RE: MD md death penalty

From: Mangiola Nunzio arivia.kom (
Date: Thu May 31 2001 - 07:08:35 BST

So in short Quality is ever changing as shown by DQ and
you as an individual define quality. Therefore you as an
individual define reality and we can go on and say that
you as an individual define your own Morals. What MOQ
tells us is that We as Individuals define all these things.
Society actually has no real say in these quality decisions
we make. Though many wait for society to make these
decisions for you. A prime example is a FAD. A decision
made for an individual by society.

> ----------
> From: Matt the Amazing Technicolor Dream
> Coat[]
> Reply To:
> Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 12:01 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: MD md death penalty
> Simon:
> I'm sorry, my bad! We were talking through each other and not about the
> real problem:
> You think there's a foundation to your [social] morals.
> Myself, Pirsig, Sartre, Camus, Foucault, and every other existentialist
> and post-modernist would, however, disagree. That's not to mention the
> Analytics and Pragmatists.
> Pirsig was attacking the logical empiricist/positivist position that holds
> that values, morals, religion, and art aren't verifiable (because they
> remain in the subject) and, therefore, are not areas in which we can have
> legitimate knowledge. (Lila Ch. 8) Pirsig, and everyone here I would
> presume, disagrees with this. But now Pirsig has to come up with where
> they exist and how and why they are verifiable. This is the core message
> of ZAMM and Lila. And its not neccessarily and easy thing to do, hence
> the second book, Lila.
> Existentialists and Post-Modernists would vary the attack slightly. After
> Nietzsche knocks down any outside interference from God, the attack would
> be that morals and values are given by society. What's wrong with that,
> you say? They're completely arbitrary, of course! Enter relativism, the
> intellectual scourge that has laid waste to our society's foundations for,
> well, whatever foundation ya' got.
> There have been attempts to resurrect a foundation in the vacuous hole
> left by society's morals. All of the people who have made these attempts
> fully understand the implications of modern science, which is partly
> responsible for the intellectual hole. These include utilitarianism and
> Simone de Beavoir's Ethics of Ambiguity. They also include attempts at
> ethics by scientist/philosophers. They are written in books with titles
> like The Philosophy of Biology and The Metaphysics of Evolution and
> Biology and the Foundation of Ethics. None of them, however, quite work.
> Why? Because as Pirsig has pointed out, they are using the wrong
> language.
> You seem to take offense at the use of morality in relation to physics and
> inorganic static patterns of value, in general. Fine. Whatever. It's
> not important what words we use. It's the truth that's behind them that's
> important. The "socially high quality" in not killing someone is, by
> itself, intellectually foundationless. It is that way for all the reasons
> given above. Pirsig, in the Metaphysics of Quality, gives it an
> intellectual foundation. He says that "Thou shalt not murder" is a social
> static pattern of value. Still foundationless. That's just renaming
> "socially high quality". The foundation comes from "All life is a
> migration of static patterns of quality towards Dynamic Quality." (Lila
> Ch. 11) Why is it migrating towards Dynamic Quality? It must be because
> DQ is inherently higher up on the totem pole. Why is it higher? Its
> higher for the same reason that Quality exists in the first place: the
> world wouldn't function if it weren't or at least it wouldn't look the way
> it does. (ZAMM Ch. 18)
> So, essentially, if you already agree that "Thou shalt not murder" than,
> yeah, MOQ doesn't say anything new. What it does do is give a foundation
> to the argument made towards those who do not believe in "Thou shalt not
> murder". Without that foundation you get lost in relativism, specifically
> cultural relativism. And the MOQ then gives a foundation for other
> arguments made in relation to other, more morally fuzzy statements such as
> "Thou shalt not abort" or "do drugs".
> (And by the way, if you define morals as "social values" than, yeah, of
> course, it will only apply to social static patterns of value. What
> Pirsig was doing, in naming moral judgements the foundations of reality,
> was continuing to make light of the fact that positivists believe that
> values only reside in the subject and that, therefore, aren't real and
> blah, blah (you probably know the argument against SOM in ZAMM and Lila by
> now). "Conventional morals" are all those foundationless codes that I've
> named off above. They are foundationless partly because positivists don't
> acknowledge the reality of values. "...moral judgements are essentially
> assertions of value..." didn't include the "social" bit because values
> already implicitly meant subject/society/person/whatever. Pirsig is
> saying that this implicit assumption is dead wrong. The reason society
> has the "moral" high ground against biology and can control it in the name
> of society is because of the MOQ foundation. Without it we would have a
> recurrence of the 1920's when Intellectualism declared itself supreme and
> that society was foundationless and biology was the last stop before the
> intellect. (Lila Ch 21 and 22))
> Matt

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