Saturday, September 08, 2012

Imagine the Imagined: God put us on earth to be other half

Plenty of research shows that our minds have evolved to over-attribute agency to the surrounding world and patterns to the shape of human affairs. Several researchers have begun to explore how we attribute purposes and design to other people (e.g. when we say about a romantic partner that he or she was put on earth to be our “other half”) and indeed to the shape of our own lives (e.g. when we believe that we were put on earth to do that special thing only we can do).
During a 1945 lecture in Paris, Jean-Paul Sartre offered the following useful metaphor for God: When we think of God as the creator, we are thinking of him, most of the time, as a superior artisan… When God creates he knows precisely what he is creating. Thus, the conception of man in the mind of God is comparable to that of the paper-knife in the mind of the artisan: God makes man according to a procedure and a conception, exactly as the artisan manufactures a paper-knife, following a definition and a formula. Thus each individual man is the realisation of a certain conception which dwells in the divine understanding. Nonsense, said Sartre. We simply come to exist, just as beads of condensation form on a glass of water or spores of mould appear on bread. Happy wedding anniversary malchkeon

Oftentimes the early optimism of what one hopes to learn from a an article or a book ends in disappointment, but every once in a while a book lives up to its promise and you end with a refrain such as 'I wish I had written this story.' This phrase characterizes my feelings on Bookworms versus nerds ... What your literature professors tell you is true after all: reading narrative fiction helps make you more socially skilled. You become a better reader of other people’s minds and better able to navigate your complex social world. On the other hand, reading non-fiction does not seem to improve your social abilities. Meet my good friend pinky j