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Re: [existlist] Not phenomenology (Getting along)

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  • Sue McPherson
    It was his wife who joined, and voted. eduard, Re phenomenology: When something is named as the purpose of a list, such as, say, Music - that doesn t mean that
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 1, 2003
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      It was his wife who joined, and voted.

      eduard,

      Re phenomenology:
      When something is named as the purpose of a list, such as, say, Music -
      that doesn't mean that "music" is the topic under discussion constantly.
      It could be Chopin that is being discussed, or Julie Andrews. But the
      word music is not necessariy in every discussion.

      Sue McPherson


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "yeoman" <yeoman@...>
      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 1:10 AM
      Subject: Re: [existlist] Getting along


      > Sue,
      >
      > The score was 4-4 because Mark voted twice.
      >
      > I am surprised that you should think that phenomenology is a
      > "tired thread", when it is the purpose of this list.
      >
      > Perhaps people do not care for the tone. But I have
      > afforded an opportunity to discuss something that is
      > pertinent. It would seem to me that, since you are here,
      > then why not discuss it?? Or if you don't wish to, then why
      > don't you put in something??
      >
      > If we could get into discussion, then perhaps it would draw
      > people in to participate.
      >
      > eduard
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Sue McPherson" <sue@...>
      > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 6:58 PM
      > Subject: Re: [existlist] Getting along
      >
      >
      > > The score was four-all when it ended.
      > >
      > > I noticed one of your messages was about phenomenology.
      > > But it is a rather tired thread at the moment. No one is
      > > adding anything new to it.
      > >
      > > Maybe people do not care for the tone of interactions on
      > this list
      > > and so are not responding in case they are jumped on.
      > They only
      > > have to look at some of the digs that people are capable
      > of and
      > > feel inhibited.
      > >
      > > There's also the fact that it simply isnt' necesary to
      > have a constant
      > > flow of discussion on this list. If it doesn't happen, it
      > doesn't.
      > > What's wrong with silence!
      > >
      > > There is a chat room associated with this list. Why don't
      > people
      > > log into it if they want to just chat? Why not advertise
      > it as being
      > > open at specific times?
      > >
      > > Sue McPherson
      >
      >
      >
      > Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
      > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
      >
      > TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
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      >
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      >
      >
    • yeoman
      Sue, I count only one subject title with phenomenology . This is hardly an indication of a topic under discussion constantly. Why don t you wish to discuss
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 1, 2003
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        Sue,

        I count only one subject title with "phenomenology". This
        is hardly an indication of a topic under discussion
        constantly. Why don't you wish to discuss this subject??

        As I said before, I might help this list if we discussed
        something in relation to philosophy for a while at least.

        eduard

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Sue McPherson" <sue@...>
        To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 7:16 PM
        Subject: Re: [existlist] Not phenomenology (Getting along)


        > It was his wife who joined, and voted.
        >
        > eduard,
        >
        > Re phenomenology:
        > When something is named as the purpose of a list, such as,
        say, Music -
        > that doesn't mean that "music" is the topic under
        discussion constantly.
        > It could be Chopin that is being discussed, or Julie
        Andrews. But the
        > word music is not necessariy in every discussion.
        >
        > Sue McPherson
      • Sue McPherson
        eduard, Following is your response to the extract I sent from Richard Dawkin s book. Are you being serious? Do you expect a response to that? Sue McPherson
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 1, 2003
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          eduard,

          Following is your response to the extract I sent from Richard Dawkin's book.
          Are you being serious? Do you expect a response to that?

          Sue McPherson


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "yeoman" <yeoman@...>
          To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 11:43 AM
          Subject: Re: [existlist] book - Darwin's Vicious Circle/Devil's Chaplain


          > Sue,
          >
          > The human brain is always looking for a pattern. It will
          > not be happy, until it has taken a highly complex process
          > like evolution and covers it with a single phrase, like
          > "natural selection" or whatever.
          >
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "Sue McPherson" <sue@...>
          > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>;
          > <philosophyfaith@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 2:20 AM
          > Subject: [existlist] book - Darwin's Vicious Circle/Devil's


