Actually, my mind is already deep into the next subject -- the subject of real and diabolical liberty -- but I hate to just move on as if the previous book never happened. If only for myself, I want to remumble some points worth mumbling. We call this process "assimilating truths into our psychic substance," AKA, plundering the book for purposes of anticipatory plagiarism.
Then again, I often highlight passages I already know and understand, because it's nice to know I'm not alone in understanding them. When someone else independently discovers what you have, it might just be reality. (I emphasize "independently," in order to distinguish the process from group hysterias and other collective delusions such as Trump Derangement.)
"[W]e must think that the human mind differs from the animal mind in some way as the infinite does from the finite."
That is just a soph-evident fact for which it is up to us to ponder the consequences. Remarkably, many people do not see this fact, for which reason they cannot draw the implications. Nevertheless, it is a critical Fact of Life.
Speaking of which, "Philosophy is like thinking and breathing: not something that we can either do or not do if we like, but that we must do, and must do either badly or well, so long as we live."
Therefore, our first foray into philosophy should simply be an inquiry into what we already believe, both explicitly but especially implicitly. Suffice it to say that most people deeply believe in things they don't believe they believe, most especially some god by another name. True, it is often a false god, all the more reason to get to the bottom of one's implicit philosophy.
"Precision or exactness is not the same thing as certainty. I am absolutely sure that I am taller than my wife." However, "That is not an exact statement." Analogously, perhaps science will some day "prove" with quantitative precision that God doesn't exist. Nevertheless, he most certainly does, for metaphysics is more certain than science, even if less precise.
"[S]eeing the things in a relationship is not the same as seeing the relationship itself." For example, male and female are obviously related. But is that the same as knowing how they are related?
Just ask a feminist: she has an absurd idea of how the sexes are related, and yet calls this absurdity knowledge. This only demonstrates -- as if such demonstration is necessary -- how a leftist education doesn't relieve stupidity but weaponizes it. And the first casualty is oneself.
"Behold the marvelous power of your intellect: it enables you to know (and not merely guess) the truth about all kinds of things you have never specifically checked."
This goes to the metaphysical truths to which man is, yes, entitled. Why entitled? Because to be ignorant of them is to be denied the possibility of actualizing man qua man. It is no different than saying a cow is entitled to grass or a fish to water. It would be pretty stupid, not to mention cruel, to create a cow with nothing to eat. It would be crueler still to create rational beings with nothing to know -- i.e., intellects without truth.
"It could never be true that 'there is no truth,' since that statement itself would then be true." Nevertheless. What did Orwell say? "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." But the implications of this obvious truth are (literally) infinite.
Two sentences, each containing exactly 100 characters: "The bomb will detonate in ten seconds unless you cut the wires in the right order, so be sure to cut the first wire labeled P." Or, "The bomb will detonate in ten seconds unless you cut the wires in the right order, so be sure to cut the first wire labeled R."
So, a 1% difference in finite content makes a rather large -- even infinite, i.e., life and death -- difference in meaning. The next time some clever chimp tries to tell you his DNA is 99% the same as yours, pull out this gag and see how he responds. He will no doubt fling poo, and defend the practice by insisting it is "protected speech." But the deeper principle is that semantics cannot be reduced to syntax, or meaning to grammar.
Not only is it OK to be white. Contrary to animal rights activists and global warming enthusiasts, it is also okay to be human.
"There are no saints among the beasts, but neither are there any Hitlers or Stalins." Hitler's DNA is no doubt 99.9% (or whatever) the same as ours. So, where is the difference? It's all about the verticality, which is not reducible to syntax or quantity.
Excellent observation from biologist T. Dobzhansky, that if Homo sapiens were classified based upon "psychological instead of mainly morphological traits, man would have to be considered a separate phylum or even kingdom" (emphasis mine).
Here again, this is a fact which is full of implications. Really, it is just another way of affirming that man is a Special Creation, a la Genesis. There is the rest of creation. And there is man. To not see the distinction is to not see; or, it is blindness masquerading as vision.
Another good line, this one by none other than Noam Chomsky: "It's about as likely that an ape will prove to have language ability as that there is an island somewhere with a species of flightless birds waiting for human beings to teach them to fly."
Ho! Great observation, but what prevents Chomsky from drawing the correct implications? Intellectually speaking, no one ever taught him to fly.
"Though all animals share one world, all may be said to live in different worlds, since each perceives best only that part of the environment essential to its success" (Tinbergen).
My note next to this says: Escape from Planet of the Apes. For what is humanness but an escape from a horizontal entrapment in subjectivity, into the wide open space of universals, essences, and disinterested objectivity? Hmmm?
Aquinas: "If the intellect were a part of the body," then "it would not understand universals but only particulars."
Yet another self-evident truth available to anyone, full of momentous implications. If your mind could only retain particulars, then like a computer you would soon run out of space in your hard drive.
To be continued... Tuesday.