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Cory Banta

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Philosophers should replace politicians as the primary decision makers of the world.

Aristotle is quoted with saying, "I have gained this from philosophy, that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law."

Politics in the practiced world seems to be a diagram of theoretical ideas that have been pragmatized and therefore has had its ideological corners cut off in order to suit the moderation of demands of the masses. Despite the fact that many politically involved people in the western hemisphere assign themselves to some sort political party that usually aligns with what is generally considered "progressive" or "conservative," in the long run it could be said that everyone is ultimately either an anarchist or fascist.

Political views originate from the deep recesses of the human psyche, and are subject to be filtered through by the conscious. Psychological evolution has made it so that the human psyche has mastered the art of eliminating guilt by justifying our actions. Here two distinctions can be made in how people go about justifying these actions: those who justify their acts through sympathy and emotion, and those who justify their acts through introspection and thought.

I would argue that the former is far more common. For example, we feel bad for unfair trade, we walk into Starbucks and buy Fair Trade coffee, our guilt is eliminated, AND we still get to be consumers. On the other hand, the person who feels guilt and thinks about it will lead themselves into questioning the very nature of existence and the origin of ethics, this person could be termed a philosopher.

Although most politicians are considered to be academically qualified in the western world, the majority of them are probably not what most people would call a philosopher. So, seeing that politics in the western hemisphere has been sensationalized and conveniently packaged for the non-philosophical, society would in theory benefit in some sort of intellectual trickle-down system whereas only philosophers were permitted to be politicians.

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    Jan 2 2012: I loved that talk. I don't know if philosophers should be in charge, or whether politics should simply be infused with philosophy. Philosophy is very ambiguous at times and even with issues like abortion the best they can do is give the argument for each side. Even if philosophy can't always give us the right answers, it sure gives us the right questions to consider.

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