RE: MD NAZIs and Pragmatism

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sun Feb 09 2003 - 02:51:32 GMT

  • Next message: Elizaphanian: "Re: MD NAZIs and Pragmatism"

    Mari and all:

    DMB said: "......but I really think we have to admit that some
    > views are just plain stupid, while others are must closer to accurate. I
    > mean, if we can't tell the difference between a sound argument and a bogus
    > assertion, then why bother discussing it at all."

    Mari feels incomplete because...
    When i read this i think "subjective" and "interpretive". And in this case i
    even agree with your statement. But i bet that if we looked at a list of
    posts here in the MoQdg there would be as much disagreement on what is or is
    not "stupid" or "a sound argument" or "bogus" as there would be agreement.
    The amount of disagreement is what puzzles me. The same "argument" goes
    round and round being called all kinds of different things in the name of
    MoQ discussion.

    DMB says:
    Yep. Round and round she goes. I don't have a problem with that. I get my
    neat little resolutions from movies, but life doesn't work like that. Sure,
    I'd like it there were a large number of participants who could actually use
    the MOQ as a map of the world, as a moral compass, as a way to distinquish
    between all kinds of confused issues, but who can herd these cats? I think
    much of the problem is unrelated to the MOQ. The problem is that most people
    never take the time to find out about the world, let alone the various ways
    to map it. I mean, how can we ever agree about the MOQ's view of political
    ideologies if we don't first understand these ideologies in ordinary terms.
    How can we agree about the conflict between social and intellectual values
    without first knowing something about the conflicts in history? How can we
    agree about the difference between static patterns and Dynamic Quality
    without first understanding the nature of mysticism? The answer to all these
    questions is, "we can't". So when I complain that some views are just plain
    stupid, I'm not just throwing out insults arbitrarily. I mean it most
    sincerely. In philosophical discussions, ignorance is a major show stopper.
    I think uninformed opinions are responsible for what bugs you. Don't get me
    wrong. I think an educated person is one who has a pretty good idea of the
    vast extent of his own ignorance.

    Mari said:
    "Love" happened when i let go of trying
    to know better than you what it is. If we could agree that it (Love) exists,
    then i don't think it serves any one or anything to hold on so tightly to
    their "interpretation" supported by quotes from books and old masters. The
    belief that you know love better than Matt or me or Straun or anyone even if
    it is "obvious" that their take is "stupid" is still only an
    "interpretation". What was it that Forrest Gump said "Stupid is as Stupid
    does" or somethign like that. What an idiot right?

    DMB says:
    With any luck at all, we all know what love is. We all experience it. But
    still, people are foolish about it all the time. People confuse it with
    lust. People give it away to those who abuse them. Yes, stupidity even
    enters into the theory and practice of love. Forrest Gump? I can't tell you
    how much I hated that movie. I thought it was... um, stupid. My life is not
    even remotely like a box of chocolates, whatever that means. ;-)

    Mari said:
    i think that if David and Matt for instance quit looking for good
    "arguments" and points to make and disagree about/on and instead looked to
    focus on what good could come from "agreement" ( not on everything ) but on
    a "practical goal" i think "Great Stuff" could take on a whole new look.

    DMB says:
    If the agreement isn't genuine then its worth less than nothing. I like to
    fight it out with smart guys like Matt and Sam because they have a point of
    view that is pretty well thought out and they seem quite sincere in thinking
    its a valuable and worthy point of view. I like to take issue with the
    things they assert because I think my point of view is even better. I think
    they are obviously and conspicuously NOT stupid, which makes the fight more
    of a challenge, more exciting and interesting. If it seems that somebody is
    just totally clueless or is a child, I tend to ignore it. Who wants to go
    around picking on little kids? Only those with serious self-esteem problems.
    Maybe I think too much of my own views, but I've spent a great deal of time
    and energy dealing with these philosophical issues and it seems they have as
    well. So I love to debate them and others because it feels like an even
    match, a fair game and an exciting sport. I love it. I want to believe that
    we make each other think. I'm convinced that its NOT just talking, that
    debate makes people sharpen their minds the way a workout strenthens the
    body. Its about getting stronger and more subtle as a thinker. This is all I
    ask from philosophy and it seems like plenty. It probably doesn't look like
    much is going on from the outside, but there is plenty of action and
    practical benefits from this

    Mari said:
    Did Pirsig write this book just so people could talk about it? i think it
    has greater potential than that. i wish a few people would say: okay I'm in,
    what can I do. At least then we might have a "subject" that will lead to
    something beside more argument.

    DMB says:
    I think you vastly under-estimate the power of "just" talking about it.

    Mari said:
    ....there is nothing wrong with my wanting to move MoQ into "practical
    application" Maybe no one here is interested in that.

    DMB says:
    Practical applications? Like what? I'm really not sure what you mean so I
    don't know if I'm interested or not. Shall we form a new political party and
    try to get some philosopher elected to the White House? That'll never
    happen. Ralph Nader and Jerry Browne were about as close as we ever got and
    we all know what happened to them. Ok, there was Ghandi and Vaclav Havel,
    but they were the exception to the rule. Are we going to the MOQ as a guide
    to educational policies? That one is almost reasonable. But consider the
    fact that we here in the USA are still working out the "controversy" over
    Darwinism. Practically speaking, we are lightyears away from a genuinely
    intellectually guided society that the practical application of the MOQ
    seems like the most remote of all possibities. The intellectual level itself
    is just a tiny baby, a new thing in the world and is in danger of being
    lost. Practically speaking, I think the defence of intellect is job #1.


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