Why do we believe what we believe?
I’ll be honest, I don’t always consider this question as much as I would like to. But Philosophy 118L with Gary Fuller never failed to get mind to work. This class, largely discussion based, was one of the most interesting classes that I have ever taken. It is relatively safe to say that everyone believes what they believe. But have we ever intentionally stopped to consider why we believe it? What factors into our thought processes? How do we know what is inherently right or inherently wrong? Are there any moral exceptions to what is typically considered “right”?
These are questions that, to be completely honest, I hadn’t really considered before beginning my journey at CMU. Coming from a small town, everyone does similar things and shares similar values. What is “right” has always seemed “right.” Philosophy challenged that for me. I found myself regularly analyzing a variety of moral problems – from abortion to capital punishment, torture to terrorism, affirmative action and more. Some of the conversations that we held in class led me to reconsider my stance on certain issues, while other conversations reinforced my beliefs. Being challenged in our beliefs, I firmly believe, is one of the best ways to truly discover ourselves. I think that PHL 118L has encouraged me, in a positive way, to challenge myself and others around me, to encourage contemplation and conversation, and to always remain open to hearing all the sides of a story.