Re: virus: Power

John Porter (
Fri, 26 Jul 1996 15:49:46 -0400

Shira Evans wrote:
> Ken Pantheists wrote:
> > Sure, why not? One confronts ethical dilemmas when dealing with genetic
> > material, why wouldn't the same hold true for memetic material?>
> The issue that I really would like for you and others to address is
> the need for memetics to be dealt with on the same level as "genetic
> material".
> Why the need to regulate or control? People will usually find ways to
> abuse whatever concepts they desire to abuse....

This question as it is being applied to memetics is, as Stephen said,
no different from how it has been applied to probably every other
field of scientific inquiry in human history.
"To what extent are scientists expected to be divorced from the moral/
ethical consequences of their work?" True pure science recognizes no
morality, but human scientists do not operate according to true pure
science -- fortunately or unfortunately. Some of us are of the
opinion (i.e. memetic programming) that scientists -- memeticists --
should, at least to some degree, direct the results of their work in
order to constrain the evil uses to which it may be put.
Others, perhaps, are of the opposite view, that scientists are to be
amoral; that they function as dispassionate media by which Truth is
conducted from the realm of the unknown to the realm of the known.

John Porter