LS Re: DQ and Morality
Sun, 2 Aug 1998 18:49:13 +0100

Hi all... Sorry for the present lack of a proper introduction to the

> Clark wrote:
> Maggie, please don't write off Pirsig just when you are beginning to ask
> the questions that may lead to our greater enlightenment.
> I think Pirsig was wrestling with a concept that was clear to him, but
> remember, he had one shot to get his ideas across. He did not have
> anyone else to argue with as we do. If we amend his statement and make
> it (paraphrased); the highest level of the four SPoVs is ALWAYS more
> moral than the lower levels then it comes across as nonsense in my mind.
> If we take what he actually said (again paraphrased) and say that the
> highest level of the four SPoVs is more moral PROVIDED THAT IT DOES NOT
> DEGRADE OR DESTROY ANY OF THE LOWER LEVELS, that is a statement that
> makes sense.

What you are saying makes a lot of sense at first glance, especially if
morality is associated with the concept of evolution.

>From my reading of Pirsig, I get the impression that the higher levels
always have a tendency (or an inevitability?) to dominate the lower
levels for their own sustenance or benefit. The emergence of the
organic level was expressly to defy and transcend the inorganic patterns
and their limitations. The same extends to the social-biological and
intellectual-social divisions.

Of course, "dominating" does not necessarily say anything about
"degrading" or "destroying" one way or the other. I think it fits that
if a lower level static pattern needs to be broken/unassimilated (dare I
say destroyed) in furtherance of a higher level's own existing and
emerging patterns, it would be hard to argue that that is not moral (in
MoQ). I think it would be good to amend that statement with something

  ...the OPERATION OF HIGHER LEVELS of the four SPoVs are more moral
(THAN THE LOWER ONES) provided that they do not degrade or destroy

I'm not saying anything about DQ at this point, because unless I am
gravely mistaken, all DQ is, by virtue, moral. Any static latching
thereafter must be a moral advancement.

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