If a man looks with loving compassion on his suffering fellow men, and out of bitterness inquires of the gods,"Why do you afflict my brothers?" then surely he is gazed upon more tenderly by God than a man who congratulates Him on being merciful so that he flourishes happily, and has only words of adoration to offer. For the first prays out of love and pity, divine attributes, and so close to the heart of God, and the other speaks out of selfish complacency, a beastly attribute, which does not approach the circumambient light of the spirit of God.
What are your answers to the baby dilemma and the trolley dilemmas posed in this Time poll? My answers were "couldn't" all down the line although I admit I came very close to pulling the switch on 3a:
An out of control trolley is heading down a track toward five
unsuspecting people and will surely kill them all. You could throw a
switch diverting it to a siding, but an equally unsuspecting man is
standing there and the train will kill him instead. Could you throw the
switch, killing one to save five?
Maybe if there were fifteen or fifty instead of five, it would have made a difference as far as voting goes, but in fact I have no idea what I'd really do in such a situation.
Here's a previous ST post on the trolley dilemmas.
here at the U of I where they're having a conference on the Timaeus. Here's the relevant Wikipedia entry:
The Platonic solids feature prominently in the philosophy of Plato for whom they are named. Plato wrote about them in the dialogue Timaeusc.360 B.C. in which he associated each of the four classical elements (earth, air, water, and fire,
with a regular solid. Earth was associated with the cube, air with the
octahedron, water with the icosahedron, and fire with the tetrahedron.
There was intuitive justification for these associations: the heat of
fire feels sharp and stabbing (like little tetrahedra). Air is made of
the octahedron; its minuscule components are so smooth that one can
barely feel it. Water, the icosahedron, flows out of one's hand when
picked up, as if it is made of tiny little balls. By contrast, a highly
un-spherical solid, the hexahedron (cube) represents earth. These
clumsy little solids cause dirt to crumble and break when picked up, in
stark difference to the smooth flow of water. The fifth Platonic solid,
the dodecahedron, Plato obscurely remarks, "...the god used for
arranging the constellations on the whole heaven". Aristotle added a fifth element, aithêr
(aether in Latin, "ether" in English) and postulated that the heavens
were made of this element, but he had no interest in matching it with
Plato's fifth solid.
Euclid gave a complete mathematical description of the Platonic solids in the Elements;
the last book (Book XIII) of which is devoted to their properties.
Propositions 13–17 in Book XIII describe the construction of the
tetrahedron, octahedron, cube, icosahedron, and dodecahedron in that
order. For each solid Euclid finds the ratio of the diameter of the
circumscribed sphere to the edge length. In Proposition 18 he argues
that there are no further convex regular polyhedra. Much of the
information in Book XIII is probably derived from the work of
In the 16th century, the German astronomer Johannes Kepler attempted to find a relation between the five known planets at that time (excluding the Earth) and the five Platonic solids. In Mysterium Cosmographicum, published in 1596, Kepler laid out a model of the solar systemin which the five solids were set inside one another and separated by a
series of inscribed and circumscribed spheres. The six spheres each
corresponded to one of the planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter).
The solids were ordered with the innermost being the octahedron,
followed by the icosahedron, dodecahedron, tetrahedron, and finally the
cube. In this way the structure of the solar system and the distance
relationships between the planets was dictated by the Platonic solids.
In the end, Kepler's original idea had to be abandoned, but out of his
research came the discovery of the Kepler solids, the realization that the orbits of planets are not circles, and Kepler's laws of planetary motion for which he is now famous.
If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were
of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in
silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be
justified in silencing mankind. Were an opinion a personal possession
of no value except to the owner; if to be obstructed in the enjoyment
of it were simply a private injury, it would make some difference
whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But
the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it
is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing
generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those
who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the
opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is
almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier
impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
So the next time someone disagrees with you, remember to say thank you.