Angels on a Pin, Clapping

21 Jan

When people want to dismiss an argument as being trivial, they often compare it to the question “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” From our casual research, we have learned that this exact question was never debated in medieval times, although Thomas Aquinas did raise the question of whether several angels could be in the same place at once.

Let’s assume for a minute that medieval clerics did debate the question of how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. Makes ’em sound kind of idiotic, doesn’t it?

Now let’s change the venue a bit. Let’s imagine that Buddhist monks, in addition to creating the famous koan “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” also created the koan “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” When you couch it as a koan, it sounds kind of cool, doesn’t it?

One woman’s (let’s not be sexist) pointless debate question is another woman’s groovy koan…

Tree Falling

Does it make a sound?

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