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

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Wed Feb 20 2002 - 07:04:35 GMT

  • Next message: Ray Recchia: "Re: ality"

    Received: by id GAA13651 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Wed, 20 Feb 2002 06:13:21 GMT
    Message-ID: <003c01c1b9dc$dbb1f0a0$5e2ffea9@oemcomputer>
    From: "Philip Jonkers" <>
    To: <>
    References: <>
    Subject: Re: Words and memes: criteria for acceptance of new belief or    meme
    Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 22:04:35 -0900
    Organization: Prodigy Internet
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    X-Priority: 3
    X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
    X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000
    Precedence: bulk

    > Rational empiricists take for granted that the best thing to fill your
    > 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
    > 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
    > 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
    > 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
    > literary allusions, we smile and bond with others. This all has real value
    > although it's difficult to test empirically, if for ethical considerations
    > alone.
    > A good religion is part of a default set of narratives. Rational
    > get hung up on the myth aspect of religions, taking it on blind faith that
    > 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

    Interesting material Richard. I do acknowledge the virtues
    of religion, it is partly responsible for human's success as
    social and cohesive species. It's just that because of its
    airborne foundation a lot of erroneous decisions are drawn
    that lead to a lot of misery in the world. Moreover religions
    allow for or even foster intergroup facist sentiments. Therefore
    I think the world would be better off either without it or,
    to conserve its wisdoms and ethical basis, to supplant it by a
    more tolerant, rational and humane scheme.

    As for empiricism, everyone has to rely on beliefs to make practical
    decisions in life. We simply can't afford to set elaborate experiments
    to isolate the best possible solution for every problem we encounter
    in life. Indeed, science is littered with beliefs only they are wrapped up
    in a foil of gold and name them postulates, consider QM and gen.
    relativity for instance ;-). In general, any fundamental theory is
    founded on non-testable but `plausible' assumptions.

    As for adopting `foreign programs'. We do it all the time although we
    often don't like to admit it as it negates our sense of originality.
    Indeed, ultimately it's achieving the goal that counts not the means.


    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Feb 20 2002 - 06:27:16 GMT