Sorry about the wait. Maybe this thread's already died it's natural death, I
>Pirsig justifies warfare in Chap. 13 of Lila. He wrote:
>"An evolutionary morality would at first seem to say yes, a society has a
>right to murder people to prevent its own destruction. A primitive
>isolated village threatened by brigands has a moral right and
>obligation to kill them in self-defense since a village is a higher form of
>evolution. When the United States drafted troops for the Civil War
>everyone knew that innocent people would be murdered. The North
>could have permitted the slave states to become independent and
>saved hundreds of thousands of lives. But an evolutionary morality
>argues that the North was right in pursuing that war because a nation
>is a higher form of evolution than a human body, and the principle of
>human equality is an even higher form than a nation."
AND SIMON LOOKS CONFUSED AT WHAT HIS ONCE HERO PIRSIG HAS SAID HERE:
This extract equates a human being with being solely a biological quality
pattern. And I'm damn sure I remember in the capital punishment extract he
also gave humans intellectual quality pattern form. Here intellectual
quality pattern appears to refer to such things as the idea of human
equality. And as I've said before, what precisely is it in the MOQ that
allows you to say that the principle of human equality has any higher
quality than the principle of human inequality? They're both just
intellectual quality patterns.
AND THEN PLATT GOES ON TO SAY:
>Also in Chap. 13 Pirsig makes a statement relevant to your question:
>"When a society is not itself threatened, as in the execution of individual
>criminals, the issue becomes more complex. In the case of treason or
>insurrection or war a criminal's threat to a society can be very real. But
>if an established social structure is not seriously threatened by a
>criminal, then an evolutionary morality would argue that there is no
>moral justification for killing him."
>Since the suspected IRA terrorists are dedicated to insurrection, to
>torture them for information to help defeat their aims would appear to
>moral under the MOQ though not absolute.
SIMON'S FACE LIGHTS UP WITH UNDERSTANDING:
So, if someone really threatens society then society can kill him. Or at
least torture him.
BUT IT WAS ONLY THE HEADLIGHTS OF A PASSING TRUCK:
Why can society kill or torture him? Because he is solely biological
quality? Someone's going to have to explain this one a little more clearly
for me to get to grips with it. But with torture, the real scarring is
intellectual is it not? The physical wounds will heal, but the mental ones
will last forever. But apparently humans aren't part of the intellectual
level, they're just biological.
ANOTHER TRUCK HAS PULLED UP IN FRONT OF HIM AND OFFERED HIM A RIDE FURTHER
DOWN THE ROAD:
Society may kill a band of insurrectionists. Cool. The USA would have been
totally moral had the Bay of Pigs actually worked (although i guess that's a
moot point on this forum ;~)). The USA was morally justified in fighting in
Vietnam. And on Mayday, tell the police they needn't use rubber bullets,
they can use lead. Remember kiddies, society can kill insurrectionists,
that's the dynamic way, that's how society moves forward.
LATER PLATT DECLARED:
>Unlike the human rights declarations of the UN which have no other
>rationale than the musings of a bunch of politicians and diplomats and
>thus carrying little moral weight and regularly ignored by UN members,
>your arguments have a rational basis thanks to the MOQ.
SO SIMON GOT OUT OF THE TRUCK AND BACK INTO THE DARKNESS TO PONDER IT:
The MOQ has only given me a different way of saying what I was going to say
anyway. It hasn't helped me make any ethical decisions, nor has it really
rationalised them. I have my intellectual quality patterns, Pinochet has
his, and the MOQ isn't really helping me argue against them. The only thing
that helps me make ethical decisions is my own idea of quality.
And, I guess it doesn't really apply to the USA, but the European Convention
of Human Rights is having an enormous effect here (a view contested by some,
but that's my opinion). And the reason isn't because it lacks a "rational
basis", but because individuals can actually bring it against the state,
unlike the UN conventions, protocols and treaties which can only be brought
by states against states (politicians against politicians - and we all know
how ethical they are).
AND PLATT CONCLUDED:
>mean that social morality is suddenly cut and dried as your arguments
>and counter arguments cleverly demonstrate. But it does mean that
>morality need not depend on emanations from God or fulminations of
>the mob as is presently the case. Thanks for making that abundantly
WHICH MADE SIMON THINK:
No, it kind of means that morality is subjective doesn't it.
Beauty [quality] is in the eye of the beholder.
Otherwise we wouldn't be arguing whether capitalism or socialism could kick
the other's ass. Morally speaking of course. Perhaps we're all just either
brainwashed or alienated by the society we live in. We either kiss its ass
or hate the stench.
Come to think of it, perhaps all quality is social. Would explain a hell of
Maybe my current cynicism is just the exams talking. Or maybe the MOQ really
is of no greater quality than a SOM.
AND THE MORAL OF THE STORY CHILDREN? NEVER ACCEPT LIFTS FROM STRANGERS,
HITCH-HIKING IS DANGEROUS FOR THE MIND; YOU'LL GET FURTHER WALKING.
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