Life and Death

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Myrddin

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May 1, 1991, 9:34:21 AM5/1/91
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In article <21...@seti.inria.fr> zi...@nuri.inria.fr (ziane mikal @) writes:
>2) Why is death necessarily an enemy ?

The death as common enemy seems to presepose that genetic identity
is more important than 'personal' identity.Why is passing on your
genetic code life affirming?
Can't I affirm life on a personal basis by living life to the full
(if thats not to vague),protecting the ecosystem(as much as one
person can do anyway) and planting trees etc.
It seems to me that life in general(ecosystem) is more important than
my personal genetic code.

--
Myrddin -email(JANET):bse...@uk.ac.coventry.cck
"Stop telling God what to do!"
-Niels Bohr.

Mike Morgan in Colorado Springs

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May 1, 1991, 1:03:19 PM5/1/91
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In article <#5$*J0$@cck.cov.ac.uk>, bse...@uk.ac.cov.cck (Myrddin) writes...

|In article <21...@seti.inria.fr> zi...@nuri.inria.fr (ziane mikal @) writes:
|>2) Why is death necessarily an enemy ?
|
| The death as common enemy seems to presepose that genetic identity
| is more important than 'personal' identity.Why is passing on your
| genetic code life affirming?

I suppose because we are a species (a process of many individual
objects). Richard Dawkins (?) author of THE SELFISH GENE, THE EXTENDED
PHENOTYPE, and THE BLIND WATCHMAKER writes that genes (or rather the
information inside the physical chromosones) have a meaning or purpose
of their own. It seems, per his writing, that this information drives
us and predetermines for us what 'life affirming' is at the lowest
level. To the information in the gene passing that self-same
information along is life affirming (at that level). At the adult human
level we can generate many other life affirming actions, but at the
base it seems that the genes have something to accomplish, even if it's
just passing the information along.

| Can't I affirm life on a personal basis by living life to the full
| (if thats not to vague),protecting the ecosystem(as much as one
| person can do anyway) and planting trees etc.
| It seems to me that life in general(ecosystem) is more important than
| my personal genetic code.

Yes. I think we are dealing not only with different levels of
information (coding) in an individual human organism (say, Mike
Morgan), but also with the information in his genes, the information in
the genes of all other living entities, and the information (not so
much different from the information in the genes) in the artistic
abstractions which make life so enjoyable, ie. your ecological
interests.

* No sig. needed. You know why.

Mikhail Zeleny

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May 6, 1991, 8:27:20 AM5/6/91
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In article <#5$*J0$@cck.cov.ac.uk> bse...@uk.ac.cov.cck (Myrddin) writes:

>In article <21...@seti.inria.fr> zi...@nuri.inria.fr (ziane mikal @) writes:

>>2) Why is death necessarily an enemy ?

> The death as common enemy seems to presepose that genetic identity
> is more important than 'personal' identity.Why is passing on your
> genetic code life affirming?

it's not so much passing on your genetic code as going beyont the ``apr\`es
moi le d\'eluge'' attitude, which inheres in recreational sexuality (go
ahead, hit me), that matters in this case. by manifesting care for the
following generation (naturally, the responsibility only begins there) you
affirm your solidarity with all of mankind, in the only sexual way
available to you (well, art can come close).


> Can't I affirm life on a personal basis by living life to the full
> (if thats not to vague),

very problematic, for in the absence of moral restraints your idea of doing
that just might be similar to that of hitler.

> protecting the ecosystem(as much as one
> person can do anyway) and planting trees etc.

a fine, life-affirming thing to do.

> It seems to me that life in general(ecosystem) is more important than
> my personal genetic code.

and yet, by passing on your genetic code, you extend the meaning of your
sexuality into the future. and care about the future is no small thing.

>--
>Myrddin -email(JANET):bse...@uk.ac.coventry.cck
>"Stop telling God what to do!"
> -Niels Bohr.


