Alternative title, kicking Adam while he's down.
I'm at times fascinated and/or bemused by those that practice Philosophy. If I'm being honest, it is the one area of science that bedevils any attempt of mine to understand it or grasp the underlying concepts.
Which inevitably leads me to question the utility of Philosophy. If I use myself as an example of the "common man" (i.e. I'm not mentally incompetent. At least not all the time.) how does any discovery or understanding by a philosopher affect or change my daily life? I don't see the applicability of philosophical reasoning to daily life. It certainly does not help to further the acceptance of Philosophy by the general populace when philosophers can't even agree what "is" is. Which reasonings do we embrace even if we understood them?
Not that the hard sciences are always entirely clear or rational. The December issue of Scientific American has an article probing the idea that if alternate universes existed with different laws of physics, could they support life? For instance, if the weak atomic force did not exist at the moment of that universe's big-bang, could the necessary atoms be created to support life? (Short Answer: No. Somehow they know that.)
I read the article, even followed most of it, and came out the other end, saying "what the fuck?" The article concluded (I'm paraphrasing) that even though there is no way to test our hypothesis, such theorizing will help us understand how our universe began. But in the article they describe the current unknowns, which include, is there more than one universe? If so, what form do they take? And then they go on and try to determine if life exists in these unknowable universes.
Sounds like an exercise in futility to me.
It is human nature to question and to seek answers. Trying to limit this questioning would itself be a futile enterprise. So why this blog post? What's the utility? It makes me feel better that's what! All humour aside, that does seem to be the point. Someone wants to know something, whether it be the nature of existence or how many existences there are.
That people constantly quest and seek and research and learn comforts me. But it appears to this woefully uneducated outsider that Philosophy in particular is eternally seeking to justify itself. That no answer it gives is certain, and as such it is a study of questions without answers.
So is Philosophical musing a genuine area of study, of great import to humanity (chime in Adam, I know you want to!) or would it have been better left as a hobby, a side interest that exercises the mind?
I promise I'll try to understand any answers provided!