Re: RE[3]: virus: Hosts

Hakeeb A. Nandalal (
Tue, 15 Oct 1996 05:13:59 +0000

Lior Golgher wrote :-

> We should pay more attention to the use of terms like "a genetic
> basis operating in meme selection", "a statistical probability of
> someone being born with a mind that would find theism acceptable"
> and most-radical "mental "uncertainty" chip in our heads". With
> no intention to insult anyone, such terms are no more than a
> modern variation of age-old determinism.
> ..survival isn't random, but rather chaotic. Which means that
> there are objective causes for our existence [objective causes but
> subjective purposes], only they're utterly unmeasurable
> and unpredictable.

Point taken and I agree completely. My "mental chip" metaphor was never
meant to be literal or to imply that there were specific genes which
were responsible for a person being "God meme" receptive or not. I was
attempting to put a readily understandable metaphor to explain my
observation that there were no particular attributes displayed by
atheists but were lacking in theists apart from their difference in the
belief in a God.

I was also attempting to form a model to explain why there is such a
large disparity between the number of atheists and theists in especially
Western societies like the USA. Why is it that a few people who are
brought up under identical circumstances with everyone else tend to
reject the "God meme" and are hence called atheists? Given that about
every 1 in 10 Americans is an atheist [according to David Leeper], it's
simple arithmetic to say that the probability that a newborn American
will become an atheist is 0.1. If we have more data like the ratio for
geographical location or demographic groups, the figure could be more
specific and vary accordingly.

I'm an atheist, but I don't consider my rejection of the "God meme" to
be a conscious choice, I'm "aware" that, to me, that particular meme
makes no sense and at whatever subconscious level, I've rejected it. To
emphasize my point : I can't "choose" to believe that 2 + 2 = 5 even if
I wanted to, I just "know" it's wrong. Why then when people are
presented with a knowledge of history, geography and even anthropology,
the majority still harbour religious memes with only a minority making
the connection and hence rejecting them?

Has anyone come up with a model to explain the ratio?

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* Hakeeb A. Nandalal *
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