Philosophizing with a Hammer

One of the magnificent allures of philosophy is that it disturbs and dislodges our common presumptions by stimulating us to seek truth. This means that philosophy makes an acute distinction between critical judgment and abitrary prejudices. Of course one would be laughably conceitied to think that this inquiry could ever be considered completed or a success, but the insights and examinations of philosophers over the centuries have revealed truths of existence, if only partial, that we might gain a better perspective on existence. The cost has not come cheap however. Exploding tradition and leaving behind customary restraints has chronically been interpreted as insubordination and blasphemy by those who would rather remain secure with a preconceived scheme of things. This threat to shared norms has usually come by critical thinkers asking new question where previously nobody had seen any problems. While other folk took cultural judgments for granted as incontrovertible absolutes philosophers found need for further analysis, questioning and vivisection on our most cherished beliefs. Oftentimes they did this at their own expense; sacrificing themselves to alievate the faults of humanity and edify those who kept their horizons open enough to question convention and transcend proventialism. But to these philosopher gadflies the discomfort of examining and changing one’s life was worth the terror of being shaken from our safe and comfortable prejudices. Today philosophy still has the power to fool people out of many false and puerile beliefs by developing our critical powers and rejecting hardened stereotypes and cliches. What this demands of us is a peculiar piety of honesty and sincerity in scrutinizing our traditional presumptions, abandoning ourselves to an exposed life of doubt without short-cuts or shelter.

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