4.09.2010

Animal / Machine

Inspired by the renaissance philosopher, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola who with his essay Oration on the Dignity of Man (1486) gave rise to renaissance humanism, I see man as a being with a freedom of choice in what he is to be. Pico della Mirandola describes man as a being capable of imitating any existing creature. When man philosophizes, he would ascend the chain of being towards the angels. When he fails to exercise his intellect, he vegetates. According to Pico della Mirandola, only human beings could change themselves through their own free will, whereas all other changes in nature were the result of some external force acting on whatever it is that undergoes change. Understandably for his time, Pico della Mirandola lets man choose between vegetating like a plant, living an animal life or ascending towards the angels. Nowadays I feel our choice is different and lies between living the life of an animal or that of a machine. Some people live like animals, pleasure seeking from lust to lumber, without a plan, without reflection, enslaved by their own sentiments. Others live as machines; goal directed, efficiently structured, in control, but without feeling of life. Whereas animals will always stay within the animalistic, and machines are confined in the world of systems, every human being walking the face of the earth has a choice. Unlike Pico della Mirandola, who encouraged humans to ascend towards the angels, I deem the place a human being should aspire lies exactly in the middle, between the animal and the machine. As I see it we, humans are system-animals. Finding a balance between our animalistic and our systematic qualities is as close to an angel we can get.
thanks Adele

1 opmerking:

Kevin zei

Very interesting thoughts. However, I would give humanity greater credit than that. I think we are much higher than animals or machines, though some people choose to fall into those categories because of the choices they make. We, as children of God, have the ability to reach a divine potential.