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I think I’m slightly odd. Also, I study Philosophy. You know what that means? That means that I spend a lot of time thinking about some slightly odd and philosophical things. Every so often, I make the mistake of saying these slightly odd and philosophical things out loud…to my professors.

This past week, I told my professor that if I could be anyone in the world, I would be an otter. (I later realized that this was shortsighted. I just think that otters are unreasonably cute. Also, they don’t have homework or exams.) She didn’t know how to respond to that. You see, slightly odd and philosophical thoughts don’t always land well when you’re outside of the philosophy department. So here are some out-of-context bizarre things that I have actually said to my professors.

But first, look how cute this otter is!

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“I am thoroughly convinced that humans are not actually human.”

There’s a theory floating around that we’re no more than the sum of our cells and the electrical connections between our neurons. This gets super philosophical, hence the bizarre conclusion that I came to, but my train of thought actually makes a lot of sense. If humans are no more than cells and electrical connections, what’s to differentiate being human from being an animal or a plant? The only logical conclusion then, would be that humans, animals, and plants are all the same, and that there’s nothing special about humans. I was thrust into sadness and despair. My professor helped me out of it, though.

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“I’m worried that all objects will just start floating in the air.”

I was in the library writing this paper about the truthfulness of science. I said that if science wasn’t real – and I have no idea how I even began this train of thought – then I couldn’t trust that gravity existed. Cue two paragraphs of paranoia about my apartment floating away and a fearful email to my professor.

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“I should just buy a car that explodes with environmental unfriendliness.”

Applied Ethics, my friends, will get you to some interesting conclusions. This particular one was about whether or not people should be environmentally friendly. The general idea is that if I were to drive a gas-guzzling car, it wouldn’t add enough carbon to cause climate change, and if I were to drive an eco-friendly car, it wouldn’t be enough to delay climate change. If my individual actions don’t matter in the grand scheme of climate change, then why shouldn’t I pollute whenever I feel like it?

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“Maybe we’re in a dollhouse that some other creature plays around with.”

Freaky to think about, isn’t it? This came from a thought experiment about a brain-in-a-vat. Consider this: maybe we’re just a brain in a vat and some scientist is stimulating the correct parts of our brain so that we think we’re human BUT WE’RE ACTUALLY NOT. WE’RE JUST A BRAIN IN A VAT. SCARIEST PHILOSOPHY CLASS EVER. It still scares me to think about it.

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So there you have it, friends. My brain on philosophy.

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What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever said in class?


Featured Image courtesy of CollegeDegrees360 via Flickr (CC-BY-SA-2.0).