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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 178)...

    I would be the first to agree that there is a great deal of glorious "primitive" art of the Leaver peoples, but what about the Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Verdi, Struass and Wagners of the world? Could they develop only in the Takers' world? In the Leavers world, would we never have any great music -- food for the soul? Would great music and the other great arts evolve anyway? Would it just take many more eons? Could an infinite number of monkeys really come up with all the Shakespeare plays? Is this animism's point of view? Is there any "purpose" of life in the animistic point of view? Are we here simply to preserve the natural state of the planet? Is there no purpose to evolution?

    ...and the response:

    As a great many do, despite all my efforts, you are confusing hunter-gatherers with Leavers. Hunter-gatherers would never, I think, produce the music you mention---or Shakespeare's plays---which could only appear in literate cultures. But Leaver cultures were as capable of developing into civilized societies as we were---and of producing music and literature as
    great as ours. I can't speak for animism (as if I were an archbishop), but speaking as an animist, I would say that the purpose of life is to live. And, speaking as an animist, I would not say that we were here to "preserve" anything. If you mean by purpose "intention," then speaking as a student of
    biology, I would say that there is no purpose to evolution---the two are antithetical.

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