1988 Creedo for High School Philosophy Class
Now what is a major turning point for me. I have dealt with birth, death, and other experience of life. I have reached several milestones. While I have become Bar Mitzvah, and I am now a legal adult, my life up until now has remained basically unchanged. Several months from now I will be off on my own, without any day to day contact with my parents.
A few short years from now others will expect me to have some idea of how I want to spend my life. I am not ready to make that choice, but a first step would be for me is to examine my life, education, and experiences up to now. I would do this not to evaluate my life, but to determine what my values and concerns are, what makes me tick, and how I see myself as a functioning part of my world and of the universe. I consider myself a very introspective person. I often stop to think where I am going, and where I have been. Although I enjoy developing my thoughts and even relating them to others, I have never written anything of coherence about what is to be Daniel Schein.
The first thing I must do before beginning an examination of myself is to define my terms. Socrates acknowledges that defining terms is quite important. With outdoing said there is no basis for discussion with others. Reality for me is a matter that exists in time and space. I except that reality for others is quite different from mine but that it reality does exist. Comedian Woody Allen agrees, "Where else can you get a good steak?" he asks. Terms such as God, the, that, ethics, and morality had a vague or ambiguous meaning to people in general. In my credo I will define these terms as they have meaning for, or relate to me.
My education is very important to me. What I learned helps me function has an individual, and as a member of society. Learning expands my awareness of the world, and how I understand myself. Anyone who knows the intensity and fervor at which I approach my studies would have to be skeptical about my stressing the importance of education. Learning includes more than school. My favorite activity is probably travel. Visiting other people and places opens my senses to whole new bodies of empirical knowledge as well as different ways of looking at things. As I observe new things,I try to keep an open mind and yet I have to question what I see. I do not always agree with what others do or say, but I can still learn from them. Reading is another good means of education. Lynn Yutang has a good idea in that each reader should find an author he can relate to. Finding and author who speaks your language can make learning a much more personal and meaningful experience. A good author or true teacher should not be a Guru But a Socrates. Such an ideal teacher should provide only the impetus to a student. It is up to the student to realize this potential and come up with the right answer for himself. All true learning comes from within. Plato was all wrong about geometry. Even assuming there are some mathematical programming Paris to all work universe which demonstrate or govern how it operates all disciplines are related. For example an accurate history takes into account to politics, religion, art, economics, philosophy, anthropology, and other fields of study. Want discipline cannot be isolated, but on a pedestal can be said to illustrate " the Ideal ". In my reality there are no set ideals to strive for. Man constantly defines what is real. Censorship is also a roadblock to learning. I want to experience things for myself. By a have faith in my ability to determine whether or not something is detrimental to me. While I am against officially sanctioned censorship I believe such programs often backfire by calling attention to the works that have been banned. Also works that have something to say have a way of sticking to around anyhow. Learning for me is not rote memory, geometry, or curriculum of a philosopher king. Learning comes through active living or reading what I cannot experience. Through living I gained a lot of raw data about myself and the world around me. Through processing all this data I learned. The more I lived the more I learn. And through education and I cannot know the fighter pleasures of life, and more importantly I can develop a better understanding of myself. For me understanding myself is a source of inner peace.
If I understand myself I can have confidence in my actions. Knowledge of myself is something I can try to count on. Self-knowledge gives me a standard or control with which to view and uncertain world. Morality in general is not based on freedom but society. Sharing does not come naturally to a young human. Every toy to them is "Mine". They learned to share as society teaches them to do so in a process that Kant calls "Judgment shaped by experience. " Societies were first formed to make life easier for individuals, but rules developed to allow people to live in harmony. While the rules of that developed may have enabled societies to exist, these rules may not be in the best interests of the growth and development of each human being. As the moral a skeptic Gorgias pointed out rising above the morals of one's society is close to impossible. Jesus and Socrates were misunderstood in the societies in which they lived. They were jailed and executed. Thoureau and Gandhi tried to oppose their societies and they were also jailed. These exceptional people suffered because they asserted themselves, and they were different from those around them. While the way I perceive good and bad actions may be somewhat determined by society, I still have much opportunity to rejoice in my uniqueness. I have never enjoyed going along with the crowd. In first grade I did not tie my shooed, did not believe in God, through my hair long, and finally got kicked out of the school for urinating in the sandbox. While these actions do not make me Gandhi, they are still ways I went against the values of my society.
