Kathy, I thought I would share with you a response from instructor:
That wasn't meant 'personally,' by the way. It's just that sometimes discussions start in the direction of 'confessions of faith,' which, really, have nothing to do with philosophy as such. Philosophy asks 'what is . . .' and seeks for answers based on a critique (first) of everyday opinions and received understanding. So to start out with a statement of belief is to head in the opposite direction from philosophy. That doesn't mean, by the way, that we think people's beliefs are 'false'; it's just that the focus here is not affirming opinions or beliefs, but looking more deeply into the 'nature of things,' whether it's the nature (or even existence) of the soul, the nature of virtue or ethics, the nature of the City or state, the 'nature of nature,' of matter, and of space and of time, etc. Now, everyone has more or less explicit beliefs about such topics -- but simply stating them isn't yet questioning, and therefore is not yet even at the 'beginning' of philosophy. Restating received ideas is not philosophy. Philosophy requires an initial uncertainty, not certainty. It can draw some inspiration from religious insights, but it is not religion, because, by definition, philosophy is not dependent upon revelation; it is not science, because it does not enter the laboratory, but engages in a dialogue with science concerning its most basic procedures and techniques, and the concepts that can be extracted for philosophical use from scientific notions (in short, it is also 'inspired' by science). It is not art, but it is led by the work of art to a more profound understanding of the nature of the contemporary world and the very 'meaning of existence' in all its dimensions. Thus, philosophy a) critiques everyday notions but then b) enters into dialogue with the great cultural fields to c) create concepts which establish an overview of the nature and direction of contemporary life. That is what philosophy is.
My response to that:
Blah Blah! as I enjoyed your point of view but I can understand the point based on the coarse, philosophy. : )
I just wanted to share it with you.
Thank you for everything!!