Today Isa Moino directed the morning meeting. Diego and Pablito shared with us that they won the debate tournament and we talked about the TEDxUFM that will take place this Saturday! Pablito, Diego and Franz are going to give one each. Isa showed us some optical illusion-related-very-cool-stuff.
During my individual time I re-read Euthyphro by Plato and looked for the answer to the question asked during our last session. “What definitions does Euthyphro provide to what is piety?” I personally read a different version than the one we used last class. It say basically the same, the main difference was that they didn’t have the same notation. Here I copy the answers (summarized) I found that Euthyphro gives to Mr.Plato:
1. Doing as I do, charging my father with murder.
2. Piety is what is dear to the gods, and impiety what is not dear to them.
3. What all the gods love is pious and what they all hate is impious.
4. Piety is a part of justice concerned with the care of the gods/ Piety is that part of justice which attends to the gods. (All the pious is just).
5. Piety is knowing how to please the gods in word and deed by prayers and sacrifices.
6. We give to the gods what is pleasing and dear to them.
During our dialogue, we had an argue with the premise number 4, because one side said that care and service is not the same. So that, caring for the gods would be one definition and giving service to the gods would be another. When you care about someone you give them service, and I think this is an explanation of something said before.
Before our dialogue I hadn’t noticed that Plato is talking about trade, where he mentions that if we give something to the gods we must get something back. Another thing that I learned during this dialogue is that Euthyphro’s last premise is the same as the second one he gave. So, in Alejo’s words “that is part of the beauty of the whole thing”. I agree, because in his first answer to what is piety, Euthyphro does not give an answer relating to the external forces, just relating to himself. But during the entire dialogue, he goes on arguing about what is pious to the gods, and everything related to them, not to him. So that is how he ends the dialogue with Socrates.
Another very cool thing is that the first question Plato asked Euthyphro is: WHAT are you doing? The second one is: WHY are you doing it? And then he finally asks: What is piety?
With his first answer it seemed like Euthyphro’s values came from within himself, but when he goes on he discovers that his values come from outside of him. This, we related in our dialogue to Kant’s essay on enlightenment and on Twain’s “Corn-Pone Opinions”. The relation between this and Kant is that nonage means being able to use thy own understanding without the guidance of another, that was what Euthyphro was doing, trying to get his values and understanding from the gods and not from him. Twain says that we get our opinions out of somebody else, which is the public opinion, which some call “the voice of god”. That is exactly what Euthyphro was doing, trying to discover the truth from an outer force, which are the gods, instead of looking for it inside himself. Bert asked this great question: “If we believe that there is an absolute truth, can we get out of nonage?” A universal truth being something that is true even if people don’t know that it exists. Can we all get to the same truth if we don’t get our understanding from one only part or persona? Can a universal truth come from within and can all of us achieve the same answer? Because if it is a universal truth, it shall be the same truth for everyone. Oh, complexity, oh philosophy, oh Shakespeare: “ay me”.
Bert asked if we thought that this reading (defining what is piety) still has value and importance today, and why? We all answered yes. Some of the answers that I got is that it will teach us how to approach a classical reading, like the bible, there is so much that we can take out of this kinds of books. If we define piety, we will understand more our society and how people think. Because even if Socrates didn’t share the same believes with Euthyphro, he was still very interested in what he had to say and in the way he thought and in the way in which he acted.
We also talked about values, and about a time when we start doing the right thing just because it is so inside ourselves and in our values that we don’t even have to choose what to do. We only have one option, which is the good thing to do. Here, I’ll be quoting Bert talking about unpunctuality and punctuality being a part of you: “It is not in the menu anymore because it has become a part of you”. We also discussed the topic “WHAT DO YOU OBEY”, because Euthyphro supposedly obeyed the gods, and that’s supposedly why he was acting in the way in which he actually was acting. So the question is, what do you obey? What do you follow? Why do you do every single thing that you do? Who is your master? Is it yourself? Is it society? Is it your family?… etc.
We had a debrief on this dialogue and I was feeling very ashamed because Isa asked why did we think that the beginning of this dialogue was kind of awkward and was not flowing like in other occasions? I answered that I noticed that a lot of people were not prepared to discuss this and that I felt awkward because I felt like I was the most prepared person for this dialogue in the circle and I didn’t want to show off. Bert said that people feeling bad for doing the right thing is going to sink our boat an ruin us completely. I felt very guilty because of that, I’m still thinking of other ways in which I could have approached the problem. I really liked something that Isa said, acknowledging that in the end everything went out fine: “It was great, we came with pretty good questions”. It stroked me that having questions is something great. I guess that the culture is finally evolving pretty well. YEEEEEEEYY! We also talked about how we’ve been lowering our standards. We can all notice this by people coming late, people not even coming, people not reading or not coming prepared for the dialogues, me no documenting the entire last week and some books, etc. I seriously think that the standards are within us, and we can ofer to help each other but in the end it is all our responsibility. Our standards and commitment to the program end up being something personal. We also discussed that we should have some written rubrics to the ones we’ll agree on, in order to have this so people can really do things right when it is their time to have the roster of the week. I really liked this debrief, it was very long and it took my time for documentation but it was really worth it. We had discussions, negative feedback, sharing, commentary, etc, ant I really think that everyone handle it well and it was amazing.
After lunch we had performing arts, where we were trying to sing some Christmas gospels. I think that it sounded fine, but we still need to work on getting the same notes. Then, we had greek in the terrance, since Moris is not with us anymore, Bert gave us some copies of a book that we’ll be using until the end of the year. The lessons are pretty easy to do and to learn, especially because we have mostly discussed this with Moris or it was mentioned in our Greek book before. On Wednesday we agreed on having a quiz on the first 4 lessons of these copies.
During my individual time, I worked for more than an hour trying to get my thank you letters printed. Because I had written them since last month, but action was never taken in order to print and deliver them. This really hurt because I know that I truly have a lot of readings and documentation in my plate, but I had compromised to write and deliver this thank you letters.
During programming class I went to Amable Sanchez office to give him the letter but he had just left, so I left it with the secretary. Then I just worked in Codecademy and time ran by because next thing I knew is that I was in the circle again, discussing chapter 4 of Taming the Infinite. Something cool that I didn’t really paid attention to before, is the fact that negative numbers and zero where accepted just because of business purposes: to illustrate debt. Economics is everywhere! Then, Kyle showed us the company where he works and which he created, how it works and how everything is managed. I wish I someday can understand all this programming language. One of the things that I found really cool is that Kyle uses github to record all the programs he writes and that he uses gliffy. I felt kindda cool for know what Gliffy is and for using it before. He mentioned other cool stuff like Amazon’s webservice which he uses to process programs for his company. And something AWESOME that I learned is that I can change my IP address in order to be able to use the Kindle Fire and other programs that are available for other country which is not mine. “Strong VPN” is one of the webpages in where I can choose which part of the world I want my IP address to be, in order to use the web with stupid country limitations. Another webpage that Bin Laden probably used was: “Top project: anonymity online”. KEWL! Here is a video including a lot of geek fun http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5ceaqtWhdnI
Many people were left out of the circle for the debrief for coming late. We talked a lot about Franz and Gabbi and about how can we help them to achieve what we have to and to raise up their standards. With both of them we need to take different action. I think that with Gabbi we really need to let her know that she truly can do this if she wants to, and with Franz is more a thing of commitment and responsibility. We decided that we will be going to talk to them personally, if we felt like it and to try to listen to them and to offer them help. I really miss these guys.