enjoying the foliage

Turtles all the way down…

Posted on: Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I was skirting work of real substance this afternoon by Googling Brit philosopher Colin McGinn (whose contribution to philosophy of mind will be the primary focus of my term paper due in two and half weeks or so) when I stumbled across this. I love PBS like I love my mother. Its documentaries are of fairly decent quality for productions made for public consumption, and most of them are available online like this one. I haven’t listened to or read all of the interviews, but basically, this doc features Bill Moyers talking to a number of luminaries (all writers of some description, I believe) like Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, and Colin McGinn about faith and reason. Like most intelligent people over the age of fifteen, I don’t think that faith and reason are mutually exclusive avenues toward belief. We all dig our heels in somewhere along the ideological terrain and decide that this is where we will make our stand and start constructing shelters for our loves, lives, and hopes. For the most part, I’d like to think that these homes are built of a mixture of various rational materials, but regardless, I think that the ground they stand on must be faith of a kind. We believe in humanity or in God or in Truth or something just that firm because it can’t just be turtles all the way down. We need to stand on something. Anyway, I like PBS docs for somewhat intellectual distraction. I’ll probably watch these while eating lunch or something for the next little while.

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3 Responses to "Turtles all the way down…"

I love PBS! I might watch this while folding laundry later : )

I just read through the Salman Rushdie transcript (my computer was being uncooperative about streaming video). I highly recommend it for a sense of the doc as a whole. He’s quite insightful and well-spoken, but maybe he touts freedom as a great thing in this unqualified way that I’m a little sceptical about. In any case, The Satanic Verses is a good if strange read.

I read this thing by Salman Salman. He talked about making people pay for water or else they’d waste it. Like how golf courses and water slides don’t waste water because they pay for it, and how people who rely on community sources such as rivers do, because they get it for free.

This is a good entry. It reminds me of how people are religious about not being religious and talk about how great science is without doing any experiments themselves. It also reminds me that there is such a multitude of beliefs out that that everyone else can’t possibly be an misinformed idiot.

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