Technology and Values LO11882

J.C. Lelie (
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 00:09:15 -0800

Replying to LO11776 --

Hi Diana,

Diana Mordock wrote:

> The only way we
> understand our world is through out beliefs.

I agree

> I don't believe we can build
> a better world with people of diverse cultures, if we do not set about to
> agree on what we consider to be fundamental truths.

I don't believe that, not because it isn't true, but because i it is not
neccessary a priory. In thinking about this i tried to explain how i
experience that the search for fundamental truths might bring us into
situations we do not want: trying to convince each other about each ohters
fundamental truths, with no regard for the real issue: building a better

> How could we live in
> anything but chaos if we didn't agree on rules, based on beliefs?

I agree with the first part (but must say that i do not fear chaos) but
remain unconvinced on the second part. If you mean principles, which i
think apply to everybody, i agree.

> How could we have advanced at all from the cave men without the
> elimination of violence as an accepted norm in society, belief in
> freedom, belief in advancement? I do not understand.

It might seem a bit strange, but i think it is because a principle of
non-violence is in the long run more effective for the propagation of a
species. Not for the individual tribe of family: they may think that on
the short run violence pays. We, as human beings, have found a way to
communicate this principle, by words, in the form of a belief. But then a
counter-invention starts, in which we forcefully try to convince others of
our belief.

> And how does the United Nations stay glued together if not for shared
> beliefs?

Fear of chaos? Prisoners dilemma's? Powerplay? Lying, cheating and
deceiving? Politics? The lack of alternatives? A tragedy of the Commons?
Invested interests? Career perspectives of diplomats? Psychic prisons?
Lack of money? The existence of a building and a agenda? Ritual? Fifty
ways to leave your lover? Luck? Sheer luck? Hope? The force of habits
(never underestimate the force of habits)? The true meaning of the word
Institution? Some retrained cavemen (different tools, same men)? The
spirit of New York? Addiction? An asylum, a refuge for people a country
didn't want? The idee-fixe of the belief in nations? Square wheels (i
didn't say that, it was Scott!)? Cherchez la femme? I want to go on, but
have to leave now...

> With all due respect, I think we are caught in a symantic trap and are
> probably saying the same thing.

I really feel we are trying to do the same thing and (!) are trapped in
our belief systems: shouting from one cave to another. Is that the same as
a symantic trap?

Warmly yours,



Drs J.C. Lelie CPIM (J.C. Lelie) @date@ @time@ CREATECH/LOGISENS - Sparring Partner in Logistical Development - + (31) 70 3243475 Fax: idem or + (31) 40 2443225

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