Re: MD Understanding Johnny Moral

From: johnny moral (
Date: Thu Apr 03 2003 - 23:20:21 BST

  • Next message: mark maxwell: "Re: MD Understanding Johnny Moral"

    Hi Kevin and all,

    Wow, thanks for the attention, I'm flattered. First of all, this humbles me
    to the point that I feel I must apologize for my brash style, it stems from
    a combination of excitement, niavete, and defensiveness, and I suppose more
    than a little bit of anger towards a general trend in our culture to turn
    morality into a question of ethics. To those who have been ticked off by
    that, please accept my apology: I'm full of zeal and don't mean to be as
    brash or insulting as I occasionaly have been, it's not at you but the world
    that Johnny Moral is hopping mad at. (Do you like the name? Kind of
    post-punk, no?) I really appreciate the converstations I've had with people
    here, and enjoy reading the threads, even when I don't find any way to
    interject expectation into them.

    I'll try and write a concise reply tomorrow, but for now, yes Kevin, you
    pretty much understand me. I see DQ as amorally extending SQ into the
    future, and it is SQ that determines if we say it is good or bad.

    big headedly,
    Johnny Moral

    >From: "Kevin" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: MD Understanding Johnny Moral
    >Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 13:24:41 -0800
    >Hi all,
    >Johnny has become the newest grain of sand around which a pearl of
    >conversation is trying to protectivly form.
    >I can't say that I understand all of what Johnny is trying to say (his
    >stuff on expectation and love thoroughly confuse me) but I do think I
    >have some angle on at least on aspect of his project that has emerged in
    >the Burden of Proof and Intellectual Art (Dynamic Morality) threads.
    >I'd like to try and bring it together (hence new thread) and at least
    >test my theory (that I get something Johnny is on about) and see if the
    >pearl can be saved.
    >Johnny says:
    >There's still no problem, steve. Unless you are insane, or didn't
    >experience a common set of static patterns with the rest of us, most of
    >would agree with you on what we feel is actually better.
    >So we both see "moral" as meaning "actually better", but we seem to
    >about the role of culture and SQ in deciding the truth of what is
    >better. You think it comes from 'outside' (along with such concepts as
    >"Truth" and "Beauty", I suppose), I don't think there is anything
    >and better is determined by a consensus steeped in common static
    >If you've got a crystal ball or something, and some way to quantify the
    >good, let us see it.
    >In this statement, I think I caught a glimpse of something at the
    >foundation of Johnny's POV (please correct me if I'm wrong). Perhaps
    >it's just selective cognition because it reminds me of something I tried
    >to illuminate back in Dec in a thread called Progression and
    >Namely, when we talk about "good", "true", "better", or "morally
    >superior" in MOQ, are they actually products of DQ or are they our own
    >projections? Johnny asks the same thing (I think) by speculating on
    >whether it's "outside" or something that comes from static patterns.
    >I think Johnny is attacking the notion that DQ is benevolent--i.e. that
    >it pushes towards "good" or "better" or "morally superior". I think he's
    >saying it's just a morally neutral push and deciding it's morality or
    >goodness comes much later and is a product of static patterns not DQ
    >(maybe this is the expectation part?).
    >Change happens. DQ pushes on static patterns and causes flux. We look at
    >how patterns cope and change in the face of this flux and we ascribe
    >Good or Bad to it. It's not that DQ is Benevolent or Malevolent (vested
    >in one outcome over another).
    >To quote myself from the Progress and Benevolence thread:
    >I'm reminded of the classic Chinese proverb regarding good luck and bad
    >luck. It follows:
    >There once was a farmer in China who had an ox. One day the ox ran away.
    >All his neighbors came to console him, but he was not distressed. He
    >told them, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?" A few days later the ox
    >returned and with it was a horse. All his neighbors came to him to
    >congratulate him on his good fortune, but again he would not mind them
    >telling them, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?" A week later his son was
    >riding the horse, fell and broke his arm. Again the neighbors came to
    >wish him condolences and tell him how very unlucky he was. The farmer
    >shook his head and said, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?" A few days
    >later, war was declared and all able-bodied young men were conscripted,
    >but because on his son's broken arm, he was not. "Good luck, bad luck,
    >who knows?"
    >The quality of the luck is a subjective projection based on POV. None of
    >these events are inherently good or bad, they just are. Applying good or
    >bad is simply an exercise in coping skills--An attempt to assign either
    >benevolence or malice to the universe for the sake of our own interests.
    >In each instance, the Farmer refrains from
    >ascribing Benevolence or Malevolence to the Universe. When the ox runs
    >away, the Farmer does NOT bemoan the 'unfairness' of it all. Perhaps
    >even more telling, IMO, is that the Farmer does NOT take the opposite
    >view either, i.e. expressing the sentiment that "It will work out for
    >the best" or "God works in mysterious ways" or some other ascription of
    >Hope. The Farmer instead (and wisely, IMO) withholds his own petty,
    >finite, limited perspective and judgment and allows for the Universe to
    >decide whether this thing is bad or good.
    >The Farmer awaits the TAO.
    >Does this parallel your ideas somewhat, Johnny?
    >Anyone have thoughts about it?
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