Freedom over Fate: How the Underground Man is Not Free

By Damien Knight

I shall start with a quote from The Underground man himself. “Ha! Ha! Ha! But after all, if you like, in reality, there is such thing as choice.” (Dostoevsky, p.24), In the readings a major theme was free will and morals. Is the good life a free life or are we controlled by fate? To what limits are these freedoms?

In Fear and Trembling freedom is limited by morals or by faith. For Abraham he is both free and bound. He must, due to duty, serve God even if God orders his son’s death. Still this faith left him free. Free of ethics we become bound by faith. “A tragic hero can become a human being by his own strength, but not the knight of faith. When a person sets out on the tragic hero’s admittedly hard path, there are many who can lend him advice; but he who walks the narrow path of faith no one can advise, no one understands.” (K. p.95) This states how even Abraham who seeks freedom from ethics through the duty of faith is not free from being alone. Freedom is fickle.

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Wednesday Wisedom: YOLO

 

By Damien Knight

To find peace in ash, I cannot sway in the wind, life is but one death.

yolo

 

Life is so complicated isn’t it? It can rush us by surprise like a mass eruption of things to do. These volcanos of expectations and ruined plans they come as if without warning. We ignore the tremors that warn us the eruption is pending and even as the ashes spew we oft turn away in denial. What do you fear? I wrote the poetic line above myself intent to turn it into a full poem, but it is a truth for me.

What do I fear? Why run from the ashes, the pyroclastic flows of doubt and expectations? No, we can face it by not allowing fear to sway us, remain fluid like the flowing molten rock, but steady like an unbowing mountain. It is now cliché but as the kids were fond of saying YOLO!

YOLO! Go climb that mountain! YOLO! Go read all those books! YOLO! Go take that crazy Pilates class! And YOLO stop eating tide pods ‘K or you won’t be living at all. We have but this one life and after it only one death. Leave no regrets!

 
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“I Think Therefore”

“I Think Therefore” An Essay on Descartes and Hume

By Damien Knight

Descartes philosophy “I think therefore I am” is one of the most famous phrases. Through a series of meditations he at one point decided that he could trust nothing he sensed. As he watched wax melt, he realized he no longer could use his senses to perceive the wax and that lead him to conclude that knowledge is not obtained by sense. Using a pattern of doubt he observed that…

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“I Think Therefore”

By Damien Knight

Descartes philosophy “I think therefore I am” is one of the most famous phrases. Through a series of meditations he at one point decided that he could trust nothing he sensed. As he watched wax melt, he realized he no longer could use his senses to perceive the wax and that lead him to conclude that knowledge is not obtained by sense. Using a pattern of doubt he observed that senses can deceive but his innate knowledge does not. Using doubt of the senses Descartes declared a rationalist view determined that knowledge came from innate ideas.

Hume was an empiricist believing knowledge came from the senses. He came to this much the same way Descartes came to the knowledge came not from the senses. Like Descartes establishing innate ideas through doubt Hume established a skeptical view of knowledge obtained. Whereas doubting the senses established that knowledge is not sense related. Hume denied that we can have knowledge of the world we take for granted. Like Descartes he first acknowledged that knowledge we initially have of the world is our perceptions which make up impressions and ideas. Our impressions being our senses our ideas being our thoughts, He determined that all ideas came from sense impression and therefore knowledge of the world is senses only. His view lead to a similar doubt of the world perhaps not existing at all just a Descartes innate knowledge view did.

I would be more inclined to agree with Hume that everything is sense perception. I am a Biology major everything we study we touch, taste, see and our research is based on what we experience.