          FYI - Sue McPherson

          The Sunday Times - Books March 30, 2003
          Science: How to break Darwinism's vicious circle
          Natural selection may be unpleasant, says Richard Dawkins, but
          that doesn't mean humans have to be

          http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2102-623827,00.html

          Darwin was less than half joking when he coined the phrase
          Devil's Chaplain in a letter to his friend Hooker in 1856: "What a book a
          Devil's Chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering low and
          horridly cruel works of nature."
          A process of trial and error, completely unplanned and on
          the massive scale of natural selection, is likely to be clumsy, wasteful and
          blundering. Of waste there is no doubt. The racing elegance of cheetahs and
          gazelles is bought at huge cost in blood and the suffering of countless
          antecedents on both sides.
          Clumsy and blundering though the process undoubtedly is,
          its results are opposite. There is nothing clumsy about a swallow; nothing
          blundering about a shark. What is clumsy and blundering, by the standards of
          human drawing boards, is the Darwinian algorithm that led to their
          evolution. As for cruelty, here is Darwin again, in a letter to Asa Gray of
          1860: "I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would
          have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of
          their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars."
          Ichneumon wasps sting their prey not to kill but to
          paralyse, so their larvae can feed on fresh (live) meat. As Darwin clearly
          understood, blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural
          selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel, but indifferent. Such kindness
          as may appear emerges from the same imperative as the cruelty. Bernard Shaw
          was driven to embrace a confused idea of Lamarckian evolution (evolution
          guided by organisms striving for what they need) purely because of Darwinism
          's moral implications: "When its whole significance dawns on you, your heart
          sinks into a heap of sand within you. There is a hideous fatalism about it,
          a ghastly and damnable reduction of beauty and intelligence, of strength and
          purpose, of honour and aspiration."
          His Devil's Disciple was an altogether jollier rogue than
          Darwin's Chaplain. Shaw didn't think of himself as religious, but he had
          that childlike inability to distinguish what is true from what we would like
          to be true.
          An opposite response to the callousness of natural
          selection is to exult in it, along with the Social Darwinists and -
          astonishingly - HG Wells. The New Republic (1902), where Wells outlines his
          Darwinian Utopia, contains some blood-chilling lines that might have made
          Hitler himself blench. Wells's colleague Julian Huxley downplayed, in
          effect, the pessimism of the Devil's Chaplain as he tried to build an
          ethical system on what he saw as evolution's progressive aspects. His essay
          on Progress, Biological and Other reads almost like a call to arms under
          evolution's banner.
          I prefer to stand up with Julian's refreshingly
          belligerent grandfather TH Huxley, agree that natural selection is the
          dominant force in biological evolution unlike Shaw, admit its unpleasantness
          unlike Julian, and, unlike Wells, fight against it as a human being. Here is
          TH in 1893 on Evolution and Ethics: "Let us understand, once for all, that
          the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic
          process, still less in running away from it, but in combating it."
          Like TH Huxley, I hear the bleak sermon of the Devil's
          Chaplain as a call to arms. As an academic scientist I am a passionate
          Darwinian, believing that natural selection is, if not the only driving
          force in evolution, certainly the only known force capable of producing the
          illusion of purpose that so strikes all who contem-plate nature. But at the
          same time as I support Darwinism as a scientist, I am a passionate
          anti-Darwinian when it comes to politics and how we should conduct our human
          affairs.
          If you seem to smell inconsistency or even contradiction,
          you are mistaken. There is no inconsistency in favouring Darwinism as an
          academic scientist while opposing it as a human being, any more than there
          is inconsistency in explaining cancer as an academic doctor while fighting
          it as a practising one. For good Darwinian reasons, evolution gave us a
          brain whose size increased to the point where it became capable of
          understanding its own provenance, of deploring the moral implications and of
          fighting against them. Every time we use contraception, we demonstrate that
          brains can thwart Darwinian designs. If, as my wife suggests to me, selfish
          genes are Frankensteins and all life their monster, it is only we that can
          complete the fable by turning against our creators.
          For our species, with its unique gift of foresight -
          product of the simulated virtual reality we call the human imagination - can
          plan the very opposite of waste with, if we get it right, a minimum of
          clumsy blunders. It is as though the Chaplain matured and offered a second
          half to the sermon. Yes, says the matured Chaplain, the historic process
          that caused you to exist is wasteful, cruel and low. But exult in your
          existence, because that very process has blundered unwittingly on its own
          negation. Only a small, local negation, to be sure: only one species, and
          only a minority of the members of that species; but there lies hope.
          So, the Devil's Chaplain might conclude, Stand tall,
          Bipedal Ape. The shark may outswim you, the cheetah outrun you, the swift
          outfly you, the capuchin outclimb you, the elephant outpower you, the
          redwood outlast you. But you have the biggest gifts of all: the gift of
          understanding the ruthlessly cruel process that gave us all existence; the
          gift of revulsion against its implications; the gift of foresight -
          something utterly foreign to the blundering short-term ways of natural
          selection - and the gift of internalising the cosmos.
          We are blessed with brains that, if educated and allowed
          free rein, are capable of modelling the universe, with its physical laws in
          which the Darwinian algorithm is embedded. There is more than just grandeur
          in the Darwinian view of life, bleak and cold though it can seem from under
          the security blanket of ignorance. There is deep refreshment to be had from
          standing up full-face into the keen wind of understanding.

