On Mar 8, 4:14 pm, "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> 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

It seems that you are missing my point.  I will better explain my
point about "the whole control loop".   Personal tastes and second
order feelings about the tastes are all on the *input* side of our
system of consciousness.  But the input is not the whole system.
Instead of saying "are personal feelings sufficient as the total input
into our decision making system?" I should have said "are personal
feelings (and other interpretations of inputs) sufficient to make up
our decision making system", actually our whole system of

Here a diagram would be useful.  The reductionist tendency seems to be
to lump all of consciousness into the "input interpretting" box and
"explain it" in terms of smaller parts making up an autonomous
machine.  Hence, now that it is all explained and we are a machine,
there is no room for real morality and we can do whatever we want.  (I
think I heard an Amen! from Brent.)

That's fine for those of us who are older and have one foot still back
in the days when our parents believed in something that was based on
ultimate meaning and reality.  Hence we know what we want.  But what
about the future generations? The big question for them is, "What are
we supposed to want?"  We answer, "Whatever you want!"  See the
circularity?  By lumping everything into the "input interpretting" box
and explaining it, we have left the "output creating" box totally
undefined.  The nobility of humanity is not in how to interpret things
alone, but in creating things.  If we are trying to eliminate any
normative thinking about this creating ability, we have left the
creating ability to atrophy without guidance.  Freedom must be guided
by form, on purpose, in a meaningful way.


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