virus: Science and religion

Ken Pantheists (
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 02:23:59 +0000

Reed wrote:

> Question:
> What is the difference between the universe in which there is no absolute
> truth and the universe in which there is absolute truth, but it is
> impossible to perceive objectively and with any certainty? Said another
> way: What is the differece between inherent ambiguity and "as if"
> ambiguity.

I don't know.

I can't imagine a meme that is an Absolute Truth, though there have been
many Ab Truth memes in this list.

I suppose a universe with an absolute truth would be one where every
person (I am looking at this from a memetic standpoint) carried
identical memes.

> I would argue that they are identical becuase one could never test which
> kind of universe one was it.

I agree.

So it just comes down to the memes.

David Leeper observed, quite brilliantly, that "religion and science are
forcibly and wrongly, divorced."

I totally agree.

You asked me to show you what I mean by looking at the memes without
looking at content.

David articulated what I meant. I am trying to resist getting caught up
in unanswerable questions. I am willing to consider religion and science
both as memes and dispense with deciding which is better.

As for being your psycho-analysing girlfriend, I see a great
contradiction in these two paragraphs:

> But "to reflect the greater glory of God" (aside from the neat
> consonace) is not an answer to such a question; It's a non-sequitor. It
> may be my lack perception, but that statement appears to contain no meaning
> whatsoever. can someone paraphrase or unpack it? Start by defining "God"
> then describe how "reflect" is intented to be understood. After that
> "greater glory" should be easy...

> I defend the sublime (though I still don't
> quite understand it, maybe that's the point) the subjective, and the
> trancendent. I think people should gather to share these experiences,
> since we all have them. But religions (well, Western ones, anyway) attempt
> to declare one vision "the truth". One imponderable answer is THE answer.

Do you??

> Wouldn't the world be a
> more interesting place if each one of us had the opportunity to make up our
> own personal cosmogony? Wouldn't it be better to validate each of our
> dreams as equally opposed to elevating one cannon of
> subjectivity?

It would definately be interesting, but what you perceive as a canon of
subjectivity is really just a language of subjectivity--- much like the
cards and runes.

A common language allows us to share our subjectivity.

Remember the Star trek episode where Picard gets teleported tothe planet
with the alien who speaks in meteaphors? Even though they spoke the same
language they could not understand each other because they did not have
the same "pantheon".

As for validating each of our dreams-- that's what the more recent (last
2500 years) religions do. Unlike ancient religions that consisted of
symbolic gods (Thunder, sky, hearth...), the mystery religions have gods
that are personal, listen to you and you alone, validate your personal
spiritual quest, die for you on the cross, forgive you...

Whether or not you subscribe to one canon has (in Christainity) a lot to
do with whether you are Protestant or Catholic. (..... or a Quaker-- no
priests, no church)

I'm trying to point out the similarities between what you propose and
what already exists and has existed for a long time---

So to conclude--- it's all a metter of memes. Red car, blue car.

> [about Tarot, runes, and divination]
> I collect and work with them more to understand the
> archetypes, the system of representation, and the process/methodology.

Then you are doing the Tarot

> I don't belive
> it corresponds much with reality...

You are supposed to make a good fortune happen and avoid a bad
fortune... they don't happen to you, you make them happen. that's the
purpose of the cards.

. but it's still...enchanting I guess, the
> same way Civilization is a cool game becuase it is such a rich and
> complicated system. Neither is real.

Memes don't have to be real to work. How many of us grew up with memes
like "you're stupid" or "you should be seen and not heard"

> Don't confuse the true with the real, or the fun from the functional.

I can't see a difference between true, real, fun and functional.

You need to enjoy life a little more Reed.

>> Stephen Dawkins
> Richard Dawkins, author of "The Selfish Gene"?

Yes. I will be forever dislexic with those names.

Ken Pantheists                     
Virus Theatre           
TooBa Physical Theatre Centre