#Descartes Was Wrong
Descartes declared ‘Cogito ergo sum’ or ‘I think therefore I am’. It was the rise of Reason as the supreme arbiter, the moment that Man took over from God, at least amongst 17th century European intellectuals. He should have realised ‘Sum ergo cogito’ — ‘I am therefore I think’. Without existence there is no thought. Even an android still has to be programmed by a human. May we never reach the Singularity (more about that later). Descartes went on to pontificate that animals had no souls nor any emotions, therefore they were only mechanical. How mechanical the animals’ screaming must have sounded when they were dissected alive in the name of Science in those early days of research. I don’t know what a soul is (I suspect it is just another man-made construct)but I know if I look into the eyes of an animal it is a sensitive, emotional being looking back at me. What Descartes should have said was ‘I am therefore I think, and I should be thinking about what I am doing to the planet’.
In the Women’s Movement.
Shall I play Plato to your Socrates, sister?
Recording messages of wit and wisdom and female philosophy,
Unravelling the knotted sleeve of lies
With which some men have sought to strangle us?
(Their theories only suited them,
Our webs must weave a truer thread.)
Shall I be Boswell to your Johnson, lady?
Preserving for posterity the joy
With which you cleave the bondage of conditioning,
To make us laugh at what we thought to fear?
(Things that go bump in the night
Are only patriarchal egos rolling down stairs!)
Would I were Watson to your Holmes, my friend.
What mysteries of life we two could solve,
What villains pinpoint with your powerful mind?
With what tales I could regale the crowd.
(The archetypal Fall would be the fall of Moriarty,
Not Adam, seven stone weakling, he.)
Yes, you and I will talk and write,
Will dare to think and use our minds
To see the truth in all that lies around.
(Don’t mind the screaming on the television,
It’s only the powers of darkness dissolving in our light.)