/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
| ``If there are no Platonic ideals, then what did we fight for?'' |
| (A Spanish Republican) |
| Mikhail Zeleny Harvard |
| 872 Massachusetts Ave., Apt. 707 doesn't |
| Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 think |
| (617) 661-81-51 so |
| email zel...@math.harvard.edu or zel...@zariski.harvard.edu |
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Brian Kane

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May 6, 1991, 11:25:36 AM5/6/91
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In article <66...@husc6.harvard.edu> zel...@zariski.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny) writes:
>and yet, by passing on your genetic code, you extend the meaning of your
>sexuality into the future. and care about the future is no small thing.

Gee, Misha, I specifically remember you saying that the future was of
no concern to you (in regard to the future possibility of genetic
engineering marvels allowing homosexual couples to reproduce), that present
reality was the basis of your moral formulations. How soon we forget!

ObSex:
Hot Young Star
(ka...@buast7.bu.edu)

Mikhail Zeleny

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May 6, 1991, 2:13:20 PM5/6/91
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Gee, Brian, try to think about the different senses of `concern for the
future'... Yes, I care about the coming generations, and try to contribute
in many different ways; no, I don't care for doing philosophy by means of
science fiction. In any case, my point was that intercourse was
intricsically involved with a generative moral purpose, because other
purposes (pleasure and bonding) are arguably morally irrelevant or morally
ambiguous. So even if you could clone yourself, the technological
possibility won't change the nature of your sexuality, nor its moral
purpose. Unless you can show me another moral goal of the sex act...

>ObSex:
>Hot Young Star
>(ka...@buast7.bu.edu)

Mikel Evins

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May 7, 1991, 12:32:53 AM5/7/91
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In article <66...@husc6.harvard.edu> zel...@osgood.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny) writes:
>In any case, my point was that intercourse was
>intricsically involved with a generative moral purpose, because other
>purposes (pleasure and bonding) are arguably morally irrelevant or morally
>ambiguous. So even if you could clone yourself, the technological
>possibility won't change the nature of your sexuality, nor its moral
>purpose. Unless you can show me another moral goal of the sex act...

Are you simply assuming that sexuality must have
a moral purpose? I see nothing particularly inconsistent
or objectionable in its having zero moral purposes,
as opposed to one or more.

Additionally, even granting for the sake of argument
that sexuality has a moral purpose, why would this
imply that homosexuality is immoral? Why not amoral?
Why would homosexual behavior have a moral import
that is different from any randomly chosen act that
is not heterosexual coupling, such as shaving, or
kicking rocks?

Scott D. Davis

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May 7, 1991, 9:18:59 AM5/7/91
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In article <66...@husc6.harvard.edu>, zel...@osgood.harvard.edu (Mikhail

Zeleny) writes:
>In article <80...@bu.edu.bu.edu> ka...@buast7.bu.edu (Brian Kane)
>writes:
>Gee, Brian, try to think about the different senses of `concern for
>the
[...deleted stuff......]

>purpose. Unless you can show me another moral goal of the sex act...
>
Didn't you tell me that another moral goal was to have fun with sex?
That masturbation is okay, as is polygamy(sp). And that sex for fun
is okay. So, if sex is fun(and moral by your def.) then does gender
matter?

ObSex: It was snowy cold night in the middle of January. A warm
fire crackled and popped on the opposite side of the room. The
only light was from the fire, and you could see a sexy body coming
down the hallway.....
--
Scott D. Davis <sc...@mccall.com> The McCall Pattern Company
(uucp: ...!rutgers!ksuvax1!deimos!mccall!scott) 615 McCall Road
(800)255-2762, in Kansas (913)776-4041 Manhattan, KS 66502, USA

Mikhail Zeleny

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May 7, 1991, 1:05:03 PM5/7/91
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In article <52...@apple.Apple.COM> mi...@Apple.COM (Mikel Evins) writes:
>In article <66...@husc6.harvard.edu> zel...@osgood.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny) writes:
>>In any case, my point was that intercourse was
>>intricsically involved with a generative moral purpose, because other
>>purposes (pleasure and bonding) are arguably morally irrelevant or morally
>>ambiguous. So even if you could clone yourself, the technological
>>possibility won't change the nature of your sexuality, nor its moral
>>purpose. Unless you can show me another moral goal of the sex act...

>Are you simply assuming that sexuality must have
>a moral purpose?

