Philosophy: Don't try to prove anything to me
If you try to convince me of anything by logical proof, I must be suspicious of you. If it was something to which I would freely give my welcoming assent, then you would not need to prove it, just kindly offer it to me, on a take it or leave it basis. So it must be something I don't want. This can take two forme, ther first of which I have to submit to; the second of which is the more frequent in prectice and if you try it you are despicable.
The first kind might go something like this: My physician would tell me I have stage 4 pancreatic cancer and although I have no symptoms today I am going ot die painfully within the week and nothing can be done about it. I protect: "No! It must not be true! ...." She produces evidence. I have to capituate to the sad facts of the case -- the sad facts of my case. My pyhsician does not benefit either way.
Now! Why does this convince me? Because it's right? I don't think so. I think it's because it both seems right to me and also: because it connects with something I want, namely: to live my life. It says I will get more of what I wnat if I accept it than if I don't. For instance, I might decide to "eat drink and be merry for tomorrow I will die" intead of studying for some test in a school course that means nothing to me except that if I can get thru the next 12 weeks of it I will get a fish like trained seal but if I don't then 12 weeks from now I will be punished by being unenployable above unskilled labor for the next 40 yeasr of my life. But now that I know I won't be around 12 weeks from now, that game is no onger worth the candle. I am convinced bcasue it benefits me, according to my, not my physician's or anybody sles's critieria of "benefit".
The second kind goes more like this: "Virtue says that, like Mr. Socrates, it is better to die for truth than to tolerate falsehood, Bradford. Therfore you must kill yourself, like him, wherther you selfishly wnat to or not, an here is hte proof... " "So what? " "Uhhh...." "Precisely. Satan get thee hence!"
Logical argumentation is a game. If you accept the premeises you have to accept the conclusions. But you don't have to lplay the game. The people who want [to entrap...] you to play their game are generally ones who benefit from it. They are trying to get what they want by tricking you into thinking you don't have a choice. But you do have a choice: to not play their game. Ideally, you can expose how they unadmittedly benefit from it, i.e.: shame them. You can only shame a person who i trying to b=appear to be -- to be what? It must be something they like but are insceura about thmselves being (or having), else you conldn't shame them about it (the thing you might be able to do is to take it away from them).
Conclusion: Proving something is a form of marketing. School teaches, parents and other con artists should take this to heart → even more so their victims.
Two paths for "philosophy"?
There seem to be two paths for "philiosophy": (1) getting down to the elemnents out of whihc experience is made [Mr. Democritus], and (2) reflecting on the whole the elements -- whatever they are -- compose [Mr. Plato]. What us time? Whatever it is, it's givng us our lifeworld in whci we live and will likely also die. "Analytic phiposophy" seems to me to be concerned with #1 and that seeems to me to just generate logical conundrums and books as palatable (and as nutritious...) as eating cardboard. Existentialism is on the side of #2.
Does it matter to deal with things that matter? Only if that matters to you (maybe it matters to you to deal with things that do not matter? in that case, that's what matters to you.). #1 seems to me wastefully addictive like gambling, video games and Rubick's cube. I have to be careful of Scylla and Charybdis. #2 seems to me to matter. Consequently, I will here deal with #2, i.e.: what matters [to me...]....
Along the path of the whole
If you want to talk with me about philosophical subjects, such as whether or not you should have been born, or whether God is a war criminal, do not try to convince me with deductive argumentation. Your argument my be full of holes or it may be air-tight. What matters is my opinion of it: Do I like it or not? If I don't like it, of course I will still want it around: to file in my ethnographic archive for possible future use in a Charlie Hebdo cartoon, or to cough up phlegm on in absence of a paper towel, or whatever.
I find that argument by deductive proof is generally somebody trying to get me to agree to something I do not agree with. In particular: Them trying to get me to die for their selflessly selfish "The Good". Let them do it to themselves and be done with themselves. Why don't they just be honest with themselves and acknowledge they are disgusting and say: "I am going to shove this down you goddamned throat you piece of shit because I am bigger than you and I can make you eat it!" Why do people need to feel good about themselves for getting what they want to extract out of me? If they were not disgusting brutes they would try to get what they want by what Jürgen Habermas calls: "the unforced force of the better argument." If what you want freely inspires me to want it, you will not have any trouble getting it from me. Alternatively why can't you wait until I am dead and then eat me, raw or cooked anyway you like? (Patience is a virtue.)
You cannot prove to me hat I want to like what you are telling me, because if you try to do that I won't like it and I won't buy it. And, presuming I don't like it, please do not try to stuff it down my throat. Been there, done that. My parents did far too much of it, and then my perp school teaches just did even more of it. I've never met a Rebbe but the pictures of them look repulsive to me, but I'm willing to give one of them a try at inspiring me to me to like him, or, even though I am not homosexual, to let him bugger me, especially since I paid at the office: I was genitally mutilated ("circumcised") as a infant; violation of my bodily integrity is excuasable only in the extreme situation where the only other option is that I will be crippled or die, for instance: when firemen have to cut off the leg of a person trapped in a burning automobile to get him out of the damned thing before it explodes. If they did it to save my soul from burning in hell forever that is not an excuse. As Marie Antoinette famously said: "Let them eat their beliefs."
Isn't the root of philosophical thinking to play nicely together? I don't shoot you in the head with a pistol to compromise your hopes for your life and you don't make me take a test in a school course to compromise my hopes for my life. Isn't that fair? If you will wash my feet, I will wash your feet, fair enough?
It's like Professor Heidegger, who seems to me to be trying to get me to kowtow to Being. I understand the difference between Being and beings, but maybe Being is not good for me; let me decide for myself whether I enjoy Being or not, and if I am stuck with it but don't like it, I understand that I do not call the shots in this world but I don't have to like what I have to put up with, right? Take that, Professor Heidegger! And I would like to have gone to bed with Hannah Arendt, old boy! And you know what I read somewhere about Immanuel Kant (ref. lost, alas), don't you? He masturbated each morning to not be distracted from his studies for the rest of the day. Sounds like a good application for his categorical imperative, doesn't it? (If you are earn your paycheck as a philosophy teacher and I have offended you, I have accomplished something constructive today.)
Mr. Socrates disgusts me; I despise and disdain him. I don't play cutsie logic tricks like him saying he knows nothing (if he know nothing how can he know he knows h=nothing. Checkmate.) I wll say I am pretty sure of somethings and pretty sure I am not sure about a lot of othre things and I am also pretty sure ther are thing sI don't even know about at all. One of the things I have the greatest confiddnce in is that I must be suspicious of everything your say, especially if you tell me it is true or good (of false or bad). I want to explore your motivation for opening your mouth and emitting he words. What are you trying to get out of it? How have you been socially conditioned?
Back to basics: Isn't the root of philosophy to play nicely together? So if you don't want to play nice with me, I can't stop you but I would appreciate if you would at least in that case own up to being a Big Bully who is disgusting and ashamed of yourself and wish you were dead so please ask me where things are, anything (e.g., a steak knife from the kitchen), to help you effect your very well reasoned self-assessment.