          © Richard Dawkins This is an edited extract from the title
          essay of his book, A Devil's Chaplain, published by Weidenfeld

          Richard Dawkins will be reading from and discussing A
          Devil's Chaplain at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival on Sunday,
          April 6 at 12pm. To book, telephone 01865 305305;
          www.sundaytimes-oxfordliteraryfestival.co.uk
        • yeoman
          Sue, Of course I expect a response. What do you find difficult with it?? Afterall it is accurate as to how the brain seeks out patterns. eduard ... From:
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 1, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            Sue,

            Of course I expect a response. What do you find difficult
            with it?? Afterall it is accurate as to how the brain seeks
            out patterns.

            eduard

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Sue McPherson" <sue@...>
            To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 7:47 PM
            Subject: Re: [existlist] Not phenomenology (Getting along)


            > eduard,
            >
            > Following is your response to the extract I sent from
            Richard Dawkin's book.
            > Are you being serious? Do you expect a response to that?
            >
            > Sue McPherson
            >
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: "yeoman" <yeoman@...>
            > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
            > Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 11:43 AM
            > Subject: Re: [existlist] book - Darwin's Vicious
            Circle/Devil's Chaplain
            >
            >
            > > Sue,
            > >
            > > The human brain is always looking for a pattern. It
            will
            > > not be happy, until it has taken a highly complex
            process
            > > like evolution and covers it with a single phrase, like
            > > "natural selection" or whatever.
            > >
            > >
            > > ----- Original Message -----
            > > From: "Sue McPherson" <sue@...>
            > > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>;
            > > <philosophyfaith@yahoogroups.com>
            > > Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 2:20 AM
            > > Subject: [existlist] book - Darwin's Vicious
            Circle/Devil's
            >
            >
            > FYI - Sue McPherson
            >
            > The Sunday Times - Books March 30, 2003
            > Science: How to break Darwinism's vicious
            circle
            > Natural selection may be unpleasant, says
            Richard Dawkins, but
            > that doesn't mean humans have to be
            >
            >
            http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2102-623827,00.html
            >
            > Darwin was less than half joking when he
            coined the phrase
            > Devil's Chaplain in a letter to his friend Hooker in 1856:
            "What a book a
            > Devil's Chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful,
            blundering low and
            > horridly cruel works of nature."
            > A process of trial and error, completely
            unplanned and on
            > the massive scale of natural selection, is likely to be
            clumsy, wasteful and
            > blundering. Of waste there is no doubt. The racing
            elegance of cheetahs and
            > gazelles is bought at huge cost in blood and the suffering
            of countless
            > antecedents on both sides.
            > Clumsy and blundering though the process
            undoubtedly is,
            > its results are opposite. There is nothing clumsy about a
            swallow; nothing
            > blundering about a shark. What is clumsy and blundering,
            by the standards of
            > human drawing boards, is the Darwinian algorithm that led
            to their
            > evolution. As for cruelty, here is Darwin again, in a
            letter to Asa Gray of
            > 1860: "I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and
            omnipotent God would
            > have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express
            intention of
            > their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars."
            > Ichneumon wasps sting their prey not to
            kill but to
            > paralyse, so their larvae can feed on fresh (live) meat.
            As Darwin clearly
            > understood, blindness to suffering is an inherent
            consequence of natural
            > selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel, but
            indifferent. Such kindness
            > as may appear emerges from the same imperative as the
            cruelty. Bernard Shaw
            > was driven to embrace a confused idea of Lamarckian
            evolution (evolution
            > guided by organisms striving for what they need) purely
            because of Darwinism
            > 's moral implications: "When its whole significance dawns
            on you, your heart
            > sinks into a heap of sand within you. There is a hideous
            fatalism about it,
            > a ghastly and damnable reduction of beauty and
            intelligence, of strength and
            > purpose, of honour and aspiration."
            > His Devil's Disciple was an altogether
            jollier rogue than
            > Darwin's Chaplain. Shaw didn't think of himself as
            religious, but he had
            > that childlike inability to distinguish what is true from
            what we would like
            > to be true.
            > An opposite response to the callousness
