“Science and art have that in common that everyday things seem to them new and attractive.”
Philosophy will make you rich
One of the most influential books that I read as a teenager was Worthless. It’s a book that I’d recommend to every young man. Recently I started re-reading it and noticed that there is one thing that I disagree with. In the book taking classes in the humanities is generally advised against. Although I do think that many of these classes are a waste of time and money, I personally believe that philosophy is something that every person who wants to be successful should study. While I agree with the book that it isn’t something to go into debt for a degree in, studying philosophy has enriched my life in ways that I would have never dreamed possible. It’s rewired my brain and helped me to think in an entirely new manner. Seeing the world through a philosophical lens has allowed me to deal with both internal and external issues, make more money, and become successful in almost every aspect of life.
As Hegel stated, and Nietzsche popularized, “God is dead.” There’s nothing to believe in. While that might sound a bit melodramatic it’s true. The United States, and its allies, spy on their own citizens. America is essentially a dictatorship with insane mobs of emotionally unstable buffoons purging anyone who disagrees with them from positions of power. Sensitivity training is little more than a softer term for “re-education center.” It’s disheartening.
You can spend six days a week at the gym lifting heavy and eating healthy so that you’re “worthy” of getting to hook up with girls who sleep in until noon and consume nothing but garbage. Then all of your Twitter addicted friends can end up disowning you for “becoming a douche” and being more interested in the gym and girls than you are hanging out with them and playing video games. If you are a man in modern America who has even an inkling of ambition, you’ll end up feeling isolated very quickly.
It’s easy to become bitter and mad the world. A lot of guys can glimpse behind the curtain and realize that something is amiss, but they lack the skills to comprehend what the problem actually is. They’ll whine about “feminazis,” “fundies,” or “leftoids.” Their blogs and comment sections become circle-jerks about how enlightened they are. In reality none of them realize that they are simply viewing shadows on a wall, and shadows do not constitute reality.
Stupid people tend to imagine that philosophy is a lazy man’s endeavor. They think of it as a pretentious activity. While there are plenty of lazy frauds who use their “intellect” as an excuse to avoid real work, philosophy is anything but an armchair activity. It’s the intelligent man’s gun. A weapon more powerful and dangerous than a hundred rabid wolves.
Physically assaulting someone is a poor way to get them to do what you want or to see your point of view. If you beat a man up he’ll run to the police and you’ll end up in prison. Fighting with words is infinity more effective.
At its heart philosophy is based in arguments. It’s a challenge against the environment around you.
As a great thinker once said “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” Once you have a vision you become unstoppable. A while back I wrote about how I never fail, it might sound arrogant but its true. It also keeps me going and motivates me not to quit.
On top of helping me to find a purpose, studying philosophy has allowed me to view things in a different light. I’ve recently become rather successful on oDesk because I began to view every job from the client’s perspective. I started telling them what they would get out of my work and my income nearly doubled.
Philosophy has also taught me how to step outside my comfort zone. Most people read simply to have their own beliefs re-affirmed. They don’t look for material that will challenge their views. Even the phenomenon of “Hate Reading,” where individuals purposely read something to make themselves upset, is done simply to confirm an existing set of beliefs. It’s done so that people can pat themselves on the back and say “I knew those feminazis were crazy, just look at what they wrote this time!” Despite being an atheist I’ve been reading the Bible and other religious texts. Likewise, I’d never really liked Shakespeare so I decided to sit down and read more of his work just to see if I was missing something. Being able to be uncomfortable means that you sometimes have to admit that you were wrong. It isn’t something that many people are capable of.
Lastly, I learned to think critically. I had to ask myself difficult questions and re-examine a lot of things. Knowing that you are ignorant grants you the ability to actually start learning. The average person knows it all, which is exactly why they are average. If you have to seek out information and put on your thinking cap you quickly realize that there’s a lot more than you’d previously been able to see. It’s both scary and wonderful at the same time. Additionally, critical thinking is something of a lost art. The average person now is controlled entirely by emotion. Watching television for a few minutes, or listening to a politician’s speech showcases just how little actual logic goes into most persuasive material. You owe it to yourself to spend some time learning how to think critically. It will save you an immense amount of frustration and money when you run into future problems.
You can sit around and rage at the world for dealing you an unfair hand. You can mindlessly enlist in the ranks of some zealous counter-culture movement because its members are “enlightened.” Or you can set out to uncover the truth for yourself. You can build a skill set that most modern humans lack. Critical thought and admitting that you aren’t always right is a rarity now. In a world ruled by emotions, philosophy is one of the few disciplines that can anchor you to reality.