A few things about me. I am a spiritualist with a foundation in Wicca (Witchcraft), I am a bisexual woman currently married to the woman of my dreams. I am a writer and an artist. I enjoy Japanese culture, anime and manga, and my favorite author (whom I wish to emulate) is Stephen King.
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  1. I want to start with Aristotle, the same as my class did, and work backwards to Socrates. I agree with Aristotle's three key elements of philosophy, which are rhetoric (the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques), dialectic (the art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions), and logic (reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity). I also believe there are five elements, as he did. Those elements being aether (or spirit), Wind, Fire, Water, and Earth (I placed them in order of the most etherial to the most solid. I am not sure as to whether Aristotle did the same). I am also into metaphysics (the knowledge of immaterial beings of the highest degree of abstraction), as he was. I also agree with something he was quoted as saying. "Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slowly ripening fruit."

    As for Plato, Aristotle's teacher, I find him to be correct when he referred to three types of love: Love for parents, immediate family and children (known as storge - affectionate love), love for an intimate partner (known as erotas -intimate or passionate love), and love for one's fellow man (also known as agape - love in a spiritual sense). There is also a fourth type of love, Philia, which is a concept developed by Aristotle, meaning affectionate regard, or friendship including loyalty to friends, family and community. I would agree more with the concept of Philia were it narrowed down to loyalty to friends, because including family and community combines storge and agape. I do not agree with Plato that no one is voluntarily evil. I believe some are, and some are not. I do agree with what he said about democracy, that it is "a charming form of government full of the variety of granting equality to the rich and poor alike." At least I see it as how democracy should be.

    Socrates. I am an adherent of the Socratic Method which is a way of reasoning and logic to find deeper truth in life. I do like that Socrates had a higher view of women than his contemporaries. I like this, and agree with having such a view. Maybe this is because I myself am a woman, but maybe not. There isn't too much more that is known about Socrates, save that he wrote nothing, but was still known as one of the greatest philosophers of his time. He has been written about widely, but there are varying views on him even by his contemporaries.

    I will write more on my views of philosophy when I glean information of the philosophies I missed.
  2. I have been studying Philosophy in the classes I take at the Recovery Center here in Cincinnati. We went over Eastern philosophical systems as well as Western. The subjects covered were Taoism, Shintoism, and Buddhism as well as the philosophy of Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. The last thing covered (I missed that class) was Stoicism. Since I also missed the class on Taoism, I am taking the course again. Anyway, it is thought-provoking material.

    I agree with Buddhism about some things, such as the concept of reincarnation. I remember some of my own past lives, which has led me to this belief. I also believe in karma, which in Buddhism is defined as the force that produces samsara (the continuing cycle of suffering and rebirth and those actions result from the mental intent of good or bad deeds. The jury is out on mantras, which are meant to cut off negative karma during meditation. The reason for this is because the only mantra I have ever heard is the one chanted in the movie What's Love Got To Do With It, and I am not even sure it is an actual mantra. I also believe that a person would benefit from following Buddhism's Eight-Fold Path of right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

    As far as Shintoism goes, it is seen by the Japanese as a way of life, more than a philosophy or religion. They normally practice Shinto rites on happy occasions such as births, weddings, and festivals, and use the Buddhist rites for occasions such as funerals. I can get with the belief in taking off one's shoes when entering a building (I think this is mainly observed in homes and shrines) and the idea that death is a path to apotheosis.