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Re: Primacy of Existence?

Jul 21, 1997 11:11 AM
by Wildefire

In a message dated 97-07-20 22:10:23 EDT, Tom wrote:

> One of the principal doctrines of both Objectivism and Marxism, that
>  their conclusions about the ideal political situation are at polar
>  opposites notwithstanding, is the primacy of existence - that before
>  there can be consciousness, there must be something of which to be
>  conscious.  HPB disagreed with this.  She believed that spirit and
>  matter are on equal terms, that neither of them are primary, and that
>  nothing can exist without both being present.  Since I generally agree
>  with what HPB wrote, and since it makes more sense to me intuitively,
>  I would like to believe her.  But is there a reason to believe, say,
>  that rocks are conscious, but by believing in such an authority as
>  her?

Given some of the problems the Rover has had on Mars, I would say so. ;-D

More seriously, though, the unusual effects that could be obtained with
crystals (not New Age stuff, but more like the piezoelectric effect or how
they grow) suggests 
a weird sort of intelligence using a very wiiiiiiiiiide definition of it,
IMHO. OTOH, someone could easily respond that it's simply due to the laws of
physics, though I've never seen an explanation for *why* the piezoelectric
effect exists. (In case anyone is wondering, the piezoelectric effect is that
by applying pressure to a crystal, slightly changing its shape, the crystal
will emit an electrical voltage. Conversely, if you apply a voltage to a
crystal, it will slightly change shape and resonate at a frequency determined
by its size and shape. At least, I think I got it right in my faulty memory.)



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