RE: virus: Saint PKD

Gifford, Nate F (
Tue, 9 Dec 1997 09:37:17 -0500

Robin wrote:
> From: Gifford, Nate
>> 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".

Mea Culpa. The above was meant to be kind of ironic since "Saints
in the church" is dogmatic too .... As my high school biology teacher said
"There are two types of people; those who bifurcate and those who don't." I
finally got that about three years later.

>> 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 think if they're religious they really believed ... and if they
were movers and shakers in the church they were just looking for a hook.

>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".)

Do you think that's the message that propagated Xtianity? I think
the Xtian God provided a new ... better ... way of doing business. Instead
of the Roman hierarchy or the Jewish hierarchy you had a new egalitarian
construct. Of course once the Xtians were the top dogs they were as
accepting as the heads of the religions they supplanted...

> 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.

Confused? There are still lots of traditonal Xtian communities ...
for instance the Amish ... Its just that more people prefer a less rigorous
belief system.

>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.

I think COV is different from a real church since its
self-referential ... and by definition <at least now> anarchic. The apostle
with the best hook wins.

>(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.

Are you familiar with the Church of the Subgenious? I look at COV
as the thinking man's source of slack ... but I'm pink so kill me.

>"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
>> It's
>> how
>> kind you are. The quality of kindness, to me, distinguishes
>> from
>> rocks and sticks and metal, and will forever, whatever shape
>> 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?

It was a reference to pentecostal revivals. Here in America
charismatic fundamentalist preachers go from church to church holding
special services. The idea is to "revive" the holy spirit in a church.
Instead of setting up in the church they have a tent and folding chairs they
set up in a vacant lot. "Marks" is also a carnival/confidence man term for
the potential victim of a scam.