Re: Property and life

Samael (
Wed, 13 Jan 1999 11:22:07 -0000

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael M. Butler <> To: <> Date: 12 January 1999 21:25
Subject: Re: Property and life

>Samael, I'm still waiting for one example for a purely logical basis for
>logic. Have you got one? Any modern physicist knows that all that exists is
>(1) entities that are neither particles nor waves (2) in spacetime.

One cannot define a system within itself (Godels incompleteness theorem I think), so you cannot define logic within logic. Logic is more a arbitrary system that people agree to use so that they can communicate:

ie, if we all agree to use the logical operator AND to mean that "A is true AND B is true" is true if and only if both A and B are true. We can then use this (and NOT and OR) to build up logical expressions in a language that all people that use logic can use. This logic can be tested against reality (if the premises have been tested scientifically and the logic has been tested mathemtically then the conclusion should match observed reality). So far nobody has shown a case where this is not true, which gives it a truth rating slightly higher than the law of gravity (which people still occasionally think might have holes in it).

>PS: Have you read any William James?

Name is vaguely familliar, but I can't remember who he is. I don't think I've read anything of his (my mind keeps being redirected towards Henry James, writer of ghost stories).

>PPS: assuming you're serious, and not just arguing from habit or for fun,

I'm arguing because people making obviously false statements annoy me.

And statements like "This arbitrary statement is the one true moral and therefore these corrolaries are the way that life should be lived" really, really annoy me, whether they're coming from Christians, Libertarians, Communists or anyone else. I'd be a lot happier if people said "I'd prefer it if the world worked this way and I intend to make it happen." At least that would be intellectually honest and we could work on compromise.

>you might want to investigate Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality. I find it
>interesting and provocative.

Interesting, yes. It has a lot of interesting ideas. Provocative? Well, I did throw my copy of Lila across the room at one point. (when he mentioned that evolution had a plan).

And, potentially, a metaphysics that connects
>to physics *and* morality. Given that model, one of the tough parts is
>"why" there are multiple regimes (Pirsig says four). But what's moral in
>one regime has nothing to do with what's moral in another.

His metaphysics is incredibly arbitrary with no reasons given as to why one metaphysics is better than another. His definitions of Quality is that it is beyond definition and then he uses Quality in different ways in different contexts. At one point it seems to be the interface between the observer and the observed (which was interesting, as similar thoughts have occured to me about perception before), and then he says that Quality is obvious to everyone and that it's objective. When people patently disagree all the time as to what is high quality and what is low quality.

Which is not to say that there aren't a lot of intersting and well thought ideas in there, much the same as in RAW's Prometheus Rising, which contains a lot of interesting ideas, if you ignore some of the obvious rubbish.

I generally find books more useful for the ideas they generate in me than for the actual ideas in them, but hey that's me.

thanks for the recommendation anyway,