energy, action, and power

Sunday, February 15th, 2004

The ideas of energy, action, and power are going to take different forms in English literature through various voices and imagined worlds, such as Blake’s and Shelley’s. The authors will reflect on permanence, change, and relationships.

We’re always going to be working with a subtext of philosophic and/or emperical materialism and various kinds of spiritualism and their manifestations in forms: science, philiosophy, art, religion and government. But there are loose distinctions between the approaches to the real and the spiritual. Contemporarily, philosophic materialism and empirical materialism (I make a distinction)are at odds. Science is the study of the observable. Science’s mission is not to disprove or prove the existence of deity. To claim an atheistic program to science is a strawman argument. It’s the same as claiming that those who engineer cars are trying to change the nature of horses or prevent peoples’ use of their legs. Neither is the argument that materialism denies a spritual reality something to take to heart. That Hobbes may or may not have been an atheist is a conclusion that leads to wasted time.

We may appeal to the deity for the right answers, but we still need to act. It is people who will bear the consequences.

We need supercolliders; we need to understand the subatomic. We could always explain the birth of children by inferring that children are placed whole into the womb by the gods rather than as the result of biological processes. This is another kind of power negotiation. Maybe life’s difficulties come from the eggs generated by Leda and Zeus or come as a result of Adam and Eve. Maybe those are stories we tell because we have no better answer.

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