RE: Words and memes: criteria for acceptance of new belief or meme

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Mon Feb 18 2002 - 23:13:09 GMT

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    Subject: RE: Words and memes: criteria for acceptance of new belief or    meme
    Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 15:13:09 -0800
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    ><<Religion, cults
    >and other pathological idealogies are founded on

    >Would most people (even scientists) consider religion to be a pathological
    >ideology? On the contrary, it is usually atheism that is considered

    <<See my recent posting on this subject.

    Of course, when you understand what makes lightening, you no longer need a
    thunder god to account for it.>>

    Rational empiricists take for granted that the best thing to fill your mind
    up with is facts and good science. I'm a big fan of facts and good science
    and it's difficult to argue this point in a room full of them without coming
    across as a nutcase or a new-age charlatan. However, most people believe
    that facts and good science are not the be-all and end-all of a good,
    rounded education. That means there is a purpose for filling your mind with
    something else. What could this purpose be?

    Classic literature, for one example, fills the mind with a variety of
    narratives describing various aspects and points of view about the human
    condition. A healthy person synthesizes and references those narratives,
    using them to deal with everyday events and create goals and aspirations for
    the future. He or she uses them as guidelines for behavior and as a
    reference to judge what is and is not appropriate. By making and recognizing
    literary allusions, we smile and bond with others. This all has real value
    although it's difficult to test empirically, if for ethical considerations

    A good religion is part of a default set of narratives. Rational empiricists
    get hung up on the myth aspect of religions, taking it on blind faith that a
    make-believe story cannot possibly have any value. This is an irrational
    position and a blind spot in the worldviews of many smart people.

    Also see my essay at

    Richard Brodie

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