Exercise: Philosophy

“It is not a question of whether man chooses to be guided by philosophy; he is not equipped to live without it.”
– Ayn Rand

 

Your philosophy is the sum of your beliefs.  Philosophy concerns everybody.  Everyone lives by a philosophy of life.  Our philosophy answers questions such as what is right and what is wrong.  Our philosophy dictates what qualities and virtues we see in other people.  It can even influence our preferences in music and art.  It dictates the way we act with others and with society.

You want to be explicitly aware of your philosophy as it will determine your ability to obtain happiness.  The more rational your philosophy is, the more likely you are to choose good long-term
goals that will make you happy.

Examples of elements of a good rational philosophy are:

“Through the faculty of reason men can have control and make good decisions.”
“Alone or in groups, people will do good if they are rational and have the right incentives.”
“People can change and improve.”
“Man is created free so we want to allow for maximum freedom in life.”

Examples of elements of a non-rational philosophy are:

“Women are less worthy than men because they are physically weaker.”
“I am unworthy because I did something stupid in the past.”
“My quality of health is determined entirely by outside factors.”
“The earth is flat so sailing in one direction will eventually make you fall off.”

Your philosophy is different from how you sense of life.  These two can contradict each other.  For example, someone might have a philosophy that people are good and can improve in general.  But that same person may have a sense of life based on numerous betrayals which create a sense of loss and a sense that he or she is unworthy and unable to improve.  Therefore, you need to have a philosophy that will support your sense of life and thus your self-esteem.

What is your philosophy or your beliefs about yourself?
What is your philosophy or your beliefs about the world?

 

Do you have reason to believe that your philosophy is rational?  Why or why not?

 

Would you be willing to change your philosophy and your beliefs if they proved to be non-rational? (Many people refused to believe the earth is round, even after it was proven.)

 

The point of this exercise is to raise your awareness about your own philosophy and your own beliefs about the world.

In ancient times, savages believed there were gods everywhere.  They had a god for mountains, a god for the skies, a god for everything.  They also had gods for disease and sickness.  So if you got a serious infection, there was not much to do about it, as “the god of sickness decided that you should be sick.”

Some of this fanaticism can still be found in the world.  We now know that such a philosophy or belief is irrational. We now know that diseases and sicknesses do not have gods.  We know that we can treat an infection with antibiotics.  So the old belief was irrational and the new belief is rational.

Thousands of years from now people will look back on our times and smile at some of the beliefs we now hold.  Be conscious about this.  Some of your beliefs, your convictions, and your philosophy of life might not be right.

Free Workbook: “what do you want to do with your life?”
Allowing Ourselves to Ask the Question

Table of Contents


I. Chapter One: Introduction to Life Planning


II. Chapter Two: Your Past



III. Chapter Three: The Influence Of Generations



IV. Chapter Four: Your Present



V. Chapter Five: Your Future



VI. Chapter Six: Your Alternatives



VII. Chapter Seven: Making The Decision

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