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----- Original Message -----
From: Philip Jonkers
Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2002 8:36 PM
Subject: Re: religious viruses
Richard Dawkins (father of the 'meme'; would Susan Blackmore be the mother?...) has referred to religion as a 'virus'. With absolutley no axe of faith to grind I think this is too derisory a term to use and could actually be inaccurate. Granted there have been many mistakes made and downright atrocities committed by psychopaths sheltering under their respective churches to say nothing of the amount of bs propagated by them but I would like to propose the following.
To label religions unconditionally as virusses is perhaps a little over the edge. Virusses
are parasitic which reproduce at the expense of their hosts. Given that ideological religious schemes have survived for so long might indicate that they offered somekind
of benefit to the hosts. I'm thinking of social coherence, religion tightens and unifies the
group. In this sense religion in fact is symbiotic. That were the old days however. Today,
with increased communication, immigration and ethnic mixing religion is a obstacle to
achieve or maintain social harmony and rest. That is the virtue and usefulness of religion
has greatly reduced, perhaps to such extent that is has changed color to parasitic.
If so this may vary from region to region, I don't know.
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