Philosophy leads to ideas, and ideas are useful for practically anything.
i actually find philosophy generally boring and a half, and my own philosophy books most enjoyable as doorstoppers, but i'm not going to argue that it doesn't have a place in the great scheme of things.
Please! It was the Jesuits who gave us the word 'jesuitical', meaning the perversion of critical thinking.
And jesuitical perversion doesn't stop at thinking, as the Jesuits have just been forced to pay out one hundred and sixty six million US dollars to children they have raped in the north east of the United States.
Victor, try to apply some critical thinking. Not all Jesuits are child fuckers and not all Jesuit trained are Jesuits. 'Kay?
But what is philosophy if all it is can be contained within never ending arguments and tomes of waffle? Is this some strange form of religion and hence not necessarily needing to be relevant to have worth or is the point of philosophy to merely drone on contained within it's own realms unrelated to all it pretends to discover?
Perhaps ultimatley, philosophy is also nothing more than what people come to think of as true; everyone has an argument for 'their' system of ethics or metaphysics, thus all philosophical debates lead to is a clash of peoples independent truths?
Philosophy is the undergirding of all human activity even if it often seems detached from the practical. XKCD pointed out the other day that if you click on the first link in any article repeatedly (skipping italicized and words within parenthetical) you always end up at philosophy.
I think a neat analogy between philosophers and mankind is the relationship between business and the law. Many business people are not fond of lawyers and avoid them as much as possible thinking that they add very little practical value. But, the fact of the matter is that the entire capitalist system is based on property rights guaranteed by the law. If people cannot legally own property then they cannot leverage their property and create capital because lenders will not take the risk. Similarly philosophers are the seekers of truth (or they should be) people think that obscure philosophers have nothing to do with their lives, yet people are paralyzed from action if they do not know the truth or think they know the truth. This is obvious in people's hesitancy to make uninformed decisions.
As far as using philosophy with wit and skill goes... it's just really hard. I think there's two reason for this: 1. A lot of it (especially more modern writings) is much more convoluted and difficult than it needs to be 2. Philosophy is an area of specialized knowledge so even the clearest thinkers make use of a specialized vocabulary which enables them to be very precise in their writing. Thus, even if you can understand certain philosophical ideas being able to apply that understanding to discussions in layman's terms takes a great deal of wit and skill.
Take the weakest thing in you
And then beat the bastards with it
And always hold on when you get love
So you can let go when you give it
So you are suggesting that philosophy is the religion for the high IQ crowd?
If it claims to reveal truths and yet just ties pretty bows with complicated language and hidden meaning then yes why not? You have your saints and you're not supposed to question the foundation which in this case is nothing to do with challenging the theories, that's acceptable and encouraged, but rather challenging whether it's a complete waste of time and a circle jerk.
There's Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. Pure Mathematics is done for its own sake, while Applied Mathematics is useful.
There's Science and Technology. Science is done for its own sake, while Technology is useful.
And just like Pure Mathematics and Science, Philosophy is done for its own sake.
In the same way we are ends not means.
Pure mathematics leads to applied mathematics, science leads to technology. In both cases the pairing shows the research side and the applied side. Where is the applied side of philosophy? As far as I can tell it's in most decent decisions made but it's never attributed and as the theory is never taught to children then the application dies off too as shown by the myriad of management theories shown here in the UK and in other examples such as the design of series like "The Apprentice" where claims to being a decent selection process are not held up by the mistakes in conception. So what you say? Well real people take those kinds of examples and think they are gospel because they have authority figures attached to it and they lack critical thinking sufficient to disassemble it because the theories are never taught.