|Mar2000||What do you think MoQ implies about abortion's morality and ethics?||
Here is our March Quantonic Question and Answer, QQA.
In our answer, we also want to have a way to implicitly compare our Metaphysics of Quality, MoQ, answer to Subject-Object Metaphysics, SOM, and Cultural Relativism, CR. One way we can accomplish that is to define what we mean by "morality," and "ethics," and show how MoQ sees those vis-à-vis how SOM/CR views those. That comparative thread applies to all remaining discussion in this QQA.
First let's assume some simple definitions for two of our words used in our question: moral and ethical.
Abortion, depending on your own culture and philosophy, still comes down to making a decision. How you make your decision depends upon your culture and philosophy and their morals and ethics.
There are many examples of abortion decisions, but two which seem eminently apropos and we show you here:
Pirsig's own example on a possible abortion decision: choose to abort? choose not to abort? why?
From Pirsig's 1984 Epilogue to his 1974 book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance ZMM,
"The receding Ancient Greek perspective of the past ten years has a very dark side: Chris is dead.
"He was murdered. At about 8:00 P.M. on Saturday, November 17, 1979, in San Francisco, he left the Zen Center, where he was a student, to visit a friends house a block away on Haight Street.
"According to witnesses, a car stopped on the street beside him and two men, black, jumped out. One came from behind him so that Chris couldnt escape, and grabbed his arms. The one in front of him emptied his pockets and found nothing and became angry. He threatened Chris with a large kitchen knife. Chris said something which the witnesses could not hear. His assailant became angrier. Chris then said something that made him even more furious. He jammed the knife into Chriss chest. Then the two jumped into their car and left.
"Chris leaned for a time on a parked car, trying to keep from collapsing. After a time he staggered across the street to a lamp at the corner of Haight and Octavia. Then, with his right lung filled with blood from a severed pulmonary artery, he fell to the sidewalk and died.
"I go on living, more from force of habit than anything else. At his funeral we learned that he had bought a ticket that morning for England, where my second wife and I lived aboard a sailboat. Then a letter from him arrived which said, strangely, 'I never thought I would ever live to see my 23rd birthday.'
"His twenty-third birthday would have been in two weeks.
"After his funeral we packed all his things, including a secondhand motorcycle he had just bought, into an old pickup truck and headed back across some of the western mountain and desert roads described in this book. At this time of year the mountain forests and prairies were snow-covered and alone and beautiful. By the time we reached his grandfathers house in Minnesota we were feeling more peaceful. There in his grandfathers attic, his things are still stored.
"I tend to become taken with philosophic questions, going over them and over them and over them again in loops that go round and round and round until they either produce an answer or become so repetitively locked on they become psychiatrically dangerous, and now the question became obsessive: 'Where did he go?'
"Where did Chris go? He had bought an airplane ticket that morning. He had a bank account, drawers full of clothes, and shelves full of books. He was a real, live person, occupying time and space on this planet, and now suddenly where was he gone to? Did he go up the stack at the crematorium? Was he in the little box of bones they handed back? Was he strumming a harp of gold on some overhead cloud? None of these answers made any sense.
"It had to be asked: What was it I was so attached to? Is it just something in the imagination? When you have done time in a mental hospital, that is never a trivial question. If he wasnt just imaginary, then where did he go? Do real things just disappear like that? If they do, then the conservation laws of physics are in trouble. But if we stay with the laws of physics, then the Chris that disappeared was unreal. Round and round and round. He used to run off like that just to make me mad. Sooner or later he would always appear, but where would he appear now? After all, really, where did he go?
"The loops eventually stopped at the realization that before it could be asked "Where did he go?" it must be asked "What is the `he that is gone?" There is an old cultural habit of thinking of people as primarily something material, as flesh and blood. As long as this idea held, there was no solution. The oxides of Chriss flesh and blood did, of course, go up the stack at the crematorium. But they werent Chris.
"What had to be seen was that the Chris I missed so badly was not an object but a pattern, and that although the pattern included the flesh and blood of Chris, that was not all there was to it. The pattern was larger than Chris and myself, and related us in ways that neither of us understood completely and neither of us was in complete control of.
"Now Chriss body, which was a part of that larger pattern, was gone. But the larger pattern remained. A huge hole had been torn out of the center of it, and that was what caused all the heartache. The pattern was looking for something to attach to and couldnt find anything. Thats probably why grieving people feel such attachment to cemetery headstones and any material property or representation of the deceased. The pattern is trying to hang on to its own existence by finding some new material thing to center itself upon.
"Some time later it became clearer that these thoughts were something very close to statements found in many 'primitive' cultures. If you take that part of the pattern that is not the flesh and bones of Chris and call it the 'spirit' of Chris or the 'ghost' of Chris, then you can say without further translation that the spirit or ghost of Chris is looking for a new body to enter. When we hear accounts of 'primitives' talking this way, we dismiss them as superstition because we interpret ghost or spirit as some sort of material ectoplasm, when in fact they may not mean any such thing at all.
