value & purpose

Whilst a quantitative ontology is perfectly useful for scientific study, only a qualitative ontology can make the necessary (qualitative) value judgments that form the foundation of ethics. Even the ‘obvious’ idea that suffering is ‘bad’ is a qualitative (‘bad’) ontological (‘is’) statement.

And whilst a descriptive teleology is wonderful for observing how things ‘do’ tend to behave, only a prescriptive teleology can provide goals against which actions can be said to be ethical or not. The observation that rapists ‘do’ tend to have forceful sex is a descriptive (‘do’) teleological (‘tend to’) statement. But only a prescriptive teleology can establish goals with which rape can be said to be inconsistent.

purposeful chance

Succinct and razor sharp as always, James Chastek discusses how so-called ‘blind chance’ events can be used for a purpose – giving two excellent illustrations (coin-toss and cement mixing).

This (for me) completely takes the wind out of the Dawkins-like assurance that big, bad ‘chance’ is an enemy of design and/or God ((and it probably makes all of the effort of ‘design theorists’ a bit unnecessary!?)).