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Unread September 11th, 2006, 11:50 AM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 271
Default Re: Ann Coulter & Wm. Provine: Evolution's Odd Couple

As usual your posts are full of interesting ideas. One that jumped out and compells me to comment is this:
Quote:
My feeling is that meaning comes from within nature as well: our widespread convention linking meaningfulness and good human judgment to ethereal abstracts outside of nature are probably harmful in the long run because they don't reflect the biological reality of how our brain works.
More in terms of seeing that from another angle - rather than disagreeing - it seems to me that ethereal abstracts that emanate from the human brain are one of the more interesting products of nature. As to their being harmful, that's another question that can have different answers depending on how you look at it.

It seems that the vast majority of humans throughout recorded history have lived their lives under fealty to one of those ethereal abstracts or another. Almost all wars of conquest (or wars in defense of such conquest) have been fought in the name of - and very often at the claimed behest of - those ethereal abstracts.

It seems likely to me that those ethereal abstracts - more directly our propensity to harbor them in our minds - are just as much a product of evolution that has been selected for its fitness - as is our opposable thumbs. I suspect that explains why those humans who so eagerly attach themselves to those ethereal abstracts and reserve a hallowed place in their minds for them - are vastly more represented on this planet than those who don't - and always have been, apparently.

It also explains for me - according to my emotion theory of behavior choice - why people are so emotionally attached to them. Why we are ready to kill - and die - for them. It's because we are wired that way - and because those who have learned to give the emotions generated by that wiring great weight in their behavior choices - vastly outnumber those of us who aren't.

I know that by saying "within nature" you meant ideas that our present science can somewhat verify according the rules of its parochial system - scientific theories of nature. But, I think it's good to remember that that distinction makes a huge difference when judging whether an idea is "harmful in the long run" or not.

To reduce possible confusion I'll specify that I interpret "ethereal abstracts" in this case to mean unifying beliefs that serve the purpose of uniforms on a soccer team - so that players can know who's on their team and who they can trust to share their survival interests - who's out to help them and who's out to do them in. Although I think these come in the non-ethereal form as well - like communism.

The other part of your statement - the part about good human judgement - deserves a post of its own when I get time.

Margaret

PS - Thanks once again for writing posts that prevent me from applying my brain to my own economic support for so many hours of the day.

Last edited by Margaret McGhee; September 11th, 2006 at 01:20 PM.
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