RE: virus: Scientists and Philosophers

Richard Brodie (
Tue, 9 Feb 1999 17:51:41 -0800

I don't see that faith and trust are very similar. When we're arguing about faith here, the usual issues are:

  1. Is there a "good" faith and a "bad" faith, or is all faith bad?
  2. Do scientists have faith in science or is science a special belief system that does not require faith?
  3. Is it faith if you believe something without evidence, or do you have to believe something IN SPITE OF evidence?

I think those are the main issues.

The answers:
1. Faith is bad if it leads you away from your life purpose; good otherwise. 2. Scientists may or may not have faith in science. If they think science is True, they do.
3. It's a difference of degree. Faith is more like not wanting to look at evidence; the issue is closed in other words. This can be extremely useful in human ventures such as marriage.

Richard Brodie Author, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme" Free newsletter! Visit Meme Central at

-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of Bob Hartwig
Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 1999 5:23 PM
Subject: RE: virus: Scientists and Philosophers

>Some friendly advice from someone who survived the Great Virus Faith Wars:
>when you see "faith", read "trust". It may not be a perfect translation,
>but it will almost certainly help communication (assuming that's the goal).

Not only is the translation imperfect, it's terrible! Why load the language like that? Is it because loading the language is a successful memetic device? It must be a very good device to earn a place among Lifton's 8 criteria for thought reform.