Re: The story-telling ape (was virus: Logic)

Sodom (
Sat, 18 Oct 1997 17:20:35 -0400

Marie Foster wrote:
> Sodom wrote:
> >
> NOTE- I have done a good deal of snipping here but I am pretty sure that
> Sodom wrote the following... If not, then I apologize to his person for
> misdirecting my question and perhaps the author will recogonize the
> words so that we can continue the dialog.
> >
> > I do not see religion and science as even remotely similar. Science can
> > explain everything about religion. Where it came from, why people are
> > driven to it, why it effects people as it does. Religion on the hand
> > requires ignoring science to exist. It is based on divine inspiration of
> > human beings, whom we all agree are untrustworthy. It constantly shrinks
> > as it's myths are exposed. It is fancy and emotion without substance.
> > Religion is a piece of human animalistic nature.
> >
> > Science is mans first attempt at objectivity - it's far from perfect,
> > but grows expotentially, and is more accure every day. Science is beyond
> > man's animalistic tendencies, not scientists, but science.
> >
> > Sodom
> I believe that scientists know more about science than non-scientists.
> I believe that religious persons know more about religion than
> athiests. Remember, that definitions change and that dictionaries try
> to reflect the most common usage of the word as it is understood by the
> most people.
> This is a non vertical continuum after all. If we were to be ranked in
> a normal curve from theist to athiest, I am uncertain as to how far to
> the theist side I would rate myself, but I am clearly in that muster.
> However, the continuum is a construction, it only exists in our desire
> to fully incorporate these concepts. Sodom, please believe that your
> idea of what religion is or is not is only your view of it from your
> place in time and space.
> Semantics does concern itself with connotations of words. I remember a
> man from the Moody Bible Institute gave a lecture that I was required to
> attend during my undergraduate days. I was pretty resistant to the idea
> of going. However, this man gave a compelling lecture. He had spent
> years working in societies that had no written language. As a linguist
> he struggled with learning the verbal languages and then others would
> use his written works to translate the bible into their cultural
> framework.
> The evangalism inherent in his work disturbed me and still does. But
> his central premise was that language = culture. He gave many
> persuasive examples mostly around how societies that have no words for
> certain things have behaviours or customs that can be inferred or
> understood because of these absent objects. He also showed how the
> number of different words that a group has to describe something was
> related to the significance of that object to the groups survival. This
> was like a revelation to me and still resonates. When I came upon the
> word meme in a science fiction book I was reading my mind made the
> connection between it and the concepts in this long ago lecture and sent
> me off into Webland where I finally ended up here.
> I agree fully with Richard that we need to get off this high horse about
> seeing science and religion as some kind of fight to the death.
> Religion will never be what it is characterized as and science will
> never be what it is characterized as.
> I know that evolution is true for me. Not only do I find I agree with
> Dawkins (et al) about the reasons why we know it is true, but I feel a
> kinship when I look into the eyes of a chimp, a gorilla, and a dog or a
> cat - (or Dawkins) for that matter. This kinship does not diminish me
> nor do the mechanics of how it came about. The thing I agree with the
> most about evolution is that it has NO purpose. Purpose is a human
> invention again... For that purpose one needs to look inside.
> All and all I am pretty successful in our world no matter how that
> success is defined. I have not read "Getting Beyond OK" as it is not in
> our library yet and I am a bit monetarially challenged at the moment.
> I am willing to guess however, that the author would concur with the
> need for each individual to have his or her own "idea of success" ("meme
> of success") to be happy. I also guessing that you are still working on
> your own definition of religion or you would not be in a list that has
> church in its title.
> As always I enjoy our journey here
> My best
> Marie

you quoted pretty good I think. I still disagree quite a bit, but i do
agree that this discussion is getting old. I also notice your Buddhist
influence showing through, which I think is good for mediation, but not
for objectivism. The term Athiest exists because religion exists.
Elimiante Religion, and Athiest has no meaning. I have studied a lot of
religion, and have no trouble seeing it from the point of the religious
(I believe) But to follow it, I had to suspend reason, or hide it, or
twist it, or be brainwashed with it.

As for the language = culture, I could not agree more. There is no doubt
that language changes to fit it's current culture, like a river flowing
to fit it's banks.

I am willing to cut the battle down on the condition that we realize
that religion and science are part (a huge part) or our culture, and
have a great impact on our meme structure. Agreed? It will come up again
as part of other discussions.