Life is a journey with many crossroads and everyone requires a choice. What we have today is the result of the choice we made in the past. For ages people were standing by milestone of life making their decision which way to go. As wise and curious creatures we always were searching the truth and the meaning of life. In the search of the truth and solving the most important questions we stop by the same milestone and make our own decision so in the future we would not regret about the choice we made.
The Journey by Peter Kreeft is lively and entertaining allegory, which takes the reader through mysterious caves and leads to various pathways in the search of the truth. Guided by Socrates and the narrator, reader passes many questions of vital importance and finds their solutions. Together with the narrator we encounter forks in the road. Each fork tempt us false ideas and conception that sounds like the truth, which takes us to perplexity. Together with the narrator we are trying to find out purport and the only truth.
In the conversation between Epicurus and the narrator we might see how it is difficult to the author to make his own decision, because the statement of the Epicurus seems to be truth. Epicurus states false dilemmas with a goal to confuse the narrator. It is rather hard to choose between something well known and ignorance. The garden of Epicuruc symbolizes pleasures of human life such as sex and money and the road of Socrates symbolizes something unknown and unexpected. The beautiful flowers at the garden of delights contrast with the sharp stones on the road. But not all that is beautiful and well known leads to the happy life or appear as a solution.
Beautiful and careless life is not the meaning of life people search for. We usually disappointed in the chosen way, especially if it is the one, which was known and expected. This dilemma would lead us if we chose another way. To solve this dilemma we should apply some philosophy. Moreover we can’t make a choice between philosophy and no philosophy, we should make choice between good and bad philosophy. With a help of philosophy we can make the best decision for ourselves without any regret. Only critical thinking may protect us from imprudent choices we make.
In his way of search for the truth narrator meets Protagoras. The statement of Protagoras that truth is something that we believe in and that we don’t need to go somewhere to search it because it is always by us, stump the narrator. Protagoras states his idea in logical way using fallacies involving statistical syllogism and causal fallacies. Using the logical fallacies the narrator ponder about subjective and objective truth. Affirming the Consequent the narrator finds out that subjective truth is the truth, which exists in the real world, not created in our mind or by artists. It is something that we can touch, smell, taste. The objective truth is the “fruit of our imagination.”
It is something created by artists and people. It did not exist before and does not exist nowadays, but it exists in our mind, it’s something created and believed. Anyway, truth is not an object, that’s why we can accept objective truth as well as subjective. The truth Protagoras is talking about, is the truth subjective, which always lies by us, we know it and we don’t need to search for answers because they already known. Objective truth is not known, that means we can’t prove anything, we don’t know correct answers and we search for them. That’s the truth we search for; this truth does not make us stop.
Nowadays graduates, who finishes school, university or college stand by the same milestone as the narrator, thinking which way to turn. Nobody is here to guide them. They have to make their own decision using their own philosophy. That’s why some of them stay in a yuppie garden of Epicurus and become criminals, based only on money and sex. Others chose more school or university trying to find their own way in this life, no matter is it long or short. The only truth is that both of this type of people search for the truth, for the meaning of life as well as they want to fit with life, wants to find their place. There are a lot of false dilemmas in this life and without any guidance it is rather to choose the right way.
That’s why The Journey by Peter Kreeft helps for people, who just start their journey to life. It helps to find answers and solutions on many questions that appear before next fork in the road. Life sometimes is so rough that it is rather difficult to find any solution to whose, who making only the first steps towards it. The good philosophy would be very helpful protecting young people from rash decisions. Having such guide as Peter Kreeft’s book would be the best way to get to know nowadays world and its snares.
Courtney from Study Moose
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