Philosophy For Children: It’s A Strange Situation We’re Part Of!

Updated: Nov 17, 2019


It’s A Strange Situation We’re Part Of!

Have you ever thought that the ordinary is extraordinary? – That what you think to be normal is just crazy? If not, I want to show you that what you might think is normal is just plain bizarre!

When you are next in a car, train or bus, take a look out of the window. Depending on where you are you might see buildings, trees, people and, perhaps, other cars, trains or buses. This is quite normal.

Now take another look and try to imagine that nothing is normal. It is quite a weird experience! To help, think about these questions:

Isn’t it strange that there are “things” that grow up out of the earth that we call trees? – Stuff that just grows up out of other stuff.

Isn’t it strange that human beings are the only animals that wear clothes? – No other animals do after all. We think that this is normal because we do it but if you remember that no other creatures do, then we are actually the sole exception (which is strange).

Isn’t it strange that the cells in our bodies know what to do (and what to become) when we are growing inside our mothers? – Some become eyes, others become ears, and others become skin and bone and so on?

Perhaps the strangest questions of all are these:

Why is the universe like it is instead of being different to how it is? Why does it have things in it that come up out of the earth and grow leaves? Why does it have things in it that speak to each other, make clothes, get sad, have fun and bake cakes?

Remember, trees, human beings and what they do are part of the same universe that contains the Sun, the solar system and countless other stars and galaxies.

We are not separate from the universe – we, like everything else, are just stuff that exists in it. And why does any of it exist in the way that it does, or at all?

I hope you will never look out of the car, train or bus window again without thinking that it is just plain weird that you are in a car, train or bus at all! Think about it. Once you have thought about it, you have discovered the beginnings of philosophy.

When I was young, some of my school teachers told me that these things are not worth thinking about. Although it can be difficult to disbelieve your teachers, do not let them convince you that what is ordinary in one sense is not extraordinary in another.

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