Friday, April 27, 2007
Excerpt from Paradise Lost
What in me is dark
Illumin, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to men.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Excerpt from Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed
(M. FRIEDLÄNDER translation)
Book III, Chapter LI
My son, so long as you are engaged in studying the Mathematical Sciences and Logic, you belong to those who go round about the palace in search of the gate. Thus our Sages figuratively use the phrase: “Ben-zoma is still outside.” When you understand Physics, you have entered the hall; and when, after completing the study of Natural Philosophy, you master Metaphysics, you have entered the innermost court, and are with the king in the same palace. You have attained the degree of the wise men, who include men of different grades of perfection. There are some who direct all their mind toward the attainment of perfection in Metaphysics, devote themselves entirely to God, exclude from their thought every other thing, and employ all their intellectual faculties in the study of the Universe, in order to derive therefrom a proof for the existence of God, and to learn in every possible way how God rules all things; they form the class of those who have entered the palace, namely, the class of prophets.
Excerpt from Augustine's Confessions
Book V, Chapter II
On the Vanity of Those Who Wished to Escape the Omnipotent God.
They discourse many things truly concerning the creature; but Truth, Artificer of the creature, they seek not piously, and therefore find Him not; or if they find Him, knowing Him to be God, they glorify Him not as God, neither are thankful, but become vain in their imaginations, and profess themselves to be wise...
Monday, April 23, 2007
Skorokhod on determinism and chaos
A. Skorokhod is a big name in probability. The following is excerpted from one of his books:
1.1.1 Determinism and Chaos
In a deterministic world, randomness must be absent -- it is absolutely subject to laws that specify its state uniquely at each moment of time. This idea of the world (setting aside philosophical and theological considerations) existed among mathematicians and physicists in the 18th and 19th centuries (
In contrast to a deterministic world would be a chaotic world in which no relationships are present. The ancient Greeks had some notion of such a chaotic world. According to their conception, the existing world arose out of a primary chaos. Again, if we confine ourselves just to some group of objects, then we may regard this system to be completely chaotic if the things are entirely distinct. We are excluding the possibility of comparing the objects and ascertaining relationships among them (including even causal relationships). Both of these cases are similar: the selection of one (or several objects) from the collection yields no information. In the first case, we know right away that all of the objects are identical and in the second, the heterogeneity of the objects makes it impossible to draw any conclusions about the remaining ones. Observe that this is not the only way in which these two contrasting situations resemble one another. As might be expected, according to Hegel's laws of logic, these totally contrasting situations describe the exact same situation. If the objects in a chaotic system are impossible to compare, then one cannot distinguish between them so that instead of complete disorder, we have complete order.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Amazing but true!
...how a supposedly good god allows so much evil on his watch is only a rude question because it’s basically a philosophical dead end. Either god is capricious and allows evil for the hell of it or he doesn’t exist.
Either Amanda is willfully ignorant or she has exceeded her intellectual capacity.
Christian Turks fear more attacks
No surprise here. Islamic Turks are barbarians.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Natural Law in Cicero
True Law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one law, both eternal and unchangeable, will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler of all, God, for of this law he is the founder, judge, and lawgiver.
(De republica 3.33, as cited by Richard Horsley.)