Essence-down and Parts-up

There are two ways of seeing things: essence-down or parts-up. Classically, Westerners (at least) have seen things essence-down, but science has changed everything to parts-up.


In the essence-down, system, a snake is essentially a snake, and its parts conform to the idea of “snake” that God had in His Mind when He invented snakes. The human being is a soul and a body, and a human being's capabilities, obligations, composition, and worth are in line with the essential nature of humanity.


In the parts-up system, snakes are made out of snake parts, which are put together in a bunch of different ways, making different sorts of snakes. A snake's parts conform to their own smaller parts, their tissues, cells, and DNA. The snake is built up molecule by molecule according to algorithms encoded in molecules. If there is something inherently snakey about all snakes, it's not their definitive essence; instead it is their common ancestor, who hunted bugs 90 million of years ago. The humans species has been built up bit by bit, and your DNA code has been built up bit by bit, and you personally have been built up bit by bit.


It's the same with the soul, free will, and other classic concepts. Once they were understood according to their essential definitions, and now they're understood as derived or emergent functions.


October 2007