2008.10.24 19:00 - Moral Matters

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    Adelene was the guardian for the evening. She had no comments to add.

    Adelene Dawner: Hi, Steve :)
    Adelene Dawner is observing a particularly intense pattern on the other screen, so is not really 'here'
    Adelene Dawner: but I may be soon.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I seem to be completely black tonight with blond hair, what do you see?
    Bell: *ding*
    Adelene Dawner: Yup, that - the new client seems to show black instead of grey for rezzing textures.
    stevenaia Michinaga: well black is the new...cloud
    Adelene Dawner: hehe
    stevenaia Michinaga: is Three coming tonight?
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    stevenaia Michinaga: oh speak of the lion
    Threedee Shepherd: you called ...
    stevenaia Michinaga: questions Three... do you know a Judith E. Grisel from Boulder?
    stevenaia Michinaga: Dr., rather
    stevenaia Michinaga: she studied in your fiend in Boulder
    Threedee Shepherd: Not immediately, say more
    stevenaia Michinaga: field
    stevenaia Michinaga: she's a friend of Rowan, now teaches ar Furman in SC
    Threedee Shepherd: She may have been a PostDoc here, and I did not know here. Just saw her web site and did not recognize
    stevenaia Michinaga: jsut checking oh how small the world is
    stevenaia Michinaga: on
    stevenaia Michinaga: or at least the field you are in
    Threedee Shepherd: very, actually
    Adelene Dawner apologizes for the interuption but she's about to vibrate right out of her skin over this. "Three, Elizer needs to be emailed. Further reading has confirmed that this will take more NT-style finessing than I'm capable of. We need to talk later. Ok?"
    Threedee Shepherd: OK
    stevenaia Michinaga: ok.., maybe I;ll have texture by then
    Threedee Shepherd: you look more enigmatic this way
    Threedee Shepherd: .
    stevenaia Michinaga: rebake worked, jsut like the old days
    Threedee Shepherd: not on my screen
    stevenaia Michinaga: happy to look enigmatic for you
    Adelene Dawner leans into Three.
    Threedee Shepherd: rezzed now
    Threedee Shepherd: I had lunch today with someone (who is not in SL) who would fit in here at PaB. He stards from the position thet *nothing MATTERS*
    stevenaia Michinaga: and what does he do for a living?
    Bell: *ding*
    Threedee Shepherd: leads meditation groups and writes software
    Threedee Shepherd: In the sense that "everything arises perfectly" he is right
    stevenaia Michinaga: I tend to agree with that, but not that it doesn;t matter, jsut that whatever happens happens
    Threedee Shepherd: ok, that's the opening I wanted ^.^ If whatever happens, happens, in the grand scheme of things, why does anything matter?
    stevenaia Michinaga: I always seem to step into the path of an oncomming question
    Adelene Dawner: It was directed at me, I'm sure, Steve.
    stevenaia Michinaga: mumbles, I knew that...
    Threedee Shepherd: at both actually
    Adelene Dawner: No, no way you could have - Three is aware of my current reading and you are not.
    stevenaia Michinaga: but for things to happen and not matter wouldn;t entropy take over until nothing happens and things would matter less?
    stevenaia Michinaga: we would all watch nothing matter until... well nothing happens
    Threedee Shepherd: that is the eventual end state, unless there is a "big bounce" billions of years from now ^.^
    stevenaia Michinaga: so yes, but shoudl we hasten that?
    Adelene Dawner: Things have meaning iff we give them meaning.
    Threedee Shepherd: exactly.
    stevenaia Michinaga: who slipped emaning into the conversation?
    stevenaia Michinaga: meaning
    Threedee Shepherd: matter implies meaning
    stevenaia Michinaga: thinking....
    stevenaia Michinaga: if it does not matter, it still has meaning
    stevenaia Michinaga: so everything has meaning whether it matters or not
    Threedee Shepherd: .
    Threedee Shepherd: Meaning is something we impute, it is not implicit to the thing/event/situation that happens
    stevenaia Michinaga: agreed
    Threedee Shepherd: So nothing *has* meaning
    stevenaia Michinaga: so "nothing matters" has it's own meaning as well
    Bell: *ding*
    stevenaia Michinaga: so it is meaning that makes things happen
    Threedee Shepherd: not trying to be puzzzling, I would restate as follows: nothing HAS implicit meqaning and thus nothing matters implicitely, as well. We imput matters the same way we impute meaning.
    stevenaia Michinaga: so how does your friend "act" on what he thinks nothing matter means?
