RE: virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #26
Sat, 21 Sep 1996 00:47:42 -0500 (CDT)

On Fri, 20 Sep 1996 wrote:

> >Mon. afternoon I am lecturing on elizabethan rhetoric and how it relates to
> >Shakespearean drama. I am amazed when I hear from people under 20 that they
> >have *no* understanding of the Bible or any of its symbols. How much, I
> ask,
> >will they get from Shakespeare? Has good old Wil been insulated out of our
> >meme pool as well?
> >
> >
> >Stephen
> Fellow Virians,
> Mr. Atkins makes an excellent point here, and one that borders on two
> issues that I have been wanting to bring out for discussion:


> (2). Is religion, or science, faulty _as a whole_ because of specific
> inefficient memes? If not, why are we focusing on finding holes in the
> armour instead of replacing / co-opting / splicing these specific memes
> (i.e., isn't it possible to have religion without the meme of blind faith
> -- replacing it with inductively supported belief, which is by definition
> unproven and thus _faith_ in essence -- or god without the ideas of
> omnipotence and omniscience)?

The growing branches of Protestant Christianity [instead of dying!] that
I am aware of have explicitly rejected the meme of 'blind faith' and use
a definition of faith that has confused ultraconservative Evangelical
Christians into thinking it equivalent to "magic" [whatever THAT
ill-defined term is! The first written reference to anything resembling
a distinction between science and "magic" I am aware of is the 4th
century BC, Aristotle in fact. These ultraconservatives can short out
if I mention that both Deuteronomy and Daniel are written before then (in our
agreed schema), because they don't want to condemn all of this wonderful
20th-century TECHNOLOGY with their proof-text antilogical interpretations.]

[I don't hear about any mainline Protestant denominations running a
global TV network. In Manhattan, Kansas, if I ever get tired of both
silence and CD music ranging from Jesus Christ Superstar to REM's
"Monster" to Led Zepplin #3, all I have to do to immerse myself in
wildly dynamic 'Christian' memes is turn on Channel 31, which reputedly
(I haven't tested this) can be received in a bomb shelter. TBN, Trinity
Broadcasting Network, complete with a slot in some American cable
company's portfolio. 23-hour a day televangelism, actively preaching
against blind faith as of Lucifer, et. al. I don't remember their
shortwave bands--otherwise, I'd mention those. Aside from two weeks per
year of 24-hour pledge drives, no extraneous commercials. Why, some of
the more progressive programs even go so far as to NEVER ask for money,
even when they're about to go broke!]

Such a definition of "faith" may be too strong [possibly a reaction
to 'blind faith']. My current intuition [it WILL change] is that some
kind of synthesis between inductively supported belief and the extremized
version I describe, above, will be functional for my purposes. The
former is too passive, the latter is dangerously close to presumptuous.

These branches have already ditched 'omnipotence' in favor of 'completely
righteous'--they realized that these two traits are mutually exclusive
over four decades ago. They aren't completely unified on the
'omniscience' question--they're aware that three persons means three
sets of memories, regardless of how many Beings you stuff them into, and
there do seem to be gaps in the "Son of God"'s memory from the textual
evidence, regardless of one's view of his status/existence.

In other words, the branch of religion I am familiar with is quite capable
of evolving new memes in a less than divisive fashion.

/ Kenneth Boyd