Monday, October 09, 2006

Good news for Augustinians.

IOZ interrupts my dogmatic slumbers to correct my (well, not my, personally, but I know I've done it; I'm just too lazy now to search for the link) use of the term "Manichean" as denoting a black-and-white, simplistic view of moral issues. I'm joining la Rana in her(?) friendly demi-demurrer (scroll down from the linked post), protesting that the Manichees, complex and syncretic as their beliefs may have been, were, at bottom, dualists. They did draw a sharp distinction between light (good) and matter (bad).

This article, describing the result of a recent experiment by some Danish physicists, however, puts things in a new (ahem) light. While the ability to teleport light to matter doesn't negate their difference, it does underline their complimentary roles; that is, light as carrier of information and matter as its storage medium. So, if the carrier is good, how can the repository be bad? (Thanks to Keifus for the link.)


  1. Anonymous10:58 AM

    i've not studied the subject extensively. but it seems most aesetics ascribe to that sort of dualism. matter is the imperfect realization of spiritual perfection. plato probably holds some of the blame for this sort of thinking too.

    light corresponds to the purely spiritual, because while we can feel its effects and presence, it has no matter. thus, perfection; the spirit of god, etc, etc. matter is flawed, mundane. moreover, matter can block light. thus we have the imperfection of man, the ugliness of the phyical world, the darkness abounding.

    yet, we can also have the interplay of light and matter. the illuminated beauty wrought of the interplay twixt light and matter. the merging of the divine with man.

    i suppose that might be an interesting way of looking at the world if one were concerned with perfection, and held the belief that perfection alone was akin to goodness. myself, i think good is more to be found in imperfection. perfection itself is dull and uninteresting.

    anyway, rambling thoughts.

  2. Anonymous9:57 PM

    1. I really liked your comment to IOZ a few of his posts ago. First, do no harm. An excellent national goal, and nobly expressed without sarcasm.

    2. Thanks. I had no idea anyone read that!