The Philosopher’s Guide to Conversations

I am so excited, my new house is about to be completed.

Okay. But you know what Thoreau said? “What’s the use of a beautiful house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on.”

That’s true. It’s sad how so many people are unaware of Climate Change.

As Chomsky says, “The general population doesn’t know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know.”

Exactly. So many people are deteriorating environment without even realising it.

As Foucault says, “People know what they do, frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don’t know is what what they do does.”

It is disheartening that even developed democracies like the United States are not doing anything about it.

It would be inaccurate to call US a functioning democracy. As Chomsky says, “Nobody should have any illusions. The United States has essentially a one-party system and the ruling party is the business party.”

What do you think is the root of this problem?

Capitalism. According to Michael Parenti, “The essence of capitalism is to turn nature into commodities and commodities into capital.” As Yuval Noah Hariri adds, “Capitalism and Consumerism are two sides of the same coin, it propagates a lifestyle where the supreme command of the rich is to invest, while that of the rest is to buy.”

But Capitalism is just an economic system which talks about making money. What’s wrong with making money?

Confucius used to say, “The superior man understands what is right, the inferior man understands what will sell.”

I don’t agree. Business or economics has nothing to do with morality or ethics.

“The method of production of the material things of life generally determines the social, political and spiritual currents of life”, said Marx.

I don’t think it is right to link things related to economics or politics with morality.

Those people who treat Politics and Morality separately will never understand either of them“, says Rousseau.

But don’t you agree that the people who are rich are happier.

In words of Immanuel Kant, “We are not rich by what we possess, but what we can do without.”

Well, whatever. I don’t care what anyone else says. A cheese-burst pepperoni Pizza with capsicum toppings is what makes me happy. And I need to have money for that.

Be a Man of Reason, not a Man of Appetite”, said Socrates. To quote JS Mill: “It is better to be a man dissatisfied than a pig satisfied.”

Why should I care about what Socrates said? I don’t care what they might have said, I care for my own contentment.

Because Socrates is considered the wisest man. And to add Mill again, “It is better to be a Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.”

But does it really matter when the ultimate objective is to pursue happiness.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” That’s the message from the Buddhist Monk Thinch Naht Hanh. And according to Viktor Frankl, “The way to be happy is to stop searching for happiness but for meaning and purpose in life, and happiness shall follow.” Now, introspection and self-reflection is necessary to lead a good meaningful life. As Socrates had held, “An unexamined life is not worth living.“

I can’t take more of this, why are we even discussing all this? These are merely ideas, there’s no use of them.

There is. As Mahatma Gandhi had remarked: “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”

Gandhi, Mill, Marx….Where is your originality? Are any of your thoughts your own?

If we were to go by the philosophical idea presented by Andy Weir in his short story ‘The Egg’, then they are all my mine. They are all me. I go different reincarnations, living the lives of everyone in order to mature from an egg to a foetus.

Okay, sure. Can we talk about something else now?

“All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility” – says JS Mill

Please. For the love of god, stop with all this philosophical nonsense.

God has not made man, man has made God” – says Marx

If you don’t stop with this, I am going to kill you.

“Over their body and their mind, individual is sovereign. The sole purpose mankind is warranted to intervene in the liberty of someone is to prevent harm to others“, says JS Mill.

There we go again. How do you know what these thinkers have said is right? How are you even sure of our own existence? What if we are all part of the Matrix, huh?

“I think, therefore I am”, says Descartes. “It is not our consciousness that determines our existence but our existence that determines our consciousness“, says Marx.

Yeah but how can you be so sure that they are right?

Of-course they can be wrong. As Mahatma Gandhi used to say, “It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

Alright, so say all these philosophers you read have erred, what would you study then?

So, probably Engineering.

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