1. SubscriberPianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    Seedy piano bar
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    23 Nov '13 12:12
    There was a young man who said, "God
    Must think it exceedingly odd
    If he finds that this tree
    Continues to be
    When there's no one about in the Quad."

    REPLY
    Dear Sir:
    Your astonishment's odd:
    I am always about in the Quad.
    And that's why the tree
    Will continue to be,
    Since observed by
    Yours faithfully,
    GOD.
  2. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    USA
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    14 Jul '07
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    43012
    04 Jan '14 06:594 edits
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    There was a young man who said, "God
    Must think it exceedingly odd
    If he finds that this tree
    Continues to be
    When there's no one about in the Quad."

    REPLY
    Dear Sir:
    Your astonishment's odd:
    I am always about in the Quad.
    And that's why the tree
    Will continue to be,
    Since observed by
    Yours faithfully,
    GOD.
    "The above limericks are comments upon the views of George Berkeley (1685-1753), aka Bishop Berkeley, a philosopher who espoused a theory he called “immaterialism”.

    George Berkeley: Berkeley's theory, which sounds like something out of The Matrix, argues that physical things do not really exist except as ideas, until they are perceived by the senses of people perceiving those physical things. His expression “to be is to be perceived” summed it up. Hence as you sit at your computer at your desk at home, you see the images on the screen, you feel the keyboard keys, you hear the sound of the keys and the sounds from the speakers. If you are at work, how do you know that the computer on your desk at home still exists? It exists in your mind and memory, but that does not equate to existence in fact. You believe it still exists but you don't know that it does. To validate existence of material objects we need to use our senses.

    Okay, I can dig that, I hear you say, the computer may have been destroyed in a fire and no longer exist. But Berkeley takes it further. He is not saying that existence is dependent on existence, he says that when not perceived, an object ceases existence. WTF??? He says that things keep going from existing to not existing and then existing again?? Well, yes, but he has a Catch 22 to cover that: things exist only when perceived, but there is a perceiver even when no people are there, namely the Infinite Perceiver, God, who perceives everything from an infinite perspective. Hence your lap top at home still exists when you go to work because it is observed by God.

    * What if you don't believe in God but accept Berkeley's hypothesis? Well, then you have a problem, a bit like the buttered cat paradox, see: http://bytesdaily.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/laws-and-principles-buttered-cat.html

    Berkeley's ideas were summed up by Ronald Knox (1888-1957) in the above spoof limericks. An English priest and theologian, Knox was also a writer and a regular broadcaster for BBC Radio. It has been suggested that the first limerick was by an undergraduate of Balliol College at Oxford and that the response was by Ronald Knox; more commonly it is thought that Knox wrote both." (Posted by BytesMaster) http://bytesdaily.blogspot.com/2013/03/god-in-quad-and-falling-trees.html

    ..............................................................

    “Hope is something that is demanded of us; it is not, then, a mere reasoned calculation of our chances. Nor is it merely the bubbling up of a sanguine temperament; if it is demanded of us, it lies not in the temperament but in the will... Hoping for what? For delivereance from persecution, for immunity from plague, pestilence, and famine...? No, for the grace of persevering in his Christian profession, and for the consequent achievement of a happy immortality. Strictly speaking, then, the highest exercise of hope, supernaturally speaking, is to hope for perseverance and for Heaven when it looks, when it feels, as if you were going to lose both one and the other.” -Ronald A. Knox

    “It is possible to argue that the true business of faith is not to produce emotional conviction in us, but to teach us to do without it.” -Ronald A. Knox, A Retreat for Lay People: Spiritual Guidance for Christian Living

    “You must believe, sooner or later, in a Mind which brought mind into existence out of matter, unless you are going to sit down before the hopeless metaphysical contradiction of saying that matter somehow managed to develop itself into mind.” -Ronald A. Knox, In Soft Garments: A Collection of Oxford Conferences

    “Can anything matter, unless there is Somebody who minds?” -Ronald A. Knox, In Soft Garments: A Collection of Oxford Conferences

    "When the Son of God came to earth, he came to turn our hearts away from earth, Godwards. And as the traveller, shading his eyes while he contemplates some long vista of scenery, searches about for a human figure that will give him the scale of those distant surroundings, so we, with dazzled eyes looking Godwards, identify and welcome one purely human figure close to his throne. One ship has rounded the headland, one destiny is achieved, one human perfection exists. And as we watch it, we see God clearer, see God greater, through this masterpiece of his dealings with mankind." -Ronald A. Knox

    Thanks, Pianoman1, for introducing me to Berkley and Knox. It's quite unfortunate that this thread went overlooked during the yearend holiday shuffle. There's something about the elegant wit and insightfulness of British Writers I find quite riveting and memorable. C. S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton, please slide over to make room for R. A. Knox. Best to you in 2014.
  3. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    04 Jan '14 07:231 edit
    Laws and Principles: Buttered Cat Paradox

    "The buttered cat paradox is a tongue-in-cheek combination of two adages:

    - cats always land on their feet; - buttered toast always lands buttered side down.

