Re: MD Intellectual Art (Dynamic Morality)

From: Steve Peterson (
Date: Tue Apr 01 2003 - 16:44:23 BST

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    Platt, Rick, and Johnny Moral,
    > How do you guys explain the following?
    > PIRSIG
    > But what's not so obvious is that, given a value-centered Metaphysics of
    > Quality, it is absolutely, scientifically moral for a doctor to prefer the
    > patient. This is not just an arbitrary social convention that should apply
    > to some doctors but not to all doctors, or to some cultures but not all
    > cultures. It's true for all people at all times, now and forever, a moral
    > pattern of reality as real as H20. We're at last dealing with morals on
    > the basis of reason. (13)
    > Looks like a moral absolute to me. :-)


    I agree with what Rick said. If Pirsig is saying that every doctor should
    kill every germ at all places and at all times, then I disagree. But I
    don't think that that's what Pirsig meant.

    Again, I see dynamic morality as what one does who follows DQ or the Tao or
    submits to the will of God. (Note, Johnny, that I do not equate DQ and
    dynamic morality. If you reread what I wrote, you will see that my point
    was to distinguish the two.) Such a morality can not be written down as a
    set of laws for all to follow, since it is the morality of not clinging to
    laws and allowing yourself to be ruled by DQ instead.

    I think there is an absolute best action for me at every instant, but I
    won't find it by clinging to fixed rules of conduct. I also think that the
    best action for me right now is not the same as the best action for you
    right now.

    It may be possible to derive some rules of thumb based on the idea of
    following DQ. For example, I think Wim uses a rule of thumb that to
    respond to a situation violently is not the best response. I also remember
    that he said that he wouldn't rule out violence in all cases because to rule
    any behavior out would be to close himself off to DQ.

    Since you are not a doctor, you probably don't get much out of the germ
    rule. Do you have any others that apply more broadly to all people and at
    all times?


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