04 December 2007

It Seems We Simply Can't Avoid Speaking Nonsense

"The late and superficial conversion of the Baltic lands to Christianity, after the fourteenth century, coupled with the fact that persecution drove pagan faiths temporarily underground instead of eliminating them altogether, allowed the ancient nature-worship to prevail in forms inoffensive to the clergy, as in the guise of outdoor walks. Thus people used to attend Sunday service — before heading out for their Sonntagsspaziergang."

"Typical penalties, next to physical punishment, were what would be called “guilt trips” today. In contrast to Catholicism (where sins are forgiven in confession), Protestant salvation depends on grace. The faithful cannot rely on a ritual for exoneration; non-Catholic Christians steadily collect sins. "

"We can conjecture that Kant, studying the Principia, would occasionally step outside and look up. He was reading about celestial mechanics — and then he would see it. Stargazing put the work in context. Kant's subsequent publications reveal his exuberance about the stars and the laws they display; just as they reveal his grasp of the planetary dance and his recognition of Newton's achievement. There was definitely no better place than the countryside to learn this."

"For creatures, the cosmic phoenix is a problem. Humans are just feathers on its wings. Humans grow only to burn to ashes; they are not exempt from the cosmic law (1:318.17-18). As the pulsing cosmic vector governs everything, beats emerge on all orders of magnitude, from the Bangs of the phoenix to the flares of life to the jiggles of the elements."
Sunday walks in Prussia as nature worship? Protestants accumulating sins without relief? The cosmic phoenix banging to the jiggles of the elements?

One never knows what strange things one will find on the internet. But would you have believed that these bizarre passages are excerpted from the distinguished Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy? (You can find them here if you really must check.)

Who is editing that??


Mokawi said...

Well, I'm not that surprised, honestly. I've read some things on intentionality in Ancient Philosophy that stretch the definition of intentionality beyond what would be acceptable to me. Nothing too tragic, but you'd think the role of an encyclopedia article would be to give an account of philosophical debates rather than taking part of them.