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The Tragedy of Philosophy -- Impressions and Truth

Updated: Jul 3

My favorite philosopher is Socrates, for he invented the concept of philosophy by admitting that he knows that he knows nothing. Therefore, his aim was to question everything and everyone that moved. Maybe then he would know better. It's a shame that he drank poison beforehand.

It is sad to see that many failed to learn his wisdom, or even regard him to begin with.

Many prefer to see their own impressions as facts instead. Plato called it "The Cave". It's in that cave of delusions, where people see the bonfire and mistake it for the Sun, without actually questioning that assumption.

You might think that it is dumb to not get out of that Cave in search for the true Sun. However, be surprised, as many do not even bother venturing outside of Plato's cave. Perhaps you avoid doing so, too, as well as I did.

There is comfort in self-confidence, even if it is based on delusion. It's just the delusion, you see, that one knows what he or she does not.

And yet, we crave that confidence for its functionality. For sure, confidence helps us a lot.

In short, philosophy's tragedy is the fact that the truth isn't always functional for our lives. Perhaps... is this why philosophy might be considered a minor niche by many?

While we may be interested in reaching truths, we might also be afraid of them. Afraid of what? Of being proven wrong. Of being shown that we are not as wise as we may think we are.

Being shown that some traits we think we have and that we believe are a part of us, are not components of reality. Autism, for example...

I don't really like self-diagnosis, because it could make people trust possible delusions. A true truth-seeker, I think, will seek to be professionally diagnosed if they can afford it. I do not hate people who self-diagnose; I simply criticize this method for its faults.

By the way, some people in my life have told me that I think I know everything. They are free to leave me and never return. Some of which I disconnected from by choice, and I never made that claim to begin with.

Why would a supporter of Socrates think he or she knows everything? I don't even think it's possible. Omniscience.... is a great delusion, perhaps one of the biggest delusions out there in the human mind. Please remember that I said "perhaps", as I choose my words very carefully.

The assumption that a philosopher claims to know everything, is a very ignorant one, when much of this method was based on a person who claimed the exact opposite.

I don't mind being disagreed with. I only mind being disagreed, when it is done very disrespectfully.

Your thoughts are important to me, but I have no desire to be tempted by the next panic attack. Why, then, should we not agree to disagree like grown adults? Dignity is elementary...

Let me give you one of many examples where a confidence-based delusion was present: Someone I talk with once in a while told me that there is no person who is as short as an individual. I described this to him.

Have you heard of Afshin Esmaeil Ghaderzadeh? His height, according to Guinness World Records, is 2 feet and 1.6 inches, or 65.24 centimeters. Check for yourselves, if you want.

And that person, who will remain anonymous, told me that it is impossible, and that no one is truly that short.

Do you see how Plato's Cave allegory turns into reality? If the anonymous person did not challenge their own beliefs until now, then he saw the "bonfire" (his impression) as the "Sun" (reality). He could've looked it up themselves, just as I did, but it may be likely that they didn't bother.

Experience with other people... may bring a delusion of its own. We might think that, because we have great experience in a certain field, we cannot be proven wrong, or are not very likely to be.

I guess that people with paranoia, for example, may justify their mistrust of others because they talk to a lot of people. Because they've traveled the world and met people of all walks of life, and so on.

In reality, there could always be an exception. In that case, there may always be, in theory, a man or woman who deserves to be trusted.

Why? Because if we were to meet a billion people, our experience with them might not necessarily be the same, with another billion people.

Confidence, arrogance, and perfectionism... all are, in a way, ways to "shoot yourself in the foot", if you give in to them too much.

I know I've been criticized for arrogance myself, but in many of the cases, I wasn't even aware that I was arrogant. It was mostly unintentional.

To this day, I am attempting to be more modest.I don't really see myself above anyone. Feel free to prove me wrong, as long as it is done respectfully.

To leave you on your merry way, I will conclude with this question: If someone hears something in a song they like, why would they instantly believe it? Another question, if I may: Are our thoughts true because "we are our thoughts"?

The answer to these two questions can be found in Plato's Cave allegory.

Goodbye for now. See you on the next publication.

And if I may add another note, I never claimed ownership of the truth. Feel free to show me where I did it on Philosocom, and as part of the Renovation Operation, I will delete such a claim because I disagree with it.

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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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