Well, I have a little argument that goes something like this: we are
(arguably) essentially rational, sexual and mortal beings; pace Kant, we
stand in need of absolute moral principles; what better way to derive them
than through investigating this very nature. Naturally, along the way some
arbitrary choices must be made in accordance with one's philosophical
intuitions (you may call them prejudices); to this extent, my argument must
remain eristic; yet, since i don't intend its conclusions to bind anyone
who doesn't share my convictions, I feel that it's OK.

> I see nothing particularly inconsistent
>or objectionable in its having zero moral purposes,
>as opposed to one or more.

Nor do I; this is just not the way I think.

Feel free to view your essential nature as a featherless biped, if you are
so inclined; it's all the same to me.

>Additionally, even granting for the sake of argument
>that sexuality has a moral purpose, why would this
>imply that homosexuality is immoral? Why not amoral?
>Why would homosexual behavior have a moral import
>that is different from any randomly chosen act that
>is not heterosexual coupling, such as shaving, or
>kicking rocks?

Because homosexual behavior deliberately excludes generationa, which
arguably is the moral purpose of sexual intercourse. Once you view hunan
sexuality as a sui generis, essential part of human nature, and once you
agree that its telos is reproduction, the rest of my argument follows
analytically.

N.B. I shall address the monumental mauvaise foi of my nameless epicene
correspondent as soon as I can muster some patience required by his ill
grasp of logical matters, which can only bear so much repetition...

Mikhail Zeleny

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May 8, 1991, 7:24:25 AM5/8/91
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In article <1991May...@mccall.com> sc...@mccall.com (Scott D. Davis) writes:
>In article <66...@husc6.harvard.edu>, zel...@osgood.harvard.edu (Mikhail
>Zeleny) writes:
>>In article <80...@bu.edu.bu.edu> ka...@buast7.bu.edu (Brian Kane)
>>writes:
>>Gee, Brian, try to think about the different senses of `concern for
>>the
>[...deleted stuff......]
>>purpose. Unless you can show me another moral goal of the sex act...

>Didn't you tell me that another moral goal was to have fun with sex?

It's a goal all right, but it has nothing to do with morals.

>That masturbation is okay, as is polygamy(sp).

Can't see what's wrong with them. Does masturbation without a partner
really count as sex? I don't think so.

> And that sex for fun
>is okay.

Nothing wrong with this either.

> So, if sex is fun(and moral by your def.) then does gender
>matter?

Because reproduction is the sole moral goal of sex, and homosexual behavior
deliberately excludes it.

>--
>Scott D. Davis <sc...@mccall.com> The McCall Pattern Company
>(uucp: ...!rutgers!ksuvax1!deimos!mccall!scott) 615 McCall Road
>(800)255-2762, in Kansas (913)776-4041 Manhattan, KS 66502, USA

John Donald Collier

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May 8, 1991, 1:28:07 AM5/8/91
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In article <66...@husc6.harvard.edu> zel...@zariski.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny) writes:

>Because homosexual behavior deliberately excludes generationa, which

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

BZZZT! FALSE. This is merely a consequence, and is more often than not
not intentional. In fact it is quite possible to have homosexual sex
intending to have children (though it would be deluded).
Please stop making up facts to fit your demented theories.--
John Collier Email: Col...@HPS.unimelb.edu.au
HPS -- University of Melbourne jcol...@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au
Parkville, Victoria, AUSTRALIA 3052 Fax: 61+3 344 7959

Herschel Browne

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May 7, 1991, 11:52:08 PM5/7/91
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In article <66...@husc6.harvard.edu>, zel...@zariski.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny)
says:
>
>Well, I have a little argument that goes something like this [....]

No! You haven't! Surely if you had such a thing we all would have
heard of it by now?

>>Why would homosexual behavior have a moral import
>>that is different from any randomly chosen act that
>>is not heterosexual coupling, such as shaving, or
>>kicking rocks?
>
>Because homosexual behavior deliberately excludes generationa, which
>arguably is the moral purpose of sexual intercourse. Once you view hunan
>sexuality as a sui generis, essential part of human nature, and once you
>agree that its telos is reproduction, the rest of my argument follows
>analytically.

