Re: MD Hume, Paley and Intelligent Design

From: Joseph Maurer (
Date: Mon May 02 2005 - 20:05:03 BST

  • Next message: "Re: MD Primary Reality"

    On Wednesday 27 April 2005 11:56 PM Ham writes to Arlo, Patt, Sam and MSH:

    Hi Ham, Arlo, Platt, Sam, MSH, and all,

    [Ham] Well, it doesn't defy logic that mind is the subject of experience,
    and you
    folks have assured me that experience IS empirical reality. Pirsig has
    stressed the primacy of Quality which, despite his metaphysical ambiguity,
    is certainly more experiential than material. Obviously, then, Essentialism
    and the MoQ are not in the materialist camp, and both have the potential to
    transcend material existence. Why is this concept so unacceptable to many,
    if not most, of the MD participants? Why, indeed, is MoQ's author himself
    reluctant to embrace it?

    [Ham] It can only be because they can't find it within themselves to cut the
    of scientific materialism and reap the psychic benefits of a valuistic
    belief system.

    [Ham] That's my theory. Do give it enough thought to discover where YOU side
    this issue before posting an opinion.

    I am buffered. Along with others I have impulses to pay, to teach, which are
    very disordered. Disordered enough to destroy a League of Nations trying to
    stop war. Morality! In trying to find order I ask questions. What is
    teaching in terms of moral authority according to the MOQ? Is payment a
    function in the morality of the MOQ? I am thinking of the law of gravity.
    Does it include the social level?

    The thread of religious and secular atrocities, has not produced a clear-cut
    direction for morality. Does the social level embody a flaw 'power corrupts'?
    Does the religious society embody 'absolute power corrupts absolutely?' Do I
    have buffers which enable me to be OK with corruption? I'm wrong, but I'm
    OK. Can I become aware of the buffers in me?

    'Teaching', an intellectual endeavor, is limited by a social structure. Are
    there laws governing the intellectual level which are in the social and
    organic levels? IMO given evolution 'teaching' flows from level to level.
    The impulse to "teach others sense" is either a law or an accepted dogma.

    What are the laws of 'payment'? I have tried to engage Platt on the impulse
    for 'payment' since he seems to be most inclined to see payment as a law.
    "There is no free lunch!" IMO Essence is a law for teaching! Quality is a
    law for payment!.


    > Arlo, Platt, Sam and msh:
    > Arlo had asked:
    >> Who's engaging in "philosophy" and who's "pontificating"?
    > Ham had answered:
    >> That's really an unfair comparison, Arlo. Mark is engaged in proving
    >> that
    >> all ID arguments are invalid. I'm postulating a valuistic philosophy
    >> that
    >> is founded on the concept of an intelligent designer.
    >> Given my assertion that "man cannot prove the existence of a creator by
    >> reason", what 'reason' would I have to attack anti-ID arguments?
    > Arlo reconsiders:
    >> Maybe I'm out in left-field then, but I thought Mark was arguing that ID
    > arguments > rest on faith rather than rational or empirical arguments,
    > while
    > you were arguing that > ID can be reasoned through rational argument, if
    > not
    > empirical means. From what
    >> you say above, I do see I was wrong.
    >> However, if your philosophy rests on a faith-based (non-reasoned) belief
    > in a
    >> "designer", why attempt to put it into a "rational" format? Right or
    > wrong, Pirsig
    >> believed Quality was NOT a faith-based (non-reasoned) concept, but one
    > that
    >> could be experienced empirically, and that is (one reason perhaps) why he
    > took the > time to place it in a rational format (instead of keeping it a
    > mystic reality like he was > temped to do in ZMM).
    >> If you start from a non-rational, mystic "faith" in an unexperiencable
    > "designer",
    >> what goal is served by placing it in a structured, rational format?
    >> But also, if you don't feel that your "designer" can be proven by reason,
    > but must > be accepted by faith, what exactly was your disagreement with
    > Mark? I thought
    > > that's what he was saying all along??
    > I have a theory about why I'm encountering so much confusion and
    > resistance,
    > not only in the MD but from others I've been discussing my philosophy
    > with.
    > It involves our common understanding of the terms "faith" and "belief"
    > relative to "logic" and "reason", and the notion that the latter are
    > anchored to empirical experience and mathematics, while the former are
    > intuitive and free of such restrictions.
    > I was intrigued by this confession by Sam in another thread:
    >> I'm happy to have 'scientific' beliefs defined as those with
    >> rational/empirical support, and 'faith' being defined as those beliefs
    >> without such support (for the time being at least ;-) I just think that
    > all
    >> the most important things in life fall outside of the boundary.
    > Without naming names, I think most of us put a higher priority on our
    > personal beliefs, whether they're validated by science-based reason or
    > not.
    > But since what we believe is experiential, it's also by definition
    > "empirical". So, to the extent that beliefs are codified feelings that we
    > all experience, they are just as "reasonable" as the laws of
    > thermodynamics
    > or the Pythagorean theorem. That makes them vulnerable to the criticism
    > of
    > the logicians and logical positivists who, in most cases, will pronounce
    > them "invalid". I think this deeply troubled Pirsig, who tended to paint
    > over his theories with an empirical tone to avoid such criticism.
    > But there's a more fundamental basis for this disparity, and it's the
    > primacy of experience that is unique to belief systems like the MoQ and
    > Essentialism. To put it simply: The real issue is that those who hold to
    > the view of scientific materialism believe that matter is the primary
    > reality. They can't conceive that thought and proprietary awareness could
    > be
    > primary to material existence. Mind is a product of matter, they insist;
    > it
    > would defy logic to have it any other way.

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