Re: virus: "Religion"?

Reed Garrett Konsler (
Fri, 9 Aug 1996 12:50:45 -0400

>From Stephen*****

>If I had an ice cream store called the Church of Perpetual Indulgence
>would you suspect it of being a religion?

No, and in that case the word would be an advertizing gimmick. It might
draw fire from the devout. I'm not sure I accept the implicit rhetorical
question though. Calling this list "Church of Virus" is different, at
least in my perception, than the example you've given. I'm willing to be
convinced, but you'll have to be more explicit.

>I think the warning lights that are going off in people have more to do
>with the people than the list.

Come on, Stephen. Speaking in tautologies is a sign of intellectual
laziness. If you've already made up your mind on this issue but don't want
to spend the time arguing it then that's OK. But you must realize that
while it's obviously true that each of brings our own perceptual framework
there is at least an implied author to this page/list. I don't think we're
reading too much into things.

What is in a name?

>When a person studies art they (I hope) also study the history of
>religious art. This helps illustrate the relationship between art and
>the expression of the sublime. I could not imagine teaching or being in
>a class where a person said, "I'm just not comfortable talking about
>religion because *I've* thrown it all away in favour of something

Of course. Again, I don't accept the implicit rhetorical question. How,
exactly does this relate?

>Such a statement is egoistic and draws the focus away from the subject
>and puts it on the person.

>I say, "Get over it." :)

This isn't a question of the emotional states of the people currently
subscribing. Obviously we're comfortable enough with the issue that we're
still here. The argument is that the name is inhibiting the spread of
these ideas to a broader range of people. Sure, you can say: "we didn't
want them anyway...this is a test..." I'm sorry, but I have to say
"Bullshit!" to such things. If a friend told you nobody was comming to see
a play you were in becuase the name disturbed them what would you do?

I guess it depends on how vital the name was to the message you were trying
to communicate, huh? I mean, if there was a "principle" involved you might
be willing to go down with a defiant glare and a comment on the inability
of people to cope.

Something like "get over it".

Is this name that vital? I didn't think so when I joined. If you and
David think so, then I'm not going to try to dissuade you. I think you're
defending a trivial point though; getting too emotional over a peripheral
issue. I don't like the name, but I'm still here.

But, I don't like the name.

As for David's comment:

>Unless of course all subscribers to the list are members of the
>CoV by definition.

I repectfully disagree. You can define things in your own mind however you
like; it doesn't make it so. If I walk into a church am I religious? Am I
automatically a memeber of the denomination? What if I participate in some

This is not a bi-polar argument. We can value religion and religious
experience (and art) without being religious ourselves. We can understand
the role of a chuch and create institutions to fulfill the same needs
without calling them church. We can have the rituals, the spiritual
experiences, and the sublime without tying them to the baggage of the past.

We are reminding people of the very memes you are trying to replace. Every
time you use a trigger word you remind people of their indoctrination.
Maybe, with great effort, you can use this process to disinfect them by
appropriating and redefining the language. But I don't think we're
anywhere near that stage yet.

But, hey, I just post here.


Reed Garrett Konsler