Re: virus: Religion, Zen, post-structuralism, and the failure

John ''Storm of Drones'' Williams (
Wed, 11 Jun 1997 14:51:27 -0400

David McF:

>Before I respond to your message let me ask you something: Do you consider
>this particular discussion to be metaphysical? Does it matter whether what
>you say is true or not? Do you care if your arguments are logical? Would you
>be convinced by an argument that is valid and sound?

1. I do consider this discussion to be about metaphysical issues.
2. Whether what I say is true or not matters insofar as anything can be
determined to be true.
3. I would be convinced that a viewpoint that is valid and sound would be a
viewpoint worth having. I am not convinced that your viewpoint, or
arguments so far, are valid and sound.


I did not mean for you to interpret my message as a flame. Let me explain
where I'm coming from.

[I said]
>> and your insistence
>> that anyone who does not share your trust in logic is a fool...

>Except the part about me calling anyone a fool is total bullshit. I guess
>that is what passes for "persuasive rhetoric" in John's worldview. I, for
>one, do not appreciate it.

I don't know how often I've quoted this here, David. Maybe I'm wrong in
attributing this statement to you:

>Through some twist of fate western society has come to regard
>faith as a virtue. To hold an idea as true despite all evidence to the
>contrary is an abdication of reason. Convictions are the end of
>knowledge, not the beginning; they are the enemy of truth more
>than lies.

>No other system of thought in history has proven
>more effective. If truth is the goal, rationality is the
>way. A good Virion will endeavor to hold a
>consistent set of beliefs and act in accordance with
>those beliefs. Think critically, act rationally.

This reading says to me, "anyone who values or expresses faith is a fool."

I've already said that all that is required is a qualifier on that
statement: "anyone who values *blind* faith is a fool." I'm happy with
that. But I consider these two statements above to be reductive,
inconsistent with CoV concepts, inconsistent with the Post-Structuralism
you *say* you agree with, and basically downright intolerant.

Indeed, I think it makes you sound like a Fundamentalist. You are perhaps
unaware of it and didn't intend it to be quite as dismissive as it actually
is, but it does nevertheless state that reason is superior and anyone else
who believes otherwise is acting stupidly or with evil intent (ie,

Now, perhaps, we are a little clearer on what it is *I* am trying to get
across, and what I've believed that *you* were trying to get across. Have
we been misreading each other all this time?

Ah! Language.

-- John "Who, Me?" Williams

John Williams
Your Message Here...
"See my loafers? Former gophers!"