Re: MD Hume, Paley and Intelligent Design

From: Joseph Maurer (
Date: Sat May 07 2005 - 20:09:17 BST

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD Science vs. Theism: Where's The Beef?"

    On Friday 06 May 2005 1:26 PM Arlo writes to Platt:


    [Arlo] I think any philosophy that would do this wouldn't seek to justify
    "Judeo-Christian principles" soley, as that would be placing philosophy in
    service of supporting one nationalist view. But I think that many of the
    principles outlined in the Bible and the Koran and Rig Veda and other
    works could be uniformly supported by a philosophy, yes. Why hasn't it been
    done (to my knowledge)? I don't know.

    Hi Arlo, Platt and all,

    Pardon my interference. Your words are exciting! Thank You! Gurdjieff
    looks at the 'reciprocal destruction of each others existence' through the
    ages. Every good custom or artifact has been destroyed by such an
    arch-maleficent practice, I look for examples: the total destruction of some
    cities by bombs in WW 2, and more recently the destruction of a statue of
    the Buddha by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    The impetus to war may be evolutionary pressures. The abnormal mechanicality
    and duality of individual behavior prevent us from resisting war, and
    seeking more creative solutions. Hypnotisnm showed Gurdjieff the dual nature
    of awareness. All the writings that you propose, the Bible and the Koran and
    Rig Veda and other spiritual works highlight this difficulty. What I do is
    not what I want to do! Philosophy is a clear description of my awareness of
    my experience. I seem to have my own philosophy. I would expect my awareness
    is better described by laws, so I can talk to another.

    In the etymology of the word 'religion' I used a word 'script' to indicate
    the possibility of an universal schema which is lost and recovered
    throughout the centuries. I was prompted to the idea of 'script' by Patrizia
    Norelli-Bachelet. She used the word in portraying how the Paganism of the
    Greeks followed astrology from the Indians. IMO the latest version of
    'script' has been highlighted by George Gurdjieff. Everyone can admit to
    evolution, and some believe it has happened.

    "Creative forces could not work unless they created in some order and this
    order of manifestation or order of creation is due to the law of seven."
    *Commentaries* by Maurice Nicoll, vol1 p 108.

    "Every manifestation in the universe is a result of the combination of three
    forces. These forces are called Active Force, Passive Force, and
    Neutralizing Force." Ibid.

    Pirsig proposed evolution from the inorganic into three levels. I am
    fascinated by this proposal. IMO using time as a measure of evolution, he
    shows a hierarchy in the levels. Morality is reasonable if the newest level
    is the highest level flowing from the older lower levels. There are not a
    lot of ways to view morality except as individual morality. How do I decide
    the order?

    IMO I want to discuss evolution, I use a law of three. I see evolution in
    creation, destruction, or preservation. DQ is an active force. SQ is passive
    force. DQ/SQ is neutralizing force. E.,g., the positive and negative are
    contained in the neutral battery. Morality is in the order manifested
    through the law of seven. Each level has its own morality, survival in

    IMO the tsunami was immediately destructive, but the change can be a shock
    by creating a new order, or preserving the old.

    When I sing, I feel beauty in the interweaving harmonies and melodic
    progression, as I work toward the end. Moments of beauty!


