Tom Caylor wrote:
> 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
> consciousness?
> 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?"  

Wrong question.  The question is what do you want?  What's going to be a life 
well lived?  What epitaph do you want on your tombstone?

>We answer, "Whatever you want!"  See the
> circularity?  

Yes - you're going around in circles because you think you need "ultimate 
purpose" to have any purpose at all.

By lumping everything into the "input interpretting" box
> and explaining it, we have left the "output creating" box totally
> undefined.  

No, I want to create things.  I get a lot my satisfaction in life by creating 
things.  It's part of what I want.

Brent Meeker
"My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child 
is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can." 
        ---- Frank Zappa

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at

Reply via email to