Re: virus: Does God Exist?
Tue, 27 Aug 96 14:57:22 BST

Reed Konsler wrote:

Religions, and meme-complexes in general, are like viruses. Some are
virulent, some aren't. Some kill slowly and others quickly. Some remain
dormant for centuries until changes in the environment precipitate a
plague. All are mutating, and (in my opinion) religion is especially

I don't mean to be percieved as arguing with your point. Straw men are
bad; christianity is not all religion...given. But what about midnight
jazz vespers? The music, good. The rituals and connection to
spiritualism, good. The underlying faith in God? The Church?

Bad. That is perhaps an oversimplification, but not in my opinion. The
God-meme is an oncomeme, it is cancerous and dangerous. Just beacause it
isn't expressing today doesn't mean that 50 years from now reasoned people
won't be fleeing the midnight jazz vesper Nazis.

To me the situation is like AIDS. Some people are expressing the symptoms
and other people aren't. But don't be fooled, if we aren't vigilant it
could kill us all.

On re-reading this It sounds a bit alarmist, maybe a bit extreme. But
thinking people should be a little alarmed.

[I liked these quotes especially - Drakir]

"Save the Baptists! Yes, of course, but not BY ALL MEANS. Not if it means
tolerating the deliberate misinforming of children about the natural
world..." p516.

"It is nice to have grizzly bears and wolves living in the wild. They are
no longer a meanace...the same policy can be discerned in our political
tolerance, in religious freedom. You are free to preserve or create any
religious creed you wish, so long as it does not become a public menace..."

"If you want to teach you children they are tools of God, you had better
not teach them that they are God's rifles, or we will have to stand firmly
opposed to you: your doctrine has no glory, no special rights, no
intrinsic and inalienable merit. If you insist on teaching your children
falsehoods...then you must expect, at the very least, that those of us who
have freedom of speech will feel free to describe your teachings as the
spreading of falsehoods, and will attempt to demonstrate this to your
children at our earliest opportunity. Our future well being...depends on
the education of our decendents." p519.


I don't think, personally, that you can be too alarmist about the danger of
religion. When I get into this side of the argument (that is, why I have an
especial dislike of religions), I always end up upsetting someone. I'll try not
to be insulting, but by the very nature of what I'm going to say may well take
a dig at someone's personal beliefs, with the by product of being offensive.

My first problem with religion (and at this stage, the existance of God is
irrelevant), is that it seeks ultimate control over the people. It is capable
of coercion by threats of what happens to you after you die, or what nasty
things God will do to you to make your life worse. I'm not refering
specifically to Christianity here either. My knowledge of less mainstream
religionsis not good, but as far as I'm aware the only two that don't fit into
this _generalisation_ are Voodoo and Paganism. As far as I'm concerned,
religion is merely another system of power, just like the government. The
only difference is that we elect our government, and so their exercise of
power over us is legitimate, while that of the church is illegitimate.

This kind of ties in with my second point. I know that every society requires
some kind of moral code for it to exist in relative harmony. If there were no
moral code, then either a state of Anarchy would exist, or the government would
have to be much more harsh to maintain order. The problem is that many
religions (and I admit that I'm generalising again, but there's no other way
to put this) impose unreasonable moral restraints on its participants.

For example: No sex before marriage - hence must be married to be allowed
children - fair? I think not.

Do not eat Pork - I can't see any reason for this at all, and
the argument that says Pigs are dirty
animals is wrong, because they're
actually some of the cleanest!

Homosexuality is wrong - some people will still say it is, even
if it doesn't affect their lives at all.
Those people, in my eyes, are narrow-
minded, and pathetic. People can do
whatever they want as long as they don't
force it on other people.

All diplays of sexuality out of private confines is sick and
disgusting, and the perpertrators ostracised.
- this is such intolerance.

That's just a few examples, not all taken from the same religion, I just wrote
them as they came to me. These moral codes and others simply help to stifle
the further intellectual development of the human race, by imposing restraints
on people's thinking. Unless we get rid of them, then I believe that the
world's going to end pretty soon, through pointless differences imposed by

I could go on for hours, but I won't. I may come back to talk about hypocrisy
in Christianity (only because I know more about that than any other religion),
but in the mean time, I'll just let you shout at me for over-generalising.
I know that I have, but when talking about the general effect of religion,
one has to :)

Richard Jones
"And my soul is the arena where these two armies have clashed and met.."