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What is the Most Important Philosophical Question

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posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 09:41 PM
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Seem to always be late to these philosophical threads.
The original question seems intriguing, but then...
By the time it's found, the thread has degenerated into: semantics; personal arguments; ego-boasting; trivialities; and endless proselytizing.

Why does this always seem to happen?

Not saying that y'all aren't smart, because all the answers have been read, and many are very thoughtful and intelligent.
But it's always overtaken by intellect. Why?
Why do some seem to believe that there are answers in knowledge?

Is this reply even ego-free? Probably not.




posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 09:42 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

Here is where we have to agree on how we define Self before we can move any further... because I'm afraid we have two different conceptions of what the Self is.

I have been continually trying to study and understand my Self for years, and I have found myself to be much more difficult to understand than any mathematical equation. But perhaps I'm just complicated.



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 10:09 PM
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a reply to: Wang Tang

You probably aren't more complicated than anyone else. And should that difficulty dissuade you, in any case?

Tell me, how could anyone speculate on other things while unaware of how their own mind works? That's like someone with no knowledge of music critiquing Beethoven's work.

So that's the nature of reason: the thing that examines itself. It's reason that gives human beings this capacity, unlike, say, a rock.

And since we are rational creatures, or at least we have that capability, our own nature must be to examine ourselves and act in accordance with rational principles.



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 10:48 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

I can drive a car without understanding how it works. All I have to do is turn the key in the ignition, shift to drive, step on the gas pedal, and follow the rules of the road. Will understanding how my car works and how to fix it on my own improve my driving performance? Probably. But is it necessary? Only if you are racing. Only if you need to maximize every little bit of performance your car can offer.

So it is really a question of how you want to live. If you are content with just living, and having other people help you when you have problems, then it is not necessary to understand yourself. I would say a good majority of people actually fall into this category. But if you want to strive to be the best version of yourself, then yes, you must know your Self, and not depend on others to fix your problems... because just like with cars, when you take your car to a mechanic, he may or may not know or care about what the heck he's doing.



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 10:58 PM
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a reply to: Wang Tang

it was pretty interesting that class. We got deep for the whole semester(s) into philosophies, metaphysics...and much more. Study as we did...through the holiday breaks, weekends, even spring break (yeah, mybuds thought I was crazy studying during Mardi Gras)...and there I was at the moment of truth...with one single test question.

Oh...and the prof tricked us with the instructions. Before the exam he told us to answer the test questions (we didnt know it was only one yet)...and to keep it no more than 500 words. Everybody else except 3 of us got it...(no MORE than 500...so it could have been 200, 15...even 3 like mine..but that escaped most of the classes responses).



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 01:14 AM
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a reply to: Wang Tang

Well, you can crash a car, and then it's nothing but a hunk of twisted metal. Your money can be stolen, your reputation stained, and your memory will vanish. Your family, friends, and comrades will die. Your nation will collapse or be conquered. The continents will shift and waters will rise and fall.

The same goes for your own body, it can be damaged, broken, and decommissioned. The same to your achievements, they're all eventually forgotten. And your failures are little more than the stumbling of a short-lived mammal. And your spirit? Well, if that's something you imagine you "posses", then it's also fleeting and unimportant. Have I missed anything on your list of what "defines you"?

What I'm speaking of is far different. No person can steal it from you, no misfortune can destroy it, disorder and vice can never take hold there unless you allow it. It operates by your leave and with your consent. The faculties of judgment and assent, choice and autonomous decision. A conception of the world that is rational, natural, and universal. Prizing virtue and honoring the truth, honoring good-will, and honoring provenance. If that constitutes "being the best version of yourself", then I couldn't imagine wanting to live another way.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 12:22 PM
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originally posted by: Willtell


Humans fear one thing and that is pain and the fear of pain.


The most important philosophical question objectively is what Buddhah sought. How to free ourselves from suffering


There are of course layers of this human conundrum and can be put in other words


Subjectively is what your own heart desires to do, that you only can answer.


Hmmm, forgot to respond to this.

It isn't pain itself which causes us to fear it, but our judgment of pain. Make the judgement that pain is an evil, something to fear and avoid at all costs, and we've bound ourselves to that determination.

However, conceive pain as indifferent, as something neither good nor bad, and the fear of it ceases. Buddha simply made the correct judgment about the nature of pain and suffering. That is, pain is neutral and outside of our power. A mere feature of living. No one can avoid it, no one can run away from it or banish it entirely, so why fret over it?

Or put another way: you can feel pain, but you needn't be hurt by it. Nothing can hurt you without your consent, without the judgment "I am hurt."



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 12:32 PM
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originally posted by: Wang Tang
The principles of Mathematics are an unchanging truth. You understand a Mathematical concept once, and you fully understand it.

