SCIENCE! It’s such a powerful word! I mean we have absolute scientific proof! What could be more powerful? In fact, describing something as being unscientific is a downright insult isn’t it?
But what about morality? Or aesthetics? Or worst of all, philosophy? I mean morality is so unscientific! And philosophy is like the most unscientific creation of mankind ever. Let’s face it, scientists deal in empirical fact! And philosophers deal in… puzzles.
You know, a few years ago Stephen Hawking declared at Google’s Zeitgeist Conference that “Philosophy is dead.” And I mean, its Stephen Freaking Hawking! The renowned Physicist!
Have you seen his Epic Rap Battle of History with Albert Einstein? He crushed him!
But I digress. According to Hawking, “Philosophers have not kept up with modern developments in science. Particularly physics.”
Take that Bertrand Russell!
Who actually knows who Bertrand Russell is anyway?
Well, I do. He was one of the founders of analytical philosophy, a school of thought that uses scientific methods to solve philosophical problems and which tends to dominate in the US and UK in contrast to the existentialism and Marxism found in mainland Europe.
Hawking also said that “Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.” Physics! He says, that’s where it’s at!
But wait just a minute… a famous physicist thinks that philosophy is dead because philosophers don’t understand enough physics?
Maybe that Epic Rap Battle should have pitted Socrates against Hawking! Because I believe there might be an opportunity here for the 2,000 year old star of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” to remind Hawking that he isn’t paying enough attention to ye old adage, “I do not think I know, that which I do not know…”
So, if science is so darn… scientific – what is philosophy anyway? Or more importantly, are there areas of understanding that science simply can’t reach? Because THAT my friends is what philosophy is to me!
The origin of the actual word philosophy comes from ancient Greek, when it’s believed Pythagoras first referred to himself as literally a “lover of wisdom”. And I don’t know about you, but when my grandfather was still around he used to share stories with me that I don’t believe could be defined or even translated into science.
When we talk about the mystery of love, can it really be broken down to a chemical reaction? I think not. Can heartbreak be diagnosed by a physician? Don’t think so. How does one scientifically define “morality”? We all know it can’t. So this is why Hawking’s statement doesn’t quite work for me.
I know we’re all Geeks here. And we love science and specs and speeds and feeds. But that is not what defines us. I believe it is our humanity. It’s those who we love. Those who love us. How we treat one another. Whether we are kind. Whether we inspire. And whether we question. Everything. And this is the true nature of philosophy.
So do me a favor, take some time today to think about those you are close to and you care about. And make it the most important thing in your life to let them know. You never know when it will be your last chance. And at the end of the day, I don’t think we’ll really care how far away the planets are, or how to cure cancer if we die of broken hearts.
Remember, the unexamined life is not worth living. See you next time.
Sponsored by Full Sail University
Full Sail University – located in Winter Park, Florida – offers bachelor’s degree programs that address the need for skilled tech professionals, through curriculum that blends code and theory with real-world experience. To learn more about Full Sail’s web and technology programs, visit fullsail.edu/geekbeat