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On Attributing Quotes, Knowing People, Etc.

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Posted by Paul R. Martin on March 25, 2002 18:42:13 UTC

Hi Mike,

Concerning Santayana: Sorry if I wasn't clear, but all of the qoutes in my post were mine and none was Santayana's. I wrote what I did to my friend in response to the simple question raised in Santayana's essay about the origin of morality.

Concerning personalities: I am glad to know you and converse with you, Mike, even though I don't pretend to really know you at all. I think it is extremely difficult for an individual to know oneself. Multiply that difficulty by 10 to know another, and then again by another 10 at least if the only exposure is via a forum like this. I choose to respond to what I can make of the ideas written into these posts and I try to refrain from commenting on any ideas I might have about the personalities behind them.

Concerning slavery: My comments should be taken in the context of the high vantage point which allows us to see a 100,000 year time span. I agree that slavery still exists today, as does rampant hunger. But from the "high vantage point" these are mere transient details. And of course I would be ashamed to tell this to anyone who is really affected by slavery or hunger. I was simply considering ideas at the highest level of abstraction that I could and none of it should be taken as advice on how to make decisions in the here and now.

Concerning the New Testament: I think you gave a very good and meaningful summary with which I agree.

Concerning heros: Sagan and Edison do not make my list. (Another topic of discussion for another time.)

***I still see a germ of transcendent information in the story of Jesus of Nazareth***

So do I. I also see a germ of inspired transcendent information in "The Wizard of Oz", "Alice in Wonderland", "Flatland", Bach's and Beethoven's compositions, and many many more works conventionally attributed to mere humans.

Warm regards,

Paul

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