I humbly disagree. I discovered this book in college, and never looked at mathematics and its inherently faulty symbolic structure the same way again:
www.goodreads.com...
edit on 15-11-2016 by Blue Shift because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 01:00 PM
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a reply to: Wang Tang

No why did this come to mind?....




(For those that can't watch vids right now, Monty Python, Drunken Philosophers (Bruce's song))



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 01:14 PM
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a reply to: Wang Tang


“what is the most important philosophical question?”


As a species, we have not yet reached a point to even understand what such a question might actually be. We are too damned caught up with politics and egos to even begin to understand.

We are an infant species... and when the nursery door opens, we're gonna crap our diapers.
edit on 15-11-2016 by redoubt because: zzzt



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 03:03 PM
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a reply to: Wang Tang



Or perhaps the most important philosophical question is in fact: “what is the most important philosophical question?”


This pretty much sums up the feeling of being at a loss and the extreme confusion I'm left with after contemplating the true nature of reality.

But, I'd have to say that the importance of philosophy must first be examined on an individualistic level before anything else. We are the individual pieces of the bigger puzzle of mankind. How can we begin to understand the true nature of realty in its entirety if we can not even grasp a seemingly small part of it such as ourselves? Now, because it's different for each person, others may be able to see the importance of philosophy for mankind before themselves. Unfortunately, no puzzle can be whole if even it's missing one piece. So, ultimately, it boils down to the individual pieces.

I'm not anywhere near being a philosopher so I'm not educated, by any means, on the fundamental nature of the ANYTHING. But, it's definitely one that I find myself pondering on more than anything else.

The one and only thing I'm almost completely certain of is that I Am Me. I am the only person who can see the world through my eyes. We may all be seeing the same world, reality, whatever you want to call it, but, I think we are experiencing it completely alone.

Maybe.... The most important philosophical question isn't necessarily a question at all but Philosophy itself..



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 06:54 PM
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Not really a good idea to have a question better to have a doubt until there are no more questions.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 09:06 PM
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a reply to: Nothin

I completely agree. It seems we never fail to get in our own way when we try to study philosophy. With that said, I wouldn't say you are late. We really have only just begun answering the original question.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 09:22 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

I don't think we can speak of self-examination without mentioning consciousness. You seem to attribute our powers of self-awareness to reason. Do you think there is a distinction between consciousness and reason?

And before we go any further down this rabbit hole I'd just like to clarify... what exactly do you propose is the most important philosophical question? I am guessing it has something to do with self-examination. But capturing that in a single question may be tricky.

I don't deny that self-examination is extremely important, and necessary to live a fulfilling life. But my point is it's also very possible to live without conducting any sort of self-examination. If you accept my premise that the majority of people live without seriously examining themselves, then I would think it difficult to justify self-examination as the most important philosophical question.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 09:35 PM
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originally posted by: PageLC14
I'm not anywhere near being a philosopher so I'm not educated, by any means, on the fundamental nature of the ANYTHING. But, it's definitely one that I find myself pondering on more than anything else.


Spoken like a true philosopher. You have a blank slate, which is the best slate in philosophy. Out of everyone here, I would say you are most qualified to answer this question, as we are all biased towards specific areas of philosophy from our previous studies, but you are not.

You mentioned that you think the question should be an individualistic question. That is important. It also seems to be the general consensus so far that the most important questions are individualistic. Interestingly, most philosophy programs seem to push us away from individualistic philosophy. I took several Literature courses as part of my Philosophy major, and I actually felt like I did a lot more self-examination in my Literature courses than my Philosophy courses.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 09:43 PM
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a reply to: Blue Shift

Seems interesting. But 822 pages. And most of the feedback is saying I should study myself before studying books and stuff. So maybe one day.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 10:15 PM
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a reply to: Wang Tang

You just made my whole week with your reply!





Interestingly, most philosophy programs seem to push us away from individualistic philosophy. 


This now makes me question if I'm wrong in my leaning towards an individualistic focus above another. By pushing away from an individualistic philosophy are we then denying it? What is it the programs want you to focus your study on?



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 10:23 PM
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originally posted by: Wang Tang
a reply to: Nothin

I completely agree. It seems we never fail to get in our own way when we try to study philosophy. With that said, I wouldn't say you are late. We really have only just begun answering the original question.


Thanks WT. You are a generous host.

Now: even days after your question; still don't have an answer to suggest.
But it feels like any question delving in duality, is already on the wrong path.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 10:28 PM
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a reply to: Wang Tang

Self examination has merit particularly in a psychological or spiritual quest where intricate consciousness is examined minutely in order to cultivate something extraordinary.


Ordinary consciousness doesn’t need such awareness



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 10:36 PM
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Ultimately I would gander that the most important philosophical question is meted to the most important philosophical answer


So if you say the most important philosophical question is: what is the meaning of life


What good is the question without the answer


It’s as good as trying to walk with one leg


So if I aver that the most vital question is to find the meaning of Life I have meted the question with the answer and saved a lot of time and space



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