Archive for Mind

Searle quote

Posted in Blogs with tags , , , on August 21, 2009 by alessandrovalente

“Our problem is not that somehow we have failed to come up with a convincing proof of the existence of God or that the hypothesis of an afterlife remains in serious doubt, it is rather that in our deepest reflections we cannot take such opinions seriously. When we encounter people who claim to believe such things, we may envy them the comfort and security they claim to derive from these beliefs, but at bottom we remain convinced that either they have not heard the news or they are in the grip of faith. We remain convinced that somehow they must separate their minds into separate compartments to believe such things. When I lectured on the mind-body problem in India and was assured by several members of my audience that my views must be mistaken, because they personally had existed in their earlier lives as frogs or elephants, etc., I did not think, ‘Here is evidence for an alternative world view,’ or even ‘Who knows, perhaps they are right.’ And my insensitivity was much more than mere cultural provincialism: Given what I know about how the world works, I could not regard their views as serious candidates for truth.”

Searle, J., 1992, The Rediscovery of the Mind, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, pp. 90-91.

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