How Can We Save Humanity’s Problems?
Sometime back, when I was entering my teens, I used to think of philosophy as a complicated subject, something like rocket science or just some other complex science. Names like Socrates used to awe me. The reason for that might have been that philosophy is usually studied as a program in universities, so you would hear so and so is a student of philosophy.
When a subject is segregated like that, so that it is only studied by a select few, everybody else becomes kind of estranged from it. And that’s what happened to me and many others: Philosophy became something complicated that was left to philosophers like Plato and students of it.
But this is philosophy.
From its etymology, the word means ‘the love of wisdom’. Isn’t that a good thing, for everyone?
If you look at the philosophers themselves, the ones we study, from Socrates, Plato, Twain to Einstein, you find that they were about trying to solve the problems of humanity, from governance, education to simple things like common sense and intelligence.
So why shouldn’t this simple subject be taught and studied by everyone? Obviously we can’t all evolve or think about our collective problems, but at least it will help us solve our individual problems, and for our collective problems, they will be easier to solve – if we have studied philosophy.
If you ask me right now to define philosophy, I would say it is the training of the mind to do what it was designed for – solving problems, improving itself and streamlining our lives. Reason being that the way this are right now, due to myriad encounters here and there which are almost universal, our minds have become something else other than what they were meant for.
Even common sense has eluded most of us.
I usually say that common sense is, by itself, intelligence.
But while we may agree that philosophy and common sense should be taught in all our schools, the problem is how these two will be taught in curricula that also teach religion.