At Ease with Contradictions

At Ease with Contradictions

David Hume was completely at ease with contradictions. This way he could avoid getting into extremities. 

He used to contradict himself by providing a counter-argument against his own statements. This way, no matter how contradictory it sounded, it provided an insight into life, which itself does not follow a linear, logical path.

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David Hume: Both Sides of the Coin

The philosophy of the Scottish philosopher David Hume wasn't just about being disagreeable. He was skeptical and doubtful on authority, and on himself too.

He could highlight flaws on both sides of the argument, his side and the opponent's side. His balanced and practical intellect made him a rare historical figure.

The Limits of Reason and Logic

David Hume understood that the various beliefs and ideologies that sound reasonable and logical on the surface, are in fact irrational and emotionally driven deep down. 

This way he could argue about or doubt practically any belief or thought process.

The Unbiased and Unselfish Spectator

David Hume argued that we can't always be selfish and self-centered as we are ultimately unable to live without other people.

If we do wrong to someone, the unbiased spectator in us (conscience), will see that, providing us feelings of guilt, or remorse.

A Living Philosophy

Normally, philosophy teaches us new ways of thinking but rarely does it provide us with ways to live.

A true human is he who doubts yet is man enough to admit his mistakes.

A living philosophy sees the world as it is, without any color of belief or ideology.

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RELATED IDEAS

Reason Is Subject To Passion

Humans, by nature, are rationally weak but passionately motivated. Emotions are always stronger and drive action, and reasoning is often used as an excuse for inaction.

Neuroscience is now revisiting emotions as drivers of action, reducing them to mere tools. The complexity of emotions, especially the mixed variety, runs deeper than just being catalysts for action.

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IDEAS

There are limitations to what the human mind can understand. The mysteries of the Universe and our conscious experience are too complex to be restricted to words and formulas. 

We mostly operate on faith and habit in ways that aren’t obvious. 

Relativism

Relativism is the idea that views are relative to the perspective. This idea can be applied to morality or truth, where some argue that there are no moral facts or absolute truths.

Cultural relativism is the idea that the morality of two different cultures cannot be compared.

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