Re: transcendence Re: Malevolence

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From: Dave Long (
Date: Mon May 15 2000 - 19:39:42 PDT

> There are thousands-a-day choices to
> make, thousands of opportunities for crucifictions. They are each one
> personal, between us and our gods within.

To put a geek slant on it, suppose we have a "behavior hierarchy",
somewhat like a memory hierarchy. Knowledge of different behaviors
allows us to decide which are virtuous, but we are clearly not going
to go about working our thousands-a-day choices out from first principles.
Rules would be the next step up: either independent or acculturated,
we say "if in this sort of situation, act thusly", and consciously
make a choice. Finally, habits are our most readily available actions,
and fire without, or sometimes despite, conscious effort.

We can see that divine beings may not suffer from cache misses, but
humans at least suffer from compulsory misses, and probably are also
susceptible to associative/capacity misses.

In this model, to what does grace correspond? To the "wiring" of
virtuous behaviors, so they are not ejected from the habit cache? To
"prefetching", so that (supposing temporal localization) one has
sufficient virtue to carry one's daily or hourly cross? To something
else entirely?

Next up: "how many angels can dance on the traces of an n-micron process?"

> self-interest separate us from animals or from god? Again, evolution - ego
> is what got us from animal to human, but it is what keeps us from becoming
> god-like. When we die to self, we are reaching for the next spiritual

Unless we differ in the definition of "ego", I'm unwilling to deny
its existence in the animals with which I have daily contact. The
four legged ones very clearly have a sense of ego, and they have
strong notions of justice. They also display temperance and
fortitude, often better than the two legged ones. They don't really
exhibit much in the way of prudence (in the sense of reflection),
nor give any indications of faith in the gospel nor hope in heaven
(as if I'd really be able to tell...). Finally, dumb animals don't
seem big on charity, but perhaps they are no less so inclined than
the speaking (writing?) ones.


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