LS Re: The 4 Levels of MoQ

Bodvar Skutvik (
Tue, 4 Aug 1998 05:49:33 +0100

Squad members, old and new!.
Last week I delivered a message about the development within
the "Explain the DQ/SQ split" and then left to continue my vacation.
Now another stack greeted me, but that thread is closed so I'll
follow the discussion into the "Four Level" lane.

DIANA said:
> Having read Magnus' and Troy's versions I think we're all pretty much
> agreed on the first two levels. The first is what's usually known as
> matter or substance and the second is life or the life force. These
> might not be very scientific definitions but I don't usually have
> trouble recognizing them when I meet them.

Yes, the Inorganic and the Biological moral realms are pretty clear
and selfevident. She went on to say:

> There have been suggestions in the
> past that the intellectual level is just "thought". But I find this word
> too vague. If we talk about putting your thinking cap on, it means start
> *processing* information and that's the key to the intellectual level.

This is an important observation. Thoughts or mental activity aren't
Q-Intellect, that would lead us gradually back into SOM-land of mind
and matter, sentient and non-sentient and all THAT.

GLOVE at first (in his comment to Platt) speaks convincingly and
correctly about the world being all quality, but then goes on to adopt
the SOMish sounding view of the human consciousness as the creator of
it all: everything is there already for us to bring into being.

Still, perhaps his statements can be defended even MOQishly. In my
essay I speak about the SOM terms undergoing a transformation from
absoluteness to relativity like the Ptolemaian up/down pair becoming
relative in the Copernican cosmology, the problem is that you never
know when the words are used in a Quality way (Coud we put a 'q'
before such ambivalent terms?)

Well then, what are q-thought, q-consciousness, q-mentality -
Q-MIND shortly? It is ...the growing power of abstraction...that
Pirsig speaks about in ZMM as the basis for the Subject-Object
metaphysics, not the lofty spiritual realm that it later (as SOM came
of age) vaporized into. It is simply the ability to manipulate
abstract quantities by the rules of language - or logic and reason as
Diana says.

She accepts my SOTAQI idea (HORSE does too (sorry for not having
noticed)) which says that the most general definition of the
Q-Intellect is Subject-Object thinking (or S-O consciousness, S-O
mentality etc.). It gives due credit to S-O, while taking it down
from its metaphysical peg and placing it inside the MOQ frame.

MAGNUS forwards - again - his Chinese Box theory of the four
levels as sub-levels within each bigger level. F.ex a biological
organism has a "social" component to keep the cells co-operating and
even an Intellectual one for deciphering the signals. Enticing, but a
little complex (where to end box within the box recession?).

We have been into the following before; Are other primates on the
verge of copying the human abstract capability. This very moment I
heard on the radio about baboon females faking "heat" to protect
their offspring from aggressive males. Isn't that an emerging
abstraction? "Thinking": 'If I do this that brute will believe
that...'. It also has a certain bearing on the MOQ thesis that
Intellect grows out of Society, not (directly) out of Biology; Baboon
ideas will necessarily reflect baboon society just as human ideas
reflects human society.

This is what the MOQ hinges on: it kills the SOM idea of human
consciousness being about - or having access to - any objective
reality - out there. I hope DONNY will accept this last statement
even if baboons don't meet his social standards?
I would have liked a word with JONATHAN about his utterance of
Aug. 1:

> According to this, something which lacks moral value doesn't exist.
> IMMORALITY DOESN'T EXIST! Thus, IMO Pirsig spends a lot of time talking
> about morality, but falls short of providing a basis for determining
> ethical behaviour.

Pirsig does not use the double "moral value" term, he merely says
that something that has no VALUE does not exist. Yours smaks of SOM's
superficial morality which can be glued on to otherwise amoral
things and phenomenons. "Falls short of.."!? As said it is
unnecessary to use relativistic or quantum calculations for a moon
landing, Newton will do nicely. Likewise it is unnecessary to look
for guidelines on how to fill in your tax forms in the MOQ, ordinary
social sense will do nicely. But what MOQ does is to explain the
ethics of the extreme great scale. For instance has no system
delivered anything resembling an answer to the problem of evil, while
the MOQ explains it faultlessly.

Finally DIANA to me:
> ...(is it pronounced "boo!"? I always thought it rhymed with toe)

Yes, it sounds something like that :-)

Your sincerely.


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