Download The origin of intelligence : the role of information in individual lives PDF

TitleThe origin of intelligence : the role of information in individual lives
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size4.0 MB
Total Pages154
Table of Contents
                            THE ORIGIN OF INTELLIGENCE:THE ROLE OF INFORMATION IN INDIVIDUAL LIVES
CONTENTS
PREFACE*
NOTES ON USAGE
INFORMATION IS REAL
THE PATTERN OF INTELLIGENCE
THE EVOLUTION OF INTELLIGENCE
RELIGION AND THE EXISTENCE OFINFORMATION
LOVE AND HATE AND THE IMITATIONOF LIFE
THE UTILITY OF RATIONALITY, ARTAND HUMOR
THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF FREEDOMAND EQUALITY
LOVE AND FREEDOM
THE ATTRACTION OF VIRTUE
THE STRUCTURE OF MORALITY
THE NATURAL BASIS OF HUMAN RIGHTS
DECENTRALIZING DECISION-MAKING
THE POVERTY OF NATIONALISM
THE NATURE OF BELIEF
INDEX
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 77

Chapter 9




THE ATTRACTION OF VIRTUE


Alfred doesn't worry about the kind of life he leads. Since he is designed to

function as an independent information entity, the concept of virtue is
inappropriate. He has no need to question what balance he should strike between
his own interests and those of others. The quality of his personal habits is
determined by a simple application of preprogrammed traits to whatever
opportunities he finds. Compulsive licking and a fascination with little twitching
things are automatic. He cannot imagine alternate routes to happiness and so does
not suffer from the thought that his life is less than perfect. He has a good and full
life pursuing birds, string and a warm place to nap in the sun.

Virtues are thoughts and actions by an individual which increase the
intelligence of the human information system. For their goals to be virtuous, they
must be directed towards reality as a whole instead of an isolated and separate
slice of it. It is by aligning their life more accurately with the real world that they
bring their unique character to its maximum expression and thereby make their
greatest contribution to the intelligence of the whole. The pursuit of virtue
elevates the importance, effectiveness and sense of identity of an individual by
making them an active element of the most intelligent entity ever to exist. Clearly
seen, it is natural and attractive to choose life in the real world over the slow death
of illusion, the degenerative isolation of hatred.

For a person who suffers from the illusion that they are a separate information
entity like a cat, practices and actions that are based on the assumption of a larger
context make little sense. Those virtues which involve cooperating with other
people for a common benefit are weak when the only consideration is personal
gain. While an individual may sometimes profit by participating in a larger
enterprise, quite often they can do better by either cheating or taking an entirely

Page 78

Thomas Dexter Kerr 66

independent course. Cooperation risks losing all if others have only shallow
motivations not to steal. From the perspective of purely private gain, those virtues
which serve to make an individual stronger and more effective also tend to look
foolish, for most of the purposes served by being effective involve other people.
The seductions of being less effective can be very pleasing to a purely separate
individual, who like a cat would often prefer to nap in the warm sun. Being
virtuous then makes sense as long as it reaps measurable rewards, but its pursuit
as a set of principles is absurd and laughable.

In the real world, virtues are inseparable from freedom. Each virtue is the
application to a particular aspect of daily life of the fact that freedom for humans
can exist only in the context of the informational whole they are each a part of.
The details of the personal exercise of freedom consist of thoughts and actions
that are virtuous. The greatest enemy of freedom is hatred, the practice of
envisioning people as separate from each other. The pursuit of virtue serves the
vital function of weeding hatred out of its hiding places in the corners of a
person's life. Although the details of their lives are different, everyone has the
same fundamental relationship to the collective human mind. Because of that
relationship, an individual can be free only if they are pursuing virtue.

Virtues are the source of the immense benefits of a free society. Freedom
yields enormous practical results, for it releases the initiative of individuals, which
is the power behind the intelligence of the mental system they together comprise.
By engaging in millions of small virtuous thoughts and actions, individuals create
a more intelligent milieu for everyone to live in.

People will be allowed to make important decisions for themselves only when
others believe that they will be fairly honest and responsible. That faith must be
built on more than experience. The key to the decision by any one person to
pursue a virtuous life is finding a way to understand that they exist as part of a
larger informational entity. Because of this, it makes sense to trust people in large
numbers only to the degree that they are perceived to have a similar
understanding. A belief in the universal nature of virtue is necessary in order to
think it is practical to turn other people loose.

