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  Topic: Official Uncommonly Dense Discussion Thread< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 3061
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 31 2007,11:57   

Why oh why do people think that mechanism is so necessary to design detection? Why canít they see that minds donít operate by any mechanism that we can understand and that mechanism resides in the absence of design.
Well I'll take a clumsy stab at this - not from a scientific perspective but from a humanities one (may I do that?).

When I think "mechanism" I'm thinking of a means, a medium, a process that is cumulative, as opposed to, say, a magical eruption of something into existence.

I'm not a scientist but I see this kind of "magical" thinking all the time in relation to art - in Dead Poets' Society, "Just lose control!" and poof, instant poetry. "Just seize your imagination!" Poof! Instant art. This is also the Christian fad today: "Just feel! Speak in tongues! Roll around on the floor!" Poof! Instant spirituality. Yes, I have a big, big ole problem with this. There is no organized hierarchy here of learning stages that build one upon the other. It is like adults just appearing on earth without first being children (which is increasingly how popular culture regards children, is it not?).

Leaving aside the issue of science for a moment, what is so "spiritual" about this instantaneity? To me, it's a cheat. Art is work. Writing is work. There is a mechanism (means, medium, and process) in writing and there are cumulative steps in it. Otherwise, what revelation, other than a hammer from heaven smacking you in the head, is there for you to have? "Revelation" for me comes after a long, trying process of working on something, being confused, reading or doing it over and over, until finally, despite (or rather because of) it being comprised of smaller bits of information, my mind finally puts it together and then I understand something.

People at UD want instant answers. "Design" is, essentially, an instant answer without any means of breaking it down into smaller answers, and so there is nothing to learn from design, because it's a revelation without a context. But context is all - our brains don't exist independently of our bodies, and we could not think without hearing, or seeing, or (in the case of that great atheist, Helen Keller) the "language" of touch. All of these perceptions are mechanisms, too. The brain exists in context of the body. In what context does "design" exist? But we're not supposed to ask that, since we're not supposed to ask about the Designer.

Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  29999 replies since Jan. 16 2006,11:43 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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