Re: virus: Selfishness

Tue, 23 Jul 1996 20:55:42 -0500

Tristen wrote:

>>Life forms have NO CHIOCE but to form 'predator/prey' Natural Law competition.
To which Reed responded:

>Don't you really mean to say: "I CANNOT IMAGINE any way for life forms to
>behave other than a 'predator/prey' Natural Law competition."
>This is refered to (you might have noticed) as 'The Natuaralistic Fallacy'.
>Daniel Dennet has a nice quote (which I'm going to do the injustice of
>paraphrasing): "One should not confuse a limit to imagination with
>necessity". In other words, just because we have difficulty envisioning
>alternatives to "natural" ways of doing things it doesn't mean such stable
>alternate systems do not exist.

Dawkins calls the style of argument against which Reed is cautioning
Tristen "the argument from personal incredulity." I encountered it alot
teaching logic.

Student: "Well, I just can't imagine that (subject) could ever (action)."

Teacher: "Why not? Do you have some evidence to the contrary? Is the
truth of the proposition incompatible with the truth of some proposition we
know to be true?"

Student: "I just don't see it happening."

Well, I'm just killing time while an SGI in the next room renders a few
frames for me. It may well be finished by now, so I won't ramble further.
Reed, you made some good points about what effect our words have on the
world and what happens to them once we send them on their way. Their power
is magnified by this electronic medium with it's potential for making
nearly limitless copies without replicative error. You definitely set a
positive example for thoughtfulness and civility and for the responsible
use of words. Take care. -KMO