Re: virus: Religion

Michael Moore (
Sun, 06 Jul 1997 09:05:26 -0700

Eric Boyd wrote:

> > So what did I really 'not understand'? In a word Islam. This
> > seemed to me to be the ultimate in 'whacked out religions'.
> > The challenge for me - Become a Muslim. Step out of my
> > world into something very opposite of what I believed myself
> > to be.
> I'm keenly interested in other religions besides Christianity now,
> too.
> I think I understand it well enough to agree that while it has
> validity
> inside of itself (that is, if you accept the "faith", "original sin",
> and "sacrificial death on the cross", "God" "etc." deal, Christianity
> is
> capable of providing *meaning* to individuals. Perhaps, inside it's
> own
> boundaries, even *evidence*.) But from an external persepective,
> such
> as mine, all one asks is "to save me from what?" No meaning.
> And so I'm going to broaden the religion search. I need to get my
> hands
> on a copy of the Torah, or some other religious text.

May I suggest then the study of the early history of Islam. Not for
anyreligious purpose, but for an incredible example of how a meme can
take root and spread even against the most staggering odds. It is very
different that Christianity in that Jesus did not set out to establish a
religion and indeed the religion of Saul/Paul is believed by some
to be quite different than what Jesus taught. Muhammad on the other
hand deliberately set out to establish a new religion.
footnote. Muhammad claimed to be restoring the religion of Abraham,
but to the people who heard his religion, it was new.

>From the perspective that Islam is now the worlds second largest
religion, and 500 years younger than Christianity, I would say that
Muhammad could be a candidate for the worlds most successful
memetic engineer.

> This is exactly the "level 3" debate. Are we *really* capable of
> embracing *multiple* level 2 views of the world? Can our brain
> maintain
> the effort over a life time?
> Regardless, I see no other way now. I've gone too far. At the drop
> of
> a stone, I could call myself a Christian. And I know it. Psychic
> dissonance. I can't tell you how difficult it's been for me to manage
> *both* of the world views. I'm torn, day in and day out.

snip-Believe me, I understand. I seem to vacillate on this subject. I
find it
interesting how my environment, people, place, music, food, etc. seem
to influence what side if the fence I am siting on .

I've tons more to say, but gotta go. Aren't you lucky! ;-)

> ERiC