Re: MD Forked tongue

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Fri Aug 29 2003 - 15:11:08 BST

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "RE: MD Forked tongue"

    Dear Wim:

    > I wrote 27 Aug 2003 23:55:09 +0200:
    > 'No "concept" of any kind plays any role in the [MoQ] explanation [of
    > evolution].'
    > Of course I use 'concepts' when explaining evolution. The point I tried
    > to make was, that the explanation doesn't causally or otherwise explain
    > 'evolution' (not the concept, but the 'tiger') from a 'concept' (like
    > 'betterness'). Amoebas appeared in evolution millions of years ago
    > without any 'concept' anywhere in sight.

    "Amoebas appeared in evolution millions of years ago without any
    'concept' anywhere in sight" is an assumption on your part. I'll
    stipulate there were no human concepts around at the time, but I'm not
    prepared to buy the scientific notion of a complete absence of any
    "life force" that may include "concepts" or "purpose." To say "amoebas
    appeared" is to avoid the questions of how or why. Pirsig offers
    rational answers in Chapter 11 of Lila that are a far cry from
    science's absurd non-answer of "Oops.".

    > I like Paul's interpretation of evolution (because I share the value of
    > 'diversity' as 'better'). I hesitate to equate 'broader awareness' and
    > 'more expanded consciousness' with 'better'. It doesn't combine easily
    > with my appreciation for 'emotion' and 'intuition' as valuable (but
    > largely unconscious) human abilities.

    I also appreciate emotion and intuition, but also appreciate my
    expanded consciousness which allows me to control my emotions and check
    my intuitions against further experiences. Having these abilities is
    "better" than not having them. If we didn't, there would be little to
    distinguish us from the inhabitants of the biological level.

    > You wrote:
    > 'Habit or not, your purpose is to relieve a full bladder or stop the
    > annoying alarm.'
    > That's how I would rationalize my behaviour also. My point is that we
    > have neither the time nor the energy to rationalize all our behaviour
    > (let alone guide by first being aware of their 'purpose' and only then
    > doing things).

    Agree. Instincts and habits are great time and energy savers.
    Nevertheless, they do serve purposes.

    > You wrote:
    > 'Purposeful behavior doesn't require reasoning.'
    > Depends on what connotations of 'purpose' you want to stress. In the
    > sense of 'planned behaviour' it does at least require consciously
    > connecting a 'purpose' with 'planned behaviour' before the act. My point
    > (possibly sloppily expressed with the word 'reasoning') was, that most
    > behaviour is not preceded by conscious purposes.

    Agree. But are there purposes served by the unconscious? Yes. Like
    heart beating, digestion, breathing and full bladder signalling. :-)

    Best regards,

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