Every virtue opens a series of doors to the vast intelligence of everyone
everywhere. The pursuit of virtues such as honesty, respect, empathy, love,
responsibility and family expand the world of the individual and increase their
ability to move within it. Relationships with other people take on these
characteristics naturally when they are based in some way on a perception of
common membership in the human information system. This context also
provides the framework necessary for a true embrace of those virtues which
increase personal effectiveness. Work, education, self-discipline, clarity and

Page 153

Index 141

satisfaction, 57, 92, 94, 113, 117
search, 55
searching, 97
secrets, 8
secular, 105
self, 82
self-definition, 115
self-destruction, 90, 110
self-discipline, 66, 80, 82, 83
self-esteem, 61, 116
self-image, 61, 121, 123
self-interest, 58, 69, 77, 110
self-promotion, 47
self-renewing, 31
self-worth, 61
senile, 72
separateness, 9, 13, 14, 33, 34, 36, 40, 43, 49,

63, 97, 109, 117, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131
separation, 9, 10, 11, 16, 31, 35, 36, 41, 42,

47, 71, 73, 74, 80, 81, 113, 129
series, 57, 66, 70, 78, 80, 100, 125, 127
services, 111
sex, 18, 47, 79, 122
shade, 92, 124
shaping, 4
shares, 1, 12, 24, 42, 70, 87, 105
sharing, 5, 24, 31, 89, 91, 110, 121
shelter, 5, 81, 87, 100, 101, 114
shoulder, 79, 112
shoulders, 87, 130
singular, vii
skating, 19
skills, 2
skin, 33, 118
slavery, 58
sleep, 89
smiles, 23, 76, 83
social structure, 108, 114
sounds, vii
spawning, 79
species, 15, 23, 24
spectrum, 91
speech, 100, 101
speed, 18
spheres, 54, 102, 104

spiritual, 33, 34, 35, 36
sports, 18, 47, 69, 110
stages, 5, 30
standards, 31, 46, 70, 96, 100, 114
stars, 6, 8, 9, 10
stasis, 60
sterile, 78, 127
strategies, 7, 111
streams, 16, 74
strength, 23, 27, 58, 63, 67, 115, 120
stress, 25, 31, 92
stretching, 47
strictures, 84
strikes, 1, 13
stupor, 127
suicide, 60, 93
superiority, 42, 62, 112, 122, 124, 129
supernatural, 34
suppliers, 111
supply, 51
suppression, 31, 117
surplus, 90
survival, 2, 4, 5, 8, 11, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26,

27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 40, 45, 48, 54, 99
symbols, 24
sympathetic, 121
sympathy, 48

T

talent, 19, 72
taste, 14
teaching, 79, 80
teeth, 23, 121
temperament, 79
temporal, 35, 95
tension, 92
territory, 15, 39, 74, 99, 107
testimony, 7, 46, 48, 49
theft, 81
thinking, 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19,

20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 34, 35,
36, 41, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 52, 54, 55, 56,
57, 62, 63, 67, 73, 74, 78, 81, 84, 85, 86,
87, 89, 90, 91, 93, 95, 96, 98, 100, 101,

Page 154

Index 142

105, 108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115,
117, 118, 120, 123, 125

threat, 58
threatening, 29
threshold level, 25
tolerance, 30
torture, 82
trade, 90
trading, 89
tradition, 59
traits, 19, 26, 61, 65, 76, 122
trajectory, 77
transactions, 113
transcript, 18
transition, 118
transparency, 68
transparent, 109
travel, 93
trees, 45
trust, 66, 70, 71, 103, 110, 127

U

uncertainty, 95, 96
uniform, 72
universe, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 24, 28, 29,

30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40, 48, 54, 69,
78, 90, 128, 129, 131

V

vacuum, 42, 48, 88
validity, 54
values, 36, 70, 111, 112, 115, 117
vegetables, 28
velocity, 20, 26, 90
victims, 116, 117

Vietnamese, 122
village, 103
violence, 110
violent, 43
virus, 75, 97
vision, 3, 16, 20, 21, 22, 31, 35, 37, 45, 53,

58, 59, 67, 68, 71, 81, 86, 103, 104, 118,
124, 129

voice, 58, 91, 105
vulnerability, 129

W

waking, 122
wants and needs, 111
war, 31, 49, 58
warfare, 116, 123
warts, 43
watches, 20
water, 10
weakness, 95
wealth, 13, 84
wear, 18
web, 119
welfare, 34, 102, 110
wholesale, 109
wilderness, 2, 5, 23, 53, 108
wind, 10, 95, 117
winning, 61, 109, 110, 119
wood, 77
worry, 33, 65, 89, 127
writing, 47, 82

Y

yawning, 62
yield, 107

Similer Documents