Children. Adults. Lies.

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Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

‘If you don’t behave, I’ll call the police,’ is a lie that parents might use to get their young children to behave. Parents’ lies elicit compliance in the short term, but a new psychology study suggests that they are associated with detrimental effects when the child becomes an adult. (1)

At the end, the truth will always come to light.

So don’t be afraid if it. Use it.

Lies will only breed lies.

Look at humans today. So engulfed in their need for life.

Trying to convince themselves that there is nothing more important.

And the quest for life creates what else but more thirst for life!

More thirst for sensing the cosmos.

More thirst for feeling the universe.

A deep urge to find other sources of life elsewhere!

And we will keep on going until we discover life everywhere!

At the end, we will behold a loving universe.

So beautiful.

So vibrant.

So true.

So perfectly wrong…

Question the obvious!

Only fake things are perfect.

Only illusions are so true.

There is ugliness in truth. For it is raw in nature. Killing anything which does not exist. And since nothing does, a loving cosmos cannot do anything but wrench the world in blood.

Do you dare sacrifice yourself?

Hey kid!

Who told you you were alive in the first place?

Philosophy BY children!

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Philosophy BY Children!

Philosophy BY children!

A new group to publish and discuss the answers of children to the greatest philosophical problems of humanity was created: PHILOSOPHY BY CHILDREN! Philosophy is not ‘for’ children. Philosophy can only be conducted BY children! We must forget how to think in order to think! True philosophers should always question everything. And who is better in doing that those who have learnt nothing?

> JOIN THE GROUP HERE https://www.facebook.com/groups/philosophybychildren to also SHARE YOUR STORIES about wise things children have said regarding the greatest philosophical questions of all time!

Why philosophy by children?

Thinking is always based on specific axioms. Any person must start from somewhere when pondering on any question: The things he knows, the things he thinks he knows, his beliefs, his hopes, his wishes. In that sense, any attempt to think freely is hindered by the very notion of thinking per se.

The only think to truly think is to forget how to think!

Harmonia Philosophica has been trying for a long time to promote the idea of non-thinking or of irrational thinking as the way forward regarding philosophy and science (search articles related to ‘irrational’ or ‘non-thinking’ for that). In that sense, looking at what children have to say regarding the big questions of humanity is a way to get a glimpse of what that non-thinking could look like.

CHILDREN’S PHILOSOPHY ARTICLES

To be continued…

Children’s Philosophy Episodes 1 & 2: How a child answers the great questions by… not answering

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A child drawing the world…

About Children’s Philosophy: A series of articles that will show how small children answer the greatest philosophical questions of humanity. Philosophers need to question everything. And in order to do that, one must think as a child again!

One can find wisdom in crazy persons and in children. So that is what I did: I asked the greatest philosophical questions to a seven years old child. And the answers were amazing.

Some of them you can find in various posts hidden in Harmonia Philosophica (e.g. in the There is no death article). This is an attempt to gather the major answers of the child here.

Humans have been pondering on big questions of philosophy for thousands of years now. And yet, no definitive answers have been found. Harmonia Philosophica tries to guide humans to these questions by promoting non thinking and irrationality, for this is the only way to discard all dogmas and think freely. The child provided great input that helps us enhance our faith in the path we have taken.

A child thinks with no premises, no dogmas, no prior knowledge of things. In that way one can say that a child’s thought is more close to non-thinking than to thinking. This way of thinking can be a true revelation for a grown up who is too used to the things he or she already ‘knows’. True philosophers and scientists alike question everything.

Are you ready to stop thinking in order to think?

Let’s see what the child had to say…

Truth puzzle filled in by a child (Brain map: There is no death!)

EPISODE 1: Does death exist?

Truth puzzles are an invention of Harmonia Philosophica that helps someone formulate a ‘solution’ to the great philosophical questions of human mind. In these ‘puzzles’ you have all the basic elements of philosophy and all you have to do is connect them with lines or arrows to indicate their relationships. There are no rules on how to do that and that is the basic rule: there are no predefined rules on how to think!

