Re: virus: A few opening statements from a newcomer

Fri, 19 Mar 1999 09:26:52 -0800

Hi Snow Leopard,

Welcome to the list. You've made some good observations, and I suspect that you could take it as a kind of corroboration to learn that you're not the first to make some of them.

Snow Leopard wrote:
> I am a new comer to this list, which I heard about from a friend who
> joined over the summer and later pulled out. I have a few observations
> to make about your basic philosophy of "true immortality" of meme
> complexes.

I've you've monitored the list for more than a day, you'll know that there are a number of positions and "philosophies" represented, advocated, and attacked on this list. This is particularly true of the question of faith. Anytime you make reference to "your philosophy" when talking about the Church of the Virus, I will take it that you are addressing your post specifically to David McFadzean, who created the CoV website and this disscusion list.

> In the early
> Christian church, wavering believers did not exist- you believed or you
> didn't stick your neck out. After three hundred years with this
> mentality, the yet uncorrupted church was embraced by the Roman empire.
> Now, people joined for the same reasons fads flourish- it's just the
> socially accepted thing to do. These people wanted in for the name, not
> the ideas. Most didn't really believe- in fact, it was the meme
> equivalent to a vaccine. Years passed, the cycle repeated with the
> Muslims. Now, in this day and age, we persecute anything different,
> calling them cults. Don't you realize that by doing so, we're only
> creating "resistent strains"?

Check out this entry from the memetic lexicon:

CENSORSHIP: Any attempt to hinder the spread of a meme by eliminating its vectors. Hence, censorship is analogous to attempts to halt diseases by spraying insecticides. Censorship can never fully kill off an offensive meme, and may actually help to promote the meme's most virulent strain, while killing off milder forms.

> Also, if a new religion is DESIGNED, than
> it must have so many facts for a self-respecting God-seeker that it
> would have to go above and beyond anything that could be created of the
> human imagination.

This is an intriguing claim, but I'm not sure I fully understand it, so I'd like to ask you to elaborate on it.

> In
> response to your trust vs. faith discussion,
> I'd like to pose a completely different comparison, faith vs. religion.

I think that would be a valuable reframing of the debate, as much of the evidence concerning the destructive nature of faith that gets presented in this discussion is actually a list of crimes committed by religio-political organizations. As the Catholic church played a role that was a close to that of a modern government as to the modern comception of a chuch durring the crusades and the inquisition, citing examples of the atrocities committed durring these periods is as much an indictment of citizenship as it is of faith.

> God-seekers are in your terms, looking to be infected by the most true
> belief system they can find (good luck to them), whereas your average
> church-goer gives their religion a bad name by following a set of rules
> that may or may not benefit them.

I'm not sure what you mean by God-seekers. If you mean for this term to apply to people who take up religious practice because they have religious/spiritual feelings, inclinations, or experiences and not (primarily) for the social benefits, then I would caution against attempting to corral all such people under a generalized statement about their motivations and desires. Still, you made some valuable observations and I look forward to getting some elaboration on them.

Take care.