virus: Religion

Eric Boyd (
Fri, 23 May 1997 22:23:37 -0500

Hi Everyone;

David McF. wrote:
>Since the list has been so quiet the last few days, I'd like to
>invite all the lurkers (new and old) to "come out of the closet".
>Introduce yourselves, tell us how you found this little corner of
>virtuality. Have you learned anything interesting and/or useful since
>arriving? Who do you agree with and who do you not? What interests

I've been a lurker on this mailing list since about the middle of feb.,
and I've certainly learned a lot. The actual things (ends) that I've
learned are unimportant, but the ways of thinking (means) are so cool.
Or, in the words of recient speakers, the tools of thinking are more
important than the actual things I've learned. And memetics is an
interesting tool.

Just before I go on, I'd like to mention that I've been thinking a lot
lately about religion and God and "The meaning of life" and have passed
what I beleive is the first hurdle... I've decided that "to travel is
better than to arrive" and this places me firmly against God and his
cohorts. Of course, it also makes me realize that my journey has just
begun and can never really end.

With this in mind, I'd life to say that I've really been rather
dissapointed with list... I joined hoping that there would be alot of
talk about religious issues and "what" one should beleive (with, of
course, the reasons "why") And all the talk has been about memetics!
You've also talked alot about "the self," and how it relates to
altruism, empathy and the superorganism (see, if you pound hard enough
even forgetful people like me will remember!) Why?

So back to religion. With my real spiritual journey just beginning, I
have a very keen interest in anything that might be said about religious
issues. I'd like to see anybody's answer to

What is the meaning of life?

Although I'd like to point out that there is a duality here which runs
very deep. It has to do with the means/ends thing I mentioned before;
only bigger. Some people (although unless I miss my mark, not to many
here) will answer that we are here to serve/worship God, and that we
should do whatever His authority tells us. (accepting God's ends as
True regardless. remember
... > Another problem with this type of thinking is that there is a
> stagnating dogmatism when a word, or any concept (ie. God,
> scriptures, etc) is given status as ultimate authority. As far as
> the thinking process is concerned, there is no important difference
> between which "authorities"are exalted since the activity of
> deciding that there is an ultimate truth or authority leads to a
> closed mentality that is not open to different ways of seeing.
... David Rosdeitcher, way long time ago)

Either that, or you accept that it is our 'privilege' as humans to
search for and accept whatever answers we think are right. This carries
lots of responsiblity, but I'm not going to bore you with that here.
Instead, I'd like to know what answers each of you has found, /and why/.

I know already that I'm heading toward some melange between Scientific
Panthesim and Church of Euthanasia. That -- in less than 20 words -- the
universe ('nature') is divine, and that we as humans must protect it,
even at substantial cost to ourselves. Of course, that leaves everyone
wondering what "nature" is... but hey, didn't I just say my journey
would never end?

One of the best things this list done while I've been here is coin the
"Reed Principle":

>> I think this ties into the discussion we were having earlier about
>> the idea of "Consensus Reality". Why didn't it get brought up
>> sooner? I wonder if it was becuase we were arguing while denying
>> our baser selves? Perhaps, to some extent, each of us was more
>> interested in seeing their "meme" triumph over everone elses: To
>> stamp their seal, to evangelize, to infect. It was only after we
>> all realized that that wasn't working that we began to pause
>> and say:
>> "Well, alright then...what do YOU think?"
>> And how many times have you read something and it just "passed
>> through" without ever really impacting you? And how many
>> points-of-view or interesting ideas do we ignore each day because
>> our mechanisms for filtering them out (for instance, by only
>>reading something refering to you specifically) aren't very good?
>> Object Lesson?

> Yes, and a good one. Maybe in future we can invoke the "Reed
> Principle" when we start to get too tied up in ourselves and seeing
> our memes win.

> Of course the parties invovled won't be able to see the need of
> invoking this, so we may need to count on others, not involed in the
> particular debate, to step in and tell us to chill out. (Yes, Eva,
> I got this idea from our conversation.)
> Can we all agree to step back for a moment and *just listen* when
> someone invokes the Reed Principle on us?
(Prof Tim said this first, I beleive)
(Yes, I am consiously spreading this meme)

I look forward to your replies;
Eric Boyd

"We will all die together, in a glorious blaze of over-stimulation."
-- Church of SubGenius