One can read the Truth Puzzles article here to learn more about that method of philosophical investigation.

Details set aside, what is of interest here is that I have a Truth Puzzle to the child to complete.

Related articles

The instructions were simple: My child, take that page and draw lines or arrows between these words.

An important note is that the child did not have English as its mother tongue so it was difficult for it to understand the words, let alone the fact that the child could not in any case be fully aware of the meaning of the words in the Truth Puzzle anyway due to its age.

After a minute the puzzle was completed. And the result was astounding.

What I saw was that…

The child had connected with lines all elements on the page except one: Death!

Besides the importance of the coincidence that the word Death was the only one omitted (Read the ‘There is no death‘ article for that), another important thing we should always keep in mind: There are no rules on how to think! I had thought that one should connect all elements I had written on the page, but the child showed me that this should not be the case!

Lesson learned: There are no rules on thinking! Question everything! Especially the things that you don’t!

That is how philosophy and science progress!

What is Being? – It is a word (!)

EPISODE 2: What is Being?

I once asked a child ‘What is Being?’.

I have the question written on a piece of paper and waited to see how this difficult philosophical question will be tackled by a seven-year old brain.

After a minute, the answer was handed back to be.

“What is Being?” – “A word”

To my astonishment the child answered that “Being” is a word. Thinking in a simple manner is and has always been a trait of wise men and women. And children. Yes, Being is a word. Perhaps the best answer to our great philosophical questions cannot be found through Logos but through the experience of life and existence itself.q

Lesson learned: Don’t think too much about questions that you yourself has invented. Question everything. Especially yourself!

To be continued…

Santa Claus exists. And tooth fairies. And mermaids. Oh, and so do you…

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Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

Small children believe in Santa Claus. They are thrilled when the presents arrive and even try to find proof that he exists by placing cookies for the saint to eat along with a glass of milk…

But we are grown ups. We know that he doesn’t exist.

And we all struggle and question ourselves. Should we let them be? Should we perpetuate the lie or should we inform our children that he is just a fantasy, along with fairies and unicorns?

Such a wrong dilemma.

Rational people tied up into the chains that they created.

Could we be more wrong?

I am not going to get into the ‘Saint Nicolas was a real person’ line of thinking. Indeed Saint Nicolas was a real person and he indeed gave gifts to the poor. One could simply argue (and he would not be far away from the truth) that it is the spirit of Saint Nicolas – a very real person that did exist – that still endures and makes all those presents be. Every parent follows his example when dressing up like Santa Claus (a name Saint Nicolas came be known by because of his Dutch nickname, Sintar Klaas – see here).

I could also go into more extreme arguments, like the quantum superposition argument. One can read here an interesting article on how Santa Claus exists and is in fact a macroscopic quantum phenomenon, with its wavefunction collapsing when into ‘dad’ when Santa Claus is observed. It is quite amusing to see how our definition of reality and the limited knowledge we have about it can give birth to multiple ideas that question the most common of our beliefs. Do not take this article as an amusement article only. Our knowledge for reality IS limited. Our senses and NOT reliable. We know NOTHING about being or existence per se. As Oscar Wilde once said, the most serious things are said in jokes…

But there is a more fundamental line of thinking that can explain and justify the existence of Santa Claus. As Harmonia Philosophica has tried to explain for years and years, asking the simple questions is the way of true philosophers. And as many of you know, philosophers have been trying to find out answer to the most fundamental questions of humankind but with no success. Many might believe that this means they have failed. But that would be incorrect. For the purpose of true philosophers is not to lead to the truth, but to make it clear that we can know nothing about it. Because such thing as the ‘truth’ does not exist. (Non-thinking is the way towards the cosmos, try to read more in Harmonia Philosophica about it).

So let us re-examine our question.

“Does Santa Claus exist?”

