How to Respond Down the Rabbit Hole


How do we think unrestricted?

The first thing my students ask me is how to do you want me to respond? With a few sentences or more formal?

I want you to start thinking philosophically, which means you need to critically read the passage, make notes, fight with it, look for holes, and then logically offer your response with evidence to back it up --- and I need to see all that. You are always free to write it out or send me a video.

For starters, let's take a trip down the rabbit hole of Dualism. I'll give you a prompt to get your mind moving.

  • Premise 1: The world is an organized system.
  • Premise 2: Every organized system must have a creator.
  • Conclusion: The creator of the world is God.

Now, answer this as quickly as you can... is that conclusion right?

I surveyed five of my friends and 4 out of 5 said yes, that is a correct statement with the fifth friend saying it was a Logical Fallacy.

Here is where you start thinking philosophically. There should be a few things that popped into your mind while reading - write those down. The start of any philosophical thinking is thinking out loud.

Is the world an organized system? If it isn't then that it must an unorganized system, therefore does that mean it has no creator?

But, even if the world is an organized system and we concede it must have a creator, why is the creator automatically the Christian god? Besides, do you see how your mind automatically thought the Christian god was the "GOD" is the question? Does that mean your mind has a built-in bias towards western religion? If you didn't think of the Christian god, does that mean only I have a bias towards it? (further.... why does my autocorrect keep trying to capitalize on the word god????) Is God a noun? Could it be that Christians called their god, God, and that is why? Because Judaism and Islam do not call the Western god, God. PLUSSSS... if all things have a dualistic opposite, does that mean God has an opposite? If we consider Thomas Aquinas who said, all things have a purpose and opposite, then God, too, has a purpose. So what is God's purpose? If God is a creator then God's purpose is to create, so if God is not creating what is God doing? Do you see how the rabbit hole is getting deeper? (or, has your professor just had too much coffee?)

Now, the hard part, break it down question by question, step back, look it over, then look at yourself in the black mirror of your phone and realize you have gone mad. Accept it. Live with yourself.

Now the fun part!

This is where more coffee and philosophers come into play. You do not need to reinvent the wheel. Philosophers for thousands of years have been thinking and answering these questions. Your job is to read about them, think about their responses, and respond to them. Just because they are famous philosophers does not make them right. It just means they can think and write. Can you?

Thinking philosophically is talking out your MANY thoughts and disagreeing and agreeing with them, pulling in more ideas, looking for irrationality, searching for reason, and tossing it all around. TALK IT OUT.

So, yeah, a sentence or two won't cut it. Get on Amazon and order yourself a proper wrist wrap because you're about to carpel tunnel!

So, to get the mind going... discuss the following premise and conclusion.

  • Premise 1: Everything has an 'equal' powerful opposite.
  • Premise 2: The Christian deity, God, has power over Satan.
  • Conclusion: Therefore, Satan is not God's opposite. 

(hmmm... so what is?)

Kelly Perez, Adjunct Professor