virus: Faith

Reed Konsler (
Wed, 8 Oct 1997 15:51:01 -0400 (EDT)

David McFadzean:
>Either that, or you won't (or cannot) admit you're wrong. Logic *can*
>be applied to human relationships. Why shouldn't you cheat on your spouse?
>Because IF you do AND she find out THEN she will be hurt AND lose her
>trust in you. Maybe you just don't recognize logic when you see it.

No offense, but that's not a reason for fidelity. It's a prediction of the
outcome of a hypothetical situation. It isn't even accurate, since there
is a decent amount of evidence supporting the idea that women are
interested in consistent emotional and resource investment more than
sexual fidelity. It is men that are endlessly concerned with virginity,
cuckoldry, infidelity, etc.

Now I'm not arguing that one *ought* to practice adultery. Personally,
I'm against it for ethical as well as consequential reasons.

David, it seems like you are getting very frustrated that Richard won't let
you "off the ground". For instance:

>Give me a break. Do I need to supply you with the definitions of every
>word and allowable inference rules too? Do me a favour and supply your
>own reasonable set of axioms.

Seems to be a little exasperated.

I don't understand why you don't relish the conversation. After all, aren't
these the essential issues? Isn't the opportunity to discuss them valuable?

Now, you have yet to go so far as Tad and accused Richard of intentionally
trying to mislead and manipulate but you sure are trying to paint him as

Which, of course, he is from your perspective. But you are beginning to
sound like you think he is conversing in "bad faith". An indication is
that, instead of addressing his arguments, you have let yourself slip into

>Either that, or you won't (or cannot) admit you're wrong...

Which sounds a lot like what Richard is always saying, hmm? "You
cannot see yourself in Level-2..." One thing I've noticed, though, is
that Richard is pretty scrupulous about not saying "Level-2 is wrong"
but "Level-2 is not right for everyone or everything". Do you see
a difference between something that is "wrong" and something that
is "not right"? If I defined "right" things as those which evoke
happiness, well-being, harmony, and joy do you think I would end
up with the same program of action as that derived from "right"
being defined as true statements about real things?

David, I know you think you are in the right here...that science
and rationality are on your side. In my opinion, they are not. Read
Dawkins in _The Extended Phenotype_ introduction where he speaks
of the woman who asked him about genetic determinism. Read the
introduction and the conclusion to Dennett's _Darwin's Dangerous
Idea_ where he explains that a scientific worldview leaves moral
questions unanswered and moral answers unquestioned. Read Pinker's
new book _How the Mind Works_ where (on page 30) he describes the
assumptions implicit in even the simple problem of inverse optics
(guessing what objects and surfaces are in your environment based
on retinal projections) as a "leap of faith" [his words David! If he
is being polemic then it is no more a metaphor than "selfish" genes].
And these are some of the harshest of the reductionists!

So, sure, logic can be applied to human relationships. But logic
says nothing about what relationships ought to be like. Logic is
a tool for achieving a goal and it is better at some kinds of goals
than a socket wrench. It's a good tool, I recommend
it to all my friends...but logic can't tell you "why" you should
or shouldn't do things. That's a moral question.

I suggest that we accept, provisionally if you like, the arbitrary nature
of consciousness. Then we could see where it leads, knowing that if it
turns out to be a foolish boondoggle we surely haven't wasted more time
than we usually do around here. That would be an experimentallists
approach, anyway.

If we would all just accept that the world is an illusion my first
proposition would be that it certianly seems real, doesn't it? Then
we could discuss why thinking about this "implied" reality is
useful and where it might not be.

"Oh my God, you haven't seen *the real world*?"



Reed Konsler