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- Philosophers Vs Sophists
- Philosophers are people who are interested in knowledge and the truth. Sophists are individuals who are more interested in making their own point of view with the intent of convincing others and winning arguments. Therefore, their truth is subjective rather than objective. Based on the written articles and videos, Harris and Stewart are philosophers, while Kelly is a sophist.
- In the article “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore,” the author expresses that growing up as an African American, white Santa Claus can be unsettling and confusing. Harris adds that in order to prevent these feelings coming from nonwhite kids, Santa shouldn’t be white anymore but should be an animal instead of a human. She continues to say that a penguin is the appropriate choice since kids love penguins. She further states that kids won’t have a difficult time believing in “Penguin Claus.” Harris says “Since we created Santa, we can certainly change him however we’d like—and we have, many times over.” Therefore, Santa Claus shouldn’t be defined with color but should be an image that every race can look at the same way.
- In the video, Kelly responds that Santa is white and repeatedly says that Santa is real. She disagrees with Harris’s proposal of a penguin Santa and says “Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable, doesn’t mean it has to change.” Kelly’s discussion of this topic and presenting the “facts” shows a good demonstration of subjective truth. It seems that Kelly wants to make her point of view and assure others that what she is stating is the actual truth and have been the case for a very long time. However, this portrayed image of Santa that has been around for a long time is made up to the liking of white people. Therefore, based on her claims Kelly is a sophist. Harris responds that whiteness is a historical construct and that Santa is not even real. She expresses that there is nothing new about changing the facts when it comes to Santa. Looking at history and the roots along with the bigger issue behind this topic that has been around for a very long time, Harris is a philosopher.
- In Stewart’s video, he makes good points that address and acknowledge actual facts given by research and responds to one of Kelly’s guests. One of Kelly’s guests says “You can’t take facts and then try to change them to fit some sort of a political agenda or sensitivity agenda.” Stewart argues that Saint Nicholas is Greek and according to forensic scientists and their research, Saint Nicholas is not white. Hence, he continues to argue that it is her and white people that have changed the facts to make themselves feel comfortable. He further discusses that history is fixed and is presented that way where it is more appropriate and more comfortable to them. Thus, based on Stewart providing actual knowledge and research, he is a philosopher.
- Overall, Sophists show belief based on no knowledge, while philosophers show learning based on knowledge. Kelly and her guests talk about persuasion and the subjective truth. Harris and Stewart talk about the objective truth while providing history that is not fixed by others. Even though Harris does make her own point of view through her experience, she still remains factual and suggests an alternative or a solution to this issue for a world of diverse kids and people with unimaginative and limited views.
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