RE: virus: Strange attractors and meta-religions (was God and

Wright, James 7929 (
Fri, 11 Apr 97 08:39:00 EDT

Tony Hindle wrote:
>>Can you say why?[JHW]<<
> Yes.
<Snip imagined description of suicides>
> I wonder If Mrs Fujii waited until each one of her
>daughters had stopped screaming and pleading to be saved, before
>pushing in the next one.<
They might not have screamed and pleaded; in 1945 wartime Japan, "To die
for the Emperor!" was the shouted ambition of school children as young as
three or four. They were taught that this was a supreme honor, and I
doubt they were old enough to question it.
>Or did she push all three in and wait until the screaming and pleading
had stopped >and their young heads had been submerged for a couple of
minutes, before >jumping to her own death?<
She might not have had to push them in, see above; they might all have
jumped in at once. Then again, I wasn't there either, she might have had
to chase them around in the water a while before catching them to hold
them under. I don't know the specifics here.
> If you were asking me "why do I feel empathy" I answer that
>it is a hardwired disposition to care about my con-specifics that
>gets tuned in by learned experience (I am pleased I have it, but I
>dont know why I am pleased to have it). When I hear the story it
>triggers my imagination which has connections to my limbic system
>and spills over to trigger emotional responses that really would
>only be helpful if I were actually in a position to do something.<
No, I understand empathy; I was asking why this particular story struck a
chord with you, which you answered above quite well. By the way, what are
>I definitely agree with Martz and Mark on this one.<
I'm not sure I agree or disagree, I just think more is learned than
instinctual in human childrearing.
Your story also brings to mind the children of Jonestown, Guyana when the
People's Temple cult committed suicide. What were those parents thinking
when they killed not only themselves but their children? Is there a
deadly toxic-meme such as "There are causes worth destroying yourself and
your children for?" What kind of counter-meme could we devise to immunize
against it?