Re: virus: Faith, Logic and Purpose

Tom Parsons (
Fri, 21 Nov 1997 07:41:14 +1300

At 09:05 AM 11/20/97 -0700, you wrote:
>At 04:54 PM 11/19/97 -0800, Marie Foster wrote:
>>All along I have been thinking that what you have a problem with is not
>>really faith, but dogma.
>Yes, dogmatism is the *kind* of faith I have been dissing.
>>Main Entry: dog·ma·tism
>>Pronunciation: 'dog-m&-"ti-z&m, 'däg-
>>Function: noun
>>Date: 1603
>>1 : positiveness in assertion of opinion especially when unwarranted or
>>2 : a viewpoint or system of ideas based on insufficiently examined
>Yes! That's the word I've been searching for. I've changed the wording
>of the first Virion sin to:
> Dogmatism
> Through some twist of fate, western society has come to regard
> dogmatic faith as a virtue. To hold an idea as true despite all
> evidence to the contrary is an abdication of reason. Convictions
> are the end of knowledge, not the beginning; they are the enemy
> of truth more than lies.

That "twist of fate" is called evolution. Groups have been units of primate
selection since long before H. sapiens arose. Strong and unquestioning
adherence to a leader (or the abstraction of a leader that is a dogma) has
been central to the cohesion and the efficient functioning of groups for so
long that it is practically hardwired into our response system. This
biological tendency has often been regarded as a virtue in (at least) our

The CoV would do well to utilize this inbuilt trait rather than fighting it.