1. List and explain five things that people know are true?
The truth is existence of the opposite. For everything that people believe they determine its existence through it opposite. Joy and sadness are two opposite which could not exist without the other. Man and women are also considered opposite. Without opposition nothing exists; hence people, have to believe in the existence of opposition first, before they believe in the existence of everything they conceive (Scruton 43). The second truth is that they exist. This truth is accepted by almost everyone. The evidence that people believe that they exist is that they (themselves and other people) is that they interact with one another. It is also due to the acceptance of this truth that they form other concepts such as love, hate, war, and peace. The third thing that people know to be true is the source of everything. For everything to exist, there must be a source. Hence people whether real or not, believe in a source. Some do not know exactly what or where it is, some say it is god, some say it is the ylem, some do not know, but they still believe we and everything else came from something (Scruton 55). The fourth are the scientific research findings that were verified to be true. Example are the diseases. Note that I added “verified to be true” because not all scientific findings are considered by many as true (Scruton 8). The fifth is the existence of “truth” it is my belief in the existence “truth” or “things that are true” that I am answering this question (Scruton 31).
2. Considering Chapter 4 – Why would it be wrong to treat people as objects?
Based from chapter 4, we make sense of everything based from setting something as object; and that object wherein everything based is the self. We cannot make all people as objects because that would mean that we are going to base everything from the perspective of everyone, which too confusing, and not a single thing can become or can be considered as truth or existing. We need the “self-positing of the self,” which is the object to have a basis for other knowledge. Scruton explains, “All knowledge begins from self-knowledge [the object], and the self is the center of its world” (Scruton 44). This statement implies that if it not possible to establish that single bedrock of knowledge, which is the self-knowledge, then knowledge will not exist. Since, one person cannot fully understand another person then it quite inappropriate to establish another person as object to build upon one’s personal world; this is because, every one of us or every object is different. There can only be one object for one person, and that object is the self.
3. Considering Chapter 5 – Identify yourself. Who are you (biologically, anthropologically, psychologically, etc)?
I am a (gender) – obviously!. I am a (race), born from my mother and father who are also (race). I was raised in (place of birth) and have inherited my race’s culture. I dance, I sing, I cry, I eat, I drink, I sleep, I love. I weigh (weight) and I am (height) tall. I have (no of siblings, write “no” if you don’t have siblings) siblings. I usually do what I want to do but I sometimes do what I need to do – there are very few instances that what I want to do coincide with what I had to do. I always think of the future and look back of my past for guidance. I feel anger, love, happiness, joy, excitement but I do not let feelings govern every action I make. I am rational, I base what I do based from what I think is right. These are the my qualities that identify me from other people – excluding my whole name, of course. And the thing that identifies me from the lower forms of animals is that I study philosophy.
4. Considering the Presidential Election in November 2012 – What do you think of #21 “Mood Music” in Baggini’s book?
I think mood music is accurate is discussing what statements and slogans are for – to create image. In the 2012 US presidential election, Mitt Romney, simply, did not manage his image well. Mitt’s slogan is “Believe in America.” Obviously, Mitt Romney is trying to get the favor of the entire American people, which is a very good thing. Nevertheless, his over-direct statements like going against the Chinese and his siding with Bush on the Iraq war, plus the luxurious life he has that is shown all over the media, gave the impression that he was elitist and racist. His speeches were good as well, but the way he moves and the way he acts separates him from the majority of Americans. Obama, on the other hand, made us of “Forward” as his slogan. It was vague! But his skin color and racial background completely took the Americans away. He cannot be racist or elitist because he was brown or black and America is the melting pot of race. Though his slogan is vague, just like his speeches are vague, he managed to win because he maintained his “lowly” image – the mass love the underdog, he even sided with the underdogs of the society (the gay people). Obama rode with the Mood Music better than Mitt.
Baggini, Julian. The Duck That Won the Lottery, Plume Books, Penguin Group (U.S.A.), 2008, 978-0-452-29541-4
Scruton, Roger. An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Philosophy, Penguin Books, 1999, 0-14-027516-9