Chapter 5 discussion



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I found the most interesting part of this chapter to be the idea that if Descartes could imagine a “perfect” god then a perfect god must exist. Descartes is saying that if we are even capable of imagining something to be “perfect” than that something must be possible or why else would we be capable of imagining it. I agree with Descartes here that if we are capable of imagining something to be perfect then the only possible thing that could be perfect would be a god. This makes sense to me because I believe that there is reason for why a lot of things are the way they are.

For instance, it wouldn’t make sense to be able to imagine something of perfection if it wasn’t actually possible, I feel like there is some sort of purpose behind the idea. Another area of the chapter that I found interesting was the quote by Confucius, “If one learns from others but does not think one will be bewildered. If, on the other hand, one thinks but does not learn from others, one will be in peril. ” This quote really makes a lot of sense to me because of how it defines that the most important part of knowledge is it being part of a balance.

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For example, taking the advice from friends many times can be very useful but if that is the only advice that you consider even above your own, you can definitely run into some problems. What this quote is saying is that you are in the best situation when you have an equal balance of input from both others and yourself. This idea could best be considered when thinking about our group 4 projects last year. One of the most efficient ways that we divided up work was by assigning each person to what they were best at either

with presenting or experimenting. This way allows for no one person to be caught trying to do too much thinking or vice versa with too many people doing too little thinking. Reading further into the chapter, another idea I found to be interesting was the “egocentric predicament. ” This states that often times we think of things too selfishly in the sense that we generally think of things from our perspective. The reality in our world around us can be seen differently from person to person as no two people are the same.

It is then weird to think that two people could ever argue about beliefs since those depend drastically on the environment that someone grows up in or the experiences they have been through, neither of which would be the same for two different people. When I think more about this egocentric predicament I am reminded more and more of the presence of religion in culture today. Religion is a collection of cultural, belief, and worldview systems that relate humanity to spirituality and even sometimes to moral values.

With no two people ever having the same view on reality, how can their perspectives on religion ever be agreed upon since they have grown up through different experiences and now hold different belief systems. This is the same for politics as our country will argue over the proper way to run a country forever when in fact, no side will ever win since not everyone possesses the same view on reality and such. Yet still, arguments and debates will also go on forever even with the notion that neither side will ever compromise.

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