Thu, 2 Apr 1998 13:37:32 +0100
I have been thinking about a resolution of our different viewpoints of
the Metaphysics of Quality, slowly working up to an answer. I have to leave
for a few days so I thought I would dump on you my current thinking.
First, the philosophers do not speak to me, I can read them and seem to
understand what they are saying but five minutes later it is gone,
consequently I have had to construct my own view of our place in the
Long before I encountered the MOQ I had what was to me a satisfying view
of the process that has dumped me on top of Cornshell Mountain in Oklahoma.
When I read ZMM and later Lila I thought that it was a system of thought
that was more satisfying and pleasant than the soft deterministic view that
I had previously held, in other words, Pirsig's thought was not a world
changing revelation to me, more a shift in emphasis. What little
specialized training I had had (biology) inclined me to think in terms of
our overall situation in the universe and to fit our particular human
condition into that overall view. This line of thinking led me to the view
that, while humanity was a natural and foregone conclusion of the physical
process of the universe, our intelligence and reasoning ability without
sufficient understanding of the overall process in which we were embedded
placed us largely in opposition to that physical process. To overstate the
case, our presence in the process has caused us to occupy a position in the
universe, and in particular the Earth (Gaia) somewhat similar to a cancer
in the human body. I think that this situation will eventually be resolved
either through increasing understanding or through the juggernaut of
universal evolution rolling over us. In my mind, we are not the last word.
We have some billions of years ahead for evolution to coerce our
To get back to our differences, Bodvar, I think that they are caused by
your concept of humanity being primary in the process (correct me if I am
wrong), while my view envisions humanity as simply a stage in the process
of overall universal evolution.
In my view, Dynamic Quality (the force for greater information content,
or Quality, or value) was injected into the universal evolutionary process
at the beginning and is the same force that is still attempting to guide
the actions of humanity. In this view, humanity is reacting to Dynamic
Quality and static value according to the best information that we
currently have and is slowly progressing toward greater compatibility with
the universe and Gaia. Morality should be viewed through the eyes of the
universe (Gaia) and not through the narrower concerns of humanity.
To my mind the universe began as a strictly deterministic process which
was modified by Deterministic Disorder which makes the process effectively
not deterministic because of the dependence of deterministic disorder on
the ambient conditions prevailing for each Quality Event. Each physical
function and each human individual is operating in the current ambient
conditions coupled with (in the case of humanity) the current condition of
static value. Thus, each physical event and each sentient individual has
His/her/its own truth which is constantly changing.
Give me your thoughts on these ideas and I will get back to you next
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