Philosophy Is Not A Useless Major

Philosophy Is Not A Useless Major

You probably don't realize how important it actually can be.

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When I first made the decision to add a philosophy minor to my degree, I braced for the worst. I know the negative reactions that people with philosophy degrees often get from others. There are always the constant jokes that a philosophy degree is a degree before working as a Starbucks barista or Waffle House cook. I knew my family would be quick to scoff at the notion.

"College is already so expensive! Why are you adding something useless to your degree? Couldn't you go for, like, a business degree? Everyone is looking for someone with a degree in business management!"

In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. My time in philosophy classes has taught me more than in any other student.

Sure, the practical knowledge that comes from considering the idea of simulation theory or Kantian ethics might be a little muddled. Sure, I might use the things I learn in a math class or in a computer programming class more explicitly in a future career. That point is easy to concede.

However, what really makes philosophy unique is the skills that it fosters. Philosophy instills so many vital skills that would be completely lost in any "normal" degree track.

Philosophy, at its core, is the use of critical thinking and critical reading skills. Philosophy is not a hobby for light readers. Getting through the voluminous prose of Charles Peirce, John Dewey, Descartes, Kant, or any other philosopher requires intense reading and the ability to truly comprehend the complex thoughts that they are putting on paper. Philosophy taught me how to truly read a text, weed out what an author is trying to say, and conceptualize what they are trying to communicate. That is useful in any environment.

Furthermore, philosophy is a great area to improve communication and debate skills. Philosophy is a constantly fluid body of ideas that is all a conglomerate of what practically everyone thinks about everything. For everything of interest in philosophy (which is pretty much everything that can be thought of), dozens of philosophers have said dozens of different things, including some views that are polar opposites of one another. In such a crowded space, to get your views out there and believed, you have to learn how to communicate your beliefs, analyze other people's arguments, and how to respond to their arguments to defend your position. Anywhere in life where you need to prove yourself right, philosophy is the perfect practice arena.

For those of you considering adding a philosophy minor or major, do not be discouraged by what anyone says. For all the reasons above and more, you know that it is useful.

For those that still doubt philosophy, give it a shot. Take an intro to philosophy course or an intro to ethics class. If you are out of school, try to do some independent research and understand more about philosophy. Once you get there, I promise you'll be hooked.

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Dear 'Straight Pride,' Check Your Privilege: It's HOMO-Sapiens, Not HETERO-Sapiens

Don't be upset, you are more than welcome to enjoy your straight-ness, just as much as you have to tolerate our non-straight-ness.

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Disclaimer: This letter contains sarcasm and unfiltered honesty.

Pride month is one of the BEST MONTHS OUT THERE. Four weeks of rainbows, glitter, and good old fashioned love... except for Boston. Apparently, Boston is holding a Straight Pride Parade planned for August 31st to celebrate... well, I'm not quite sure what would be celebrated. Sexual confusion? A false sense of Christianity? The delicate structure that is "no homo?"

Honestly, I feel like its a huge waste of city funds. So, I figured I should highlight some important details about gay pride.

In June 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York City on the basis that being gay wasn't OK. That's it. The raid caused a riot among LGBT+ patrons and neighbors as police brutally threw patrons and employees out of the club. This event was followed by six days of protests and violent clashes, lead by a group of Drag Queens, including Black American Drag Queens. This was the catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Since then, gay rights have made so much progression such as Same-Sex Marriage legalized in the US in 2015, to same-sex couples, and LGBTQ+ roles shown on television.

Dear Straight people,

The entire point of pride is to celebrate a group of people who are ostracized IN SOCIETY. People who have to FIGHT for the right to love, the right to be represented, and the right to be accepted by their friends, family, work colleagues, their place of worship and the rest of the world!

It's all well and good to want to celebrate yourself for your culture and traditions (google search: family holidays), or your own accomplishments during your life (google search: Applebee's). Celebrating sexuality is much more personal because it's still not accepted in most regions or religions of the world.

Don't be upset, you are more than welcome to enjoy your straight-ness, just as much as you have to tolerate our non-straight-ness. You don't have to believe in a same-sex marriage, the same way I don't believe that religion is your sole reason to ostracize, bully, torment and dehumanize a group of innocent people who don't conform. Gay, lesbian, transgender, asexual, bisexual, the victims of the pulse shooting, ALL THESE PEOPLE HAVE HEARTS, TOO.

If at the end of this article, you still care to make an argument, I'd like to ask you some questions.

Have you ever been fired because you are straight?

Have you ever been bullied, assaulted, attacked, or banned from using the bathroom because you are straight?

Has anyone from your family ever stopped talking to you or stopped loving you because of your sexuality?

Have you ever been afraid to be yourself?

Has your church (or any form of safety zone) ever told you that you would burn in hell based on your sexuality?

Let me know.

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10 Random Thoughts You Get While Reading

Every book lover has experienced these at least a hundred times.

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Reading is one of the oldest and most treasured pastimes. Millions of people all over the world love a good book. Each one has the ability to bring you to a different world, time period, or location; and use it to escape and forget about reality for a bit. Book lovers everywhere know the thrill of holding a book, grasping the crisp pages between your thumb and index, smelling a brand-new copy, and being taken on an adventure. And with that, every book lover knows that with these adventures come a few weird thoughts.

1. Am I pronouncing that name right?

Whether it is a place or a character's name, there will always be a name in a book that we think is pronounced one way, but is completely wrong.

2. This would be a really good movie.

You can see the actors and actresses in your head, the visual effects, the places they go. You feel like you could perfectly direct this movie and make it both follow the book and be a big hit. Then, the book does get turned into a movie, and NEVER follows the plot or idea in your mind.

3. I do NOT like this character at all.

Most of the time, the worst character isn't even the antagonist. It's always one of the main characters or their friends. They always have a way of sabotaging things or just being a terrible friend.

4. Should I look this word up?

We have all had that moment - the moment where you reach a word and you don't know the meaning of it. You think "is it important enough to look up?" Usually, you can use context clues to figure it out, but it's always nice to search the word and add it to your extensive vocabulary.

5. If they don't tell each other how they feel, I am going to scream.

There is obviously tension and some great connection between the two main characters in a lot of books. But why does it take SO long for them to realize that and tell each other? Just say it and be together!

6. Just one more chapter.

That's a lie. "Just one more chapter" is the same thing as eating "just one more chip." The whole book will be finished and the whole bag of chips will be eaten.

7. Oh my gosh, why did you do that?!

The most annoying things in books are when a character does something so stupid without thinking. Some make decisions without advice that can get others hurt, and some characters admit their feelings for each other at the WORST timing ever. like, you had the entire book to tell them how you felt, why did you wait until they got into a relationship or right after their mom died?

8. Ugh, I really have to get around to doing those dishes.

It happens all the time. You get settled in, get a nice drink, sit down all cozy, then you realize that you need to get up and face the messes in your house.

9. I can't get comfortable!

If you sit up and read, your neck hurts. If you lay down, your arm falls asleep. There is never a true way to read and be absolutely comfortable.

10. I have to take a break...   *finishes the entire book*

Secondhand embarrassment, hating a character's actions, a character admitting their feelings for someone at a bad moment. Sometimes, you just want to take a break from being annoyed or embarrassed. However, you have to know what happens next, so you continue reading.

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