Monday, November 10, 2008

The miracle of a child

I am fascinated by small children. When I see a baby looking intently at something, I have to wonder what is going on in her mind.

They seem to know so little, and capable of less. Yet even the youngest child is a keen observer of the world, constructs her own understanding of it, makes up her own mind, and then insists on getting her way. If you don’t believe it, just ask any mother who tries to feed a baby something that the baby does not like.

Some people choose to believe that a person’s mind is nothing but a bunch of neurons, constructed by chance without purpose, firing according to some laws of physics or chemistry without purpose, resulting in some behaviour under nobody’s control but nature, serving no one’s particular purpose. Some people believe there is no such thing as a mind, other than a bunch of neurons firing in a certain pattern.

I find it extremely hard to believe that a child comes into this world without purpose, that “purpose” is only what we human beings ascribe to it. Why would this idea of “purpose” arise if there is no such thing in the first place?

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