Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V3 #48
Fri, 19 Feb 1999 18:34:47 EST

In a message dated 2/19/99 1:37:02 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< Jake:>It is at least entertaining to parade around your "**********", >where trying to reasonably explain myself has been only futile.

Reed: That would be YOUR "**********" not mine. You made that unwholesome beast and it is all yours. I don't agree with it and I want nothing to do with it. Your goosestepping parody gives me chills...I mean it, it makes me physically ill to look at this screen with those words on it.>>

Jake: I really have no comprehension as to why this is so disturbing to you. I imagine that I never will.

>>>>>Reed: Think, for a moment, of the symbolism Jake. You have changed
yourself from a "MemeLab" to a "**********". Is that a movement towards reason?
>towards goodness? I think you will agree it isn't.<<
>Jake: I think of it as a move toward parody, which is occassionally necessary
>dealing with people who take themselves to seriously. I didn't stop calling
>myself "Jake" did I?

Reed: Poor joke, IMHO.<<

Jake: It was more than just a joke. There was a point to be made. Apparantly it wasn't, or at least not to you it wasn't, though at least Bill saw the point. I really think you are taking yourself and these words entirely too seriously. They can't disturb you unless you let them.

Jake: >I think it is unfortunate that you are skipping that. Those aren't just
>floating abstractions. I was describing to you how I think, which I
>understand to be the crux of most of your misundertandings about me...

Reed: [shrug]

Jake: ??? Okay. End of discussion on that topic, unless you wish to revive it. Until or unless it is resolved, I predict that we will be talking in circles.

>>>Jake: I generally think having faith is not a good thing.

Reed: Why?<<

Jake: I think I have gone over this before. Faith is holding something in principle not subjectable to rational criticism. Of course that is meaningless to you because you ignored my "sematic games".

>>>Jake: I don't see any good purposes that faith furthers.

Reed: Human decency? Altruism? Kindness? Mercy? A positive outlook on ones fellow human beings? Sense of duty to the collective? These are just some things off the top of my head, I'm sure you can think of others.<<

Jake: I think these are totally irrelevant to having faith. Hope and trust are not the same things as faith.

>>Reed: Yes, I would have to establish that Faith DOES further these
things AND that they are advantageous, just as you would have to establish that Faith DOES further other things, AND that these other things would be disadvantageous. Do you have any idea how long that debate has been ongoing? If you out argued me here, in the forum, what does that prove of the greater reality.?<<

Jake: Don't worry. There is no point to an argument. A meaningful argument requires that we agree on some basic premises first. As far as this topic is concerned, we don't. You confound faith with hope and trust, and you confound justificational reasons with rational criticism. Without some distinctions in here, I can't meaningfully articulate my position to you. It will come out as "semantics games" again.

>>>Jake: In fact I think it limits people in the pursuit of things good,
>both individually, and humanity collectively.

Reed: How?<<

Jake: By placing unecessary, and potentially detrimental limits on rational criticism.

>>Reed: While I understand your perspective, and accept it's relevance...I
the following assertion:

There is one I, the purposeful essence, which persists through time.<<

Jake: At best, I might see that as an undifferentiated version of what I said here, though I cannot be sure:

Jake: >The things that hold it all together in coherence are value, rationality,
>narrative, and worldview. I will tell you if I think of any more, but that
>sounds like a powerful list to me. Everybody, even the faithful, engage ALL
>these elements.

Reed: Perhaps that is faith?

Jake: Not the way I see it. But if you think its faith, then I guess it is for you.

Reed: If so, it does serve some use. For instance, this faith allows the future me to fulfill promises and contracts which I make in the past. Would you disabuse me of this delusion? I have a soul. When I marry, it is my soul and not my mind or body which is is a contract of my very essence. Tell this to your wife, and then tell her you think it is irrelevant mystical mumbo jumbo.<<

I don't use the word "soul" seriously and neither does my wife. We don't believe in supernaturalisms. I don't see any reason why this makes any any more sense of our marriage. My wife and I married each other because we love each other - we share the same values, compatible world-views, we value and are committed to each other and our culture of two. That is simple enough to say without talking about "souls", and talking about "souls" only adds nonsense. We are quite in agreement on these things. In fact, lack of religion was one of the initial points of interest (among others) for both of us.

I am sorry, I just don't think I can make it through the rest of your post. We only agree in the vaguest generalities, and even then, only somewhat. Explaining myself to you is entirely too cumbersome. I have tried as much as I can. The effort is overwhelming and seemingly pointless. You seem to want some philosophical discussion, but only on your terms. Otherwise its just a [shrug]. Except for more mundane vagaries, and simple pleasantries, your terms are not acceptable to me.

Though you claim all sorts of imaginative capacities, your imaginations of me, my motivations, my attitudes, my "anxieties", and the things I have been saying to you etc., are just pilings of one error on top of another, on top of another, and so on. There is simply no connection here. It's all pure static, all noise but no signal. Though you keep on imagining anyway. I hope you don't take this personally, you seem like a nice enough guy otherwise.

If you want to go on, I will try to read what you have to say, but I hope you don't get offended if my responses are considerably shorter in the future.