> Biological organisms are no less at the mercy of external forces than
Disagree. Rocks cannot defy gravity. Birds can.
First of all bird can not defy gravity. But the issue is whether or not they
are at the mercy of external forces. Birds are in fact at the mercy of far
more external forces than rocks. Rocks only have to worry about earthquakes,
water and wind erosion and the like. Birds have to worry about predators,
food shortages, finding mates, people clear cutting their habitats and a
host of other external forces in addition to the weather.
I don't compare nature to a computer. Never have, never will.
Why? Aren't computers part of nature? Isn't what we have learned about
nature incorporated in their design? They have proved very useful in
modeling natural phenomena like hurricanes and they have greatly extended
our ability to investigate complexity itself.
Evolution was the context of Pirsig's statement. So there's no implication
that "any old theory is OK," like the liberal's theory that society is to
blame for crime.
So you are subscribing to a kind of marketplace of ideas approach where the
measure of truth is popularity? And BTW, since societies determine what will
be defined as crime it is hard to see how they can escape responsibilities
for it's occurrence.
> Betterness for who? Inclination, what is that? If you think that
> nature has this is 'purpose' what is it? What was it's purpose in
> sitting around for
> 13 billion years until we got here. All of a sudden in the last
> seconds of this act in the play we show up and finally nature has
> something really important to do since 'betterness' has arrived? Are
> we there yet? Are we there yet?
The purpose is to continually get better. The goal is excellence. Whether we
ever get there is undecided at this time.
Ok but defining a term with more undefined terms is not helping me to
understand what you mean. What is "betterness"? What is "Excellence"? You
seem to imply that purpose, betterness and excellence are fundamental
properties of nature. If that is true I would think you could at least say
what they are and what they do.
What caused life to emerge from pond scum, what caused mind to emerge from
The law of nature to the extent that we have uncovered them provide
excellent explanations for this. Beyond that, are you a parent? The
emergence of life from scum is directly observable in the reproductive
process. It occurs in a variety of ways from single cells dividing to sexual
reproduction. This is a wondrous process but not metaphysically intractable.
> Light and gravity and all the other forces emerged in that instant.
By what cause? For what reason?
Ok one more time with feeling: the cause (and after all we only have to
worry about the first one) was the Big Bang and there was no reason.
> In this place and at this time the forces of nature are in the right
> balance to allow enormous complexity. The world we live in is special
> that way. If it weren't we wouldn't be here.
Yes. Makes you wonder how just the right balance occurred. Your answer is
The right balance occurs because the wrong balance is not balance at all and
disappears. My answer is really more like, "Whoa, Dude that is cool! Funny
how that works. I wonder what else it does."
In contrast your answer seems to be, "OMG, that can't be. It must serve some
larger purpose that we can't define but at least it makes us feel less
I give up. Do you have the answers?
Not me but thanks for asking. On the other hand computer simulations and
math resulting from increased computational power suggest that enormous
complexity does result from the application of very simple sets of rules.
Not only that but this complexity is self sustaining.
When brain scans can tell what someone is thinking, let me know.
These scan have not been around for very long but they do reveal a great
deal about what people are thinking and feeling; emotional and physically.
So unless you want to do a bit a surfing on your own for that I will try to
keep you posted.
> So a hog finds beauty in the smell of a sow's girly parts, would you
> say this then is intrically beautiful?
To a hog, you bet.
This seem like beauty residing in the eye of the beholder rather than beauty
being an property of the beheld. Are we agreeing here? I think you just made
my point for me.
> > [Case]
> > But again if you could spell out what you mean by purpose that would
> > help. Usually people get purpose all mucked up with intentionality,
> > consciousness, divine purpose and other mushy terms that cause lots
> > of problems because they are so hard to pin down.
> > And the mushiest of all if supernatural. I have no idea what that
> > term is supposed to mean.
> It means not attributable to a material (physical) cause.
Is there at least a material effect? How would one know to ascribe this
mysterious agency to anything?
[Case Repeats in desperation}
In short these definitions you have offered are not very clear or very
Sorry about that. If you want to believe reality is one big crap shoot,
that's fine by me. But my experience tells me otherwise.
Oddly enough everything in my experience suggests it is a big crap shoot.
The world I see is organic, fluid and mysterious. It is fundamentally
indefinable but experienced intimately. It is wondrous and terrifying. I
recommend the book of Ecclesiastes.