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The Social Risk of Being a Philosopher -- Be Prepared

Updated: Feb 17



A man guessing at something/someone.

Being a philosopher takes a greater risk than one might realize. To be a good philosopher, you must not be afraid to sound your thoughts publicly, and you must also be prepared for the consequences of sounding your thoughts and beliefs. Not everyone is going to like you, specifically due to your conclusions and insights, and at times you might not be liked at all, and even be hated by others. Due to their personal reasons, some people are going to get triggered by your thoughts as well.


Nonetheless, you must not let these consequences stop you, for you have the right to express yourself and sound your voice even if your voice will not be liked or widely accepted. As long as you have the right to express yourself, you shouldn't fear using this right at all. The existence of the more-sensitive shouldn't intimidate you, either. At times your philosophy might even be controversial or radical in the eyes of others, but in the name of contributing to the world's knowledge, you must not give up just because you'll be mocked, laughed at, or ridiculed.

Not everyone is okay with disagreeing, and not everyone will tolerate your thoughts. Some will even be triggered and take offense, whether or not the offense was given or even intended in the first place. That's because disagreement may be seen by many as a threat because our brains may take the impression of a disagreement as an "attack".


Some people will be mad at you for having different priorities and might even actively be trying to dispose or reject you from a social circle, as your constant disagreement may be seen as an attack even though it really isn't... In general, people with PTSD may already rarely, if ever, feel safe. In October 2021, the world-scale prevalence of PTSD in the world population is 3.9%. This means that at least 200-400 million people are likelier to feel threathened by even the smallest of things.


(As someone who suffers from trauma myself, I use logic to look beyond my irrational feelings, and thus I am not as intimidated as other people who would suffer from my conditions).


Therefore, in order to be a good and effective philosopher, you must take the Social Risk, even if that risk might unintentionally harm others, due to past, personal events unrelated to yourself. It's their own responsibility to face them, not yours. A site called Lawinsider.com defines "Social Risk" as: "Factors and circumstances leading to social exclusion of persons or putting persons at risk of social exclusion"


In other words, a good philosopher is best to be prepared for rejection by anyone due to their own insights. That's because philosophy isn't about fun or about respect or about being accepted (as was the case with Diogenes). It is about trying to find and research the truth. If you're not a private person, it is also about sharing what you believe to be the truth, and suffer the consequences.


Be prepared to be disliked, hated and even despised, even in a democratic country or community. Don't expect your ideas to be accepted by anyone, and you will be the least disappointed among many. The more you're prepared for any type of reception, the less hurt you might get as a result.


You must not change your ideas just because they're not accepted or controversial. Philosophy doesn't work that way, as it doesn't submit to conformity just because others think otherwise. A general controversy is insufficient for that because a good philosopher doesn't compromise to please others. Instead, a good philosopher would alter their philosophy only because it's illogical/incorrect. We philosophers do not act according to the ad-populum fallacy. In other words, the truth isn't a product of a popularity contest. Popularity may apply in democratic elections, but the support of many does not preserve or alter reality alone.


Likewise, I don't expect anyone to think like me, agree with me, nor be nice to me due to my thoughts. Other than respectful feedback I don't demand much of you. I can't control other's reactions in general, and whenever I write something, like an article, I never know how it will result upon reception. However, I still publish articles and post consistently, despite not knowing how they will be received by those who read them. With every piece I publish I risk how others will look at me currently.


Some readers will stay, some readers will leave. Some will believe they have the authority to tell me what to do and how to behave, even though I am a free citizen, and this website is mine, and can act as I please as long as I don't break any law.

A good philosopher will not expect to be liked and won't necessarily think they deserve respect for being philosophers. They will look at others, who might receive much more support and adoration than they do, and move on with their life and work.


The point of philosophy isn't to make a philosopher famous or popular, but simply to reach possible truths, using contemplation and other means such as research. This field isn't at all about social status, and due to its inconsideration to social norms, some people might see some philosophers as offensive, audacious, aggressive and so on.


Don't be intimidated when someone is angry at you for thinking otherwise. It's their right to react however they like to your content, and if you want, you can block them if they harass you as a result. Just consider the possibility of becoming a social reject, as a result of your work. And still, fear is your enemy, it's something that can prevent you from sounding your voice and publishing your work, and in general, make you give up on activities that can bring much good and benefit to this world, even after your death (hence the importance of heritage).


In some cases, you might consider getting used to solitude when being a philosopher, just like I did. You should at least consider the social risks that come with being a philosopher, and I'm talking not about the role itself, but the way your specific work would make others react to it and to you (for example, you might be regarded as arrogant, for the stereotype alone).


Even if you're nice, even if you're polite and kind, some people can still react to you in a way that is beyond your control, whether or not you're an autist like I am. This isn't whining but just how life is when being very vocal about your opinions and thoughts. The fact that you sound your thoughts also entails that others may comment on them. This is why those who want to be philosophers, should reconsider, if they are not prepared enough to be hurt by others. No, not physically necessarily, but emotionally and mentally. Philosophership isn't for those who are overly-sensitive.


The more cowardly you are, the less exposure your thoughts might get. Therefore, even if you're a solitary person, you should consider compromising some of your solitude if you want to extend your sphere of influence and contribute far more to humanity. It also means talking or writing to strangers whom you don't know and who can hurt you in the ways I just mentioned.


Your fears are in the way.


You yourself, a truth seeker, have responsibilities of your own as a good philosopher: You should accept criticism professionally and allow some kind of feedback receiving. That's because your critics could be truer than you are, and as a result, you can use their feedback to be a better philosopher. It's your right, of course, to tell people what kind of comments you want, but don't expect the world to entirely submit to your will. The world doesn't work that way, and some people would gladly "eat you alive" if there's something you wrote that they didn't like.


Remember that in public, there may be psychopaths and sociopaths without you even knowing you're talking with ones. ASPD is more multi-faceted than one might think. Do not expect strangers to give you empathy.

Finally, philosophy is like politics in a sense that it's very difficult to find complete agreement with anything. Be prepared for people to be angry at you for thinking differently than they do. You can't necessarily change the world, but you can still be brave enough to leave a mark on it, to leave your voice.


An extra note: I've been philosophizing since I was 18, in 2015, when I published my first book. I received positive feedback as I received negative feedback throughout the years. Nonetheless, I refuse none to get in my way, when my philosophizing does not purposefully nor voluntarily, harm anyone, in any way.


I believe that no one can stop me as long as my work is legitimate and does not violate any rules. And as I said before, I don't expect any one to think like me, and I never claimed that I "know everything". Omniscience is a ridiculous notion when applied to reality (to a human being, at least).


Thank you for your reading time.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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