------- Tensile Strength When my opponent makes his case With fact and logic strong, I mus
When my opponent makes his case
With fact and logic strong,
I must consider, could it be
That my position's wrong?
If I accede to greater force,
Will that then make it seem
That I'm disloyal not to back
The members of my team?
But if I hold on to my views,
What right have I to claim
That I seek truth -- the highest good --
And have no need for fame?
Which rope is stronger? Is it that
Which pulls me toward the foe --
A tension made of love of truth
No matter where things go?
Or that which binds me to my friends
With whom I've come so far.
Who thought with me that our own way
Was headed toward that star.
I hope, when tested, I will have
The courage still to see
That truth is best, and I will trust
My friends to come with me.
-- B. A. Green
The Behaviorist's Farewell
Philosophers of mind, it seems,
Know just what they're about.
They have a plan to map the mind -
Of mental states, no doubt.
"We do not care what Johnny does,
Just how and what he thinks.
To what an empty shell it is
Philosophy of mind would save
The freedom of the will is safe!
And human dignity!
Thus trapped they are with moral views
Of punishment and blame.
No comfort there for innocents
Who suffer guilt and shame.
Philosophers of mind, I think,
Are mired in mental sand.
Their rope is rotten, cannot hold
When pulled by Skinner's hand.
They cannot fathom consciousness.
They miss the point of Zen.
Irrational behavior must
Remain outside their ken.
I often love to talk with those
Who harbor different views.
Discussion is a way I learn
And share my treasured news.
From facts and reasons I can learn.
To ignorance, I teach.
To doubt, I offer evidence.
(I hope I do not preach.)
But constant, driven, blind attack
Repels me by and by.
I start to wonder, what's the use?
Why should I even try?
So let them wander in the dark
On paths known long ago.
There's gold to mine and fun to share
With civil folks I know.
Philosophers of mind, farewell!
Write books to fill your shelves!
Confirm each other all you like,
But keep it to yourselves!
-- B. A. Green
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank