The Australian Substitute Teacher

Chicken egg in straw nestImage via Wikipedia

I remember my first ever philosophy lesson, I was around the age of nine. We had a substitute teacher from Australia come and take our class. We began the lesson by watching a film that I cannot remember the name of. It was about a man who’s life was being filmed, everyone around him were actors and actresses (even his family) and he was completely oblivious. Then we had a class discussion and the things that cropped up within that discussion interested me like I’d never been interested at school before. When I ask people if they remember that lesson, they never do. But I suppose that if it wasn’t something I was so interested with, it wouldn’t have been significant enough for me to remember either.

Since that day, I have never had another lesson on philosophy, not at school any how. Yet I am continuing to learn and develop my philosophy skills. There are a few philosophical question that stick out in my mind, many of which you may know of. Lots of them are used to teach children what philosophy is.

If a tree falls in the forest but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Noise is heard through vibration which travel through the ear, into your brain where you then register this noise. But, if no one’s there to register this noise…is the noise really there?

What came first: the chicken or the egg?
It looks like a pretty simple question. It’s not. In order for the egg to come about, the chicken must have lay it, correct? But then, for the chicken to come about, it must have hatched from an egg, no?

Does the soul and mind exist?
There’s no scientific evidence to prove that the soul and the mind exists, but that doesn’t prevent us from believing it does, does it?

What’s the meaning of life?
This question needs no description; it’s a pretty straight forward question until you begin peeking behind it’s outer layer.

I have the mind of a writer. When I see an orange, I can think, “Orange > Juice > Sour> Acidic> Burn> Fire >Bomb> Incredibles > Pixar” within a span of about ten seconds. When asked what he sees, Sherlock Holmes replies plainly, “Everything. That is my curse.” I do not claim to be Sherlock, (I lack the cool hat.) but I see much, even where there is little to see. (Like the ironic statement made by policemen and nervous teachers everywhere, “There’s nothing to see here.” This is generally taken as meaning “There is something very interesting back here that I’m keeping it to myself.”)

taken from An Idea :: But a Breath | Muse.

I was reading An Idea :: But a Breath | Muse when I came across that paragraph, that’s when it got me thinking. If I were to write that in a paragraph, I wouldn’t pin it down as that I have the mind of a writer, but a mind of a philosopher. This made me realise quite how similar writing and philosophy are. I am a writer though I take particular interest when it comes to philosophy. And before I’d read An Idea :: But a Breath | Muse, I never realised the significant link between the two subjects in which I have a deep passion.

What’s your thoughts on philosophy? Can you answer any of the philosophical questions?

Signing off,

The Opinionated Duck



Add yours →

  1. I think the interest (and frustration, I guess) lies in the fact that those questions will never be answered. There are too many alternative beliefs or theories and so little solid evidence that I’m fairly certain we’ll never know for sure. The sound in the forest one interests me, though. I personally would call ‘sound’ the vibration of the air which CAN enter our ears and be translated into something our brains can make sense of, but even if there are no ears in the vicinity, that vibration still occurs. You could put a microphone in the forest – there’s still nobody around to hear it, but just play it back for proof that the sound still happened.. 😛
    Incidentally, I think that film you’re referring to is ‘The Truman Show’.

  2. Regarding the chicken-egg mystery, i personally believe that the chicken came first. Why? Because God said in Genesis: “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
    chicken is considered a bird, and birds are pertained here as “winged fowl”. And take note of: “after their kind” meaning, in order to produce after their kind, fowls should lay eggs. So in conclusion, chicken came first before eggs. I hope you understand the idea.

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