Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The blind leading the blind...

Plato is the philosopher that wanted people to come out of a cave, as if to be born again to see the light. There is more to seeing than meets the eye and more to thinking than you might think.

Plato knew more than all the earnest statisticians who would reduce science to an uninspired recording of observable phenomena. Man does not move himself; he does not struggle toward moral existence by Hartley’s ludicrous instrument of Association. No, man is drawn forward by a power outside himself, which works through Ideas. An Idea is an immutable spiritual truth communicated to man through the faculty of intuition: the dogmas of religious faith, the principles of morals, the rules of mathematics, and the laws of pure science are apprehended through the intuition (varying in its strength from one man to another), and by no other means can this knowledge be obtained. Ideas are beyond the grasp of the mere Understanding. And Ideas, well or badly apprehended, rule the world. The Benthamite mind, the political economists’ mind, reaches no higher than the useful but limited Understanding, and therefore never attains to general truth— only to particular means and methods. Without Faith to restrain Understanding (and Faith is the product of true Reason), mankind succumbs first to the death of the spirit and then to the death of the body. Coleridge, in the introduction to his second Lay Sermon, caricatures the Utilitarian as a dim-eyed old philosopher who “talked much and vehemently concerning an infinite series of causes and effects,” which turns out to be a string of blind men, one following another by clinging to his predecessor’s coat-tails, all striding confidently forward. “Who is at the head to guide them?” asks Coleridge; and the contemptuous sage informs him, “No one; the string of blind men goes on for ever without any beginning: for although one blind man cannot move without stumbling, yet infinite blindness supplies the want of sight.”
(The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Elliot Seventh Revised Edition
(Regnery Publishing: 1985) :136-136)

This type of philosophy unifies Darwinists and the Left. In his satiric look at Benthamites who believe that all is a set of ratios even as they lack a rationale for rationality Coleridge writes, "...although one blind man cannot move without stumbling, yet infinite blindness supplies the want of sight." That is what Darwinists are trying to say of the Blind Watchmaker as the result of the same philosophy of Naturalism.

Life itself involves a conflict between two antagonistic phenomena: Self-replication can produce, in theory, an infinite number of products; yet, in reality, the world that supplies the materials for replication is finite. Life, then, is a tension between the infinite and the finite. It is inevitable that the finite prevails.
(Science as a Way of Knowing:
The Foundations of Modern Biology
By John A. Moore :1)
At least they sometimes have a half-witted sort of half-sense that Life is more than finite. Yet isn't Nature finite by definition, how is there some distinction between Life with its capacity to be infinite and a finite Nature that it comes to be in "tension" against? Is Life an unnatural selection working against the natural selections of Nature, naturally enough? There is no answer in Naturalism.

I've noticed that Darwinists attack philosophers (including Plato), physicists, mathmeticians and of course ID theorists. It seems that they feel they can hang almost all Darwinian philosophy on biologists.

The Darwinian focus on biology combined with seeking to attack or undermine any limitation to biologizing all of Life was a proto-Nazi tendency among intellectuals of the past.

"Our whole cultural life for decades has been more or less under the influence of biological thinking, as it was begun particularly around the middle of the last century, by the teachings of Darwin...
(Hitler's Professors: The Part of Scholarship in
Germany's Crimes Against the Jewish People
By Max Weinreich
(New York:The Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1946) :33

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