you dont want ppl posting stuff that isn't original and yet you generalize everything into western and eastern...I think that everyone/anyone should say whatever they believe,just maybe in few words to reduce "nonsensical dribble".
  10. Apr 6, 2005 #9


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    Every thread in every forum ever created is going to have some one-liners and posts that don't seem well-considered. It might make navigation a little more difficult, but it's not something you can stop, and being condescending toward posters that may have honest intentions (personally, at times I will make very short posts and wait for responses before going into more detail, so as to maintain what little focus is possible through this medium) is not the best way to foster discussion.

    That said, my education is entirely western. Though I have read a small amount of eastern philosophy on my own, I know little about it. What little I do know gives me the impression that it is not entirely incompatible with a western philosophical worldview. "Western" is an overly broad term as well. Spinoza and Aquinas are as far from Hobbes and Hume as the Tao is different from Calvinism. The Buddha and Jesus are probably closer to each other philosophically than are Malebranch and Nietzsche, perhaps even Augustine and Kierkegaard.

    Also, as far as I know, Locke was a deist, not an atheist.
  11. Apr 6, 2005 #10
    The most important topic concerning the mind is its freedom.

    Either a free mind is a good mind or it isn't. That is the social quibble over which humans dust up the discussion of mind. "Children need discipline," "criminals need correction," "psychotics need rehabilitation," "young people need education," etc., are all declarations to restrict the freedom of mind.

    There is no accurate philosophy of mind that does not respect its strong innate desire for freedom. Nevermind the question of whether or not the "will" is free - many arguments have deemed that notion nonsensical. But whether or not the mind is restricted, stunted, conditioned, thwarted, etc., these are the questions that must be answered.

    It is very seriously a life and death issue. The lack of freedom leads to war, destructive behavior, death, and suicide.

    Neither eastern nor western philosophies have fully respected this.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2005
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