    > Platt,
    >> First, thanks for a thoughtful response. Second, how can "spiritual"
    >> principles become "intellectual patterns?" Seems to me a spiritual
    >> principle is known through revelation, not reason.
    > Good point. I'm not quite sure how to answer this, so I'm going to have to
    > "sit
    > on it" a bit.
    >> I'm not sure that "Thou shall not kill" is much of an intellectual
    >> pattern,
    > that is, based on an in depth rational analysis of alternatives. Rather,
    > I see
    > it as a social pattern required to maintain the viability of an in group.
    > There's no hesitancy in killing members of the out group if the in group
    > is
    > attacked. The Giant is no Jesus.
    > I think a strong argument can be made through intellectual reason as to
    > why
    > "killing" should be prohibited in a society. For example, I don't
    > attribute it
    > to any divine being, and yet I don't kill people because I don't want to
    > live
    > in a society where I can be killed. That's just simple reason to me, not
    > divine
    > mandate (and I believed that long before I read the MOQ).
    > But your last point is what I mean about adopting bits and pieces of
    > "Judeo-Christian" morality. Killing "non-Christians" is not considered
    > "immoral" if it has the "justification" of government. This is what
    > allowed us
    > to drop napalm on Iraqi citizens during the war... something I personally
    > doubt
    > Jesus would condone.
    > But I do think the intellectual level can point to a way out, towards
    > thinking
    > about global community rather than nationalistic preoccupation. After all,
    > on
    > the intellectual level there are no Americans and Iraqis, just people.
    > Their
    > actions may be moral or immoral (and should be applauded or condemned as
    > such),
    > but as people there is no distinction. When I hear the report of a father
    > who
    > watched his little girl burned alive by napalm, I am absolutely appalled
    > and
    > sickened and able to condemn such an act as immoral, whether that father
    > is
    > American, Iraqi, Chinese, French, Maori, Eskimo, whatever.
    >> Unless we can appeal to a higher power for moral guidance, are we not
    > defenseless against the whims of those who wield the coercive power of
    > government?
    > I think I'd make the distinction between individuals appealing to a higher
    > power
    > for their own guidance in resisting external threats (such as coercive
    > government), and giving that external agency the right to claim it has
    > that
    > higher power on its side.
    > That is, I have nothing against any individual Christian or Buddhist or
    > Pagan
    > from relying on their own "spiritual insights" to resist coercive
    > government. I
    > have everything against that individual Christian or Buddhist or Pagan
    > from
    > "becoming" or "validating" the coercive government by making its policies
    > "God's Will". You are not, in this case, resisting coercive power, you are
    > merely making it coercive "for" Judeo-Christian morality. All those people
    > who
    > are not Christian, then, become victims of the oppression you say you are
    > against.
    >> Keeping in mind that legislation is coercion, Jesus implored people to
    >> act
    > morally for the sake of their everlasting souls, not for the sake of
    > staying
    > out of jail. Whether one precludes the other is, of course, highly
    > debatable.
    > We've had plenty of exchanges to know where each of stands in that
    > debate.
    > All I meant to show was that we do call for "legislation of the Bible"
    > when it
    > involves telling others what they can't do. But we refuse it when it
    > entails
    > telling us what we should do. Whether "any" of it should be legislated, is
    > of
    > course the big question, and is foundational to what you had asked me
    > (about
    > Judeo-Christian morality).
    >> > But, talk about "homosexuality", and every Christian around goes
    >> > screaming for laws to protect us.
    >> Do you have gay marriage in mind?
    > I think its a good fault line in this discussion. The laws against it are
    > based
    > soley on it being in violation of biblical morality. And those who are
    > against
    > it use this as primary evidence on why it should be outlawed.
    > However, like I said, the biblical morality that tells people to reject
    > materialism, to feed the poor, heal the sick, shelter the homeless are
    > flat out
    > refused as "socialism" (when legislated), even though Jesus spent more
    > time on
    > THAT message than on anti-homosexuality.
    > To me, that's only using biblical morality to justify power, rather than
    > turning
    > to it for a true guiding principle. To use it to control, rather than
    > structure
    > one's own life.
    >> > (How many people actually keep the Sabbath holy?
    >> Which is why I shy away from legislation to enforce the morality of Jesus
    > mentioned above.
    > Precisely, because this one tells *you* what *you* should do, rather than
    > allowing you to tell *others* what they can't do. I don't mean to sound
    > harsh
    > with that, but this seems to be the critical distinction made when people
    > call
    > for the legislation of Judeo-Christian morality.
    >> What I take away from your answer in general that it's OK to use the
    >> Judeo-
    > Christian basis for morality so long as it isn't used to justify national
    > interests and doesn't rely for its legitimacy on God. In other words,
    > moral
    > foundations such as the 10 commandments can be legitimatized by intellect
    > alone
    > without appealing to any spiritual source. Is that somewhere close to
    > your
    > position?
    > Pretty much, although your first comment above gives me pause. I'll have
    > to
    > think about that some.
    >> If so, I don't know of any philosophy that deliberately sets out to
    >> justify Judeo-Christian principles of morality on a strictly rational
    >> basis. Perhaps you or someone can lead me to such a philosophy.
    > I think any philosophy that would do this wouldn't seek to justify
    > "Judeo-Christian principles" soley, as that would be placing philosophy in
    > the
    > service of supporting one nationalist view. But I think that many of the
    > principles outlined in the Bible and the Koran and Rig Veda and other
    > spiritual
    > works could be uniformly supported by a philosophy, yes. Why hasn't it
    > been
    > done (to my knowledge)? I don't know.
    > Arlo

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