My last philosophy reflection will be about the class as a whole. I started this course with the thought that I would learn a few things about philosophy and have some news insights about everyday topics. However, I am now leaving this class feeling as if I have a completely different mindset. I do admit thinking about how much this class has changed me is a bit scary, but the changes have been for the better. This class has allowed for me to think intelligently about my religion and listen to others who disagree with it. Being able to hear different perspectives in a safe space gave me the opportunity to make my religion be able to fit and remain true with who I am as a person. I still believe in God through the cosmological argument that there must have been a first cause, but after the discussion of fate vs free will I now contemplate who or what God really is and what their intentions are. My new thoughts do not necessarily align with my religion, but this class has taught me to be accept that it is okay to question what you believe in and it does not mean you don’t believe anymore. I am a result of all of my life experiences and that makes me unique to everyone’s thought processes. Throughout this class I have taken pleasure in finding philosophers that I completely agree with such as Heraclitus because it helps solidify my thinking and positions about topics such as the necessity for “bad things”. I also took pleasure in learning about interesting philosophers such as Berkeley. Although I don’t necessarily believe that we only exist in God’s mind, I do think it’s important to consider someone else’s philosophy because it allows for creative thinking and a spiral of “what if’s”. I will forever be grateful for how this class has challenged my thinking and made me more open to letting different thoughts influence my own.
With my thoughts about free will aside, through existentialism one has absolute freedom in the outcome of their life. I struggle with making the decision of wanting to become a doctor or an environmentalist and I often think I will chose one and it will be the wrong choice. But in reality there is not a right choice or a correct answer to my decision. Whatever I chose will be the answer and I will live my life that way. Although, there is another part of me that wants to believe in essentialism. When I was younger I thought that since God created everyone and he was all knowing that our lives had already been planned out with a purpose. I had the hope that I would just continue through school without any concrete idea of where I wanted to end up because God would take care of that worry. That made a lot of sense to me at the time. If my life is planned out already by God, then I didn’t see any use in worrying about what my future will be like. I still struggle with what my future beholds because I believe in determinism and existentialism. The two concepts are fairly different and conflicted, but I still think both are possibilities. In one thought my life is already determined and there is no need to worry about whether or not I make the right decisions because God has already made those choices for me. On the other hand, life is meaningless and it is up to me to give my own life meaning. There are no right or wrong answers because there isn’t a right answer until I make that choice about my life. Either way, both ideas are equally terrifying. I am either just a puppet in my own life or I have complete freedom over every choice I make.