Re: RELIGION: The meaning of Life

Reilly Jones (
Fri, 14 Feb 1997 17:19:41 -0500

Damien Broderick wrote 2/13/97: <Reilly's invocation of Gilson strikes me
as odd in the extreme. Gilson is a Catholic Aristotelian in the Thomist
tradition. BTW, I take it that Gregory's use of `ontotheological' reflects
the influence of Heidegger or perhaps Derrida?>

Odd in what way I wonder? Perhaps odd because I'm quoting a Frenchman? (I
won't use your term invocation here because Gregory may get confused and
think I'm guilty of liturgical cognition or some such horrible thought
crime.) Well, I do want to be fair to the French, and if some of them come
up with a correct analysis, I will not look askance. I find Gilson's
comment about Heidegger and his fellow-traveler crudballs to be
particularly apt: "Philosophy always buries its undertakers."

Although the "bad" Frenchman Gilles Deleuze is not in the same intellectual
league with "good" Frenchmen like Montaigne, Pascal, Montesquieu, Condorcet
or DeTocqueville, I would even quote him if could analyze his way out of a
paper bag. In fact, I will quote him on something reasonably truthful,
I'll just wash my hands after I type this:

"It is precisely its impotence that makes power so dangerous. This,
precisely, is the fourth danger: the line of flight crossing the wall,
getting out of the black holes, but instead of connecting with other lines
and each time augmenting its valence, *turning to destruction, abolition
pure and simple, the passion of abolition*." - from "Capitalism and
Schizophrenia" Vol. II

The reason power is always impotent is because power cannot answer the
question "Power to do what?" The passionate capacity for entropic
death-worshipping is in us, and will be in our successors (if they are
higher, rather than lower, on the evolutionary scale). It is a choice open
to beings with free will, inherent in the design of things. There will
always be entities who will choose it, simply to exercise their free will,
to show others their independence if for no other reason.

Gregory has whined utopically about how bad it is to develop violent
technology: <I believe violence in general, and specifically science for
the purpose of violence would be greatly reduced if we included emotive
education in our schools.> and <Though the person focused on truth can
rationalize violence as irrational, that person is more likely to be
violent and to participate in the creation of violent technology because
that person does not have the same control over his/her emotions as the
person focused on usefulness.>

The act of turning towards extropy or turning towards entropy is a moral
absolute. Those who have turned towards extropy, or the culture of life,
must defend themselves from those who have turned towards entropy, or the
culture of death. An entirely extropic vocation is to specialize in
development of superior violent technology to prohibitively raise the cost
of action to those who would destroy what one loves. For a modern course
in what prevents war, see John Keegan's "A History of Warfare" (1993).
"Peace Through Strength" is a better bumper sticker than "Visualize World
Peace." Letting those with a "passion for abolition" have their way with
you by renouncing the development of violent technology coupled with the
shown will to employ it, is to be co-opted by the entropic
death-worshippers by default. It would not be, shall we say, rational.

Reilly Jones | Philosophy of Technology: | The rational, moral and political relations
| between 'How we create' and 'Why we create'