Now we're getting somewhere. I kind of like your latest innovation,
"Hunan sexuality"...I'm hoping to find it on the menu at the Hunan
Garden next time I go. Perhaps it involves a willowy Chinese fellow
who knows how to please...hm....

At any rate, once one agrees with your outlandish premises, one is
probably going to end up agreeing with the outlandish conclusions
that follow from them. Not much of a surprise there. Your way of
phrasing it -- "once you view"; "once you agree" -- seems to assume
that so viewing and so agreeing are just a matter of time. Please
see me on the other side of hell freezing over.

>
>N.B. I shall address the monumental mauvaise foi of my nameless epicene
>correspondent as soon as I can muster some patience required by his ill
>grasp of logical matters, which can only bear so much repetition...

N.B. They can indeed bear only so much repetition. Nota bene: a word
to the wise is worth two in the bush. Now can we get back to talking
about Hunan sexuality? That has real potential. Silky Hunan skin,
smooth and supple; a pert, hairless scrotum bearing Hunan Potential;
a sleek, insistent Hunan penis uncontent to be merely a vector of
structure.... Yes, now we're getting somewhere.

H.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
"If there are no Platonic ideals, what's it all about Alfie?" +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

John Crossley

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May 8, 1991, 1:31:59 PM5/8/91
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zel...@zariski.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny) writes:

>In article <1991May...@mccall.com> sc...@mccall.com (Scott D. Davis) writes:
>>In article <66...@husc6.harvard.edu>, zel...@osgood.harvard.edu (Mikhail
>>Zeleny) writes:
>>>In article <80...@bu.edu.bu.edu> ka...@buast7.bu.edu (Brian Kane)
>>>writes:
>>>Gee, Brian, try to think about the different senses of `concern for
>>>the
>>[...deleted stuff......]
>>>purpose. Unless you can show me another moral goal of the sex act...

>>Didn't you tell me that another moral goal was to have fun with sex?

>It's a goal all right, but it has nothing to do with morals.

>>That masturbation is okay, as is polygamy(sp).

>Can't see what's wrong with them. Does masturbation without a partner
>really count as sex? I don't think so.

So masturbation is ok? point accepted but see below.

>> And that sex for fun
>>is okay.

>Nothing wrong with this either.

>> So, if sex is fun(and moral by your def.) then does gender
>>matter?

>Because reproduction is the sole moral goal of sex, and homosexual behavior
>deliberately excludes it.

this is a conumdrum, do you mean that masturbation, which excludes reproduction
is still ok? This is a poor argument. I dont see any correlation between the 2
statements.

Scott you continue to advance moral arguments that don't make sense - please
try to be consistent.

john crossley

screaming disclaimer!

Mikhail Zeleny

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May 8, 1991, 6:04:51 PM5/8/91
to

See above. I don't believe one can have sex alone. Wanking is not sex,
but practice for it. Feel free to substitute your own conceptions or
definitions.

>Scott

That's Mikhail

> you continue to advance moral arguments that don't make sense - please
>try to be consistent.

I am utterly consistent. If you buy my premisses, which are arguably
non-self-contradictory, the conclusion follows analytically. Whether you
agree with my premisses is another matter...

>john crossley

>screaming disclaimer!

Scott D. Davis

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May 8, 1991, 1:36:15 PM5/8/91
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In article <67...@husc6.harvard.edu>, zel...@zariski.harvard.edu (Mikhail

Zeleny) writes:
>reproduction is the sole moral goal of sex, and homosexual behavior
>deliberately excludes it.
>
So sex without reproduction is immoral? Does this include using
contraceptives(as being immoral)? Does this mean, that those who
are not ready for(or never want any) children, then should not have
sex?

Russell Turpin

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May 9, 1991, 1:53:00 PM5/9/91
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-----

In article <67...@husc6.harvard.edu> zel...@zariski.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny) writes:
> I am utterly consistent. If you buy my premisses, which are
> arguably non-self-contradictory, the conclusion follows
> analytically. Whether you agree with my premisses is
> another matter...