    The paradox arises when a piece of buttered toast is strapped to the back of a cat, buttered side up, and the cat is then dropped off a building at a great height.

    The question then is: which lands first, the toast, or the feet of the cat?

    There are two obvious answers: the cat lands on the toast or the cat lands on its feet.

    There has, however, been considerable debate and humorous conjecture about the possibility of the two opposing forces causing the cat to go into a faster and faster spin as the two forces act against each other.

    There is further conjecture that as the cat nears the ground it will end up hovering in a steady state.

    There is a detailed analysis of the paradox in the comments section, and an application to the principles of hovercraft, at:

    http://echochamber.me/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=30263

    For the practical application of the buttered cat paradox as an antigravity vortex (also known as a “gravitic warp&rdquo😉, see: :

    http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Murphy%27s_law_application_for_antigravitatory_cats

    A YouTube video on the paradox is at:

    YouTube&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ebibi%2Eorg%2Fbox%2Farchives%2F2007%2F02%2Fbuttered%5Fcat%5Fparadox%2Ehtml&feature=player_embedded

    According to that clip, “applied logically jellied (buttered) cats floating over white carpets can support hover monorail, thus solving problems with fuel shortages for mass transportations". I like the comment from one person in response: “I tried it, but my cat went totally flat when I put it under the train and it refuses to meow anymore.”

    * "What if you don't believe in God but accept Berkeley's hypothesis? Well, then you have a problem, a bit like the buttered cat paradox, see: http://bytesdaily.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/laws-and-principles-buttered-cat.html
  4. Standard membersonship
    the corrected one.
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    05 Jan '14 13:31
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    “You must believe, sooner or later, in a Mind which brought mind into existence out of matter, unless you are going to sit down before the hopeless metaphysical contradiction of saying that matter somehow managed to develop itself into mind.” -Ronald A. Knox, In Soft Garments: A Collection of Oxford Conferences


    I think something like that is the case.

    The Bible thumper's version -

    "He who planted the ear, does He not hear ?

    He who formed the eye, does He not see ?" (Psalm 94:9)
  5. Joined
    29 Dec '08
    Moves
    6788
    05 Jan '14 17:15
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    There was a young man who said, "God
    Must think it exceedingly odd
    If he finds that this tree
    Continues to be
    When there's no one about in the Quad."

    REPLY
    Dear Sir:
    Your astonishment's odd:
    I am always about in the Quad.
    And that's why the tree
    Will continue to be,
    Since observed by
    Yours faithfully,
    GOD.
    The equanimity of mind that is obtained by believing the tree exists when not observed by a human, only due to the existence of an tree Observer that is the Observer of All, is dissipated by contemplating that the Observer exists without being observed by any human. Existence of the tree Observer thus implies the existence of an Observer Observer, and so on.

    One can say the Observer observes its own existence. One can equally say the tree observes its own existence. Alan Watts would like that.
  6. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    USA
    Joined
    14 Jul '07
    Moves
    43012
    25 Jan '14 00:43
    "If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning:
    just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never
    know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning." -C. S. Lewis
  7. Standard membersonship
    the corrected one.
    Joined
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    8683
    25 Jan '14 16:561 edit
    George Berkeley: Berkeley's theory, which sounds like something out of The Matrix, argues that physical things do not really exist except as ideas, until they are perceived by the senses of people perceiving those physical things. His expression “to be is to be perceived” summed it up. Hence as you sit at your computer at your desk at home, you see the images on the screen, you feel the keyboard keys, you hear the sound of the keys and the sounds from the speakers. If you are at work, how do you know that the computer on your desk at home still exists? It exists in your mind and memory, but that does not equate to existence in fact. You believe it still exists but you don't know that it does. To validate existence of material objects we need to use our senses.


    I knew of a home in North Coralina where the man had two mailboxes. One was at the street level. The other was on the top of a long pole about 35 feet high and read "Bills".
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