When I am getting desperate for ideas to write about, a dear friend asks the question, “Do you belong to any formal school of philosophy?”
A difficult question to answer for most people. For one, I am not well versed in formal philosophy. I am not aware of the various branches of philosophy that exist. I am vaguely familiar with a few philosophical ideas but to group myself into one distinct school is difficult.
The best I can do is elaborate on certain ethics that I at least to live by. I am a libertarian in some aspects. I strongly believe that personal freedoms must not be infringed upon by other people or governments or societies. I put freedom of speech, freedom of expression and thought above all others. nothing is sacred to me. Everything is worth questioning. I would like to see a society where artificial distinctions do not exist. Nations, races, religions are human constructs and the differences that are created between members of the same species because of these are harmful for humanity and in my opinion, these constructs infringe on personal freedom in the worst possible ways.
To some extent, I am also socialistic. I believe that society has a duty to help those who cannot help themselves. Selfishness, to me is not a virtue like what Ayn Rand supporters would like to believe. To be only conscious of oneself and uncaring of others is a repulsive philosophy to live by because I want to contribute to the progress of humanity, not merely the progress of individuals.
In some ways, I am materialistic. To me, there are some joys that possessions can provide you with. Though not a compulsive buyer, I would not be minimalistic either. Materialistic knowledge is very tangible. What can be seen, touched, tasted, smelt offers the surety of existence and at times, this comforts me more than the solace that formless thoughts provide.
I am a rationalist. I prize reason and logic above blind acceptance of ideas. Following the roots of thoughts brings me great satisfaction. The repetitive cycles of cause and effect at endlessly fascinating and appeal to the rationalist in me.
Above all perhaps, I am a skeptic. I cannot accept anything as fact without verifying it for myself. I live by the statement, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. And as the same friend puts it, I am a “knowledge obsessor”.
Too long, didn’t read? NO, I do not belong to any formal school of philosophy.