Yesterday, a Knysna man received a response to his email from the world famous philosopher, Colin McGinn. Before i mention why, let me semi-introduce him.
My Knysna coffee conversationalist has an obsessive streak. When he was into music, he was lost in it. It was the same with chess and then mathematics. He’s got one of the better brains around but he’s unassuming so you wouldn’t know it unless you knew him well. He prefers it that way. Outside of the coffee shop, he’s most likely to be found at home. He doesn’t drink and he’s vegetarian. He likes the blues. His wife is prettier than him:)
Lately he’s into philosophy. I’m more into practical sociology but was pleased when he asked me for an opinion on the first philosophical thought he’d put to paper. For all the thousands of points he’s made, it was the first he’d formalized. Originally 5 pages long, he broke it down to a mere 73 words.
It was simple and clever so i encouraged him to get more opinions and see if he could survive the possible onslaught of negative populism that is more likely to be found, on some comment sections, than anything else. The problem is that he has a phobia for the net, or interphobia as its called. It’s irrational so i appealed to his sense of rationality which resulted in me setting up an edress for him (or rather the anonymous identity of BKoz Observe) and posting his thought process on the Love Knysna Facebook… which was a very poor start as not one person responded:(
However, that same night, he debated his illogic with himself and paradoxically won by sending his philosophy to his favourite icon, the world famous philosopher, Colin McGinn. McGinn is a giant in the world of intellects and is credited as the creator of new mysterianism, “the idea that the human mind is not equipped to solve the problem of consciousness.” He’s lectured as a professor at cool places such as Oxford and Princeton. He’s authored over 20 books.
3 hours later, McGinn responded! Agreed with his statement, added his own bit and said that he was also into blues music, in fact learning how to play it.
This morning, my mate was simultaneously walking on the moon and down Long Street when i bumped into him. His excitement dragged me to share a pot of tea (we’re both cutting down on coffee) and the news at Chaplin’s Bistro.
This evening, i popped into News24 where i’d gotten him to make a fake profile and post his thought for the sake of vulnerability and feedback. There were 55 comments, some quite intelligent – i was stoked for him.
In support (and for the posterity of my memory), i post his thought here too: can god and free will co-exist?
An Observation: God, Free Will & Paradox
“The purpose of this brief observation is to invite discussion.
In my understanding, the problem of semantics can be somewhat overcome by attending to the definition of terms used to discuss a point. I shall attempt to define three terms, with the use of description and synonym, to state what I believe to be the most common understanding thereof.
- God – Creator and ruler of all contained within time and space
- Free will – The ability to choose
- Paradox – Contradiction
Since some consensus must be reached in order to continue the assumption I must make is that these simple definitions will suffice.
When considering the belief that God endowed human beings with free will a self-imposed limitation arises in God’s inability to know whether benevolence or malevolence will result.
This paradox can only be avoided if either God or free will is excluded as a vital ingredient of human existence. Therefore God and free will cannot co-exist without paradox.”