"In any event, it was not many months later that my wife conceived, unexpectedly. After careful discussion we decided it was not something that should continue. Im in my fifties. I didnt want to go through any more child-raising experiences. Id seen enough. So we came to our conclusion and made the necessary medical appointment.
"Then something very strange happened. Ill never forget it. As we went over the whole decision in detail one last time, there was a kind of dissociation, as though my wife started to recede while we sat there talking. We were looking at each other, talking normally, but it was like those photographs of a rocket just after launching where you see two stages start to separate from each other in space. You think youre together and then suddenly you see that youre not together anymore.
"I said, 'Wait. Stop. Somethings wrong.' What it was, was unknown, but it was intense and I didnt want it to continue. It was a really frightening thing, which has since become clearer. It was the larger pattern of Chris, making itself known at last. We reversed our decision, and now realize what a catastrophe it would have been for us if we hadnt.
"So I guess you could say, in this primitive way of looking at things, that Chris got his airplane ticket after all. This time hes little girl named Nell and our life is back in perspective again. The hole in the pattern is being mended. A thousand memories of Chris will always be at hand, of course, but not a destructive clinging to some material entity that can never be here again. Were in Sweden now, the home of my mothers ancestors, and Im working on a second book which is a sequel to this one.
"Nell teaches aspects of parenthood never understood before. If she cries or makes a mess or decides to be contrary (and these are relatively rare), it doesnt bother. There is always Chriss silence to compare it to. What is seen now so much more clearly is that although the names keep changing and the bodies keep changing, the larger pattern that holds us all together goes on and on. In terms of this larger pattern the lines at the end of this book still stand. We have won it. Things are better now. You can sort of tell these things.
"(This last line is by Nell. She reached around the corner of the machine and banged on the keys and then watched with the same gleam Chris used to have. If the editors preserve it, it will be her first published work.)
" ...Robert M. Pirsig Gothenburg, Sweden 1984 "
Reader, this quoted Pirsig text pierces our being as no other, except perhaps his original ending of ZMM. We can see how Pirsig intuits and lives his own MoQ! It seems, more than anything else we have to offer, to fit our topic. It belongs here.
Personally, I too have a real interest in this month's Quantonic Question and Answer.
Why? My Father wanted my Mother to abort me. She did not. I was born. He left.
Though some might argue our Earth would be a better place were I not here, I shall say, "I am glad to be here, and thankful my Mother chose to raise me, at great sacrifice and tribulation, by herself. Thanks Mom!"
Japan had just obliterated Pearl Harbor, and she named me after General Douglas MacArthur. She bore me when she was 43 years old. She lived another 43 years after that, and died one day after my 43rd birthday!
If both Pirsig's and my examples do not infuse one's intuition regarding abortion's downside, nothing will!
OK, let's do a quick pass at what we think Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality, MoQ, has to say about abortion's morality and ethics, then we will go into great detail and ask some intriguing questions and show some startling statistics.
Pirsig's MoQ models a reality whose open constituents are both Dynamic Quality, DQ, and Static Quality, SQ. A unique aspect of Pirsig's reality model is that DQ and SQ share an included-middle. Thus, his MoQ is provocatively anti-classical, anti-Aristotelian. To good, his reality model is much more quantum.
Pirsig's DQ represents absolute change from unknown source(s). Pirsig's SQ represents tentative and privileged patterns of stasis which appear in sensible things that we already know or can possibly know. Their included-middle (In Quantonics we show their interrelationship thus: quanton(DQ,SQ).) represents reality's face of change or what many of us call variously, "Direct experience," "Surprise," "Change," "Edge of now," etc.
Pirsig tells us in no uncertain fashion, that DQ is reality's first good, and SQ is reality's second good, and SQ's role is tentative and privileged change agency to DQ. Here is an important distinction of MoQ from classical philosophy, what he calls SOM. Where Pirsig's MoQ says change is absolute, SOM says truth is absolute. A consequence is that SOM's absolute truth is thus immutable. Immutability denies change. SOM, essentially, denies change. Most of Western culture today adheres a mostly SOM (Newtonian) ontology, with innumerable variations on that ontology which tend to fall into SOM categories called "ISMs." To make a very long story shorter, MoQ is a qualitative philosophy, and SOM is a quantitative philosophy. MoQ is quantum-heterogeneous and stochastic, where SOM is Newtonian-homogeneous and analytic.
We believe SOM's philosophy and its concomitant ontology have much to do with Western culture's decisions about abortion (and everything else it decides). We believe most of Western culture's decisions, as a result, are inadequate and even harmful to whole reality in which it is included.
