Re: MD Is Morality Relative?

Date: Sat Dec 11 2004 - 19:15:31 GMT

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    Platt --

    > 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
    > unknown.

    We do, indeed, attach different meanings to existence, and I guess Pirsig
    does too.

    The problem I have with this synonymity is that "existence" is commonly
    understood as "beingness" which connotes an "existent" in a space/time
    continuum. That makes existence subject to all the conditions of created
    entities, including causality. While it is theoretically possible that
    "beingness" is infinite, I think it is not logically defensible as
    "absolute". It is for these reasons that I separate Essence out of the
    physical world and posit it as the Absolute Source rather than an
    all-encompassing Being (i.e., pantheism). Note that this concept is not
    necessarily a rejection of theism, but being is not the ground of Essence.
    In my philosophy, Essence transcends material existence and all the
    conditions commonly attached to it, including the need for 'creatio ex

    > 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
    > exist.

    No matter how "infinitely extended" or "all-inclusive" may be our notion of
    physical existence, it does not rise to the level of absoluteness. And, as
    you know, I am an absolutist. So, I thought, were you. That's why I felt
    that Essentialism would appeal to you.

    > > If you don't believe in an absolute source and regard material existence
    > > the only reality, it follows that man and his intellect and his values
    > > 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 think you and your empiricist colleagues are finding it very difficult to
    theorize intellect, values, and morality from a reality grounded in
    beingness -- no matter how you parse the MoQ levels. You will end up, as
    the existentialists did, by emulating Heidegger's 'dasein' ontology and
    conclude that all of these human sensibilities are no more than attributes
    of an evolving material universe -- a 'singularity' without purpose or

    > Quality=Existence=Awareness=Experience=Reality=Morality=Value=
    > Essence. Quality is what is right in front of your nose, all the time.
    > Quality is anything anything experiences that's better than something
    > else. Quality isn't limited to man.

    But man is the only creature who can recognize it.

    > 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.

    Yes, this last exchange has been quite edifying. I can now clearly
    understand where you're coming from.
    But it is still my hope, even if you must take it 'on faith', that you'll
    eventually come to see that Being is not the end-all of Reality. (We can
    put off the divorce until I'm certain that you are incapable of this

    Have a joyous Christmas!

    Essentially yours,

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