            of natural
            > selection is to exult in it, along with the Social
            Darwinists and -
            > astonishingly - HG Wells. The New Republic (1902), where
            Wells outlines his
            > Darwinian Utopia, contains some blood-chilling lines that
            might have made
            > Hitler himself blench. Wells's colleague Julian Huxley
            downplayed, in
            > effect, the pessimism of the Devil's Chaplain as he tried
            to build an
            > ethical system on what he saw as evolution's progressive
            aspects. His essay
            > on Progress, Biological and Other reads almost like a call
            to arms under
            > evolution's banner.
            > I prefer to stand up with Julian's
            refreshingly
            > belligerent grandfather TH Huxley, agree that natural
            selection is the
            > dominant force in biological evolution unlike Shaw, admit
            its unpleasantness
            > unlike Julian, and, unlike Wells, fight against it as a
            human being. Here is
            > TH in 1893 on Evolution and Ethics: "Let us understand,
            once for all, that
            > the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating
            the cosmic
            > process, still less in running away from it, but in
            combating it."
            > Like TH Huxley, I hear the bleak sermon
            of the Devil's
            > Chaplain as a call to arms. As an academic scientist I am
            a passionate
            > Darwinian, believing that natural selection is, if not the
            only driving
            > force in evolution, certainly the only known force capable
            of producing the
            > illusion of purpose that so strikes all who contem-plate
            nature. But at the
            > same time as I support Darwinism as a scientist, I am a
            passionate
            > anti-Darwinian when it comes to politics and how we should
            conduct our human
            > affairs.
            > If you seem to smell inconsistency or
            even contradiction,
            > you are mistaken. There is no inconsistency in favouring
            Darwinism as an
            > academic scientist while opposing it as a human being, any
            more than there
            > is inconsistency in explaining cancer as an academic
            doctor while fighting
            > it as a practising one. For good Darwinian reasons,
            evolution gave us a
            > brain whose size increased to the point where it became
            capable of
            > understanding its own provenance, of deploring the moral
            implications and of
            > fighting against them. Every time we use contraception, we
            demonstrate that
            > brains can thwart Darwinian designs. If, as my wife
            suggests to me, selfish
            > genes are Frankensteins and all life their monster, it is
            only we that can
            > complete the fable by turning against our creators.
            > For our species, with its unique gift of
            foresight -
            > product of the simulated virtual reality we call the human
            imagination - can
            > plan the very opposite of waste with, if we get it right,
            a minimum of
            > clumsy blunders. It is as though the Chaplain matured and
            offered a second
            > half to the sermon. Yes, says the matured Chaplain, the
            historic process
            > that caused you to exist is wasteful, cruel and low. But
            exult in your
            > existence, because that very process has blundered
            unwittingly on its own
            > negation. Only a small, local negation, to be sure: only
            one species, and
            > only a minority of the members of that species; but there
            lies hope.
            > So, the Devil's Chaplain might conclude,
            Stand tall,
            > Bipedal Ape. The shark may outswim you, the cheetah outrun
            you, the swift
            > outfly you, the capuchin outclimb you, the elephant
            outpower you, the
            > redwood outlast you. But you have the biggest gifts of
            all: the gift of
            > understanding the ruthlessly cruel process that gave us
            all existence; the
            > gift of revulsion against its implications; the gift of
            foresight -
            > something utterly foreign to the blundering short-term
            ways of natural
            > selection - and the gift of internalising the cosmos.
            > We are blessed with brains that, if
            educated and allowed
            > free rein, are capable of modelling the universe, with its
            physical laws in
            > which the Darwinian algorithm is embedded. There is more
            than just grandeur
            > in the Darwinian view of life, bleak and cold though it
            can seem from under
            > the security blanket of ignorance. There is deep
            refreshment to be had from
            > standing up full-face into the keen wind of understanding.
            >
            > © Richard Dawkins This is an edited
            extract from the title
            > essay of his book, A Devil's Chaplain, published by
            Weidenfeld
            >
            > Richard Dawkins will be reading from and
            discussing A
            > Devil's Chaplain at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary
            Festival on Sunday,
            > April 6 at 12pm. To book, telephone 01865 305305;
            > www.sundaytimes-oxfordliteraryfestival.co.uk
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
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