Member Commentary

"As far above us as we are above the amoeba"

Hal Browder ( writes:

I remember going to see Gene Roddenberry speak at former Memphis State on December 7 1975. My sister and brother in law to be knew I was a Star Trek zealot. I remember watching the Jack Webb TV series Project Bluebook in 1977-78 together with the Moonbase Alpha series starring Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. Whether or not Christ was divine, whether or not God existed, I have always been intrigued by whether highly developed beings "as far above us as we are above the amoeba" might respond to invocation if the proper questions were expounded. During my senior year in high school I received a brochure from St John's University explicating Mortimer Adler's Great Books theory of education. I had once heard Adrian Rogers say that the question: "Did man create God or God create man?" was the ultimate, most profound question. Martin Heidegger the atheist existentialist in my 1972 Britannica says: "Why is there something rather than nothing?" is the most profound question. I came up with an alternative. I had checked out Newton's Principia together with Einstein's Autobiographical Notes my senior year in the high school library. Einstein expressed the third alternative conviction that based upon reading science textbooks the miracles in the Bible could not have happened. But of course he differed sharply with the quantum mechanists on the topic of strict causality and statistical indeterminacy. Hence one means of impressing higher order intelligence, I believed, was to, building upon Einstein's italicized word PRECISE to use references to passages in the Preface to Pegis' St Thomas Aquinas wherein he predilects scholastic Knowing to existentialist Thinking, to the Preface to Cummings' Sartre wherein the digestive metaphor for reality is adopted in lieu of traditional visual imagery, to the Preface to Kaufman's Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil wherein Freud extols Nietzsche's nobility of soul and the author complains about Nietzsche's harping upon Englishmen and women, to the Preface to Philosophy of Hume wherein Rousseau's paranoia about fellow skeptic Hume being part of a conspiracy is delineated (like Rizzo in the Star Trek obsession episode), to the Preface of Harvard Professor's Philosophy of Hegel wherein the word "becoming" (like ensign Green in Star Trek's ManTrap) is italicized and the author derides Hegel's lack of sympathy for lost causes, and to the Preface to Harvard Professor's Philosophy of Kant wherein Kant is depicted as beginning with what we know, a presupposition approach, my favorite form of argument at the time, against the great skeptic Hume's onslaught. I had read a textbook Philosophically Speaking my sister brought home from either Univ of Memphis or Univ of TN at the time in which the argument that the Verification Principle is itself metaphysical was adumbrated. I eponymized this argument when I beheld the WKNO series From Socrates to Sartre wherein Marx's view that his dialectical materialism was scientific was advocated beside the Commercial Appeal article quoting Teller's recommendation of antisatellite deployment against USSR that I was fond of together with WKNO episodes Milton Friedman that I viewed favorably. Last but not least I came up with one educational method during this pre 1982 epoch. In his Autobiographical Notes Einstein said that the laws of thermodynamics could never be overthrown (for special attention of those who were skeptics on principle) I came up with the idea that to grasp the laws of thermodynamics one should begin with the laws of momentum. See Star Trek premier episode WHere No Man Has Gone Before "Your moment is fading" and MacArthur image displayed in one of my favorite all time movies The Parallax View conditioning sequence "old soldiers never die they just fade away." Beside all that the preface to my twelfth grade Latin textbook described Virgil's Elision poetic technique and the impact of Sybilline Oracle prophecy on ancient Rome which only led to my ingenious hypothetical: what would the atheist and admirer of Nietzsche Freud do if a person with a split theist and split atheistic personality walked into his laboratory a la Three Faces of Eve. You're the psych major. You tell me. Your guess is as good as mine. I was not fond of the Christian Brothers (Catholic God and evolution) dogmas experience myself. Naturally, when Adrian Rogers quoted the Revelation passage "the lukewarm is vomit to God" and I ran across the digestive motif in extremist atheist indeterminist Sartre's preface by Cummings, together with Rogers recalling his meeting with Menachem Begin, I could not wait to evoke the recitation of Sartre's "No" from his Essay on the Resistance together with Begin Jew-Rogers Protestant meeting to identify myself with Warren Beatty fighting the lost cause (I stayed in the hotel to watch the Alamo when we went to Hot Springs AR at age ten or twelve or eleven and I was intrigued by extremal asymptotic argument that Elohim forecast the Trinity a la Rogers which I first heard during high school (again replicated in October 1995) juxtaposed against Hegelian-Marxist