Monday, December 14, 2009
RDF TV - The Unconsidered Life - A.C. Grayling
Transcription by me (if you find errors, correct me please. I'm not a native English speaker):
One very very important moment in history of philosopy when Socrates said "unconsiderate life is not worth living". It seems very dramatic claim anyway. If you don't reflect on your life, if you don't consider it, if you don't choose the values that you are going to live by then you are going to live according to somebody else's choices, you are going to be like a football that they're kicking around because you are not... you haven't chosen something and directed your life towards those goals.
There is very very big differences between having data, information and turning that into knowledge, something you can make it yourself and there is yet further step beyond knowledge which is understanding is having good insights into what really matters. All this involves having to think critically you equip yourself with information about the world to be literate across the whole range and especially to be scientifically literate because in this world of ours now to be informed participant and great conversation of mankind is to have an alert awareness, an understand of what is happening in the world.
So to be good citizen of the world to be a person who recognises that something is valuable and pursue those things, demands being critically reflective to think about your ethics, to think about world to be well informed, to challenge always yourself another people when they make claims and when you feel moved to make certain claims about the world. I think one consequence this is people should think very critically and deeply about e.g the claims of religion. Is that source of value in the world or is it our humanity and our connection with other human beings. So across whole range this central demand is to be critical to be reflective to think for oneself.
Bertrand Russell once famously said, "most people would rather die than think, and most people do", and one doesn't want to be one of them.