1.      What is philosophy?

To me Philosophy is and always has been the study of thought, thinking about thinking. There are lots of different ways to do this which are the categorical divisions given to philosophy, but the main point of philosophy is to consider all things, including thinking about how we consider things, and to try to understand them. In my life philosophy has always been important, I can not say when I was first introduced to external philosophy, but I had already begun my own. My world was confusing; I have Asperger’s, my parents were junkies, and we went to church on Sundays, I even attended Sunday school on Wednesdays and Sundays for a few years but that was just for the time without kids that it provided. So very young, before school, I was already attempting to define, understand, and explain the world around me.

2.      Of what value is philosophy? 

The value of Philosophy comes from the greater and deeper understandings that can be gained. The world is full of simple facts that are easy to see and even ignore but the greater things in life, the real questions of import, worth, value, obligation, and morality (to name but a small few), these things are hard to ignore. Philosophy is a tool of thought used to develop greater understanding of a subject (a thing, action, a choice that needs making such as whether to make 2 or even 4 years of college free to all because not having a degree puts one at serious disadvantage). Philosophy provides logical safeguards to help flush out false ideas and to allow people to gain greater insights into all things/ any thing. Most people shy away from big deep questions: ex: it is easier for people to simply accept that there is a god because their parents told them so than to risk diminishing their parents value by considering if there is a god at all. However, I have always considered that truth is preferable to a lie no matter what that entails and without philosophy I could never have found my way out of the falsehoods (born in 1973 in Chicago, raised by junkies, all the while with undiagnosed Asperger’s) of my youth and see a better way was possible.

3.      How is philosophy different from science?

Science deals with facts, it does not contemplate a world where gravity exists away from large masses but instead considers how to bring gravity to such a place. Science is the tool used to divide and label all things into little understandable boxes so that all can see. Science is the tool used to experiment with knows factors and discover new outcomes. Science defines the universe. If the universe is just a story than science is the dictionary.

Philosophy is a mental exercise that allows one to consider intangible things such as morality, honor, good versus evil, even deity. It is a tool used to attempt to understand things based on mental exploration and discourse. It is the safeguard we apply to science to try and not create a blackhole one of our science labs.

4.      How is philosophy different from religion?

Religion is a system of beliefs, based on no tangible facts, that attempts to explain the universe and life as a part of some sort of master plan, usually to test us and see if we deserve to be punished or not… Philosophy does not claim to know the answers it only searches for them (and since the church already provided the answers it must also the heretical).

5.      Explain what an argument is. 

An argument is better understood in the current culture as debate. An argument is not a fight or yelling, it is the presentation of facts (in a logical progression where possible) that one gives to support their conclusion/ belief/ idea. A good argument has supporting ideas on both sides that seem valid, and those arguing get to try and find the fallacies in the others presentation or to show how their conclusion is not in alignment with their “facts” while attempting to prove their point, again, with only words (ideas, thoughts, concepts, etc).

6.      Explain what a fallacy is and give an example of an "informal" fallacy.

A fallacy is a lie, an untruth, a misrepresentation whether given purposefully or in ignorance. An example would be to argue that the earth was originally a part of a larger planet (Tiamat) and was sheared away during a cosmic collision with Marduk-Nibiru (Planet X), this is provable because the asteroid belt (the only other remaining bits of Tiamat) is made of the same minerals as the earth.