Re: MD Is Morality Relative?

Date: Thu Dec 02 2004 - 06:24:24 GMT

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    Hi, Mark --

    > msh asks:
    > Man's conscious awareness is the "reason for existence" of existence?
    > Or do you mean raison d'etre in the less strict sense of teleological
    > purpose? If so, the MOQ provides all the purpose one needs: the
    > purpose of existence is to strive for Quality, to simply get better.

    I guess I mean both. If you believe in anthropocentrism, as I do, existence
    is for man's benefit. But to the extent that man's existence provides an
    "extrinsic" experience of the Creator's value, it serves a teleological
    purpose. I'm sorry, but "to simply get better" does not suffice as a moral
    platform for me.

    > Who are we to question "imperfection"?
    > msh:
    > Well, then who are we to question anything? This problem of
    > imperfection only arises when someone tries to explain empirical
    > reality after positing the existence of a perfect "designer." Drop
    > the assumption, and the "problem" disappears.

    I don't have a problem. What assumption would you have me drop? That there
    is a creator, that there is a designer, or that the designer is perfect?

    Let's put it this way. The physical world did not create itself. Its
    self-sustained order implies design. Hence, there is a "designer". I don't
    particularly like the "intelligent" attribute because it suggests
    rationality which is a human perspective. I don't like Quality, either,
    because it doesn't relate to a primary source. Essence, I think, avoids
    both of these drawbacks, which is why I use identify the ineffable,
    all-encompassing source.
    > ham:
    > How do we know that what we see as imperfect may not be essential to
    > the development of man's value sensibility?
    > msh says:
    > We don't. But why assume the imperfections are put in place as part
    > of a design to develop man's value sensibility; why not simply
    > recognize that every sentient's value sensibility develops because
    > the world is an imperfect place?

    Did the chicken produce the egg, or vice-versa? Either way, it serves the
    same teleogical purpose.
    > ham:
    > For anyone who has studied embryology or the immune system, nothing
    > produced by man approaches the perfection of these biological
    > systems. But even the most perfectly constructed clock occasionally
    > needs oiling and eventually wears down.
    > msh says:
    > Please. Anyone who has studied either of the systems you mention is
    > well-aware of how imperfect they are. Ever hear of AIDS? Horribly
    > deformed new-borns and non-viable fetuses?

    You're opening up a whole new can of worms, Mark, and I don't think you want
    to go there. The auto-immune system is perfectly balanced and remarkably
    efficient. Science has yet to understand its full complexity; but, like any
    finely tuned process, it can be sabotaged by abuse. The horrors of disease
    are often brought about by man's abuses of Nature, such as gluttony,
    smoking, drug addiction, and sexual perversion.
    > msh says:
    > Your submission is really a highly suspect assumption, based on
    > "facts" not in evidence.

    Belief systems are concepts that are incapable of empirical proof, thus they
    are always suspect for the non-believer. Do you have facts to the contrary?
    > msh says:
    > I appreciate the thought, and can even understand the attraction for
    > some people, to some extent. However, contrary to popular mythology,
    > we are all in the same foxhole, and many of us love life enough to
    > take it, and leave it, on its own terms, no comforting certainty
    > required.

    Good for you! You're quite right that there is no certainty in this life.
    Now if you could turn that idea around and see that the very lack of moral
    or material certitude is itself an "absolute", perhaps you would understand
    how this might, in a teleological sense, ensure our freedom as autonomous
    creatures. (Read the "Freedom" section of my thesis if you haven't already
    done so.)

    Thanks for your consideration of this topic.

    Essentially yours,


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