RE: virus: Saint PKD

Robin Faichney (
Tue, 9 Dec 1997 10:33:40 -0000

> From: Gifford, Nate F[]
> I found your position of "No Saints In this Church" to be
> a bit dogmatic.
In the message of mine you first responded to, I said
basically "oh, all right then".

> I think idolatry provides a useful means for propagating
> memetic infection.
On the other hand, don't you think that many traditionally
religious people thought just the same sort of thing? I
mean, generally, that they were quite aware of how much
superstition and such there was in their own tradition,
but tolerated that as a vehicle for memes like "do unto
others as you would have them do unto you". (Note I said
"many", not "all", or even "most".) My point
being, that you can't ultimately distinguish between
ends and means. Some say that every religion starts
well and then degenerates, precisely because the
peripherals become confused with the core message.
How to avoid that? Keep the peripherals to an absolute
minimum from the beginning, I say. In fact, I suspect
that with recent advances in various fields it is now
possible to eliminate them altogether, i.e. myths and
parables serve only to get the principles across to
those -- such as young children -- not presently
capable of understanding the rational basis of it all.

(Of all what? I'm talking about religion being for
values what science and the teaching of it are for

So CoV sainthood is maybe OK, but needs to be
well flagged as largely ironic -- and even then,
expect large numbers to take it quite seriously.
"Yes, St Darwin ascended ahead of us to meme
heaven, and awaits us there." And no saints
whatsoever in Synthesis (which ain't a church

> I like this quote from PKD:
> It's not what you look like, or what planet you were born on.
> It's
> how
> kind you are. The quality of kindness, to me, distinguishes us
> from
> rocks and sticks and metal, and will forever, whatever shape we
> take,
> wherever we go, whatever we become.
> Sorry I don't have the citation details to hand.
> His astral projection just told me that he used to say stuff
> like
> that to get the marks in the tent ... or was that Kilgore Trout
> playing
> games again ... never trust the spirit world.
What does "marks in the tent" mean?