What school of thought do you identify most with, and why?
I'm just beginning to look at philosophy, and find humanism attractive (AC Grayling' s work especially). Please post your favorite/most convincing "ism" (for example, but not limited to, determinism, humanism, nihilism, objectivism) and a bit on what led you there. I'm focusing primarily on systems of ethics, sources of meaning and free will. Feel free to post about how these systems impact your political views as well.
Thanks in advance :)

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Before I adopted any of the "isms" I hold dear, I was a critical thinker concerned with morality. I'd say: skepticism (more broadly, a rationalist, naturalist worldview) and secular humanism. I was a Catholic Humanist before I even knew what humanism meant...throughout my childhood, I kept trying to bend Catholicism to fit into a humanist mold. 

Sorry about the ambiguity, I meant those as examples of what I meant as an "ism." 

I definitely agree that labels can be confining. Anyone who accepts one should keep challenging it with new information, avoiding complacency. Lol it reminds me of my family and their political beliefs- they will vote for any republican without even looking up his/her ideas, and when I ask them their ideas on a problem, they either say "the republican view" or admit apathy.

That being said, "isms" can be conversation- starters about the ideas within them, and a good reference (not absolute) as to what a person's belief system is.

I'm curious about how people on a free-thinking blog approach labels, and more than anything about what schools of thought are out there.

I'm curious about how people on a free-thinking blog approach labels, and more than anything about what schools of thought are out there.

I like lables. I like to group and classify. I like to look at things from a macro perspective, so I find generalisations about populations useful. I'm comfortable using the shorthand of 'labling' and acknowledging that lables have limits. I can see all the beautiful individual trees and acknowledge that they're part of one forest.

I think that trying to avoid a lable in order to assert the one, two, or seven things about you that don't completely align with the stereotypical or fundamental definition of a lable is egotistical and hyper-individualistic. Most people understand that many lables can have flexible boundaries yet still be cohesive enough to have meaning. Lables are valueable to me when they represent things that share significant commonalities, not just when they identify a set of identical data.

You can lable all perfect spheres as round and still describe other things that deviate from perfect roundness as round. Why squabble over the fact that you're more of a "roundish" person than a "round" person. Now, if we're dealing with something that is more oblong than round, calling it round loses it's value. You can say it's rounded, but it's more informative to call it oblong.

So if that example made you want to kill yourself, I apologize. What I'm trying to get at is this: if you only share 70% of the values/characteristics of a group, adding an asterisk to your lable makes sense. But don't be like, 'man, I'm too individual to fit into that group.' If you share 50% of the values, maybe you should hypenate the label. If you only share 30%, why the hell are you calling yourself a "roundist"?

I am not sure if Discordianism counts...

When I was young, I concluded that destiny is a lie. There is no higher purpose to existence. We simply are.Within this worldview, our individual histories are the collective outcomes of the decisions each of us make in response to the outcomes of random events and the outcomes of others decisions..

   As a teen I discovered this philosophy is called existentialism.

  I also describe my self as agnostic. Not in the context of theism, which claims faith as knowledge of the unknowable, but in the sense that I have no compulsion to claim knowledge.where such knowledge does not exist.

So I am an agnostic existentialist.

I think am close to this more than any other.

Since I don't know what is meant by talk of gods, am a naturalist.


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