"I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!'
FROM: Wiki.answers.com ...
Though these words are regularly attributed to Voltaire, they were first used by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, writing under the pseudonym of Stephen G Tallentyre in "The Friends of Voltaire" (1906), as a summation of Voltaire's beliefs on freedom of thought and expression.
Another possible source for the quote was proposed by Norbert Guterman, editor of "A Book of French Quotations," who noted a letter to M. le Riche (February 6, 1770) in which Voltaire is quoted as saying: "Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write" ("Monsieur l'abbé, je déteste ce que vous écrivez, mais je donnerai ma vie pour que vous puissiez continuer à écrire"). This remark, however, does not appear in the letter.
Voltaire is most often credited with the saying, but many believe that this is a widespread mistake, and that the quote was originally said by Evelyn Beatrice Hall. There is no definite answer to this question.
© - Tom Hyland - 11/11/10
REVIEW of my Article: “The Human Mind Versus The Computer -
I agree that the brain is indispensible; however, the mind? The mind didn't exist for millions of years in homo sapiens. I agree that the computer functionally mimics a primitive brain (comparatively), but what characteristics of the mind are demonstrated? Self-programming? Survival? A case could easily be made that the mind is purely mechanical and has no free will, given the self- and survival-programming.
DEAR SUSAN SAMUEL - WOW! WHAT A SURPRISE!
Although this 'piece' was actually written way back in the late Eighties, and the date recorded thereon wasn't until 1998, twelve years ago - I didn't join here until 2003, and actually post it here until then - 7 years ago ...
5,856 people READ it - but no one ever bothered to post a comment until NOW!
ERGO - you must be unique in some way! And out of 261 posted Articles, you chose this particular one to read - WHY? Did the Title catch your eye? Are you one of the few intelligent beings out there?
Anyway, thank you for commenting! While I tend to disagree with your observation, I respect your opinion, so well stated.
Why do I disagree? Even though it may have taken Millions of years for the Brain of Homo Sapiens to Develop - had it Not done so - there would never ever have been a solitary Computer ever created! Both God and ‘Mother Nature’ work only with ‘Living Organisms.’
Also, the Human Mind, or Brain has capabilities that a Computer may Never have - Unless and Until WE figure out how to put it into the Program! The Capabilities of EMOTION ... Empathy - Sympathy - Antipathy - as well as its opposite - LOVE - and more!
In closing, I was hopeful to visit your site, in order to peruse some of your works - but ALAS! When I clicked the Link - there was none found! Five other surnames of Samuel, but no Susan? This perplexes me somewhat. I had hoped to have further ‘intelligent’ repartees with you - now, only time will tell ...
Peace - Tom.
Posted by Susan Samuel (reader) at 11/12/2010 1:43:12 AM
Hi Tom Hyland:
I was rambling on my own personal blog about the subject of mind and computer. I really have a little trouble reading your writing because you don't distinguish between brain and mind and, to my way of seeing, they are different things. The brain is the physical conduit and may have existed as long as the species. Survival instinct also lasted that long so it must be of a physical nature. The mind is something else again -- consciousness, emotion, thinking, logic, self-programming, survival instinct (of the mind, a different thing). My career background is computers and I'm a fanatic garderner. All of my writings outside of my profession are about gardening -- California gardening in particular.
I had the incredibly good fortune of participating in Warner Erhard's est training after several years as a computer programmer, specializing in software design, but familiar with functional hardware design. The lessons from the training really sank in because learning how the mind actually works sank in twice -- the computer is, as near as I can tell, a duplication of the mind. It might not have been a conscious invention, but more the result of the scope that men are looking through. Input/output channels, random-access memory and storage, differentiation between memory and storage, central processing unit, networks. The mind behaves just like the machine -- mechanically. It records everything including trauma and decisions to cause survival from the trauma, which we forget and some part of the mind (subconscious?) carries out. Forever. Where does that intention come from? The mind is at all costs right, to the point of blinding the senses to any evidence to the contrary. Right/wrong/good/bad are concepts that run the machine. Right, good being my mind's features, of course, and wrong/bad being yours. (And vice versa, you see?) Sort of a bunch of Hals. Rigid programming, especially in situations that trigger the reaction to the original trauma -- even though we have forgotten entirely. We just know -- this sets me off. Funny thing, the mind sets up the same life situations over and over and over again to try to solve the original dilemma, whatever it was. Logic and thinking (the voice) propagates the right/wrongness and wraps good/bad around reality and has very little other use. Except possibly semantics. Physical survival is the business of the body and mental survival is the business of the mind. If you have survived this far, you can afford to relook at that situation. You won't survive. Period. Give it up. Turns out, reality is better.
