A thoughtful paper by my friend, Lex Crane, who was a Unitarian Minister and a good friend. He died not long ago but I still think of him and his scooter.
An exchange from not long ago:
On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 5:42 PM, Lex wrote:
I was so delighted, so moved by the detailed characterization of me you emailed here not long ago, I saved a copy of it and left it visible on the desktop where I could open it any time I wanted to. So I reread it recently, and again found it rewarding. It was comforting to me, because I have found it difficult to think well of myself since early childhood, for any sustained period of time. I am grateful to you for sending it.
The last paragraph, on second reading, I realized contained a puzzling sentence containing the term “tautology.” I wasn’t clear about its meaning, though I had seen it used often by philosophers. So I looked it up, and found it meant “the saying of the same thing twice in different words.”
In the same sentence, you suggested that Lex’s assertion that “God is truth” may be a tautology, but left it to the readers of your website to decide. If their conclusion was that the statement was an actual tautology, this would be agreeing with Lex that God is in fact truth or that God=truth, that the two words are synonymous. Or is my logic flawed in this case? Lex
Nothing wrong with your logic, Old Man. You and Spinoza are both claiming that God = truth, I think. And for those who continue to believe in god as a super-person I suppose that is shocking.
Those are a pair of excellent sermons. You would have been a hell of a philosopher if you hadn’t gotten mixed up with that religious cult!
How long do you think it will be before World War III?
Bob you dear young man,
I had written my own obituary recently, and it occurred to me today that your characterization of me in your two sermons blurb made me look so good, I added a big chunk of it to that terminal document. I even gave you credit for it. No plagiarist am I. See below.
The Canadian philosopher, Dr Robert Lane, knew Lex for many years, and said that “As you read his written works, try to hear the unique human voice that is right there behind the words. A thoughtful, passionate voice. It is important to hear this human voice, in that the full sense of “human” is such a central part of the message of Lex Crane. He said, for example, ‘we are free to find salvation now in the fully lived, fully realized human life. We will find it in art, in science, in close relations with people we love. We will find it in ourselves. We will find salvation in being as fully human as it is possible for us to be.’ It is hard to imagine a more fully human being than Lex Crane. He is a good friend, a fine writer, and a student of philosophy and of life.”
Isn’t that beautiful? The minor editing I did was not aimed at improving it, but rather to the obituary.
At the end of email, you asked, “How long do you think it will be before World War III?” I think we are on the edge of extinction, and it may happen before we get into World War III. If not, the war will do just as well to do us in. Three cheers for homo sapiens. He had great potential buy his downfall will be caused by his tragic flaw. Such a pity.
Bless you my son, Lex