Re: MD is god real?

From: David Morey (
Date: Thu Oct 21 2004 - 18:29:33 BST

  • Next message: jainy maewood: "Re: MD Poetic Quality"

    Hi Mark

    That question makes no sense to me
    and I have no way to answer it. God or
    quality are not beings or entities that may
    or may not be absent from the world.
    I think the problems here come down to
    ontology. As Pirsig says there is only
    experience. We then cut it up and use
    bi-polar dualisms to analyse it. God and quality
    are not clearly of this sort. We cannot differentiate
    them out and contrast them to patterns that are
    clearly different from god-type or quality-type patterns.
    The use of terms like god and quality is with respect
    to understanding the dynamic non-patterned aspects
    of our experience. Just ask yourself why you use a term
    like cosmos or universe even though there is no way to
    experience it as whole. To me it is clear that talk about
    quality as a whole or dynamic quality is on pretty similar
    ground to that occupied by truly philosophical thinking about
    god. What we seem to mean by dynamic quality is the
    experience of the endless change of experience, things, patterns,
    people, etc, sweep in and out of our experience. We are constantly
    saying hello to new patterns and goodbye to familiar ones never
    to be seen again. To cope with all this we build up these internal
    patterns, concepts, languages to make sense of all this coming and
    going. Big ideas we have (including universals) go way beyond what we
    actually experience, such as trees (the universal concept, we never get to
    see all trees), Europe (just exist in our heads as a whole), or cosmos
    real, expereinced all the time, but nothing like the whole cosmos).
    The key concepts here are absence (stuff comes and goes) & nothing
    (stuff just emerges from and dis-emerge to nothing). God is one way
    of talking about this dynamic/creative/awesome/responsible/high value/
    moral/destructive stuff. God talk hangs around the experiential reality
    of absence, presence, emergence, dis-emergence. You might not like god-talk.
    Fair enough that's a matter of taste. But you are always open to the
    that whatever term you are using is just a substitute for god. I think both
    options are
    good, e.g. quality-talk gets us to think this deep stuff in a fresh way,
    whilst god-talk can use
    old words and thinking where that thinking has been good. Generally, I find
    that anti-god
    talk folk have experienced low-quality thinking on these subjects, whilst
    the pro-god-talk
    camp are either more familiar with high-quality god talk or are in the
    low-quality god talk
    camp and are pretty ignorant. My own path has been from a pure atheist back
    obsession with science and philosophy, discovery of the problems and
    aspects of atheist and secular thinking, to discovery of high-quality god
    talk that actually
    engages with issues that secular and atheist thinking dogmatically refuse to
    Most secular thinking fails to get as deep as Pirsig does, and let's face it
    when he gets
    deep he starts to open his thinking up to what is still religion, but of the
    eastern variety.
    I guess my position is pro-deep thinking, and my suggestion is that unless
    you avoid
    deep thinking, you are going to have to start talking about stuff that often
    the use of the god-word. Do you really imagine that we would talk about god
    for thousands
    of years only to find that god is a fiction. How strange would that make us.
    At the least,
    much of the stuff that relates to god must be worth talking about. If god
    proves to be a
    bad fiction for talking about this stuff, then we need a new fiction to
    this stuff. I suggest that the secular claim that god is an un-necessary
    has to be as convincing as an equivalent argument that say the cosmos or
    have turned out to be bad fictions. So far my research shows me that this
    argument is pretty weak, that it has more to do with avoiding hard thinking
    and tough
    questions. This has had its use and enabled science to be simple minded and
    able to
    show what can be achieved by a simple approach pushed as far as it will go.
    For me the MOQ is part of a movement in thought that is shouting Hey! things
    are not as simple as science and secular thought claims. We have been on a
    I suspect that going forward we may now have to think again about retrieving
    some of the concepts and thinking that may show where we have falsely
    simplified reality.

    David M

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Mark Steven Heyman" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2004 5:23 AM
    Subject: Re: MD is god real?

    > David Morey,
    > Your response to my question "How does God differ from Pirsig's
    > Quality" was, semi-respectfully, a lot of shuck, shuffle, and jive.
    > My belief in the reality of Quality derives form the absurdity of a
    > world without it, as Pirsig so clearly shows in ZMM.
    > So, my question here is: How would a world, devoid of Quality, be
    > different from a world devoid of God? Please be as specific as
    > possible.
    > Scott Roberts, if you are reading along, I'd be interested in your
    > response to this question, just substitute "disembodied
    > consciousness" for "God."
    > Thanks,
    > msh
    > --
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