WESTERN PHILOSOPHY: “What If The World is Actually a Prison? | The Philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer” / Einzelgänger ☮

What if this world is actually one giant prison? When the 19th-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer observed the amount of pain that we experience during our lifetimes, he concluded that it’s not happiness and pleasure we’re after, but a reduction of the ongoing suffering that’s an inherent part of existence.

When we remove the veil of ignorance and behold the harsh reality we live in, we might start to question, as Schopenhauer does, the idea that, I quote, “this world is the successful work of an all-wise, all-good, and, at the same time, all-powerful Being.” For Schopenhauer’s view of the world is one of agony — devoid of divine grace — and it has much more in common with a “penal colony” than with the creation of a benevolent deity. Now, seeing the world as a prison sounds like a recipe for personal misery. Why not adopt a more positive, more hopeful perspective? Why look at it with such pessimism?

Well, Schopenhauer’s idea comes with a twist. Within his pessimistic worldview lies an outlook that could be very beneficial to humanity. Based on his essay On the Sufferings of the World, this video explores Schopenhauer’s pessimistic outlook on life and reveals a secret to be gained from it.

WESTERN PHILOSOPHY – EXISTENTIALISM: “Simone de Beauvoir on Existentialism & God (1959)” / Philosophy Overdose ☮

Two short clips of Simone de Beauvoir discussing the existentialist conception of man and her views on God in an interview with Wilfrid Lemoyne from Radio-Canada in 1959.

WESTERN PHILOSOPHY – PSYCHOLOGY: “Why You Should Strive for a Meaningful Life, Not a Happy One” / Academy of Ideas ☮

In this video we argue that the pursuit of happiness is a futile endeavor, and that we should aim to live a meaningful life instead. We also explore how to cultivate meaning.

CRITICAL THINKING: “Why Skepticism is the Right Approach to the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia” / Michael Shermer ☮

Bear with us for a second, but do you know the Belinda Carlisle song “Heaven is a Place on Earth”? It’s actually scientifically accurate. American public intellectual Michael Shermer says that any idea of the afterlife makes zero sense: your mind and therefore your memories are beholden to your body and that any version of you that made it into heaven, should there actually be one, would just be a copy of you and unable to register that they were actually in heaven. Likewise, should you be able to scan your brain and “live forever” by being uploaded to a body in the future, it still wouldn’t be you, just a copy. Confused? The explanation makes more sense from the mouth of Shermer himself… writing the theory behind multiple you’s living in various timelines gets a little too Back to the Future… another sweet ’80s reference if we do say so ourselves.