Mr Zeleny, I suspect that very few people here buy into you
premisses. Indeed, if they knew your premises up front, they
would probably not bother responding to your posts, and would
merely write you off as another crank. The problem is that you
interject yourself again and again into these issues without
first letting people know about the weird premisses on which your
morality is based. The result is that they waste a lot of time
discovering that down at the bottom of your arguments there are
is this weirdness from which you will not be shaken and because
of which, to them, your arguments are castles built on sewage.

If you were to begin your arguments by giving some hint of these
premisses, you would save people a lot of wasted time and the net
a lot of wasted bandwidth. You could begin your posts with a
disclaimer such as:

I have this concept of essence, by which it is wrong for two
men to make love because in their *essence* they cannot have
children (even though this one day in *reality* might be
possible), but not wrong for a sterilized heterosexual
couple to make love, because in their *essence* they can
have children, even though in *reality* they cannot. The
morality I argue is based on these essences. I am not
willing to argue a theory of essences because <choose some
combination of> (1) it is something I merely assume, (2) it
would take too much effort, and (3) most people would
probably reject the theory anyway.

Given this disclaimer, most people, who (quite sensibly) don't
give a rat's ass about this kind of moral theory, would simply
ignore you. Of course, Mr Zeleny, you probably don't want to be
ignored, and that is why you have adopted an obtuse style of
writing that hides your premises and that obscures the depth of
the difference between you and your respondents.

Mikhail Zeleny

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May 9, 1991, 7:31:49 PM5/9/91
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In article <19...@cs.utexas.edu> tur...@cs.utexas.edu (Russell Turpin) writes:
>-----
>In article <67...@husc6.harvard.edu> zel...@zariski.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny) writes:
>> I am utterly consistent. If you buy my premisses, which are
>> arguably non-self-contradictory, the conclusion follows
>> analytically. Whether you agree with my premisses is
>> another matter...

>Mr Zeleny, I suspect that very few people here buy into you
>premisses. Indeed, if they knew your premises up front, they
>would probably not bother responding to your posts, and would
>merely write you off as another crank. The problem is that you
>interject yourself again and again into these issues without
>first letting people know about the weird premisses on which your
>morality is based. The result is that they waste a lot of time
>discovering that down at the bottom of your arguments there are
>is this weirdness from which you will not be shaken and because
>of which, to them, your arguments are castles built on sewage.

Mr Turnip, the only premisses I use is that human beings enjoy free will,
that human gender is determined on the molecular level, which makes it
amenable to an analysis under the notion of physical necessity, and that
human sexuality is possessed of moral relevance; moreover, I have stated
them time and time again. Just how many people buy into my premisses
doesn't concern me in the least; nor do I have any interest in those who
write me off as another crank; indeed, I would only be too happy if you
were to do so, freeing me from the daunting task of responding to your
half-smart rebuttals of what you consider to be my position in this matter.

>If you were to begin your arguments by giving some hint of these
>premisses, you would save people a lot of wasted time and the net
>a lot of wasted bandwidth.

The issues of time and bandwidth are likewise of no concern to me.

> You could begin your posts with a
>disclaimer such as:

> I have this concept of essence, by which it is wrong for two
> men to make love because in their *essence* they cannot have
> children (even though this one day in *reality* might be
> possible), but not wrong for a sterilized heterosexual
> couple to make love, because in their *essence* they can
> have children, even though in *reality* they cannot. The
> morality I argue is based on these essences. I am not
> willing to argue a theory of essences because <choose some
> combination of> (1) it is something I merely assume, (2) it
> would take too much effort, and (3) most people would
> probably reject the theory anyway.

Mr Turnip, as I've made it excruciatingly clear, I don't share your
fondness for basing my philosophy on science fiction; moreover, has it ever
occurred to you that if and when the change you allude to actually occurs,
the aforementioned human essence would change, necessitating a change in
moral theory? No, it couldn't have; you are far too busy firing off your
responses laden with claims that, since YOU actually KNOW modal logic,
everything I say must therefore be devoid of any sense, as some of it
doesn't agree with your officially certified KNOWLEDGE. I gave you your
references; go figure it out on your own. Just like you have repeatedly
stated, I have absolutely no interest in passing volumes of technical
writing for the sake of your obvious lack of comprehension. Go back to
your libertarian preoccupations, which have the merit of being far better
suited to your limited mental capacity; alternatively, read some Fine,
Montague, and Chellas, and get back to me same time next millenium.

