Re: virus: Methods of Thinking

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Fri, 25 Apr 1997 13:13:32 -0700 (PDT)

> Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> >There is a vast chasm of difference between not having moral
> >values, and having strong moral values that happen to be
> >different from "convention". Conventional morality is usually
> >based on silly notions like God or duty. I reject those, but
> >I embrace the concept of morality itself--in fact, because I
> >believe my particular moral values are based more on reality
> >than those of others, I hold them even more strongly.
> I always thought morality was required to say why you
> should do something other than what suits yourself.
> If you only believe in doing what suits you, why the
> moralising, why not just get on with it?
> Robin

How can you possibly interpret what I said as "doing what suits
me"? I said no such thing, and never would. Please read the words
exactly as I wrote them--don't try to psychoanalize or second-
guess. I have very specific beliefs of right and wrong behavior,
some of which are very difficult and don't "suit me" at all; some
of which I fail at. If it were easy to live by moral standards
there would be no need for them. I set my goals higher than I
expect to reach, otherwise what are goals for?

People have a broad range of strategies for interaction with others.
Predation, trade, whim, sacrifice, conformity, and others. Game
theory predicts that some mixed set of strategies will settle into
a stable state which is probably not an optimum state for anyone.
But we, as humans, have a remarkable ability: we can change the rules
of the game. That's what a moral code is--a set of new rules by
which one can play the game, and under which one hopes to make the
stable mix of strategies closer to optimal than the set under other
rules. My particular set of rules is fairly libertarian, because I
believe that libertarian rules will produce a higher-payoff outcome
than either conservative or liberal rules. But that doesn't mean by
any stretch of the imagination that I advocate lack of rules.

Lee Daniel Crocker <>  <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC