Module 2 Homework
Allied American University
Author Note This paper was prepared for PHI 100, Module 2 Homework taught by Professor Steven Klein
1. If I was convinced that only objective time is real, this would not reduce my anxieties about aging, dying, or losing what you love. To be honest, this was an incredibly difficult concept for me to understand, am I am still not sure that I completely comprehend it. For this question, I thought about a loved one of mine who recently passed away. Perhaps we say that the past, present and future do not exist and that her death occurred on objective time at a point that is March 7th, 2013. What does this change? Whether it be on a fixed plane, frozen in objective time or at a point in the past, it still happened. By changing the view of what time is or isn’t, the actual occurrence of things doesn’t change. There is still no “time” machine – either subjective or objective – which can take me back to the point at which her death befell and give me more time with her. The way time is viewed does not change the fact that aging, dying, or losing things that are loved happens, therefore, I believe that whether time is objective, subjective, or something else entirely does not matter, nor does it change or reduce my anxieties in any way.
2. I stood outside on my patio this morning, contemplating this question. At first, I thought that it was possible that nothing else existed in the universe besides me. That it was, indeed possible that all the people and things I see around me are products of my own mind. Then, a hummingbird flew by. I know I did not think of a hummingbird, so if everything is a product of my mind, where did he come from? This got me thinking deeper. If everything is a creation of my mind, why are there concepts that I don’t know or understand? Take the previous question, for example. If these questions and the concepts behind the questions are shaped of my mind, why did I have a hard time grasping them? If I created, say, global climate change, why can’t I then reverse it? If my mind is the sole creator of what is real, I would think reality would be much better than it is. So why – if I am the only thing in the universe – am I sitting here philosophically evaluating what is real instead of sitting on the beach that I create in my dreams with a mai tai in hand?
3. If there was a machine that stimulated my brain, making me think that my life is going wonderfully well, while all the time I was simply attached to an "Experience Machine" in a basement, I would choose to enter this machine. Even given that I could not tell that my life was illusory, I would choose to enter. Whether it was real or an illusion would not matter to me at the time. Perhaps if afterward I was made to know that it was not real, I might be upset, but at the moment in which it was happening, I would be none-the-wiser. Think about loving someone who you believe loves you and finding out years later that they did not. It doesn’t make the time that you believed any less real or less pleasurable. It is only after finding out that their love was a lie that you find displeasure in the experience.
PART II: Research Paper I
The Human Being: What makes a Being Human?
What makes a person a person? In the words of Dr. Seuss, “A person's a person, no matter how small.” But is this true? What about an embryo? In a sense, if what Dr. Seuss is saying is true, would an embryo in fact be a person – just a small one? While many “pro-life” supporters will argue that this is true, “pro-choice” advocates will say that a person is not a person until it takes a breath of air. So which is right? I don’t know the answer as a certainty. All I have are my personal beliefs on the matter. So, what makes a person a person? In my opinion, a person is constructed of physical matter, genetic material, and – most importantly – a soul