RE: virus: C of V: Another Religion

Richard Brodie (
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 11:18:34 -0800

David, welcome to the list and thanks for the fresh point of view.

David Rosdeitcher wrote:

> Objectivist philosopher, Ayn Rand, made an important discovery:

Let's first kill this word "discovery." Ayn Rand made an INVENTION, not
a discovery. She put forth a set of three distinction-memes, ways of
taking a knife and slicing up the universe.

> the 3
>philosophical axioms. Axioms are basic concepts that are implicit in
>statement about reality. Rand's 3 axioms are: 1) Existence-an external

Translation: Let's create distinction-memes called "external reality"
and "existence" and say that one is a property of the other.

> 2) Consciousness-there is an awareness of existence.

Translation: Now create the distinction-memes "consciousness" and
"awareness," and define consciousness as an awareness of existence.

>are what they are-A is A.

Translation: Now create the distinction-meme "identity" (use the verb TO
BE to apply it) and the distinction-meme "true" and say that "A is A" is
always true.

> These are axioms because and attempt to deny them
>would be self-refuting.

As others have pointed out, an axiom is a definition (distinction-meme),
not a theorem, and as such cannot be proved or disproved.

> For instance, if one were to say "We are not
>aware of
>reality", then one would be making a statement about reality while, at
>time, claiming that a statement about reality cannot be made.

And is one were to say "I was not beating my wife", you would have the
same problem. Once you buy into the distinction-memes, you've lost the
battle. This is why I never argue about whether there is or isn't free
will - I just don't use the meme because it isn't useful to me.

> What is implied by the 2nd axiom, consciousness, is the ability to
>understand and integrate reality. This validity of consciousness, in
>implies that there is volition or free will, because if there was no
>our thoughts would simply be a result of random neuronal patterns that
>would not
>necessarily need to correspond with reality. The thoughts of someone on
>trip or a lunatic in an insane asylum would be no closer to, or farther
>understanding reality than anyone else's thoughts. Furthermore, if you
>had no
>free will, and you were just like a robot or computer that gets
>programmed by
>genes and memes, there would be no point in attempting to improve your
>situation, since we're all going to do whatever we're programmed to do.

These conclusions don't follow, David. For instance, Windows 95 is
completely programmed, and has code in it to clean up memory and disk
space to improve its situation. Yet you wouldn't argue it has free will.

> It seems to me that the Church of Virus is promoting a mystical
>notion by
>denying free will and claiming that the 'meme' is a higher power that
>individuals and societies. While the 'meme' is a useful concept to
>and influence the spread of ideas within oneself and throughout
>society, the
>Church of Virus is using 'memes' to create a new religion in which one
>higher authority is replaced with another. I am suggesting that there
>something in the brain that is not understood yet which can accout for
>will. What do you think?

As others have said, CoV is tongue-in-cheek. What you said about a
useful concept is the bottom line!

Thanks for contributing!

Richard Brodie +1.206.688.8600
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA, USA
Do you know what a "meme" is?