    Threedee Shepherd: by the wy, looots of lag and dropped bits
    stevenaia Michinaga: haven;t noticed
    Threedee Shepherd: as best I can tell, morally
    stevenaia Michinaga: and don;t we all stive for that?
    stevenaia Michinaga: strive
    Threedee Shepherd: (aside to Steve: the ' key is immediately to the RIGHT of the ; key) ^.^
    Threedee Shepherd: yes. why?
    Threedee Shepherd: that is, Yes. Why do we?
    stevenaia Michinaga: why do we.... especially if nothing matters
    Adelene Dawner: why not?
    Threedee Shepherd: exactly, and why do so many different cultures define *morally* in roughly similar ways?
    Threedee Shepherd: Ade, actually in this case "Why Not?" is the same question as "Why?" ^.^
    Adelene Dawner: sounds like a question whose answer is 'memes' in some form.
    stevenaia Michinaga: memes?
    Adelene Dawner: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme
    Threedee Shepherd: A meme (pronounced /miːm/)[1] consists of any idea or behavior that can pass from one person to another by learning or imitation. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, gestures, practices, fashions, habits, songs, and dances. Memes propagate themselves and can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus.
    stevenaia Michinaga: hmmm
    Adelene Dawner: "Memeticists argue that the memes most beneficial to their hosts will not necessarily survive; rather, those memes that replicate the most effectively spread best, which allows for the possibility that successful memes may prove detrimental to their hosts."
    stevenaia Michinaga: when why not immorlity as well, seems to work in some places
    Adelene Dawner: For similar reasons, memes don't have to be true to be widespread.
    Threedee Shepherd is Offline
    stevenaia Michinaga: Three departed?
    Adelene Dawner: probably crashed.
    stevenaia Michinaga: well I am no moral philosopher, but I suspect it probably reals to doing the least amount of harm done to another
    stevenaia Michinaga: relates
    Threedee Shepherd is Online
    Adelene Dawner: hold on
    stevenaia Michinaga: wb
    Adelene Dawner: [19:43] stevenaia Michinaga: well I am no moral philosopher, but I suspect it probably reals to doing the least amount of harm done to another
    stevenaia Michinaga: relates
    stevenaia Michinaga: otherwise there would be no one to continue
    Bell: *ding*
    Threedee Shepherd: serioius SL crash that practically locked up my computer
    stevenaia Michinaga: an unfortunate side affect of Sl
    Threedee Shepherd: Ah, so *moral* behavior is better for the perpetuation of a social animal, than immoral bvehavior?
    stevenaia Michinaga: well if everyone would kill each other... i'd say yes
    Threedee Shepherd: kill is extreme, there are levels less than that. And sharks are neither moral or immoral and usually don't eat other sharks
    stevenaia Michinaga: few creatures do
    stevenaia Michinaga: not sure why
    Threedee Shepherd: stealing is easier than working for it. Look at all those tribes that plundered in the middle ages.
    Threedee Shepherd: "[19:47] stevenaia Michinaga: few creatures do
    tevenaia Michinaga: not sure why"
    xample of natural selection at work ^.^
    stevenaia Michinaga: well not just then, and they were good christians with the rule of law too
    Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm
    Threedee Shepherd: So, I guess we agree with the rather mundane explanation to why human tend to be morel: Because it works.
    Threedee Shepherd: moral
    stevenaia Michinaga: but wouldn;t natural selection lead the stronge to prevail?
    Threedee Shepherd: Although sometimes with all the shit that's piled on us, I do feel like a morel ;)
    Threedee Shepherd: For not eating your own kind: Those that did tended to have a lower longterm contribution to the gene pool, or their species died out due to cannibalism even before natural selection has time to "act"
    stevenaia Michinaga: but why would immorality not prevail?
    Adelene Dawner: Because it doesn't *work*.
    Adelene Dawner: Any sexually-reproducing species has to be at least minimally social.
    stevenaia Michinaga: well two of them have to
    Adelene Dawner: So there're pressures because of that to form *some* kind of functional social pattern.