All of which caused me to understand faster in the est training the most important part: my mind is not me. The knowing, being part has nothing to do with the mind. And we don't know it's there, except when it is. Have you ever been in an accident, where time unmistakably slows down and no thought crosses your mind? That's being in the present, being in the now. Except for these life or death moments in time, we spend all of our other time in the machine. And think the mind/machine is us. If your mind is chattering to you (that voice in your head), that's your mind screaming at you to go away from here right now -- mental survival -- the "mind is me". Men lived for something like 9 million years before developing a mind. When you figure out which part is the mind, you can also figure out the physical functions -- the ones where the mind has NO part to play. Intercourse, eating are two that come to mind. Fat people eat with their minds to avoid any possibility of physical hunger (starvation, loss of survival). Answer the question, "what is hunger?" with the body to attain the perfect weight. The entire species is thin naturally and physical hunger is the tool for that. Most give up hunger when still a child, because allowing hunger to come up takes constant vigilance regarding nourishment and the adults had already lost their hunger and ate by a clock (or some other measurement proposed by the mind, like number of calories). Physical hunger is incredibly inconsistent and doesn't follow any rules the mind can propose.
You might have heard the expression 'get it' that's associated with the est training. The it is the state of being, the state of knowing. The mind has to shut up for it to occur. They literally blew our minds away. And what was left was spine-tingling. No mistaking it. That's what we got. Knowing is there. Love is there too, because it turns out that love is letting be what is. Except that means something else in the state of being: an ecstatic something else. (Christ gave us 'amen', 'and so let it be' but we still hadn't gotten it. Not to mention "I am".).
That was the freakiest thing about the training for me and the last thing I expected to happen. I later bought one of those new testaments with Christ's words printed in red. My mind had rejected religion as illogical or unknowable long since, but I remembered the spirituality of my childhood. Blew me away when I reread just what he said and got what Jesus was talking about. His disciples so obviously didn't. Thus you can't read the black.
Probably a whole lot more than you wanted to hear. But I was perusing the internet to see if anybody else is putting these ideas together. I've wanted to know the status of 'artificial intelligence' for a long time and there doesn't seem to be much useful data out there.
Reply to Susan Samuel - Sat. 11/13/10 -
Hi Susan Samuel:
WOW AGAIN! I thought your first comments were quite verbose - this reply greatly surpasses it! EST ... THAT EXPLAINS IT!
EST, Latin for "IT IS" ... "BRAIN-WASHING" - Par Excellence'!
No matter what situation confronted any of these 'graduates?' their Stock
PROGRAMMED Answer was - "IT IS OKAY!"
Way back in the late 70's - when I was an Insurance Salesman, my Wife and I attended a 'Coffee Klatch' at another Agent's home - all but four of us (my wife's niece, and her husband, another Agent) - were surrounded by, and pressured upon, with more FORCE than I had ever experienced in my life!
It was a veritable 'TRAP' - wherein about Twelve 'CONVERTS' to EST - tried their damnedest to get us to go to a place in another City, in another State - where a large number of people were literally LOCKED into a huge hall, or auditorium, for a Solid Week - with doors GUARDED by big guys like 'Bouncers' who would not let anyone out - for Any reason - even to GO TO THE BATHROOM - Unless and Until the Moderator, or 'Gestapo' ALLOWED IT!
When I tried to use the Excuse that i didn't have the $1,000 to attend - they would LEND it to me! A beautiful Young Single BABE sat there, right in front of my Wife - and OFFERED to LET ME STAY WITH HER AT HER APARTMENT! DUH!
That was 'The Straw that Broke the Camel's Back!' And the FOUR of us 'Got The Hell Out!'
Consider, if you will that - a seriously ill person, like one in a Coma - a Catatonic State - still has the Physical Organ, the Brain, inside the head - but, does Not have a Mind that can Function - for all intents and purposes is diagnosed as 'BRAIN-DEAD!'
Not unlike a Computer that has CRASHED! The RAM and Hard-Drive are still physically present - but more than likely, it will be TRASHED!
Thus, I am quite happy that this Ends any Repartee from me!
Sorry my Dear, but 'BRAIN-WASHING' is Not for me!
PEACE ... Tom.