Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #26
Sun, 22 Sep 1996 01:55:13 -0500 (CDT)

On Sat, 21 Sep 1996, KMO prime wrote:

> On Sat, 21 Sep 1996 17:56:36 -0500 (CDT) writes:
> >
> >On Sat, 21 Sep 1996, KMO prime wrote:
> >> What I find repulsive about numerous religious meme-complexes is
> >their
> >> practice of undermining the ability for critical thought in their
> >hosts
> >> and the demonization of those who refuse to allow themselves to be
> >so
> >> limited. Not all religions are guilty of this tactic, and
> >non-religious
> >> meme-complexes employ this tactic as well.
> >That's going to take a while for me to understand properly.
> Judging by your last paragraph you now sustain a particular mental model,
> and that model is the one I had hoped to cause you to sustain when I
> wrote that paragraph. That is to say, I don't know if you 'got' what I
> was saying, but you seem to 'get it' just the same.

The content has not been fully staged down to a mentally comprehensible

> > Even
> >superficially, it demonstrates [in my frame--consensual evidence isn't
> >
> >there, so don't ask me for it] that those numerous religious
> >meme-complexes are designed to 'make their hosts easy TO demonize'!
> By 'consensual evidence', do you mean evidence that everyone in this
> particular disscussion would accept as compelling or even count as
> evidence? Or is this a term of art?

I have no idea whether this term is used in talking about art.

I define 'consensual evidence' to mean 'evidence that multiple observers
can agree on what it is via ccmparing direct observations.' Instrument
readings like "25 degrees Celsius" for an air temperature [cf. Wade's
recent posts] is a rather extreme example of 'consensual evidence'.
Most color-normal sighted people can agree on what dominant color a scarf has.

An analogous term is 'consensual perception', i.e. what most people can
agree is 'out there'. This [usually] includes the classical five
senses--sight, hearing, and so on.

In contrast, the finer shades of emotion are probably NOT consensual
evidence. The difference between 'incensed' and 'fuming' as shades of
angry would be fairly difficult to distinguish without listening to the
person experiencing this. But everyone could agree that said person was
angry, barring dissimulation. [Being polite is an excellent motive for
dissimulation, in this case.]

Examples of blatantly nonconsensual perception/evidence would be:
Not bothering to own a text on Feng Shui [Chinese geomantic
divination, loosely] because one could directly perceive the interactions
Deciding what to do next by 'asking the Father' conversationally.
Mentally stabilizing oneself to pay attention for the last twenty
minutes of a 90-minute class, when one is dangerously exhausted, by
subvocalizing the Jesus Prayer. [No, this isn't from the Roman Catholic
Church! It's from the Eastern Orthodox Church. (Or churches; it's the
one subbranch of Christianity where a deacon in one denomination can be a
member in a different denomination! Nothing to do with TBN.)]

When one starts using religiously/spiritually based perceptions as valid
data, to be integrated with the more normal sensory data such as vision,
touch, etc. in dealing with daily life, it can be reasonably said that
the religious/spiritual perceptual map is NOT consensual, but that the
vision, hearing, etc. ARE consensual. It is necessary to be continuously
aware of which realm the perceptions are from.

I don't know the details behind Wade's comment about the biochemical
basis of religious experience being known, but I DO know what it would
take to chemically shut it down: use a nerve gas-type agent slowed down,
and at low enough dosages, such that toxicity [tardive dyskinesia] is not
evident for at least a decade. These drugs have been known to medical
science since at least the 1950's [although probably not under this
analogy.] The clinical classification is 'anti-psychotic'. With the possible
exception of clonopin, all of these are based on sulfur--just like sarin,
etc. They also all [excepting clonopin] have the long-term effect I
mentioned above--and the damage is permanent. Immediate withdrawal
sometimes does nothing to reduce that 'side-effect' ;)

> >The 'demonization as those who refuse to allow themselves to be so
> >limited' could then be viewed as the psychological (non)defense of
> >projection, or as a memetic allergy.
> Perhaps. What is "the psychological (non)defence of projection?" I supose
> the memetic allergy model works if you look at the interaction as the
> religious meme-complex detecting rationality memes and triggering an
> allergic reaction in the religious meme-complex's host(s) that manifests
> itself as hatred of reason and the demonization of those who employ it.
> Is that what you had in mind?

It is fairly common for a person, when he is evincing a trait
[here, 'demonization', whatever THAT is] that is distasteful, to be
relatively unaware of it himself, but to interpret others as evincing it
even if the others AREN'T. He [generic] cannot admit that he has the
trait. If he MUST perceive it SOMEWHERE, then he ends up perceiving it
in other persons when it isn't there. Properly, it's called a
'psychological defense'; however, I have never observed it to have
positive results either short-term or long-term.

Your interpretation of 'memetic allergy' is close to my intent.


/ Kenneth Boyd