Some Food for Thought

An Artist in the Dark

      This article was quite fascinating to me. It definitely brought many thoughts of my own to the surface from some recess of the mind, just waiting to resurface at a time such as this. What I find beautiful about it is the way in which the author does not attempt to solve the problem or resolve a firm conclusion. Instead she hypothesizes and thinks out loud for our sakes, yet lays the foundation of what we do ultimately know to be true by the last paragraph.

SA 2012 — A Memoir

(started May 17, 2012 and finished today)

Thank You, Jesus, for this year,
Thank You for my beloved class.
We have shared our joys and fears.
These nine months have gone too fast!

Kerryn, my dear preschool reject,
You’ve been with me from day one.
God has blessed me more than I could expect;
These years have been such crazy fun!
Alex, bosom buddy, friend,
Thank you for your loyalty.
This year will not be the end
‘Cause we’re both going to NWC!
Sarah, Washington calls to you
and who am I to say something else?
I will definitely miss you, too;
Remember the trip to Wisconsin Dells?
Tabs, you bring life to any group,
especially Philosophy with DanD.
How in the world will I stay in the loop
Without you there to always inform me?
Abbey, pretty Tinker-bell princess,
I love your pens and sticker books.
Vicky, luscious golden locks,
How attractive are your sexy looks!
Kiersten, running motorcycle-fanatic,
Be careful driving in the big, wide world.
And dear Sydney, miss word-smith,
Someday your book I might hold!
Taylor, the sanity in our hurricane,
thank you for your entertainment.
Schwy, whoops, I won’t call you that again,
Though your reaction to me reveals your amusement.
Heather, dear, I always know
That with you I can be crazy and wild.
Steph, my tan cheerleader friend,
I’ll never remember you as boring or mild!
Laura, plant and environment advocate,
Your style never fails to be
New and funky, colorful and cute,
Sometimes fancy, but always unique!

As I come to the end of this poem,
I’m overcome by thankfulness
For knowing you all and loving you much;
Father God, thank You. I’ve been SO blessed!!

how i know i exist… maybe.

In my Philosophy class, my teacher gave us an assignment to give a little speech proving our existence. Here’s my attempt!

I cannot prove for certain that I exist, but I can make a wager on the basis of whether I exist or not. If I exist, then everything around me matters. My choices matter, my actions, thoughts, and feelings matter, and my interactions with other beings (whether they be animals, humans, and God) all matter. Everything in the world has significance because human beings, if they exist, have souls and will live eternally (where is a matter between the individual and God alone). I have a purpose for existence. If, however, I do not exist, then nothing around me matters. My choices have no consequences, my actions, thoughts, and feelings are just figments of some imaginative thing, and I do not actually have any interactions with other beings because they may or may not exist also. I have no purpose, no meaning, for existence. Based upon these assumptions of whether I exist or not, I think that I would rather wager that I exist. This gives life meaning and purpose, even though it also gives me responsibility and accountability towards God.

Socratic Dialogue

In Philosophy class after reading Plato’s Republic, my teacher asked us to write a Socratic Dialogue about anything we wanted! Here’s mine, about peace.

Socrates asks Thrasymachus a definition question regarding peace in response to a discussion between them in which they used the term ‘peace’ without defining it.

“What is peace, Thrasymachus?” I asked. “We might look at examples first, or what peace is not, in order to come to some sort of conclusion.”

“Well,” said Thrasymachus. “Peace is not war. War is fighting between people or nations. So, peace is not fighting.”

“War is one kind of fighting,” I agreed. “But there are other types and degrees of fighting. Would you go as far as to say that peace is not disagreement? That it is not any kind of conflict?” I asked.

“Disagreements and conflicts occur when people do not share the same opinions or values. They want to make choices based upon those values. If people desire different outcomes because of their different values, then there is conflict.”

“So you would say that peace cannot equal conflict at the same time?”


“This is good,” I agreed. “But what if we only talk about the self, one person? Can there be such a thing as conflict within oneself? Keep in mind that we are aiming towards defining peace, not conflict.”

“Yes, I think one can be conflicted in themselves. For example, one could want to fall asleep very badly, but not be able to do so. Also, the apostle Paul says, ‘I do what I don’t want to do and I don’t do what I want to do.’  He’s showing that we do not always agree inside of ourselves what the best course of action to take is, or what we really, truly want. I think he’s on to something.”

“Precisely, Thrasymachus,” I replied. “So we have established that an individual can contain conflict within itself. If an individual is conflicted within itself, then how does that individual find peace from that conflict? Have not we established that peace and conflict are not simultaneous?”

“Yes, we have. I think that peace is a good feeling or a reassurance that nothing is wrong.”

“Maybe, but consider this example: A girl was tossing a softball back and forth with her friends at a nearby diamond when a man she didn’t know approached her. He asked her to follow him, but the girl was immediately wary and uneasy. The man proceeded to reassure her that it was okay and he would give her something good if she did. The girl, even having been reassured, was not at all comfortable in that situation. There was reassurance, but was there peace?”

“There was not peace,” Thrasymachus answered. “But I guess I meant reassurance within oneself, inner reassurance. The girl, for example, experienced outer reassurance, but not inner reassurance.”

“So peace is only present when it is within a person and is non-existent when reassurance exists between two people?”

“No, I would say that peace can be outward and inward.”

“Okay,” I nodded. “What is the difference, then, between the two? Are inner peace and outer peace different things, or the same?”

“I think peace within a person is calmness. I think that outer peace with others is probably different, maybe in that it is harmony or order among people, though not necessarily a feeling of calmness.”

“You might be onto something there, Thrasymachus,” I replied. “I wouldn’t jump quickly to say that they are very different, but you certainly gave some good examples of what peace may be. Many times when we speak of peace, we are talking about order and lawfulness in society or within our community. Does this definition of peace remove the conflict of which we discussed earlier? Meaning, do laws and the order of the court remove differing choices based upon different sets of values?”

“It does if people who do wrong because they think it is right are convicted. It does not resolve conflict and create peace unless one person breaks that law.”

“So you’re saying that the law only establishes peace between parties if that law has been broken. The law has no authority in matters of conflict which are not against the law.”


“How might we reconcile this paradox? The law is a form of peace-making, but does not always have authority. What has the authority to make peace if conflict occurs within the law?”

“I don’t know, Socrates,” Thrasymachus replied. “Maybe personal or familial moral codes make peace in matters within the law?”

“That is very possible,” I said. “Let’s explore your proposition more closely.”

Socrates and Thrasymachus proceed to discuss the nature and character of peace.

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