Nice to get a word of encouragement in response to the previous post – thanks Georganna. I’ve actually stepped out of both threads of debate, purely for a breather – I’ll be back. I don’t want to go the same way as Pirsig, exhaustion to the point of total breakdown, “in the effort to outflank the entire body of western thought”. It sure is hard work.
I genuinely don’t want to waste the breath – like Dennett, amongst others who “peremptorily dismiss” such issues of faith in any kind of purposeful causal god, my preferred tactic is just to ignore and if necessary reject out of hand any such suggestions. However there are good and bad theologians and some, after overcoming the initial offence, do seem prepared for open debate – open to everything except a change of premise it seems. What is the point ? Well none it turns out, if I explain to you my thought for today, really just another re-statement of my Catch-22 I guess.
I think I’ve stumbled on something. Clearly religious faith is in deep in all socio-political structures. Religious faithful were never my target – are still not a “target” at all – I really would ignore them if they went away to mind their own business. There is clearly another suggestion (equally offensive, no doubt) of an element of religious faith for the non-intellectual who just want something convenient to plug the mysterious gaps in the world – isn’t that Marx’s opiate of the people ? Anyway, as long as people who’d really rather not worry about difficult questions never get into positions of power and influence then we might be OK.
The dangerous ones are those who are either cynically exploitative (I might say evil) in their power, or worse still, the buggers who seem to want to argue using “dishonest intellect” – and this is the key point – that dishonesty is of course generally NOT pre-meditated NOR evil NOR a conspiracy (see exceptions above). Of course it looks to have a conspiracy behind it, in exactly the same way the creation looks to have an intelligent designer behind it. What it is, is the same widespread misplaced western faith in objective / logical positivism. Exactly the same. As in exactly. Using that misplaced style of argumentation, you can indeed convince / be convinced you are right in your faith. The intellectual argument is not so much “dishonest” as plain misguided.
The very problem I was trying to find a solution to for more parochial “business management” reasons. I always knew it spread across all “organisational decision making”, right to the highest national and international government and non-government organisations, but until this moment I had never spotted it was exactly the same problem “western” churches suffered from. How right Pirsig was with his “Church of Reason” – even if he was using “church” in the more figurative sense.
Oh my god, this is truly awful. The logical positivist memeplex reinforces the religious memeplex. Science has unwittingly been it’s own worst enema.
So back to plan A. The original plan was in fact correct. Ignore them as politely as possible and keep working to get “higher quality” argumentation and decision rationale in at a very simple level, far away from the battlefront. Evolution always needed segregation and nurture as well as comptetition for survival. We need a domain where the meme has space to replicate, re-inforce, meet complementary memes, breed a nice healthy memeplex and some suitably supportive environmental conditions, and then find opportunities for stealthy break-out into the wider world.
So, we’re looking for a godless place to breed. Don’t you just love the dirty jobs.
(And psst – as I said, it neeeds to be a conspiracy, kept secret from those other buggers. Talk about Catch-22. Mum’s the word.)