We invited students participating in Berkeley Connect in Spring 2016 to enter our Berkeley Connect Student Voice Contest and share with us a memorable experience they had in Berkeley Connect. The third of three winning entries was written by Myron Liu, who participated in Berkeley Connect in Philosophy.
My favorite Berkeley Connect moment was a discussion that began about philosophy, ethics and the worth of water. [My Berkeley Connect mentor] Eugene [Chislenko] had ignited the discussion by reading a thought-provoking article about the impending water crisis. Thoughts began to flow from everyone. It became a game of passing ideas back and forth like tennis rallies: a clash and union of opinions as the topics became more and more tangential from the original subject matter. Despite the myriad of ideas being passed around the discussion, I felt that it was highly productive.
The best moment was when the one of our students had brought up mortality. He said he would rather be remembered for being a good person than a rich and selfish one. There was a brief silence. Though it was clear not all of us felt the same, in that moment it felt as though our minds were contemplating our own inevitability and how that made us feel.
I felt this really captured the essence of why philosophy is important. If our world is not entirely deterministic, I think we are given the opportunity to dictate parts of our own lives through actively applying and thinking about philosophy.