An affect of SOM practice is that its adherents perceive reality and all things in reality as objects. People are objects, things are objects, etc. Some objects are more important than other objects because of their properties. For example, human objects are more important than animal objects, and certainly more important than "non-living" physical objects like rocks, cars, planes, etc.
By distinction, MoQ says all of reality's actual stuff (i.e., SQ) is Static Patterns of Value or SPoVs. As a result, people, things, phenomena, and all known and potentially knowable reality are one class of Value, i.e., SPoVs. All SPoVs act as temporarily privileged and temporarily static change agents to DQ. In a sense, they help DQ create, grow, diminish, and discreate (i.e., evolve) all known and knowable reality.
Pirsig's MoQ introduces its codes of morality and ethics by juxtaposing four levels of SPoVs cowithin DQ:
Imagine DQ surrounding, compenetrating, coinsiding all of these levels simultaneously at massively parallel, quantum, Planck frequencies.
This is a MoQ hierarchy of morality and ethics. But keep in your mind DQ regnant over all four of these levels. We show higher evolved patterns of Value 'above' lesser evolved patterns of Value. Each pair of Value levels, Pirsig tells us, are naturally at odds. To resolve this intrinsic disparity of local Value interests, Pirsig allocates change authority to more highly evolved patterns (working with DQ). Higher pattern levels have moral and ethical dominance over lower levels. While exercising this authority, higher patterns recognize that they evolved from lower levels. Thus they must exercise careful responsibility in each change they mandate for lower levels. Higher levels would not even exist were lower levels not intrinsically capable of evolving and emersing them. Constituents of lower levels which have become Exclusive Static Quality, ESQ, and thus no longer act as DQ agents of change, may be discarded or ignored as inutile.
MoQ thus makes moral choices based on patterns of Value. 'Better' Value changes, is more moral, and thus more capable of choosing tentative and privileged ethical SPoVs.
By comparison SOM makes moral choices on culturally established 'principles:' Immutable principles of, "One set of principles fits all." Often these 'principles' are arbitrary and convenient (usually for brokers/hegemons of control and power). SOM's choices of principles are always analytically axiomatic and thus locally conventional, since possible axioms are unlimited, and any chosen list is always finite. Though SOM's finite lists of principles are finite and intrinsically and generally both inconsistent and incomplete, SOM practitioners treat them as if they are absolute. (Note: Cultural Relativism, CR, denies SOM's absolute truth mandate, but still mostly adheres SOM's objective view of reality. Most Cultural Relativists appear to revere abortion as a societal 'tool' even more than some of SOM's adherents.)
Thus an abortion choice in SOM and MoQ distills to hugely different perspectives and enormously different outcomes.
For SOM, abortion is an arbitrary, conventional, objective decision. SOM says, "Society can decide, yes or no, objectively." SOM says, "We can count on formal dialectical propositional logic to help us decide, one way or the other, absolutely."
For MoQ, abortion is a Value decision. MoQ asks a question, "Is Value higher when we abort, or is Value lower when we choose not to abort?"
So, you ask, how would MoQ help us make an abortion choice?
In MoQ, new change is of paramount Value. DQ expresses itself by creating new actuality. That is high Value, 'better' Value. Conception creates new biological patterns of Value. We interpret this as DQ's face of change, DQ's attempt to become. Society's level is responsible for how society affects this change. Intellect's level is responsible for adapting society's moral and ethical codes regarding how society affects a new human pregnancy.
MoQ says, then, our intellectual level must choose: abort or not. Should Intellect override DQ? Should Intellect override Society? MoQ says it is moral for Intellect to responsibly override Society, but it is not moral for Intellect, or any other SPoV level to override DQ.
In MoQ, DQ has absolute moral (change) authority. In MoQ, Intellect has moral and ethical authority over Social.
That is our answer to, " What do you think MoQ implies about abortion's morality and ethics?"
Before proceeding though, we want to bring quantum essence into our discussion of abortion. Mae-wan Ho, Henri Bergson, William James, et al., imply that quantum/MoQ reality is both multiversal cohesion and individual autonomy. Thus individual autonomy bears both a moral right and burden of individual responsibility. We interpret that to mean, on our topic of abortion, that if a choice must be made about whether or not to abort, it is an individual choice it is not a group choice. We interpret that as MoQ saying, "Individual intellect has autonomy and authority to make an abortion decision." DQ coinsides all Intellectual decisions as we see in Pirsig's words above. It guides our Intellectual choices toward 'better.'
Now we want to show you a table of some statistics. Then, we want to offer some provocative questions for your consideration. Finally, we want to show you a table, a worksheet if you will, to help you try both a SOM and an MoQ approach to answering questions of morality and ethics regarding an issue of abortion.
