I am wondering if it is worth my time continuing to read philosophy. I have read quite widely in the hope of "broadening my mind", but lately I have noticed that while reading new material, I seize with pleasure on the points that confirm what I already believe--I am a practicing Roman Catholic--and sideline those I disagree with. I assume it would be the same, if I were a Marxist, Buddhist, agnostic, or nihilist, reading principally in search of what confirms my beliefs. I can see the point of reading philosophy, if you don't already have beliefs or opinions or simply need to produce an academic essay, but why bother when you know what you know? Have you had a different experience?

If you want to participate in the philosophy game, even passively, you have to pretend you have an open mind. Most philosophers don't, of course, but they do their best to pretend. And I have to say that the value system of the community (even among academics!) does seem to apportion the highest degree of respect and admiration to those who give the best appearance of having an open mind.

From a philosophical point of view, your complacent attitude toward your own observations about yourself ("lately I have noticed" etc. -- without the slightest twinge of any critical impulse toward yourself) puts you outside the pale. If you really think it's just too much trouble to change that comfortable attitude, you should give up any interest in philosophy. It is not worth your time, or anyone else's.

But before you settle into your comfortable ignorance, you should perhaps review, once again -- with care and attention, though -- the earliest Socratic dialogues, including especially the Apology of Socrates. He was the original critical intellectual, the inspiration for Voltaire and Diderot and all who followed. You reject their -- our -- attempts to replace traditional lore with better knowledge. If you're unwilling to consider even the possibility you might be wrong, you can't be helped. You're going into philosophy with the conviction it's a waste of time before you even start. What would be the point?

Read another response by André Carus
Read another response about Philosophy