>Given this disclaimer, most people, who (quite sensibly) don't
>give a rat's ass about this kind of moral theory, would simply
>ignore you. Of course, Mr Zeleny, you probably don't want to be
>ignored, and that is why you have adopted an obtuse style of
>writing that hides your premises and that obscures the depth of
>the difference between you and your respondents.

On the contrary, Mr Turnip, there's nothing that I would like better than
to be ignored by you. For the third time: Goodbye.

Kiran Wagle

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May 9, 1991, 11:03:10 PM5/9/91
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zel...@zariski.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny) writes:

>The issues of time and bandwidth are likewise of no concern to me.

Well then, why don't you stop posting for a few hundred years?
--
...kiran
_______...@copper.ucs.indiana.edu________(812) 331-1710

From the corrections column in a July Fresno, CA _Bee_:
"An item in Thursday's [issue] about the Massachusetts budget crisis
made reference to new taxes that will help put Massachusetts 'back in
the African-American.' The item should have said 'back in the black.'"

Myrddin

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May 9, 1991, 2:07:49 PM5/9/91
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In article <66...@husc6.harvard.edu> zel...@osgood.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny) writes:
>intricsically involved with a generative moral purpose, because other
>purposes (pleasure and bonding) are arguably morally irrelevant or morally
>ambiguous. So even if you could clone yourself, the technological

It seems to me sexual reproduction is *arguably* morally ambiguous too.
In fact lots of people seem to be arguing something like that.

Stephen P Spackman

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May 10, 1991, 5:44:21 AM5/10/91
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In article <67...@husc6.harvard.edu> zel...@zariski.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny) writes:

|[Vocative elided] the only premisses I use is that human beings enjoy free will,


|that human gender is determined on the molecular level, which makes it
|amenable to an analysis under the notion of physical necessity, and that
|human sexuality is possessed of moral relevance; moreover, I have stated
|them time and time again.

You are not being frank. Suppose I believe that human sexuality is
possessed of the following moral relevance: that if humans desire to
couple then the moon is thereby morally obliged to be made of cheese.

I contest that there is a very PARTICULAR kind of moral relevance that
you attribute to human sexuality, and a very unfortunate one, at that.

Which is what the post to which you were here replying was about.

|[Same one again], as I've made it excruciatingly clear, I don't share your


|fondness for basing my philosophy on science fiction;

It's true: you have no more regard for the possible than the actual,
which is to say, none. Oh, well.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
stephen p spackman Center for Information and Language Studies
systems analyst University of Chicago
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Shane D. Deichman

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May 10, 1991, 1:56:18 PM5/10/91
to

>> I am utterly consistent. If you buy my premisses, which are
^^^^^^^^^

>> analytically. Whether you agree with my premisses is
^^^^^^^^^

>premisses. Indeed, if they knew your premises up front, they
^^^^^^^^^

>first letting people know about the weird premisses on which your
^^^^^^^^^

>premisses, you would save people a lot of wasted time and the net
^^^^^^^^^

RECENT SCIENTIFIC STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT SPELLING "PREMISES" CORRECTLY
REDUCES RUTS IN THE SKULL CREATED BY FURROWING FINGERS!!!

-shane

Mikhail Zeleny

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May 11, 1991, 5:00:11 PM5/11/91
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In article <5N_*5...@cck.cov.ac.uk> bse...@uk.ac.cov.cck (Myrddin) writes:
>In article <66...@husc6.harvard.edu> zel...@osgood.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny) writes:
>>intrinsically involved with a generative moral purpose, because other

>>purposes (pleasure and bonding) are arguably morally irrelevant or morally
>>ambiguous. So even if you could clone yourself, the technological

> It seems to me sexual reproduction is *arguably* morally ambiguous too.
> In fact lots of people seem to be arguing something like that.

and i have argued that the negative effects could be relevant politically,
but not morally. overpopulation can and should be dealt with by social
consensus.

