Re: MD Is Morality Relative?

From: Mark Steven Heyman (
Date: Thu Dec 02 2004 - 17:17:31 GMT

  • Next message: Sam Norton: "Re: MD Is Morality Relative?"

    Hi Ham. Thanks for the response.

    On 2 Dec 2004 at 1:24, wrote:

    > 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.

    Well, that's fine for you. But then your entire "philosophy" of
    Essentialism is really just another brand of theism, the first
    assumption of which is the existence of a Universal Creator, a man
    (or being) with a plan. Why not call it what it is? Setting aside
    the usual jargon, in what way does your brand of theism provide a
    higher quality understanding of the world than, say, Christianity or

    > 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?

    msh says:
    My point is that when you ask, with quotes around the word: Who are
    we to question "imperfection'?, you are saying that what we perceive
    to be imperfections are really part of God's Plan, and who are we to
    question God? In other words, your response to anyone who points
    to imperfections in the system as evidence of bad or non-existent
    planning, is "You aren't God, so you don't see the design." Do you
    not grasp the circularity here? Nothing can count as evidence
    against the existence of your Designer. This is not philosophy; this
    is Religion.

    Let's put it this way. The physical world did not create itself.
    Its self-sustained order implies design. Hence, there is a

    msh says:
    This is Philosophy 101. Where, in your thesis, do you answer
    Philo's dismantling of the Design Argument (Hume's Dialogues
    Concerning Natural Religion)?

    > ham asked:
    > How do we know that what we see as imperfect may not be essential
    to the development of man's value sensibility?

    > msh responded:
    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?

    ham responded:
    Did the chicken produce the egg, or vice-versa? Either way, it
    serves the same teleogical purpose.

    msh says:
    Hardly. Re my response above, the first requires a Designer; the
    second does not. The purpose of the first, as you've said, is to
    "experience the value of the Designer." The purpose of the second is
    just to strive for Quality, to get better.

    > > msh says re perfect systems:
    > 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 say:
    O yeah, I forgot. AIDS is God's punishment for homosexual behavior.
    But at least you say diseases are OFTEN brought about by our abuses
    of nature, not always. Look, the fact is that these perfect
    biological systems aren't always perfect to start with, and all of
    them become diseased and break down COMPLETELY in a VERY short
    period of time, usually in far less than 100 years. There are
    unmaintained buildings, paintings, sculpture, bridges, pyramids that
    have lasted far longer than that. Are you saying that your
    Universal Designer is no better than a mediocre structural engineer?
    At best, living beings can be described as fleeting islands of
    negative entropy. What's ironic, and sad ,is to think so much of
    this fleeting time is spent inventing ideas of immortality

    > > msh said:
    > 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:
    There are never enough facts to prove a negative. The important
    difference between a philosophical system of thought and a religious
    belief system, I think, is that the first, if it is honest, will
    derive from a minimum of simple pragmatic assumptions; the second is
    founded on emotionally comforting and and often needlessly complex
    assumptions that are made in order to arrive at predetermined

    > > msh said:
    > 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.

    ham, condescendingly:
    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.

    msh says:
    I'm afraid this is unintelligible. In what way is uncertainty an
    absolute? When one is uncertain, the ability to decide is suspended
    due to insufficient argument or evidence, not permanently revoked.

    You might understand more about your own belief system if you ask
    yourself this simple question: Why is it that the only way you can be
    comfortable with saying "I don't know" is if you are able to add:
    "But the Designer does."

    Mark Steven Heyman (msh)

    InfoPro Consulting - The Professional Information Processors
    Custom Software Solutions for Windows, PDAs, and the Web Since 1983
    Web Site:
    "Thought is only a flash between two long nights, but this flash is 
    everything."  -- Henri Poincare'
    MOQ.ORG  -
    Mail Archives:
    Aug '98 - Oct '02 -
    Nov '02 Onward  -
    MD Queries -
    To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Dec 02 2004 - 17:31:43 GMT