Thursday, March 05, 2009

Something worth reading

Sandro Magister, "A Philosopher Reissues the Pope's Wager: To Live as if God Exists."

A brief article on Robert Spaemann's newest - at least as of October 31, 2008 - book, which does not yet seem to be available in English. Following the article are some excerpts.

My favorite bit:
With the loss of the idea of truth comes the loss of the idea of reality. Our speaking and thinking that which is, is structured in an inevitably temporal form. We cannot think of something as real without thinking of it in the present, meaning that it is real "now." Anything that has been only in the past, or will be only in the future, has never been and never will be. That which is now, at one time was in the future and will be in the past. The "futurum exactum," the future perfect, is inseparable from the present. Saying that a present event will no longer have been in the future means that in reality it does not exist even now. In this sense, everything real is eternal (emphasis added). There cannot be a moment in which it will no longer be true that someone has felt a suffering or joy that he is feeling now. And this past reality is absolutely independent of the fact that we remember it.
That might be the most profound thing I've read in awhile. I wish I read either German or Italian so I could pick up a copy of this book. Hopefully we'll eventually get an English translation. Or, barring that, I'll eventually work my way through my list of "Languages to Learn" to German or Italian.

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