LS Re: The definition of Quality

Dave Thomas (
Tue, 16 Dec 1997 17:32:57 +0100


Thanks for the some more insight into quantum effects. Others have also
out and the post from MW Workman has a link to an essay on the current
of the quantum theory in the world. I think I've gone far enough off on
tangent of quantum theory in so much as it appears that even the people
the work are not able to agree on its implications.

On to another issue that I have noticed in your posts, the Earth as an
organism or Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis and how that relates to Pirsig.

> In fact, the Earth (or Lovelock's Gaia) would be a healthier organism without us.

>From a MoQ or Pirsig perspective I would have to take exception to this.

"..right from the beginning,..evolution has always had a puzzling aspect
it has never been able to eliminate. It goes into many volumnes about
how the
fittest survive but never once answers the question of why... Why, for
example, should a group of simple, stable compounds of carbon, hydrogen,
oxygen and nitrogen struggle for billions of years to organize
themselves into
a professor of chemistry? What is the motive?....Chemistry professors
unstable mixtures of predominantly unstable compounds which, in the
presence of the sun's heat, decay irreversibly into simpler organic and
inorganic compounds. That is a scientific fact. The question is: Then
why does
nature reverse this process? What on earth causes the inorganic
compounds to
go the other way?" (Lila Bantam Hardback pp140-1)

Pirsig then goes on to propose in his MoQ that there is a constant
within nature to evolve toward ever greater levels of freedom or Dynamic
Quality. And that this direction is morally good. So on one hand, if
there is
this purpose our organism Earth would not be "healthier", "better",
alive" without us because without us those simple stable compound would
less free. While on the other hand there is little question our current
dominant social and intellectual values have had serious impact on the
inorganic, and biological levels of Earth's other systems. Based on this
feel that the various ecological movements fall into a similar class as
comment about quantum theory.

> The quantum discussion on the Lila Squad is purely a human concern which the Earth and the Universe blithely ignores.

Though it may seem so I'm not flip-flopping here. Under MoQ if all men
were to
disappear from Earth tommorrow it would not be a "healthier" place
because it
would have lost one of its highest level of freedom. But the Earth and
Universe would go blithely along most probably evolving some other
being here in a billion years or so. So from my perspective all
movements are not about hugging trees or warm fuzzy bunnies but pure and
simple self interest.
That being said I do not think the current, or any, political, economic,
other social and intellectural value systems can or will make
progress in the area of ecology until such time as their is complete
rethinking and adoption of a new metaphysical/philosophical base.
In my opinion the Metaphysics of Quality could well be that new base.


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