RE: MD Disastrously naive indeed!

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sat Feb 22 2003 - 04:51:55 GMT

  • Next message: johnny moral: "RE: MD Disastrously naive indeed!"

    Sam, Wim and all:

    Sam said:
    What I was trying to do with the five points was find an agreed starting
    point. I guess there isn't one (unless there is any sense in which you could
    accept them).

    DMB says:
    Sure. I see what you're trying to do. Maybe my long and elabaorate posts
    aren't any better. How about a third way? We could gather up all the major
    assertions made in Lila and see how they add up. I guess what we need is a
    good working idea of what constitutes the social level.

    Sam said:
    Good point about celebrity though - that's an aspect of the social level
    which doesn't fall naturally into a description of ritual. There must be
    others, also centring on social roles.

    DMB says:
    Exactly. The Giant, the city or the nation as a superorganism capable of
    exploitiation, war and genocide, isn't the kind of thing we'd usually
    associate with ritual. But surely this is part of the social level too. Or
    think of the 20th century hurricane. Wouldn't the recent historical clashes
    between social and intellectual values have to be included? Or how about
    language itself? That's a big one. He even compares social level values to
    the ones we all know from high school. Movies, he says, are social level
    things. And this is just off the top of my head. I could thumb through Lila
    for clues too.

    Sam said:
    OK, I'm with you on all of this. At the risk of setting off another thread,
    how do *you* understand intellect to be separated from all that? (In other
    words I'm not after Pirsig, although I expect you to agree with him, I just
    want to get a better grasp of 'your MoQ', as Wim might put it)

    DMB says:
    Good question. An unavoidable question, really. If we are trying to get a
    fix on the social level, we have to know where the borders are. Its a
    logical trusim that the 3rd level begins where the 2nd ends and the 3rd
    level ends where the 4th level begins. "My" MOQ is just as you may have
    guessed; Pirsig informed by Campbell and Wilber. The mythology and
    psychology only add detail and offer no fundamental challenges to Pirsig.
    Quite the contrary. But let me try to describe the line between the third
    and fourth levels without all that.

    The best way to get at it, I guess, is to make it concrete and personal.
    Remember the Campbell quote? The social level person is a fully functioning
    and responsible member of their community. While the modern person is expect
    to be that AND become a critical thinker and a creative agent as well. This
    is something like a shift from social to intellectual values. Its a shift
    that happens to many of us in college when, perhaps, we start to become
    truly rational creatures. This is when, just as in ancient Greece, we begin
    to question the religious, patriotic and familial sentiments that were
    instilled in us in youth. (Wilber points out how unfortunate it is that so
    few in our culture ever progress beyond rationality.) Hopefully, the
    expansion of consciousness and awareness leads to more than just a brief
    period of rebellion, spiked purple hair and membership in a punk rock band.
    Hopefully, it will lead to a life of the mind, a love affair with books and
    ideas and an ever expanding level of awareness. The willingness and ability
    to critically examine the traditions and institutions of one's own culture
    need not necessarily lead to radical politics or militant atheism, but
    wouldn't be afraid of them either. An intellectual is not the same as a
    contrarian or a revolutionary, but they drink at the same pub, so to speak.

    About Church/State separation, Sam said:
    What I was trying to tease out with the question - because it is something
    I'm mulling on myself and haven't come to a conclusion about - is how far an
    institutional church-state division does in fact enshrine a particular form
    of theocracy - a system built up around the god Reason. In another post I
    talked about Sense 1 and Sense 2 metaphysics. The Church-State division
    seems to say that it is impermissible to recast the institutions according
    to any sense 2 metaphysics, but in doing so it is itself committed to a
    sense 2 metaphysics of its own. Which is fair enough (I think the Church -
    State division is a good thing), I just think some of the arguments in
    favour of it depend upon a particular conception of 'religion' which doesn't
    hold water. That is, the traditional arguments in its favour are no longer
    intellectually credible. As I say, I'm musing on this one.

    DMB says:
    I think its WAY too much of a stretch to call "Reason" a god and thereby
    describe the separation of church and state as a theocratic. The idea is to
    allow any and all theologies to exist, to favor none in particular and
    remain neutral. What we're talking about here, is the first amendment to the
    US Constituion. Its the highest law of the nation and it asserts religious
    freedom and part of the freedom of expression and conscience. To construe
    this as theocratic,.. boggles the mind.

    Thanks for your time.

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