Re: virus: Authority of Church of Virus

Eric Boyd (
Wed, 28 May 1997 13:50:00 -0500

John "Dry-Roasted Army Worm" Williams wrote:
> I've conceded several points here, both because of well-expressed arguments
> and further reading I've done here.
> I'd like to pose the following questions, though, just to clear up some
> spots in my head before I go off to read a couple of books on memetics...
> 1) The Entymological problem. It has been said here by some that
> rationalism is the only way to go; but it is not "faith" to believe so. My
> question is, what is rationalism, and how do we arrive at the decision that
> rationalism is the only way to go, without presupposing rational thought?
> (IE: I can use religious doctrine to determine that I should be religious.
> Do we use rational thought to determine that we should use rational thought?)

I've been avoiding this debate just to see where it goes, but I think
I'll step in now... I beleive that we can only have /faith/ in
rationality. As I see it, rationality /can not/ be used to defend
itself. Ie. you cannot give reasons to become rational because that
begs the question... If you are going to be convinced by the reasons
given to be rational, you must already accept that reason works. So we
must have faith: we must beleive in reason. And I see no way around

> Of all the mail I have received from this list since I became a virus
> voyeur, this inspires my two cents worth. I am.....interested in the
> perception that an agnostic bringing faith into his life has
> sacrificed integrity for happiness. I would hazard to suggest that
> fear of the unknown (commonly referred to here as 'irrational') = fear
> of faith = the insistence upon clinging to rationality in an
> irrational world. What integrity is this man supposed to have
> sacrificed?

I would maintain that he has sacrificed much anyway... you see, as soon
as you decide to have an /irrational/ faith in reason, then you no
longer have to rely on faith any more. Reason is always available. So
what the above hypothetical person has done is made the rationality
faith leap, and then not used reason to justify everything else. Thus
he has continued to use faith, even when he beleives[1] that a better
alternative exists.

[1] Note that this really is a beleif. He may provide reasons why he
thinks reason is better than faith, but this meerly begs the question.

> 2) The Authority problem. Having been (discouragingly) attacked for *not*
> being a Christian, on the grounds that I don't adhere you ya'll's strict
> definition of Christian, on what basis does the Church of Virus claim that
> it is
> a) a Church?

First I would need a definition of "Church" I've got all these
"fundamentalist" meme's running around in my head screaming that a
Church is a gathering of people who all support the same "Truths,"
gathering mostly to reinforce and learn about their truths and how to
recruit more people to them... but this would obviously exclude you from
the Church you attend.
So, what is a Church, then?

> b) a memetically-based religion?

The CoV is founded on the principles and insights of memetics. The
entire idea is to use memetic's to engineer an "everlasting" religion...
one that evolves towards a system that more and more people think is
well and good. (Ie. that evolves to infect more and more people)... it
almost sounds evil, eh? Guess that is why it is hosted on


he terms his affliction "a disease with a purpose -- maybe
not such a bad disease after all"; he remarks that the disease
"wants to turn me into something else, ... something that never
existed before."