What is a "real" problem+

Can philosophers help resolve the real problems that people have in their lives?

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Arising_uk
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Re: What is a "real" problem+

Post by Arising_uk » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:08 pm

A_Seagull wrote:Yes, I imagine most people would think that starvation was a problem.
So I guess that if you don;t think starving is a problem then it isn't? Makes a kind of sense I suppose but were you making a stronger point that problems can be thought away as I don't think you can think starvation away and it is, as you say, a problem.

artisticsolution
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Re: What is a "real" problem+

Post by artisticsolution » Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:26 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
A_Seagull wrote:Yes, I imagine most people would think that starvation was a problem.
So I guess that if you don;t think starving is a problem then it isn't? Makes a kind of sense I suppose but were you making a stronger point that problems can be thought away as I don't think you can think starvation away and it is, as you say, a problem.
Maybe it depends on what type of starvation? For example. the self imposed starvation, where there is food but one chooses to starve, might be a problem if one isn't trying to help others (I am thinking of Gandhi). If one is trying to make a point in order to help others...then is starvation really a problem or more a solution?

Now if the starvation is because there is not enough food, then there may not be a problem with the individual but instead with humanity?

Obvious Leo
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Re: What is a "real" problem+

Post by Obvious Leo » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:38 pm

artisticsolution wrote:Now if the starvation is because there is not enough food, then there may not be a problem with the individual but instead with humanity?
There is certainly starvation in our world but it is not for lack of food. A third of all the food grown in the world is chucked away uneaten, so often "real" problems are concealed within fake solutions which are not causally related to them. One can hardly pick up a newspaper these days without reading of some doomsayer predicting the end of the world as we know it because of starvation caused by overpopulation and yet we already produce enough food world-wide to feed an extra 2 billion people. The most populous nation in the world is a net exporter of food and not a net importer so starvation is not a function of resource availability but a function of resource management.

This observation is not intended to deny that population management must be a part of the geo-political discourse but rather to suggest that blatant untruths can sometimes be peddled in such a way that they can appear to contain a spurious logic which evaporates immediately under closer scrutiny. The climate change debate is riddled with such obfuscations where the facts are astonishingly self-evident and simple. The planet is getting warmer because we are pumping too much carbon dioxide into our atmosphere and that's all there is to it. All we need to do to fix the problem is to stop doing this.

Obesity in developed countries is another enormous problem with the most simple of solutions. People get fat because they eat too much. That's IT.

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A_Seagull
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Re: What is a "real" problem+

Post by A_Seagull » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:55 am

Arising_uk wrote:
A_Seagull wrote:Yes, I imagine most people would think that starvation was a problem.
So I guess that if you don;t think starving is a problem then it isn't? Makes a kind of sense I suppose but were you making a stronger point that problems can be thought away as I don't think you can think starvation away and it is, as you say, a problem.
No I wasn't meaning that you can 'think away' a problem.

What I was meaning is that a 'problem' for one person is not necessarily a problem for someone else. And you can't impose a problem upon someone else as it may not be a 'problem' for the other person.

Eg Problem of induction, problem of Theseus Ship, Problem of determinism, Gettier problem; these are problems for some people but not for others.
( I count myself among the latter.)

PS I am reminded of the story of a man who was told he had a drinking problem. He responded " I don't have a drinking problem. I drink, I get drunk, I fall over. No problem" !

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