If you have a line, and it goes on forever, and you choose a random point on that line, is that point the center of that line? And if you picked a new point, would that become the center of the line (since to either side of the point is infinity, and infinity is congruent to infinity)? Also if the universe has no middle and no end, am I, and everyone, at the center of the universe? (Of course the middle of the universe thing only works if you believe the universe has no middle and no end.)
I am interested in how scholars in different disciplines make sense of their work and the place of that work in their lives. For philosophy I read Falling in Love With Wisdom: American Philosophers Talk About Their Calling (Karnos & Shoemaker, 1993). Can you point me in the direction of other such pieces by philosophers?
Suppose that I'm working on a medical treatment for a project with no known cure or even treatment. My subjects report that they feel much better after receiving the treatment, but subsequent study shows that the treatment is, in fact, ineffective and all that I'm seeing is the placebo effect. Can I ethically tell them the truth and thereby make them feel worse subjectively? Would that violate the "do no harm" principle of medical ethics?
It seems to me that one of the things that philosophy does, at least for me, a beginner, is to expose mysteries where I thought there were none. Do any of you feel the same way, do you like that chill up your spine when you realize what you thought was self-evident might not be? Is the feeling that you have solved the problem more exciting than the feeling of wonder?
I believe in allowing other people to live out their respective journeys in life - this requires a lot of tolerance sometimes. How does one reconcile respecting another person's journey with the great harm the person can do in the community by their actions?
A right-wing zealot with his/her black-and-white world view versus a left-wing person whose view on life comes with a much more complex color-shaded world view. It is the right winger, that threatens the community with his/her worship of free-market capitalism (which really isn't so free-market), their dependence on lying and twisting the facts to fit their narrow view of the world (they just do it a lot more than liberals), and imposing their heretic version of Christianity on the rest of us.
How does one respond ethically to counter the right-wing influence in this country yet respect this person's journey of self-discovery and their contribution (eventual perhaps?) to the community?