philosophy

  1. Manifest of humanity for humanity from Neil Postman. He shares his few big with ideas us.

    The first one is the idea of introspection and reflection; that is the idea of being mindful when evaluating life, decisions, tools, words, behaviors of ours and others.

    The second idea is the idea of finding the new narrative; that is a meta-purpose to our lives and the existence of humankind. He hints that idea of continuity of human race, which can be achieved through understanding of oneness between not only human beings but between humans and Nature, may be the answer. Idea of continuity should transcend one’s life (everyone should become \“smaller\“) and time (we should be fill continuity with the greats of the past and future).

    The third big idea is the idea of importance of history. Postman demonstrates by example how history might have not only origins for our problems but also ideas how to solve them. History is a tool that scales down time, that is making us smaller, and allows us to see bigger picture and have bigger ideas.

    The fourth big idea and hope from Postman is to show us that we can change things. He shows that ideas were created and implemented by real people. He suggest that we shouldn’t blindly follow the flow of history, because there is no such flow. We should alter it (at the capacities available to humans) based on the values and idea we believe in.

    The final idea is the idea of choosing correct tools and frameworks. He suggest Scientific method to us. In his book he tries to provide us with good tools that help us evaluate everything else. Neil Postman’s book is a work of ultimate importance in the post-modern world. The absence of the Narrative, forgetfulness of smaller good ideas and lost of ideals causing some lack of belief in the bright future. Postman, as a true philosophe, tries to use his intellect, following the tradition of Voltaire, Rousseau, Locke, Hume, Jefferson, and others, to give us practical examples how we can change things for the better.

    Neil Postman
  2. What we may learn from these two great philosophers, Einstein and Mill, is what they learned from their predecessors - that it is necessary to live as if there is transcendent authority. “One can have the clearest and most complete knowledge of what is”, Einstein wrote, “and yet not be able to deduce from that what should be the goal of our human aspirations. Objective knowledge provides us with powerful instruments for the achievement of certain ends, but the ultimate goal itself and longing to reach it must come from another source”. The other source is religion. Neither Mill nor Einstein believed in the stories that give form and inspiration to traditional religious systems, what Mill called the “supernatural religions”. But both understood that we require a story that provides a basis for moral conduct and has a transcendent character. They found it in “natural law”, and in the capacities of “human nature”. In their stories, human beings have innate feelings for the general good and the unity of mankind. Mill called his story the Religion of Humanity. Einstein spoke of Cosmic Religious feeling. And they found the details of their moral code in sacred texts and history, as well as custom; that is to say, in our obligations to those whom we have judged to have acted in accord with the principles if human solidarity. Mill wrote: “… the thought that our dead parents or friends would have approved our conduct is scarcely less powerful motive than the knowledge that our living ones do approve it; and the idea that Socrates, or Howard, or Washington, or Antonius or Christ would have sympathized with us, or that we are attempting to do our part in the spirit in which they did theirs, has operated on the very best minds as strong incentive to act up to their highest feelings and convictions.” That there is a tendency as part of our nature toward our being “moral” - detesting wanton killing, honoring parents, caring for children, speaking truthfully, loving mercy, overcoming egotism, and all the other exhortations we find shared by sacred texts - is a legacy of Enlightenment. And that this tendency cannot be proven in a scientific manner but must be taken on faith is also a feature of that legacy. And that there can be no objection to one’s believing in a divine source for one’s moral grounding is yet another feature of the legacy, provided one does not claim absolute certainty for one’s belief.
    Neil Postman