Philosophy is something that I care very much about, and I feel that it should be the most fundamental aspect of any human endeavor. That said, I think I joined too many “philosophy” communities on Orkut. What could I have been thinking?
I was lucky enough to have an amazing philosophy teacher for the first major class on the subject I took, and I think going from his brilliance back to the “Starbucks Philosophers” has soured me on the matter. I have little faith in any person who claims to know something, most magnified when it comes to philosophy. The simple matter is that there is too much knowledge to ingest for somebody who doesn’t devote a large part of their life to it; it is quite obvious that nobody in Orkut’s philosophy communities has devoted much of their life to it at all. It should have been expected, considering how many people have an opinion they feel deserves a voice. Even if it does have merit, they have no real idea why because they haven’t examined it at a high enough level. Philosophers are masters of logic, and if you have studied any philosophy at all you should know that any true philosopher can prove anything you say wrong at will. Now, if you, too, were a philosopher you would then proceed to prove him wrong, at which point the process would repeat ad infinitum. That is the way of philosophy, the dialectic, the questioning.
The whole ordeal leads me towards falling into a bit of a Nietzchian thinking (and I really have to put a disclaimer on that, because Nietzche is extremely overhyped by people who haven’t studied much philosophy, they see “antichrist” and their little anti-authoritarian minds go wild), watching these conversations of rhetoric and opinion makes me feel like people shouldn’t be allowed to speak until they’ve read Plato. Nietzche was more along the lines of “you people shouldn’t even be allowed to look at Plato because you are too far below it,” but I’ll atleast give them the benefit of the doubt that if they were to read Plato, and mildly understand it, they would be shocked into an awe of the reality of what they do not know.
Not that I am any master philosopher, but come on people, this is step one. Go pick up a copy of The Apology (or grab the text for free), it is very well written, easy to read, and will always keep you coming back for more. It brings tears to my eyes.