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Re: THEOS-L digest 669

Sep 23, 1996 08:57 AM
by Robert Word

> Alan>
> >Concerning your "test" question [". . . if a person intimates that they have
> >preternatural powers, I start the questioning by asking them how much they
> can bench >press. . ."], I cannot bench press at all - arthritis prevents
> these days, but I was lousy at >it before.  This is a disposition and an
> ability or faculty which I possess in small >measure.
> Richard>
> Sorry about the arthritis.  The bench-pressing, of course, was just a
> stand-in for the general category of developed abilities which could easily
> be shown to someone else.  Asking a person how good a psychic he or she would
> usually be the type of question which represents the opposite category--i.e.,
> who can really judge this ability in others, especially when they are
> unwilling to tell you exactly where the S&P 500 will be tomorrow?
> Your illustration about learning astrology even from someone with a
> questionable life style was a good one.  I agree with it.  I certainly
> couldn't level any "ad hominem" against astrology in general because of such
> a person; rather, I might be merely tempted to taint
> astrology-in-the-way-he-knows-it-and/or-doesn't-use-it-transformatively
> little.  In other words, I would still want to learn astrology, but just not
> in exactly the same way which produced him.  Similarly I still want to learn
> magic, but just not in exactly the same way which produced Aleister Crowley.
> Thanks and Godspeed,
> Richard Ihle

By allowing an ad hominem argument of this type, we may reason as
follows.  Aleister Crowley was a man who lived a life which many
would regard as immoral.  Aleister Crowley graduated from
Cambridge University.  Therefore, we ought not ourselves to attend
Cambridge University, nor should we allow our children to do so.

Again, we may argue as follows.  Aleister Crowley started his magical
career in the Golden Dawn.  He came to be viewed widely as an
immoral man.  Therefore, we ought not to start our magical careers
in the Golden Dawn, nor should we allow our children to do so.

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