RE: MD Lila's Child (SOM)

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sat Aug 09 2003 - 23:01:58 BST

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    Erin and all:

    Erin asked:
    where has it been said that "anybody can percieve intellectual quality
    equally" by anyone in this forum ever?

    dmb says:
    The most recent example I could recall was Platt. He put these words into
    Pirsig's mouth and called it a "paraphase"...

    Platt wrote:
    "All individuals who have a mind, can think and are conscious have achieved
    the intellectual level."

    Erin said:
    I'm beginning to think you associate those who agree with you on an issue
    as "intellectual" and those that don't as "social".

    dmb says:
    Obviously, agreement with me is not the determining factor. But I DO think
    we can see the clash between social and intellectual values in the conflict
    between today's conservatives and liberals. The so-called "cultures war" is
    largely a battle between social and intellectual values and so its only
    natural that we can detect the values at play when we discuss these
    political issues. And what I'm saying about Platt is that he invariably
    asserts 3rd level values whenever such topics arise. Lots and lots of people
    do the same. As a result, its easy to recognize it right away, especially
    since these social level assertions are made parrot-like, with little
    variation in phrasing or vocabulary. Rush fans rightly call themselves
    ditto-heads, you know?

    Erin said:
    No wonder why you want the definition of the intellectual level to be
    undefined, because nobody consistently agrees or consistently disagrees with

    dmb says:
    Its not that I wish it to be undefined, its just that I disagree with the
    definitions asserted by certain posters. I'm baffled by the whole debate,
    actually. It seems that anyone with a sincere interest in philosophy already
    knows what intellect is. It seems my endless task has been to point out what
    its NOT. In contradiction to Pirsig's assertions, we've seen posters insist
    on the intellectual values in Lila, religion, Homer, movies and a whole host
    of other places where it doesn't belong.

    Erin said:
    Do people flip flop in your mind as "achieved intellectual level"
    and "not achieved intellectual" as they agree and disagree with you, or are
    you still getting to know us to decide whether we have the honor of the
    intellectual level? :-)

    dmb says:
    If I had to categorize you, I'd say you were very sarcastic and a bit
    defensive. But seriously, how else can we know what values guide a person? I
    suppose we could guess by their clothes and hairstyle, but listening to
    their words and witnessing their deeds seems like the only reasonable means.
    Simply put, I can't know what you think or believe until you tell me or show
    me. What the hell is so objectionable about that? Where is the flip-floppy
    arbitrariness in that? If we know what social values are and we know what
    intellectual values are, then in specific cases all we have to do is take a
    look and see what's there. In the case of Platt, I cited a recent example
    where we discussed privacy rights as they related to a gay couple whose most
    intimate moments were interupted by armed police officers. Platt came down
    on the side of the police. I thought this was a clear example of that showed
    he had defended a moral code from the bible over privacy rights. He was, as
    usual, defending a 3rd level social code and rejecting the intellectual
    values that are supposed to trump it. I think Platt has been pretty darn
    consistent about these things. And I have been pretty darn consistent in my
    disagreement about these things.

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