    Threedee Shepherd: if 2 --> 4--->8---> in a social species, minimal behaviors need to prevail
    stevenaia Michinaga: I would certainly agree, however tehre are other ways to reproduce not invoolving the willing
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes, and there are many species that are not *social* in the sense of the phrase *social primate*
    Adelene Dawner: 'functional' doesn't always mean 'nice' but it does seem like rape is not the most efficient method of distributing genes - if it was, it'd be more common.
    stevenaia Michinaga: well look at stalinist russia, not a pleasent place if you happen to disagree with his moral character
    Threedee Shepherd: rape is less common only recently. In fact, it's how mongols spread their genes throughout asia and eastern europe
    Bell: *ding*
    Adelene Dawner shrugs.
    stevenaia Michinaga: and most conquoring (im-moral) tibes
    Adelene Dawner: That seems to imply that "[19:55] stevenaia Michinaga: but why would immorality not prevail?" is not the right question.
    Threedee Shepherd: Either that, or morality has little to due with reproductive behavior
    Adelene Dawner: 'reproductive behavior' is a lot more complicated than you might expect, in a species that takes over a decade to mature.
    Threedee Shepherd: cheating and stealing don't work on a mass scale because if everyone did it, there would be nothing produced to steal. Reproduction is different from that
    stevenaia Michinaga: it would seem so
    Threedee Shepherd: So the creationists are right (he said tongue in cheek) when they say "Because God said so" except they have the wrong god, and don't realize that Darwin is god ^.^
    Adelene Dawner grins at Three. ^.^
    stevenaia Michinaga: I wonder if Immoral people ahve the same conversations?
    Adelene Dawner: ... 'immoral people'?
    Threedee Shepherd: good question. They have rationalizations that explain away their immorality.
    stevenaia Michinaga: you know, "those" peole
    Adelene Dawner: No, I don't know. What are you talking about?
    Threedee Shepherd: As in The Mafia
    stevenaia Michinaga: they must set up the rules, this good person is bad, send them to the SIberia
    Threedee Shepherd: Or, crime syndicates, or street gangs (Crips and Bloods), etc.
    Adelene Dawner rather suspects that they're doing the best they know how, just like everyone else. Or are you talking about something else? If so, please define your terms...
    Threedee Shepherd: And, with great subtlety, Adelene has led us back to the initial point; Nothing Matters ^.^
    stevenaia Michinaga: from their perspective, you are probably correct
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    stevenaia Michinaga: I suspected it was just a matter of time
    Adelene Dawner: Well, Steve, why should my perspective be more relevant than theirs?
    stevenaia Michinaga: because it is yours
    Adelene Dawner: ...so?
    stevenaia Michinaga: so, it matters to you, not them
    Threedee Shepherd: OK, so here is another way to look at it. Is length of life a useful concept?
    Adelene Dawner: hm... a rephrasing. What basis do I have to think of my judgement of them as 'immoral' is more true than their judgement of themselves as 'moral'?
    stevenaia Michinaga: it;s all relative since both perspectives exist
    stevenaia Michinaga: length of life... not useful since it only eacists for the dead
    stevenaia Michinaga: exists
    stevenaia Michinaga: and anyone's could end tomarrow
    Threedee Shepherd: As Socrates might have said: Would you agree, Idioticus, that all else being equal it is better to live a long than a short life?"
    stevenaia Michinaga: better for who?
    Threedee Shepherd: for the one living it
    stevenaia Michinaga: we are wired to continue
    Threedee Shepherd: and in a social group, for the group as well
    Bell: *ding*
    stevenaia Michinaga: but we (humans) didn't always live as long as we do now
    Threedee Shepherd: you have not answered the question!
    stevenaia Michinaga: we live as long as we do, some of us accomplish more in a short life than ohers do in a long life
    stevenaia Michinaga: the answer... it doesn;t matter
    Threedee Shepherd: nihilist!
    stevenaia Michinaga: haha
    stevenaia Michinaga: even if it does, we couldn;t do much about it
    stevenaia Michinaga: I'm not sure living forever would be best, of longer was better
    Threedee Shepherd: Plato would have had Socrates take that opening response of "Yes, of course", replied Idioticus and gottn all the way to showing that human *PROGRESS* existed and was good.
    Adelene Dawner jerks awake for the third time, purrs sleepily in Three's general direction, and wordlessly teleports home.
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