Re: MD Hume, Paley and Intelligent Design

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Tue May 03 2005 - 17:41:08 BST

  • Next message: Mark Steven Heyman: "Re: MD Access to Quality"

    Hi Arlo,

    > Attributing "consciousness" to "that which can respond to DQ" is
    > problematic to me for there is little (if anything) that is incapable of
    > responding to DQ. While this certainly does make the argument that
    > "everything is mind", it ceases to become a useful term (in my opinion).
    > And, all it really seems to do, is to say that "consciousness" is a synonym
    > for Quality. And at that it ceases to be a critical term around things can
    > be contrasted and/or related.

    I agree. That's why Pirsig took the next step, dividing Quality into
    Dynamic and static, so we could "contrast and/or relate," i.e. create
    intellectual patterns of meaning in an attempt to resolve the
    inexpressibility of Quality/consciousness/experience/awareness -- against
    the advice of mystics.

    > The panpsychist "everything is mind" may well be what the MOQ follows,
    > since I can't at this time understand what the difference is between the
    > statements: (1) everything is mind, (2) everything is consciousness, and
    > (3) everything is pattern, and (4) everything is Quality.

    I think the panpsychist and the MOQ say everything is
    experience/consciousness, not "mind." Mind in the MOQ is the same as the
    intellectual level, and patterns are not everything, just what's left in
    the wake of DQ.

    > Of course, all I can really say is "I don't know". Which is not helpful,
    > but honest. It seems to me, using this framework, that "identity and
    > self-awareness" on the intellectual level is somehow different than
    > identity and self-awareness on the inorganic level.

    Yes. The consciousness of an atom is a far cry from the consciousness of
    my cat, or so one can presume with reasonable confidence.

    > Semiosis (some strands)
    > hold that identity and self-awareness are products of semiotic
    > representation (we create a "ground" (ourselves) onto which to create a
    > "figure" (experience)). "Intent" and "will" could also be seen as purely
    > semiotic events, as a necessary requirement for both is to have the ability
    > to represent "time" and "action" both symbollically.

    No argument there.
    > So maybe the solution is to divorce these concepts (identity,
    > self-awareness, intent, and will- among others) from "consciousness", and
    > consider them either as results of semiosis or some other process.

    Or perhaps place these concepts at their most appropriate MOQ moral

    > [Arlo]
    > You're right. I missed that one. Concepts do indeed exist as intellectual
    > patterns. What I should have said was "inorganic patterns and designs 'do
    > not exist', they are conceptualizations we use to describe inorganic
    > responses to Quality". But this I should resay as "patterns and designs do
    > not exist at the inorganic level, they are intellectual level descriptions
    > of inorganic responses to Quality." I think one way we make high-low
    > quality distinctions among these patterns is, as MSH had said sometime
    > recently, whether they are "pragmatic" in achieving a desired activity
    > (economy of explanation, simplicity, and other factors of course weigh in
    > as well).

    I don't think we can ever resolve the question of whether designs or
    patterns are intrinsic in the lower levels or imposed by our symbol-making
    minds. It's like the old question of whether beauty is in the object or in
    the eyes of the beholder. I tend to the intrinsic conclusion because of
    the efficacy (pragmatic if you will) of mathematics in describing
    inorganic and biological phenomena. The connection is too perfect to be an
    just human imposition.

    > But that gets me back to the question: if "patterns and designs" are
    > intellectual-level constructs we 'superimpose' on the inorganic, biological
    > and social levels to conceptualize the responses to Quality that we can
    > perceive at those levels, how does this "prove" that there is a "designer"?
    > What it proves to me is that "Quality exists", not "a designer exists".
    > Am I missing something in the distinction?

    Not at all, as pointed out above. "Proof" in MOQ means high quality
    intellectual pattern. When I see a design (pattern) I presume a designer.
    To me, that's a reasonably high quality conclusion. To others, since in
    our culture it immediately suggests God or something supernatural, it's
    rejected out of hand as low quality myth-making. You can put your faith on
    either side. Overall, I don't see one side being any "better" than the


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