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Posts Tagged ‘Descartes’


Posted by spritzophrenia on July 16, 2010

Like interesting quotes? Here’s a random selection from my latest pile from the library:

[In] the novel Mindscan, in the future we will become immortal by first scanning our brains. … To ensure the mental health of the people undergoing mind transfer, Mindscan scientists find that these artificial brains must be pre-installed in robotic bodies before the person wakes up.

Clifford Pickover A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality: Extraordinary people, alien brains and Quantum Resurrection (Thunders Mouth Press, 2007) p94


The presumption of atheism which I want to discuss is not a form of presumptuousness. Indeed, it might be regarded as an expression of the very opposite, a modest teachability.

Anthony Flew The Presumption of Atheism (Elek/Pemberton, 1976) p13

If we take the concept of embodiment seriously, then there cannot be any mental concept without its physical expression.

Anne Forest God in the Machine: What Robots Teach us about humanity and God (Plume, 2004) [She talks about a concept of embodiment I’d already thought of. Exciting!] P 105

The important thing to note is that all appeals to an infinite number of different universes as an escape from the conclusion of a divinely designed universe are forms of the gambler’s fallacy.

Hugh Ross The Creator and the Cosmos (Navpress, 3rd ed, 2001) [Um… ok? Astronomer, not a young earth creationist.]

I think evolution is true. The process, as I reflect on it, is an expression of God’s creativity, although in a way that is not captured by the scientific view of the world. … Science provides a partial set of insights that, though powerful, don’t answer all the questions.

Karl Giberson Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution (HarperOne, 2008) [Former fundamentalist young-earth creationist tells his story.] p216

“The Spirit (God himself in his relationship to the world) also works in the creation and preservation of the world. Man is not forsaken by God. Otherwise he would live in a complete hell. … People create somewhat sanctified [social] structures, and those structures force people to conduct themselves in a somewhat sanctified manner. … Tying in with … that work, the Spirit works through sanctified people as instruments of love.”

Hendrikus Berkhof Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Study of the Faith (Revised ed.) (Eerdmans, 1986) p 512 [Theology text which has some useful notes on my thinking around experience and g0d for an article I‘m working on.]

Everything I see – the water, the log-wrecked beach, the farm on the hill, the bluff, the white church in the trees – looks overly distinct and shining. (What is the relationship of color to this sun, of sun to anything else?) It all looks staged.

Annie Dillard Holy The Firm (Perennial, 1977) [Pulizter Prize Winner] p49

Leave all these things alone: silence or speech, fasting or eating, solitude or company, and the like, and don’t bother about them; you don’t know what they mean, and it’s not worth your while trying to find out. … This grace will certainly never come to us through keeping strict silence [etc] … If we are to have this grace it has to come from within, from God…

From A Much Needed Letter on Moderation In Spiritual Impulses in Charles Crawford (trans) The Cell of Self-Knowledge: Early English Mystical Treatises (Crossroad, 1981)

The theoretical distinction between substances and modes is between those things that can exist on their own and don’t depend on anything else for their existence (substances), and those that cannot exist on their own and depend on substances for their existence (modes).

Cardinal, Hayward, Jones The Meditations [of] Rene Descartes (Hodder Murray, 2006) p67 [Well-done philosophy text to accompany D’s famous work.]

Magic seeks different satisfactions from science. It is best seen as a highly developed gesture language, not depending on hypotheses or evidence, or seeking causal explanations as does science. So there is no progress in magic as there is in science.

Heaton, Groves Understanding Wittgenstein (Ikon, 2005) p 124

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