virus: what is a valid philosophy?

Nathaniel Hall (
Fri, 10 Oct 1997 17:28:45 -0600

Richard Brodie wrote:

> On Thursday, October 9, 1997 12:22 PM, Nathaniel Hall
> [] wrote:
> > If one makes it a point to examine one's
> > beliefs and to acquire a reasonable philosophy then your emotions can
> give
> > you a short cut answer to having to think something through. But if you
> have
> > an invalid belief (Zeus is one of the many gods controlling my fate for
> > example) then your emotions will give you improper responses to reality.
> You
> > will never seem to get anything right and fear will be your constant
> > companion.
> You are dead on right except that you have collapsed two important
> concepts. What is "valid" is not necessarily what is in your self-interest.

We are all the final judge of what reality is to ourselves. If not, then who
should we delegate this task too?

> This is of course the major flaw with Rand's philosophy, and ironically the
> same thing that makes her simplistic worldview so palatable: she claims
> that the more you know objective reality, the better equipped you are to
> achieve your goals in life. This is false for two reasons. First, there are
> an infinity of maps of objective reality, all equally valid.

If one manages to find one's way onto the map. However for any particular
objective map one can find a multitude of subjective maps to match up with it.
One must have a way of obtaining an objective map ! Also if one finds basic
unifying concepts such as "the world is made of atoms" or "Momentum is always
conserved" then your particular map is much more powerful than "the four
elements are earth air fire and water". In a way the last one has some truth to
it but not nearly so much as the other two.

> Second, the
> memetic programming that equips you for maximum
> enjoyment/fulfillment/success (by your own definition) in life in not 100%
> aligned with the Truth (if there were such a thing).

An interesting claim. If it is not 100% true than it must be partially false.
What particular falsehoods do you find beneficial? One does not have
omnipotence. One merely strives to get it right to the extent that one can.
That way one can be as happy with life as it is possible to be.

> We have discussed both
> of these problems at length on this list, but they are eternally slippery
> for the human (Level-2) mind to grasp.

> Richard Brodie
> Author, VIRUS OF THE MIND: The New Science of the Meme
> Visit Meme Central:

From what I've been told a level 3 mind is a fancy way of saying one has a
good grasp of philosophy. Am I wrong? What is the standard definition" ?
The Nateman