Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Allegory of the Cave" Question #1

What is something that you now believe to be true that you had a difficult time accepting? Why did you have a hard time believing it in the first place? What justifications were used that helped you turn the corner? And now that you accept it, how would you properly justify it to someone else? Please use ToK language and develop your answers.

"Allegory of the Cave" Question #2

When considering "Allegory of the Cave," how is it possible that some people can beilieve in illusion and accept it as reality? Give examples.

"Allegory of the Cave" Question #3

What is an example of "knowledge" that you have struggled accepting in any of your academic courses? Why has it been difficult? What is it about YOU that possibly has influenced this?

Please discuss subject matter, not individual teachers or teaching styles.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

René Descartes

Ok guys, here's a question I've wanted to ask for a LONG time. The famous quote

"Cogito, ergo sum"- "I think, therefore I am"

or the alternate quote

"Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum"-"I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am"

So is this true. I think this topic came up in our lunch class today, are we all really in some sort of generated universe, is everything just one REALLY long dream? What exists? can a table exist, if it dosen't think?

For all my fellow bookworms...

So, as you all know we've been working with Plato's "Allegory of the Cave", trying to understand how it relates to knowledge and our search for truth.
This conversation brought to mind a book that I'd read that some of you may be interested in. The book is called Till We Have Faces and is a retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid by C.S. Lewis. Besides being a fascinating story it also contains some parallels with Plato's ''Allegory" regarding the way in which humans deal with being shown truth and the discomfort that sometimes accompanies acquisition of knowledge. I think the themes presented would lend themselves very well to a ToK discussion and fit in with what we've been learning about.
I've attached a link explaining some of the key themes/concepts of the book to the title of the post, the ones that would be most applicable are towards the bottom of the webpage. If you have time (I know it's a laughable concept in most of our lives...) please read it!
Let me know what you think...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Does God Exist?

I'm posting this in hopes of finding all the proper justification for one of the biggest questions, in my mind, that exists. I do ask that people don't argue and also respect eachothers opinions.

My goal for this post if for everyone to put everything on the table. Why they believe or even know God exists or why they believe or even know God doesn't exist. The "What do you believe" topic was a bit to broad for me and so I'm asking my fellow Theory of Knowledgians a more specific question that hopefully will raise many more.

I will start by saying that I do believe in a God. Perhaps not "The God" as described in the bible but rather a greater entity that created the universe. My reasons for this belief are faith, as I have always felt in a near impossible to describe way that there was something that I couldn't fathom that had to have created the very smallest fabric of space and time that makes up my eyes, ears, hair, pajamas, and keyboard that I type on, and that, while I believe evolution and even string theory, that there logically had to be something that created the strings.

Please respond to this post as I'm very agnostic and very unsure of many of my beliefs regarding religion and God. I'm not asking for someone to preach to me, I'm just curious what other's beliefs are and why they believe that way.

Also please be respectful in your comments as this is a delicate subject.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Open Minds

So reading everyone's posts on the blog has been interesting, and I know we're talking a lot about knowledge and what we know and learning more stuff to know and all that.  Something that comes up a lot, and comes up a lot in IB in general, is a concept of an open mind.  I have a quote that I try to adhere to, and I'd like to share it, and see what people think.

"It is important to have an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out."

Is there such a thing as too open-minded? Too close-minded? What's the difference between being close-minded and standing by what you believe in?  Draw the lines for me, guys....


Is the exclusion of developing countries from groups like G8 deterimental?

Many developing countries, which are in need of better economic support, are left out of major decisions and groups that could have very positive effects on their economy. They are left out because they do not have major production or consumption of products. Is this a fair or logical way for world economics to work?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Alrighty... lets fire up some discussion. IS freedom of choice really the right to hate?

OK... where to start?

Basically, i just went to youtube and typed the only thing i knew to - "Freedom of Speech is the Right to Hate", and clicked on the first video in the mix.

In short, it's a video response to an atheist concerning free speech.

In the video the man, (who, i thought really interstingly is MUSLIM) describes how even though people have "the right to engage in intellectual discourse, criticism and debate", they should still stay true to others' right to respect and dignity.

Wasn't that the main thing we talked about??

This creepy old man with a creepy little sign is protesting at an innocent young man's funeral, completely disrespecting the dead boy's parents and family. All for his own, creepy, old (yet still 'wise and authoritative') beliefs.

There's the other thing! He mentions authority later in his video description. Word for word:

"Who would win in a slandering fight between you and Rupert Murdoch? You both and the same 'freedoms' but he has more POWER than you (since he owns SKY channels and newspapers)."

Thats's it. Who determines whether this guy is just old and creepy, sick, and wrong for coming to this boy's funeral and undermining every last bit of importance he had in life, destroying the good memories of him with messages of hate, or whether he's an Authority, a vietnam war veteran who's seen more than any of us IB kids combined, who knows - and FEELS what's right for himself (and obviously others around him)? Who decides this?


It's his belief.

It's his choice.

I guess we have to give it to him, right?

But no matter what is decided, someone else has to come in and throw in their two cents. The majority of the comments were hate messages, not only to the man himself, but also to Islam, Middle Eastern Countries, and people of color in general!! It disgusted me... i had to leave 3 comments politely telling some people off. Oh well.

I just thought that this man, known as youtuber mujtahid2006, summed up everything we talked about in the last 3 days perfectly. Check out the video so you can see waht im talking about, the hate comments, and how right this man is on everything we talked about.

Go, my fellow IB students...



The PHS ToK web page

Greetings! Click on the title of this post to access the PHS ToK web page. This page will provide you with all kinds of information, including links to the ToK assignment calendar, assessment documents and rubrics, seminar information and other nifty stuff. You will want to bookmark the calendar page and check it often since journal topics, due dates and handouts for the class are posted here.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What do you believe now?

What is a belief that you hold dear and why? How do you justify this belief?

Feel free to challenge each others' justifications and discuss one another's beliefs.

What did you believe?

What is something that you thought to be true but later learned was not? (go beyond Santa Claus... link it to an AOK or personal experience)

What did you notice about yourself?

What is one epiphany you had when writing your Knower Biography or since when considering what you know about personal and proper justifications?

Monday, August 04, 2008

A new year, A few big changes

Welcome back to TOK and Poudre High School... TOK is changing and the blog is doing the same. Joining us this year is the talented Mr. Knight, teaching 7th period. Rumored to be a teacher once upon a time, he's back to give his wisdom. And since he is old, he has lots of it. In addition, this year's blog discussions will include the new TOK Seminar Students. This will make the blog a much more dynamic and important communication tool used by the PHS Diploma Students. So please... post, comment, discuss. Help us get it started... See you soon.