I'd like to ask two questions about the following passage:
The orb phenomenon poses an entirely new question for us, and
this I believe to be the main area of interest. Do dimensions exist
altogether beyond the material ones we know, and what would the
implications of that be for how we understand ourselves? Just four
hundred years ago Giordano Bruno was burned to death in Rome by
the Inquisition for suggesting there might be intelligent life outside
this earth. In terms of affront to diehard orthodoxy, religious or secular,
the emergence of this new question may well turn Giordano
Bruno’s offence into a peccadillo. For indeed it does seem that we
have never yet fully realized the import of Shakespeare’s famous dictum,
“There are more things in heaven and earth . . . than are dreamt
of in your philosophy.”
Does "affront" mean "opposition" or "confrontation" here, i.e. having opinions that are extremely different from the ones that are long and well established?
Does the sentence "In terms of affront to diehard orthodoxy ..." imply that the emergence of the orb phenomenon is a more serious confrontation to our current views/opinions than Bruno's suggestion was for views people had in his time?
Bruno was put to death because he caused offence and outrage - his ideas were an affront to orthodox thinking at the time.
Now, in terms of how much the orb phenomenon and the 'new question' challenges the orthodox thinking of today, it's like Bruno's challenge was some petty misdemeanour in comparison. The paragraph is suggesting that while Bruno's thinking was so controversial in his time, it is nowhere near as controversial and such a challenge to present day orthodoxy as the orb phenomenon.
Last edited by David L.; 23-Jul-2008 at 03:48.