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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Normality - A Moronblogger Article

So, I get to thinking about normality. I get cheesed off, you know, at LGF nowadays. I shouldn't, really - It's Charles' blog and money that's keeping it, and obviously a huge number of commenters and readers like him adding more of the anti-ID, anti-creationist stuff that he's doing right now. As a creationist, this obviously doesn't quite fit my bill, but I'm not gonna complain on his blog. I'm not really even gonna complain on my own - how many people actually read what I have to write?

But here's what gets me going; evolution, you see, is an upward transitionary path. You get from something less complex to something more complex; from a single-cell creature to a multi-cellular creature, to invertebrates, to vertebrates, to warm-blooded vertebrates and so on. But we all know the unthinking universe does not work like that. The Laws of Thermodynamics pretty much guarantee that the inevitable result of time, and even energy, into any system, is disorder. You know what the only way to reverse this is? Intelligence. Intelligence, and information, and energy, and time, can equal increased order or more complexity. It doesn't guarantee it, but it does make it possible.

This, by the way, is really what Charles and most every conservative knows. Because conservatism requires intelligence, and hence it's hard. The default (or normal) position of just about everyone on the face of the planet is to be lazy, ignorant, stubborn, self-centred and stupid. We start out like that when we're kids, and we have to be educated and trained out of it. Don't believe me? See what's happening now in the public school system in the States. Why is the usual tagline that you're more likely to be liberal when young and conservative when old? That's because the older you get, the more work you're likely to have done (or have to do), and the more mental power you have to exercise. Conservatism is a thinking man's game, and it is not the default. Democracy, or at least the truly useful type of democracy, is also not normal. Why are autocracies the major form of government throughout most of history? Because people are lazy, and prefer to have someone else do their thinking for them.

Remember when I said that intelligence is necessary but not sufficient for order and increased complexity? There is a great deal of intelligence in our cellular makeup (in fact, in cellular makeup, period). How the immune system recognises 'normal' cells and goes after everything else that doesn't belong, how the sensory organs transmit messages back to the brain, how our metabolic functions regulate our temperature, how our whole body struggles to preserve life at all costs - these are not simple tasks and require the dense information carried by our DNA, and the autonomic systems.

To get to what we call 'normal' or 'healthy' human physiology requires a lot of coordination and meshing together of interconnecting parts. And sometimes, it is not enough. We end up with blind and deaf and dumb people; autistic people, folks with allergies, haemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and a whole host of other congenital diseases. As if that's not enough, during our lifetimes we have to put up with arthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatism, cancer. Let me tell you, we are losing ground just trying to maintain our current states!

This, by the way, is why we say the price for peace is eternal vigilance. And why we have to fight to preserve our civilisation and our culture every generation. Because the 'normal' for us is actually an ideal situation, and that ideal situation requires a lot of effort to maintain. The actual 'normal' is war, poverty and barbarism.

Which brings me to the real point of my post. You know that there are militant deaf people out there, and also people who amputate (I call it mutilate) themselves because their mental 'idea' of themselves do not include a particular limb or other body part. In other times and other circumstances, we would try and counsel them out of it, won't we? We would think that a deaf person, given the opportunity to hear (maybe through artificial cochlear implants, or nerve regeneration, or whatever) would be crazy not to accept with gratitude, won't we? And someone who chops his right leg off because he though it didn't fit in with the rest of his body, even though it was physiologically sound, we would think needed to be put in the asylum, true?

And yet, such people and others like them do exist, and we put up with them - more, we encourage these insanities.

It does not give me much confidence.

EDIT: Yes, I am talking about SRS folk. For those of you who think this is some kind of sonic enhancement scheme, it also stands for Sex Reassignment Surgery, the let's-chop-of-your-balls-and-invert-your-dick-to-make-it-a-pussy-instead kind of surgery. But, the parallel situations I mention above are in fact real situations - not some twisted shit I dreamed up just to illustrate my point.

This one thing I don't know, though. Are there actual psychologists who recommend that a person who just feels wrong with a right arm get it amputated? Or who defend the militant deaf family's right to keep their daughter deaf or something?

If there are not, then I fail to see why there should be any difference between that and issues involving your genitals. If there are... words will fail me at that point. But let me just point out that a mere 5 decades ago, homosexuality was categorised and defined as a mental disease - and still is, in many parts of the world. Psychologists don't necessarily know everything, and I wouldn't appeal to their authority.

2 comments:

Attila said...

Are you discussing, in a backhanded way, gender dystopia and gender-reassignment surgery? Or are there really people out there who voluntarily give up actual limbs?

Or are there really deaf people who have access to cochlear implants and turn 'em down? 'Cause that's starting to sound like real-life Harrison Bergeron stuff.

Please advise.

Gregory Kong said...

Eh? I thought this was something most people knew about. Or maybe I'm just freakish that way. I know I'm a compilation of facts both useless and otherwise.

Firstly, let me just say that I am no medico, so I have a base, layman understanding of this whole thing. But you can search for "self amputation" and come up with such interesting links as...

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=18300593

http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/050911_amputfrm.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16122539

Oh, it gets better, much better. Now go ahead and search "militant deaf" and come up with such gems as

http://www.reason.com/news/show/28367.html

http://www.alldeaf.com/topic-debates/3272-do-u-consider-urself-deaf-militant-not-q.html

http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9329612/

http://attherimmm.blogspot.com/2008/06/spotting-deaf-militant.html

And this is just for starters...

Okay, so... audist? hearist? We're bigots because we want everyone to be able to hear! Argh! What does that make Jesus, the One who makes the blind see, the deaf hear and the lame walk?

But anyways, to answer your question; Yes.

How can I help it? The parallels are just too strong for me NOT to.

So, yeah. You gotta throw your hands up. I tried not to go blue language in my post, but WTF territory, right? I know I was 'WTF' for a good 5 mins when I read about those two phenomena I described.

And the slippery slope stuff argument is just so so so applicable that I couldn't resist the snark. But I don't think I need to spell it out, right?