RE: virus: Faith, Logic and Purpose

David McFadzean (
Fri, 14 Nov 1997 15:05:03 -0700

At 08:25 PM 11/14/97 -0000, Robin Faichney wrote:

>OK, to save time, I can guess you'll respond by saying
>that the question <how we agree> reduces to <what's
>a good reason>. But I'm not a member of your Church,

Good guess.

>David, despite my participation on the list, and I don't
>go along with your assumption that we can decide on
>such things here and then go out and convert everyone
>else to our view. Despite your objectivist inclinations,

I thought we could figure out some stuff here, and publish
it in case anyone else could benefit. Do you think we
really can't or shouldn't make a difference?

>and my *relatively* subjectivist ones, I suspect I'm more
>scientifically-oriented, and less morally-oriented than
>you, i.e. I'm more interested in understanding how
>things are, and less interested in trying to change them.

You're wrong if you're insinuating that I'm not interested
in understanding. But you're right in assuming that I
think understanding is worthless if it isn't applied
somehow by somebody. Otherwise why bother?

>In fact, I'm beginning to question whether I might not
>spend my time in more productive ways than in arguing
>with you, which is how it always seems to end up here.
>Maybe our differences are just too profound.

If you want to find profound differences, I have no
doubt you can create some.

>all kinds of cultural phenomena. But then this
>isn't primarily about memetics, is it? That's
>just a means to an end, for you -- what you're
>really interested in is the propagation of the
>Gospel according to David.

Yes, this is an experiment in *applied* memetics.
If it was supposed to be a vector for the Gospel
according to David then why am I having discussions
with all of you to figure out what the gospel should
be and what we should do about it? Your accusations
have no basis in reality.

>Sorry -- you're not as self-centered as that
>makes you sound. I do believe that you
>genuinely mean well, but I also think you're
>seriously wrong-headed, which is why I'm
>going to let that Gospel thing stand.

Is it wrong-headed because we have no right or
authority to try to change the future? If not,
then what?

>> Richard Dawkins and Susan Blackmore have also thought
>> about this issue and came to the same conclusions.
>Let me know when they join the Church.

If you are insinuating that they wouldn't agree with
my aims then you will have to do better than merely
assert so if you want to convince anyone.

>> >you're not), how is attacking faith going to
>> >affect the faithful? Don't forget this is an
>> Because people don't necessarily have faith in faith,
>> even if they have faith in something else. If they
>> don't have faith in faith, there is still hope.
>OK, there may be something in that, but I still
>say that to view faith as an absolute is simply
>wrong. There's an infinite number of
>gradations between a perfectly open mind
>and a perfectly closed one.

I agree (and I don't think I've implied otherwise).

>over these issues here! Tacking such
>problems as if we were taking part in a
>philosophy seminar is just *never* going to
>work! It can be fun up to a point, but it won't
>solve the problems, and I think I'm rapidly
>approaching the point where it ceases even to
>be any fun. Why? Because the amount of
>deja vu I get from this list these days is
>making me feel nauseous!

Perhaps you are right. Maybe it would be better if
we kept our thoughts to ourselves. The future will
happen just fine without us. Does anyone else vote
for shutting down the mailing list and web site?

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus