Do you even know the history of Memorial Day? What does it mean to you–a day off, commemorating armed services, family gatherings? Perhaps it’s time that we delve into the philosophy of Memorial Day and related issues. On this Memorial Day episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri discuss a few philosophies that you can memorialize.

Topics discussed include the history of Memorial Day, second line videos, a photo of men barbecuing at a cemetery, whether it is possible to “care” versus “cared” about a person who has died, the nature and characteristics of memories, whether reality is a projection of our individual minds, whether we all see the same things–with mislabeled colors used to illustrate this point, consciousness, whether animals have a consciousness just like humans, what affection looks like, how it is difficult to describe what a feeling like love or hunger looks like, whether babies are taught to laugh and sense “goodness”, how people show love, the idea that the interpreter of an act determines the meaning of that act, and more!

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  • Discussions about greetings and salutations. They’re just customary, but people don’t really care about you saying “Good morning.”
  • Discussion about the history of Memorial Day.

    Memorial Day History
    Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

    The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

    The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.
    Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Discussion about people celebrating Memorial Day by having cookouts and honoring soldiers. But if the day is to commemorate fallen soldiers, why do people honor live ones?
  • Heit celebrated Memorial Day by watching second line videos.
  • cookout at the cemetary

  • Discussion about a photo Heit & Cheri saw of some men barbecuing at the cemetery. Nothing wrong with that…
  • Discussion about whether it is possible to “care” versus “cared” about a person who has died. Cheri thinking that it is possible to still “care” about a person in the present although they have passed away. Heit disagrees, and feels that the failure of something to exist determines whether you can care about it. Do you think you can care about a person in the present or is it that you “cared” about them in the past, but not presently?
  • Discussion about caring about a person’s legacy in the present, and that being caring about their legacy, rather than caring about them.
  • Discussion about it being the person’s “spirit” and essence that makes them them, rather than their body (shell).
  • Discussion about having individual realities.
  • Cheri makes the case that a person is “real” to you even after death because you are thinking of them.
  • Does a person who is not in your physical presence cease to exist?
  • Are your memories of the person the actual person? the dead person has no memories. You cannot have that same person if the memories are part of them and now they are gone.
  • Discussion about the idea that everything we see in the world is through our own interpretations.
  • Discussion about memories. When you access memories, the brain pulls them from different parts and puts all the pieces together, even filling in the blanks.
  • Discussion about how inaccurate your memories are.
  • It all comes down to the fundamental question of what is “real”? This is such a hard thing to define though.
  • Maybe reality is a projection of our individual minds.
  • Discussion about whether we all see the same things. Mislabeled colors are used to illustrate this point. Nevertheless, the relationships between the colors remain consistent–yet we may be seeing the world differently. We can extend this concept to other scenarios in the world.
  • Discussion about consciousness. What is everyone in the world is really in a coma, and dying is actually emerging from the coma. When you look at religious theories/believe, it is easy to see how people wonder about an afterlife. Further, somewhere along the line is went from “maybe that’s what’s happening” to “this IS what happens.”
  • Do animals have the same ability to see the world as humans do? Do they have a consciousness just like humans? It seems obvious that animals have at least basic consciousness and thoughts. If you’ve ever had a pet, you know this.
  • Animals are social, show affection etc.
  • What does affection look like? It depends on the species, culture, and individual.
  • How do animals interpret human actions? they interpret them through their own lens.
  • Discussion about how it is difficult to describe what a feeling like love or hunger looks like. Part of this is the ability to sense the emotions.
  • Who explained to children or animals how to sense whether someone is “good”?
  • Discussion about how children are socialized.
  • Do you teach a baby how to laugh? Of course not…
  • Discussion about the idea that creatures gravitate toward that which is pleasurable or feels good.
  • Discussion about how people show love. Different cultures and people show love in different ways. it is possible that lines of communication can be crossed as they show love to one another.If the person doesn’t recognize thos particular action as love, then it is not love to them–regardless of whether the love-giver is loving that person.
  • it is all based on whether the interpreter interprets the act.
  • Discussion about Heit using the word midget and political correctness. Even though he didn’t mean to be offensive, it could be offense to a little person (or someone else). This same principle apply to the race issue. Is a person who lived back in a time when Black people were commonly called “niggers” a racist simply because they used this word.

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