Re: MD Is Morality Relative?

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Sat Dec 11 2004 - 16:37:38 GMT

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

    Dear Ham,

    > Certainly existence is immanent -- it is our life on this planet. But I
    > don't know what it means for existence or reality to be "transcendentally
    > moral".

    Maybe you and I attach different meanings to "existence." For you it seems
    to mean the material world known by man. To me it means not only the
    material world known by man, but also everything else both known and

    > Webster is hardly the source for a complete philosophical definition. I
    > think I've defined existentialism and its development fairly well in the
    > Experience section of my thesis. If you've read anything by Heidegger or
    > Sartre, you must be aware that they hold man to be a product of material
    > existence, and their metaphysical thesis is that Being precedes Essence.
    > There is no creator or primary source other than Being. My question is: Is
    > this not also your position?

    For me, existence includes Essence, Being, and everything that someone may
    claim comes before or after existence because they all exist. I think in
    your philosophy you would be hard pressed to claim that Essence doesn't
    > If you don't believe in an absolute source and regard material existence as
    > the only reality, it follows that man and his intellect and his values are
    > all evolutionary products of the material world.

    You see, I don't qualify existence by restricting it to "material"
    existence. That's where we part company.

    > I'm sorry, but that's
    > existentialism, Platt. You also say that Existence equals Quality, which is
    > necessitated by the fact that you do not ascribe a metaphysical source or
    > cause to Quality. It would seem to me that, except for this ill-defined
    > and ephemeral Quality, which you equate with existence anyway, you've
    > rejected transcendence, spirituality, and any supernatural cause. Am I
    > correct?

    No. Quality is supernatural in that it isn't material. It is both
    transcendent and immanent. As for being ill-defined,
    Essence. Quality is what is right in front of your nose, all the time.

    > And since he defines morality as "some things are better than others", I
    > take this equation to mean that Quality is anything man experiences that's
    > a little better than something else. I'd describe that as an existentially
    > modified echo of the platonic Supreme Good, less the "Supreme".

    Quality is anything anything experiences that's better than something
    else. Quality isn't limited to man.

    > I'll answer by repeating the comment I hear so often from you folks: You
    > just don't get it! But I'll try once more.
    > Beyond man's rational, physical existence there is an absolute reality from
    > which difference arises. I call it Essence.

    Here you claim unequivocably that Essence "is," it exists.

    > Essence does not "exist" in
    > time and space -- these dimensions are products of man's finite rational
    > perspective.

    Fine. But it exists. (Even "nothing" exists.)

    > Essence is only manifested to finite creatures as Value.

    Pirsig doesn't require anything prior to Value to make it manifest to
    finite creatures. Value is existence itself.

    > Since Essence is absolute, it does not evolve, has no beginning or ending,
    > and transcends all conditions and entities of finitude.

    Just as Quality.

    > Platt, you must at
    > some earlier period in your life have believed in a God. Did you believe
    > then that this God had to be "created" by a prior source? As the primary
    > source or Creator, Essence has the same role. If ordinary unsophisticated
    > religious people get it, why can't you? As you said about existence
    > (although I disputed it), Essence "simply IS".

    Existence fulfills the role of primary source or Creator that itself
    wasn't created because it's infinite..

    > > You never know when you might crack this thick skull of
    > > mine so that I may be enlightened.
    > Have I made, possibly, a slight dent?

    Well, maybe in the sense that the difference between us becomes ever more
    clear. My position is simple: the verb "to be" includes the one, the many
    and the none.


    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 : Sat Dec 11 2004 - 17:05:49 GMT