Re: RE[2]: virus: Hosts
Tue, 15 Oct 1996 19:51:41 -0500 (CDT)

On Tue, 15 Oct 1996, Martin Traynor wrote:

> On 13 Oct 96 at 17:56, KMO prime wrote:
> > The scholars and theologians in most any long-standing religious
> > tradition tend to have very different religious beliefs than the laity in
> > that same tradition. The "God meme" is often maintained in the minds of
> > the laity in conjunction with a memetic allergy to analytic thought.
> > This is definitely not true of most religious scholars. To maintain a
> > place in the cognitive architecture of minds like those of Augustine,
> > Thomas Aquinas, the current Pope, or any number of sharp-thinking
> > believers (and we all know at least one person who maintains both complex
> > rational thought processes as well as theistic belief) the "God meme"
> > must decouple itself from a memetic allergy to rationality.
> I've often wondered about this process.
> To rise to any significant level within the [catholic] church a
> belief in its teachings would be a positive drawback. From a
> political viewpoint, how can a man who (supposedly) strives for
> humility lobby effectively for high position? Equally, how can a
> brilliant thinker fail to notice the inherent flaws and
> inconsistencies in Vatican teachings? The conclusion I initially came
> to (and held for a number of years) was that beyond a certain point
> they were all liars and hypocrites (that made me very popular in my
> Irish homeland ;).

When the teachings are crushed to fit into inadequate language [any
extant language!], inherent flaws and inconsistencies will be unavoidable.
It would be like my trying to explain higher math without taking six
months to build basic tolerance. The subject matter, above, is at least
10 times as difficult to understand.

> Looking at things memetically has softened my point of view though; a
> belief in God needn't exclude a proclivity for, or indeed positive
> brilliance at the sciences. This is probably best illustrated by
> example. Borrowing David Leepers 'Tree of Life' memetic metaphor, we can
> imagine a situation where science is close to the trunk while
> religiousness is perhaps one of the branches. This could represent
> someone for whom science is the guiding force but who allows the
> possibility that religion may have something to offer or that there
> may be some truth in it. Conversely, a situation where a
> religion is the trunk of the tree while science is nestling in the
> foliage could represent a person who, while they have a deep and
> abiding faith in their God, they still recognise that science has
> power and ability when dealing with the physical world. An
> able-minded individual might recognise that science is the memetic
> enemy of religion and might study it ferociously thereafter (know
> thine enemy). Alternatively, he may simply embrace it as one more
> means of facilitating the spread of the word of god. This needn't
> cause any problems such as the creationist / evolutionist schism.
> Even if this man holds to the genesis view, he can examine the
> evidence and say 'while I believe that God created the world in 7
> days, for some reason known only to himself he created it in such a
> way that it would appear that we have evolved from amoebas. He
> appears to have built things to a fairly consistent model therefore a
> study of the discernible rules may prove efficacious'.

Reasonably good metaphor, yes.

The creationist/evolutionist schism doesn't really depend on age.
I find those who say Genesis is incompatible with a 4.5 billion-year-old
Earth horribly ignorant.