Aristotle once said that any question contains its answer. So true. “Does Santa Claus exist?”. A phenomenally simple and innocent question that is loaded with so many beliefs and so much dogmatism. A question saying so many things about the people who ask it. It implies that we know about existence. It implies that we know who and what exists and what does not. It implies that non-existence is also… existent. Last but certainly not least, by asking about the existence of Santa Claus we clearly imply that he might not. We wouldn’t be asking for the existence of our self for example, would we?

“Does Santa exist?”

Let me ask another thing though.

What about you?

Do YOU exist?

Foolish question it seems. But not so foolish after careful consideration. How do I know you are there? Perhaps because of some undeniable proof? Should I take your word for it? Why should I believe you are a human and not a perfectly programmed robot? How could I know you are saying because of your own free will and not because your cells are programmed to do so? Could you convince me your are not a zombie? (The Zombie argument is a cool argument by the way for the existence or non-existence of consciousness)

Mermaids exist. They just hide beneath rocks when we look for them…

~ unknown kid

What is more, what IS existence? What does it mean to exist? Philosophers for thousands of years have not solved that problem so how could you even consider saying that you exist? What IS Being? The greatest philosophers of all times failed to give an answer. So how could you be so arrogant to claim that you “are” and others not? What IS reality? Who can claim that he or she has access to that magical thing called ‘reality’ without discarding thousands of years of philosophy trying and failing to find out what that thing is? Even for the phenomena we observe, the surface of the ocean we swim in, our senses and science can only explain a minor fraction of that world we capture with our senses; let alone things that lie beyond them. So what makes you so arrogant as to ask such a dramatic question?

The only argument you have for your existence is your feeling and knowledge that you do. Feelings and knowledge that you cannot transmit to others no matter how hard you try.

Guess what.

Santa Claus exists for children for exactly the same reasons!

This is not a shallow trick-argument to solve the problem. No. As already mentioned above, our total lack of knowledge regarding what existence and being are is totally true. Our total inability to know what ‘reality’ is also is something totally true. What we really KNOW are the things we have immediate experience of. Our existence. Our thoughts. Our consciousness. A peach we eat. A lonely summer night. The love of our parents that are here. Santa Claus bringing gifts which we sleep…

Something magical.

And because of that, truer that anything can ever be.

You see, magic in life is something we forgot. And yet, it still drives our destiny.

Love is magical. Our own life is magical. Santa is magical.

But we got carried away. And again we forgot the simple question we started with. “What about you?” we asked. Tell me my child, do you exist? How do you know? More importantly. How do I know? All my science, all my knowledge, all my philosophy cry out loud that I could never be certain for the existence of anyone else than me. And yet, I am certain for your existence. More than I am certain about my own!

You see…

It is not Santa Claus that is magic.

It was never a question of whether he existed.

It is all about you my child.

It was about you from the beginning.

You are magical!

Believing in good in a place full of evil. Loving and caring without expecting anything in return.

You DO exist!

Now go get your presents.

Santa was here while you were asleep…

Robots. Seeing. Humans. Laughing.

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Humans have long been masters of dexterity, a skill that can largely be credited to the help of our eyes. Robots, meanwhile, are still catching up. Certainly there’s been some progress: for decades robots in controlled environments like assembly lines have been able to pick up the same object over and over again.

More recently, breakthroughs in computer vision have enabled robots to make basic distinctions between objects, but even then, they don’t truly understand objects’ shapes, so there’s little they can do after a quick pick-up.

In a new paper, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), say that they’ve made a key development in this area of work: a system that lets robots inspect random objects, and visually understand them enough to accomplish specific tasks without ever having seen them before. (1)

Touch that object in front of you.

It is not in front of you.

Is is not an «αντι-κείμενο» [En. “lying against you”] (Heidegger). It is part of you. You can never see or touch things which you don’t know. Feel it with your hand. This is not a table. This is your life. A glass of water. A cup of coffee. So tired. Children laughing. Calling you.

You are getting up now.

Going inside to play.

Leaving the table.

Now you don’t see it.

It never existed.

A children’s smile. Your smile. Everything gone…

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