God is dead? Yes, God had little or no influences as a direct motivator of people's lives in I work world. I find God a difficult concept to believe in But I have to problems with the complete absence of a creative force. Matter for me is real. It exists in time and space. Different combinations of matter the make up my reality. But where did the initial matter come from? While matter consists mostly of nothing, is the particles had to come from something or somewhere. They could not evolve from nothing. Scientists seem to be unable to find an elementary subatomic particle. They find only smaller and smaller particles. Science seems to be an able to discover the ultimate nature of matter. Perhaps somewhere down the line a particle about it exists which actually contains and entire human affairs. Perhaps we are components of such a particle. Anyway something must exist before matter. My mind is of biological origin. It has its limits. The concept of infinity is beyond me.
I have little room in my life for organized religion. I agree with Confucius that religion can serve a purpose as a means of social cohesion. My Jewishness it's something I identify with as a cultural heritage. I know where I came from. I am proud of my people's survivability and respect for learning. Jews did not build with Stone, but with paper. Jews have maintained an identity not with force but with education. Jewish historical have not been afraid to be different from those around them. The Jewish concept of God can vary greatly from the biblical God, to what a Jewish mystic sect calls "Energy". Obedience to God or to custom means the to me have ever But I still can uphold identify with Judaism.
With love as a big component of my life, I-Thou relationships mean much to me. If society consistent of such relationships their morality of society could be much more relaxed. Up until now love probably has been the key to my life. I love the individuals I learn from and those I teach. Parents, lovers, teachers, and friends teach me about life. Cultivating meaningful relationships is never easy, but this difficulty is perhaps the root of their value. Dealing with other individuals and helps me to understand myself. With love has taught me much. I used to be very satisfied with a rational universe in which everything had an explanation or could be simplified by mathematical equations. Duty for me was in design. Someone I love to change my mind through her actions and our relationship. She could look at a child's toy or a fork and find beauty. I thought this autumn could not comprehend her actions. She soon changed my mind, at first in a vague sort of way. I did not have to completely understand or analyze things to appreciate them or respect them. She taught me something by the way she acted as an individual. I loved her very much she died, which brings me to discuss death and humor.
We all hear, "Times winged chariot hurrying near. " impending death causes of men to think about their existence and purpose in life. If an individual had meaningful relationships with others their death brings the individual closer to death. And awareness of the finite nature of life can be incentive to leave a legacy of some sort or pursue any course of action one wants to. The friend I used as an illustration earlier was run over by a truck while crossing the street. Although she was dead she had produced works of art which still remain and contain something of her individuality. This drove me to want to do something similar, but what she left to the world was of little solace for me. Her death was a complete shock. Horrible things happen for no reason. All I could do was laugh. I should not be too concerned with death. I knew I had touched others as she had touched to me. Life can be enjoyed its debt is not taken too seriously. Humor is a means of escaping the anxiety of death. In the movie "Interiors" Woody Allen asks some space aliens how he can be of service to humanity, "Right funnier jokes", they replied. Humor seldom offers a direct answer. If I'm asked a question and answer with a joke then my reply has probably evaded the question, even if it satisfies the ask her. Humor is an answer then for death or other difficult questions.
I place importance in having an ego and being an individual. Being an individual helps me love and understand others. Education reinforces my individuality. I can lose myself in art, but I see art as a communication of what another individual wishes to express our communicate. The physical world is really beautiful. I dwell in it and enjoyed its pleasures. Stimulation by physical pleasures is of limited value to me, but all that is meaningful to me is me some form of pleasure. In the sense that actively seek pleasure. Ultimately actions define a person. There is no fixed Ideal. Individual humans define what humanity is through their actions and the reality that humanity creates is constantly changing and is being expanded. Life does not go towards a clearly defined and Oracle. Each individual must decide what his life is too mean. I want to enjoy your its pleasures but did something in return. I want to have meaningful relationships with others but also to make them laugh. I want to cultivate my garden. I put work into the earth, take care of it and cultivate it. Here it will bear fruit which I can enjoy. The fruit will be th tangible result of my labor, but hard labor is not all my fruit requires. Some factors are bound my control such as wind and rain. I can share my effort with others. People may laugh at my being a gardener. I will laugh at myself, but without gardening we would have nothing to eat.
Response by Barry Moss May 1998---He gave it an 87. He wrote' "A good credo, Dan. Very consistent individualism, even some sanity to it all exclamation. A kind of gentle and benevolent individualism, at that. Your Jewish heritage comes through nicely. I hate the small print, but it's better than your handwriting. Best wishes, Barry Moss, May 1998. " He gave it an 87.