Here is a table of comparisons of death statistics. Please read these caveats first:
Gun deaths - Consider disproportionate societal reaction to gun deaths (substatistic of Homicide and LI) vis-a-vis massively greater abortion statistic.
HIV deaths - Consider disproportionate societal reaction.
Smoking deaths - Consider disproportionate societal reaction.
Note that CDC bases 'death' statistics on loss of heartbeat and/or brainwaves. A human fetus has a heartbeat at 24 days and brainwaves at 31 days. Prior, its biology establishes quantum coherence with its mother and is, most essentially 'alive.'
Note: some of these questions are extremely provocative and controversial. We intend such to grab your attention, to make you think! Asking these questions does not imply we have answers to them. If you have 'better,' good, and Quality answers, let us know. If you dislike our approach, let us know. If you want to add your own questions to our list, let us know.
Why does a society choose or 'want' to abort its own?
Does society regard existing life more highly than new life? (Note how immensely different MoQ (i.e., new) and SOM (i.e., existing) philosophy are here.)
Does society regard immortality more highly than new life? (Intent: Consider that some 'existing' humans desire longer lives. Note that abortion denies natural life extension. Life extension's most influential affector is female choice of pregnancy deferral. Later, deferred pregnancies correlate highly life extension of a species. Combined with reduced environmental stress, scientists are seeing 2x-5x life extensions (drosophila, rabbits, etc.), without genetic manipulation of, e.g., telomeres.)
Does society protect a killer's rights on death row, but not a fetuses' rights in a womb?
Does society protect trees, but not fetuses?
Does society act on issues out of its control (like global warming), yet not act on protecting a fetuses' rights?
Does society worry about overpopulation, yet not seek immediate means of planetary exploration and pilgrimage?
Is it moral and ethical to commit abortion? (consider dialectics; consider rhetoric)
Is it ethical for someone else to help perform an abortion?
Is it moral and ethical to put fetuses to death without their own request or at the request of family members?
Is unwanted pregnancy a disease?
Are ~37 million abortees since Roe v. Wade a 'union?'
Can we call them "A United States of America future not?"
Are they all identical, just one class we call, "the aborted?" Or was each unique, a one of a kind human? If somehow you knew each, could/would you abort/kill them? Why would that not be OK, yet aborting them somehow was OK? Was one or more humanity's successor? Did we abort our successor?
How many Sidises, Einsteins, Newtons, et al., have we aborted? Does it make a difference?
What do you think of a government " of the people, by the people, and for the people " who aborts its own, and uses your tax dollars to do it? What do you think about people who want our government to do this? Are they doing it "For the children?" Are they moral and ethical folk? Do they deserve citizenship in our USA? Are they, " of the people, by the people, for the people ?" Why didn't we abort them? Why don't we abort them? Why do they deserve to live and abortees not? How does a government which uses taxpayer dollars to abort ~37 million children (since Roe v. Wade) distinguish itself from Nazis who 'aborted' Jews in countless numbers. How do we distinguish abortion 'clinics' from Auschwitz' ovens? Don't you want these 37 million workers paying social security taxes so you can retire?
What kind of Supreme Court Justice would consider abortion just? What kind of justice system would call abortion "legal?"
What kind of medical profession, adhering its Hippocratic Oath could permit any of its ilk to practice abortion's implicit hypocrisy?
What 'doctor' who aborts deserves that revered appellation? What ethical doctor could accept money for such an act? Would that they and their 'legal' counterparts were aborted?
Do we abhor assisted suicide and condone abortion? Would it matter if we could "Ask a fetus?" Which domain of 'justice' protects a fetus' rights?
Is abortion a responsible human act? When?
Are physicians who perform abortions responsible? When?
Are women who seek abortions responsible? When?
Is a society which legalizes and uses community money to buy abortions responsible?
Fundamentally, are humans responsible for their acts or not responsible for their acts? If not, then who is? Did a 'gun' make you pregnant?
Do most men aborters choose sexual irresponsibility over responsibility?
Do most women aborters choose abortion over adoption?
Do most women aborters choose personal irresponsibility over responsibility?
Does abortion contravene human survivability? Is abortion an Evolutionarily Stable Strategy, ESS? What role does abortion play in humankind's imminent extinction?
Does abortion improve or degrade Quality of life? For whom? When?
Does abortion contravene Neo sapiens? (What if our predecessors contravened us? Is that better? Is it better that Homo sapiens contravened their predecessors?)
What does choice mean?
What is SOM/CR death?
What is MoQ death?
Use this worksheet to consider both SOM/CR and MoQ philosophies to answer our candidate questions. This exercise may enlighten your perspectives of abortion morality and ethics.
We show several faces of abortion and its constituents, from local, anthropocentric, Earth chauvinistic perspectives:
See you next month.
Thanks for reading,