The “Heads in the Sand” Objection

However, this is mere speculation. I am not very impressed with theological arguments whatever they may be used to support. Such arguments have often been found unsatisfactory in the past. In the time of Galileo it was argued that the texts, “And the sun stood still . . . and hasted not to go down about a whole day” (Joshua x. 13) and “He laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not move at any time” (Psalm cv. 5) were an adequate refutation of the Copernican theory. With our present knowledge such an argument appears futile. When that knowledge was not available it made a quite different impression.

“The consequences of machines thinking would be too dreadful. Let us hope and believe that they cannot do so.”

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
The “Heads in the Sand” Objection
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

This argument is seldom expressed quite so openly as in the form above. But it affects most of us who think about it at all. We like to believe that Man is in some subtle way superior to the rest of creation. It is best if he can be shown to be necessarily superior, for then there is no danger of him losing his commanding position. The popularity of the theological argument is clearly connected with this feeling. It is likely to be quite strong in intellectual people, since they value the power of thinking more highly than others, and are more inclined to base their belief in the superiority of Man on this power.

I do not think that this argument is sufficiently substantial to require refu- tation. Consolation would be more appropriate: perhaps this should be sought in the transmigration of souls.


and taste our undisputed quality.