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Feb 26, 2006

The word of the week is philosophy, and this word was created by slightly altering the Greek word philosophia which means "Love of knowledge."  Philo- "loving" and sophia "Knowledge, Wisdom" are the roots of the word.  Another definition I have heard for the word philosophy is it means the love of wisdom.  The love of wisdom as opposed to the love of knowledge is a very important distinction for our times.  I believe that in the years prior to the industrial revolution, knowledge was akin to wisdom and the two concepts were rarely thought of separately.  Even in these times I can imagine that the natural cause and effect relationship theoretically could exist; that if you learn and become very knowledgeable wisdom will naturally occur within your mind.  The difference I see though is that now we have awesome powers at our disposal, and we can use these abilities to cause great joy, or cause immense pain.  I speak of the powers to heal, to feed, to travel and meet other cultures, and to learn.  I also referred to the destructive abilities to bomb, to kill, to irradiate, to use biological knowledge to manipulate the food we eat and to make biological weapons, to raze nature, and to deceive.  Never before has the human race been at such a fork in the road.  Intelligence can lead to the opposite of wisdom, namely arrogance.  Wisdom will guide us if we nurture it and develop a sense of ethics within.  If we embrace peace by not supporting war, and by ending even the preparation for war in all countries in the world, the love of wisdom will be wide spread due to the human race finally understanding the meaning of life, to love.  There are many resources for philosophy such as the works of Plato, the dialogues of Socrates, Aristotle, Confucianism, Buddhism, etc., but I believe one should read these past masters words to only cultivate the ability within one's own intellect to speak for one's own self, and to be patient and understanding of others when they speak.  Only then can philosophy help us to grow as individuals, as well as societies.
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Posted: Sunday February 26, 2006, 10:54 am
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Dan Pyle
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