On 3/9/07, Tom Caylor <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > > You could replace "love" with "chocolate" and "God" with "the
> chocolate
> > > fairy". You can claim that while the reason people like chocolate can
> be
> > > explained in terms of chemistry, physiology, evolutionary biology
> etc., only
> > > the chocolate fairy can give ultimate meaning to the chocolate eating
> > > experience.


Actually if all we're talking about is first-person experience and
> personal tastes, then there would be cause for alarm if someone is
> claiming that there's some normative rules governing them.  I agree:
> How could any such normative rules ever be verified as being the
> "right" way of interpreting things?  Not! This is not what I am
> talking about.  You need to look at the *whole* control loop in order
> to be able to talk about sharable 3rd person meaning.
>
> Personal feelings of "oo that's good" or "bleah" are fine for what
> they are, but are they sufficient as the total input into our decision
> making system?  Without real morality the answer *must* be yes.  As in
> Russell Standish's post, the answer *must* be that "whatever I
> *happen* (for no reason that I need to worry about) to feel is good
> stuff, is good stuff".  Marquis de Sade with no escape.


It's not just personal tastes, but also second order feelings about the
tastes. Consider the importance attached to the Japanese tea ceremony, for
example. If there is a strong feeling in the tea ceremony participant that
they are not just engaging in a cultural quirk but doing something of
profound significance, this does not mean there is a supernatural source for
this significance. Psychological factors are necessary and sufficient to
explain it, and to explain morality as well.

Stathis Papaioannou

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