LS DQ and Morality

clark (
Mon, 3 Aug 1998 05:15:35 +0100

LS and pstira,
  I just picked up your message and since I find it more fun to discuss
the top of my head and gradually close in on a consensus I will give my
reactions as they immediately occur to me. It does not bother me to be
shown to be wrong, It helps with the learning and understanding process
sticks more firmly in my mind.

pstira wrote:
 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

clark wrote:
  This is one of the areas of Pirsig's MOQ that I have trouble with. In
general, I think that what you are saying is correct. Generally speaking
the accumulation of information content in the universe is more moral.
The point at which I begin to have trouble is that I can imagine (no, I
can see) situations in the operation of the MOQ that are not, in my
opinion, more moral in terms of the universe and the biosphere. I can
see instances in which the operation of the organic level modifies the
operation of the inorganic level with results that we would immediately
consider to be immoral. Birth defects and so forth. (changes in
molecular structure) We can, of course, take the long view and say that
these instances are urgings toward a higher level of morality that
failed and that it is the overall operation of the system that counts. I
think that this is probably the correct view at the pre-sentient level.
It is when we get to the social and intellectual levels that I begin to
have problems. At the sentient levels it seems obvious to me that
sentience CAN have an effect on the functioning of the lower levels,
even all the way back to the inorganic levels. (witness the list of new
elements that we now have that were not naturally present in the
original inorganic level even though the POSSIBILITIES were there, and
the effect some of these elements have had on the social and
intellectual levels. I am genuinely puzzled as to whether to consider
these advancements? as part of the moral functioning of the MOQ. Or,
consider the religious beliefs that seem to bring pressure to bear that
is not in keeping with the proper functioning of the biosphere. Or,
consider the fact that ignorance on the part of the two upper levels
causes us to make judgements that are immoral with respect to the
  I realize that my continual harping on the idea that the four SPoV
levels are interdependent and that we should keep in mind the effect
that the MOQ has on ALL of the levels causes much glazing of eyes within
the squad but I think that the MOQ will not be a viable concept unless
we do this. If we think it is a good idea to spread the MOQ concept to
the majority of mankind then it seems to me that as the idea spreads we
are going to encounter questions like these more and more often. If we
are not prepared to answer these questions then the MOQ is going to face
a much tougher audience and have greater difficulty getting acceptance.
As I said, we can consider sentience just another increase in the level
of morality in the universe and sit back and wait for these questions to
work themselves out naturally, and they will, but it seems to me that it
is equally feasible to consider sentience as a useful tool in the upward
march of morality in the universe that can be used to speed that
process. If we do not take this approach then it seems to me that
sentience is not a very useful step in the advancement of the MOQ.

 pstira wrote:
 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

Clark wrote:
  I think that I overran myself and gave my answer to this sentence
above. We can see, or at least I think I can, where even the
intellectual levels can have an effect on the inorganic level which, in
my opinion, may be immoral.

  pstira wrote:
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.

 Clark wrote:
  We are back to my original questioning of the MOQ. There is a question
in my mind as to whether some of the static latchings that occur at the
sentient levels are, or are not, moral. My gut feeling is that there
sentient level latchings that are not conducive to higher morality.

  My use of the term "sentient" applies to the human level.
  I would like for someone to convince me that my view is incorrect.

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