>--
>Myrddin -email(JANET):bse...@uk.ac.coventry.cck
>"Stop telling God what to do!"
> -Niels Bohr.

Russell Turpin

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May 12, 1991, 10:22:49 PM5/12/91
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-----

I wrote:
>> Mr Zeleny, I suspect that very few people here buy into you
>> premises. Indeed, if they knew your premises up front, they

>> would probably not bother responding to your posts, and would
>> merely write you off as another crank. The problem is that you
>> interject yourself again and again into these issues without
>> first letting people know about the weird premises on which
>> your morality is based. ...

In article <67...@husc6.harvard.edu> zel...@zariski.harvard.edu (Mikhail Zeleny) writes:

> ... the only premisses I use is that human beings enjoy free will,


> that human gender is determined on the molecular level, which
> makes it amenable to an analysis under the notion of physical
> necessity, and that human sexuality is possessed of moral

> relevance; moreover, I have stated them time and time again. ...

Whether the biomolecular determination of gender makes it


"amenable to an analysis under the notion of physical necessity"

depends entirely on one's theory of physical necessity. In that
rhetoric, Mr Zeleney hides all sorts of silliness. Even then,
this would be irrelevant to the moral aspects of human sexuality
without considerable assumptions that tie morality to physical
necessity. And in this regard, the assumptions that Mr Zeleny
uses, which place more importance on "essences" than on
realities, are quite perverse.

I won't say that Mr Zeleny hides his premises well -- that
premises he fails to state are needed sooner or later becomes
apparent as people challenge his "results". But he does not
assert his premises up front; indeed, sometimes I wonder if he
has sufficiently thought through his position to know fully what
assumptions are required.

> ... nor do I have any interest in those who write me off as
> another crank ...

Good. Then Mr Zeleny will not mind that I help people to realize
this sooner rather than later.

> ... I gave you your references; go figure it out on your own.

> Just like you have repeatedly stated, I have absolutely no interest
> in passing volumes of technical writing for the sake of your

> obvious lack of comprehension. ... read some Fine, Montague,


> and Chellas, and get back to me same time next millenium.

This is where Mr Zeleny brings in the smoke and mirrors. I have
read Chellas on modal logic (and Quine on its applicability,
something which Mr Zeleny might be advised to do). I have also
read Kripke and Copi on necessity.

Mr Zeleny acts as if, were one only to go and read some of these
philosophers, then one will understand what he is saying. Not
so. Rather, my readings make me more able to see that Mr
Zeleny's rhetoric hides large gaps and considerable assumptions.
From the responses to his posts, it seems that others also puzzle
over these gaps. (Is there *anyone* out there who understands
and believes all the steps in Mr Zeleny's argument that gay sex
is wrong?)

His dismissals of these complaints by reference to famous authors
is mere argument by intimidation, rather than any true pointer to
something that will help one understand his claims. (Indeed, I
am at a loss to see where Montague grammars relate to his claims.
But then, Mr Zeleny does not reference any particular paper that
will sustain his argument, rather, he just names authors. Again,
smoke and mirrors.)

I will call Mr Zeleny's bluff on this one. If he is willing to
frame a formal argument that "gay sex is wrong" in his favorite
modal logic, then I will endeavor to make explicit the silly
premises with which he begins. We can then list them here for
all to see, and because his argument is formally framed, it will
be clear that these are all the assumptions he needs. For all
of Mr Zeleny's talk about modal logics, etc, nowhere does he use
them to argue his claims.

> ... there's nothing that I would like better than to be
> ignored by you. ...

Of course. The prestidigitator who pretends to telekinesis does
not like the person who points to the smoke and mirrors. I don't
care much about Mr Zeleny's desires in this regard. If he wants
to be ignored by me, he can take his show elsewhere. Otherwise,
I will show him as much attention as I desire. (He need not
worry too much -- I suspect he will soon become too boring.)

Russell

INFIDEL

unread,
May 12, 1991, 11:57:03 PM5/12/91
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Mr. Turnip writes:

>Is there *anyone* out there who understands

>all the steps in Mr Zeleny's argument that gay sex
>is wrong?

Yes. But I'm not going to tell you who they might be or what they might
think.

It'd spoil the fun of watching you.

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