Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Dashed Off

It's been a while since I've done one of these 'dashed off' posts. I'm a very profligate note-taker; I'm constantly writing notes to myself in one form or another. Here is a small semi-random selection of some things I've noted down recently. Some may be wrong, some right, some are simply statements of positions I'm considering arguments for and against; some are passing thoughts I've had that I felt at the time I should note down for further thought or examination, some just idle thoughts while doing something else And yes, some of them are simply obscure.

--the impulse to good actions felt by the one who reads Scripture as a motive of credibility re its divine nature

photovoltaic farms with compressed air storage

Mathematicians don't just want theorems; they want natural, useful theorems.

The government doesn't have the right to stop you from doing some things because the responsibility for stopping yourself from doing those things lies wholly with you.

New evidence does not merely affect the likelihood of the hypothesis; it can affect the interpretation of the old evidence, too. (E.g., things once viewd as evidence for h can come to be seen as irrelevant to h.)

We do not conceive worlds with ease; indeed, we do not conceive worlds at all, but only fragments of worlds, supposing these worlds like our own (of which we have no adequate conception) except for fragmentary differences at which we vaguely gesture; thus we are in no position to evaluate these worlds overall except to the extent, and on the same basis, that we are able to do so for the actual world.

It is easier to distinguish wrong-ish and right-ish than wrong and right.

Nothing so practical as virtue.

When people affirm the importance of Reason, the danger is always that they are affirming that their reason, as it is, is more important than another's reason.

The Petrine authority is the authority to strengthen God's people and to exercise compassion on them by ecumenical council. (Abu Qurrah)

Much that is called love is not love but an egoism of two.

The transfigured receives glory by investment rather than by fusion.

To participate x is to be drawn into act by the act of x.

The joy of the Spirit manifests itself in the harmonious gestures of the children of God as they play and dance together. (cf. Jerome, Comm. in Zach. 2.8)

--on the character of non-sacramental commemoration of the Lord's Supper

God is such overwhelming good that no possible world in which He exists can be, on balance, evil; because no amount of evil can overbalance, on any reasonable standard of comparison, inexhaustible and superabundant good.

electromagnetic vs. electrodynamic suspension (EMS levs @ standstill, but requires a great deal of electronic monitroing; EDS less monitring, but need to build to 'take off' speed.)

Seeking some importuous heaven
the inane thought of an insane mind
eleme philosophies

In law we take up the cause of the human.

Only light can be a principle of union.

the word of truth "bearing fruit and growing" Col 1:6, 10, 19

The right to stable possession of property is rooted in the foresight of prudence.

If we take seriously the truth that every logical notation keeps track of 3 things (rule out, put in, unknown), then it seems that every system that allows contradiction explosion uses only infinite expressions (in abbreviated form, of course).
-> It's also the reason why it becomes difficult to diagram very complicated expressions, because the diagrams have to convey all 3 things for every term-combination, & it is difficult to find diagrammatical forms that both allow sufficient abbreviation and remain useful on a large scale.
-> The rules of addition & of weakening simply make explicit parts of the expression that were previously implicit in the unlimited domain.

"All these modes of the transfinite have existed from eternity as ideas in the Divine intellect." Cantor

Domains of discourse are not sets; there is no set of all sets, but we can have all sets in our domains (We are talking Cantorian sets here): for instance, i can say, "No set is the set of all sets," which quantifies over all sets.

the sublime experienced vs. the exaltation in the experience of the sublime

The testimony of the Spirit is a "light so irradiating the mind as to affect it gently, and display to it the inner relations of the truth that had hitherto been concealed" Kuyper (Enc. Sacr. Theo. 557).
-> this causes a struggle between our "deepest life-consciousness" and the consciousness of the world to which we formerly were subject; in this struggle we see ourselves and the world in [light of] Scripture. The veil is slowly pushed aside& we begin to recognize the imposing authority of Scripture, as a man born blind might slowly begin to see color, and to delight in it.

An opinion is probable to the extent that it can gain the assent of the prudent by intrinsic or extrinsic argument. (The most common & important case of extrinsic argument here is the authority of other prudent people.)

Probabilism makes an immense amount of sense when the following obtain:
(1) the less safe option is not certainly contrary to natural law or Church teaching
(2) the conscience of the doer is not violated by it
(3) if public it is not likely to create scandal and stumblingblocks to those with weaker consciences
(4) to the best one can determine one is motivated by love of God and neighbor.
It is primarily when these conditions fail or are uncertain that the matter becomes less clear, & probabilism more doubtful.

--Leibniz on barbarism in physics

We should not think of A E I O as kinds of proposition so much as formats. They are enunciations of the enunciable.

the sin of censoriousness: treating prudential counsels as dictates of natural law
(one of the problems of tutiorism is that it encourages censoriousnss as laxism encourages licentiousness)

Every icon is an icon of Christ, and therefore of the Trinity; icons of saints represent the fact that Christ is in His saints and the saints in Christ.

It is in the nature of poetry accidentally to say something profound in saying something obvious: the profound in the obvious.

these secularist-ridden, superstitious, dark times

The best thing to do with a formal system is to push it until it breaks. How else can one determine the specifications for its proper use?

ubi dubium libertas

logic as an aid to translation

Doubt is a debt to be settled.

poetic meditation: "emotion recollected in tranquillity" (Wordsworth)

history as an act of social bonding

"Philosophy is not produced by those who spend their efforts on verbal skirmishes and contests." St. Isidore of Pelusium Ep. 220

Each musical instrument has its own sophia or wisdom.

Distrust of prudent and the presumption of being prudent oneself are the two things that most distort our moral judgments.

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