Re: virus: Faith, Logic and Purpose

Tim Rhodes (
Tue, 11 Nov 1997 22:41:59 -0800 (PST)

On Sun, 9 Nov 1997, David McFadzean wrote:

> At 12:48 PM 11/8/97 -0800, Tim Rhodes wrote:
> >But really, I don't think I do understand what you're trying to
> >accomplish. Could you drop a lil' science on the homeboy here and lay it
> >out for me?
> I believe <faith> is a pernicious, deleterious, unnecessary meme.

I think I see some necessity for it though and some usefulness as well.
I don't feel like throwing the baby out with the bath. Hence my stance.

> I believe the best way to combat <faith> is to create and promote
> a counter-meme

And this is a worthy goal, but the next part I have some trouble with:

>that makes sense from a rational perspective.

I guess my question is, can you combat an emotional appeal with a strictly
intellectual one? Effectively, that is. If so, how is it done?

It seems to me that you are placing all decisions made by non-rational
(emotional/limbic) means in one collumn labled "faith" and dismissing them
therefore as pernicious and unnecessary. Pernocious, yes. Unnecessary,
no, not quite.

> If you think science isn't art then you've fallen into the same kind of
> trap you're warning me about (how ironic :-).

Science can't lie to reach its goals, but art is all about useful and
purposeful deceptions. If you'd like to help me see the art in science,
however, I'm game.

But I'd rather see an example of how one can happily live while denying
that they have an emotional side that acts counter to reason every once in
a while.

-Prof. Tim