Re: [Fwd: virus: Religion & Logic]

Dan Henry (
Mon, 22 Apr 1996 22:13:24 +0600

At 10:43 AM 4/20/96 -0400, Reed Konsler wrote:

>I think Stephen has been, in this and other posts pointing out something very
>significant. A lot of what has been discusses so far is very formal and
>centers around concepts of formal truth, optimization, efficiency, and
>However, I think we would all agree that many of the things we most "enjoy" in
>life; those things which make us human as opposed to animal or machine are not
>rigorously true, optimum, efficient, or rational. In many cases such things
>are the very antithesis of these concepts. Look at Baroque art; efficient? I
>think not.
>And yet we enjoy these things anyway. Obviously, at some level, people make
>the intentional decision to forgo formality and order; in the pursuit of
>something which transcends direct experience. Such things are not logical, but
>they are obviously inherently valuable...even the "Virian Virtues" include the
>concept of "vision".

Disagree, disagree, disagree! but in a polite way:). I think you
overemphasize "efficiency."

There is room within the 100% rational mind for beauty and elegance. I
think of Cantor's proof of the infinity of integers, of the poetry of Archie
Ammons, of the Baroque compositions of Bach. All very structured, and
logical. What makes these artists great is knowing how to play with the
boundaries of conventional thought. To paraphrase, "they boldly thought
where no one had thought before," but they did not leave rationality behind.
There are plenty of "artists" out there who break the rules just for the
sake of breaking rules, but they will not achieve immortality.

>There is a reason that most universities still have colleges of Arts and
>Sciences. The two are interrealted. Without each other, neither has meaning.

I agree with this whole-heartedly (btw, was it Ken Pantheists who mentioned
that he wished to be living during the Age of Enlightenment?). But your
statement proves my point equally well, that science (i.e., cold, hard
logic) is artistic.

Dan Henry

PS Sorry this is so late; I see the discussion has moved on into "Play." I
think this still applies.