Friday, 31 January 2014

Fantasy In The Age Of Science

In "Fantasy in the Age of Science" IN Poul Anderson, Fantasy (New York, 1981), Anderson describes astrology as a "...superstition..." and a "...fraud..." (p. 280), but an astrologer friend has told me things that were true, as have a Tarot card reader and a spiritualist medium. I think that these phenomena require further research either to find out how they can tell the truth or at least to find out how they can seem to do so.

"Emotions seem to be functions of chemistry, the brain seems closely analogous to a computer, one entire school of psychology even denies that the word 'consciousness' has any meaning." (p. 282)

Emotions, even if functions of chemistry, are conscious events that it is helpful to understand. If the word 'consciousness' had no meaning, then we would not be conscious of the fact. I have been persuaded by John Searle's argument that brains are not analogous to computers. Computers, whether mechanically or electronically, manipulate symbols without knowledge of their meanings whereas brains generate consciousness which understands symbols and knows their meanings.

"Many [sensible people] will tell you, for instance, in considerable detail, that the Resurrection of Christ is better attested than most events we take to be historical." (p. 270)

Some of those people are doing what I used to do, rationalizing their indoctrination. My attempt to understand the origin of the Resurrection story is in "Evidence for the Resurrection" on my Religion and Philosophy blog.

I fully endorse Anderson's warning in this article that the causes of Naziism are unfortunately still with us.

2 comments:

  1. Hi, Paul!

    Here I fully agree with Anderson in dismissing astrology as superstitious fraud. And as a Catholic, I dismiss it as well as a SIN, a refusal to have hope and trust in God. And, of course you are aware of how I believe Our Lord's resurrection was literal, not merely metaphorical. Without the resurrection oif Christ, Christianity has no meaning, truth, or point. Which is exactly what St. Paul himself said.

    Sean

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    1. Hi, Paul!

      I forgot to add that there is enough evidence of "paranormal" phenomena like telepathy and telekinesis, etc., that I agree they should be studied seriously and soberly. The Rhine Institute comes to mind!

      Sean

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