I am at a point in my life where I am constantly questioning my beliefs and searching for answers. I do not know if I believe that G-d exists or if there is life after death. I do not know if one religion is more accurate than the other or if it is wrong for me to be so happy when others all over the world are suffering. Though my beliefs are constantly changing, I have crude idea of what I believe in regards to metaphysics, philosophical anthropology, epistemology, philosophy of religion and ethics.
I believe that we can learn from ours and others actions. I believe that if we make a mistake we can learn from it and we can change. We grow in wisdom with age because we did not start out with all of our knowledge in the womb. I believe that we gain knowledge through our knowledge about the world and therefore, under the category of epistemology, I am an empiricist.
My most difficult and conflicting area is that of philosophy of religion. I am an evidentialist. I feel that if there is a god there will be plenty of proof. I also feel that I am a person who highly values logic and physical certainties and experiences. This makes it difficult for me to simply believe and thus I need proof. Another reason why I am an evidentialist is because I feel that there should also be proof that distinguishes between the “correct” religion from the other religions that are not accurate or as accurate. I feel that something so important should have an obvious answer.
I believe that I am more than just this body. I believe that LeeAnn Schaefer refers not just to my physical appearance but also to my thoughts and feelings. I believe in love, not only that there is such a thing but that there is a power in it. I believe in justice, creativity, and kindness. I know that I hold those qualities (justices, creativity, and kindness) in high esteem thus giving them value and hope that I possess some of those qualities myself. I believe that there is more to LeeAnn Schaefer than the physical body and therefore I am a metaphysical dualist.
I believe that I choose how I act. I believe that I am responsible for the good choices I make as equally as the bad choices I make. I do not believe that because my mother likes working with yarn means that I also like working with yarn. I do not believe that because my father enjoys reading means that I too enjoy reading. I like working with yarn and enjoy reading because they are my own personal preference. My parents’ choices and preferences do not determine who I am. I do not have to enjoy reading or like yarn working. Though I value my parents and their attributes, I can choose to not be like them. I could choose to prefer to play hockey rather than work yarn or to write rather than read. I could also choose to do things that show a lack of love. I could choose to steal, vandalize, or murder. If I did choose to do that then I would be fully responsible for my actions. It would not be “in my genes” or “how I was raised.” It would not have been determined already that I would do things like that. The reason that I did those things would not be determined by the fact that I come from a military family or that I love watching war movies and playing video games with violence in them. No, I would be fully responsible for the stealing, vandalism and murder that I carried out. I believe that I have a choice with every action I take or do not take and therefore under the category of philosophical anthropology I am not a determinist but a believer of free will, an existentialist.
I believe that we should always do the right thing. Yes, sometimes when people do the right thing there is a bad consequence but there is always that chance. I believe I should always do the right thing no matter what the consequences are for me. For example, I believe I should never cheat even though if I did cheat on a test that I am unprepared for there would be a much higher chance of me getting a better grade. This makes me, under the category of ethics, a deontologist. Expounding on this idea, as a believer of justice I believe that the right thing is achieving justice. For example, if a good friend of mine had murdered someone then I would report them Even though I am betraying my friend, I am still doing the right thing by turning them in. Another reason for always doing the right thing, though rather insignificant when compared to the previous reasons, is that even if the consequences of my actions are not good even if I did the right things then I do not have a sense of guilt or blame. By always striving to do the right things I leave my conscious clear and my heart light.
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