fact, opinion and poetry (not airy-fairy)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Material World

We're living in a material world,
And yet it seems quite strange to us.
Inside ourselves we fondly fancy
That a spirit essence is our nature,
In the face of all the evidence
That we are made of solid matter.

We're very prone to stark deny
Our intellect is physical.
Events like strokes do give the lie
To a self-concept that's mythical:
Our brain may rot before we die;
To lose our mind's quite typical.

The accused man's brain has turned to sludge,
But the courts don't care to know.
The judge's gavel crashes down,
And off to gaol he must go;
Accountable though deranged.

As clarification, I am not averse to the idea that we have a spirit essence. I don't think that it can include the intellect as we understand it, including all our knowledge and memories, which are surely encoded in the structures of the nervous system. It's a problem, that we don't like to think about the extent to which those things are controlled by our material environment. Strong scientific evidence exists to show that criminal behaviour is related to pollution, junk food, etc.
Tony Blair promised to be 'tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime'. If only he had delivered on the latter half of that pledge, we would all have a better quality of life. 

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