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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: RE: (whorl) mechAnIsm of consciousness
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 13:56:11 

On Wed, 21 Mar 2001, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:

> > From there one can see Wolfe imagining (thought I doubt the
> > church teaches) that something of a person's "personness"
> > resides in her body (not just her brain).
> On the contrary, the Catholic church, at least, insists on the
> importance of the body in spiritual matters. We are not only
> spiritually but physically "the image of God," if only because
> God was incarnate as a Man. Further, it is by eating of His Body
> (in the Eucharist) that we are incorporated more fully into His 
> Body. And the Church takes cognizance of the ways in which 
> physical impairments (chemical, neurological, and other) can
> alter behavior and "personality." 

I'm also reminded now of Catholic veneration of relics.  If a leg bone of
a saint is venerated and can be a source of miracles, then it implies that
something of the saint's "personness" continues to inhere in his body even
after the soul has departed.

> And grumble about calling Wendell Berry a 
> philosopher; might as well call _me_ one at that rate.

Well, I just referred to philosophers and mentioned that he came to mind,
not that he actually was one of the philosophers.  It's just that his
recent book "Life is a Miracle," has (in the context of a huge rant
against E.O. Wilson's "Conciliance") one of the best articulations I've
seen of arguments against regarding human beings as machines (but the
arguments are not original to him).

And Berry may not be a professional philosopher but he writes engaging
essays with important, insightful things to say that few people are
saying.  I'd take it as a great compliment to be put in his category.

> Is that "real" fantasy/horror? The only place I've run across that
> is in D&D, the "hand of Vecna." But I haven't read all the fantasy/
> horror classics by any means...

It must be.  D&D never came up with anything original, it was all stolen
from something or other.  And the transplanted murderer's body part has
been used by Stephen King, and I think has been the subject of at least
one horror movie.  Don't know if that counts as "real" or not.


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