I called Bob the other day.
Hi Bob. My friends and I were wondering how to define the intellectual
level. We were asking questions about why it should be in charge of things,
how it relates to the social level, and its relation to individual
intelligence. You know, stuff like that. So I wanted to ask you about the
intellectuals after WWI, the ones you wrote about in chapter 22. You said
there was a flaw in their metaphysics and that it created a certain kind of
terrible lonliness. How is this intellectual flaw related to existential
(PAGE 283) "Everyone seemed to be guided by an "objective," "scientific"
view of life that told each person that his essential self is his evolved
material body. Ideas and societies are a component of brains, not the other
way around. No two brains can merge physically, and therefore no two people
can ever really communicate except in the mode of ship's radio operators
sending messages back and forth in the night. A scientific, intellectual
culture had become a culture of millions of isolated people living and dying
in little cells of psychic solitary confinement, unable to talk to one
another, really, and unable to judge one another because scientifically
speaking it is impossible to do so."
Oh. And you're saying they're wrong. That it is the other way around. You're
saying that brains are just components of social and intellecual values.
Wow. That IS quite different than the standard view. It certainly helps
explain the amorality of science. How does the MOQ propose to fix the
intellectual level's SOM disease?
(PAGE 298) "What the larger intellectual structure of the MoQ makes clear is
that this political battle of science to free itself from domination by
social moral codes was in fact a MORAL battle! It was the battle of a
higher, intellectual level of evolution to keep itself from being devoured
by a lower, social level of evolution."
Whew! I was afraid you'd get all anti-intellectual on me there. I should
have known. That's not your style. The intellectual level should be in
charge because it is the most evolved level, even if it needs improvement.
The intellectual level is supposed to free itself from domination by social
values. So how does the MOQ's expanded view include morals in its science?
How is the intellectual level supposed to include social values?
(PAGE 299) "Once this political battle is resolved, the MoQ can then go back
and re-ask the question, Just exactly HOW independent IS science, in FACT,
from society? The answer it gives is, "not at all." A science in which
social patterns are of no account is as unreal and absurd as a society in
which biological pattterns are of no account. It's an impossibility."
Makes sense. Its hard to imagine a pack of dogs without any dogs. So how
does this inter-dependence of the level relate to SOM's lonliness?
(PAGE 299) "The MoQ resolves the relationship between intellect and society,
subject and object, mind and matter, by embedding all of them in a larger
system of understanding. Objects are inorganic and biological values;
subjects are social and intellectual values. They are not two mysterious
universes that go floating around in some subject-object dream that allows
them no real contact with one another. They have a matter-of-fact
evolutionary relationship. That evolutionary relationship is also a moral
Ok. Its all starting to seem like one big picture. Its like a grand
progression of evolutionary morality and it requires the preservation of the
progress of the past. Intellect ought not destroy or be dominated by lower
levels of static quality. We need intellectuals who appreciate that they can
only exist by standing on the sholders of giants, so to speak. OK. Suppose
we extract all the SOM flaws, reintegrate "subjective" values back into our
science and everything starts evolving like it should. What's the point?
Where is all that evolutionary morality headed? What's the purpose of
(PAGE 300) "The cells Dynamically invented animals to preserve and improve
their situation. The animals Dynamically invented societies, and societies
Dynamically invented intellectual knowledge for the same reasons. Therefore,
to the question, 'What is the purpose of all this intellectual knowledge?'
the MoQ answers, 'The fundamental purpose of knowledge is to Dynamically
improve and preserve society.' Knowledge has grown away from this historic
purpose and become an end in itself just as society has grown away from its
original purpose of preserving physical human beings and become an end in
itself, and this growing away from original purposes toward greater Quality
is a moral growth."
Of course. Its the same as it always was. Its all about betterness. Its
about making things better. I admire the pragmatism of that. But how does
the MOQ include social values without turning into a Rigelistic moralizer
like I hear on talk radio?
(PAGE 300) "Intellect can support static patterns of society without fear of
domination by carefully distinguishing those moral issues that are
social-biological from those that are intellectual-social and making sure
there is not encroachment either way. What's at issue here isn't just a
clash of society and biology but a clash of two entirely different CODES of
morals in which society is the middle term. You have a society-vs.-biology
code of morals and you have an intellect-vs.-society code of morals. It
wasn't Lila Rigel was attacking, it was this intellect-vs-society code of
Yea I've noticed that the Victorians love to talk about morals and character
alot. But they're defending the wrong codes. That explains the fascination
with celebrities and sex scandals. Seems that guys like Richard Rigel and
Rush Limbaugh just love to blame the sixties and that whole thing. Thats why
they called Clinton a "counter-culture McGovern-nick".
(PAGE 301) "Rigel's interpetation of recent moral history is probably a
pretty simple one; old codes vs. new chaos. But a MoQ says it's not that
simple. ... The Hippies have been interpreted as frivolous spoiled children,
and the period following their departure as a "return to values," whatever
that means. The Metaphysics of Quality, however, says that's backward: the
Hippie revolution was a moral movement. The present period is the collapse
So, ironically, the so-called return of traditional values is really an
evolutionary regression or a phase of devolution. Wow. But all this is about
national moods and historical movements and evolutionary progress. What can
I do as an individual in the face of all that? It seems so over-whelming.
(FROM PAGE 360) "If you compare the levels of static patterns that compose a
human being to the ecology of a forest, and if you see the different
patterns sometimes in competition with each other, sometimes is symbiotic
support of each other, but always in a kind of tension that will shift one
way or the other, depending on evolving circumstances, then you can also see
that evolution doesn't take place only within societies, it takes place
within individuals too."
Oh. Well then. I better get busy. Bye Bob.
Then I hung up without remembering to thank him.
MOQ.org - http://www.moq.org
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