Thursday, February 13, 2020

Dan Brown - Philosophical Faults, Literary Assets

The evolution of Dan Brown
CBS Sunday Morning | 1.X.2017

1:53 "that take the metaphors and myths of Scripture, and hold them up as literal"
1:57 "fact - and that is the danger of any philosophy"

Is it a literal fact that I got a cup of chicorée this morning from an immigrant?

Or is it a myth and a metaphor?

Btw, why would myths, as much as metaphors, be in need of not being taken as literal fact?

The myth of Persae - using the word as Aeschylus and Aristotle used it - is, the king of Persia was not happy to hear about the defeat at Salamis. Is that literally speaking untrue? Was he happy? Did he never hear of Salamis?

Some myths do contain literal untruth, as when Hercules is considered as come from the loins of Jove or as having walked down to Hades and back up again. But that is because Hercules was wrongly considered divine, as was the case with Romulus.

This does not mean every story about the divine has to be untrue if taken literally, it means Homer was not the best theologian, dito for the ones writing Hercules' story.

Philosophy may have to use metaphor at times, but a certain tenet being expressed only metaphorically and not with at least the literality of a terminus technicus (admittedly sometimes metaphoric in origin) would mean it is impossible to speak directly about truth.

I don't buy that.

2:24 Dan Brown thought the "planet" would be fine without religion and he personally felt we were "evolving" in that direction.

If Atheism is only a religion as much as bald is a hair colour, it will tell us nothing of right or wrong.

Atheists usually have moralities, but they also usually have borrowed them from religions, in the case of Western Atheism mainly from Protestantism, minus a few twists making actual "orthodox" Protestantism unacceptable.

In a society in which the memory of any Christianity were more distant and continuing those few twists, Atheism could very easily become monstrous - again. It has already been so far very long between 1917 and 1990 in Russia and is still so in China.

But Darwin allowed an intellectually fulfilled Atheism. Actually, Galileo, Newton, Darwin and Engels between them. So, Atheism is kind of tied to this world view (I haven't seen or heard Dan Brown call heliocentrism or evolution a metaphor or a myth!) and this makes for intellectually impoverished thinking, since falsehood is not enhancing thought. That being so, Atheism is dulling down philosophy and the better description would be society at large devolving in that direction.

3:48 "Nice boys don't ask that question."

This means, as a convert from Darwinism to Christianity (with about one year's overlap), I don't qualify as a nice boy.

My ma gave me access to creationist material ... with two years' delay from that decision.

But before that, thinking about thought and about language was done, not without some (during said overlap) trust in evolutionism, but with this trust getting more and more ridiculous.

How did men evolve language? Φφφφφφφφφφφφ ...

No, I am not poo pooing the question, with the interjection "ph", I am giving the evolutionist answer.

Man at some point learned to master fire, and this involved blowing at a fire that's small and weak to make the flames stronger. And you purse your lips while doing so to get approximately the sound φφφφφ ...

THEN some smartass came to the conclusion that he could speak of an absent fire by saying φφφφ.

THEN another smartass came to the conclusion that he could refer to human breath by saying φφφφ.

And as dead men don't breathe, φφφφ also came to mean life, soul ...

This scenario left me wondering how people learned to speak of more mundane things and how they learned to differentiate between "φφφ" as in fire and "φφφ" as in life and "φφφ" as in breath ...

For vowel switch ee, ah, oo, depending on near, somewhat distant, far off, that would be iconic of what sounds carry a long way or sth. But again, "φee" as in "this fire" and "φee" as in "light fire now" may be differentiated for onlookers by the visual context, but how do you get "φoo" as in "that fire (in next village)" and "φoo" as "lit a fire (day before yesterday)" to show the difference?

So, exit evolutionism. This attempt at explanation was from a German book 1920's or 1930's (references to how Aryans came to be beautiful by selection of the beautiful for nobility), but I don't think more recent attempts are any better.

I challenged Pascal Picq a few months ago, and he gave no defense of his book.

Creation vs. Evolution : Human Language Revisited

Creation vs. Evolution : Elves and Adam

Creation vs. Evolution : Back to Picq

Creation vs. Evolution : Off the Bat

As the last of these is "off the bat" that implies I am still behind on "on a closer reading" but that may come too.

6:18 "taste like ice cream but have the nutrition of vegetables"

Vegetables do have lots of fibres, good for your stomach, and lots of vitamins and minerals, good for most aspects of long term health, but nutrition is at its most basic about calories, as that is what makes you breathe and your heart beat (by all means, if you get too fat they will function badly, and if you get too little vitamins, they will function badly too, but with no calories, no breathing or heartbeats).

The idea of being "der Lehrer meiner Leser" is not quite original, though it is noble. I cited Karl May's alter ego (or possibly two of them) about it.

The problem is not badly written books, the problem is, badly chosen message.

As far as novels and plots are concerned, I think you picked up lots from Sire and ... checking ... L'Anneau du pêcheur, by Raspail.

Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : J'aime Jean Raspail? Pas sans réserve ...

And he may have learned a thing or two from both Chesterton's Man who was Thursday and C. S. Lewis' Narniad.

B U T the most natural reading (if not only possible one) and one confirmed by this interview is a promotion of the bad ideas Robert Langdon falls for.

New blog on the kid : Could Da Vinci Code be read by Mature Catholics? And what about Potter?

6:26 Never said he was Faulkner?

Well, that's perhaps for the best ... not sure one profits very much from reading As I Lay Dying.

(I looked it up on wiki, he was never a household word to me).

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