My Incoherent Ramblings: relative philosophy

TechNews Writer
Mon Oct 01, 2018

     Few people ask for my take on philosophical concepts and ideas, which is probably for the best. I would just lie to them as I typically do for whenever I say anything on any matter which I don't really care for. Though, by that logic, I am probably lying to myself by saying such a thing to you, the reader, at this very moment as well. Setting any migraines one may have obtained from the previous two sentences aside, I actually do have a thing or four to say about the philosophical schools of thought that exist in society today. While I do not have a defined single philosophy that I try to follow on a daily basis, I do have a much more broad and vague philosophy by which I have come to understand the world around me. This broad philosophy has no actual name as far as I am aware, so I refer to it by the closest real life example I could think of while tying this article: relative. 

It is my belief that no one school of thought has a complete understanding of the world in its entirety (or lack thereof depending on the school). I see all of these various concepts (such as attempts to comprehend various aspects of life, humanity, existence, joy, and the like) as being focused only on the frame of perspective which they have limited themselves to observing. You do not see the person who questions existence question what it means to be human, and you do not see the person that asks why art is beautiful question whether existence is real or an illusion. This is because these realms of thought, in an attempt to concentrate on one or a series of related questions, must believe all other philosophical questions to be confirmed constants before beginning their pursuit towards an answer.

This is where my self proclaimed "relative philosophy" comes into focus. It is my belief, that any one question is only relative to the dimensions in which you ask it. This is similar to the idea of relativity in physics, where the description of any action observed is relative to the location where one perceives it. For example, if I were to take the perspective of the universe as a whole over all of time, I would find the ideas of nihilistic philosophers such as Nietzsche to be a rather valid description of the insignificance and futility of it all. Now I could simply stay in this school if I wanted to, but instead I choose to change my perspective when I so desire to one where such ideas are nigh impossible to fathom. Just because I had changed my relative perspective doesn't make the ideas any less true or false in my opinion, it simply makes them irrelevant to what is now a much smaller frame of reference. In essence, this means I pick and choose those philosophies determined to be relevant to the point of view assumed at any given point in time.

This philosophical concept of mine provides a wide array of examples from which one can call upon to use when describing it. One such case is that of hedonism, which is a great belief system when one considers only the present moment and not what comes after. If you were to expand the perspective to include greater and greater lengths of time into the future, the idea of hedonism become a less and less viable concept as the continuous seeking of pleasure itself begins to inhibit one's ability to obtain pleasure down the line. Another example would be that of the afterlife or the lack thereof. Any viewpoint which observes only the time in which one is alive is incapable of considering such questions while any which include existence after life is incapable of existing without it.  

I could go on and on explaining my philosophy on philosophy, but I am pretty sure most readers have moved on to some other article in this paper, most likely one talking about politics or events that happened last week on campus like coffeehouse. If they have not done so already, then I leave them with the following: It is my belief that questions are answerable if one adjusts their perspective of the question to the appropriate scale. In the end, this has left me not in search of an answer like so many others, but rather in search of a question. I am confident that I will one day find some way to question my answer, for while there may be questions without answers, there is certainly no such thing as an answer without question. 



Appears in
2018 - Fall - Issue 5