Re: virus: Re: science and religion
Wed, 2 Oct 1996 00:37:32 -0500 (CDT)

On Tue, 1 Oct 1996, Ken Pantheists wrote:

> Kenneth Boyd:


> >[The Raving Christian Right EndMeme is flaring up: one monitor of its
> >'speed' has outright stated that he only sees one barrier between the
> >current situation and the Eze 38/39 Gog War.
> snip
> I don't understand what this Gog war is... (?)
> Also please explain Endmeme--- like Endgame?

Close enough. I lifted the term off of one of the Memetics pages.

> The meme of the christain right endmeme sounds interesting-- did you
> engineer it?

Hardly ;) Its most recent burst of evolution dates from around 1860 to
the present. A summary of it circa 1970 [and a biased summary of its
competition in other branches of Christianity] is in Dwight Pentecost's
book, "Things to Come". Some of the more technical derivations to
support the preferred timing conclusion about the Rapture [another
component of the Raving Christian Right EndMeme] are definitely flawed.

In secular terms, the Rapture [among many other things] results in the
'chosen' going immediately Transhuman [and immediately missing--one of
the Transhuman traits is flight/teleportation, combined with some control
over relative materiality.]. Serious Transhumanists, while they may not
believe in this, know very well that this effect is necessary. Many of
the things listed under "Anders' Transhumanist Page" are intended to
duplicate minor effects of this version of Transhumanity.

> The fact that it is picking up speed and there is only one barrier
> between us and the final chapter is also an interesting meme.

The 'speedometer page' is The Rapture Index. [If you are memetically
allergic to Christianity, this WILL trip it off!] The maintainer of this
page definitely is an applied memetic engineer. [He's an electronics
engineer, as well....]

The 'one barrier' comment is halfway objective, if one actually assumes a
reasonable translation map for nations in Ezekiel 38/39 [cf. Dwight
Pentecost's book, above.] What this is supposed to mean is:

It is very hard to find any nation explicitly in favor of Israel.
[Yes, the Raving Christian Right EndMeme is Israelocentric and
Judaeocentric. Extremely.] Ideally, the only nation explicitly in favor
of Israel should be Jordan.
The following must be actively hostile:
All other Arab nations in border-border contact.
Russia [NOT the U.S.S.R.! Only the part containing Moscow is required.]
The last condition did not hold as of 9/30/96.

> reminds me of
> Nuclear Holocaust
> Global Warming
> ... others.

Oh, fun :b Later stages of the Christian Right EndMeme [it has to fill
seven years of history, it needs multiple stages] provide direct support
for effects compatible with Nuclear Holocaust. [Will anything less 'burn
up all of the trees and grass' easily?]

The Ozone Hole going hyper also has fairly direct support [4th vial/bowl,
depending on your preferred translation....]


> >While there is a proper use of the word 'supernatural', it usually [in
> >form-without-power religions] connotes "we want to know as little about
> >it as possible. Frankly, knowing it exists is knowing too much."
> But people who are religious don't have an appreciation for the
> supernatural, they have an appreciation for the mystery. (I am not
> tossing that word around... there is a very big difference between the
> two. Check out the original greek)

I checked it out a decade ago. It's necessary to understand
Christianity's competition in the 1st century AD. So the competition
has adapted by mimicry?

> They hopefully also have enough common sense to avoid religious leaders
> and institutions that abuse power.

No power, no power to abuse.

> >Please keep in mind: there is usually a bias to consider repeatable
> >phenomena as 'natural'. This strikes me as an ineffective criterion. If
> >'supernatural' is a real domain [I haven't decided yet], I will outright
> >assume it is susceptible to science as well.
> I would think that anything that is suseptible to science as wholly
> natural.

We have a domain definition problem here.
1) There are no obvious instances of 'supernatural', even in
principle. Colloquially, it subsumes most phenomena of the domain
'spiritual', whatever THAT is. Formally, it can be defined as
nonexistent. Let's use the colloquial sense here--otherwise, the above
statement is trivial.
2) Using as metadomains physical/energy, mental/emotional, and
spiritual [boundaries VERY fuzzy, and possibly referring to high-level
abstractions rather than implementation], there is no amazingly obvious
reason why science should work in the first two domains, and suddenly go
useless in the third. Under the previous definition, that means that I
see no reason why science cannot give results about supernatural/spiritual
phenomena, assuming they exist. [I'm convinced, but scope problems are
fairly severe.] Or, for that matter, interactions between the various
levels [such as cytokines and their rather direct relaying of mood
effects on the immune system; this demonstrates a physical/mental
interface in the body.]

> Somewhere in your post you mentioned that religion requires miracles.
> And that science can narrow the scope of what is considered to be a
> miracle.
> Which miracles are you referring to specifically?
> What do you mean by miracle?

At this point, the terminology will be clearer if we define
'supernatural' out of existence. I will temporarily do so.

My working definition of miracle IS a momentary violation of natural law,
whose consequences are immediately integrated into reality by natural law.

Since the spiritual domain is the only domain even claimed to generate
such violations, and furthermore subject to very major memetic blocks
against scientific investigation, it is quite plausible that there are
natural laws that explain a number of such phenomena. If we do
not know what these natural laws are, and the Christian Right EndMeme
finds someone to play the role of AntiChrist, that role will be
able to use phenomena covered by these natural laws to fake miracles, as
required by his role [he has to create an entire religion!]

> This is how I define a miracle:
> A miracle is not just some weird occurance that no-one can explain. If
> they were, Houdini and David Copperfield would have their own religions.

No one claims that they are violating natural law, just exploiting it in
an inexplicable fashion.

> A miracle is a huge statement that states, simply, the world view of the
> religion. It is a pure statement that reflects the many facets of the
> given religion's ideology.

See above.


/ Kenneth Boyd