It’s been about 3 years since my last post. Since this blog is still getting some views I thought I’d give a brief update on how I feel now about what I wrote.
I dislike that I often slipped into a sarcastic, mocking, or insulting tone. In a discussion, sarcasm, mockery, and insults really have no place at all, but I did it pretty often. It lowers the quality of discussion on both sides. The person who wrote in an insulting tone now feels committed to their view and will be much less willing to admit that they were incorrect. The person whose view was mocked will obviously also feel much less sympathetic to the argument being made. All it does is make so that no one’s going to learn anything from the discussion, at which point it stops being a discussion and starts being a rant or heated argument. Also sarcasm mockery etc. can serve as a crutch to avoid explaining yourself properly – if a person gets stuck in a spot where it’s hard to explain what they mean they can slip into saying something along the lines of “obviously X is ridiculous, and Y is correct”, where X often ends up being a strawman.
That said the nastiness mostly wasn’t as bad as I feared, except for the last post I made, that I was dropping philosophy, which was made when I was very frustrated and upset. Not surprisingly I got some bitterness in return in that post (although most people were much more well-mannered than I was). Obviously it was a mistake – as frustrating as it was for me to feel like there’s no place for me in philosophy unless I become a sycophant, taking it out on people and ranting doesn’t help anyone.
That said I’m happier than ever with my decision to drop out of philosophy. I was someone who felt that I was right and everyone else was wrong. Regardless of whether I was right or wrong about that, what’s best for someone with that attitude is to go into a field where right and wrong and good and bad is measured objectively. It removes a big source of stress & frustration. As it turns out the new area I’m pursuing is going well for me, which is pretty vindicating although obviously it doesn’t prove anything regarding philosophy.
To be honest I still basically feel that the field of philosophy is pretty far off-base and so in that sense I still think that “I was right and they were wrong”. People usually equate this to thinking that I’m better than everyone at philosophy but it’s not quite that arrogant a statement. I think that the way philosophy is now will mostly drive out people who don’t take a certain approach to philosophy, and that approach is IMO quite flawed. So I still think there will be some people who better at thinking about these kinds of issues than me, I just think most of them will avoid philosophy. Still pretty arrogant I know.
Anyway, sorry about the rude exit post, best of luck to everyone!