Re: virus: Faith

David McFadzean (
Wed, 08 Oct 1997 14:36:09 -0600

At 03:51 PM 10/8/97 -0400, Reed Konsler wrote:
>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

That's right, and it *is* a reason for fidelity *if* you don't want
to hurt your SO and lose their trust (and the conditional is true).
That is *all* I am saying!

People are often adulterous (and regret it later) *because* they
don't think about the consequences of hypothetical situations.
It is really surprising I find myself defending the supposition
that people would regret their actions less if they thought about
the consequences a little more.

>>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.

That was before I (finally!) realized that Richard was playing a game
other than the rational discussion game.

>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!

If you think I would disagree with you about any of this, then
you have been reading my detractors rather than what I actually said.

>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.

Well that's not entirely true, logic can tell you what you should
do *given* that you want to do something else, but I know what you
are saying.

>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.

What does it mean to accept the arbitrary nature of consciousness?

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus