Re: virus: Logic and Purpose

Sodom (
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 12:08:33 -0500

Reed Konsler wrote:

> This is called a "grass is greener" argument. I think anyone must
> admit that the world MIGHT be better given the absence or presence
> of one characteristic or another.

The "grass is Greener" argument is a bit too simnplistic. I was ptting
forward, that either way, to statement that we have "thrived" is a
misconception in all ways except reproduction.

> But I could say "Gender differences and discrimination cause a lot
> of strife and wasted resources, if we didn't have sexes and genders
> we might already be moving between the stars." or

Gender differences are driven everywhere by religion.

> Language causes much confusion of meaning and leads to the creation
> of words like "God" which seem to take on such significance that
> people
> are willing to kill, suffer, and die for something they can't even
> see.
> If we didn't have language, perhaps we would already be moving
> between the stars.

language does cause confusion, but most would argue that the benefits of
language far outweigh it's problems.

> But wait! We aren't paying attention to the benefits any of these
> characteristics might have which mitigate or exceed their problems.
> Exactly. But the grass always SEEMS greener on "the other side".
> Reed:
> >> 2) ...There are no examples of cultures which thrive without these
> systems.
> >We have murder in every society that ever existed, yet all of us can
> say
> >that society would be better without murderers. Thrive and progress
> are
> >such relative terms. In the USofA where religion is important, but is
> >legally excluded from the state, technology thrives. In religious
> >governments everywhere, where religion is the dominating factor, the
> >standard of living, educatiuon, and scientific advancement is at it's
> >worst.
> I think that is not true. You are ascribing successful science to an
> exclusion
> of religion from the state. The Soviet Union excluded religion, but
> scince
> still suffereed under a repressive ideological regime. There has been
> a
> revolution in the past 50 years in science in Isreal and India. I
> think
> successful
> science is correlated more with expendable community wealth, freedom
> of thought and expression, and a compeditive market driven economy
> than
> the presence or absence of religious convictions.

I would argue that it is everything you have stated, plus religion. The
discoveries of Israel and India are both pretty small and based upon the
previous development of others. Now there is enough mathematical and
technical know how in the world, that any country with the resources,
could become a powerful scientific country. I am not ascribing science
to the lack of religion in the state, but to the lack of fanaticism by a
state's religious masses. As for the old Soviet Union, they were
repressive and their technology suffered for it, but remember, they
still have a space station, were the first into space, and have one of
the strongest science bases on the planet. The United States and Japan
were the only countries that could claim technical superiority over the
USSR 10 years ago. Admittedly the gap was and is growing, and this is
mostly likely due to the other forces you mentioned.

> I agree that "thrive" and "progress" are relative terms. But the fact
> remains
> that there is NO EXAMPLE of a culture without a religion, broadly
> defined.
> > An assumption and faith, are very different things. But I don't
> >diagree with #3 otherwise.
> If "faith" is belief without evidence then assumptions are identical
> to faiths.
> Reed

An assumption is not faith at all, an assumption is flexiable and not
held to correctness other than to test something. An assumption can be
easily dropped.