extremal that history is the evolution from polytheistic Elohim (my 1967 World Book defines as "plural majesty of one God" to monotheism to atheism. Yet the Catholic experience still lingers from the Dark Ages as I joyously experienced. Pull the trigger on that Truth. And my 1972 Britannica does quote Gandhi as saying: "God is Truth." Another means of impressing high order intelligence is to wonder whether they are allied with Begin-Rogers in being "The Lord is a man of war Almighty is his Name per Names of God in Aquinas' quotation of Exodus 15,3 and against abortion or allied with Bertrand Russell-Einstein in being more pro abortion, anti war. You've got to admit, and my 1967 World Book associates memory with intelligence, an intelligent question. In the WKNO Final Solution Jack the Ripper the accomplice Sieghart becomes the Physician Extraordinaire to Queen Victoria and is an abortionist. Leaves you to wonder whether rather than Dick Cavett telling of a college professor introducing William Buckley as the "most dangerous man in America" perhaps a Bill Maher who is openly pro death pro strong military, pro abortion, pro death penalty pro euthanasia is the most dangerous man in America nowadays. Anyhoo. As my alltime favorite Star Trek episode "Enemy Within" teaches (Robert Kennedy wrote a book The Enemy Within-there's 1970s Readers Digest article on him aussi) on the Good is Humble, Intelligent and Indecisive. Hence Galbraith's Age of Uncertainty quoted in Readers' Digest in late 1970s vis a vis Milton Friedman are contra aligned, hence I am humble about my cherokee Indian heritage (Seminole Rogers says denial of Christ is Satan's master plan) and my great great grandfather the veterinarian author J D Finger of 1890s book The Theory of Horsemanship sort of like being a Vulcan together with the Intelligent Questions posed so far. Martin Luther King's Letter from birmingham Jail says you should always act now never temporize. Harlan Ellison's Hugo award winning The city on the Edge of Forever seems to say right idea but wrong time. ANother good intelligent question humbly posed. I have offered countless times to submit myself to polygraph as to the truth of all the above. No one takes the offer least of all Mr Teague or Middleton or .... Why is that? I think it leads up to the dogma that notwithstanding the UFO discussion group articles that free wheeling open discussion of the UFO phenomenon is presented, the hidden, engineering room Bad Kirk reality is that the Dogmas of God and Evolution and Genetic Manipulation a la Zitchen (whom I have never read) together with his "apparent" racial (anyone named Cohen or Cohn is a Brahmin caste member ordained to run for state senator or Chancellor against Neal Small) brand of Hinduism in that one percent differential from cognates from common undefined ancestor and Liberal pro abortion pro women in the military pro euthanasia pro death penalty brand of satanically paradoxical moral and intellectual evolution. I am reminded of the article I read at my grandparents' house in the Catholic Digest (not Protestant): Is he a liar a lunatic Lord or is there a Fourth ALternative to quote the Operation Annihilate Star Trek episode in which Donovan fruitcake pizza creatures are causing pain. What is your telepathic judgment from on high. I find the Kierkegaardian oblique, indirect communication tiresome. Why be obsessed about the past when it would have made No Difference? But like that guy in Parallax View "we'll have to contact Del Monte police" a la that Montgomery Cliff article in my 1970s Readers Digest once again. And we already know the Resemblance chapter in one of my first read philosophical textbooks Universals by Emily Hilliland, the resemblance between the Ensign Green "becoming" in Man Trap and Oppenheimer and Monty Cliff in Parallax View and Sieghart "becomes" Physician Extraordinaire. But we cannot forget how Pascal worked for Antoine Arnauld at Port Royal a la Seattle setting in Parallax View nor the fact that when my literary insert in my ninth grade algebra book recounts how Lewis Carroll sent an autographed copy of his textbook on non Euclidean geometry rather than desired Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass to Queen Victoria a la Star Trek episode "Mirror Mirror" in a parallel non Euclidean universe described in 1972 Britannica Space Time article by Einstein. "like a fish out of water" That only begins prefatorily to mention the Leon Uris interview in Readers' Digest and my favorite all time actors Martin Sheen and Anthony Hopkins nor the Harvard professor citation of Kant's maxim: "Two things fill me with ever renewed wonder: the moral law within me and the starry heaven above me." Finale: a few years ago the morning of a serious "Intersection" film car accident wherein two cars collided then struck me on the expressway at fifty miles per hour (I emerged unscathed) I had a dream before that accident in which I envisioned two things: the Econ professor who gave me the only failing grade I have ever had and an owl landing on window perch a la Hegel's adage: "The Owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk."


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