Re: virus: Hegel's Virus (was Altruism, Empathy, Etc.)

Martz (
Tue, 22 Apr 1997 00:41:19 +0100

On Sun, 20 Apr 1997, "D. H. Rosdeitcher" <>
> A lot of people on this list appear to have a thinking disorder which I
>call Hegel's virus. Hegel's virus has to do with confusion about the
>relationship between cause and effect. 2 examples include 1)believing that memes
>literallly compete for survival, using people as hosts for the memes'
>replication purposes and

If compete means there is intent then I don't think they do. If it
sounds that way I'm using a language of convenience.

>2)believing that the meaning of ideas are determined by
>the definitions of words used to express those ideas, (instead of meanings of
>words being determined by how they are used in a given context of an idea).

I agree that this is fallacious in itself. However, a *discussion* about
ideas has to start with some semblance (albeit mistaken) of a common

<snip hegel>

I've come across this before (anyone on Extropians will know where). A
is A only in relation to that which is not A. If we remove not-A we
remove A. In an abstract sense I can see where it's coming from but I
don't think we remove A. I think we lose our ability to describe (and
conceive of) it.

>Does anyone misunderstand what Reed meant by 'altruism' in this context?

I believe I understood an essential part of it which was enough for me
to disagree precisely as Robin did.

> Hegel's virus can also be shown by the spread of Communism. Karl Marx, the
>father of Communism, claimed that Instead of people producing and controlling
>goods and services, goods or services controlled the people. (politically,
>socially, etc) Marx's theory, like selfish gene theory, might be simply an
>interesting mental exercise to understand and observe the economy, but was
>apparently taken literally by lots of people. Marx might have been joking but
>most people didn't get it.

Now that *would* be funny. Shades of L. Ron, eh?


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