From: Sam Norton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Nov 09 2004 - 12:07:19 GMT
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sam Norton" <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2004 3:46 PM
Subject: Re: MD the worst thing about 9/11 according to the MoQ
> Hi DMB, (also Arlo at the end, anyone interested)
> > Sam replied:
> > 'Instrumentalist' is a technical term in moral philosophy, I guess you're
> > unfamiliar with that sort of thing. ...
> > dmb says:
> > There you go again. One day you say that Pirsig gives an "instrumentalist
> > justification, which has no place for the value of people as such", only
> > ideas - and the next you say Pirsig's intellect "is not instrumentally
> > good". And again with suggestion that I'm ignorant, that I should know
> > you're using "a technical term in moral philosophy".
> My comment was obnoxious. I apologise.
> However, I still think you're confused, and your confusion has led you to misrepresent what I
> My words were:
> > > dmb says:
> > > Pirsig
> > > is isn't saying that math formulas are more important than people, he's
> > > saying that, as far as static patterns go, intellect is worth preserving
> > > above all BECAUSE of the way they serve and enhance LIFE as we know it.
> > In other words, the intellect gains value as it is instrumental in preserving life etc, it has
> > value in itself (your presentation of Pirsig's argument, which I think is an inaccurate
> > representation of his view, but it's a clear example. I think Pirsig would say that intellect
> > value as SQ, ie it is not instrumentally good).
> > My point is that the standard MoQ has no locus of value corresponding to people as such,
> > people (whether they exist or not in the MoQ) are of only indirect concern - what is of value is
> > IDEA. I'm not sure you've grasped my point here.
> When you refer to me as describing Pirsig giving an instrumentalist justification, I am in fact
> quoting you doing that thing. When you go on to say that I am contradicting myself, what I am in
> fact doing is contradicting your reading of Pirsig. The contradiction is yours, not mine. Either
> people have value in and of themselves within the moral scheme that is the MoQ, or they do not
> the value that 'people' have is derivative from the value of the patterns that inhere in them). If
> the former is the case then it makes sense to say that the loss of people in 9/11 was a wrong,
> stop. If the latter is the case then the loss of people in 9/11 was a wrong BECAUSE the patterns
> that inhered in them were valuable, and they could have dynamically developed new patterns, which
> would also be valuable. It's the BECAUSE that I'm trying to get at. Is that still unclear?
> > Sam said:
> > My point is that the standard MoQ has no locus of value corresponding to
> > people as such, therefore people (whether they exist or not in the MoQ) are
> > of only indirect concern - what is of value is the IDEA. I'm not sure you've
> > grasped my point here.
> > dmb says:
> > I think your oncoherent point is based on a misconception of the self. You
> > think that because Pirsig has rejected the notion of the isolated ego self
> > as anything more than a conventional construct, then there are no such
> > things as people. Its not that I fail to grasp this point, it that I think
> > its entirely ridiculous! And your lame attempt to paint the MOQ as heartless
> > and amoral is equally ridiculous.
> I note you haven't actually advanced a case here, you've just called me names. (Which I was
> asking for, so fair enough). But as I read the rejection of the isolated ego self, it could
> represent just as easily the third level social patterns imposed on an individual. There seems no
> distinction made in the MoQ between, eg, someone we would all agree was ego-bound (Saddam
> and someone who was fully actualised in a Jungian sense (or 'enlightened', whichever language
> works). In each case the 'person' is an illusion. As you know, I think this is a mistake - and I
> think the 9/11 point brings it out.
> > dmb had said:
> > It seems to me that if we followed the logic of Sam's interpretaton all the
> > way through to the end, we might conclude that the MOQ supports a genocide
> > against all the stupid people.
> > Sam replied:
> > Please do explain why the MoQ would see this as a bad thing (starting from
> > the axiom that 'stupid people' are incapable of generating positive value in
> > fourth level SQ and overall DQ terms). The more I ponder this the more I
> > think it is a major problem for the MoQ. But as you know, I've gone into
> > elements of this before.
> > dmb says:
> > The MOQ advocates genocide against stupid people? You can seriously
> > entertain the thought? I find it impossible to take such a thoutht
> > seriously. It was intended to point out the absurity of your position and
> > instead of objecting with vigor, you've embraced the ridiculous.
> Note that you've gone from suggesting that the logic of the MoQ that I'm outlining would "support"
> genocide (ie not be able to fully account for why it is wrong) to saying that my point is that
> MOQ advocates genocide against stupid people". That's a rhetorical sleight of hand which is just
> muddying the waters.
> I genuinely do want to know how and why the standard MoQ assesses genocide as wrong. It seems to
> that the standard MoQ cannot do it, if the following criteria are met:
> 1. The social patterns of one civilisation are of radically higher Quality than another, ie they
> allow for a greater variety of human flourishing across a vast spectrum of behaviour;
> 2. The social patterns in the 'inferior' are constructed in such a way that they cannot adapt in
> 'brujo' like fashion to absorb the higher Quality patterns of the other civilisation.
> Perhaps 'ethnocide' would be a better description, as doubtless the MoQ would see the loss of
> biological patterns as wasteful, and therefore wrong etc. But I see no way in which the MoQ would
> see, for example, the extermination of the Native American population as a wrong in and of itself.
> It would be seen as a wrong because it caused the loss of intellectual patterns (but if those
> patterns could be otherwise preserved, eg in books, that loss is mitigated) and it would be seen
> a wrong because it (may) lead to a loss of potential DQ. But there is no wrong in and of itself in
> killing people. People do not have moral status in the MoQ, and therefore there is no bar to
> removing them, if the wider context justifies it.
> I don't believe this is a ridiculous point. I think it is closely parallel to the time in ZMM when
> Pirsig is at Benares and debating the morality of Hiroshima. It would be good if you could defend
> the MoQ (or say how I've misunderstood it).
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