Holistic Unity and Red Boxes

David Musick (David_Musick@msn.com)
Sat, 28 Sep 96 00:55:36 UT

Ian, I have no idea what gave you the notion that I adhere to the idea of
non-relational identity. It is blatently obvious to me that "things" exist
only in relationship to each other. I question the very idea of identity
itself. That's why I say it's all in your head, to categorize "things". I
think it's arbitrary to divide the world up into parts (and I'm not saying
it's not useful to do so, just that it's arbitrary -- we could divide the
world up differently).

I think this is the result that you're coming to by saying that one "thing"
exists only in relationship to the rest of all existence, not on its own;
therefore every "thing" depends on the rest of existence for its own
existence; therefore no one "thing" can truly be separated from ALL other
"things". You're basically saying that all existence is one thing. Which
means that it's arbitrary and just in our heads to categorize the world into
separate "things", since there is only one thing, and it is everything
together. If this isn't what you're saying, please tell me, but I'm pretty
sure this is what you mean.

I agree with you completely here. All is One. Sure, fine, that's great, BUT
I don't see how this is useful AT ALL. It's absolutely true, but utterly
useless. All is one, but all is not uniform. The world has all kinds of
features, and it is highly detailed. Figuring out how the details work
together is what's useful, not knowing that all these details are all part of
the same thing, the ONLY thing. Science is about mapping out the details of
existence, and it is very useful. Knowing that existence is all of one piece
gives us no information about how the details work together. The way we
categorize the details is up to us; it is arbitrary, but some ways of
categorizing the details of the world are more useful than others. And
finding these useful ways of thinking is what's truly of value.

I'm sorry if you're disappointed that the wonderful jewel of insight you
thought you had is simply a worthless rock. I'm curious to see your reaction.
Will you continue to cling to the rock and defend its value, or will you
examine it more closely, realize its lack of value, get rid of it and find
some truly useful ideas to take its place? Although, your idea may provide
you with a great deal of pleasure, and so it could be considered valuable in
that respect, just not useful with regards to anything else.

- David Musick