RE: virus: Re: Thinking clearly about faith

Richard Brodie (
Thu, 11 Feb 1999 17:08:42 -0800

Well, one possibility is that I'm wrong. What's another?

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
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 1999 3:38 PM To:
Subject: virus: Re: Thinking clearly about faith


Why are you such an apologist for faith? I mean its one thing to recognize and to marvel at the memetic mechanisms that spread faith; to have compassion,
understanding and tolerance for those whose thinking is impaired by faith; to
perhaps fail to mention in public (or on a talk show) that faith is fundmanentally irrational; to acknowlege that you currently hold, or have held
in the past some particular articles of faith; or to even have nostalgia for some articles of faith that you no longer hold . . .

But it is an entirely different thing to fight for its cause, or even to promote your odd ideas that everyone even the faithless have faith. Or that science is based on faith. And so on.

Before I ran into you on this list, I had entertained the idea that you were smarter than this. But you're just flat-ass wrong about these things. Maybe
anticipation of an appearance on Oprah, quite a faith monger herself, has weakened your rational immune system to these ideas. BTW, congratulations! Even if you aren't the smartest cookie, you are a celebrity, and probably pretty smart as celebrities go. I don't know if I would sacrifice IQ points for celebrity, but it would be tempting.


Richard Brodie writes this:

In a message dated 2/8/99 11:02:17 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< He's got it! By George, I think he's got it!

In response to this:

In a message dated 2/8/99 10:33:42 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< Atheism and Theism; two wheels of the same cart.

It seems that a common thread on the CoV mailing list is one of discrediting
the religious for their blind faith and belief in the teachings of the bible
and of their ministers. For example, a previous poster recanted a time when
attended a 'debate' on creationism and evolution at a local church. He was suprised to see the congregation support the minister's defense of creationism--even after having heard evidence supporting evolution. In fact,
it seems that religious faith is a popular and easily attacked target for the
'scientific' community. Geez, I think it's time to remove the 2X4 from our eyes before criticizing the speck in theirs...

Yesterday, I visited Richard Dawkin's website. I went to the "books" link and
there was a short listing of his books with description. The webmaster then
gives you a recommended reading order depending on your goals. One of the goals was "I want to defend evolution against creationist", to which, the visitor is then directed to buy "The Blind Watchmaker".

Is there any fundamental difference between this example and a religious person
who reads the bible and accepts it as truth?

How many of us (general public w/interest in science) quickly validate the theories and claims made in the popular science works of Dawkins, Gould, Bloom,
etc., without ever doing our own research or otherwise applying our own scrutiny and skepticism? Aren't we guilty of this phenomenon called faith? I've heard, "to know without doing is not knowing"; how many pseuo-intellectual--would be scientists among us does this describe?

I am not defending the concept of faith or the religious mind. I just think
that in many cases atheists are the evolutionary 'pots' calling the creationist
'kettles' black. We just open a hole in our back large enough for our chosen
ministers (Darwin, Dawkins... whoever)to put their hand in there and then use
us as the ventriliquistic mediums of their work. Regardless of whether these
scientist/authors are right or not, until we ourselves see it, hear it, touch
it taste it and otherwise live out these theories, we are reduced to nothing
more than Sunday morning yes men.

Okay off my soapbox for now. This is my first time posting something to this
forum, so be gentle--I'm a virgin! :)

Michael Fulford
Disgruntled Wage Laborer